Sparkmax Breaking Mode While Disabled

We noticed something today and wanted to see if someone knows. When our robot is disabled, the SparkMax motor controller keeps the Neo in break mode and holds even though it’s disable. Will it do that in competition?

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Is the SparkMax configured/set to break mode? If so, this is completely normal. Turning off the robot will allow you to move the motor freely.

But what about when the FMS disables the robot at the end of the match while its in the air climbing?

Neo motors themselves are extremely tough to move when they have any sort of power. It’s not the controller giving the break effect it’s the motor

NEO braking mode is a configurable setting, you can choose to have it go into either brake mode or coast mode when it’s not getting any control inputs, including when disabled and still powered on. It is not an inherent property of the motor.


To directly answer the question yes, if configured to do so (which it is by default) a spark max will stay in brake mode on disable at the end of the match. If you don’t want this to happen, set the sparks to coast mode instead.

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Either way you should turn off the robot at the end of the match before moving it anywhere. If you are planning on using the NEO’s brake mode to keep the robot in the air, don’t, as it isn’t strong enough and will probably destroy the motor.

So about that, we have two neos each on a 36:1 GB each on either side of the lift. We used brake mode and it held fine.


So we tested this in Practice mode and it does hold. I was under the impression that FMS sends disable commands to disable all motor controllers at match end but it appears that FMS only kills sending signals to the controllers. So as long as the controllers are getting power, they will hold the brake.


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