Full disclosure: Team 1114 is sponsored by Innovation First International and receives a donation of VEXpro products each year.
On November 26th we received 6 Falcon 500 motors as part of VEX Robotics Falcon 500 Beta Test Program. We began our testing plan which included swapping the 4 NEO Brushless Motors on our 2019 competition robot’s drivetrain with 4 Falcon 500 Beta Test motors and comparing the performance using a 25ft sprint test and logging the data. We also designed new plates for our 2017 fuel shooter that would use 2 Falcon 500s to power it instead of the original 4 775pro motors.
First we ran five 25ft sprints using the original setup and then we switched to the Falcon 500s.
The switch was a very quick process, especially the installation of the new pinions on the Falcon spline shaft and the wiring became cleaner without having to use separate external speed controllers. Changing the code was also really easy as the Talon FX used the same functions as a Talon SRX. We then ran 5 tests with the new setup and then drove around to see how it handled. We still used a 12T pinion so the top speed of the drive was slightly faster due to the higher RPM of the motor. Here are the final sprint times and graphs made from the data we recorded in a .csv on the roboRIO.
Time to 25ft
F500 (out of box)
For the shooter we machined new plates, utilizing a 3:2 belt reduction, and installed them on our shooter and then worked on tuning the PIDF velocity control on the Talon FX which was exactly the same as it would be on the Talon SRX that we are familiar with. Because of the slower free speed of the motor compared to a 775pro we didn’t need as much of a reduction to get similar speeds at the wheel. After some rough tuning we were able to get the shooter to around 80% accuracy overall which is similar to our in season performance with the 4 775pro setup but saves weight and reduces the amount of wires that would have to be ran up to the turret. Here are some videos of the shooter during the tuning and testing process.
Despite being an IFI sponsored team, no product goes on our robot without adequate testing. We have been a later adopter of certain technologies over the years, and we tend to be more cautious than some teams. However, based on our testing we’ve ordered additional Falcon 500’s and plan on using them season in appropriate spots on our robot. Feel free to ask any questions about our experience with these new motors.