Answered: Other brand batteries?

… “These considerations apply to things like VEXnet keys, but also to batteries as you discuss below.”… (post of 03-21-2013, 11:27 AM VEX Forum)

We have been using other branded NiMH batteries, still 7.2V 3000mAh rating with the same connector, on our robots. From your discussion on this post, we have been using illegal batteries on our four robots. Our interpretation of the rule (copied from this years game manual and previous games):
"<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. "

Our robots have always passed inspection based on the “identical… except color…”, I have 3 questions:
1- If the batteries are the same 7.2V 3000mAh NiMH and only the label is different , why doesn’t rule R7b not apply?
2- If we have to use P/N: 276-1491 for the robot, do we have to use P/N: 276-1696 AAA batteries in the controllers?
3- What other parts could rule R7b apply to? I don’t want there to be a problem at future competitions.

Our teams do VEX and FTC. After last season of FTC where almost anything could be used, I begin to apppreciate VEX on a new level; the cost to our teams is contained and parts are limited.

Many batteries are advertised as 7.2V 3000 mAh NiMH, unfortunately we have discovered that not all batteries with the same listed specifications are created equally. Since we cannot determine what is inside of any battery, and to ensure fairness for all participants, we do not consider any non-VEX 7.2 battery to be identical, and thus they are illegal. By restricting all teams to use the VEX 7.2V batteries, we can ensure that all teams have access to exact same amount of power. In addition, a larger concern is about the safety of non-VEX batteries. The last thing we ever want to see happen is someone get hurt by using a battery that we couldn’t guarantee the safety of.

No, there are no restrictions on the batteries used in the VEXnet Joystick. There is much less variability in AAA batteries, that the safety concern is mitigated. As well, power supply variances in the VEXnet Joystick don’t affect the overall performance, thus we do not need to restrict the AAA batteries to ensure no competitive advantage is gained.

Rubber bands, zip ties, anti-slip matting, screws, nuts, and spacers, are all examples of VEX parts that identical replacements may be used for. Batteries, motors, gears, wheels, and structural metal are examples of VEX parts that identical replacements cannot be used for, since it’s typically impossible to create identical replacements for these parts. If there is any part that you’re specifically wondering about, please pose a question here and we’ll be happy to address it.

Thanks for answering so quickly. I’ll pass it on to the teams.
Great game this year! :smiley:

You’re welcome!

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