Continuing the discussion from Spark Max RF Interference:
We were experiencing problems with one of four REV SparkMAX controllers and its connected NEO motor:
- intermittent LED blinking pattern Orange/Magenta, documented as “brushless encoder error”
- intermittent problem with the NEO motor not starting without “assistance”, similar in behavior to this thread
- “mysterious” modification of SparkMAX configuration parameters (e.g., follower mode values)
Simply “shielding” (with @jonah4975’s hand) or moving the SparkMAX away from the CTRE Voltage Regulator Module caused our problems to “disappear”. We were able to consistently repeat this behavior (that is, clearing up the problem or introducing the problem) by moving or shielding the SparkMAX.
As @jonah4975 mentioned, we spent lots of time checking and rechecking Anderson Power Pole crimps, our Java code, the CAN bus configurations of all devices, etc., etc. This is the only thing that consistently remediated the problem for us. This is a “lab robot” so the electronics are pretty tightly packed in the center of the mounting board. So it’s possible a different device was causing RF interference, but the VRM seems to have been the culprit.
I’m going to put the VRM inside a Faraday Cage this evening to see if that mitigates the issue.