Any tips/warnings for GPS or Pneumatics?

First time user of both here, and my team may end up using them for our spin-up bot. I was wondering if anyone had some advice, good or bad, about both systems?

First, the GPS sensor is currently out of stock. As of recent, when things go out of stock this means they could not be in stock for several months (cough, cough motors), but your best bet is always to email to try and get a timeline. Next, per the game manual, the only fields you can guarantee the GPS strips to be installed on at a competition is the programming skills field, unless the competition chooses to use the new perimeter (has GPS code printed onto the plastic). As with all code tools and sensors you could get inaccuracies with your code when executed if you use the GPS sensor, so make sure you watch out for this and have backup plans, say if for example you code an auto-aiming system and it sometimes malfunctions. As for pneumatics, same things with the stock issue. Make sure you have a quick way to fill up the tanks, especially if you have close matches. I think there is a Ryobi hand held air compressor for $20 somewhere. Whether you choose single acting or double acting is going to be up to you and your chosen design, I cannot tell you which one to use. I’d recommend researching how each type of air cylinder works and which is best for which applications. Let me know if you have any other questions.

I will also mention as you are new, before making a new post, always check the search bar first, because in the future if you make duplicate posts, not only do you clutter the forum, and people will probably have the thread locked, you’ll get the “please use the search bar” lecture. I’m not scolding you for not using the search bar, just making you aware of the guideline one time to avoid any hiccups for you. In addition, there is actually a large amount of info in existing threads, and I suggest you check some of them out anyways. Other than that, good luck this year, can’t wait to see all the other bots.

P.S. I have never actually used the GPS sensor, but I have used pneumatics before.


We’ve noticed that GPS can get a bit annoying to use sometimes because of how fields are set up. Yes, the GPS is accurate, but the people setting up the GPS tape at competitions probably aren’t. This is the reason why we stopped using GPS. All the competitions we went to would have the GPS tape scooted over left or right a bit, and it jacked up our program.

That being said, I don’t know how much of a problem it is on the new portable fields. The GPS markers are printed onto the field, so they don’t move every time you go to a different field. I’ve never tested it though, since we are just running odo with an IMU this season.


GPS sensors can also die unexpectedly. Our team has had two die in the past year, both previously unused and newish. No, it was not a problem on our end, contrary to every logical belief. Of course, the worth of these sensors is very high on the field, but they also cost quite a bit, and having them die is unfortunate.

What does this mean ? Never heard of a GPS sensor dying.


Well, they just sorta stopped working and never started again. No readings at all. It was in the heat of the season, so we kinda ignored it and replaced them.

Were they returned to VEX ?


I’m uncertain. My mentor took care of it, or at least is ignoring it. I’m sure it’ll be dealt with eventually.