Jaguar Failure

Has any team experienced a Jaguar failure (other than losing magical smoke)? I had many hours with the benchtop system up-and-operating and then the LED suddenly failed (as well as the output voltage). It was powered in the proper way (12 v battery through the PDB).

Just wondering how did it fail? Under heavy loads, or it just fried.

No load other than a van door motor (itself not loaded). No magic smoke. Autopsy revealed no carbon.

Are the limit switch jumpers still installed?

Jaguars, like Victors, are sensitive to metal bits inside; they are somewhat more difficult to clean out though.

Yes…and no metal bits inside

We experienced a failure on two of our jags. Visit the link below. It is a large file… about 20 meg so be patient. During the test both the victor and the jag are receiving the same signal. Power was applied to all three devices simultaneously. The two jags LEDs were both solid red and nonresponsive. The victor was still functional. The problem was repeatable by cycling power.

This is a bit worrying. Are they going to fix it or has someone informed FIRST of the problem?

Just wondering if there has been any new information on this. Was a cause of the failure found? A solution? Anything?

I was hoping that the jaguars would not fail easily. Last year we had to replace quite a few blown victors.

I am not certain of the cause. It appears to be a power-up issue. The Jags became nonresponsive (solid red LED as seen in the video) when power was cycled(applied then removed repeatedly). Here is my theory as to why. The Jag I believe uses an ARM processor. My experience with ARM chips is that they require more time to stabilize than most processors upon intial powerup. They have seperate voltages for the core and peripherals. The lock up could be caused from a timing issue between powering the core and peripherals. Again this is pure speculation. I am basing this on similar experiences with the Chicklet which also uses an ARM processor. Whatever the cause may be I hope FIRST addresses this issue prior to Kickoff.

They Jag seems like a very promising speed controller. It has great low-speed control and fast response. It supports CAN and can decode quadrature. All of this functionality is great but if the device locks up and causes a team to lose just one match, then as far as I am concerned the device is as good as garbage.

So, are these Jags now fancy paper weights? When I hear the term “locked up” when it comes to electronics i make the assumption that you can power the item down and restart it and it will work normally.

Have these failures been reported to FIRST and Luminary Micro?? These units are so new, you won’t find much help here. I suggest you go to the source.

I have not taken any steps thus far to report the problem to FIRST. I would like to perform a few more tests. However a problem like this would most likely have occurred during Beta testing of the product. I will contact LM today and inform them of the issue. This will at least give them a heads up to perform some tests of their own. The reason it was posted on CD was to inform the teams and see if they have had similar experiences.

Luminary Micro is working with Mike to understand the issue he is seeing.

The initial speculation is that the inrush current due to the charging of the big bus capacitor in each Jaguar is causing the bench power supply to glitch causing a power on issue with the microcontroller. If this is indeed the case, it is very unlikely to affect battery operated systems.

More data will be generated when Mike has an opportunity to conduct further experiments in the team’s shop. I’ll respond back to the forum once I learn more.

By the way, I just updated the Jaguar microsite with the special Jaguar reorder link for FRC teams (through Digi-Key), a link to our technical support page, and a link to Luminary Micro’s main webpage.



Thanks for the update. And, thanks for the new links.

From what I have read thus far, I was not aware that the system Mike was demoing was powered by a bench supply. This information is really good to know. If in fact, powering the systems this way is not a good idea, then that information will be really good get out. Although, that info was already put out with regard to the early shipment systems. So… maybe it now has a two fold reason. Stay tuned and we will find out.:slight_smile:

Powering ANY motor drives from a bench supply can be problematic. The most common problem is the need to absorb regeneration energy as a spinning motor (and its load) are commanded to stop/reverse.

Many power supplies do an excellent job of providing overvoltage protection on their outputs and will not tolerate current being forced into their outputs. As a result, the power supply bus for the motor drive can jump to a super high voltage when a motor tries to regenerate. This high voltage often results in a silent death.

This is the reason why special power supplies and shunt loads are used to power motion control systems.

I’d encourage everyone to ALWAYS use a battery to power their motor drives to avoid this particular issue.



Thanks for your very proactive and quick response.


I witnessed the test and one thing to note is that there were no motors or load hooked up to the controllers and the power source was a very high end, very clean power supply (gotta love local sponsors). The scary thing for us non-electrical guys is that both the Jags and Victors were hooked up and the Victors did not lock up. We are doing more testing tomorrow on our 2008 robot and battery power so we will have more data.

Stay tuned,

So much for my motor regeneration hypothesis…

It’s still a good warning to teams, though - using a typical lab-type power supply (eg switching supply with lots of overcurrent/voltage protection) to drive a motion control system WILL help to kill nearly any motor drive that you use. You should either use a battery to power the system, use a shunt load or use a really simple linear supply or similar that can “absorb” any regeneration currents.

Here’s an example of a shunt load. This is NOT a good example for a FIRST application (wrong voltages) -


One thing to remember with bench supplies feeding motors is that the supply needs to be able to function with the stall current of the motor. CIM motors have a stall current of 129 amps, something too high for most common 25 amp bench supplies to handle. Many, regulated supplies will go into current limit or will trip off during that kind of load.
Switching power supplies may also radiate high frequency energy that could interfere with the operation of digital devices if some preventive measures are not taken. That is why all computers use extensive LC filtering on power supplies and peripherals.