V5 Controller Stuck in "Disabled" Mode

I have a V5 controller that thinks it is always connected to a field controller and is always in disabled mode:

v% Controller

It shows the pause symbol all the time, whether connected to a field controller or not, and when connected and switched to “enable” it still shows pause and the robot is still disabled.

I have tried unsuccessfully these things:

  1. Turning off and on everything.
  2. Pushing and holding for 10 seconds the recessed reset button of the bottom of the controller.
  3. Connecting the controller with a V5 cable directly to the robot brain.
  4. Switching to all configurations of the field control switch (enable/disable, driver/auton)

Is there a way to force a firmware download, or is it possible that the controller is damaged?

Thanks, Paul

Controller is damaged, usually an issue with the competition connector (ie. bent pins or something like that) or damage caused by plugging in a smart cable to the competition port.


When you say ‘damage from plugging in’… do you mean electrical damage? Or simply bent port pins from the wrong cable?

It could be damaged (bent) pins, or more likely, damage to the internal circuitry. I only have specific experience of one unit that I managed to damage during testing, I inadvertently plugged a smart cable into the competition control port (not the first time, when testing we might plug cables hundreds of times and often I’m not looking at what I’m doing, perhaps monitoring some debug output from the brain). The competition port has ESD protection and I managed to damage one of the diodes. Most of the time that won’t happen, but it’s possible.


Hi, The paused remote issue happened to our team too! The brain is also in pause. We connected another controller to the brain and it went into pause too. Makes me think either the brain or the V5 code within the competition template is the culprit.
Help! We have an event tomorrow with no way to drive the robot!

Do you have access to another brain that you can switch out the current one for? I had a similar issue yesterday (not the same but very similar with it not running and acting as if it was paused). Switching to a different brain is what worked for me. If you have another brain just try and switch everything to it (move the cords, pair controller, and download the code to it).

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The brain only follows what the controller tells it, if the controller thinks the competition state is disabled (paused) then that’s what the brain will show. So perhaps you have two damaged controllers, try and find another one and carefully pair to the brain using a smart cable, make sure not to plug into the center RJ45 competition connector.


Thanks! VEX Robotics sent us a link to fully reset the brain. That got the brain out of pause. The controllers could not be fixed; the head of our IT Dept did some reading on the VEX Forums and elsewhere and the controllers may have been short-circuited (disabled) accidently if one of the team members plugged a smart cable into the competition port. Luckily we were able to borrow a couple of controllers from a nearby school, and so far that is working. Love the VEX camaraderie!!