Neo 550

My team was testing our new Neo 550s to power our shooter and it started smoking after about 15 seconds of use. We were testing it with a prototype similar to our final design. It was a direct drive using hex that held two 8” SmoothGrip Wheels with 1” of compression between them and the hood. There isn’t a flywheel on this prototype. The motor controller is plugged into a 40amp breaker. Any advice on what we might be doing wrong or if we just shouldn’t use a 550 and opt for a regular Neo instead would appreciated.

Sounds like you are kind of looking at some massive overkill here and you are driving the motor too hard. For reference, my team was getting extremely strong shots with 775s on a 1:3 (about same as neo 550 on 1:2) with much smaller wheels.


Use a regular NEO. Shooters need more POWAH!


From my team’s experience, if you cannot hit 10,000 to 11,000 MOTOR RPM, than your reduction is not enough to spin up, for example we were doing a 1to 1 with 6 inch KOP wheels and we were getting less rpm than a 3 to 1 on that setup.

Found your problem there chief. Maybe try a reduction.


That’s what I feared, thank you.

First of all how many NEO 550’s were you using. If you use around 4 then you should be fine.
Second, why do you need that much RPM even after using such a large wheel? Why not just use a smaller wheel?

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Will do, thank you.

We set up a previous prototype that allowed us to quickly adjust wheels size and compression and found 8” wheels with 1” of compression to be what we were looking for.

Good to know.

In addition, if the motors cant hit their free speed we noticed that they got warm quickly and brown outs were extremely likely when shooting.

What was the current limit in the SparkMax set to? The default value is more appropriate for a regular Neo, I would definitely look at turning it down for the 550’s.


Just for reference, the NEO 550 has a free speed of around 10000 RPM. A direct drive to an 8" wheel would produce 237 miles per hour of edge speed on the wheels, and shoot your balls at 118 miles per hour, assuming no losses in the shooter.


I don’t see an issue with this. You can’t have too much power.


Same, I think that if get a point multiplier for the number of fields you shoot it over in worlds. (If you shoot a ball into a goal of your alliances color 6 fields down, then you get a 6x multiplier.)


Try a 2:1 with a 4" wheel. You are definitely hardcore stalling that motor. It is honestly impressive that it survived for 15 seconds with that kind of load.


Not a reasonable assumption at high speeds. Shooter current draw should be measured at the PDP. This may reveal opportunities to reduce drag, either aerodynamic or frictional. If you are overheating a motor it is working too hard. Drag is the usual culprit.

Hey there, were in the same boat as this team as well. Our team just finished a prototype today that involves direct driving 18 tooth pulley and connecting it to a wheel with a 42 tooth pulley (gear ratio of 2.3) ( 2 NEO 550 one for each wheel). I’m not too worried about the motor but should I be worried about the belts at such a high speed. We plan to run this tomorrow so do you have any suggestions.

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What kind of belt are you using and what size are the wheels?

Are you doing a dual wheel shooter, or a hooded shooter? Also, what type of belts are you planning on using?