past year spikes

hey guys and gals- this year we used spikes form the past 4 years (thats how old we are) in the past years we havent had much call for spikes so the relays jsut sat on a top shelf somewhere collecting dust. but this year we figure we would use the old spike first and save the newer ones for later. big mistake. 2 spikes went bad already. but heres the catch- its not the same position on the board that went bad. so it cannot be the load we are putting across it. my assumption tells me that its the spike itself. but last night we were running the machine for a long while and today the one spike that “went bad” is fine today, i guess it could be a loose signal contact. i dont know. really my question is if other teams have ran into this problem before. if they used older relays and had them go bad. thanks boys and girls!

ps- all the fuses on the spikes that went bad werent tripped

Age should not matter on these devices. However, dust and contaminents do affect the connectors i.e. the PWM cable and power. You may need to insert and remove the connectors several times to clean the surfaces or use a contact cleaner approved for use with plastics. When storing parts, keep them in their original containers in a closed cabinet. A ziplock bag big enough for the original containers, keeps out moisture as well.

If you do happen to use the new spikes, make absolute sure the PWM cables go fully straight into the port…we had 2 of our spikes not work because the cables were bent up from going in crooked. Also, once you get them in there, a drop of RTV should hold them in, as it seems there’s no force holding these in.


I frown on using RTV for this kind of application. RTV gives off acetic acid during the curing process and that plays havoc with certain types of metals and electronic coatings. A dab (very small) of hot glue will go a long way, but for my money, a simple tywrap close to the device holding the wire in place is the absolute best bet at quick replacment.

Will you pass inspection if you use hot glue the spike and relays ??

Oh. Thanks. I will keep that in mind for the future. I learned something today…:wink:

Keeping any kind of tension off the wire is a good solution, too.


There is no rule against it and I know many teams use glue in some form to hold PWM cables in place. It must be done with caution, however, if you suspect a defect. IFI may not repair it under warranty if it is full of glue or some other adhesive. We have used punched aluminum for a base for all electrical devices and simply use tywraps to hold down the components, power wiring and control wiring. A few snips with a side cutter and the suspect part is removed and replaced.

thanks guys that all helps a lot
our mounting surface this year is called corex- its a type of plastic shaped like corrugated cardboard- very VERY light
we also use the zip tie mounting system for ease of use
for the signal pins to the SPIKE we never had trouble with bent contacts to those devices but ill keep an eye on it, the glue idea is good, but i prefer to take a small zip tie and pull it through one of the wires on the signal cable and pull it then around one of the fast on contacts- because its nylon it shouldnt mess anything up. thanks for the trouble shoot guys and gals!

My suggestion…
…just fork out the cash buddy boy. Spikes tend to go wacky on ya, so just use the new ones…and if ya need more just spend the money on them. No good comes out of having a faulty spike during competition and have it fail in the middle of a match.