Using the 3-Wire Expander - Sensors for VEX V5

The V5 3-Wire Expander is a device which can be plugged into a V5 Brain’s Smart Port and creates eight additional locations to plug in 3-Wire devices.

3 wire expander

This article will cover:

  • What is a 3-Wire Expander
  • Why use a 3-Wire Expander
  • How to use a 3-Wire Expander
  • How to mount a 3-Wire Expander
  • How to configure devices with a 3-Wire Expander

What is the V5 3-Wire Expander

The 3-Wire Expander is a device used to add additional 3-Wire ports to the V5 Brain. The V5 3-Wire Expander has a V5 Smart Port on one end to connect to the V5 Brain and eight 3-Wire ports on the other.

Smart Port

The other side of the 3-Wire Expander has eight 3-Wire ports.

8 ports

Why use a 3-Wire Expander?

When beginning a project, it might seem impossible to use all eight 3-Wire Ports on the V5 Brain. However, as projects and robots become more advanced, the 3-Wire Ports quickly start to fill up.

Each device listed here requires the use of at least one 3-Wire Port.

The 3-Wire Ports on the V5 Brain can become quickly filled. The 3-Wire Expander can add eight additional ports and double the amount of 3-Wire Ports that can be used for advanced robotic behavior.

8 ports

How to Use a 3-Wire Expander

The 3-Wire Expander can be plugged into any one of the 21 Smart Ports on the V5 Brain by connecting a V5 Smart Cable between the V5 Brain and the Smart Port on the expander.

V5 Wire Exapander and Brain

Be sure the Smart Cable is fully inserted and locked into the ports of both the V5 Brain and the 3-Wire Expander.

Smart Cable Plugged in

Any 3-Wire device or a 3-Wire extension cable for a device can be plugged into any of the eight 3-Wire ports on the 3-Wire Expander. Be sure the 3-Wire cable is fully inserted into the 3-Wire Port. The port and the 3-Wire cable both have a key which should only allow the cable to be plugged in with one orientation.

V5 Wire Expander

The 3-Wire Ports on the 3-Wire Expander are designated sequential as ports A through H from left to right.

 3 wire expander

The 3-Wire Expander needs to be paired with VEXcode V5 or VEXcode Pro V5 to create a user project for the V5 Brain.

VEXcode V5 Icon

How to Mount a 3-Wire Expander

The device can be easily mounted to any piece of the VEX structural metal.

The 3-Wire Expander has a mounting hole. This mounting hole passes through the device in which a screw can be placed. This screw can then be inserted into the hole of a piece of structural metal to be attached with a nut. On the bottom of the 3-Wire Expander is a round boss which will fit into a hole of the structural metal and provide a second point of contact for the device.

V5 Wire Expanders

How to configure devices with the 3-Wire Expander

Launch VEXcode V5

VEXcode V5 Icon

Select the Devices icon.

Device icon

Select ‘Add a device.’

Add a Device

Select ‘3-WIRE EXPANDER.’

Select 3 Wire Expander

Select the Smart Port that the 3-Wire Expander is plugged into on the V5 Brain. Once the port is chosen, select ‘DONE.’

Select Smart Port

Note: the name of the 3-Wire Expander can be changed in the text window from Expander1 to a different name. For more information on how to change the name of devices, view the 3-Wire Devices article from the Knowledge Base.

To add a 3-Wire device to the Expander, select ‘Add a device’.

Add a device

Note: in this example, assume there is a Bumper Switch plugged into 3-Wire Port “A” on the V5 3-Wire Expander.

Select ‘3-WIRE.’

3-wire

Select ‘BUMPER.’

select bumper

Under ‘Select 3-Wire Source,’ select ‘Expander1.’ The port also needs to be selected. Select port ‘A,’ then ‘DONE’ to finish the Device Setup.

choose expander