VEX Line Tracker Update

Hi All,
I wanted to take a minute and announce to the community an update we’re going to be making to our Line Tracker Kit (276-2154). This is a rolling-change and will occur sometime in the next few months. It is a ways off, but I wanted to get the word out to ensure people know it is coming.

Since the basic functionality of the kit will not change, we are not changing the P/N or price.

Electronics pricing is going up throughout the industry. We at VEX Robotics are committed to providing our customers the same high value without raising our prices. As such, as we work to enhance our products we are also taking steps to prevent price increases.

One piece of feedback we received from users was that they wanted to use it on tighter spacing. In fact we saw many instances where VEX users did a lot of “weird stuff” to get the line tracker packaged in the way they want. As such we’ve repackaged the line tracker modules into a new smaller form factor. This new thinner module will mount easily on VEX 1/2" pitch metal, and no longer needs the mounting bar that previously came in the kit.

See attached for a drawing which compares the new module with the old design.

The new kit will include (3) of these modules in a much smaller package. We think the new form factor will make users very happy (I know I didn’t really understand how much a difference this change made until I held a prototype in my hand – it feels a lot smaller).

As I said, we will be making a rolling change from the old Line Tracker design to the new one in the next few months (depending on how fast we sell out of the old design).

Let me know if you have any questions on this change.

276-2154-UPDATE.pdf (138 KB)

Looks very nice :slight_smile: Thanks for the update!

Danng. I wish we had these earlier.

We used the adjustable steel bracket; and at one point, the pitch metal. We would’ve used the bracket that comes with the kit, although we need 5 line trackers to sense the diagonal lines.

Those look very nice, I hope we will be able to purchase these soon.

Looks great! Now if only we can get the Encoders miniaturized - but I know you are working on that already. :slight_smile:

Can’t wait! Small footprint 7 Line Tracker array, anyone? :wink:


This is great John, thanks for doing this. I’m sure many teams will be interested in using line tracking now because of this. Do you have an idea of how soon these new editions will be available for purchase? I know it’s a rolling change but when will they first be switched over?

I didn’t know they were working on this. This would be fantastic as well.

Keep up the great work John!


JVN mentioned it at the new products announcement at worlds. He mentioned that they would replace the green back of the motors, and would be significantly smaller. Other details were withheld unfortunately, but expect to see them towards the end of the summer is what he said.

I have a feeling I messed up on one of those facts, so JVN, feel free to correct me (and add details, of course)

What do you mean by replace the green back of the motors? With what?
Also since the subject of changes to motors got brought up I heard that VEX was working on building encoders into the motors? Is that true?

Your second question answers your first one. The replacement of the green back of the motors will (from what I heard) be the Encoder “backpack”.


I’m pumped for that. That would definitely help out a ton. I hope that this happens.


I also vaguely remember something to the effect of built in PID for the motors with the “Backpack encoders,” but again I am unsure. Can anyone confirm this?

I’m pretty sure this is true. My dad was over at the ROBOTC booth at Worlds and told me something about similar functions in ROBOTC for the Cortex/PIC that are available in ROBOTC for the NXT. (Including PID control.)


I must say that this is awesome, especially considering how powerful line following will be this year.

The conviniance of miniaturizing the vex parts is phenominal! I cannot wait to see what you come up with next. Perhaps a smaller shaft encoder, as many teams, including ours, were forced to place ours on the outside because of sizes, and ours were broken many times due to collisions.

VEX has already announced that they are releasing encoders that screw into the back of the 394 and 269 motors, replacing the green back plate with an integrated encoder. (They haven’t really said so publicly, but I’m guessing that the new encoders will NOT work with the old 3-wire motors.)

Any idea on when that will come out??? :smiley:

I can only repeat what John V-N said at World Championships – sometime this calendar year.

Thanks, sounds good. I wasn’t at worlds this year so I had only heard rumors. Thanks for the confirmation!

Hi Everyone,
I wanted to let you know that the next shipment of Line Trackers will be the new version discussed in this thread.

We are currently out of stock, waiting on this shipment from our manufacturer – once this comes in we will begin shipping the updated version to customers.

Note: ALL VEX bundles using Line Trackers will begin shipping with the updated version in the next few weeks (depending on how many bundles we have in stock).


wow what a difference