Problems with connecting to VEX PIC Microcontroller

When writing firmware to the microcontroller from robotc, robotc started returning the error “Failed to erase flash memory”. I had to restart the microcontroller and my pc several times in order to connect successfully to it.

However, during the period where I could not connect to the brain, i noticed a burning smell and realised the microcontroller was very hot near the power switch. I then switched to another microcontroller to test and again, the same problem and burning smell. I managed to connect, but it was on-off-on-off with it not connecting randomly for no explainable reason. I also tried reinstalling the VEX USB to Serial driver but to no avail.

Another programmer tried easyc, and also, the same problem of not being able to connect to the microcontroller.

Is this a problem with the programming cable(s we have tried), the microcontrollers or our computers? Has anyone experienced this and successfully resolved the issue?

That is not a good thing… I have never had that happen to me, yet…

I am wondering… Is your Vex controller being power off of a Battery???

If you have a Power Supply that is connected to your Wall Power, that then powers the Vex Controller and your Programming Computer is also Power off of a Wall Power Source as well, you might be able to create a Difference in Ground Potential due to miss wiring, that could cause Issues you mention.

Difference in Ground Potential happens occasionally in Large Industrial settings, and can cause Issues in Digital Communication between devices in different parts of the Industrial Site