New Speed Controller Announced

Ok. Now you have me interested. Could you explain your logic?

The Jaguar has several interesting features aimed at tighter control loops. Unfortunately, only some of these will be useable this year.

  1. The speed vs input command is linear. The Victor is highly non-linear, which prompted many teams to wrap a linearizing function around it.

  2. The update rate is faster.

  3. The chop rate is much faster.

  • Features not yet accesible to teams *
  1. The processor in the Jaguar is about an order of magnitude more powerful than the entirety of the old control system in terms of raw math throughput.

  2. Direct quadrature encoder input

  3. Analog input - for POTs?

  4. True voltage control - This translates to direct speed control.

  5. True current control - This translates to direct torque control.

  6. High speed serial (CAN) communication to the cRIO which will allow you to send higher level commands

  7. On-board PID loops.

I’m excited.

Not to mention:

  • integrated limit switch inputs
  • instantaneous current monitoring (this feature would have saved our team several $100 Victors)
  • instantaneous temperature monitoring

It looks like we are going to get 4 jaguar’s in the kit, and their cost is 92.50 before the FIRST discount.

can anyone email me a inventor file of the new jaguar?

[email protected]

I cant seem to find any inventor models of the new parts. I am currently working on a model of the cRio, but it will probably take me up to 2 more days.


This is my first post to Chief Delphi, but it is certainly an important one!

My name is Scott Emley, and I am the product marketing manager at Luminary Micro. This seems to be the highest concentration of FRC teams and mentors, so this is where I am starting on getting the word out:

Luminary Micro has partnered with Digi-Key to make available the new Jaguar (MDL-BDC) speed controller to all FRC teams! Of course, you will receive a predetermined number of Jaguar speed controllers in your KoP distribution, and this program is designed to provide FRC teams exclusive access to additional speed controllers for a >30% discount to the normal resale price. The Jaguar discount program is only available to FRC teams and only through Digi-Key by visiting:

To qualify for the discount, you must enter in your team information, a shipping address within the general geographical location (state/country) of your team, and you must enter a valid phone number so the FRC Order Team at Digi-Key can validate your identity and thus honor your discount request.

It is important you remember to use the Digi-Key link above – or you will be like the rest of the world and have to pay full price. Don’t be distracted because Luminary Micro has several worldwide distributors (including Digi-Key) that will be carrying the Jaguar at full price.

By the way, Luminary Micro has unveiled the Jaguar to the rest of the world as a reference design, and now is a good time to remind teams that, while you might read or realize the full potential of the Jaguar on Luminary Micro’s website, the official FRC 2009 game rules (or restrictions for that matter) have not been announced. More explicitly, I discourage you from monkeying with the firmware on the Jaguar ---- even though you might be tempted. (I’m an engineer… I understand this temptation.) :slight_smile:

As far as documentation is concerned, I’ve just uploaded the first revision of the Jaguar Getting Started Guide on the Jaguar microsite at I’ll keep referring to this site for the latest documentation regarding the Jaguar, so I encourage you to bookmark the link.

Looking forward to supporting you guys this year.

Best Regards,

P.S. I see #47 all over the place on this forum… and I love it!

I forgot to mention: I went ahead and uploaded the Jaguar’s IGES file on the Jaguar microsite at


Scott, I’ve quoted your post on the FIRST Forums (, so that teams who miss this thread will have another shot at finding the appropriate Jaguar information.

FIRST has been asking the control system beta test teams to aggregate their own information there, so it would be worth duplicating future postings on the subject to that forum as well.


Thanks for your efforts in helping out FIRST kids worldwide!

I have a question about your company. Do you guys manufacture/fab your own parts or do you guys do the design and somebody else does the fab?

I’m a hardcore microchip lover so I don’t think I’ll ever stop (in the forseeable future) using them, but for high performance motion control applications, your products are very interesting… especially the ability to get parts that are both communications powerful and still incorporate a good assortment of motion control components.

I don’t want to get this thread too off topic, so I’ll make my last question short… do your parts come in a QFN or other itty bitty surface mount package?



Q - I was a hardcore microchip fan, as I used them nearly exclusively through college. After playing with a few Luminaries, I am converted. My microcontroller heart is split between Luminary and Cypress.
They list SOIC-28 LQFP-48/64/100 BGA-108. LQFP is about as small as I can solder by hand.

Thanks Eric.

Still not sure I’ll be an instant convert or whatever, but I am interested in playing with some of these micros.


Will this discount be season-long or will it end soon? Important to know for teams who want to purchase some!

I forgot to mention: I went ahead and uploaded the Jaguar’s IGES file on the Jaguar microsite at

Any chance you can supply a complete solid model of the housing? The iges file imports as a shell which can be troublesome to work with.

Is Luminary aware that it is common for teams to purchase many of these during a season? Teams that construct 2 complete robots may purchase 10-15 of these in a single season!

If these are purchased for non-FIRST applications will their full potential be available?


According to the Getting Started guide, it is recommended to have 1/2" of empty space on the left and right side of each Jaguar speed controller. If you were to mount two Jaguars with their sides adjacent to each other, can this 1/2" space overlap, or would you need a total of 1" of space in between the two?

One thing teams will have to be aware of is that according to the manual, if there is an over current or temperature condition, the motor controller will shut down. The PWM input will have to go to neutral for the motor controller to go active again. For 2009 we will not have any feed back from the motor controller to know that it is in shut down. Teams will have to decide how to detect and reset the motor controller. For the drive this will probably be the responsibility of the driver. For arms and other uses a controller reset button may be useful. Going forward in 2010 with the CAN control method this condition can be handled in software and the user can be alerted that a shut down occurred. Also with proper monitoring code, the controller could implement strategies to stop the controller from going into hard shut down. First team are used to using total open loop controllers and have only been protected from faults by the circuit breakers. How to deal with intelligent controllers is something teams will have to work on in the future. This year without 2 way communication with the motor controller, the victors may be a better choice for uses other than drive motors.

…provided teams are willing to pay ~40$ more and put up with a highly non-linear drive characteristic in favor of footprint and a lack of a latching over-current protection.

IMHO, the only advantage the victor has is size. The cost advantage and the linearity advantage leads me to believe that the Jaguar will see a lot of play this year.

Any extra motor controllers we buy will be Jaguars. It is a cheaper component and is more future proof for this competition. Seems like a no brainer to me.

Luminary Micro is a fabless semiconductor company, so we contract the fab to a foundry. We license the ARM Cortex-M3 core and integrate it into our SoC devices, like the LM3S2616 which is at the heart of the Jaguar motor controller.

The QFN package is not part of the portfolio at the moment.

I’ll have to check on whether this is still true. It was the case for the firmware for the Rev0 versions, but after discussions with FIRST I thought the decision was made to change this so that it would start back up again after the fault period. I will check on this and update the documentation if in error.

Thanks for pointing this out.

UPDATE: Not true anymore. The manual is out of date and is being updated. The PWM input does not have to return to neutral before the motor controller goes active again. This was the behaviour of the original prototype, but was soon changed.

There’s only a cost advantage if you’re comparing buying new Victors to buying new Jaguars… most teams have plenty of Victors already from prior seasons. Free is a lot cheaper than $75…