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A motor controller sets the voltage going to a motor based on a signal from the roboRIO. This allows the speed of a motor to be controlled in the robot code. Our team generally uses Talon SRX or Victor SP motor controllers. These can be purchased from VEX Robotics or Cross the Road Electronics.
The Victor SP comes with 5 wires: positive input (red), input ground (black), positive output (white), output ground (green), and a PWM wire (3-pin female). These are all 12 AWG (with the exception of the PWM wire). The source voltage should not exceed 16V and a 40A or smaller breaker should be used with the positive input. The red PWM wire isn't connected as the Victor SP is powered from the PDB and doesn't require PWM power.
- Strip the white and green wires and crimp them to the M+ and M- sides of the motor, respectively. Extension cables will generally be required.
- Insert the red and black wires to positive and ground terminals in the Power Distribution Board. It is preferred that they are wired directly to the PDB, but extension cables can be used.
- Insert 40-amp circuit breakers into the PDB in positions corresponding with the red wires.
- Plug the PWM wire into the desired slot in the NI roboRIO. The white wire should be on the "inside."
If the Victor SP does not light up orange after the robot has turned on, there may be a problem with input power. Try disconnecting and reconnecting the PWM wires and check to make sure the red and black wires are wired in the correct slots.
If the lights flash orange after the robot has turned on, there is no PWM signal. Check that the PWM wire is properly connected and that the white wire is on the inside.
The Victor SP can be mounted using either 2 zip-ties or 8-32 screws. It is safe to mount it directly to a robot's frame as its aluminum case is isolated from the electronics components. For maximum heat dissipation, it is recommended to be mounted to a metal frame to aid in cooling. Its location should allow for air flow around the sides.
The Talon SRX comes with 6 wires: positive input (red), input ground (black), positive output (white), output ground (green), and CAN (yellow and green). The CAN wire is 22 AWG and the rest are 12 AWG. The source voltage should not exceed 28V and a 40A or smaller breaker should be used with the positive input.
The Talon SRX can be wired using either CAN bus or a PWM signal. CAN bus allows up to 63 Talons to be daisy chained. Wiring using PWM signal is more simple, but it requires that each Talon be connected to a different output. The process for wiring with a PWM signal is the same as with a Victor SP. For wiring with a CAN bus, the steps are different after step 3. If using more than one Talon SRX, they can be daisy-chained by connecting the yellow wires to other yellow wires and the green wires to other green wires by crimping or soldering or both. The yellow wire is then connected to the "H" terminal and the green wire to the "L" terminal on the roboRIO.
If the Talon SRX's LEDs alternate red and orange, the hardware is damaged and CTRE should be contacted.
If no LEDs are illuminated, check if it is wired correctly to the battery, breaker, and PDP.
If the LEDs alternate between red and off, CAN/PWM is not detected. Check if the CAN or PWM wires are wired correctly.
The Talon SRX can be mounted the same way as the Victor SP.
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