I’m proud to announce the release of two new products.
These screws have thread locker applied on their threads; this thread locker will help hold the screw in position. A Locking Screw can be installed and removed approximately 10-15 times and still retain a firm lock each time. The screws provide similar functionality to the VEX Nylock Nuts. The locking screws come in 2 sizes, 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch in length.
Cinch Strap, 5pk
These Velcro Cinch Straps are great for quickly mounting objects. Wrap the Cinch Strap around the object you want mounted, loop it through the buckle, and then back onto itself for a secure hold using hook and loop Velcro. The buckle allows the user to "cinch" the strap tight around the application. The Cinch Straps are reusable and adjustable (their secure holding circumference is adjustable from approximately 4 to 7 inches).
I believe there is a small amount of that material inside of the motor and servo mounting holes, as my motor screws have something that looks like that on them which I can conclude had to come from the motors. They do seem to stick when I try to remove them as if they were locked.
Maybe the paint just came off the screws though, hmm…
VEX Hinges provide a pivoting joint between two pieces of VEX structural components. These hinges are about 2.5" long and 1.3" wide. Each section of the hinge has a mounting surface about 0.5" wide, and includes (5x) VEX Square holes on the standard VEX 1/2" pitch. The hinges pivot approximately 265-degrees.
These are really nice looking, though a bit pricy at $5 each. I’ve been using standard hardware-store hinges with Vex for a while now very happily (at about one fifth the price). They are handy for everything from scissor-lifts to making parts of a compact bot swing open for easy service access.
Having a competition-legal hinge will be a great option, and an excellent addition to the Vex lineup!
OK, so I just got my shiny new Vex hinges, and I am not disappointed! They are very well made; much nicer than the cheap hardware store hinges.
The hinge movement is smooth but not floppy. The metal itself is about 0.057" thick, which is a bit thicker than most of the other Vex metal. The fit and finish is right up there with all the Vex metal, so no worries there.
It looks like the hinge pin is just friction-fit in, and the knuckle pattern is symmetrical, so I think you could reverse one of the leaves if you needed a hinge that could swing between 90 and 270 degrees.
When closed, the knuckle is about 0.26" thick, leaving about a 0.15" gap between the leaves. It won’t quite close parallel with screws in opposing holes; the thickness of the screw heads keeps it open by about 2 degrees. So you’ll have to plan on staggering the screw heads if closing completely parallel is important for your application.
When opened and laid out flat, the centerlines of the screw holes from leaf to leaf are about 0.775" apart. This means that you can’t maintain the 0.5" hole spacing across an open hinge. This is probably not very important, but I thought I’d point it out.
Are the worth $10/pr? The quality is there. They are a simple and effective way to create a compact, strong, and light pivot joint with very little off-axis play. No doubt the price is a result of custom engineering and a limited production run, which is just a business reality.
However, given that these hinges are custom engineered for Vex, I would like to have seen a thicker knuckle so that there is enough clearance for the leaves to close parallel with screws in opposing locations. I would also like to have seen the leaf-to-leaf screw centerline be 1.0" to maintain the 0.5" standard bolt hole spacing. Neither of these issues are a big deal, but they do slightly reduce the flexibility (no pun intended) of these otherwise excellent additions to the Vex lineup.