V5 w USB-C - A New Hope

Perhaps the EU will be able to “encourage” Vex to move towards USB-C connectors on the Controller:

Since the Brain doesn’t “charge” it would seem to be exempt; however from a supply-chain and ergonomics perspective having the same connector on the Brain as the Controller would seem to make sense.


I have about 3.2 million micro USB cables and about two dozen USB C (and an dozen of those flat iThing cables.) So I’m good with the current USB cables.

I think this is a ploy by the “Big Connector” consortium to sell more cables. I’m happy with my Treo phone that predates USB. All of my Raspberry PI computers that use the ancient USB micro connectors are happy.

Hate to be against @Mentor_355v but, maybe VEX V6 and VIQ V3 (since we are on a 4 year refresh cycle) can do USB D in 2024-2025.


That would be great. The micro-USB is the worst port of them all.

And Apple, it’s time. The Lightning was needed at the time, but it’s time.


So Micro USB is fine for 1000 connects/disconnects. The Apple connect is fine past that. I have an iThing Air from 2014 that I charge daily (appears to be 2778 days) so that works well too. So if I was an engineer and had to pick, I’d go for Apple, except for the really ugly license agreements.

1 Like

Its not just about connects and disconnects. Usb-c has much faster transfer speeds depending on the protocol version used. Also, it being reversible makes less guess work when plugging in. Much simpler to connect to newer laptops as well which are slowly dropping usb-a.

About lighting, it only support usb 2.0 transfer speeds which are comical when their new phones support stuff like prores video.

Dream is usb c for everything so you only need one cable for every device.


I have brains and controllers that are bad because the port was pushed in. I say the micro USB is the worst though because you never get it right. You’d think it would be a 50/50 to plug it in, but it’s not or at least doesn’t seem like it. Seems like it is 25% right the first time, 25% right the second time, 20% figuring out that you were right the first time and now get it right the 3rd time, and 5% other. Also, why are the microUSB ports on the brain and controllers different? One has the rounded part up, the other down.

Regarding Lightning vs. USB-C … Lightning was great, still is great. It was needed because USB-C wasn’t out and the previously mentioned microUSB is awful. Now USB-C is out, is widespread, faster, more power, and cheaper. No reason to still have lightning (and it seems Apple is starting to lean that way with the ipads and macbooks using USB-C).

1 Like

With apologies to JRR:

One cable to rule them all, and in the darkness connect them!


Stock up! USB Type-D Connector Unveiled

:rofl: USB Type-D Connector Unveiled


So let me be clear, the OP was promoting USB C for VEX brains. Last time I downloaded a video to my V5 brain was never. Up load of video from my V5 brain was never. Download of code to the nearest second is a 3 second diff plus to USB C. Team time wasted on dancing to Cotton Eye Joe, 11 hours. I’m good with not going to USB C.

Yea, they said that about the last dozen connectors. I’ll let @Illyana post the XKCD cartoon about standards.


I don’t honestly care about the performance characteristics of USB-C, I just care about the ergonomics. As @action000 mentions, seems like the 50/50 chances of orienting the connector works out to 25/25/20/ooops I broke it off in practice.

Who knows, if they need to swap out this connector, maybe they could beef up ESD protection on the smartports for V5.5…one can dream.


Well the reason that apple still uses lightning is because they get a cut for every lightning accessory sold properly. iirc its something like 2-3 dollars per cable which is absolutely insane money at the scale lightning accessories are sold. Don’t quote me on the number though I read it a while back. I very much doubt apple will give up that profit to switch the iPhone to type c no matter how much I want it.

Reason for switching it on the iPad is that they have the smart connector in the back so they can make money from those accessories and on the Mac its probably because very few people made MagSafe accessories for it and the rumors for the Mac redesign later this year point to the return of MagSafe.

1 Like

I understand that we don’t need the speed, but in a high stress environment in a competition it’s nice to just have something a bit faster. Might be personal, but I always have a lot more confidence plugging in a type c port than a micro USB port and I have had countless micro USB ports break.

They moved to it in iq so it coming to v5 is probably not too long in the future.


We have USB-C connectors on IQ gen 2 and EXP, but data transfer is still using USB 2.0. It’s difficult to implement USB transfers at USB 3 speeds in an embedded cpu as most only have hardware to support USB 2.


Sorry I couldn’t do this when you posted it. I might have been in class :\

Three Cables for the Builders-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Drives-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Programers, doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of the robotics room where the Shadows lie.
One Cable to rule them all, One cable to find them,
One Cable to bring them all and in the darkness connect them.

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men, doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

JJR Tolken


Do you know if there us ever any plan to do a v5 facelift kinda like a mid cycle refresh of a car? Small stuff like a lithium ion battery and type c ports.


I think USB-C sounds great, but I don’t care about transfer speed. C is a more robust connector, and as others have mentioned, it can’t be upside down.

Honestly, how much data is actually transferred when downloading a program? I am guessing a couple MB at most…


I feel like it depends on how long v5 will run for. If it goes out in a few years then no, if it stays for more than 5 then maybe.

The majority of student programs written using VEXcode are < 20k bytes. Some of my larger programs may be 200-300k, a PROS program linked against the C++ standard library and using lots of classes may be perhaps 600k. None of these take much time to download to the V5 using a direct connection. Inside the V5 we have a hard limit of 3MB for file sizes, mainly to protect the file system from accidental downloads. The V5 also supports compressed program files, before downloading the binary is compressed with gzip and we usually see at least a 2:1 reduction is size, this was done to reduce download time when using wireless via the controller.


Even less reason to worry about transfer speed…

1 Like