Slapshot Element Problem

I just finished a week of IQ camp with the Slapshot field elements. Three of our four purple dispensers failed at the same place. The yellow plastic shaft that goes through the center of the spinner was twisted which kept the spinner from being able to turn. In two of the cases, the plastic shaft had to be cut to remove it. This was regular 2 - 3 hour use - not abuse or misuse of the part. We replaced the shaft with a metal one. Do I need approval to use these on competition fields?


We’ve actually already submitted that very question to the Q&A. No idea when/if it’ll get a response, but I have to think in order for them to hold up through a season, it’s going to be necessary.

ETA: Link to the question


Same here, my sister built something to remove the shafts from the dispenser and it accidentally
went the other way and she broke it

Well, at best, this is a problematic dispenser to build. My kids messed with it for a couple of weeks before school let out, and the only issues that we had were from bad builds… Which over half were built incorrectly in one way or another.

Of course, if the shaft is replaced with metal then something else might break instead when the dispenser malfunctions.

Can you give us an idea of what happened that broke the shaft?

Can you clarify? If built correctly the wheel can’t spin “the other way.”

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I’m assuming what’s meant is that the sister’s spinning mechanism went the wrong way and broke it. Which is going to be a problem all season.

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The shafts didn’t break. They got twisted. One I know for certain had only been spun with hands, not an mechanical force. The first time, I thought that students had used the equipment incorrectly, but having the same twisted failure three times in two days makes me think it’s a design flaw not operator error.

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My kids did the same, but it was a bad build and the arm couldn’t swing appropriately. Again, the plastic shaft in question is under a lot of force even if spun by hand. If it’s a metal shaft then it could just snap the gear instead, right? When you replaced with a metal shaft, did it work correctly and not have any issues? I’m all for it if it works!

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I did this first go around. I had a standoff too close to the pawl, preventing the correct spinning of the wheel.


We changed the shaft at the end of the week so it didn’t get tested, much. I’ll chime back in after we use this fix for a while - but first a few weeks of summer math institute for me.

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same thing happen to all of mine except all of the broke. I personally inspected all of them and they were assembled correctly see inserted pic of what the shafts look like. We have replaced all with metal shafts of the same size. It seems our issue is occurring when the dispenser is being spun to fast. Only 1 robot can spin it fast enough to break them.

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Hi Curt, welcome back!

At the EP meeting last week we were told that we should not use the metal shaft, they are concerned about the ratchet and pawl gear towards the bottom will get broken. They are using the yellow 4x motor shaft as a sacrificial part.


That’s why you see the lone update to the VIQ game be

On July 19th, 2022, Version 1.1 of the VIQC Slapshot Game Manual (an unscheduled update) was released, and the following changes were made:

  1. Added a note to G11 stating that the Purple Dispenser must be spun counter-clockwise

You can also use a capped shaft since the shaft collars will keep it from moving.

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BTW it was not jammed at the time of multiple breaks.

Thank you for you response. I have had my students replace all the new metal shafts back to plastic ones. I’m just worried we are going to go through a lot of them. Also we are going to try and get a video of it breaking so that we can share so maybe someone sees something we dont.

@DRow Have there been any discussions in selling bags of X number of just this part? We probably have plenty of the same in our bins, but having a repair bag of this part in yellow would be nice without having to purchase the entire assortment of sizes.


Not a color purest for this part, it’s buried deep in the dispenser and you really can’t see it. So any color/assortment of colors would also work.

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Over the last couple of weeks of camp we’ve snapped about 3 of these. At least once it was because a disk got stuck between the bot and the dispenser, but we definitely have a couple that are acting funny. One of the dispensers doesn’t always allow the discs to fall appropriately. The ref on that field brought it up to me because he noticed it a few times and I saw it once myself. I recommended that for now just push down on the stack and that would make it engage appropriately.

I’m good with this being the fail point. After all these years I have a ton of those shafts.

I also wouldn’t say that is a rare problem, but I wouldn’t say it happened a lot either. I’m trying to keep an eye on them but as I’m seeing them fail they don’t tend to fail in the same way. They are as unique as the kids…


I only did iq for a short while in middle school, before my school started doing high school competitions. Anyways, to avoid damaging expensive parts we have put clutches and ratchets on our flywheels. I was just wondering if iq has a reusable clutch piece that could be used to protect this system instead of damaging a shaft. If so, adding one to your designs could be pretty easy I think, and it would save lots of innocent axles.

This isn’t about the robot, it’s about the build for the field, which we cannot change.


Thanks for the clarification. Interesting choice by vex then.

VEXIQ doesn’t have a clutch part. There is a ratchet that they are trying to protect.

So IQ robots are not known for brute force solutions like VRC has become. But this year with the purple needing to have many rotations to empty has led teams to 10,000 RPM twisters to spit the disks out in under 2 seconds :roll_eyes:

When we talked at the meeting in Texas, they were surprised to find that we had twisted / broken so many. I’ve offered to send my middle-schoolers to TX to do stress testing of the 2023-24 game, waiting to see if they take me up on it.