I don’t know if you guys have VEX controllers and batteries around, but that’s how we’re running our t-shirt shooter. We use FRC gearboxes, victors, spikes, compressors, and solenoids with the VEX controller, and it’s pretty easy to program.
An inverter like that is an awesome thing to have, and is worth it’s weight in gold. When you’re at a competition when you can be away from your pits waiting for a match for an extended period of time, an inverter is a good way to keep your OI charged and up and running. I’ve seen a lot of teams leave the inverter and a batter on their cart and use it exclusively for powering the OI.
I think any way you can use a wireless controller with your t-shirt shooter would be best. If you’re taking this thing to games, crowds, exhibitions, you don’t want it tethered to a controller.
Of course, this is all assuming your t-shirt shooter is on a drivebase. If it’s a platform shooter, then disregard the above.
You are fine feeding 12 VDC into the 2004 controller. I confirmed that with IFI engineering a long time ago. I can’t remember but it uses a linear regulator similiar to a 78M05 which is rated for up to 35 or so VDC.
Just make yourself a connector cable, confirm with a meter that you wired it up correctly and you can drive a long long time on a standard robot battery.
As noted earlier, the OI has an internal regulator. I would not go higher than 12 volts, however. The WRRF operated these OIs on 12 volts through the competition port for quite a few years with no problems. If you go higher, you may run into power dissipation issues on the internal regulator.