There are a few differences between these and CIM’s.
NEO’s have a stationary coil, while a CIM’s is rotating. Because of this, the CIM has trouble cooling down the coils, and as a result, must have a large thermal mass. This means that they can absorb a lot of energy while not increasing in temperature very much. The drawback of this is that they become heavy, and cannot dissipate heat very effectively.
NEO’s, on the other hand, are very good at dissipating heat. The coils are stationary in the center of the motor, and are effectively heatsinked to the front mounting face of the motor.
Unlike a CIM, the NEO does not have a lot of thermal mass. This means it ends up being lighter in weight, however it cannot absorb a lot of energy before it begins to heat up substantially. This is counteracted by the effective and superior heat dissipation through the front mounting face.
It depends on your application. For a drivetrain a normal WCP gearbox will work fine. The contact between the motor and the plates will wick heat away from the motor.
Optimally, if you have CNC capability, custom gearbox plates with fins on the opposing face that the motor mounts to would increase performance. Bonus points if you put thermal paste between the motor face and the gearbox, as that is much more effective than just bolting it together. This can also be done on standard gearboxes, but the pocketing of WCP gearboxes would decrease the effect of the paste.
For a rule of thumb, I would advocate to place your motor controllers close to the motors, as this will decrease the total amount of wiring on the robot (motor leads need 3 wires, as opposed to the 2 wire power input for the spark max)
Ensure that your spark max has room around it for you to plug into the USB C port, as having to unscrew or remove the motor controller to change firmware will be a pain.
I’m unsure of the legality regarding this, but taking your motors apart and inspecting it may be to your benefit. I’ve had mixed results with the QC.
The three small bolts holding the cylindrical cover are slightly glued in. I was able to remove them without heat, but make sure you don’t strip them.
Once that is off, inspect the rear of the can (the part that spins). There are two setscrews that hold the can onto the output shaft. Make sure that those are tight, as I’ve had new ones come with loose setscrews. They use some weird kind of glue to hold them in, and it doesn’t seem to harden, it stays sticky.
This is the part where I’m unsure of legality, specifically rules regarding modifying motors. Don’t do this without further rule inspection, but I would strongly advise you use red loctite on these small setscrews. Realistically, they should never come out, and you will never want to take them out for disassembly either. If you need to remove the can and shaft from the motor, remove the circlip located on the front of the motor, and pull the entire bell out the rear.
The reason I advocate for this is that I’ve already seen one motor on chief where the bell came loose and began scraping on the inner coils / stator.
besides this, be careful with the small sensor wire. The shielding on that seems to be a little bit weak, so I would advise you to additionally put some mesh shielding on it (the black nylon stuff). We’ve had a few where the fabric cover has torn right by the motor.
Additionally, the wires that come with the neo are high strand count silicone insulated wires.
These wires are NOT easy to crimp into anderson connectors. If you choose to use them (like we did in testing) you should crimp them and then solder the wires into the crimp. Because these are high strand count wires, you WILL need to use additional flux to get the solder to wick into the wire. Don’t worry about melting the insulation, as it is very heat resistant due to it being silicone.
I can’t stress that enough. Setup your spark max’s before you wire up the motor, as you could turn it into a nice space heater if you don’t. They run brushless AND brushed motors. Make sure they’re configured to drive in brushless mode. Our electronics team nearly toasted all the motors when we first got them.