PTO experiences question

Question regarding peoples pto experiences: our team is considering building an pto similar to 606x’s (drivetrain to intake) but my driver is questioning it. She is concerned with if she may forget to click the button to change it to intake. Is this a problem anyone with a pto in the past (or present) has experienced or do you think this won’t be too much of a problem with enough practice? Thanks!

1 Like

you could program it so it would automatically switch


Please elaborate. What I am picturing is that after a certain amount of time it automatically switches, which wouldn’t be ideal as we need control of when it switches but I could be open to this if you provided more detail.

1 Like

I’d say your driver forgetting to switch between intake and drivetrain will happen as often as forgetting to turn the flywheel on/off. I’m sure she’ll be fine during driver practice, it’s just the click of a button :slight_smile:


Thanks! My driver and programmer are not very confident since we have no experience in pneumatics besides fooling around last year, but they respect other teams opinions and I’ll be sure to show them your post!


There are two rules to being a good driver(in my experience):

  1. Be Confident in your abilities
  2. Grind skills

I’m glad to help. Good luck this season!


Two things you can do in this situation.

  1. Implement a vibration feature into the roller (this is coined by VEX as “controller rumble”)

The controller can vibrate twice when intake is activated, vibrate once when 6m drive is activated. This is what we used.

  1. Have an automatically switching intake, like @asdf said. For a better idea of what this does, look at the 21S and 471X explanation video. They go over it, showing how it works on camera.

We did not go this route, because it uses more air, and our driver was confident in his abilities to know when to switch by himself.

It’s all a matter of testing, and determining which path works the best for you.

Hope this helps.


In my experience, automatic shifting uses too much air. Obviously this can depend on how you are using your pneumatics, but generally, it uses too much. I also found that in the heat of fast-paced driving, manual shifting was also not a viable option. I’m running 6m drive->2m intake+4m drive, and currently I am using a sort of combo between these two options, where when the intake buttons are pressed, and the pto isn’t already in the intake state, then it will automatically swap to the intake. But, at any time I can press a button that will swap me to 6m drive. I still find myself staying in 4m drive most of the time, but at least this eliminates the issue of air usage as well as having to constantly think about what state the pto is in. Because I know that 100% of the times I press the 6m drive button, it will end up in 6m drive, and 100% of the times I press the intake buttons, it will be in the intake. Zero stress or thought going into it.


What you could so is just program a macro so that whenever you turn the intake on/off it automatically switches