Using Fischertechnik Sensors with the VEX Cortex

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Tutorials → VEX Speaker module

VEX Speaker
The VEX Cortex is an incredibly powerful and versatile microcontroller. Part of what makes it so versatile is the basic 3-pin system (Power, Signal, Ground) it uses for inputs and outputs.

When coupled with a powerful programming language like ROBOTC, the VEX Cortex allows you to connect all types of third-party sensors (and actuators) with little or no effort. Taken from the VEX Wiki, any analog sensor can be connected to the Cortex as long as its characteristics align with the following:

  • Output voltage range: 0.0 v to 5.0 v.
  • Must not exceed -0.5v to +5.5v.

Likewise, any digital sensor can be directly connected to the Cortex as long as its characteristics align with the following:

  • Provides 0.0 to 0.6 volts for a low and 2.5 to 5.0 volts for a high.
  • Must not exceed -0.5v or +5.5v.

All of the basic Fischertechnik sensors meet these qualifying characteristics, making them perfect candidates for use with the VEX Cortex!

Analog Sensors Example: Fischertechnic Photoresistor

Based on the VEX Cortex Schematic, the SIGNAL line in the ANALOG INPUTS bank is closest to the USB Port in the center of the Cortex, with the +5 VOLTS line next, and finally the GROUND line. The Fischertechnic analog sensors only have two output pins, and we’ll be connecting them to the SIGNAL and +5V lines.

Example Code

Sound Test:

task main()
  //Basic "Play Sound" commands
  //Intelligent "Play Sound" command
  //Delay until sound is done playing
  //Play a tone:
  //First Parameter: Frequence in Hz
  //Second Parameter: Length to play in 1/100th of a seconds (50 = .5 seconds)
  PlayTone(440, 50);
  //Play a Sound File (need to use the File Management to Upload First)