Question about V5 Motor Cartridges

I’m a relatively new robotics coach (realistically new to the entire concept of robotics, I’m an English teacher!) and while I’m finally finding my footing, I’m kind of confused about motor cartridges. From what I’ve read, you can alter the gear ratio on your drive train (hopefully I’m using those terms correctly) to alter levels of torque/speed. Therefore, does it make any sense to invest in a variety of these motor cartridges? Do they essentially exist to eliminate the need for a gear system that might be cumbersome in your planned designs?

16 V5 Smart Motors (enough for two robots) and I understand that each one contains an 18:1 (200 RPM) motor cartridge. In addition, we seem to have the following:

-1 extra 18:1 motor cartridge
-2 36:1 motor cartridge

All-in-all, should I invest in some of these cartridges, and how many do you think I should get of each?

For this game 36:1(RED) cartridges would be worth investing in as a lot of heavy lifting is taking place


Welcome to the VEX world. As a coach, I recommend you join the VEX World Coach’s association on Facebook. There, we have lots of discussion about how to run robotics programs.

Although gearing can be done outside the motors, it takes space that might not be available on the robot, so it’s handy to be able to change internal gearing. I usually stock the cartridges 4 at a time for our teams. Also, take a look here for upgraded motor-case screws.


I would suggest you get spare motors. 3-4 total may be enough.
Red cartridge is worth to get too. I would be thinking 2-3 for each robot.

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Thanks, I did join the Facebook group, but I had forgotten to check there as well!

I would have at least 2 green and 2 red cartridge motors (motor and cartridge) at all times.

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