Digilent DMC 60C motor driver CAN ID configuration problems

We have some of the old Digilent DMC 60c motor controllers that we want to use for an off-season project together with a roboRIO. We’re struggling to get them to connect to the RIO and to be able to configure them so that we can assign CAN IDs. Any help is appreciated.

The DMC60C motor controller is still listed as legal in the 2021 FRC game manual, but the vendordep hasn’t been updated since 2019. It won’t work with WPILib 2020 or later due to ABI incompatibility. There were also breaking changes in the CAN stack in 2020. You won’t be able to compile the vendordep yourself against a newer roboRIO image because Digilent never provided source code at https://github.com/Digilent/dmc60c-frc-api. I don’t think it’ll be possible to get the DMC60C working with CAN.

By the way, production and support for the DMC60C stopped after the CTRE v. Digilent lawsuit. Basically, Digilent reverse engineered and copied CTRE’s hardware to make a competing product that can run CTRE’s firmware. CTRE sued for breach of their license agreement.

3 Likes

If they did a good job, maybe you can try flashing the CTRE firmware :smirk:
/S

Control over PWM is probably the most (only?) viable path fwd for the DMC60C.

One of the worst things FIRST has ever done.

4 Likes

Even adding the SD540 in the first place is objectively worse from a safety standpoint, but yeah…the whole situation is a big :grimacing: for FIRST and NI.

ofc the SD540 is also PWM only now for similar reasons.

1 Like

Given that teams bought them and FIRST generally leaves motor controllers legal (if occasionally with clipped wings as with the Jaguar going PWM-only), I have a hard time finding a way out that doesn’t leave teams holding the bag. At the minimum, a sunset date would be appropriate.

That said: 9 DMC60s appeared in the 2020 usage data. 356 Talons and 10 Jaguars appear in the same data; both have been out of production motor controllers for significantly longer. (For comparison: 7,928 Talon SRXs, 5,432 SPARK MAXes, 3,491 Talon FXs.)

With the lack of updates forcing them to PWM, I think it’s a self-solving problem.

1 Like

I don’t believe the comment was from a support standpoint, but rather a criticism of FIRST’s non-response to the DMC-60C suit that indirectly left them picking a side, and may have ended up having other consequences for teams down the road as a result.

1 Like

Sorry I wasn’t clear. Certifying the device in the first place was the mistake.

4 Likes

What was the correct public response? FIRST wasn’t a party to the lawsuit, the lawsuit has been ongoing until summer of 2020, and at that point FIRST was in a place of “make teams do as little as possible to participate in 2021” which limited the response options further.

Sure, they could yank it from the legal controller list and that would be a response now that the lawsuit is settled. But it would leave the teams holding the bag and wouldn’t harm Digilent who has already clearly abandoned the product.

And what kind of public statement does a non-party to the lawsuit make that doesn’t end up kicking dirt on one of the two? CTRE has its win, let nature take its course here.

I’ll agree, someone should’ve noticed the stench on this controller; it was obvious from the moment I first laid eyes on it. But once legalized, teams should expect it to stay that way for a reasonable length of time. (And Jaguar support has set a standard for that length of time.)

I’d be extremely hard to imagine that FIRST did not have some inkling of what their strategic partner was doing when making these controllers.

NI is FIRST’s strategic partner, not Digilent. NI acquired Digilent, but not all parent companies micromanage their subsidiaries. We don’t know how much of a hand NI had in Digilent’s decisions, so we shouldn’t speculate. I’m not saying NI should or shouldn’t have been aware; there’s just not enough context here.

2 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.