SPARK MAX Overview

The REV Robotics SPARK MAX Motor Controller is an all-in-one USB, CAN, and PWM enabled motor controller that can drive both 12 V brushed and 12 V brushless DC motors. SPARK MAX is designed for use in the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC), incorporating advanced motor control in a small, easy-to-use, and affordable package. Configure and run the SPARK MAX through its built-in USB interface without needing a full control system.

Feature Summary

  • Brushed and sensored-brushless motor control

  • PWM, CAN, and USB control interfaces

    • PWM/CAN - Locking and keyed 4-pin JST-PH

    • USB - USB type C

  • USB configuration and control

    • Rapid configuration with a PC

  • Smart control modes

    • Closed-loop velocity control

    • Closed-loop position control

    • Follower mode

  • Encoder port

    • Locking and keyed 6-pin JST-PH

    • 3-phase hall-sensor encoder input

    • Motor temperature sensor input

  • Data port

    • Limit switch input

    • Quadrature encoder input with index

    • Multi-function pin

  • Mode button

    • On-board motor type and idle behavior configuration

  • RGB status LED

    • Detailed mode and operation feedback

  • Integrated power and motor wires

    • 12 AWG ultra-flexible silicone wire

  • Passive cooling

Kit Contents

The following items are included with each SPARK MAX Motor Controller

  • 1 - SPARK MAX Motor Controller

  • 1 - USB-A male to USB-C cable

  • 1 - 4-pin JST-PH to CAN cable

  • 1 - 4-pin JST-PH to single PWM cable

  • 1 - PWM/CAN cable retention clip

  • 1 - Data port protection cap

Specifications

The following tables provide the operating and mechanical specifications for the SPARK MAX motor controller.

DO NOT exceed the maximum electrical specifications. Doing so will cause permanent damage to the SPARK MAX and will void the warranty.

Main Electrical Specifications

Parameter

Min

Typ

Max

Units

Operating voltage range (VINV_{IN})

5.5

12

24

V

Absolute maximum supply voltage

-

-

30

V

Continuous output current

-

-

60*

A

Maximum output current (2 second surge)

-

-

100

A

Output frequency

-

20

-

kHz

Continuous operation at 60A may produce high temperatures on the heat sink. Caution should be taken when handling the SPARK MAX if it has been running at higher current level for an extended period of time.

PWM Input Specifications

Parameter

Min

Typ

Max

Units

Full-reverse input pulse †

-

1000

-

μs

Neutral input pulse ††

-

1500

-

μs

Full-forward input pulse †††

-

2000

-

μs

Valid input pulse range

500

-

2500

μs

Input frequency

50

-

200

Hz

Input timeout ‡

-

50

-

ms

Default Input deadband ‡‡

5

%

Input High Level

0.5

0.7

0.9

V

Input Voltage Max

12

V

Brushed: between A and B outputs at 100% duty. Brushless: A->B->C direction at 100% duty.

††

Neutral corresponds to zero output voltage (0 V) and is either braking or coasting depending on the current idle behavior mode.

†††

Brushed: between A and B outputs at 100% duty.

Brushless: C->B->A direction at 100% duty.

If a valid pulse isn't received within the timeout period, the SPARK MAX will disable its output.

‡‡

Input deadband is added to each side of the neutral pulse width. Within the deadband, output state is neutral. The deadband value is configurable using the SPARK MAX Client Application or through the CAN interface.

Data Port Specifications

Parameter

Min

Typ

Max

Units

Digital input voltage range †

0

-

5

V

Digital input-high voltage †

1.85

-

-

V

Digital input-low voltage †

-

-

1.36

V

Analog input voltage range ††

0

-

3.3

V

5V supply current (I5V) ‡

-

-

100

mA

3.3V supply current (I3.3V)

-

-

30

mA

Total supply current (I5V + I3.3V)

-

-

100

mA

See Data Port for more details on the digital pins on the Data Port.

††

See Data Port for more details on the analog pin on the Data Port.

The 5V supply is shared between the Data Port and Encoder Port.

Encoder Port Specifications

Parameter

Min

Typ

Max

Units

Digital input voltage range †

0

-

5

V

Digital input-high voltage †

1.85

-

-

V

Digital input-low voltage †

-

-

1.36

V

Analog input voltage range ††

0

-

3.3

V

5V supply current (I5V) ‡

-

-

100

mA

3.3V supply current (I3.3V)

-

-

30

mA

Total supply current (I5V + I3.3V)

-

-

100

mA

See Encoder Port for more details on the digital pins on the Data Port.

††

See Encoder Port for more details on the analog pin on the Data Port.

The 5V supply is shared between the Data Port and Encoder Port.

Mechanical Specifications

Parameter

Min

Typ

Max

Units

Body length

-

70

-

mm

Body width

-

35

-

mm

Body height

-

25.5

-

mm

Weight

-

113.3

-

g

Power and motor wire gauge

-

12

-

AWG

Power and motor wire length

-

15

-

cm

Special Thanks

We appreciate the assistance from the community for feedback, contributing, and testing the SPARK MAX, especially Team 195 The CyberKnights.