New Talon Speed Controller

Andymark just released their new Talon Speed Controller. What do you guys think. One question our team is wondering is will this controller handle lower speeds as good or better than the jaguars?

I’m super interested to hear what the electrical nerds have to say about this product. Is there any reason to stay with the Victor over the Talon (cost aside)?

Here’s hoping we get some of these in the kit of parts.

I’m excited! If you look at the comments/ratings page on the AndyMark page for Talon, it says that Team 67 demoed them at IRI, they didn’t reset like jaguars do, do to high current!

We’ll be receiving a number of Talons and will be testing them alongside our Labview beta testing. It’s an extremely exciting product. Active cooling isn’t needed. It’s got a conformal coating so it’s got all the debris protection of the old victors. The higher switching frequency should give a linear response on the order of a Jaguar.

I’m a curious about their PWM input rate though. We know that a standard victor is around 17ms. A Jag is somewhere in the ballpark of 5ms.

What does .9 - 2ms @ 50hz mean? Does that mean it will respond in .9-2ms, but only accepts a change in input at a maximum of 50hz (meaning that the actual best response is 20ms)?

Personally I’d be a bit more interested to know how these perform compared to a Victor rather than a Jaguar (especially considering how much better reliability Victors have from Jags anyways).

If this turns out to be a controller that would give us the reliability of something like a victor, but with the smoothness of control from something like a jaguar, I’d think it would definitely be the way to go.

A few notes:

  • First, this is not an AndyMark product. It’s made by Cross the Road Electronics, and AndyMark is only an outlet for sales.
  • It sounds like the new Victor 888 will give this a run for its money, since both have a linear output.
  • The passive cooling is a very nice touch
  • The conformal coating is something that has been much, much needed in FRC applications. It’s nice to see a speed controller that finally has one!

All that said, keep in mind we don’t know what will be legal next year. Worst case, we’ll still be limited to the Victor 884 and the Jaguar. Best case, those will both still be legal, but they’ll add the Victor 888 and the Talon to the list!

Personally, I don’t see any benefits the Victor 884/888 has over the Talon. The only benefits I can see from data provided for the Talon over the Victor 888 are the heat sink and conformal coating. Obviously, the linear output is another benefit over the Victor 884. Looking at the documents for each, I believe the Talon also has a slightly smaller footprint than the Victor 884.

Bringing the Jaguar into the mix, we know it has a larger footpint, which is a negative. However, it also has a linear output like the Talon and 888, and provides some additional functionality through the CAN interface and the ability for direct sensor feedback when using CAN.

For me, Jaguars have been preferred up until now (specifically for drive train) due to their linear output. These new controllers though, if FRC legal, completely change the equation. It seems that it now becomes a question of size versus functionality - if you don’t need those inputs on the Jaguar, why use one? Depending on the number of speed controllers used and the number of DIO ports used, there might be size/weight tradeoffs available for using Jaguars and CAN, avoiding the need to include a second DIO module and DSC. Definitely something to look at!

Per the user manual, .9 to 2ms is the pulse width (duration of pulse).

50Hz is the frequency (max? or nominal?) of the pulses that can be processed.

I am curious if they perform the same as Jaguars at the low speeds, does anyone know? Andy? Mark? Do you know? How about Cross the Road?

Just for a point of clarification, the Victor 884 featured conformal coating. The new Victor 888 will as well.


The best part of this is the fact that a rectifier prevents back flow into the controller. Which fried the majority of are jaguars.

Awesome, I had no idea it did… I looked through the users manual and didn’t find any mention of it… where is this sort of information documented?

It’s not clear what your intended meaning is. What rectifier are you referring to? Which controller? And what is “back flow”?

Do you mean reverse polarity protection?

(See Page 4)

Ok to clarify my above post.

Are team has found that any sort of free wheel action on the robot (ie pushing it) Causes the motors to become a generator that sends current back into the motor controller. Well with the Jaguars they didn’t have anything to stop it so we fried a lot of them. The new Talon controller has

The Talon features locked anti-phase rectification that provides more efficient delivery of power to Brushed DC motors. This type of rectification returns current to the power source during the freewheeling period of the motor and during direction change.

We have been pushing around robots with Jags as long as they have been available and have never experienced this problem.

Interesting but in how long of increments like a few feet we have found that they would be fine. but a rookie pushing the robot down a hallway instead of using a cart was a problem. Also it could depend on if the robot is on or not.

Like IndySam, we’ve been doing this for years with no adverse affects on the Jaguars. This includes pushing it from one room to another (probably 100 ft). This is almost always with the robot off - we never push it long distances with it on… although just last night there was some small pushing going on to manually line the robot up for some testing while it was on (a few feet at a time).

This lead me to think that it is when the robot is on it leads to adverse affects if pushed more then a few feet. I have noticed that when on the robot is harder to push but that could just be me.

It is currently documented only on the Product Web page. We’ll make sure the manual for the Victor 888 includes this information.


From the scant technical detail so far available (if there’s a schematic I haven’t seen it), I can’t see any reason why the Talon should be any different from the Jag when not powered, or when powered with a zero throttle command (in the deadband zone, you’re either coasting or braking, not regenerating - someone please correct me if this in incorrect).