Ptc jumping is so easy and testing is a joke

Is anyone concerned with how easy it is to actually jump the ptc within the motors? Furthermore, testing at competitions is fairly difficult. Teams could easily change their motors after being tested not to mention testing them would take additional time. I remember at worlds for nothing but net they simply asked to unplug one motor to test the ptc to make sure it tripped but they let us choose which motor. This was the first time I realized that teams might be doing something fishy. I have reason to believe some of my local top teams have purposefully jumped their ptc. At a regional competition, they tested the motors, and as soon as they found out, they began to change all their motors the morning of the competition and warned me that they were testing motors. I had no idea why they were concerned until I thought that they may be doing something to their motors. Is this a common thing? Do top teams all do this and keep it in the down low? I have been in vex for years upon years. I’m talking about one of the top teams in skills. Obviously their build quality and programming may be why they performed so good, but when the team expressed their concern about testing ptcs, I became suspicious. When I talked to them on the matter, they implied that they jump their ptc and that it was normal amongst top teams. I look up to teams in my area and strive to be like them but it would disappoint me if this was common within vex. You wanna know how I know it’s so easy? Because I tried jumping the ptc of an old motor. It literally takes five minutes.
Tldr: ptc jumping is easy and almost completely undetectable. Find it sad how teams use unfair practices on teams abiding by the rules. Their should be a way to prevent modifications on the day off competitions and all teams should bag up their robots like they do in first. The inspection process is a joke at local competitions and even at worlds, you can go undetected with certain precautions.

Ps to all teams thinking that I’m accusing teams just because they’re better than me, I can assure you that this is not the case. I am on a team that is consistently ranked in the top 100 year after year.

At worlds they test competitive teams’ motors immediately after matches (in addition to at inspection) and don’t allow teams to pick the motor, which makes the detection process pretty hard to avoid. Perhaps it should be more widely implemented at the local/regional/state level. I don’t know how big of a problem it is, and testing is rather a pain.

Afterwards is much better. At some World’s prior they would test before a match and it took minutes to cool down. At Worlds they always check during inspection.

This actually is a big issue right now at the georgia state championship check it out and comment on the results
https://vexforum.com/t/deleted/40096/1

The only reason I dreaded PTC testing was because they thought 10 minutes was enough time for a fully-burnt-out motor to cool down before a quarterfinal match. I understand the need for scrutiny but I’d be happy to burn out a motor, let my robot sit in their sight for an hour, then go on the field for my match. But 10 minutes isn’t enough time.

Hi @Billi.Kurien,

Understand why you would be upset, but be careful in posting accusations. It may be best for you to remove that attachment in the post above until it’s all cleared up. Hope it all works out for everyone.

Understood, thank you for the advice!

“The test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is looking.” The reason to not modify your motors isn’t because you could be caught; the reason is because it’s wrong. I hope any team that does it, is punished to the full extent. Obviously, any incident should be fully investigated and not determined by judge, jury, and trial on Vex Forum - but, if it the case - it is a huge shame.

My only issue with this is if they rule to let the GA state champions go to worlds if they deliberately broke R15. This is completely unfair to the teams they competed against in the elimination matches.

I’d like to say for anyone who is on a newer team and hasn’t yet had a high-performing robot or really been friends with those who have, the vast majority of top-tier teams do not cheat. There is no rampant issue as far as I am aware. Teams take extreme measures to create high-quality robots, and a lot of work goes into doing what some people may believe can only be achieved through cheating.

I can attest that none of the top AZ teams illegally modify their motors. We are all capable of creating great bots without cheating. This may come as obvious to a lot of veteran users, but we have to realize that there are a lot of less-experienced lurkers for whom I think this is important to clear up. PTC testing at Worlds is thorough and a few teams get caught every year.

Definitely correct. Working with the PTCs on motors is part of the challenge of designing a good robot, and, if I found out about a team tampering with them, I would be very disappointed.

As far as PTC testing goes, I think a random selection of teams ought to be PTC-tested after their last match before lunch (so they have lunchtime to cool off).

Worlds eliminations tests every motor of every robot. And doesn’t let you leave the field area. Also usually inspection they test 1 motor per subsystem.

But the problem with me is that even though worlds may take adequate testing, teams may be qualifying and taking spots away from teams by taking advantage of how local and even some state competitions are run. Not a single local competition out of the many competitions I’ve been in have ever tested ptc at all (besides occasional testing at the regional level). Teams can qualify for worlds by breaking the top 50 in skills at local events. No system can be perfect and I understand that, but I feel that it would definitely be easy to cheat the system. The process in place is definitely time consuming and not to mention dentrimental to the performance of robots. Also, what if teams could trip their ptc at higher rates by using a series of ptcs? Instead of completely taking out the ptc, would it be possible to change the “burning out point”? Is this something you can test? http://www.vexrobotics.com/ptc-authenticator/ This method simply tests if the ptc will trip. But what if you modified the motors to trip at higher currents? How could you detect this?

On this forum we try to avoid too much discussion about ways to circumvent the ptc check. I can say that they test at what current stall happens so a motor couldn’t pass while also having noticeable advantage. The legality of play world wide is much better now than in the past. I’m not sure if teams really do cheat to win local events and then stop cheating. At least not in the way you describe. The difference between checking at every event and checking at at national levels events is at least 2 orders of magnitudes. Can’t really expect it.

@DRow feel free to delete if you would like.

Adding the standard “let’s cut the one item that protects our $25 motor with controller and $400 Cortex in order to gain a slight advantage” is extremely stupid. I don’t think any good team does this because they design within the system and maximize their gearing, wiring, and build quality so that their robots can run for 20 to 30 minutes at a time without any burn out issues. I guess this is a larger problem than I think it is, but that is super sad.

yup, anyone that thinks all or even the majority of high level teams are cheating is very wrong. The reason that they are good is because they can maximize efficiency with the items they have available. Also any high level team switching out motors before or after motor inspection is probably just trying to keep the motors on their robot fresh and as efficient as possible so their robot works in general. All these modded motor accusations need to stop because its just getting annoying and out of hand.