V5 Brain - ports no longer working

In the past 3 days, we have “burned” numerous ports in our different V5 brains.

This seems to happen with any/all motors – rollers, drivetrain, arm motors.

Is there anything we can do to prevent breaking out any more?


Please, I beg of you. Use the search bar, there’s already so many threads about this.


The search feature returned past posts but zero solutions

A long essay

“Do not allow any cables on your robot to drag on the ground. Keep cable lengths as short as possible.”
I would also suggest trying to keep your V5 brain as far as possible from the ground, and to keep the metal screw holes on the back of the V5 brain away from metal. At the Google competition, all 50-or so teams shared only ONE practice field. This meant a lot of static buildup, and we did a lot of experimenting at the event and found another potential solution: Covering the motor ports with electric tape with a slit in the tape for the wire to go through. We didn’t have any motors breaking after we covered the motor ports with tape.


  • Talk to referees about checking if the fields are sprayed
  • Keep your wires from dragging from the ground
  • Keep your V5 Brain away from the ground and any metal on the V5 brain away from other metal.
  • Cover the ports on your motors with electric tape. Recommended is just to cut a slit in the tape, push the wire through the slit, plug the wire in then cover the motor with the electric tape.

Hopefully this helps :slight_smile:


The problem of the burned ports highly correlates with the beginning of cold season, when people turn on the heat, air becomes dry, and static electricity could easily accumulate on various surfaces like the field tiles.

This is, by far, the most important action that you can take to reduce the chances of ESD killing motors and V5 ports:

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welp time to static remover spray my robot allot. now i know why my team leader is obsessed with the static spray

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Yesterday we lost 3 ports in one brain and 2 ports in another – in less than 30 min of practice.

This is not sustainable :frowning:

@CrisPierry1, what changed between the day/week before yesterday and yesterday?

Did you start to heat the room?

Did you change anything on the robot?

Also, have you tried to apply antistatic spray as @Connor had recommended?

If you don’t have access to the spray, could you at least try to use laundry dryer sheets to wipe your wheel rollers and/or tiles?

The only time my team lost V5 motor to the static was last year at US Open. It was early on one of the practice fields, before they had chance to spray them.

That motor was powering an end manipulator that was electrically insulated from the rest of the robot. The charge that have been accumulating on unsprayed field or game objects had jumped onto the manipulator and, when voltage had built up high enough, it must have discharged to the rest of the chassis through the motor.

Once we replaced the motor, my team got a waiver from the head inspector to connect the manipulator to the rest of the robot with a small wire to protect the motor in case if static electric charge accumulates again.

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