Inovation First FRC Robot Controller

I am trying to use the FRC-2008-RC robot controller to control another robot for testing purpose. The thing is i dont have any documentation at all.
I need to know what i need to program it and get it running and configured for a Tank drive robot configuration. At this time i will only have it control 2 Vex esc’s for the drive control. Can someone help me out? Also, What utilities do i need to program it?


You need 5 things.

  1. MPLAB - Download MPLABXfrom

  2. C18 Lite Compiler - Also from, and on the same page as above.

  3. Kevin Watson’s Robot Code, mainly because it works with the above compiler and IDE.

  4. IFI Loader (Website might be down?) IFI Loader 4VEX will NOT work.

  5. Serial cable for programming.

When i open the robot code folder i notice that there are many files, what do i change to configure how i use the joystics to operate the victors and which do i upload?

You’ll need:

You should be able to install everything with the default settings. I’m not sure about C18 v3.x, but the older version had to be installed in a folder directly on a drive (i.e. c:\mcc18\ or there would be weird issues. If you use the default you should be safe, just don’t change the install location.

Post back once you’ve gotten this far, we’ll try to help with specific issues. (4.12 MB) (4.12 MB)

If you add this code to Teleop in teleop.c it should implement a basic tank drive:

pwm01 = p1_y; //Set PWM#1 to the value of the Y axis of joystick 1
pwm02 = p2_y;//Set PWM#2 to the value of the Y axis of joystick 2

Once you build there should be an “ifi_frc.hex” file in the directory with all of the files. Select that in IFILoader.


So i have finished installing:
C18 Complier

Now i need to know how to open and upload the code to it. can u please tell me how i would do this? how do i open the files in mplabx?

Also i need to know the wiring diagram of the programming cable because i do not have it.

Also if you can, can someone tell me the power supply ratings to the Driver station, operator interface, and robot controller.


Sorry if i sound like a noob. like i said i have no documentation at all and even my robotics club has never used this in such a long times so i took on the challenge of getting it to work for a seperate robo build.

In the default code folder, there should be a .mcp file. This is the MPLAB project file. Open this. To download code, I think you go to Programmer->Build, and it will build the .hex file. Then, if you open IFI_LOADER, select the location of your hex file. Under the PortSettings Menu, select the COM port to which your RC is connected, and then hit “download”.

The programming cable is just a standard serial cable. Port pinout.

The driver station and the operator interface are the same thing. Some useful documents: RC Reference Guide, OI Reference Guide, Control System Overview, Control System Quick Start Guide.

Go to for more information, they still have a lot of their legacy documentation posted.

for clarification on the programming cable, i connect the rx from the cable to tx on controller and tx from cable to rx on controller right?

Also, what is the wiring on the radio and tether cables?

Can i please get a wiring diagram of both of them?


They are all RS-232 cables.

If you have old IFI systems laying around you should have some of these somewhere.

for the radio i have tried a cable that i had and none of the lights lit up on the radio. i did plug the robot controller to the robot radio.
in the refrence guide it says to use a db9 male-female Pin to Pin cable. can someone give me a diagram for this pin to pin cable?


Would any one have the dashboard installer for this controller so i can read data from it?


I think this is what you’re looking for.

Remember, if it relates to the IFI Control System, chances are, it can be found on


ok so i have got all the wiring finished and turned it on and it works. They can comunicate between both the OI and RC.

I have also installed these:

•C18 compiler. =en010014
•IFILoaded, attached since the site appears to be done or gone. It would normally be at
•Sample code. Since you’ll be using C18 v3.x, the IFI default code won’t work, so you’ll need to use Kevin Watson’s version. from
•You should only have to modify code in teleop.c.

Can someone help me configure my settings in mplab so that i can build it properly?

Also what file do i open to open the project in mplab.

Just some info:

MPLABC18 v3.4
im using the code from


You have to have a project open already. Use Open Project, not Open File.
The settings you’ll have to make are found under:P**roject -> Build Options -> Project
You might have to choose Suite Defaults, to reset everything.
Make sure these paths are both assigned correctly:

  • Include Path c:\mcc18\h
  • Library Path c:\mcc18\lib
    The project file (the one you open that points to all the others) has the file extension .mcp

Do you have a serial port (to transfer the program) on your computer or a USB-to-serial converter?

yes i do have a serial port and a usb converter

When i go to open project it does not allow me to choose the mcp file. it lets me choose ifi_frc.X
Is that right?

I am using mplabx v1.10, not mplab 8.00 so i dont know if there is any differences.

If it makes a difference, my install directory for mplabx v1.10 is:
c:\prgram files(x86)\microchip
i used default settings for everything i installed

Also i dont find this:
Project -> Build Options -> Project

how do i choose Suit Defaults?

And i not sure how to make sure these paths are assinged correctly
•Include Path c:\mcc18\h
•Library Path c:\mcc18\lib

Sorry, my directions were for MPLab.
The project you got from Kevin Watson’s site is an MPLab project, so if you’re using MPLabX you’ll need to construct a new project and include/import the .c/.h/.lib files from the Kevin files.

Ok so i downloaded mplab ide v8.84

will it work on that?
i opened the project in it now i just need help configuring it and building it.

I can do the coding i just need help to configure it…

Can u give me steps please?

Did you figure this out? You said you got the wiring, but on some of the IFI units I’ve see it’s not straight through.