Got my first VEX kit, question about a couple of parts.

Just bought a used VEX V.5 kit and VEX Explorer. Both seem fairly complete.
Introducing my 10yr old to robotics. Need help with a couple of parts.
Please see the attached photo.

  1. how do I charge this battery pack. I do not seem to have a charger. Any other options?
  2. Is this battery pack used on the robot for power? Wondering why there are 2 battery slots and a gap with 6 more slots.
  3. A small turquoise silicone sleeve, a small black gear with metal collar, a small white gear. I have a few of the black and white gears. They just seem very small compared to the other gears in the kits.
  4. Small, angled, oddly shaped plastic piece, what is this?
  5. Is this just an ‘extension cord’ for a motor or peripheral?

Sorry, for what are likely stupid questions. I have been reading up a lot but the above stuff has me stumped.

You’ll get a better response and a huge amount of help by going here.

Vex Forums

And please come on over to IRI this weekend at Lawrence North High school and you can get loads of help, bring your 10 year old.

Indiana Robotics Invitational

  1. You may need to purchase this if you don’t have one. Works for both the robot batteries and the controller batteries.

  2. That is for you to use in lieu of a rechargeable battery. You can use standard AA batteries. You need 7.2 V for the robot, but 9.6 V for the controller, so I’m not certain, but my educated guess would be that you use the extra two battery slots for use with the controller.

  3. That I don’t know.

  4. I don’t know.

  5. You have the right idea. This would be called a ‘PWM cable’ in many places in this forum because it carries the Pulse Width Modulation signals we use to control motors and servos. I have seen it in industry referred to as a ‘servo extender’. In the vex platform, these cables are often also used for sensors.

  1. You would have to either get a charger from eBay or
  2. That can be used as the battery for the robot if you put use 6 of its slots; however it can also be used as the transmitter (handheld joystick) battery if you use all 8. The difference in AAs are to get the correct corresponding voltages.
  3. Those are for the insides of the 3 wire motors / servos. They are replacements if you break the gears inside the motors.
  4. That would be the antenna stand that holds the yellow straw (or just a clear straw) that you can utilize to put the antenna in.
  5. It’s just an extension cord for cables.

Sam, wow, thanks for the tip about the Indy Invitational. We will check it out Saturday for sure.

Thanks to all for the info about the items in the pic.
I realize my son and I have a lot to learn, we are both excited to do so.
I look forward to learning and contributing to the forum.

You also might be able to go to radio shack to get a charger for 1.

Any hobby NiCad charger for 7.2 volt battery packs will charge #1. Google tells me you are blessed with both a Hobby Town and Hobby Lobby in your area, try them first.

Actually, item # 2 is most commonly used in the transmitter (it fits there nicely and uses all 8 AA batteries).

Do you have this item? If so, you can use AA batteries in it as a substitute for item #1 (the 7.2 robot battery) and won’t need a charger.

If you have a very old (pre 2008) kit (Starter kit), here are some build instructions for the Squarebot. If you have a Protobot kit (2008 ->), here are build instructions for that, if you don’t have them already. Also, this guide has build instructions for some simple projects that can be built with a Starter Kit.


I think that this is the inventors manual for your system: here and for programing RobotC is great for both Cortexes(is that the right plural form?) and PICs and they have a 30 day trial.