Stupidest thing you've done in VEX

Rebuilding 6 times this season, just to come back to our very first idea.

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During my First year last year I had to build a drive train to compete in a tournament that was two days away but we built it but as we built it we had no idea why it was not staying together so we used rubber bands to hold it together until one of our other teams told us you need to put screws . But some how we finished it and still got 7th place :slight_smile:


Exactly what happened to me.

At Worlds in 2013, didn’t expect either of our robots to win any awards, missed the awarding of a division Excellence Award to one of my teams and just caught the end of the awarding of the division Teamwork Award to the other.
At Worlds in 2014, (not my mistake), my team plugged their speaker into the wrong port and it ended up disabling their autonomous.


At the beginning of last year we put lioctite on shaft collar set screws. We still have shaft collars stuck on axels, lol.

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Spent much longer that I’ll admit trying to get a gear train to work, couldn’t get the gears to mesh properly. Problem was I was using the “worm wheels” that have a slight slant to the gear tooth vs the correct gear. (They now have a sharpie “W” on them).

I watched a roboteer cut the black robot battery lead thinking it was a black cable tie. :frowning:

My all time “stupid thing” favorite was the mobile rocket launcher.


Stupidest thing I did was build an elevator lift for this year trying to lift 20 pounds. It lifted maybe 10 before the chains would snap and explode links into shards of plastic. Next would probably be plugging in motors wrong after a PTC check and driving forward causing a gear to shatter on the flywheel (the flywheel and base motors were swapped, so driving forwards was in the opposite direction of the flywheel and it exploded the 36t low strength gear in front of a bunch of people).

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Ummmm… what?

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This is my list:

Putting on a lock-nut on backwards.

Y-wiring the drive to port 1… and of course or cortex blew up.

Spending 30 minutes trying to figure out why this gold screw can’t attach to a stand-off.

Turning a screw without a nut attached.


@puzzler7 – Ummmm… what?

I can’t find the posts but they built a platform that would move out to the launch zone, then the launch rail with the Estes rocket would lift up and then fire the rocket. I want to say it was a Murdomeek production.

Clearly not event legal :slight_smile:

We put a flywheel motor’s wire back in forward when it needed to be reversed. It wouldn’t run, and I assumed it was still burnt out. Teammates (who were there for the PTC test) figured out it was backward.


Yeah, everyone knows a rocket launcher has to be stationary. Amateurs…

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Early this year we tried to modify our robot right before a competition. We messed it up so it wouldn’t shoot full court (it had been able to easily overshoot before). With our 25:1 gear ratio we changed the gearing for all six flywheel motors from torque to high speed at the competition. By some miracle we won the competition. We stuck with the high speed motors all year and had good success with them. When they were doing PCT testing midway through states, the flywheel motor they checked was not spinning the axil at all. 3 months and 4 competitions earlier when we had changed the motor’s gearing we had accidentally not put one of the gears in. After changing the motor we went on to win the competition.

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So the flywheel wasn’t working a day before a competition, (AAAHH) and I thought that it increase the range if we WRAPPED THE FLYWHEEL IN OVER 200 RUBBERBANDS. Ptc tripped and we went to the competition as a push bot, got carried to 5th place I think, fixed the flywheel (motor port 1 is dead), and did okay.

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In tossup, as my first year in vex, I built a robot that could only low hang on the hanging bar using the rack and pinon system. I forgot to add bearings onto rack and pinion, so it eventually stopped working when the axles worn through the steel supporting the 25 pound robot. This robot was also 18 inches tall, so it couldn’t get under the bar and score any points in the goal.

Also in my first year doing vex, I made a 269 motor almost catch on fire (smoke coming out of it) when I had 2 of them fighting each other on a simple bar lift (the teacher programmed it as well).

During my Sack Attack season I was making sure that there weren’t any lose screws on our 6 bar lift so that our finals matches will run smoothly. When tightening the joints I didn’t realize that I had made them locked in place with nylon nuts causing us to not to have a lift that finals and burning out the lift motors.

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OK this year at state I picked the wrong number… It was a silly push bot… So everything was fine we would always loose the match that my team was not in, but we would sweep the second and third match every time by 50-100 points. Then the finals come along, we loose our first match win our seconds match. Then there was a 20 minute break I unplugged cortex and power expander. We came back and on accident I did not plug the power expander in fully. When I unplugged the power expander after autonomous which magically didn’t run my flywheel twitched and got us dqed, costing us the state title.

Definitely the dumbest thing I’ve ever done it VEX was building the intake smaller than the ball, and then I wondered why it didn’t work. Or maybe the dumbest was when I tried to build a double flywheel with a 1:49 gear ratio with one motor. Or maybe accidentally filing a screw that happened to be right next to the other thing I was trying to file.

The funniest was probably when I tried to shove an axle through a gear and it wouldn’t go through. I spent probably 15 minutes trying to shove it through and then I looked at the other side of the gear. There was a short axle stuck in the other side. LOL.

During our first year of robotics @mwang17 and I geared our our sack attack lift 7:1 for speed instead of torque. We wondered for a while why it couldn’t lift itself…

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Ah yes, the harp. We didn’t have access to high strength chain, so we used 10 lengths of low strength chain. Using 3 wire motors definitely didn’t help either.