Are the v5 Pneumatics fully compatable with the old pnuematic pistons, actuators, etc

The title says it all, but our mentor warned us that, by buying the new v5 pneumatics, none of our old single or double action pistons would be compatible with the kit. They said that the new actuators don’t work with the old pistons, and the old actuators don’t work with the new pistons. Is this true? We looked everywhere and couldn’t find that.

They are compatible, they work just the same if you use the right solenoid.

So, legacy double-acting solenoids work with the new pistons. Tubing, T fittings, etc is all interchangeable.

1 Like

I seriousley doubt that this is true as it seems to be the same tube diameter and the pistons are probably exactly the same just with a vex sticker


Please use the search bar (or at least look through the forum history a bit) before posting…this same/similar question has come up a couple times now.

Take a look at this article (and forward it to your mentor, too) from the VEX knowledge base:

As you read technical information about pneumatics, it’s important to remember that “piston” is an incorrect term for air cylinder: all technical information and instructions use proper terminology.


There is a lot of cross-compatibility and some things that will likely not be compatible.

What you are referring to as pistons are the air cylinders which are a type of actuator.
These work in the same way as the old SMC ones. You will probably find that the piston rod (the bit that moves in and out of the cylinder) is probably a fractionally different diameter to the old one, with a different thread on the end. Cool thing about the new ones is they are the standard 8-32 VEX thread so you can use standard VEX hardware on them.

In your post, by actuator, are you referring to the solenoid? If so, air directed from the old solenoid is the same as air directed by the new kit’s solenoid, so no issues there.
The solenoid driver cables are different though, so these are unlikely to be cross-compatible.

Where you almost certainly will see a lack of compatibility is in the fittings, since the threads are probably different. So the fittings that you thread into the cylinders or reservoir (air tank) on the old kit may not be able to be screwed into the new kit parts.


Air is air, not sure how they wouldn’t be compatible… they’ll have different mounting points but you should be able to use an old cylinder with a new solenoid, etc.


That’s not super fair, the air isn’t the problem it would be the tubing size.


The tubing diameter is unchanged, 4mm.


Ya I just meant no one had actually said that, and from my perspective that’s the main question for compatibility.


The pistons are slightly different, such as where the air input and outputs are placed, they are on different sides of each cylinder relative to the mount at the bottom.

The mount at the bottom now has a gap of 1/8" instead of like, 3/16".

They also sound cooler.

And of course, three different sizes.


The new cylinders are also threaded #8-32 at the ends instead of whatever the old ones were.

1 Like

pnuematic componets before the v5 pnuematic system released are still VRC legal correct? just trying to make sure my team doesnt have to go buy a 300 dollar system when we have a perfectly working one.

They are for the time being, yes. Considering that VEX no longer sells the solenoid driver cables for them, I have doubts about them being legal in the far future.

1 Like

Refer to rule R7 paragraph “i” in the game manual (VRC Over Under Game Manual - VEX Robotics). The rule includes a link to reference document that lists all legal pneumatic components.

Remember, anything about what is “legal” is always found in the game manual or on the official Q&A.

The solenoid driver cables are the exact same for the new and old, then remain unchanged. I doubt vex will make them illegal in the near future, especially with not having an advantage and with increasing prices.

Yes, you can still buy legacy ones through SMC, or Orange Coast Pneumatics (Same thing, but sometimes one might have stock the other doesn’t). One thing that you can no longer obtain is the mount for the pistons and the end of the rod.

1 Like

Yeah. They were something odd. I had to special order them.

Did you special order them from SMC or another reseller?

Or you can order plain and jam 2 together so they will hold.


It would be galling if the old system were made illegal. The functionality is nearly identical and it is an expensive component to make obsolete.

I would find it aggravating to have to put expensive parts that offer no advantage next to my old school 2.75" omnis.