Vex V5 Bluetooth speaker

I was looking to see if adding a small Bluetooth speaker would be legal on my teams robot, as we have looked on the forums and all answers are unclear.

you are aloud to use a speaker as long as the taste in music is ok to the judges. i had the same question because we aren’t aloud to have phones near the field due to past competitions. Idk how you would be able to play music through it if the phone isn’t close enough to the field to play it.


We would probably have our 4th teammate in the bleachers with the phone

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well if its a spectator i don’t see why not

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As long as it doesn’t affect the match. They allowed us to have led strips on our robot with a separate battery pack. But that was two years ago.

This information is not correct. The only legal speaker is the discontinued VEX speaker for the CORTEX system, but any other speaker is considered illegal for VRC. In VEXU a non-VEX speaker would be considered legal, provided that the speaker has bluetooth disabled and it is utilized to have a sensory response.


I wish that there would be a v5 speaker. We use that in our robot (cortex) for a couple things - if we don’t select an auton, the speaker beeps as a remider. IN addition, during the match at 15 seconds before the end it starts to beep and at 5 seconds it makes a louder, arcade style noise. This helps the girls determine the state of the system on the field so they can finish what they are doing and pull back.

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You can use vibration or the LCD on the V5 Controller to achieve a similar result.

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When we move to V5 I think that will be their only option.

Yeah probably.
You can use the vibrate function of controller in VEXcode to provide haptic feedback to drivers which might be a viable replacement for the beeps.

Yeah, but its still kinda cool to get the response when the robot starts making noise during matches and sutff, and the girls can explain things about this when with the judges.

They have even recorded files and had them play when judges come so the robot can introduce the team!

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Personally, I was wondering about something along those lines of using a speaker to notify or remind on what is happening to the robot and the terrain around it.

The only problem with using the vibrate function is the occasional random vibrate that could happen, even without program. Though, it could be funny to see a controller vibrate out of your opponents hand. Speakers would be more useful for that where the only thing that might go wrong would be either the bluetooth if playing music or the coding itself to cause it to not beep at the right times. The vibrate function is a decent alternative though, not the best it could be. Instead you could also use the controller screen to display information, for example, the temperature of the motors so you know if they are over heating or not.

Sorry for making this really long

The girls have part of their program reset one of the internal timers when the field enables in driver mode. Based on a jumper (in for skills, out for matches) they configure a match time variable as either 60000 or 105000 ms. At 15 seconds before match time the speaker starts beeping as a warning that the end is near. At five seconds before match time it does what I think the cortex calls up ring, or something like that, as a signal to back away from the cubes that the match will end soon. If you have something like this, I guess you could also play sounds like if you are at the right height, or on target to pick up a cube or something. If there were brighter lights available, you could use lights on the robot I guess, but the LEDs we have are barely visible. The girls used one last year to indicate they had a ball loaded and ready to shoot so they knew when to shut off the intake and not take in too many balls. It was mounted to the top of the robot to help visibility, but it was barely visible.

They also have a default value for autonomous selection that is not a valid option from their menu. If it doesn’t get changed, the speaker beeps in pre auton, as an alert that nothing is selected (yes, we had matches where they forgot to select auton…). In support of this, they made a “no auton” auton where the robot does nothing, so at the minimum they don’t disturb their partner.

With the speaker set to its loudest setting, you can hear it in the matches. It does bring questions, which I guess is their point. For the past 6 years, we have done things different than other teams. We surprised people at a match last year where at the last second we fired a shot at the opposite side of the field, turning a opponent scored flag back to our color. It was cool.


hmm…if the vex speaker only beeps what we could do is find a song we like and then change the actual song into said beeps or just make a song of our own. so its not really a speaker at that point just an indicator kind of like the vibration option on the V5 controller

Theres pre canned sounds you can use, you can play specific frequency tones or you can load in custom sounds in a specially formatted sound file. I think it needs to be 8 bit, 8khz, mono. maybe 16khz. The girls used a website to create a text to speech wave file, downloaded the file, then reformatted it in audacity to the correct type and loaded it to the cortex.

Info here…


yeah i just looked it up and it had 2 downloadable file: numbers and letters.
needless to say they were pretty mono toned

You can use your own sounds, but they have to be converted. Either convert an MP3 or use something like…

to make a mp3, wav, etc file to convert and load to the robot. You could have fun with this, like putting a bump switch on the robot and when its hit by another robot, have yours say “STOP IT!” on the speaker

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oooooorrrr have it scream out in agony

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@sabarrett328 do you know if the songs you play are smooth or does it go through each note with a pause

This year they are using the built in sounds. one is in the preauton task and that just runs as part of the loops checking the LCD for a menu selection. It beeps and sounds normal.

The match timer is a separate task that starts when driver control starts, so its running with the “multi tasking” that the cortex uses, and it runs just fine, no hesitation or whatever.

In the past years when they used a wav voice file, when you pressed that button and the sound played, it played just fine, but it was a simple program that year, consisting of just simple if-then statements and it would stop doing other things if the voice was playing. However it played just fine. Keep in mind, that 8 bit, 8khz sound isn’t HD quality. And since its just a cheap plastic speaker, its rough. Think so-so AM radio quality.