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VESC - 3-12S Open source ESC

VESC - 3-12S Open source ESC

Old 04-24-2015, 03:43 AM
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Default VESC - 3-12S Open source ESC

Found this:

An open source ESC for 3S-12S, Peak current 240Amps, sustained current 50Amps.

Check it out, the algorhythms used in this thing seem so advanced, that "normal" RC controllers look like junk compared to it. It seems to have real current/torque based control and not just based on duty-cycle like RC ESCs. It has a function where it measures the motors parameters to optimize commutation during startup. The creator is also planning to add field oriented commutation.

The hardware seems pretty advanced too, it has current sensing and voltage sensing on all phases and a lot more goodies.

It also has freewheeling, which the author doesn't even mention in the specs, just in some posting, seems it's such a basic feature to him that it's not worth mentioning in the specs

Starting and braking is supposed to be smoother and more efficient than any RC ESC out there. He says he reaches 95% of torque during startup without sensors.
There is a video showing completely smooth starts from standstill with a skateboard plus driver on it with gearing for 70km/h. He says, in most cases it takes only one or two commutations to "lock-in" on rotor position and reach closed-loop operation. Amazing IMHO.

He's also doing something different with braking, there is no squaling sound and the regenerative efficiency is higher.

Electrical RPM limit is around 100k RPM.

Here's some thread related to it on endless-sphere forums:

Here is a link to a BETA Program where you can get the ESC for around 150$:

Video of it running in an 1/8th scale buggy:

Configuration tutorial:

Video showing smooth startup:

Here's the feature list from the page above:

The hardware and software is open source. Since there are plenty of CPU-resources left, the customization possibilities are almost endless.
STM32F4 microcontroller.
DRV8302 MOSFET driver / buck converter / current shunt amplifier.
IRFS3006 MOEFETs (other FETs in the same package also fit).
5V 1A output for external electronics from the buck converter integrated on the DRV8302.
Voltage: 8V 60V (Safe for 3S to 12S LiPo).
Current: Up to 240A for a couple of seconds or about 50A continuous depending on the temperature and air circulation around the PCB.
Firmware based on ChibiOS/RT.
PCB size: slightly less than 40mm x 60mm.
Current and voltage measurement on all phases.
Regenerative braking.
DC motors are also supported.
Sensored or sensorless operation.
A GUI with lots of configuration parameters
Adaptive PWM frequency to get as good ADC measurements as possible.
RPM-based phase advance (or timing/field weakening).
Good start-up torque in the sensorless mode (and obviously in the sensored mode as well).
The motor is used as a tachometer, which is good for odometry on modified RC cars.
Duty-cycle control, speed control or current control.
Seamless 4-quadrant operation.
Interface to control the motor: PPM signal (RC servo), analog, UART, I2C, USB or CAN-bus.
Wireless wii nunchuk (Nyko Kama) control through the I2C port. This is convenient for electric skateboards.
Consumed and regenerated amp-hour and watt-hour counting.
Optional PPM signal output. Useful when e.g. controlling an RC car from a raspberry pi or an android device.
The USB port uses the modem profile, so an Android device can be connected to the motor controller without rooting. Because of the servo output, the odometry and the extra ADC inputs (that can be used for sensors), this is perfect for modifying an RC car to be controlled from Android (or raspberry pi).
Adjustable protection against
Low input voltage
High input voltage
High motor current
High input current
High regenerative braking current (separate limits for the motor and the input)
Rapid duty cycle changes (ramping)
High RPM (separate limits for each direction).
When the current limits are hit, a soft back-off strategy is used while the motor keeps running. If the current becomes way too high, the motor is switched off completely.
The RPM limit also has a soft back-off strategy.
Commutation works perfectly even when the speed of the motor changes rapidly. This is due to the fact that the magnetic flux is integrated after the zero crossing instead of adding a delay based on the previous speed.
When the motor is rotating while the controller is off, the commutations and the direction are tracked. The duty-cycle to get the same speed is also calculated. This is to get a smooth start when the motor is already spinning.
All of the hardware is ready for sensorless field-oriented control (FOC). Writing the software is the remaining part. However, Im not sure if FOC will have many benefits for low inductance high-speed motors besides running a bit quieter.
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Old 04-24-2015, 09:53 AM
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Look really nice, very promising.
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Old 04-24-2015, 03:56 PM
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Waiting 2S ESC.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:16 AM
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There are some for sale now:

From the developer in Sweden, only the assembled PCB, no cables/plugs and capacitors:
115EUR plus 20EUR shipping worldwide.

Or here from Australia, complete with cables/plugs, capacitors and in shrinkwrap:
112EUR plus shipping

For people who only need 8S max, the 60V FETs on the ESC can be replaced by these 40V FETs with lower resistance:
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Old 04-30-2015, 11:56 AM
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Other than the weak BEC this thing looks promising. It does look to be tailored a bit toward sensorless setups, but it looks stout. I liked the video of the 1/8th scale buggy climbing up the wall with no cogging.
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