My team and I have been wondering how to make a Multi Motor Test Board that can operate without code so we can test out basic functions without needing to call upon our programmers. We have a single motor tester, but we were looking for something of a larger scale, fitting up to 10 or 15 motors. We use mainly CIMs, but we recently got in a shipment of Falcons and we need to test them out.
If you wire your CAN bus, you should be able to run the motors through Phoenix tuner.
If you have a roboRIO to connect the motors to, you can run a pair of bus bars for the power and CAN to control the motors like normal. If you don’t have a RoboRIO to spare, you can pick up a handful of servo testers from eBay or similar for a dollar or two a piece. All FRC motor controllers, including the one in the Falcons, can take a PWM input signal for open-loop control. You won’t be able to use any of the “smart” features over PWM though.
In our 2022 build thread, I posted information about the Motor Test Rig that 6328 built. Ours controls 4 channels (which is what fits comfortably in the Arduino Nano that controls it); you could use multiple Arduinos if you really wanted more channels. We actually have 6 controllers mounted - 2 pairs can swap between brushed/brushless use. We also included safe power distribution to the controllers, via automotive style self resetting breakers and some inexpensive bus bars. This rig was extremely useful during prototyping.
Happy to answer questions on it if you have any, feel free to reach out.
Exactly. We have a little box with a battery-circuit breaker-motor controller. The motor controller has lever wire connectors. Set this down next to the motor to test and clip it in. Then there is a servo tester that sends the PWM to the motor controller. Its very simple. No roborio, no computer, no code. We can be testing a motor in a few minutes. To scale up I would insert a PDP to handle the multi-circuit breakers and the branching. Then just get as many servo testers as independent power levels. That would be a fair amount of wiring running around but nothing complex, just wire management.