VEX Troubleshooting J M Gabrielse The Troubleshooting Process

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VEX Troubleshooting J. M. Gabrielse

VEX Troubleshooting J. M. Gabrielse

The Troubleshooting Process Describe the problem: – What did you expect the robot to

The Troubleshooting Process Describe the problem: – What did you expect the robot to do? – What is the robot doing differently? J. M. Gabrielse

Potential Problem Areas • Power (Joystick & Robot Batteries) • Communication (VEXnet Connections) •

Potential Problem Areas • Power (Joystick & Robot Batteries) • Communication (VEXnet Connections) • Robot (Software/Hardware) J. M. Gabrielse

Check the Lights (on the robot & the joystick) (only works on the joystick

Check the Lights (on the robot & the joystick) (only works on the joystick when linked) (no backup battery is only indicated if the competition cable is connected) (red) Main Battery = Dead (<5. 5 v) or CORTEX Off (yellow) Main Battery = Low (<6. 5 v) (green) Main Battery = Good Solid All Good: Both Joysticks connected Solid + 1 Blink All Good: Tx 1 Joystick connected Fast (red) [3] Fault: Low Backup Battery (0 v-8 v) Blip (yellow) Startup - looking for USB device Fast (yellow) Linking - Searching for VEXnet mate Fast (green) Linked Slow (yellow) Linked - Data quality reduced Solid (green) Tethered Slow (red) Fault: Lost Link - Searching for VEXnet mate Off No Competition connection Solid (green) Driver Fast (green) Autonomous Fast (yellow) Disabled J. M. Gabrielse

Power Checklist q Check the joystick light q Check the robot light J. M.

Power Checklist q Check the joystick light q Check the robot light J. M. Gabrielse

Check the Joystick Light Symptom: the joystick light is red Solution: put fresh AA

Check the Joystick Light Symptom: the joystick light is red Solution: put fresh AA batteries in the joystick J. M. Gabrielse

(red) Main Battery = Dead (<5. 5 v) or CORTEX Off (yellow) Main Battery

(red) Main Battery = Dead (<5. 5 v) or CORTEX Off (yellow) Main Battery = Low (<6. 5 v) (green) Main Battery = Good Solid All Good: Both Joysticks connected Solid + 1 Blink All Good: Tx 1 Joystick connected Fast (red) [3] Fault: Low Backup Battery (0 v-8 v) Check the Robot Light Symptom: the robot light is red (solid or slow blink) Solution: put a fresh main battery on the robot Symptom: the robot light is red (fast blink) Solution: change the backup battery J. M. Gabrielse

Connections Blip (yellow) Startup - looking for USB device Fast (yellow) Linking - Searching

Connections Blip (yellow) Startup - looking for USB device Fast (yellow) Linking - Searching for VEXnet mate Fast (green) Linked Slow (yellow) Linked - Data quality reduced Solid (green) Tethered Slow (red) Fault: Lost Link - Searching for VEXnet mate Symptom: the VEXnet light stays red Test: Connect with the USB A-A cable Solutions: Try other VEXnet J. M. Gabrielse

Hardware & Software q Check the wiring. q Use the online window to determine

Hardware & Software q Check the wiring. q Use the online window to determine if you have a hardware or a software problem. J. M. Gabrielse

Check the Wiring Open the Project menu → Select the Controller Configuration q Are

Check the Wiring Open the Project menu → Select the Controller Configuration q Are the wires plugged in the correct ports? J. M. Gabrielse

Use the USB A-A cable to connect your robot to the computer. Open the

Use the USB A-A cable to connect your robot to the computer. Open the Tools menu → Select the On-Line Window → Click the Enable button Test Hardware with Online Control If motors or servos don’t work properly it’s a hardware problem else it’s software. J. M. Gabrielse Drag the sliders to adjust motor speeds and servo positions. J. M. Gabrielse

Hardware Checklist q q q lights wiring axles screws motors If you can figure

Hardware Checklist q q q lights wiring axles screws motors If you can figure out the problem, you can fix it. J. M. Gabrielse

Check Axles Is a motor turning, but the axle isn’t? Push the axle all

Check Axles Is a motor turning, but the axle isn’t? Push the axle all the way in. Replace clutches (if in use) if the axle still won’t turn. J. M. Gabrielse

Tighten Loose Screws Loose screws can cause friction (rubbing). This can make the robot

Tighten Loose Screws Loose screws can cause friction (rubbing). This can make the robot drive funny. If they aren’t causing a problem now, they will later. J. M. Gabrielse

Motors & Servos Look Similar (Check to make sure they aren’t switched) Servos won’t

Motors & Servos Look Similar (Check to make sure they aren’t switched) Servos won’t go all the way around. Motors will. They are labeled on the back. J. M. Gabrielse

Check Motor Temperature (Are they warm/hot to the touch) Solutions: • Add power by

Check Motor Temperature (Are they warm/hot to the touch) Solutions: • Add power by adding motors to help the overheating motors. • Reduce power consumption by making the robot lighter, balancing loads (use counterweights or rubber bands), or avoiding stalls while driving (don’t get into pushing matches). The new two-wire motors have thermal breakers so they shut down when overheated. They don’t burn up, they just stop working for a little while. J. M. Gabrielse

Software Checklist q check lights q check wiring q reload firmware q default program

Software Checklist q check lights q check wiring q reload firmware q default program q your program If you can figure out the problem, you can fix it. J. M. Gabrielse

Check Game Light Off No Competition connection Solid (green) Driver Fast (green) Autonomous Fast

Check Game Light Off No Competition connection Solid (green) Driver Fast (green) Autonomous Fast (yellow) Disabled J. M. Gabrielse

Reload Firmware Unplug the VEXnet key from the robot or joystick. Use the USB-A

Reload Firmware Unplug the VEXnet key from the robot or joystick. Use the USB-A to USB-A cable to connect directly to the computer. Open the IFI VEXnet Firmware Upgrade utility, located in the easy. C v 4 for Cortex folder of the Start menu. Click SEARCH If that doesn’t work click Boot. Load and then try again. Click DOWNLOAD. Repeat for both the robot and the joystick. J. M. Gabrielse

Reload the Program After reloading the firmware the program needs to be reloaded. J.

Reload the Program After reloading the firmware the program needs to be reloaded. J. M. Gabrielse

Test Software with the Default Code • If the default code works fine then

Test Software with the Default Code • If the default code works fine then the problem is your program. • Check for endless loops. – If you have an endless loop in your autonomous function, you will never get to operator control. • Check to make sure you set everything the way you set it up in the controller configuration. J. M. Gabrielse

Resources • • Cortex Joystick LED Codes (http: //content. vexrobotics. com/docs/Cortex_Joystick_LED_Codes_052010. p df) VEXnet

Resources • • Cortex Joystick LED Codes (http: //content. vexrobotics. com/docs/Cortex_Joystick_LED_Codes_052010. p df) VEXnet Troubleshooting Tips (http: //www. vexforum. com/wiki/index. php/VEXnet_Joystick#Troubleshooting) Vex Inventor’s Guide: ? ·? - ? ·? Vex Forum (http: //www. vexforum. com): – search previous posts, someone else might have already – post your own question if someone hasn’t already asked it J. M. Gabrielse

Notes: I figured out a way to rescue a Cortex controller that wouldn't connect

Notes: I figured out a way to rescue a Cortex controller that wouldn't connect to the firmware upgrade utility (it still doesn't work on my Windows 7 laptop). I've only done three so far, and I had to try some of the steps multiple times. However, this is what I think is going on. The problem: "USB Device Not Recognized" message from the computer, all red lights and then none on the Cortex The solution: Use the battery to power on the Cortex while holding in the config button. Then leave it on and then connect the USB A-A cable to the computer. If I tried to do the config button trick with power from the USB cable, but the device wasn't in the right state when I connected it, so the computer couldn't recognize it. Notes: I also had a hard time downloading code onto the rescued Cortex controllers. It took several attempts before I was able to successfully load the code. I certainly don't trust these controllers anymore. Suggestions: Please continue to test your firmware upgrade utility with Windows 7. It worked a couple times on my Windows 7 (Home Premium x 64) laptop and then stopped. I suspect USB driver issues. However, Easy. C works fine. Also, I found that many teachers were confused by the firmware upgrade utility: After pressing "Search" and they received a message telling them to press "Download" but it was grayed out. Instead they had to first press "Bootload" and then press "Download". Also, it would be nice if the firmware upgrade didn't say to contact Vex when the access ID number is lost. A message suggesting that pairing the cortex and the joystick would be more helpful. If you really want to be contacted, put the phone number in the message. Another weird issue that I discovered is that sometimes you can't pair the joystick and cortex until some code is loaded (not always, just sometimes). I don't know why. J. M. Gabrielse