New vs Old spike relays

Does anybody know if the older spike relays functioned differently? The ones I’m looking at are from 2002-2004 and have a different shape. I recall reading about of somewhere but I couldn’t find it by searching. We are using some very old electronics (2002-2004) on our robot and we don’t want to put on anything that is different from the current version.

Per R51

The only power regulating devices for actuators permitted on the ROBOT include:

A. Jaguar motor controller (P/N: MDL-BDC, MDL-BDC24, and 217-3367),
B. Victor 884 motor controller (P/N: VICTOR-884-12/12),
C. Victor 888 motor controller (P/N: 217-2769),
D. Talon motor controller (P/N: CTRE_Talon and am-2195),
E. VEX motor controller (P/N: 276-2193) for controlling VEX 2-wire Motor 393 (P/N: 276-2177) only, and
**F. Spike H-Bridge Relay (P/N: 217-0220).**

You would have a hard time convincing an inspector that a 10 year old spike that looks different than the current Spikes contains the same part number.

Also, when you’re saying you’re using old electronics on your robot, what exactly are you referring to? The cRio, Digital Sidecar, and Power Distribution Board are all required items, and they don’t go back to 2002-2004… If I remember right, they were introduced in the 2009 season.

There are a few hardware versions, but the older (blue) Spikes are essentially the same. It’s worth checking with IFI to see if the older Spikes are identified by the current part number, even though it’s not printed on them. (Forward their response to [email protected], and bring a copy to inspection, just in case.)

Watch out for red Spikes. Those are even older, and different in the way they handle the outputs.

All of these electronics go on the practice robot so we don’t have to worry about inspection. After some testing, we found that our old blue spikes worked the same way, the red spikes didn’t work, and the victor 883’s worked the same way. As for the old electronics, on the practice bot we are using old spikes, victors, and power distribution boards. We’ve done this every time, but last year we used a red spike and just wanted to double check before wiring again.

The old red spike relays operate essentially the same except for one function as I remember. Both outputs could not be set to +V only to common. You could still drive two solenoids but it required steering diodes.

The old PN SPIKE-RELAY-H is shown on the VexPro Product Page. I just submitted Q/A 456 asking if the old PN is acceptable. The part number only changed this year, so the implication of the current wording is that only spike relays purchased this year are legal.