V5 Smart Motors - Internal Gearing

@Paul Copioli
I am unsure how the internal gearing and switching between gears will work on the v5 smart motors, but I was wondering if there would be an easy way to tell which gears are in the motor without having to open it up or spin an axle in it. If it’s not too late, this would be a great feature to add if it isn’t already there.


I second this. I hate spending 5 minutes just checking if a motor is speed or tourqe. That and the screws strip so easily.

Use tape. None for torque, strip of tape for high speed, strip of tape with a T on it for turbo.

We did that at one point, but eventually, after enough times of night before competition modifications, there are tourqe motors labeled speed, turbo motors labled tourqe, and speed motors not labeled at all. I will be trying to use some kind of system this year though.

You can use the letters they give you for your license plates
i.e. H for highspeed, T for turbo, none for torque

Tape does work, but like @sazrocks said, there are torque motors labeled speed, turbo motors labeled torque, and speed motors not labeled at all. We are constantly changing motor gears and it isn’t practical to change the tape and/or stickers every time. I would like a more practical way to tell the difference.

We had a rather interesting idea after our season was essentially over this year: use dry-erase tape (such as this) and wet-erase markers (such as these) to label motors; that way, the motors can be easily relabeled (just get a damp paper towel) but not so easily that working on the robot erases the labels.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any damage caused by people not thinking and using too much water to erase the labels.

What, so you want like a clear casing? That would look pretty sick, actually, and you could tell when the internal gears are stripping as well. Vex, please maybe have clear plastic option for motors on V5!

Ik some people will think it looks ugly, and I kinda agree, but imagine the practicality!

Add RGB lighting. Problem solved.

I saw a post awhile ago and their idea was to put a dab of paint on the top of the gear where the axle slides into (for instance: high torque - red, high speed - orange, and turbo speed - yellow), in order to tell which gears you had in the motor. The only problem is that the paint wears off after time.

Love it!

That’s an interesting idea, but it would still be hard to tell from most angles.

Good point.

@Aiden Pyle I just had another idea along the same lines as yours: use different colors of screws depending on the gearing

It would be relatively obvious from most angles, even if only 2 screws in opposing corners were used, which gearing is in the motor.

The only major problem is that colored screws of the exact variety needed are likely hard to come by commercially

That would have been us. We used (and are still using) this system, and it worked great for us. Even with the paint wearing off over time, a few specks remain, enough to conclusively determine which type of motor it is. It is hard to tell from some angles, but we’ve found that even if you can’t tell from the current placement of the motor, all you need to do is loosen the screws marginally, and you should be able to move the motor enough to tell. This method comes with the upside of always being accurate no matter how lazy your team is; the gear color will always be correct, and you don’t need to change around any tape/relabel your motors. The biggest problem we’ve encountered is that when we initially painted the gears, we didn’t have all of the gears, and as we buy new motor, we have more and more unpainted gears.

That is a great idea. And by the way, nice meeting you.

Thanks! It was great meeting you, too!

Not sure if it would be legal but whiteboard paint is an option. Never tried it on vex motors but i have used it for painting part of a wall above my desk and wardrobe. I’m a massive fan :slight_smile:

You have to get the feels for the internal gearing. Feel the torque needed to turn each type of motor as well as the different sounds they make. It saves so much time and hassle

Well, yes, we all do that, but I was just wondering if VEX could make a simpler way to tell the difference. A way in which all you have to do is look at the motor, some sort of physical indicator. Also, in certain scenarios, you can’t turn the motor attached to a robot.