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Upgrading to Cortex 
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Post Upgrading to Cortex
I would like to get the new Cortex microcontroller but have no interest in the new joystick. Can I program the Cortex wirelessly with or without a VEXnet USB adapter in my computer? Can I program wired from the usb on the Cortex to the USB on my computer?

Thanks, Bill


Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:56 pm
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Post Re: Upgrading to Cortex
Hi Bill,

Without a VEXnet Joystick your only option will be to program using the USB A-to-A cable. You will not be able to program wirelessly.

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Jesse Flot
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Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:38 pm
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Post Re: Upgrading to Cortex
I've been wondering about that. Why is there no functionality to program your robot directly with a VEXNet key plugged into your computer? It's definitely been asked for.

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Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:45 pm
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Post Re: Upgrading to Cortex
Thanks Jesse.

Can anyone comment on the preferred method of programming the cortex for experienced users. I can imagine that wireless would be great in terms of getting new code on your robot quickly as well as for the real time debugging. I could also imagine experienced users defaulting to usb if its more reliable. Would experienced users mind commenting? I'm happy to spring for the controllers but would hate to if, once I get them in a class of 12, troubleshooting the wireless becomes too much of a burden.


Sun Nov 20, 2011 1:25 pm
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Post Re: Upgrading to Cortex
I have been using the cortex and joystick ever since they came out, and I think that wireless programming is just as reliable as wired programming. You might have a couple of drops in connectivity, but just hit download again and it should work fine. The big con against downloading via wireless is battery life. The VEXNet Josytick eats up battery like Curtis does a thanksgiving turkey (Sorry, I couldn't resist since it's November 20th). The joystick uses triple As, so if you're programming wirelessly for any long period of time, you'd better have a box of them nearby.

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Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:25 pm
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Post Re: Upgrading to Cortex
Quote:
I've been wondering about that. Why is there no functionality to program your robot directly with a VEXNet key plugged into your computer? It's definitely been asked for.


There's a microprocessor inside the joysticks that's almost identical to the one in the Cortex, responsible for creating and maintaining the ad-hoc network between the two devices. If you take away the joysticks, you take away the hardware that makes the connection happen. If you plug the VEXnet key directly into the computer, you'll find that Windows will recognize it as a generic wireless adapter.

On a hypothetical level, the function of the Joysticks could be emulated in software on the PC, but this development would fall in the VEX Robotics camp since they also control the master firmware/communication protocol.

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Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:37 pm
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Post Re: Upgrading to Cortex
jbflot wrote:
On a hypothetical level, the function of the Joysticks could be emulated in software on the PC

Yes, I was wondering why this had not already been done. But thank you for your explanation of why that would fall under VEX's domain. I guess that I'll go nag them about it more now :mrgreen:

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Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:56 pm
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