Vexnet upgrade compatibility with vexnet joystick
The Vexnet joystick is not compatible with the Vexnet upgrade kit, it can only be used with the CORTEX. This is really unfortunate… they did not think out the upgrade kit very well. It is also discontinued anyway.
Simple Vexnet joystick rechargeable 9.6v battery adapter:
The Vexnet joystick uses 6 AAA batteries which is very inconvenient to teams since they will have to invest in AAA rechargeables if they don’t want a to spend a fortune on batteries.
Video of adapter here.
I made a simple adapter that connects to the 75mhz controller 9.6 battery. This is within the voltage limits of the Vexnet joystick. Use two dead AAA batteries. Solder a red wire to the positive end of one battery and a black wire to the negative end of the other battery. Then connect an RC battery male to the other end of the wires. The male terminal can be purchased from ALL ELECTRONICS for 75 cents. Now simply insert the two batteries into the top two slots with the negative wire on one battery touching the left spring and the positive wire on the other battery touching the right pad. In other words, if you opened the back and exposed the battery holder its like putting only two batteries in series into the top slots. Make sure the wires are on the outer edges of the rack with the negative wire on the left and the positive wire on the right. The two wires are then fed through a slot opening near the USB connector slot. That’s it and it works fine.
You can then Velcro the battery to the bottom of the joystick or just use a rubber band to hold it.
10/9/2010 Update: To keep from interferring with the USB connector be sure to use shielded stranded wire of small gauge that is no wider than pwm wire. Smaller is better. Then feed the wire through the screw hole with a wire on each side of the screw as shown in the pictures.
Then tighten the screw just enough to hold the back plate on and not damage the wires.
Vexnet Joystick vs legacy joystick:
The ability to command a pure y-axis without some x-axis slop is a lot harder with the Vexnet joystick. Although you get a few more buttons … I would take the legacy over the Vexnet any day for controllability and the ability to trim the channels. The slop is especially noticeable with Arcade drive. The $150 price doesn’t buy you much quality.
10/9/2010 Update: Note that the legacy and the Vexnet joysticks cannot be mixed.