Save your V5 Micro USB port by using magnetized version

The fact that Vex went with micro USB rather than USB-C grinds my gears every time I use it.

But

I have found these magnetic micro USB cables on amazon. I have hot glued the adapter into the USB slot.

It works really well, just a quick snap and good to go. Just be carful when actively downloading a program to not lose connection.

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A couple of things to keep in mind when doing this:

  1. That little nub has a magnet in it, and can attract tiny pieces of metal that get produced when you cut steel components (shafts, screws, steel structure, etc.)

  2. The magnetic connector is significantly wider than a normal microUSB cable, and the port on the brain is right next to the connector for the battery. Depending on the specific magnetic cable you bought, there might not be room to have the battery and USB cable connected at the same time.

An alternative is to use a short microUSB extension cable instead – that way you can also move the port to a more convenient location on the robot. The port in the extension will still wear out over time, but at least when it breaks you’ll be replacing a cheap extension instead of the whole brain.

You can also alleviate a lot of the need to connect a USB cable to the brain at all by using wireless downloading via the controller.

See these threads for more info:

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Good thought. With the brand I purchased the USB cable and power cord both fit fine.

Your criticisms with magnetic cables can almost entirely be assuaged by using better cables. My organization used to use the ones pictured above and we had all of these problems. Soon, we switched to these. The magnetic ends have no concavities meaning they don’t collect metal shavings easily. These work really well. We have never had to clean them out in about three years. That being said, we almost exclusively started using wireless downloading and the magnetic cables on the controller.

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