# Spike (relay) module pin out

My goal is to make a small device to drive the spike relay module for troubleshooting the robot. Not that we have to do alot of that or anything :). We have a pwm signal gen for the same reason, although as you know, spikes dont take in a analog pwm signal, they use a digital signal. My hypothesis is that the black wire is ground, as it is in most applications, and the other two wires control the relays output, one being foward, the other being reverse. I don’t plan on doing anything fancy, I understand that the spike can handle an input voltage up to 15VDC (correct me if im wrong) but I plan on using 2 small 6 volt batteries (or some configuration to get me close to 12VDC). A lot of writting for something simple, I know, but I would rather get it right the first time, I could guess and check, but without a spike module in front of me, I would have to wait until I get down to atlanta, and I would like to have this tool ready for use by then.
-Corey

Note: I looked on www.innovationfirst.com first and couldnt find the pin out. So I did look before asking on the forum.

you should have asked me, i did do the wiring for this years bot…remember;). Well the black cable is ground, the red is for 12vdc and the white is signal, and the spikes are made to run at 12Vdc (from 0-15 V @20 amps). The lovely work IFI does at keeping their work organized, thank you again.

Have you verified this? Even before I searched for the answer, I had a hard time beleiving that the spikes could out put 3 states (forward, off, reverse) from one signal wire.

well, I’m willing to bet black is still ground, See what i thaught is either power or ground out the white or red wire, and that gives you 4 possabilities, truth table time: R= red wire, W = White wire.

R W Output
----|-------
0 0 | This would make sense as the ambiguous state?
0 1 | Lets say this is foward
1 0 | Lets call this reverse
1 1 | Unused state (probably)

Note: the two middle states could be either or, depends on how you wire it up.

Now this makes sense to me, can anyone verify it, I talked to mike, but it dosnt make sense to me that again 3 output states are controlled by one signal wire. Like I say, “trust but verify”.

How it was explained to me by john an ifi guy in nj is that the red is normally high, when it is high plus white is high, it goes one way. when it is brought low but white is put high it goes the other way. when just red is high it stays neutral.

In the post season I plan on hooking up most of the IFI devices to an Agilent scope and play around with them. Then publish a report complete with screen shots from the scope.

If anyone has an things for me to check on let me know. Ideas I have:

1. Reverse engineer the PWM algorithm used by the Victors.
2. Confirm the Victors output… is it pulsed, or can it really regulate the voltage?
3. Maybe if we have a spare OI, I’ll reverse engineer all pins on the competition port.
4. Determine how accurate the 26.2ms updates are.

Any other ideas? Information wants to be open!

yeah, after I posted i realised that two of the wires had to be input and I played around with it until i found the right combination
Black - must be grounded
Red - puts it in reverse
White - puts it in forward

Found the above in a previous thread, Thanks guys for the help.

Ok, I came up with this quick, it works in simulation, but circuitmaker isn’t perfect. I’ll build this and report back on how it works. The LED’s are simply to help me quickly see where its set, but are not needed. I may just build it without the leds, and lable the switchs (what an idea! )

well, you might be overcomplicating things, i mean, what exactly are you trying to test out, is the victor or spike working? the motor?

as for what i and my othre electrical people on the team have been doing is, use an old RC and OI to make a simple circut to a motor that we know works. then just hook up the spike or victor to it to see if it works or not.

as for a motor being tested, after nearly shorting out too many robot batteries (to the point where only the pit crew could handle them), we (well more specifically i did) but we made a motor tester. our team bought some 1/2" bosch drills from the company or someone, so we have something for the freshmen to build in the fall, and spares for the season. well, we took the trigger assembly out of 2 of the drills, soldered on new leads to the trigger, and now the leads go to alliagator clips( one of the 2 has male and female solderless connections too, so we spraypainted it gold, and now goes by the name of the “golden gun” or “golden child?” depending upon who you ask). so we just use that to easily test motors without having to worry about the 18 or so amps from a robot battery frying things…

hope this helped

The simple circuit I designed is to test systems controlled by the spike relay module, quickly while in the pits. In the pits it is sometimes required to activate only one subsystem, or part, without the need to power everything up, as well as tether the robot, we have a pwm signal gen that works with the victors, and this is designed to work with the spikes, so that I can manually control a relay. So, if we are having problems with our program (Jeez, I hope we got the bugs out), or if we modify/readjust something, we can test the individual system and verify its working condition. You do not absolutely need this, however, in my experience with the pwm signal gen, it comes in handy, and saves time while troubleshooting.

I would put a volt meter on the relay wires of an RC and measure the red and white signals to see if they are 5V or 12V

my expectation is that they would be 5V control signals. If so and you put 12V on the spike signals they will be destroyed.

(I hope they are 5V signals, otherwise if you made a mistake an plugged a victor PWM cable into a relay output, you would destroy the victor - they have 5V control signals)

Check here for more info…
http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/pdfs/SpikeBLUEUsersManual.pdf
The input to the Spikes are through opto isolators on the Spike, so you have to be able to supply enough current to forward bias an LED in the isolator to get it to work. Input power must be 12 volts and the RC relay outputs (PWM style connector) is most likely 5 volts.
If you wanted to have an output that tested Spikes and Speed Controllers, I would have included two inputs that are unused on the robot. It is important when troubleshooting to test the exact path to be sure things are working. Let the controller do the signal generation.

Hmm, It would make more sense to use 5 volts instead of 12 for the control of the relay, otherwise, as you pointed out, we could have many fried spike modules. I will use a multimeter and check the output voltage for the relays. As to what Al said about letting the interface produce the signals, yes we could do that, however, like our pwm signal gen, we are able to test any relay module, and not just the ones on this years bot, build one, and it serves all. Perhaps I am just looking to kill time between competitions, but we use the pwm signal generator often enough, and there has been certain instances where a relay controllor would have come in handy, that is why I will continue to pursure my idea. Thank you for your input, if it seemed like I was rushing, I wasn’t, but i’m certainly glad that this came up as cooking a spike would have been bad.

Note: Ahhh, suddenly understands fully what al ment…Yea, That might be useful to incorperate, a simple onbot 3 way toggle switch going to the digital inputs, then lable a relay out as the relay test output or something along thoose lines, so all you have to do is switch where the relay cable is plugged in to test the relay itself, or to control the system without powering up the controls, and putting the bot on tether. Definatly going to look into that. Great idea.

We have built a spike controller. I’ll find it and post what the wiring is.

250: I think you may have one some place as well.

That’s what I’m here for…