So, our team this year is planing on using a VEX VersaPlanetary encoder integrated with a REV SparkMAX on our robot this year. To do this, we are using the SparkMAX data port breakout board. This board plugs directly into the SparkMAX through female leads on the back, but needs to be soldered to the VP Encoder. Does anybody know the correct labels for the 4 soldering pads on the back of the VersaPlanetary encoder? Is it possible to use these to connect the encoder to our SparkMAX breakout board?
Are you using a NEO with the Spark MAX? The solder pads on the VP encoder are for limit switch inputs which are combined with the encoder signal for the ribbon cable output. If the Spark MAX is controlling a brushed motor (not a NEO), you can use the ribbon cable to attach directly to the Spark MAX.
From what you are describing would it not be better to have a ribbon cable go from the encoder to the breakout board on the spark? As mentioned before the solder pads on the encoder are for limit switches. You might also be interested in this product.
Edit: The user manual is a great place to get information.
If you are trying to interface with the VP Encoder by soldering wires to it, you need a breakout board, that plugs into the ribbon cable port and provides proper solder points. Vex and CTRE sell it. Or is there some way you could just connect to the Spark Max with a cable?
Clarification & Resolution: our team is trying to use an alternative encoder on a spark max. We had just began researching the problem and we were planning on using 2 breakout boards to do this when a team member brought the pads to our attention. Had the 4 soldering pads been encoder outputs, it would have saved us space, wire length / data cables, and breakout boards. However, thanks to all of your help, I now know we have to follow our original plan.
The VP encoder is really an SRX encoder with mouting/packaging, and is wired correctly for the SPARK MAX regular encoder input through the data port. That is, Encoder A is on pin 7, and Encoder B is on pin 5 from the encoder. To use this as an alternate input, Encoder A (wire 7) goes to pin 6 (presumably P5 on the breakout, but I’d check with a continuity checker first) and Encoder B (wire 5) goes to pin 8 (Limit/R on the breakout). Ground (wire 10) and 5V (wire 2) should be connected as labeled.