Answered: Legality of Wires & Connector Repairs

  1. 2 years ago

    Kevin Boenisch

    26 Jan 2016 Oakville, Ontario, Canada WPI, Former 2188A

    Hi Karthik,

    I have a couple of questions regarding the legality of wires and repairing the connectors on those wires. The first question relates to the following rules:

    <R5> Robots may be built ONLY from Official Robot Components from the VEX Robotics Design
    System unless otherwise specifically noted within these rules.
    a. During inspections if there is a question about whether something is an official VEX
    component, a team will be required to provide documentation to an inspector, which proves the
    component’s source. Such types of documentation include receipts, part numbers, or other
    printed documentation.
    b. Only the VEX Robotics Design System Components specifically designed to be used for Robot
    construction are allowed. Using additional components outside their typical purpose is against
    the intent of the rule (i.e. please don’t try using VEX apparel, competition support materials,
    packaging or other non-robot products on a VEX Robotics Competition Robot).
    c. Products from the VEXpro, VEX IQ, or VEX Robotics by Hexbug product line cannot be used
    for robot construction, unless specifically allowed by a clause of <R7>. Products from the
    VEXpro or VEX IQ, or VEX Robotics by Hexbug product line which are also cross listed as part
    of the VEX product line are legal.
    d. Official Robotics Components from the VEX Robotics Design System which have been
    discontinued are still legal for competition use. However teams must be cognizant of <R5a>.

    <R7> Robots are allowed the following additional “non-VEX” components:
    b. Any parts which are identical to legal VEX parts. For the purposes of this rule, products which
    are identical in all ways except for color are permissible. Note: It is up to inspectors to
    determine whether a component is “identical” to an official VEX component.

    The current VEX wires are with a keyed tab on one side:
    -image-

    However, previous extension wires were without the keyed tab, like this:
    -image-
    So my question that I would like to clarify is that it is legal to use extension cables that are identical to the current cables, but without the keyed tabs? In other words, is it legal to use cables that are completely identical to discontinued/previous versions of products? I don't think this should be an issue, especially as the currently available Y-Cable uses the non-keyed connectors.

    The next question has to do with R15aii

    <R15> Parts may NOT be modified as follows:
    a. Motors (including the internal PTC), extension cords, sensors, controllers, battery packs,
    reservoirs, solenoids, pistons and any other electrical component or pneumatics component of
    the VEX Robotics Design System may NOT be altered from their original state in ANY way.
    i. Internal or external mechanical repairs of VEX Limit and Bumper switches are
    permitted; using components from these devices in other applications is prohibited
    ii. External wires on VEX electrical components may be repaired by soldering, using
    twist/crimp connectors, electrical tape or shrink tubing such that the original functionality
    / length is not modified in any way. Wire used in repairs must be identical to VEX wire.
    Teams may make these repairs at their own risk; incorrect wiring may have
    undesired results.

    I wanted to clarify exactly what repairs would be legal to make to a damaged connector on a cable. From that rule it seems perfectly legal to remove the wire from the housing, remove the damaged pin, crimp a new identical pin on, and reinsert the pin into the housing. However, would it be legal to replace the plastic housing with an identical one? I'm not completely sure based on the wording of the rule, but this is something that many people have been doing for a long time. Is there a difference if the plastic housing is keyed (identical to the current connector) or non-keyed (identical to connectors on Y-Cable & previous extension cables)?

    Of course, the repair would conform to all other conditions of R15aii and be functionally identical to a new wire, so I'm sure that there should no possible issues with this repair procedure.

    Thank you in advance, and sorry for the long question!

    Kevin

    @Kevin Boenisch So my question that I would like to clarify is that it is legal to use extension cables that are identical to the current cables, but without the keyed tabs? In other words, is it legal to use cables that are completely identical to discontinued/previous versions of products? I don't think this should be an issue, especially as the currently available Y-Cable uses the non-keyed connectors.

    Yes, this is legal.

    @Kevin Boenisch However, would it be legal to replace the plastic housing with an identical one?
    ...
    Of course, the repair would conform to all other conditions of R15aii and be functionally identical to a new wire, so I'm sure that there should no possible issues with this repair procedure.

    Yes, this would be legal

  2. Karthik

    29 Jan 2016 Administrator Answer Toronto, ON, Canada

    @Kevin Boenisch So my question that I would like to clarify is that it is legal to use extension cables that are identical to the current cables, but without the keyed tabs? In other words, is it legal to use cables that are completely identical to discontinued/previous versions of products? I don't think this should be an issue, especially as the currently available Y-Cable uses the non-keyed connectors.

    Yes, this is legal.

    @Kevin Boenisch However, would it be legal to replace the plastic housing with an identical one?
    ...
    Of course, the repair would conform to all other conditions of R15aii and be functionally identical to a new wire, so I'm sure that there should no possible issues with this repair procedure.

    Yes, this would be legal

 

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