Caring for VEXnet keys (and other equipment)

I’ve read and heard lots about how fragile the VEXnet keys are (as I’m sure many have) and so I chose to do something about it for my team. We now have a foam packed box specifically for the joysticks and VEXnet keys, here’s a photo:

We have some thin foam that I will attach to the lid of the box sometime soon.

I suggest teams consider doing something like this to make sure no harm can come to their more fragile equipment :slight_smile:

Joysticks and vexnet keys box.jpg

Great idea,

Anyone have a link to a proper size case ?
This case would work but its a bit big and expensive.

Here is a better alternative. They come in several sizes large enough to hold several controllers and keys.

i love it :smiley:

i wish vex sold them commercially …

This will look great on the expense report to the school.

Anyone have other ideas of what we could order that might work?

The Plano Stow and Go models work but without the cushoning (you could add your own or just pour in packing peanuts). The larger depth shelves hold the controllers pretty well. They rattle around a bit more than the foam encased boxes but you can store three teams worth of controllers in this guy.

I could just see teams walking around in full formal dress and sunglasses :cool: with these cases, and a larger case with a robot. Totally wouldn’t arouse suspicion at airport security…

Our 24" robot for Sack Attack last year had 9 Pneumatic reservoirs fitted on it. TSA was so thrilled to see that.

Great idea! My team will defiantly be using something like this :smiley: , It will save us lots of money in the long run.

Thanks :slight_smile:

We just use the original plastic molded & cardboard packing that the joystick comes in, to pack them for travel. They’re quite strong and we have never had problems even when it is sent thru with other equipment thru luggage. Plus it’s free.

This is the case I would suggest if you can afford a Pelican case.

I use them for my DSLR and electronic equipment and theyre great for the price.

We use these boxes for our batteries too, it was fun going through the airport.

That’s exactly what we’re hoping, save money but also frustration in the long run.


I thought this was a great idea so I decided to get my own case for joystick and keys. My team only has one driver so this works out great! I added a spot for a flashdrive for code and/or CAD. This is the Pelican 1200 case.

The case Jij used was bought from if it helps

Another means of shock protection used by our team is to “soft” mount the cortex onto the robot. Imagine the cortex is a spider, and the web strands are either cable ties or rubber bands that suspend the cortex between the two towers of the robot. There should be enough tension to allow the cortex to easily move in three dimensions, but not so much range of motion that it will contact any solid components of the robot in a collision. The idea is to remove much of the impact shock from the cortex and the Vexnet key when the robot has a collision with the wall or another robot (worst case scenario, the dreaded robot sandwich!) :D.

This was implemented after the boys experienced Vexnet connection loses caused by heavy impact during matches. The idea came from watching a television ad promoting safe driving. The ad showed a mock simulation of a car having a high speed impact and it highlighted that the occupants sustained damage because of the very rapid deceleration. Think of it as an airbag for your cortex. :slight_smile:

Cheers, Paul

You could use these: for soft mounting the cortex

You also might be able to find some gaming miniature carrying cases to keep the joysticks. The insides are typically customizable foam inserts so you can pick out the right size of hole.

Also, we just put our joysticks in a robot box with the wifi key removed. I don’t think they’re that fragile, but doesn’t hurt to be safe I guess.

I agree. We have kept our joystick and keys with the robot in the past. We have dropped our controllers and keys multiple times so they are built well and will last. I just bought a case because I thought it’d be cool. :stuck_out_tongue:

Shock mounting control electronics is common in FRC although the collisions are a little more extreme. I don’t think there’s anything inside a VEX Cortex that couldn’t handle some pretty extreme G forces so IMO all the issues will come from connectors, especially the USB and power sockets.

7682 almost always remote mounts the VEXnet adapter which helps keep any shock loading down because it’s only the mass of the USB A plug connecting to the controller and the lead helps stabilize it too. When we don’t mount it remotely we always pull it towards the cortex with a rubber band, thus preventing it from wiggling too much under match conditions.


Cheers, Jason

We’re always mindful of the packing volume and this looks quite inefficient. Do you take this as carry on luggage and if so do the airlines count it as a bag?

We just take care of them in a storage box. Heavy stuff like batteries in 1 box, light items in another box so they’re separated. For long trips items are bubble wrapped within the box and thus protected from impacts.

Airport experience - we had 7kg of batteries in 1 bag (VEX + FTC) this year and were explosives checked every time :smiley: but it’s no big deal since according to the regulations you can actually carry any number of these batteries since they’re under the W/hr rating that requires pre approval. Just allow another 15 minutes!