When will CTRE come back with their brushless motor controller?

How many teams are waiting for the CTRE brushless motor controllers.

How many teams will be more likely to use neos if CTRE had a motor controller for them.

What features would you like to see in the motor controller.

Are you hype for brushless motors in frc.

This post does not mean that CTRE is coming out with a brushless motor controller however I could only imagine they are.


I don’t think anyone knows the answer to this question. I suspect they’ll announce very soon after they figure out the details, since they know they are competing with Spark Max.

I am not knowledgeable on electronics but sparkmaxes (sparkmaxs?) Are 75$ and the Talon SRX is 90$. They both do the same job and a neo is 40$ Vs the CIM is 32$. The only reason smaller teams on a budget won’t switch (for a while) is because they have old SRXs (and CIMS that shouldn’t be really be reused).

My bottom line is, I am fine with the way it is. Ihope they can put the time into making other cool things we can have rather than 7 ways to do one thing.

Respectfully, I disagree here. The TalonSRX was released multiple years ago to work with brushed motors (i.e. CIM, Mini CIM, 775 Pro, etc…) and has been established as reliable and efficient. On the other hand, the Spark Max presented the opportunity for using both brushed and brushless motors (only Neo for now) and was released at the beginning of this season — with quite a few initial software bugs coming with. This year my team used 7 NEOs on our robot and couldn’t have been happier: they weigh much less than the comparable CIM motor, they are more compact, they generate less heat, and they can run at low speeds (due to the fact that they’re brushless). You can read here on the diffferences between brushed and brushless motors.

Again, I disagree that this would be the seventh way (it would be the second way after Spark Max). Although the Spark Max already has surfaced and been tested, my team will still be keeping an eye out for the brushless Talon SRX model. The model could 1) create competition for the Spark Max, improving quality and reducing prices, 2) present new opportunities like connecting an encoder in addition to a brushless motor, and 3) encompass the existing Talon SRX ecosystem with CAN which has been tested extensively and provides functions such as Motion Magic.

While I don’t think that my team will switch over to the CTRE version in the 2020 season (as we already invested in Spark Maxes and tested the Spark Maxes throughout the season), it will definitely be considered for future years in my opinion.


CTRE said they will be releasing something this fall.

1 Like

We decided to wait for a year before going all in with the Spark MAXes (partly in the hopes that CTRE would release a brushless controller too).

Although a theoretical brushless CTRE motor controller and Spark MAX would both drive brushless DC motors, they won’t be the same. There are massive API differences, and with the experience that CTRE has had with software development over several years, I expect that CTRE’s software will have fewer bugs than REV’s software when the Spark MAX was initially released.

Competition is good for the consumer. Actual competition for CTRE and REV means that prices might go down and it will ultimately result in better products. I also know that there are many teams (including us) that are so much more used to CTRE’s software suite and would therefore be more comfortable with a CTRE brushless controller.


Our programmers had just gotten comfortable with the CTRE Motion Magic software that when the NEOs and SparkMax controllers were released, so we actually considered just having a pair of talons plugged in running motion magic and acting as the master for the SparkMaxs but not actually powering any motors (In fact we actually started the season with a MiniCIM and 2 NEOs in each gearbox partially for this reason as well). Thankfully the game this year didn’t require an autonomous mode so it allowed us forgo motion magic altogether, and later go to an all-NEO drive system (to save weight of course).

I for one would definitely welcome a CTRE brushless motor controller with motion magic support, or alternatively better development and documentation of Revs own motion control software.


Again I didn’t know anything about the electrical aspect but cool I learned something today!

What’s your source on this?

I don’t think I heard those exact words (and I caught dinner with Omar one night), but this motor controller has been ready to go for a while. If they’ve had since last fall to finish pushing it into production and it isn’t out to some FRC beta test teams this fall (if not a full release), I’ll be really shocked.

I was told at champs that they are just waiting on FIRST to give the :+1:

1 Like

It would be really nice for teams to have it in their hands before the season, so we can actually get a feel for them. I can’t be the only one who finds product releases without time to actually test them slightly annoying.


They were telling folks at champs they were just waiting on FIRST for some legality things.

Yeah… Except they’ve had a product now for a couple years and haven’t been allowed by FIRST to market it to FIRST teams. One really has to wonder what’s going on over at FIRST.


I think lots of teams are holding off on switching to brushless precisely because they’re waiting for CTRE to release stuff. Control systems are an expensive ecosystem and most teams don’t have the kind of money to buy into a whole ecosystem they’ll use for one or two years only to buy a whole new one when a better one comes out. My team is included in this - we have nothing against REV or the NEOs but CTRE + Talons offer a system my team finds extremely beneficial and we’re not ready or financially capable of moving onto an ecosystem we don’t know for sure we’d wanna stay on.

If CTRE and VEX announced they had no plans to release brushless motor technology even if FIRST gave them the green light, then we would reconsider our future brushless goals, as we would only have one option to choose from. Until then, we, and I’d bet a couple more teams, are holding out for the future.


Literally this is the only reason we haven’t switched.


Out of curiosity, what product are you referring to?

It’s why we haven’t switched yet, despite the advantages of NEOs. We have so much that we’ve done with our Talons over the last few years that we don’t want to start all over with SparkMAXs.

They’ve had the Brushless motor controller done and prototyped since 2016. They demonstrated them at the championship.

Designing ways to play vendors against each other?