Vex Easyc vs Mplab

Right now I’m the programmer for my FRC team and we just got a vex kit, so we can make a team for next year. I’m currently trying to decide if we need to get the easyc program or not. I know that mplab and the frc programming software works just fine, but I was wondering if it is worth getting easyc just to make it easier? :confused:

You’ll need to buy the programming kit to get the vex programming module. A USB to serial converter is included along with a cable. The kit includes Easy C 1.0 which will get you going. Easy C is now at version 2.0. While you can do allot with the version in the box , version 2.0 includes improved program flow commands, user functions, global variables, and some other improvements. You might want to pick up some encoders and a sonar module too. This will get you started. The younger members on the team will find programing easier with Easy C. After they increase their skills, they could try the mplab programming. With mplab there is no support for the sensors, you’ll have to program your own functions and commands.

I think that it is all up to your preference. When you buy the Programming Kit for the Vex kits, you automatically get a copy of EasyC with it. EasyC makes learning C programming easier for a novice or non-programmer, as they can “see” how a program works and functions easier. MPLAB is great for experienced programmers who already have experience in C programming and know how to do it all.

You can really use either way to program the Vex Controller. I personally like to use EasyC, but whichever one you choose is up to you.

So… just plug right on in and upload?

Also, is there any default code that’s been modified from the FRC’s MPLAB code that we could use? (The thread would work very nicely…)

First off, welcome to ChiefDelphi! :slight_smile:

All the MPLAB default code for the Vex Controller is located on the VexLabs downloads page.

EASYC 1.0 does not give quite as much programming freedom as MPLAB but it doesnt require as much knowledge and skill, if there is someone not accustomed to programming then EASYC is probably the way to go but if they are used to writing large programs from scrtch the dialogs in EASYC will get very anoiying very fast, i have used it to program the VEX bots but wont touch it for FRC,

but then again i carry around a binder with all the latest code modifications i have made to the default code in attempt to create my own default code

Happy choosing,

I think you should try EasyC 2.0. Its vastly improved Over EasyC 1.x.

Okay, I downloaded the Vex Master Code just today (d**n MMOs :yikes: ) but… .bin files? How to open?
I’m just their PBASIC programmer, go easy. I don’t know that much about filetypes between .bsx and your classic .h and .c files.

From wandering around CD, I found that there’s a different ifiloader for the VEXBots, but I have no idea where, if it exists. Any info?

Yes there is a different IFI Loader program for the VEX bots, I dont remember where i downloaded it from but it was either or perhaps one of the others but look around for a while and there will be a link to get you there eventually

Found it on VexLabs. Thanks. :slight_smile:

Happy to help

For the record, I believe the new version of IFI Loader (v1.0.12) supports Vex.

hello, easyC doesn’t even have the capability to pass parameters in addition you can’t write advanced C code because it gives you what they call modules and thats what you use as code. I highly recommend not using easyC to program your Vex Robot or whatever type of robot you own. easyC is THE worst software I’ve ever seen for programming.

As of version 2 of the software you can pass parameters into functions. Before version 2 functions were not even an option.

It all depends on what you call advanced C code. There is a UserCode block which lets you write your own code. Granted this isn’t the best way to enter your code, one line at a time, but it lets you do things that you normally wouldn’t be able to do in EasyC.

I don’t think you gave EasyC more than 2 minutes of your time. Yes EasyC is not the best option for those who are serious programmers but it makes programming the robot very easy. Using EasyC for FRC makes using the camera very simple compared to last year. All you have to do is drag in the camera initialization function and drag in the get camera data function to get all the information you need. EasyC makes it so you don’t have to worry about the hard work (interrupts, setting up timers, etc.).

I think using EasyC is a great resource especially for prototyping fast. After your team has played with it for a while and feels that they have grown past it they can use the exact same code (at least for FRC) to write their code in MP-Lab or Eclipse. If you have never programmed before I definitely recommend EasyC.

Our team has used both EasyC and MPlab to program state machines and basic r/c control on a Vex robot. Compared to code modified using MPlab, when running the EasyC code, the robot’s response to control input seems a bit sluggish. Does anyone else concur with or refute this? We haven’t run any benchmarks, but the difference in user feel is noticeable.

Sometimes our code behaved sluggishly, but not often. When it did act up, a little rethinking and rewriting usually improved the issue. It hasn’t happened frequently enough to point at any particular functions. I’d post this at the Intelitek forum, or perhaps BradAMiller or intelitekdan can provide some answers.

Easy C is great for beginners with no background in programming. when I used it, I got our robot running in 7 minutes. in M Lab, it took me three hours to do the same thing!!