what are the TX and RX ports for? are these even a feature available using only vex parts, or is this a feature for a modder? i believe i heard somewhere that these are serial ports, but isn’t serial for programming? thanks.
These are indeed a serial port that you can use for a variety of purposes. This is a separate serial port from the programming port. This serial port is available to programs written with MPLAB, RobotC, and probably EasyC Pro (I’ve only used serial in MPLAB).
You can use these to network two (or more) Vex microcontrollers, or use it to talk to other peripherals that talk async serial. It takes a bit of work to get it all going, but it is a very powerful interface that allows you to hook to a variety of devices outside the Vex product line.
Did you have a particular idea in mind?
i didn’t really have a idea in mind, but i might be buying another starter kit from somebody real cheap, so i might be able to use this concept. it would be cool if you built two robots and used a wireless router to connect the two robots and the computer. then they could be like rovers; exploring areas and mapping from two points of view. that would be a programming nightmare! another question: do you need to know C programming to use MPLAB? if i put my mind to it, i wouldn’t think that learning C is super hard, but it might take me a while.