fans on victors

I have a question. To some it may seem stupid. Our we absolutely recquired by rule to use a fan on every victor? Even if there’s more than adequate ventilation near the victor?

I think you will burn it out if you do not use it. They make is a ton of heat when running your bot a lot.

Honestly, I don’t know if there is a rule requiring it, though there may be. IMHO, if you want to make more than one lap, you will use them.

I’ve run the 'bot alot without the fans on the victors, though there is quite alot of mini-duct fans around and near the victors just none on top of them. I’ve also seen quite a few people saying that they’ve done fine running w/o them.

I would just wire it in case, actually I did just in case:)

This link shows how to wire it also…

I hope it would be helpful…

You will not pass inspection without a fan on every victor they are required buy FIRST…

For testing though they are not needed we run them under load all the time with no fan and have had no problems!

Section 8 “The Robot”

If that was a rule, it would be contained within the text of that document. It is not.

Futhermore this Q&A specifically states it is allowed, just NOT a very good idea.

However, in my opinion it is a bad idea to remove them for two reasons. The obvious one is cooling, the other is that they are another line of defense against the magic smoke. Actually, it probably doesn’t even work that well at protecting from falling aluminum, but it makes me feel secure. :smiley:

Sorry i guess i should of read the rule a little closer in previous years i believe we were told to put a fan on victors with no fans… (could of been a diff team) but i was almost positive they required them…

Yet again rules change year to year

As one of our electronics mentors put it, if the Victor needs a fan, something is wrong. They will run cool without the fan. But yes, it is a bit safer.

Not exactly true. The Victor should have a large heat sink, but doesn’t, and instead the heat is managed by a fan. WQithout the heat sink (and without a fan) the Victor must be severely derated.


I’ve run victors with out fans in many of my non FIRST related uses. They don’t get nearly as hot in typical use as you might believe.

In the past an inspector noticed that one of the fans on a victor wasn’t running on a 95 'bot, and required that it be replaced before passing us. It seems this year that it is not a requirement. I would bring this Q&A with you if you do plan on removing any of the fans. Some inspectors may view it as modifying supplied electronics.

So, if it were my call, I would remove the fans on low current motors and leave them on drive motors and such. Over the course of a two minute match something like a seat motor just won’t be able to overheat a Victor. A small CIM motor, however, might.

-Andy A.

The main thing here, is that it doesn’t take much to outfit the Victor with a fan. Just run the fan wires down to the victor screws and you’re done. They don’t use much power, and they’ll keep your 115 dollar controllers a bit cooler.

why would you not use the fans? they only take like, one inch of space and they keep your bot safe. new victors are EXPENSIVE. So just be safe.

~Team 1896

The fans are, however, heavy. Removing fans that are not doing anything useful can shave off some weight. Every ounce counts.

Believe me, in past seasons being able to remove a couple fans would have saved a lot of effort and hole drilling on my part.

our electronics box is the reason why we’re removing the fans
there is not enough clearance with the fans on
the box is outfitted with plenty of fans around the sides so there will be plenty of ventilation

Victor fans are not required by FIRST, but I’d definitely recommend them. The FETs work by switching the power to the motors on and off very quickly, which creates the heat. In reality, as I understand it, a FET will get hotter as the motor gets slower with the same amount of force needed to rotate it because it switches the motor on and off so fast (try touching a wire on and off of a battery that is connected to a CIM motor… the wire will get hot). The fans keep the FETs cool of course, and FETs are more efficient the cooler they are, and WILL release the magic smoke and stop working if you do not put fans on. I do realize that you said that you will have fans around your case, but I do not think that is enough. I would cut holes specifically for the fans and have some fans pull the hot air out of the case or move the victors to a different location.

Either two or three years ago at LSR on team didn’t connect their fans, and their robot would only run for 30 seconds before stopping.

It’s your choice, but, personally, I would recommend using fans.

From my experience in designing a motor drive from scratch (Tech-Ed Independent study), power MOSFETS become warm and sometimes hot under normal operation. I was using 40A mosfets connected to a small RC car motor (24 turns) and they would heat up under normal operation. I therefore assume that the Victors use MOSFETS for their bridge (since thats what you use unless you use relays and that there are 12 mysterious TO-220 cases on there) and that therefore they would require some sort of cooling. I would consider it an error in judgement to run a victor without a fan since I have never seen a motor controller that did not have some form of heat dissipator, not to mention that the Victor does not have a heatsink unlike most industrial and commercial motor drivers.

I get busy for one day with FLL and the forum runs amuck.
Here is the whole scoop. Fans on victors are not required by FIRST but IFI wants to see them and that’s why they are provided. From the 884 user’s manual…

  1. The fan must be wired so it is always ON when the Victor is ON.


The innovative FET switching architecture and an integral cooling fan ensures cool FET junction temperatures.

The FETs are rated at 64 amps each, for three in parallel that is 192 amps. But this rating is at 25 degrees C. As the temperature rises, the current must be derated such that at 100 degrees, each FET can only handle 45 amps for a total of 135 amps. Now seeing as the Chalupa motors (small CIM) have a stall current of 133 amps and with the derating factor of 135 amps at 100 C (remember that max allowable current goes down as the temp rises) if you want to live dangerously, then leave the fans off. Please don’t be our alliance partner on Einstein.

As for weight, the Victor is only 4 oz total. The fan cannot be so heavy that it would mean the difference in meeting weight or not. A similar fan is speced out by the manufacturer at 1.25 oz or about 22 3/4" holes in aluminum box tube.

Emphasis mine, I disagree with you here. 1.25oz is nearly .08 pounds. Get four fans off the 'bot and your looking at over a quarter of a pound! If I can loose weight by removing a fan or by drilling 22 holes, I’m chucking the fan first. Being able to instantly loose a quarter of a pound would have gotten more then a few 'bots under in the past. Heck, I’ve had robots on the scale over by a tenth. Thats one fan and some change.

If the fan isn’t doing anything, and on low current motors it isn’t, why keep it if you have the option? It may not be a good idea on a CIM or FP motor, but a globe? I wouldn’t hesitate to remove the fan, even if I wasn’t in dire straights to make the weight budget. It’s just more weight that can be used for something useful, like larger wire.

As always, your mileage will vary. It’s obviously outside of IFI’s and FIRSTs recommendations, and teams that choose to do it should know the risks. But it’s legal and does save weight. Doing it for fitments issues makes less sense to me, but hey, I’ve done it before for the same reason on non FIRST related stuff. Haven’t killed a Victor yet.

-Andy A.

Wasn’t that a different model though? I remember hearing something about switching to the 884 in 2005, but that was my rookie year so I’m not sure what was used before that.

Anyway, my opinion is that you should keep the fans on. If one overheats, it’s about $115 for a new one. I’d rather find some other way to dump 8 hundredths of a pound than potentially placing $115, a won match, and the time it takes to replace the victor in jeopardy.
Perhaps we need a conversion chart. One fan = X many speed holes = Y many links of chain = Z many inches of wire, etc.