Solving competition failures

Suggestions for debugging competition problems

It seems that most weeks following a competition there are posts from teams that have had either VEXnet connection or field connection issues. These posts are usually in the official Q&A forum so can only be answered by the VEX staff. Most of the time the general advice is that it’s probably an issue with the robot design that was not detected until used in competition conditions, I think this often leaves the teams a little frustrated and concerned about what may happen next time around.

Debugging these types of problems is always hard when the exact conditions at the competition cannot be duplicated. To help VEX determine if these problems are really related to motors shutting down or if there is in fact some type of systemic problem that has gone undetected, I would encourage all teams posting about this type of problem to include the following information.

Cortex firmware version
Joystick firmware version
Programming environment, RobotC or EasyC, and version.
How many batteries, is a power expander used, what mAH rating are the batteries (2000 or 3000)
Was the backup battery connected

Motor port connections, and where a power expander is used, for example.
Port1 - arm left 269
Port2 - arm left 269
Port3 - intake 269
Port4 - intake 269
Port5 - arm right 269
Port6 - power expander port 1 – drive left 393
Port7 - power expander port 2 – drive left 393
Port8 - power expander port 3 – drive right 393
Port9 - power expander port 4 – drive right 393
Port10 - arm right 269

Which motor/ports you think died.

What were the led colors/conditions when you had problems.
Was the problem during autonomous or driver control.

Although this will not necessarily help solve specific problems, it will help in the unlikely event there is a systemic problem as a pattern may emerge.

1 Like

i like this idea
also maybe a photo of where the cortex/key was mounted, so the “old suggestions” won’t be blindly applied (and applied with certainty if it is, indeed, mounted in a very unfavorable location)

I will definitely be posting one of these tomorrow. This is an excellent idea for general troubleshooting. My team personally was destroyed by vexnet dropping out in the elimination round of our last tournament. We would really like to get this issue solved.

1 Like