Rookie Questions!

Hi Guys! Hope the New Year is better than the old one!

First… I’m assuming the Vex Joystick isn’t a programmable device. At least in so far as operating a robot. I mean that each channel on the joystick sends the same data regardless of the robots program. It’s up to the 'bot to determine what do on a command from the joystick.
I know it’s a simple question but I’m a bit confused with the “Program” port on the joystick.

Another joystick question. I just noticed two threaded inserts on the front of the device. Assuming (again) these are for antennae. Are those available somewhere?

Now for the Cortex uController. I’m thinking the memory in the controller is volatile and the 9V backup battery is to retain a program if the controller is powered down!?

Anyhow… simple questions from a simple soul. :slight_smile:

Thank you all…

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I’m assuming you’re talking about the old cortex controller. No, they are not programmable; the program port was used to run autons from what I remember.

The threaded inserts are just that, not to be used for antennae. Some teams used them to add parts for more control options.

As for the 9V battery question, I think that is correct, the 9V battery protects the cortex in case the normal battery can’t.


The Joystick is an input device. The information from joystick (and pushbuttons) can be used in a program to create any sort of custom control you wish to write a program for.

The threaded inserts do nothing, but you can screw something to it if you want. The “antenna” on the cortex system is the vexnet key that you plug in. On V5, it’s all internal.

I’m assuming you know that the Cortex is no longer the current controller, but rather V5 is used by most everyone. That being said, the 9V battery really doesn’t do anything useful enough to worry about. The memory is non-volitile.


The “program” port on the joystick is used to program the cortex wirelessly. With the cortex and controller connected via VEXnet, and the controller connected to a computer using the programming hardware kit, you can wirelessly download programs and view debugging information - much more convenient than repeatedly swapping between a vex net key and a USB cable if you’re working on an autonomous routine.

To expand on this - what the 9V does is keep the radio connection to the controller alive if the main battery disconnects.

If you don’t have the 9V connected the main battery connection is momentarily interrupted (this can happen sometimes if the connector is a bit loose) the radio link will take a bit to re-establish after power is connected again. Thus your robot might be unable to move for 5 or 10 seconds even though the power was only disconnected for less than 1 second.

The 9V backup won’t power the motors, but it will keep the radio connection alive so you can start moving again as soon as the main battery is reconnected.


Thanks for all the replies! I’m trying to learn a new system.

One last question (for now) . :slight_smile:
What is the torque on these 393 motors? In the parts I received there are several shafts that are “seriously” bent and twisted. Is the 393 that powerful?