pic: Jaguar... Under the Hood

This is the Jaguar module with the cover plate removed.

I wonder if you will have the option to run it naked…

Shot taken at Luminary Micro Booth at NIWEEK in Austin, TX.

So wait… they were running this thing with CAN? I’m really confused right now. They’re giving us a new speed controler with a CAN bus, but I’ve heard that they expect us to use PWMs for the 2009 season. Does this mean they might be considering letting us use CAN in the 2009 season with the new speed controllers?

My understanding is that for the 2009 season we will (still) be limited to PWM control.

This is not a FIRST demonstration booth, it’s Luminary Micro’s who is just demonstrating the CAN control feature of their product in this picture.

Whoa, with the cover off it looks even bigger and heavier. Or is that metal frame something they put on after the plastic housing was taken off, to hold the fan in place?

It seems likely that the Jaguar will be fully functional, capable of doing all its CANny goodness from the get-go.

The thing keeping us from using CAN for the 2009 FRC season is the controller. I’m confident that the cRIO we receive in the kit won’t include a CAN module, and the closest thing we have to official information here tells us that even if we bought one ourselves, the FPGA in the system won’t support its use.

From what I’ve been gathering is that CAN will not be allowed in 2009, 2010, probably. I’ve only been involved for two full years so I’m not as wary about the changes as some folks. Things change, you can either look at it as a challenge or you can dig in your heals and complain. I just want my hands on that new controller…

It looks like it’s just a “naked” version addition to hold the fan.

I think a lot of people are very anxious about the new system, but your attitude is much more constructive. Worry is like a rocking chair right? It gets you nowhere. :slight_smile:

In my teams experience so far with our regular cRio and labVIEW we found it much easier to use then the old IFI controller system. And since it’s all industry standard stuff there is a much larger set of reference material. This doesn’t mean that the FIRST version or special features they add to make it “easier to use” won’t effect the usability. I guess we’ll find out more as soon as the beta testing starts.

Have the teams been picked and when is the beta testing going to be started?

Nope. The kits won’t go out until ~Sept 15th, and the deadline for submissions isn’t until Aug 15th.

What is CAN? Is that the Ethernet plug?

CAN= Control Area Network

It has a communication protocol just as do many "networks’.

Defined in Wikipedia as:

Controller-area network (CAN or CAN-bus) is a computer network protocol and bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other without a host computer.

It was designed specifically for automotive applications but is now also used in other areas.

CAN is also supported in the Linux Kernel since version 2.6.25.

The connector appears to be an RJ-45 connector. Ethernet can and usually does use RJ-45 connectors. That does not define it as an Ethernet connector.

Here is a quick definition of “Ethernet” as defined by Wikipedia.

Ethernet is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs). The name comes from the physical concept of the ether. It defines a number of wiring and signaling standards for the physical layer, through means of network access at the Media Access Control (MAC)/Data Link Layer, and a common addressing format.

Ethernet is standardized as IEEE 802.3. The combination of the twisted pair versions of Ethernet for connecting end systems to the network, along with the fiber optic versions for site backbones, is the most widespread wired LAN technology. It has been in use from around 1980[1] to the present, largely replacing competing LAN standards such as token ring, FDDI, and ARCNET.

so what is the CAN going to be used for? Like what are you going to hook up with or to it?

It will replace the PWM servo cable signal. The advantage is that you can connect a bunch of Jaguars in series, which reduces the mess of cables going to the controller. Also, with the CAN interface, you can upgrade the firmware on the Jaguars and use the advanced features involving the quadrature encoder and analog potentiometer inputs.

oh nice so its like less mess, better autonomous? that sounds pretty cool.
Is there any cons to this whole thing, other than its size and weight?

Size plus the fact that it is not yet “battle tested” in the life of a FIRST robot. But ultimately, I think the #1 biggest difference is that the retail cost of these things is supposed to be “significantly lower” than the cost of a Victor ($115)

Ah alright thanks a lot everyone. Much clearer on a lot of things now with this whole thing.