Gate Driver Fault Warning On Sparkmax

My team was just moving the entire system to a chassy and using Sparkmax as the motor controller and one of the four motor controller led is color keep’s blinking cyan-orange, the sparkmax tell’s us is a “Gate Driver Fault”, what does that actually means?

PS: sorry fo the lack of context

TLDR, the controller’s probably nonfunctional.

Quick, more in depth explanation:
Motor controllers use lil high power transistors called MOSFETs to modulate the power to the motors, and the part of the FET the control voltage to (which controls whether it’s conducting or blocking current) is called the gate. There’s a certain type of MOSFET that’s typically cheaper and better at carrying current (called an n-channel), but when used in certain applications like motor drivers, they need to be situated between the power source and the electrical load as opposed to between the electrical load and ground. Just due to some stuff with them conducting the high voltages (as opposed to the ground path), you need to use specialty chips to control the gate and thus the conduction, called gate drivers. If the MAX is reporting a gate driver fault, that likely means that one (or more) of the MOSFETs has blown or something like that - if it’s been given reverse polarity power or the outputs of two maxes plugged into eachother it’s very possible.

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You might want to do a search for “gate driver fault” in this forum to see if any of the solutions people have used helps you. If those solutions don’t help, you may want to contact REV directly since the shipping time to Indonesia is likely to be rather long. There are people from REV participating in some of the threads about this topic.

The SPARK MAX has 6 large transistors called MOSFETs that provide power to the motor. The Gate Driver turns these transistors on and off. Due to the limited information we can display on the Status LED, it can mean a few different things, but this error is displayed when the Gate Driver is indicating any kind of fault.

Possible but not necessarily the case.

Let me ask a few questions so that we can build up some context:

  • Does the error persist or does it clear after a power cycle?
  • What version of firmware are you running on the MAX?

I ran into the same issue and a power cycle got rid of the error. Any thoughts?

Edit: I think we have version 1.5.1 or something, I can double check.

Try updating to the latest firmware (it is now 1.5.2). There was an improvement to the Gate Driver Fault recovery.

The fault is likely due to a localized brownout at the controller. This can happen when there is a sudden load change at the motor that causes a very short but rapid drop in voltage.

With 1.5.2, you may still see the fault, but it should recover.

There can be many root causes that have a brownout symptom. In general, try adjusting the Smart Current Limit or adding a short Ramp Rate (10-50ms). Both of these steps can reduce that instantaneous voltage drop.

Take time to try and isolate the triggering event that precedes the fault. Look a at the robot and driver station logs for clues.

For example, we helped one team determine that their Gate Driver Faults were ultimately caused by their Driver Station computer firewall. The firewall was affecting the connection to the robot. It caused momentary drops in comms that lead to the SPARK MAX losing signal. If the MAX loses signal, it goes into its disabled state for safety reasons which stops the output. This sudden glitch on the motor (geared 1:1 with a flywheel) caused a voltage drop, which resulted in the Gate Driver Fault.

I’m having this problem too, and I guess my CD search skills are weak because I started a new thread

Are there any ways to recover from this condition other than power cycle? Our controller goes into this state after a power cycle immediately when we try to run the motor. The motor will not run and the controller goes into this state. We swapped it for a different controller and it is working fine under the same conditions.

Out of curiosity, have you guys ever seen Gate Driver faults caused by issues with a sensor connected to the port on the top of the SparkMax?

We have a NEO 550 motor that’s connected to a ~200:1 gear reduction which drives a mechanism that’s under basically no load at any point (the reduction is to reduce the speed, not for torque), and we’ve gotten Gate Driver faults on 3+ different SparkMax controllers we’ve connected to it. The only commonality we can find is that we’ve connected a pair of limit switches to the SparkMax through a Universal Breakout Board and occasionally the limit switches will stop working correctly. Not sure if the issue is with the NEO550, the SparkMax, or the Breakout Board.