V5 White Screen of Death

Has anyone had a situation where in the middle of a match their V5 brain screen goes all white, and the bot becomes unresponsive?

The team with this issue has it well documented with match video and pics of the brain event log.
They don’t have any print to screen commands in their program.
The only corrective action was to power cycle the V5 brain from the brain itself.

yeah, but it was fixed by using a charged battery.

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My team also had this issue while we were practicing. A simple restart fixed it and we thought it might have been because of a loose or dead battery.


We had two V5 teams experience this at a tournament this last weekend. Their controller stays on, but obviously couldn’t do anything, After the match, they were able to power cycle the brain and controller and were fine - battery didn’t seem like an issue after rebooting. One was using VCS C++ for programming the other RMS Python.

We also had this happened we figured it was somehow from static as we and another robot touched and both of our V5 brains had the white screen of death, only way to fix was power cycle.

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Yeah, this happened to us as well, a power cycle fixed it. It was unfortunate that it happened at the beginning of the match right after autonomous.

The only time I’ve seen this is when the brain loses power for a very short time, perhaps due to a battery cable connector issue or something like that. Post in this thread if it happens again or anyone has more details.

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Adam, do you have a link to the video ?

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We had one team that repeatedly had the white screen of death at our league night last night. Five matches and they got the WSOD at least 3 times. They said that it was only when the ran the flywheel “a lot” … so they didn’t even run their flywheel in the last match.

Attached is a picture. You can’t even power off the brain … you have to unplug the battery. She said that she tried to plug it into the computer before unplugging the battery (while in the WSOD) and tried to download their program to it (RMS - Python). RMS gave an error (I’ll try to get a picture of the error next time), but it said that it couldn’t be downloaded and gave some error about being overclocked.

@jpearman, we have league night again tomorrow. Is there anything (logs?) that would be useful?

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No, there will be nothing in the log.


So uh I’d count everyone else lucky on that… I can confirm it comes from static, in fact a few weeks ago my teammate went to pick up our robot, a big static shock went off, and the electricity went right to the magnets on the brain. The screen went whiter permanently. Luckily we had one spare for the whole school but it was unfortunate. Be careful with static.

So you returned the V5 brain to VEX to confirm it is death by static discharge through the magnets on the brain? seems a little wild pathway to frying a micro controller through magnets which may be mounted in nonconductive material.

Please be careful in stating causation vs correlation of events.

You’re right confirm was strong sorry about that. But there is a strong correlation although I assume it was really rare and unlikely to happen. The static did visibly arc into the magnet and it immediately went bad, our guess is that it killed pixels and now that I think about it may actually be different than what people are experiencing during matches.

Sorry for the confusion.

No need to, you guys are the ones impacted with loss of resource. I would urge a call to VEX support (email not so good in terms of response)… As much as possible, getting important findings will help community vs guessing. Most important, is getting your organization with a full arsenal of equipment.

Let us know what you learn about the failure (very real) and the root cause of the symptoms you observed.

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Got it thanks for the suggestions I will talk to my coach tomorrow morning. Hopefully I can confirm the cause soon and forwarn everyone else.

This recently happened to us during a competition as well. However, unlike the other cases in which power cycling fixed the issue, even when we unplugged the battery and plugged it back in, it would stay disconnected from the controller until the controller was unplugged from the competition switch and was turned off and back on. What we found was that if a program file was selected from the controller and was run for a match, there would be a greater chance of the brain turning white. On the other hand, if we selected the program file from the brain itself, the brain would never disconnect for the entirety of the match.

We have a robot that goes to white screen periodically. We changed out the V5 brain and the robot experienced another white screen incident with the new brain.

The next step may be to change out the battery cable and/or the battery and see if that resolves the problem.

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I was practicing the other day, and I bumped my claw on the field, heard a zap, and that caused my white screen of death. Unplugging the battery solved the issue

We’ve just uploaded a new article to the VEX Knowledge Base that details our recommended safeguards to minimize Electrostatic Discharge and possible component damage. It can be found here: https://help.vex.com/article/148-vrc-team-esd-notice

We also recommend that teams watch this video for tips on covering their fields with staticide:


Tried the anti static spray on wheels and field still got the white screen of death. It happened when a port came unplugged and our robot hit the felid perimeter. Which are they related?