V5 Ports Keep Dying

Today, our team fried 5 of the ports on our V5 processor. In total we have fried 11 ports. It is a recurring problem and we cannot find on how to prevent it from happening. It is a serious problem because we keep losing ports on our V5 processors, which will eventually make the processor unusable if it keeps happening. The exact problem is that randomly, instead of the motor LED being solid red, it starts periodically flashing and the motor is no longer recognized in the devices screen on the processor. The port no longer accepts any other motor and switching to a different port fixes the problem temporarily, until there are no more ports left. It keeps happening to the same motor on our robot; it’s being used to turn a claw for picking up turning point caps. Also, the ports only stop working when the robot is on field foam tiles, leading our team to believe that the problem is caused by static discharging overloading a circuit in the port. Other posts have also listed this as the issue. We have taken numerous steps to try to prevent the robot from getting shocked on the field, but they have not helped. Is anyone else having the same problem or has anyone found a solution to this problem?

Vex is recommending spraying your field with staticide. This is not a real solution b/c it requires EP’s to use it on their fields and many schools have rules about chemicals. All other options such as dragging a chain/wire, grounding the perimeter, etc only work if the field is conductive.

Did you try a different cable or motor? One of our teams had a port die after a couple of days of testing a new robot design, so we moved the motor to another port, new port died a couple hours later. I made them a custom cable to replace a stock 600mm cable, and it’s been good for a week now with heavy practice.

ESD is a big problem. use staticide when you can, and try to keep your bot away from fabric and other static-y materials. try touching metal before you handle your robot to discharge most static from your hands.