Motor price comparison

As the Halloween product releases have brought us some new motors, I was interested (as I’m sure everyone else is) about pricing comparison with older hardware. So, here it goes (prices from VEXpro, REV Robotics & Playing with Fusion):

CIM-style motors

Motor Motor Price Controller Controller Price Total Price Power @ 40A
REV Robotics NEO 40$ REV SparkMAX 75$ 115$ 370W
CIM Motor 33$ TalonSRX 90$ 123$ 277W
Mini CIM 30$ TalonSRX 90$ 120$ 211W
Falcon 500 140$ TalonFX 0$ (included) 140$ 400W
Venom 2.5" DC Smart Motor (CIM) 120$ Venom controller 0$ (included) 120$ 277W

So overall, the Falcon 500 costs 17$ more than a CIM-Talon combo and 25$ more than a NEO-SparkMAX combo, but keep in mind that the Falcon has 200%+ power and stall torque than a single CIM, and also that it includes an integrated encoder (which, if you plan on using the CTRE Mag Encoder, will cost you another 40$) so overall looks like a pretty good deal to me. The Venom looks pretty promising as well, although I never used PwF controllers around so I can’t vouch for their quality (at least for my team).

Power ratings were taken from the Falcon 500 minisite.

775/550-style motors

Motor Motor Price Controller Controller Price Total Price
REV Robotics NEO 550 25$ REV SparkMAX 75$ 100$
775pro 20$ TalonSRX 90$ 110$
775 RedLine 19$ TalonSRX 90$ 109$
BaneBots 550 9$ TalonSRX 90$ 99$

In this case, the new NEO 550 is actually 10$ cheaper than a 775pro-Talon combo (and also, if I understand correctly, includes an internal encoder), while having a maybe lower power rating? It’s described as a 1000Kv BLDC motor, so some back of the napkin math gives ~12000 Max RPM, while the 775pro has 18730 Max RPM and the 550 has 19000 (according to motors.vex.com). I guess that it’ll be fine for intakes and stuff like that though, which is pretty nice.

Drivetrain price

This is a comparison between different common configurations of drivetrain motors, controllers and encoders, without gearboxes.

Motor Configuration Encoder + PPU Controller Configuration Total Price
4 NEOs None (internal NEO encoder), 0$ 4 Spark MAXes 460$
4 CIMs 2 CTRE Mag Encoders, 40$ 2 TalonSRXes + 2 VictorSPXes 492$
6 Mini CIMs 2 CTRE Mag Encoders, 40$ 2 TalonSRXes + 4 VictorSPXes 640$
4 Falcons None (internal Falcon encoder), 0$ 4 TalonFXes inside the motors 560$
6 NEOs None (internal NEO encoder), 0$ 4 Spark MAXes 690$
8 775pros/RedLines 2 CTRE Mag Encoders, 40$ 2 TalonSRXes + 6 VictorSPXes 720$
4 CIMs None (Venom internal encoder), 0$ Venom controller inside the motors 480$

Hope I helped someone other than myself with this pricing analysis :slight_smile:

22 Likes

Thanks for the effective synopsis. There are, of course, some wrinkles that can make final cost analysis more complicated. Even if you’re sticking to “fully featured” motor controllers, the existence of the Victor SPX can shave a few dollars off of leader/follower pairings of motors. Then there’s a bunch of more budget-conscious ESC options that can significantly reduce cost.

When making purchasing decisions, also make sure to consider which of the “added features” you will actually take advantage of. We’re seeing more motors with integrated encoders. Do those encoders solve your actual measurement needs, or will you still be installing an encoder somewhere else in your system?

3 Likes

Oh yeah I totally agree - I just wanted to make a barebones comparison to have a sense of the price savings/extra money that teams will have to spend if they’re buying into the Falcon ecosystem (or thinking about joining the NEO ecosystem like us).

Another aspect of this is the fact that the motor controller on the Falcon seems irreplaceable - so if something happens to the motor 140$ went down the drain, rather than ~30$ with CIMs/Mini CIMs

5 Likes

It would be slightly more useful if you could include a column for “max output power”. That allows us to compare both the cost (in dollars) and the benefit (in HP). You might also consider adding a conventional brushed 550 motor and controller, for an apples to apples comparison to the NEO 550.

I can’t wait until the NEO 775 comes out…

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Forgot the Redline for 775 class

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Indeed.

  • Subtract $1 to substitute RedLine A for 775pro.
  • Subtract $40 to substitute Victor SPX for Talon SRX.
  • Subtract $30 to substitute Victor SPX for Talon SRX, but account for a CANcoder being $10 more expensive than the standard magnetic encoder.
  • Subtract $15 to substitute SPARK MAX for Talon SRX. (I mean, you can.)
  • Subtract $50 to substitute SPARK for Talon SRX (if REV ever makes more) (pretty please?)
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Max output power at 40A is probably the more useful metric (even if the main breaker can take 250A for a few seconds).

Is the NEO 775 a thing that’s happening?

Yeah, totally forgot about it since we use mostly VEXpro products. I just got home so I’ll change the table.

Edit - added both this, differential drivetrain (different controller + encoder options) and power @ 40A to the comparison.

Doesn’t seem like it, at least not for the 2020 season since it’s not in the list of approved motors

Someday, I’m sure. It’s the next logical step on their product development arc.

Only for about 0.05 - 0.1 seconds, according to the datasheet.

Not sure how you’re getting that. 250 A is about 200% of the rated current for a 120 A breaker. According to the document you linked to, the corresponds to a 1-3s trip time.

Two different breakers. The datasheet linked to above is for the Maxi 40A breaker (branch circuit on PDP), not the main breaker. Trip time on a 40A breaker is indeed very short for 250A of current. The 120A main breaker is a different story… you’re looking at more like 10-30 seconds for 250A (datasheet here: http://www.cooperindustries.com/content/dam/public/bussmann/Transportation/Circuit%20Protection/resources/datasheets/BUS_Tns_DS_18X_CIRCUITBREAKER.pdf).

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Different breaker, but that breaker would probably be the limiting factor.

Yep, sorry, I missed that you were talking about the main breaker.

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