Introducing: The Falcon 500, Powered by Talon FX

Good to know. We just got a Wera hex-plus set in for situations like that last offseason; I’ll post back with how our replacements go…


How many pieces do you like your pinions & shafts in? This bad boy was on sale for $8 last time I was at Harbor Freight :wink:

The less-funny answer is something like this . Hook the arms around the gear/pulley/whatever and itll come right off. I’ve already used one to remove a custom made (poorly fitting) pulley. The screw tip pilots nicely in the end of the shaft. Only issue might be if the point end of the puller screw can’t fit into the spline of the gear so you would have to partially screw a screw into the end of the gear and push off the torx so yo can pull the gear past the end of the shaft.

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Has anyone used the Thrifty Throttle 3 with the Falcon 500? Any Concerns?

Cant’ comment on TT3 but our bottom-tier ebay servo tester worked great with one in our lab on Saturday.

The listing was called “Multi RC Digital ESC Servo Tester 3CH ECS Consistency Speed Controler Power HK” - the “order similar items” link is

Update the firmware on them before using PWM testers.

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There’s been some discussion about tight fitting pinions. This was obviously concerning to VEX, so we spent some time looking into this problem

We have determined that some of our pinions are a tight fit on the Falcon shaft. As the posts above suggest, not every pinion has this problem. For example, we found very few 10T or 13T pinions with this problem, while about 74% of the 14T pinions did have this problem.

We spent the past few days looking into our options regarding making new pinions and reworking the gears we had. In the end none of these options gave us a guaranteed fix in a reasonable time frame. With this in mind, we have decided to continue shipping our pinions as is.

We have looked at some options teams can do to get around the tight fit. These include:

  1. Filing the major diameter of the spline bore to your desired fit.

  2. Sand down the OD of the Falcon shaft. For this I used some 180 grit sandpaper on a standalone shaft that was chucked into a drill press. After about a minute or two, I could get gears to slide on. I would recommend leaving the shaft on your motor, spinning the motor while holding sandpaper to the motor for 10-15 seconds, check the fit and repeat until you get the fit you desire.

Our testing has shown that these are both effective solutions, that shouldn’t compromise the long term functionality of the pinion or motor shaft.

We understand that this may not have been the experience teams were hoping for from the first production run; however, it looks like this will ultimately be a short-term inconvenience. On behalf of everyone here in VEX Robotics, we do apologize for this inconvenience. If you have further issues or questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].


Thank you for the heads up - related to “aggressive performance”?

@Jon_Jack @ozrien can VEX/CTRE comment on this at all? I don’t see any instructions in the user guide about updating the factory firmware; my motor seemed to spin fine off the tester…

The firmware upgrade has nothing to do with what caused a delay in shipping motors. If you’re using a tester for prototypes, it won’t destroy a motor or controller. However, if you’re using these on a robot, even if it’s just using PWM, I would highly recommend updating the firmware.

As 2767 mentioned here, the ship firmware has a very aggressive temperature limit (80C) whereas the new firmware has a much less aggressive temperature limit (110C).


Jon, thanks for getting on the forum and responding to technical issues. My question isn’t technical but logistical. We have in hand the six Falcon 500 motors that we ordered, and we are interested in ordering more. I generally think that an order placed today would come in late February or early March, maybe enough time to serve as a replacement, but not enough to add to the robot design. Am I correct-ish with this assumption? If y’all expect to ship somewhat earlier, we can change our plans and add Falcons to the design; if somewhat later, then we need to keep at least a couple aside as spares. Thanks, even if you can’t answer this I appreciate the info you’ve already provided.


As the website says, if you order today you your motors won’t ship until late February.


@Jon_Jack how often do you guys check your support email? We had a serious issue with the Falcon 500 last night that we think should be talked about. Don’t wanna post it in here in case it was just an anomaly.

There are people monitoring it throughout the day. It’s being worked on right now.


We are using the 12T pinions and they were very tough to slide on. We ended up adding some grease and spacers and then cranking down the screw at the end of the shaft to press them on.


I somewhat disagree with this reasoning. Posting anomalies here on CD can only help others. That is, if you come back and identify it as such.


I somewhat agree. But. Vex is very responsive with their customer service. It is better to post after you know that it is a systemic issue and not a one off.

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We are not sure what happened to it so I didn’t have anything to post on. Only thing I can say is that one of our motors had a puff of smoke come out of it 5 min after taking it out of the box and running it and now it won’t connect to a computer. One of the negatives to having a motor controller connected. They did not give me a reason as to why this would have happened, just gave me a return sheet and are going to send a new one.

Take it happening to us as a grain of salt in my opinion. The other 5 we have used work perfectly fine.

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We Have just swapped out the Regular shaft on the Falcon to a short shaft with VersaPlanetary adapter last night. Taking the Falcon apart wasn’t to difficult. But If you ever need to put back in the small set screws that you remove to move the motor mount bolt pattern around, I would suggest using Locktite because you can just screw them too far and the set screw will fall right into the fully enclosed motor and you have to take it apart again to find it. As far as the VersaPlanetary falcon Adapter Pinion, It was a nice Slip Fit, Had no Problems.

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I must say this is extremely disappointing.
Basically if you didn’t order pre-season you’re screwed if you want to use them.


I’m not really a VEX apologist, but they did say this multiple times when the Falcon issue was found. I know that wasn’t very long ago at all, but they have been shipping to teams who did preorder.

Yes, it is disappointing though. Hopefully teams who want a similar motor know about the REV NEO.

I get that but that doesn’t change the fact that these are basically vaporware unless you had the budget to pre order. Yes there are other options but that doesn’t change this basic thing.