FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

2017 Motor (and Servo?) Controllers and MXP

Dec 16, 2016 Written by Kevin O'Connor, FIRST Robotics Competition Robotics Engineer.


It’s getting to be that time of year where many teams are working on budgets for control system items and planning pre-Kickoff purchases so we wanted to let you know about some changes to legal actuator controllers and MXP boards for 2017.


Actuator Controllers

The complete actuator controller list from 2016 will be legal for 2017:

A. Motor Controllers

  • Jaguar Motor Controller (P/N: MDL-BDC, MDL-BDC24, and 217-3367)
  • SD540 Motor Controller (P/N: SD540x1, SD540x2, SD540x4, SD540Bx1, SD540Bx2, SD540Bx4)
  • Spark Motor Controller (P/N: REV-11-1200)
  • Talon Motor Controller (P/N: CTRE_Talon, CTRE_Talon_SR, and am-2195)
  • Talon SRX Motor Controller (P/N: 217-8080, am-2854, 14-838288)
  • Victor 884 Motor Controller (P/N: VICTOR-884-12/12)
  • Victor 888 Motor Controller (P/N: 217-2769)
  • Victor SP Motor Controller (P/N: 217-9090, am-2855, 14-868380)

B. Relay Modules

  • Spike H-Bridge Relay (P/N: 217-0220 and SPIKE-RELAY-H)

C. Pneumatics controllers

  • Pneumatics Control Module (P/N: am-2858, 217-4243)

In addition, the following new devices have been approved for 2017:

Digilent DMC60 Motor Controller (Part #: P/N: 410-334-1)

The DMC60 is a PWM motor controller with a 60A continuous current rating, four multi-color LED indicators for feedback, integrated thermal sensing and protection to prevent overheating and damage, and a sealed, ruggedized, and compact aluminum case. For full details, please consult Digilent’s specification sheet.

Mindsensors SD540C (Part# SD540C) has been a long time mentor of FIRST Robotics Competition Team 540 and designed this controller jointly with Team 540 students. This controller is manufactured in USA. The SD540C is a CAN enabled version of the series of SD540 motor controllers introduced last season, enabling many of closed loop features teams have come to enjoy with other CAN motor controllers. The SD540C will use the new “Device Library” software approach described previously in the Blog, so check the Mindsensors website for both device and software availability.

REV Servo Power Module

The Servo Power Module from REV Robotics enables teams to use larger and/or more servos on their robots than can be powered from the roboRIO alone by taking the signal from roboRIO PWM ports and injecting external power onto the power wire. As always, read the 2017 Robot Rules carefully to make sure you understand how to use this device legally and what devices may be legally used with it. The Servo Power Module will be available on or before Kickoff on the Rev Robotics website.



The complete active MXP list from 2016 will be legal for 2017:

  • Kauai Labs navX MXP
  • RCAL MXP Daughterboard
  • REV Robotics RIOduino
  • REV Robotics Digit Board
  • WCP Spartan Sensor Board

In addition, a new board, the “Huskie Board”, has been approved for 2017:

Huskie Board

The Huskie Board is a board designed by FIRST Robotics Competition Team 3061 and manufactured and distributed by Playing With Fusion Inc. The board provides features including: data logging to micro-SD, breakout of roboRIO PWM and Analog I/O, additional analog input expansion, LCD serial connection, 4 controllable indicator LEDs, a 4-switch DIP switch input, and more. The board and software will be available from the Playing With Fusion website

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