Autonomous: dongle?

Our team just bought three Vex kits for preseason new member training, practice, etc.

I’m looking through the docs online, and the one bit of information I can’t find is autonomous usage. There’s no information about dongles, and the competition controller schematic seems to be only for disabling.

How do we use autonomous mode?

For autonomous, just put a little red jumper in jumper port 13.

How enabling and disabling will work in this setup, I’m not sure.

Easy enough. Thanks!

EDIT: So wait… how is autonomous done in matches if it’s controlled on the RC? It has to have worked somehow last season.

I think that you don’t have to put the jumper in jumper port 13 after downloading the program that was created in EasyC. One problem: How to make the robot wait for the user to put it on the floor after turning it on? If the program controls the motors, the motors run when the robot is turned on.

I am not sure, but can’t you replace the jumper with a switch?

If not, there are other work arounds.

How about programming in delay of X seconds?

You could also wait for some sort of switch transition to start the real work of the autonomous code.

Good luck.

Joe J.

I think FIRST is still working on this issue. Somewhere in one of the game manuals it said that all the information about how autonomous matches will work will be released in a later team update. Also, if you want to program autonomous yourself, you have to program in yourself which port you want the jumper to be on. Only in the stock, unaltered code will you need to use port 13.

For my Vex robot, I put a bumper switch on the robot. I will then program the autonomous behavior to trigger only if that bumper switch is pushed. (I just started programming last nght with EasyC. I have been able to get the robot to drive under manual control, and I have got the limit switches to stop the arm and elevator.) This way, I don’t have to bring jumpers with me everywhere if I want to run autonomous.

Thanks, all. We don’t even have a programming kit yet. I just downloaded the default code from Vex Labs started looking through it, and saw the familiar autonomous loop.

I like the idea of either using a jumper combined with a bumper trigger or putting autonomous in the main loop.

But EasyC? Where are the real programmers here :smiley: ?
Ach, I’ll probably use it for some of the programming too…

The power switch on the micro controller should have three positions: off, on except motors and servos, and everything on. The Board of Education from Parallax has that kind of switch.

No. The Vex RC is only on/off. It’s very different from the BoE!

I’m confused as to the question - at last year’s Vex challenge, there was no autonomous mode - the robots were enabled and disabled via the tether port.

For this year, I was under the impression that the autonomous mode was run separately from the operated part - on a completely different field. Therefore, I guess you would just set a jumper when you are on the autonomous field and remove it when you are doing the user-controlled section.

For your own, you can do any sorts of things, including a switch, a photosensor with a light, set a delay in software. For Savage Soccer last year (, a college mentor from WPI developed a RF controlled switch that did enable/disable and autonomous enable/disable (as there was no way to disable on the standard hobby radio transmitters).

official FVC technical forums are at

post your technical, including autonomous programming questions, there.
As for exactly how the competition will run, stay tuned.