Marking Internal Gearing

So, following what I assume to be a common pattern, I have quite a few motors lying around / on robots. My problem is that evry time I want to use a motor that was just in the storage boxes, I have to unscrew to backing to check the internal gearing, so I know whether I need to change it or not for the task I wish to use it for. My first attempt to solve this problem was to create a database of motors that are all numbered to keep track of their current gearing. The idea was that anyone wishing to change a motor’s gearing would update the database. Sadly, this did not happen. Another idea would be to somehow paint the end of the internal gearing that holds the shaft, a different color so that we could tell from the outside, what type it was. My question is simple, does anyone know of a good way to color the ends like this without changing the size of the shaft hole or a better way to label them in general?

We’ve always been doing it in the simplest way: a sticker stuck on the outside of the motor with HT for High Torque, HS for High Speed, or Turbo (no label would mean HT as they come out of the box). Whenever someone changes the internal gearing, the old label comes off and the new one goes on. One on each side, so that in case one comes off the other is still there.

And for the sake of simplicity, I just cut whatever labels I find into small bits and write on it with a marker.

color coding the labels helps too

Yeah, we tried that. Then someone</em got lazy and just wrote directly on the casing instead of getting a new label. Fast-forward three months before I realized that all of the electronic pieces that weren’t on my robot were labelled “BAD!!!” in sharpie because previously referenced team member didn’t troubleshoot before labeling the motor, the motor controller, the cortex, and both VexNet keys as defective whenever something didn’t turn. Pardon the pessimism, but with the less-than-omniscient team that I have, including me of course, I’m looking for something slightly more permanent (i.e. marking the gears instead of the casings as the gears will always be turbo), and requiring less maintenance by the person who re-gears it. Any ideas?

You can always engrave the motors with a number/code and keep track of what gearing is what in a spreadsheet

I see that as a problem because we can’t change the gearing on the motors ever. I was thinking something like this

download.jpg + blue_torque.jpg = download_blue.jpg

So the blue on the motor signifies that it is a torque motor. If we change it to a speed motor then it will instead be red because the speed internal gears are red. That way we don’t have to remember to update a list as the motor will already be marked as the color of a new gearing.

If VEX did this it would make everything so much easier @DRow @Karthik

I second this

i third this @DRow


We use no duct tape for high torque, red duct tape for high speed, and blue duct tape for turbo speed. It is simple and easy to see. Recently, we have started adding a QR code to one side of the motor with a database that gives the date the motor is put into service. Of course for all our older motors, we simply do not know so we are using one date that signifies all motors before we started this system. The database also includes the gearing, which robot it is on, if it is in use, and what port it goes to on the robot.

This way, if at a tournament, we have to swap out a cortex or do something else where things need to be re-wired, anyone with a smart phone and access to our database can scan the code and know exactly where to connect the motor. We also track where on the robot the motor belongs.

The database is new so we are still working out the kinks, but the colored duct tape is something we have been using all along. It is just so simple.

Yeah, I have a similar database that keeps track of the motors based on the number written on the tape on its side. My problem is that when motors change internal gearing, people forget/are too lazy to change the values in the database/the label on the robot. Im looking for something that naturally tells me by looking at the motor what the internal gearing system is and automatically changes when I change the gearing. It seems unrealistic, but I was just wondering if anyone else had a better system.
Thanks for the answer.

Not high tech but nothing on the motor-- torque. Strip of neon pink duct tape wrapping the motor–speed. Strip of neon orange duct tape wrapping the motor–turbo. Very visible. Does not easily come undone but is equally easily removable.

That would be an even better new product than the battery clips(in my opinion at least).

Couldn’t you just color on the gear with a sharpie or something?

Wow. I feel like that thought never crossed our minds, lol. How did we not think of this sooner?

I thought about that, but I figured the sharpie would just rub off and paint or nail polish or anything like that would drip into the hole that the shaft goes into and that would be a pain to clean out. My main purpose in creating this thread was to see if anyone had any ideas to avoid that or some other way to mark the gears that was just as effective, but easier to apply.

Put a old or bent shaft in the gear and then paint the internal gear.
Problem solved.!

Not to be a pessimist, but if you take the shaft out before the paint dries it will just drip into the hole, and if you take it out after the paint dries then the paint on the shaft will just pull the paint from the gear with it.

You would take the gear out before painting it LOL, and you would only need to mark the face part.

If you mark it with a paint marker, it will be dry in 15 seconds, and you wouldn’t have any paint in the hole.

For reference:

These are pretty useful to have in general, and work well (when they’re not dried out in shipping…)