Archive for May, 2010

VEX Power Accessories to Transition to Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) based Batteries

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

The VEX Robotics Design System is beginning a transition to Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) based batteries for its Power subsytem. With this transition comes the addition of (3) new products: the smaller 2000 mAh 7.2V NiMH battery, the standard size 3000 mAh 7.2V NiMH battery and the VEX Smart Charger.

2000 mAh 7.2V NiMH Battery3000 mAh 7.2V NiMH Battery

VEX Smart Charger

The new 2000 mAh 7.2V NiMH battery (above top left) has the same capacity as the 7.2V NiCad battery in a much smaller form factor. The new 3000 mAh 7.2V NiMH battery (above top right) offers 50% more capacity in the same form factor as the previous model 7.2V NiCad battery.

The transition to NiMH based products from the current Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) ones is necessary for several reasons. NiMH batteries consistently outperform NiCad batteries, as they deliver more power, last longer and can be put through more charge cycles.

In addition to the performance enhancements offered by the NiMH batteries, the fact that they have no Cadmium added is good news for the environment. Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal and can cause substantial pollution when disposed of improperly.

The VEX Smart Charger (above bottom center), with (4) different regional power cord options, is capable of charging ALL VEX rechargeable power packs (7.2V and 9.6V, NiCad and NiMH). The charger features dual charge rates and an automatic shutoff.

The new NiMH batteries must be charged on the VEX Smart Charger. DO NOT use the VEX Fast Charger to charge NiMH batteries.

Follow these Smart Charger settings for each battery:

Fast or Safe Setting:
7.2V, 3000 MAh NiMH (standard)
7.2V, 2000 MAh NiCad (old model)

Safe Setting Only:
7.2V, 2000 MAh NiMH (small)
9.6V, 960 MAh NiCad (transmitter)

7.2V NiCad batteries will be discontinued as soon as our current stock is depleted. There are no plans to discontinue the 9.6V NiCad Transmitter battery in the near future.

The VEX Power Pack and Fast Battery Charger have both been discontinued.

Any VEX branded 7.2V battery (NiMH or NiCad) will be legal for use on robots in the VEX Robotics Competition.

The new batteries will be available on VEXrobotics.com in the coming weeks.

The VEX Robotics Team