Making sure chain doesnt snap

Hello again. I am attending the state championship in my state, as many others are. The chain on my intakes don’t snap off often, maybe once a driver practice, but I want a definitive way to have the chains on intakes not snap off. I know about sprocket doubling/tripling, but that doesnt guarantee it doesnt fall off. Even if it doesnt fall off often, it can in finals, and if i make it there, I don’t want that. Does anyone know of a certain way, 100%, to have the chains not snap, or am I going to have to pray to DRow and wish for the best?

  1. Most times chain snap due to wear and tear. I would suggest replacing your chain before competition
  2. Make sure your chain links have secure connections
  3. You can weave two treads into each other. But we started having intake friction while doing it so I wouldn’t recommend. But it garuntees a backup. image
  4. Make your treads and flaps not touch your tray, as many times the tray movement can cause the chain to snap.

To add to Connor’s point about replacing the chain. It is nice if you have enough spare chain, but I don’t think it is necessary to replace it all.

What you really want to do is to take the chain off the robot, lay it on the table and inspect every link for being too loose, too tight, or having any other abnormalities, regardless if it is new or old chain.

If any of the links are crooked, barely move, or look like they are about to fall, then you need to take them out.

Slightly loose or tight links could be repaired by gently but firmly bending the little tabs. Just make sure you don’t bend them too much or too quickly, because that will cause plastic to develop fractures, weaken, and eventually break.


I have enough spare chain to do that, so I will assemble a new one before quals, and inspect links.

These seem like good ways, but is there no way to guarantee it to not snap?

I don’t know if you have time to do this, but vex sells stronger chain links than the basic plastic ones (they’re made of rubber or something) which allows for more wear-and-tear. We changed our intake chain at the beginning of the season because of how often they broke.

do you have a link to this chain?

make sure that whenever a chain link breaks on your robot, inspect said link, and if no apparent abnormalities are found, mark the link and reconnect the chain. Then if it breaks again on that same link you know it is a bad link


Obviously, chinatakes are almost indestructible, because no exposed links.

If you want an american style intake… Here is a design that we wanted to experiment with, but decided that we couldn’t risk/afford cutting all those pieces.


But if you are a rich boi with lots of thicc golden chain links and a Worlds invitation in your pocket…


I’ve seen a number of robots do this, and I’ve seen times where it’s saved the day with a broken link. If you can figure it out the friction issue it’s a good plan. Otherwise @Gameoa about inspection, marking and repair is great advice. The little tip of marking it to see if it’s a “weak link” should be used.