VEX UltraSonic and Encoder SOLD OUT...

Is it just me, or what’s up with the VEX UltraSonic and Encoder sensor beeing sold out for two months now?

I’ve had our encoder on order at our local radio shack now for two months.

It would be nice to use the ultra sonic VEX sensor, but it’s sold out too. Any tricks on getting this two items?

I’ve emailed Vex Labs and asked for a time for when the item will be in stock. In the meantime you could use the PING))) range finder from Parallax.

Here’s my guess… the Vex unit and the PING))) are very similar units, controlled the same way. Vex just packages it in a robust housing and supplies the two pigtails to get the PING))) unit to work. I have used the PING))) unit and my guess is the Vex unit’s control wires are connected to the same I/O pin inside the sensor.

I bought a PING))) unit, if the Vex unit becomes available I will buy it and swap it out with the Parallax version-- mostly for coolness factor.

NOTE: Use the above information at your own risk. I’m not responsible if anything goes bad.:]

I’ve been able to purchase these in various local Radio Shacks here the whole time the SOLD-OUT sign has been up on the website. It’s catch-as-catch-can though depending on the store you visit. I saw a few this past weekend.

Mike,

Thanks TONS for the Parallax link!

If you take apart the Vex ultrasonic, it is practically exactly the same as the Devantech SRF04 (http://www.acroname.com/robotics/parts/R93-SRF04.html). If using it with easyC, I’m nearly 100% certain that the acroname one will work fine.

As far as the encoders, I would use a quadrature encoder instead of the vex encoders, but I guess you can’t beat their price.

The SRF04 works just like the vex sonar except for the timing parameters. Vex didn’t publish the specs but, you may get them from the IFI sensor test program and modify for the SRF04. This site has the SRF04 for a good price.
http://www.hobbyengineering.com/SectionS.html
If it’s for a VEX competition you have to use VEX parts. The radio shack web allows searches for stores that are in stock. Our mall store has 1 sonar and 2 encoder kits left as of 1/3/2006.