Example V5 Pneumatics Kit Configurations

This article guides you through some V5 Pneumatics System configurations which you can then tailor to suit your own setup. This is perfect for those who know the V5 Pneumatics Kit basics and are ready to see them in action. For more information on the components within the V5 Pneumatics Kit, view this article from the VEX Library.

Important Note: The effectiveness of the V5 Pneumatics System largely relies on the O-Rings and fitting connections. O-Rings are small, black, rubber-like rings found on each M5 thread of the fittings, Schrader valves, etc., and they help to create a tight seal to prevent air leaks. These are further optimized by the flow of pressurized air. When assembling, there's no need for tools — hand-tightening components ensures a secure connection. Over-tightening using tools can lead to damage, so always handle components with care to ensure longevity and proper function.

One Cylinder System

Pneumatics

A One Cylinder System, using just one Pneumatic Cylinder, is suited for operations needing a single motion. For instance, a robot might use this system for a specific task, like moving a claw or releasing a mechanism.

The concepts in a One Cylinder System can be expanded for multi-cylinder systems. The setup illustrated above is an advanced version, featuring most components from the V5 Pneumatics Kit. Now, let's understand why components are positioned as they are and how this impacts the system's functionality.

Pneumatics

Components that are vital to the system’s operation are highlighted above. Vital components include:

  1. the Air Tank which stores the compressed air for the pneumatic system,
  2. the Double Acting Solenoid Driver Cable which provides power from the Robot Brain to the Solenoid,
  3. the Double Acting Solenoid which electronically controls the flow of air around the system (operation of this Solenoid explained below).

Double Acting Solenoid Operation

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First, connect your Double Acting Solenoid Driver Cable to the Solenoid, placing the Green and White Wire near outlet B and the Red and Black wire in the remaining slot.

Remember, the green and white wire plug must connect to the side labeled 'B' on the Solenoid; not doing so will flip the logic, causing the cylinder to extend when you want it to retract.

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The inlet marked P receives pressurized air, while the outlets A and B connect to the corresponding cylinder.

Air flow directed to outlet A causes outlet B to expel air via exhaust port R, enabling cylinder movement. This exhaust process releases waste air, facilitating movement in the opposite direction. While no attachment is necessary at outlet R, it's important to be aware of its role in air release.

Directing air towards an outlet, like A, closes its adjacent exhaust port (as indicated by the nearby crossed-out R), focusing air flow to the cylinder.

Refer to the following step for instructions on directing air flow to outlet B.

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When air is directed to outlet B, outlet A's exhaust port R opens to expel air, aiding in cylinder movement.

Grasping these solenoid actions is fundamental to mastering pneumatics. As you begin building your Pneumatic System, ensure a solid understanding of this solenoid operation before progressing to coding.

For additional insights on code writing, system setup, and pneumatics control, please refer to this VEX Library article.

Pneumatics

Some important parts in the Kit can be exchanged for other parts. These are shown in the configuration above and include the following:

  1. Valve Stem: The Valve Stem is vital to add pressurized air to the system. In a system with multiple Air Tanks, it can be replaced with the Air Pressure Gauge or another Straight Male Fitting on one of the Air Tanks.
  2. Fittings on the Air Tank: These stop air leakage and can be replaced with different fittings, but you must use two secure fittings on the Air Tank to avoid air leaks.
  3. Fittings on the Double Acting Solenoid: These fittings are needed, but you can use Elbow Fittings instead. Don't use Air Flow Valve Fittings here, these are used on the Air Cylinders.
  4. 4mm Plug on the Double Acting Solenoid: This can be replaced by connecting the Fitting line back to the original air supply line. However, this would require more tubing and a Tee Fitting.

Pneumatics

There are other parts in the Kit which can be also exchanged for different parts. These are shown in the configuration above and include the following:

  1. Air Flow Valve Fitting: Serves as a second connection to the Cylinder and allows air flow to be varied. You can replace it with a Straight Male Fitting or an Elbow Fitting.
  2. Elbow Fitting: Used to connect Tubing to the cylinder, but you can also use a Straight Male Fitting or an Air Flow Valve Fitting.
  3. Pneumatic Cylinder: The Kit offers three sizes to fit your needs.

Pneumatics

Some important parts in the Kit can be exchanged for other parts. These are shown in the configuration above and include the following:

  1. The Tee Fitting at the system's start splits the output port of the Air Tank into two, allowing you to connect the Air Pressure Gauge. The gauge shows the tank's pressure easily.
  2. Adding the Shut Off Valve Fitting to your system gives a firm way to switch off the system, stopping it from always being on.
  3. The optional Air Pressure Regulator (with two Straight Male Fittings) is useful to control your system's pressure. It's especially helpful in competitions with limited pressurized air. With the regulator, you can run your system at lower pressure than the Air Tank pressure, increasing consistency.

Pneumatics

In a One Cylinder Pneumatic System, parts to the right of the orange line in the image above make up the Supply Line, which gets the pressurized air ready. This includes the Reservoir, Manual Control, Electronic Control, and sometimes Pressure Monitor (Regulator and Pressure Gauge). These components affect the whole system. The parts to the left of the orange line are part of the delivery system, which includes the Cylinders and sometimes the Pressure Gauge. Fittings and Tubing connect all the components and are spread throughout the system.

Two Cylinder System

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A Two Cylinder System uses multiple Pneumatic Cylinders for different movements. For instance, one could control a robot's claw while another operates an intake mechanism. This way, the robot can manipulate objects and collect them simultaneously, optimizing efficiency.

Unlike the One Cylinder System, the Two Cylinder System links two Solenoids through the supply line, allowing air to flow to additional components, highlighted above. Using the component descriptions and usage guides, you're now ready to build your own V5 Pneumatics System using the V5 Pneumatics Kit.

Once you understand the components within your kit and have built an operational pneumatic system, next comes coding it. For more information on coding your pneumatic components, view this article from the VEX Library.

 

For more information, help, and tips, check out the many resources at VEX Professional Development Plus

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