V5 Brain "Red Screen of Death"

Our team has competed this season with 3-V 5 systems, two of which have experienced what I would call the “Red Screen of Death” (much like the Windows “Blue Screen of Death”-everything just freezes up). The only way to reset is to unplug the battery and restart, very inconvenient during competition.

At first we thought it was a digital version of the Cortex thermal fuses that would cut out during a match due to overworking, to protect from burning out motors, and would restart after cooling down, but no.

It is most encountered right after the Autonomous period, which we tried to narrow down to a communication link issue with the arena’s communication system, but repeated itself on other arenas as well. We were not the only ones experiencing this issue, but the most frequent.

In the pits to trouble shoot the problem we: downloaded the latest version of Firmware, checked every wire/port connection for looseness, made sure batteries were fully charged to prevent a low battery cut-out, talked to other teams, etc.

Is there a Diagnostic or Cut-Out Controls Setting function that I am unaware of? Might an update in Firmware Version be needed to be written to address this issue? Anybody else run into this problem and how did you solve it? Thanks for any help you can give our team.
Coach Tim


Welcome to the forum. I’m not sure anyone has really figured out what causes the red screen of death but there have been quite a few threads on here about it. Just do a search for “red screen of death.” That should be a good start and you will find out you’re not alone.


I would recommend loading the new firmware that will be released later this week.


We get the same thing. Ours happens more often when the battery is lower than 50%. Does that happen to you?

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Does your screen actually turn red or does it just freeze?

People are saying they get a white screen. For my team the screen just freezes and to fix it we need to unplug the battery. Except it never happens during matches.


from what I can tell the simple screen freeze is different than the “white screen” or, from what I understand new, “red screen”

The simple screen freeze (this is most common for us) seems to never happen during competition, white screening can happen in competition, but it occurs out of competition as well and I know nothing about red screen.


Our team’s brain becomes unresponsive most of the time when code runs. It stays on the code running screen but the controller looses connection and we have to unplug the battery.

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Do you mean the red screen that pops up when the controller and brain disconnect?

I have a teacher in my robotics club with the vex v5 robots and we had a controller that showed a red screen saying to plug it into the brain. At first we didn’t think that was a good idea thinking the brain might get messed up somehow, but the brain had a message saying something along these lines “controller detected, firmware update required.” After the brain finished the update the controller was working again. Not sure if anyone has done the same thing, but I am also not sure if that’s what’s wrong with the brain too. It could just need a firmware update. Anyways I hope that helps a majority of people with this problem.

Two year old topic !