SPARK MAX - Gate Driver Fault

I see some other threads on this topic but none for 2020, so I decided to start a new one.

We are using SPARK MAX motor controllers with NEO Brushless motors the first time this season. We have one controller that has gone into Gate Driver Fault state (Orange/Cyan Slow Blink lights) and we do not know what to do next.

We tested our mechanism and ran it fairly extensively on Saturday afternoon. On Monday we installed our final wiring and soon trouble started with this motor controller. At first, the motor ran but it made an extreme jittering. We thought it was our gearbox jumping gears, that’s how extreme the jitter was, but it was not. The mechanism is driven by two NEO motors, so we ran them independently by changing our robot code to isolate the culprit. Next, we disconnected the CAN bus and manually ran each of the motors using a USB-C cable and SPARK MAX client. One NEO and SPARK MAX worked fine, but one started flashing the Gate Driver Fault error.

We assumed this may mean some sort of physical fault so we didn’t troubleshoot much beyond this, but we did restore the factory defaults, and re-flash the firmware. We switched the SPARK MAX for a different one but used the same motor, and the other SPARK MAX is working perfectly.

Here are some details:

  • SPARK MAX Client Server version: v2.0.0
  • SPARK MAX Client Client version: v2.1.1
  • SPARK MAX Firmware: 1.5.2

I emailed REV support but I thought I would post here too so see if anyone has suggestions.

What programming language does your team use because the SparkMAX 1.5.2 Firmware version is only for teams using Labview? This may not be the cause of the issue, but its worth checking out.

This is not the case, there is no language restrictions for any firmware versions. The LabVIEW API itself has a version 1.5.2, but that is separate from the firmware.

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We are using Java.
I see the 1.5.2 changelog says “Improves Gate Driver Fault recovery.” Is there a procedure in the documentation for recovery that I missed?

Ah, I see, then updating to 1.5.2 might actually help :sweat_smile:

so I was mistaken, updating to 1.5.2 should be fine, the only “recovery” I can think of is booting the MAXs in recovery mode. This is used if you cannot communicate with/access the SparkMAX via a USB-C connection using the SparkMAX tool.

I connected the faulty SPARK MAX our test board, and it immediately blinks cyan/orange. I tried re-flashing 1.5.2 from Recovery mode and that did not help. Has anyone had success recovering from this fault?

I take it from this that a power cycle doesnt clear it?

Have you tried contacting REV Support?

@Matt_Boehm_329 Right, a power cycle does not clear it.
@MVande I emailed REV support yesterday but I have not gotten any response.

Please PM me the email address you used so that I can find it in our system. Sorry for the delay!

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I know your problem may not be our problem, but can you guys share your solution after successful troubleshooting has occurred with Rev

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Was REV able to resolve the issue?

Yes. They are standing behind the product and sending a replacement!

Glad to hear that REV is replacing your broken Spark. I assume that means you never found out how to fix the first Spark then.