VEX Cortex Microcontroller & VEXnet Joystick Beta Test

With the release of the Cortex Microcontroller and VEXnet Joystick in April rapidly approaching, there is a new opportunity for VEX Robotics College Championship teams to assist us in final beta testing on these products.

Beginning on March 1, we will begin shipping beta bundles to all College teams registered and paid to participate in the 2010 VEX Robotics College Challenge World Championship (being held April 22-24 in Dallas). This event is capped at 36 teams.

Teams participating in the beta test will receive the following hardware to test and compete with at the event:

-2 Cortex Microcontrollers
-4 VEXnet Joysticks
-4 VEXnet 802.11 Keys
-All required cables (2 handset cables, 1 USB A-A Cable, 1 Programming Hardware Cable)
-Access to a beta version of the new easyC for Cortex
-Access to a time-limited, beta version of RobotC

Participating teams will not need to return their beta test equipment (each beta package has a retail value of over $1200) as we expect these teams will put it to good use.

**Any team that registers and pays for the VEX Robotics College Challenge World Championship will automatically be contacted by VEX Robotics (around March 1) and provided more information about the beta test. **

Teams will be required to designate someone as a lead technical contact and provide this person’s contact information to the VEX Robotics Team. This person will be responsible for communicating feedback and also will have access to VEX Robotics engineers for technical assistance.

A big thank you in advance to all of the teams that will help test and improve these new products before their general release.

Questions about this beta testing program can be directed to John V-Neun via email at [EMAIL=“”], subject line: “2010 Beta Test”

-The VEX Robotics Team

Thanks for doing this John & IFI !

We felt the Beta testing of VEXnet joysticks in 2009 was a successful experiment for VEX.
The Rice University Team has registered for World Championship !

Along with the Rice mentored - DiscoBots (3 teams ! )

Which other universities are registered for Worlds ?
I hope a list of teams attending will be published this year !
Because this list is kind of sad…

Team PTD (Brevard CC) is registered for the World Championship and is looking forward to the beta program.

Rice, we placed 3rd overall in the high school competition, I believe you placed 2nd in college? Should be fun, I look forward to seeing you at worlds again.


Wow, what a great offer. Thanks John!

Now I have to get my college guys to send in their registration $'s.

I am currently trying to get funding approved. If it goes through, team HMC (Harvey Mudd College) will be in Dallas for the College Championship!

Umm, college teams… There is only 36 openings for the beta program / world championship. I HIGHLY suggest you guys get registered quick, this event will be full soon.


Any word on the ship date of the Beta packages ?


PTD would love to hear the status of the beta equipment!

Feed us…!

It is here.

We are just getting things programmed and ready for shipment. I expect everything to go out on Monday!


Which other universities are registered for Worlds ?
I hope a list of teams attending will be published this year !
Because this list is kind of sad…

Hey lyncas, we will see you at the worlds. aMEss (Massey University - College team)

Im looking forward to these new controllers.

Any updates?

Just realized I have a $104 check sitting on my desk that’s about to expire… Better cash this sucker. Anyway, great news regarding the beta packages, can’t wait.

There are more than enough college teams registered to fill up the field at Worlds. No way to tell how many of them are going to sign up, though.

Cody wants beta package.
Cody’s robot wants beta package.
Beta package wants Cody!

In the words of the great Stephan Colbert “I want an iCortex, give it to me!”

“Seriously, give me an iCortex!”

Every hour I go without a beta package, a VexNet controller deconfigures itself.

Every time a VexNet controller deconfigures itself, a puppy dies!

Every time a puppy dies, a small child cries.

Every time a small child cries, Kanye West gets a dollar.

Surely IFI doesn’t want to fund Kanye West :wink:

And yes, Kanye West runs on dead puppies.

I’m sorry but I know this is not the place for this. But I really need to know the answer for this question. How many y-connectors can you use. The reason is that I know that your able to use up to 10 motors. I was hoping to use 4 y-connectors, but i wasn’t sure if its possible. Can some one please tell whats the answer to my question. Also if this is not alowd is there a way in easy-c so you can make 2 motors be controlled by 1 channel at the same time. The reason is that I want my drivers be able to drive the robot so they can be really good without them having problems with controlling the robot.

The reason no one answered that is because you posted it where ONLY Vex staff can respond.

The game manual clearly states:

on page 14. After searching the manual, no other reference is made about Y-cables. Last year the rule was only two, it appears that this year the rule has been reworded in a way that does not restrict the number of Y-cables. I am NOT an official therefore my answer means nothing when it comes to getting your robot inspected. However, my unofficial answer is that four Y-cables would be acceptable by R12.

I also know that college teams are allowed four Y-cables.


It is VERY possible to have one channel control two motors.

Say you have a block that says motor 1 is controlled by channel 1, simply add a block saying that motor 2 is controlled by channel 1.

PWM(1, vexRT(chan1));
PWM(2, vexRT(chan1));


The first set of these shipped Tuesday.
Still a few more spots left for anyone wanting to register.


JVN’s the best! Savior of puppies and destroyer of crappy rap artists that just use autotune and have no real talent!

Can’t wait,

Does your beta team need help getting started?
Check out the attached guide.
VEX CORTEX-Joystick Quick Start Guide.pdf (1.08 MB)

Does the Vexnet (PS2 type) controller have any “trim” features?

The joysticks do not seem to always return to centered position,
which makes the motors hum when they should be idle.

With the 75MHz transmitter, you could program some trim up or down to fix this.

How do we handle this problem when using the Vexnet controllers?
CC: Official answers forum

We noticed that aswell! We actually wrote code to zero any value between -22 and 22 which was determined to be the value in which our motors started moving anyway.