New Products - July 2022 (High Strength Shaft Ball Bearings)

High Strength Shaft Ball Bearings have just been added to the VEX Website.

These ball bearings are compatible with VEX High Strength Shafts, and come in a pack of 11. (Includes all bearings, housing assemblies, and inserts)

Unlike traditional Bearing Flats, Ball Bearings achieve a lower rotational friction through the use of rolling balls that are built into the Bearing. Great for high speed mechanisms, such as shooters and intakes!

These are now available on the US store, and will be available internationally over the next few weeks.

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Wow, that’s awesome! Just curious, are we, by any chance, going to see a smaller low-strength version of this at some point in the future?

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I think that is the point of the inserts included…

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^ What they said…

20 char

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A separate 1/8" Bearing Block Insert would be nice, but using the existing high-strength shaft adaptor will work fine.

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Edit: After taking another look at the parts, I see that it is already designed to support a large or small shaft. For a 1/8" shaft, you would use the Bearing Block Square Insert, which is a 1/8" square. And for the HS shaft, you would not use any insert because the diameter of the hole is .302"

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In addition, there is a round insert designed for #8 screws.

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Awesome! I’m sure many of us students have been waiting for ball bearings to be used in VRC for a while. Can’t wait to see what everyone does with them this season!

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The introduction was timely…

There will be a TON of flywheels this season.

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Pack of 11?

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Why not make 10 louder? But ours goes to 11…

Similar: Why 10 Hot Dogs and 8 Buns Per Pack Is the Norm | Taste of Home

Perhaps it’s a nod to M-Theory, which requires 11 space dimensions: What is M-Theory? • Earth.com

Or perhaps it’s because 11 is the first first palindromic number

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Ain’t all 1 digit numbers palindromic?

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Yep - you are smarter than me

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Does vex realize smaller ball bearings exist?
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I have a sneaking suspicion that they intentionally released ball bearings that only fit in 3 wide cchans so they have some sort of a trade-off to using them and you can’t just slap them anywhere you want

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A couple of likely reasons for the larger form factor:

  • They wanted to make them compatible with HS axles (with adapters for smaller axles)
  • They wanted them to be able to be bolted to standard VEX metal with minimal modification
  • They wanted to maintain the same hole alignment arrangement as the other VEX bearings (bushings) to simplify design

The fact that the larger size adds another engineering constraint was probably pretty low on their priority list.

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None of your points are valid because vex could have made the bearing smaller and still make it work with HS shafts.

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Well, it likely wasn’t “to add another engineering restraint” and more so that wealthy teams couldn’t just abuse them and use them absolutely everywhere on their robot. I bet the intent is that most teams use them on flywheels and sometimes intakes, and that’s about it. I know I have talked to several top tier teams who all agree that it generally isn’t worth it to use these on your drive, and sometimes even intakes. They are too expensive and would require either the use of 3 wides on the drive/intake or a whole lot of custom machining. I personally like this decision and I think if vex ever releases ball bearings that fit into a 2-wide cchannel, they will likely look like regular 3 hole long black bearings but with a special section in the middle for one of the small bearings that @YesSir posted, and they will be cheaper. But as long as these bearings are this expensive, I don’t believe it is the intent for them to be used everywhere on the robot.

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These bearings can be used on 2 wide drives, you just have to attach them to the wheel and use a rounded standoff joint. They’re probably more useful on drives than on intakes considering drives are under a lot greater load.

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You can also mount them to the outside of a 2 wide cchan and make custom polycarb mounts to screw it into the cchan

credit @Ryan_4253B for that idea

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And here we get to the next Q&A question that needs to be clarified:

The bearings in this kit are the exact same ‘ThunderSquare’ flanged bearings available in the ‘PRO’ section as SKU’s 217-5830 for 1 or 217-6722 for 11. Is it legal to use these bearings separately (by drilling a 0.875 hole and simply inserting the flanged bearing)?

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