So I saw on Facebook that VEX had come out with a new motorcontroller for FRC. Which through a chain reaction got me thinking on how the cortex could really be improved. Here’s a list:
-10 2 wire motor ports; The vast majority of teams use either 269s or 393s, for those that do still use 3 wires could have a new product that converted the current (similar to the MC29). Considering that VEX has begun phasing out/ eliminating 3 wires it makes no sense to have a huge mess of wires caused by MC29s when nobody even uses the 3 wire ports for 3 wires.
-Higher stress PTCs
-More sensor ports
-Capacity for lithium batteries (which are overall just better quality than NMH)
So basically, this isn’t just a new microcontroller, there’d be several new products:
-Converters for 3 wire motors
Honestly, I think this would be an important update. I’m not saying the cortex is bad, just that it should get updated to reflect more what other products are moving toward.
Not gonna happen on my watch guys. These things are used in the classroom and there still is way too many instances of pretty severe fire and bodily harm caused by high current draw applications using Li-Ion. Just not worth it.
Also, even if we did come out with an updated controller (which we are not), we would not use the 2 wire motor ports. The motor controller (inside the Cortex on 2 wire ports, inside the MC29, and inside the 3 wire motors) is where all the high current and resulting high temperature is prior to the motor (obviously, the motor has both of these also). It is much smarter to have that motor controller separate if you are drawing high current.
They will also have a revision to the Victor motor controller later this year (according to the web site).
Completely agree, Lithium-Ion and LiPo batteries can be a pain.
The only possible advantage to having the control within the micro controller is to allow such features as back-emf and current measurements such as exist on the VEXpro ARM9, otherwise it’s certainly better to have them external.