hi,im new

How do you put together pneumatics? I just dont get how it all works

For putting them together, you can look at the diagrams on the VEX Product pages for them. (Kit 1, Kit 2)

As for how they work and everything, I wouldn’t be the best person to ask, as I’ve actually never used them myself. However I could get my good friend Nathan to help out here, as he’s used them quite a lot… (Nathan I know you’re reading this… ;))


what questions do you have after refering to the diagrams?

I found the pneumatics kit to be woefully lacking in documentation. Even something simple like labeling the diagram like here would help (sorry for the crudeness – my best photo editor is Paint).

Now that you have the parts named,

  1. Assemble the diagram as shown in the above link for Kit 2 (or as shown for Kit 1, if that’s what you have). When connecting tubing, the connector ends have “spring”. Squeeze the connectors, insert tubing, then release (or pull out) the connectors to lock in tubing.
  2. Connect the solenoid driver to one of the digital outputs on your microcontroller. Download the Online Window onto your microcontroller.
  3. Make sure that the reservoir plug is inserted. You will only remove this if you want to connect 2 or more reservoirs in series.
  4. Connect a pump to the tire fitting. With the On/Off switch closed, pump air into the reservoir. Remove pump when you have satisfactory pressure (100 psi is the limit for competition)
  5. Open the On/Off switch to release air into the system.
  6. From the Online Window, click the digital outputs “on” and “off”. This should cause your cylinders to extend and contract. If you hear clicking in the solenoid, but the cylinders fail to move, it means that your electronic triggering is working, but there is a problem with the mechanics.

Troubleshooting and suggestions:

  1. Check for air leaks. One technique is to submerge the NON-ELECTRICAL parts in soapy water. Try to cut the tubing as perpendicular as possible – if there is any “slant”, you will not get a good seal.
  2. Check to see if the valve (metal knob) on the pressure regulator is closed.
  3. When properly attached, the cylinders will extend and contract quite forcefully. You can reduce the air flow by turning the On/Off switch to its “halfway” position (at a 45 degree angle) or adjusting the valve on the pressure regulator.

Quite frankly, I don’t understand why IFI didn’t label its parts and provide a simple step-by-step set of instructions. We spent too much time beating our heads against the wall, learning the “dumb” way. It would have saved us a lot of time if we had labels and some instructions like the above.

I’m hoping to put together more “Documentation for the Technically Challenged (like us)” along these lines when I get the time, but there are a few other projects in the hopper.

This is great stuff! Please put it up on the Wiki for all to enjoy, as well as improve upon.


  • Dean

Will do! Improvements appreciated.