Is there a schematic for the VEX Controller?

It would be invaluable in interfacing to a wide range of peripherals.

I’ve been in the embedded controller area for years and think it would be fun to see what this beast can do if we take the restraints off!

I think due to the fact that they dont want people competing with modified controllers they have not release a schematic. However they arent that expensive if you wnat to buy one, open it up and play around with it.

That will happen very soon

there’s not much to it, a multi layer board, two surface mount PICs (18F8520) and some support circuitry…looks like it’s pretty much a straight shot from the PIC to the io ports…

I’m wondering if IFI has built any security into their controllers. I’m pretty sure the two processors are connected via SPI, so a re flash of both will give you two processors to play around with. It may be hard to check that without bricking the controller though.

Does anyone know if PICs support Flash-lock? On AVR chips you can set certain fuses on the chip (think configurable parameters in the chips hardware) to lock down the Flash and EEPROM so it’s read-only, write-only or even neither, necessitating the need to directly modify the Flash/EEPROM or use a bootloader.

Do PICs support this? If not, or if its not enabled by chance, you can try to do a read-back of both chips Flash to get an idea of what they’re doing. Of course IFI might show up on your doorstep with one of those MIB flashy-things…

I beilive some PICs have it but not all. I am not completely sure but I have heard of people locking down some bits so they cant be changed.

I wouldnt feel to back about bricking them if i could buy the vex controller seprately since it wouldnt be to expensive. But I cant find em online or on ebay.

How about from IFI itself?

Thanks! I knew it existed I just couldnt find it without buying the whole starter kit. For some reason I thought they were $100. Since there $150 I would be a little hesitant to do much more than take the casing off. Does anyone have pics of the internals?

not only are they $150, but they’re vaporware…out of stock…

yeah, I have a picture…only 4 screws take off the cover, and there’s nothing on the bottom of the board but a ground plane and a bunch of thru-holes.