Brushed and brushless DC motors require different motor control schemes based on the differences in their technology. It is possible to damage the SPARK MAX, the motor, or both if the appropriate motor type isn't configured properly. At the moment, the NEO Brushless Motor and the NEO 550 Brushless Motor are the only FRC-legal brushless motors compatible with the SPARK MAX, so choosing the correct operating mode should be straightforward.
Brushed or brushless motor types can be configured using the Mode Button, CAN, and USB interfaces.
Configuration with Mode Button
Follow the steps below to switch motor types with the Mode Button. It is recommended that the motor be left disconnected until the correct mode is selected.
Use a small screwdriver, straightened paper clip, pen, or other small implement to press the button. Do not use any type of pencil as the pencil lead can break off inside the SPARK MAX.
Connect the SPARK MAX to main power, not just USB Power.
The Status LED will indicate which motor type is configured by blinking yellow or blue for Brushed Mode, or blinking magenta or cyan for Brushless Mode.
Press and hold the Mode Button for approximately 3 seconds.
After the button has been held for enough time, the Status LED will change and indicate the different motor type.