Redesign Cortex Microcontroller USB slot

Throughout all the competitions I have been at, all teams and robots I have seen have had issues with the design of the Cortex microcontroller. Specifically, the USB key/paiting cable slot is facing the wrong direction, making it difficult to access for every robot design I have ever seen. If so many teams and so many designs make it difficult to access the USB slot, it can’t just be bad luck.

Simply making it face the other direction would benefit so many teams and designs. Currently we are having to use extension cables from the slot to somewhere else on the robot for easy crystal & download access, or else sticking cables, the crystal, and our hand through robots in uncomfortable designs. Just making it face the other direction would be very beneficial (and also much more logical, as it is where all other cables face).

I can’t understand how or why it was design and even redesigned like this the first and second time - in the next version of the design, all I ask is that it face the other direction.

I can see your argument here, but teams are supposed to design the microcontroller so that the power switches easily accessible. With this in mind, the microcontrollers are usually fairly vulnerable. If you mount your microcontroller horizontally and have the USB mount as you described, the key would be even more susceptible to bumping of the key and breaking it. Having it face the other way, in a way, helps protect it from such bumping. At the same time, mounting the cortex vertically, with the current design, would have the USB port facing downwards, where it has to fight gravity.

For now, I’m indifferent to the how the key is mounted.

Why would that be better? There are always things that could be improved but most products are the result of compromise and I think they did a pretty good job.

He is jut pointing out something that he feels should be changed. The only way to to improve things is for someone to give feedback.

I do agree that the arrangement of the ports/ switches/ keys could be improved.

I understand, but he makes the statement.

I have seen many designs where the cortex/switch/USB are very easy to access (and also seen many where it’s impossible).

If you are going to make this type of statement it needs to be supported with an argument as to why it would be better placed differently. Is it the relationship to the battery connector? Or to the IO ports? The problem I see is that robots are built without the position of the cortex being considered until the mechanical structure is finished, then there is an attempt to find somewhere to put it, if the cortex was designed in from the beginning I suspect this would not be an issue.

I agree with jpearman. If you have a problem with the location of the USB key then you should take it into consideration before you finish building your robot. I’m not saying your team does this, but some definately do…

And as the first post of the thread said, you’re using a USB extension and its working fine, so why make them change the design of a product when you could just use an extender?

Also, design around the issue instead of having them fix something that isn’t necessarily a issue. Innovateeeeeeeeeee

I total agree with this statement. People need to design this in. I’m just saying that the mounting orientations that work well with the cortex are somewhat limited compared to some other platforms. The only orientations that are convenient are horizontal( and turned any direction) and vertically with the vexnet key pointing to the right or left. Obviously there are other ways that work, but these are the only convenient ways to do it.