Sharing VEXnet 1.0's in class

My first year teaching and I’m crazy enough to have my students competing in class in a 1v1 tournament. There are 12 robots sharing 4 VEXnets over 2 classes. I have the students use the orange cables to drive before they come to the field and connect with the VEXnets. The robots are having repeated connection issues and it is beyond me what could be causing the Cortex to continue searching for the remote.

Just going over the usual suspects:

Make sure all your batteries are properly charged, for Cortex and joystick controller.

Make sure your 9 volt backup battery is charged.

Make sure your battery connection to your cortex is good and that a little vibration won’t cause it to disconnect.

Make sure there is no metal within 1 - 2 inches of the Vexnet key, and that your Cortex+key is not buried inside of a lot of metal (creating a Faraday cage effect).

You might find putting some electrical tape over your VexNet keys to help hold them in place will reduce disconnections.

The (older, black) VexNet 1.0 keys were/are notorious for losing connection. There have been lots of discussions on the forum about what to try. If I were you, I would consider taking advantage of the VexNet 2.0 trade-in program ASAP. After we got the 2.0 keys, we’ve had no disconnect problems.

Check out:

I hope that helps.

In my experience, it’s almost always the vex nets (1.0). They are just so fragile.

For the people I’ve talked to, they say that the space between the cortex and vex net along with the space between the controller and vexnet. Over time, drivers push in the key, bending components inside. Sometimes it’s just poor handling like dropping the key or having the toolbox explode during a car ride is all that it needs to break. Other times, components hit the keys during competition, also damaging it.