v5 Praise where its due


#1

Ok, v5 has taken a lot of heat for numerous things and those considering pros/cons should know there are some good attributes. I’d like to have a discussion about the praise worthy features, since there’s not a lot of that going around. The “hold” feature is substantial! Holding lifts at a set height is vastly easier…We’re even able to hold a puncher at the fully retracted position (just before launch) with no motor fatigue! I’m not recommending this for those using punchers because it does change the force characteristics when held for any significant time. However, that’s pretty amazing. That may also be what’s causing some motors to lockup… but I’m sure they will work that out in time.


#2

V5 is good, but the build quality and apple-style advertising is awful (see “amazing 480p”)


#3

Speaking of Apple-like, proprietary custom power cable plugs.


#4

The strength is nothing to stick your nose up at either. We have a four motor drive and managed to win a pushing match against some eight or even ten motor legacy drives without any issues.


#5

despite all the buggos in v5, the v5 robots seem to do significantly better during comp. I only think I’ve beaten a v5 bot once in a match, and I’ve played quite a few. so once the kinks get worked out, it will be much better than cortex gear, and although sloppily and inefficiently done, it was an update that needed to happen.


#6

Agreed. It has problems, but it’s still a pretty good upgrade. This season and next will be mainly a trial phase for V5 before releasing more updates, I think.


#7

Yet another season like this? LOL. Do you really think people won’t migrate to something else before then? I surely hope they are not banking on that. Crowdsource beta testing can go only so far.


#8

A big + with v5 is motors don’t overheat easily and everything stays consistent with v5 because the motors have the same power at any amount of battery.


#9

Umm… we’ve had 2 out of 10 motors overheat easily, and when the latest overheated the robot as a whole did very strange things (like randomly turn and shoot innocent bystanders). Also, as they overheat the V5 motors go slower and slower until they become non-functioning.

I do like that you get basically the same overall power until the battery is below 50% or so. Makes doing auton testing much easier on batteries for sure! Of course, taking away wireless programming made auton much more of a pain again…


#10

Yes, I do. It won’t be as bad, but I expect it to not be perfect yet. There are a lot of schools in the program I think won’t leave, so they do have a cushion.


#11

Sorry, Apple did the lightning because there wasn’t a better option available. At least Apple knew that they micro-USB port is the worst thing ever. Your odds should be 50/50 that you can plug it in right, but it seems that it is about 10%.

I see the question on the Q&A about using a dongle in the micro USB port, I hope they allow it. It wouldn’t be functional for any robot on the field.


#12

Everything is better about V5, or will be within a couple years, except the on/off for the Brain. I wish they had left the on/off as a switch. On/off buttons are inferior to switches.


#13

just pull the battery cable - no worries — OK JUST KIDDING!


#14

Instructions unclear, accidentally rebuild robot with a cortex.


#15

Love it!


#16

That’s all I ever do.


#17

Now that V5 battery cable pack had been announced, one of the cables could be modified to cut positive wire and put an inline switch on it. Just need to make sure it has large enough current rating to handle V5 battery.

As for V5 praise, it has some very exciting possibilities like software defined communication protocol for the ports, Bluetooth, WiFi, and VexNet connectivity, Vision sensor, … and, probably, few more feature we don’t yet know about. However, I afraid that software, which supposed to expose those features to the user, will either take very long time to catch up or may even abandon exposing many of them due to unanticipated complexity of the task and the budget overrun.

I am not so sure I like the new motor built-in PID and “Hold” feature that works out of the box. I hope to change my opinion after I experiment some more with existing motion profile interface (PROS) / (VCS) or new knobs and dials are added.

I look at VEX not like at a quick prototyping tool but more like an educational tool. I would rather have robots quickly stall their motors out of the box and then, when students ask why it happens, be able to explain them the cause and point to something like @jpearman’s Smart Motor Library for the solution. However, since it didn’t come with RobotC, even with excellent online tutorials, only a handful of senior teams would start using it, but only after they were tired of losing important matches because of the overheated drive-trains.

I would love for an educational tool to have easily avoidable problems out of the box, but then be able to tell students that if they add just one line of code to they program they could fix it. Then have students talk to mentors and among themselves not only about what kind of lift they are using and the gear ratios, but also what parameters they are passing to initialize Smart Motor functionality for those lift motors.

Initially, they could copy numbers from another team, but later this would be a great way to introduce them to the physics of what is going on inside the motors and the algorithms that drive them. Maybe I am not looking in the right place, but so far I haven’t seen enough of those knobs and dials that could lead to educational conversation.

In some respect, the burned out motor ports issue, while terrible for both VEX and every team that experienced it, offers a lot of educational potential to introduce students to the ESD and how to protect electronics against it. I am taking every opportunity to talk to every student that is going to listen about it. In the past case of suspected static issues with IMEs it could be easily ignored by switching to QuadEncoders, however with V5 you don’t have that many spare motor ports to ignore the issue and students tend to pay much more attention.

Even if 5% of the students, who are using V5 and are concerned about port failures, will learn about ESD now and remember about importance of protecting against it later in their professional career, then when they will be designing new devices, that could have a very positive impact on the quality of their work and net benefit for us all who will use those devices.

So, I would have to praise whoever decided not to put adequate ESD protection into V5 for sparking a very educational discussion but, please, don’t do that again.


#18

V5 has shown pretty consistent for the most part, and I love that fact that my robot can drive straight which I couldn’t say for the old system. I also made a DR4B with one motor, while it works better with 2 I could never get the necessary power to make a lift like this with EDR. It helps the teams that aren’t amazing at building make more advanced robots. My only complaint is that my drive motors burn out extremely fast, but this is probably do to a 6 wheel chained drive with only two motors.
Overall, while the new system might have taken a long time to get it has definitely been worth the wait.


#19

Modular gear box design, and visual gear ratio indication was a huge step in the right direction. Built in screens, especially in the controller. Motors designed to work with high strength shafts. Allowing custom length cables. Cables with built in retaining clips (even if they are not durable).


#20

Also, V5 motors have their positive rotation direction indicated on the case similar to IQ. It is a small thing, but a very nice touch.