SD540 and DMC60 motor controllers - How do they stack up?

I’ve seen comparisons of the Victor SP, Talon SRX, and Rev Spark, however I haven’t seen any comparisons of them with either the SD540 or the DMC60. The latter I know is newer, so there probably isn’t as much (any?) testing on it, so there might not be an answer about that for a while yet. But at any rate, does anyone have any thoughts?


If I recall, VEX and CTRE did their own objective testing and analysis of the SD540 controller, found it to be far inferior in many ways, numerous people on Chief Delphi backed up the claims with their own analysis, and everyone decided it would not be advisable to use one on a FIRST robot. Something about the internal on resistance, and you get power loss and heat buildup in it. Why specifically and where that thread is now, I don’t remember, but it’s out there. Maybe someone with more time than I have can find it.

On the DMC60, I have no idea.

No numbers, just an opinion, but the DMC60 looks like a direct rip off of the Victor and is more expensive. I’d rather support IFI/CTRE who have been long time FIRST supporters and I know make good products they will stand behind than a company who copies their products.

I have never actually used either on an FRC robot on my team but I have had some minimal experience with the Victor SP. I read the documentation the Victor SP and the DMC 60 and compared the two.

The DMC 60 is a clone of the Victor SP but we already know that. They even say that on their website*. But even the tech specs are exactly the same. The only difference is the DMC 60 was made by Digilent (which is an NI company) and is $10.00 more expensive. I also trust the VEX brand name more than I would the Digilent one because I have more experience with VEX products as I think most people in FRC would.

TL;DR DMC 60 is $10.00 more and nothing else.

*Fun Fact:When I first saw the DMC 60 in the new game manual, I went to their website. Everywhere it says “Victor SP” now it said “CTRE Victor SP” so I emailed them and they changed it haha :slight_smile:

The DMC 60 also has a feature where it shuts down if it overheats or if it has too little voltage. The voltage thing might be nice so you don’t lose connection through a brownout, but it doesn’t shut off quickly enough or at the right voltage. I can’t see any time when the motor controller would overheat in FRC use, I assume if a team was having issues, they would be putting a fan on it or building more space into the electronics board.

The SD540 was tested by CTRE and it underperforms drastically compared to the SPARK. I would recommend the SPARK over the 540, since it offers the same features for $5 less.

I just can’t get my head around the DMC60. They market it as “a drop-in replacement for Victor SP”](, at a higher price and potential overheating issues. I guess they are hoping people think this is a “better” Victor SP.

Personally I’ve used Victor SPs since they came out and have had no issues at all with them - ESPECIALLY with overheating or power management…why again would I be buying something $10 more from a less reputable company that gives me literally no added functionality?

This one has more lights on it.

I’ll take ten.