Legacy Servos

Question about legacy servos. Why were they discontinued when the V5 came out? It seems like they could still be of use. I know that we could use V5 motors to do the same thing, but servos would take up less physical space.

They aren’t discontinued. But if your asking for competition, they are illegal as you are only allowed to use the V5 smart motors.

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Where does it say that I can’t use servos? The closest thing I can find in the game manual is this…

[R6] Electronics from the VEX Cortex control system are not permitted. This includes the VEXnet Joystick, VEXnet Partner Joystick, VEX ARM® Cortex-based Microcontroller, VEXnet Key 1.0 and 2.0, 2-Wire Motor 393, and any other electronic components which are not compatible with the VEX V5 system.

Servos are compatible with V5 so I’m not sure where you are seeing this?

Cortex is illegal.

You can only use v5 electronics

While not explicitly in the game manual, other than a comment in R7 to see the vexrobotics website, it appears that the best reference is the notation on each part in the catalog is the way to tell what is currently competition legal, similar to how IQ has the “legal parts list”:


If it doesn’t have the “V5” tag, then it’s not currently legal. Also, note in the game manual that the clause allowing discontinued parts is no longer in the current manual, either (R6e makes a comment about non-current stuff)

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Makes sense.

Still, doesn’t explain my original question. Why were they discontinued?

My guess would be that the weren’t very popular, thus not cost effective to keep manufacturing them. In our organization’s pre-V5 years, I only know of one team who used one servo on one bot. I figure they’re only on the website because VEX still has some in their stock, but once used up, they’ll go away for good.

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The initial release of the 393s and 269s along with greater usage of potentiometers and encoders in 2010s.

The servos were more widely used in the pre-Cortex era with the PIC and original 3-wire motors.

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A follow up question —

since servos are out, what would you use today, with the V5 ? Need something smaller than a V5 motor.

A legal solution? I guess come up with some gears/shafts/sprockets to transfer the power back to a place where you have room for the V5 motor. Or if you have a long-skinny space, maybe a pneumatic cylinder…

In the long run, (which does you no good now, unfortunately), the new 5.5 watt motors will become available. They are supposed to be a repackaged 393 motor, so they should be smaller than the V5 motors.

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The recently released 5.5w V5 motor sounds like it would be a good choice, unfortunately I’m not sure if VEX plans to sell them separate from the EXP or Workcell kits.

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My link literally showed that they are in stock and still being shipped to people who order them. They are not discontinued.

Did you read the posts above? I think this one explains what what you are saying:

Yep, the smaller motors like the servo are off the competition space.

Remember that VEX does not equal RECF. There are lots of places that still use the Cortex and other tube devices ( @lacsap) for their training. RECF is after leveling the competition space, VEX is a robot parts manufacture.

But still send me a PM, I’m interested in buying them.

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Great info here, thanks to all who contributed!