Victor 884 problem

we were driving our robot and all off the sudden , the victor made a weird ticking sound and a spark came out of it and we smelled something burnt.

after we turned off the robot we tried to re-activate the victor it didn’t work.
we opened it up and inside we saw two weird things:

  1. the big capacitor in the middle of the victor was marked with a big red X sign .
  2. on the board inside the victor there was written :" victor 883 rev F" and not victor 884.

:mad: :mad: :mad:

does the big X mean it was already bad ? why did the board inside the victor siad victor 883 and not 884? why did the victor overloaded and not the 40amps circuit breaker?

Ahh, you released the magic smoke. Pretty much all you can do is move on and get new Vics. The 883 was the predecessor to the 884, and could only handle 30 amps (thus the 3). This is generally okay, but I’m guessing you hit a wall or turned real hard and drew a lot of power. In order to get a new 884, go to Hope this helped (i’ve done it before). We’ve taken a few apart, the X is always there. I think that it’s just markings from the factory.

If you happend to be drilling/cutting/removing material from your chassis near the Victors, there’s a chance some shavings may have fallen in. That is how I’ve seen a few Victors release the magic smoke.

It’s not a bad idea to blow out your Victors with compressed air before you fire them up.

BTW, most of the time, the X’s marked on capacitors are put on by QA people to indicate it was installed in the right direction. So generally, it’s a good sign =).


Ok, I guess I’m wrong about the difference between an 884 and an 883, sorry. So, I have no idea what blew it out.

Although i cant for the life of me at the moment remeber why they switched to 884’s instead of 883s (although i do remeber sorting all of our victors out into piles for ones we could use and ones we couldn’t) I know that the 883’s had a 60A output while the 884’s have a 40A output.

I’d say that people are correct in making sure that no metal shavings get inside the victors, there is no easier way to release the magic smoke inside of them then getting metal shavings inside there.

I would recommend contacting IFI about this, they might be able to help you determine if infact it was faulty or if it was just user error that caused the problem.

A word of advice though, make sure if your doing any sort of work with metal around your electronics that you cover them with a cloth or at the least a piece of paper. If at all possible remove the piece of metal or the electronics in the area when working on them. This goes for motors, victors, spikes, anything that uses electrical current, as metal shavings are a deadly force on these.

If you check the Victor again you will likely find that there is some damage to one of the 12 power FETs. (like the side is blown off or there is a big crack in the case.) Snapping and sparks are often caused by the FETs giving their lives so that the circuit breakers can be saved. If this is the case, there are a couple of causes for this. Most common is shavings inside, followed by high current draws on the motors due to things like turning in tank mode on carpet, driving at high speed into a stationary object, fan failure or rapid forward and backward motion. In some cases, a piece of conductive material falls down across the tabs of the FETs, shorting them out.
If the capacitor had failed, you would see the bottom of the case blown out, obvious liquid on the circuit board underneath the cap, distended case or a combination of all three. I believe that the upgrade from 883 to 884 installed better FETs in the output. This gave the controller higher output current specs and lower series resistance.
ed. IFI also lists the change in default deadband as a change. This has been troublesome for the precision of the pots inside most joysticks. With the increased deadband, there should be less problems with joysticks not returning to “center” resistance on the internal pots.

Those selfless FETs… sob


Hey I know a place that can fix your victor if you really want to fix it instead of buying a new one
It’s for 80 bucks, not including shipping, but it’s probably not worth it. It would be better to just buy new ones.

I was told the reason FIRST went from 883s to 884s was a smaller “dead-zone.” In the 883s, the dead zone was around 7% in each direction and in the 884s it was closer to 3%.

Yeah, victors don’t like having things shorting out the FETs. In the 03 chesapeak regional. Someone dropped a screw into a vic and our genius head electrician said, its just a heatsink, its not live, leave it. Because we had a match like right then.

Well it was fine at first, but I guess the screw shook into a “better” position, and boy did the smoke pour out. The side of the victor was entirely melted, it melted part of our electronics box, and melted some wires. Some of you that were there probably remember this. They got out a fire extinguisher on our bot, it was that bad. We ended up having to rewire most of the electronics.

Moral of the day: There doesn’t need to be anything else conductive inside the victors.

I think the rule for this year, 2005 is that we can only use Victor 884
We can’t use Victor 883 or Victor 885, because it’s illegal ???

I think what he is saying is that it is supposed to be a victor 884 but when he opened it up the circuit board said 883. Thats how I read his post anyway. Is that normal?