VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

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VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by onloop » Feb 14, 2015 11:10 pm

Hi ES members,

Several months ago a thread was started about an open source, custom made, Electronic Speed Controller...

This is what the original author (of that thread) Austin David had to say:
austindavid wrote: Basically we want to make the perfect ESC and give it away.
- brushless -- designed for standard outrunners
- sensorless -- sensored performance at low speed, but no sensors required. Seriously. Start cold on a single motor, no cogging.
- power: 10S, high power, high efficiency design.
- regenerative braking
- quiet
- fully configurable. We'll tune it for a few specific motors, but it's as adjustable as wiiceiver or the flier/Alien ESCs
- all open source and hackable.
This thread got us all very excited, but nothing happened & now nobody except Vedder has this awesome device to paly with, read the original thread here: https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 35&t=63540

If you have no idea what VESC is or who Vedder is, here is a quick summary: The thread was essentially discussing the work of VEDDER (ES name), Benjamin Vedder who has created something that all DIY electric skateboard builders have been longing for, an open source, highly programmable, high voltage, reliable speed controller to use in DIY eboard projects.... the intention of the thread was to get the ESC made so we can all enjoy it.

If you would like to read more about Vedder and his designs check out his blog "Benjamin's robotics"
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SO NOW ITS TIME TO MAKE THIS DREAM INTO A REALITY
Image

Ever since this original thread started there have been many readers who have said they would do anything to get their hands on a VESC.... some have tried buying the parts and building from scratch, however most people simply don't have the expertise or the time to do this, So in order to get the ball rolling and make this ESC a reality I have teamed up with another ES member & inventor JACOB BLOY (fellow aussie, elecrical engineer & inventor of the skateboard-wheel-hub-motor from this thread: https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 31&t=65636)


So now all we need is the support of the community to make it happen!
PLEASE NOTE: If you have already made a pledge to JACOB you are now officially a VESC BETA TESTER


With your support the future of eboards will change forever, we will make this ESC and ensure that it gets into the hands of the people that matter the most!.... the DIY eboard builders around the world!



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I'm Interested, So how do I become an official BETA TESTER?

STEP 1. Click this link >VESC-PROJECT-MEMBERSHIP<
STEP 2. Complete the process to become an OFFICIAL BETA TESTER


Image
Last edited by onloop on Feb 14, 2015 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by torqueboards » Feb 14, 2015 11:23 pm

Cool.
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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by chuttney1 » Feb 14, 2015 11:52 pm

What's the cutoff date? Im thinking of this with the idea of beta testing video games, but also since there is a definitive price with an order button means so many will order and that first set of orders gets sent off to the PCB fab. Hence the cut off date for a set number of adequate size for the fab house.

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by onloop » Feb 15, 2015 12:09 am

Hey Chuttney, there is now a production schedule on enertion webpage

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by silviasol » Feb 15, 2015 12:43 am

Will the boards be made of 1 ounce or 2 ounce copper?
Current project: 10s 20ah sensored goped hoverboard
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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by jacobbloy » Feb 15, 2015 1:11 am

silviasol wrote:Will the boards be made of 1 ounce or 2 ounce copper?
2 ounce copper!

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by jacobbloy » Feb 15, 2015 1:22 am

Hey and by the way, if I've sent you an invoice and you havnt payed yet, please still pay through these means I have already payed for the boards that have been requested and they are already in production.
If you do pay through the website link no big deal just msg me and let me know and add a comment on the enertion checkout.

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by beto_pty » Feb 15, 2015 9:58 am

What does Vedder have to say about this?
:shock:
Is he on board... I know this is all open source and all but this is his baby...
Do or Do not. There is no try
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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by Vanarian » Feb 15, 2015 11:34 am

beto_pty wrote:What does Vedder have to say about this?
:shock:
Is he on board... I know this is all open source and all but this is his baby...
Haven't been able to talk much with Vedder instead of supporting him but I think he'll be happy to get incoming data from external sources since it is his baby as you said.

Updates should also be brought into both threads, old one and this one! Because there is already informations and pictures updates in the original thread.
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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by onloop » Feb 15, 2015 8:46 pm

Hi people...

there is now a BULK price available for BETA TESTERS.


buy between 10 - 19 units is approx $110 USD
buy between 20 - 29 units is approx $100 USD
buy between 30 - 39 units is approx $95 USD

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by silviasol » Feb 16, 2015 4:09 am

How in the world can it be so cheap. Just the parts are $100 from mouser?
Current project: 10s 20ah sensored goped hoverboard
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 35&t=62155

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by jacobbloy » Feb 16, 2015 6:57 am

silviasol wrote:How in the world can it be so cheap. Just the parts are $100 from mouser?
When the company makes PCB's for a living many of the parts that are used in the VESC are on half of the PCB's that they manufacture, so they are importing them direct from the manufacture at probably higher numbers the mouser buys them so at the same or lower cost as them, the pcb company puts there profit margin in a big pot (parts,laboure,mechian time,shipping)
They make a smaller profit on each to reach there final profit, where mouser only really has (parts) to make there profit!

Then bulk buy helps but us ordering 50 completed boards insead of one there increasing the order by 50% so they decrease there profit on each VESC by 10% to convince us to make that higher quantity purchase!
beto_pty wrote:What does Vedder have to say about this?
:shock:
Is he on board... I know this is all open source and all but this is his baby...
I have talked to Vedder and iv been keeping him in the loop, it was actually his idea a little, I have also been making sure we keep upto date on any changes he might make to the PCB to implement these changes before the final order is made!

We are hoping if we get the order quantity up to like 100pcs the price will go down just a little and we will look at donating this to Vedder for future developments.

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by benj » Feb 16, 2015 7:58 am

Thanks for doing this guys :) Really helps the DIYers who are not tooled up enough to get involved

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by vedder » Feb 17, 2015 6:45 am

It is nice that you want to make this ESC available as soon as possible. I was hoping to arrange an order of assembled PCBs as well, but I have spent most of my available time on development and testing. Currently I don't feel confident enough to sell my ESC as a finished product, so I want to do as much testing as possible before promising too much.

If you want to use the ESC in the state it is in now, you should be prepared for the following:
  • * You should have a computer with Linux and the toolchain and BLDC tool installed. Preferably not a virtual machine since USB can be troublesome then. If you just install Ubuntu 14.04, installing the rest is very easy.
    * You should have a programmer so that you can pull and install the latest software on a regular basis. I make updates often and sometimes they brake things (I should really make a proper function and regression testing setup).
    * Make sure to update BLDC Tool and the firmware at the same time. Different versions are likely to not work well together.
    * You have to be careful when configuring the ESC. It is not fool proof, so you can easily configure it to self destruct in a second. Use a lab power supply with current limiting it you aren't familiar with the configuration yet.
I just had a look at this site: http://www.enertionboards.com/electric- ... embership/
and it seems to me like you make a bit too many promises.
Will the VESC work with my motors?

The VESC will work with your motor, however to get the best performance some software achanges will need to be made.
If you don't configure it for your motor, you will be lucky if it works at all. You must configure it before using it with a new motor. If you want to sell it as plug-and-play, you have to sell a motor as well or pre-load a configuration for the specific motor that the buyer is going to use.

Also, the firmware has no well-tested stable branch, so before sending an assembled ESC to someone who isn't able to reprogram it, you should test everything in that firmware revision that you are going to upload first.

Another problem is that updates to BLDC Tool are not necessarily backwards-compatible with old firmware versions. So make sure that you keep a version of BLDC Tool pulled at the same time as the firmware you are using is pulled. It is easy to get old snapshots of the firmware and BLDC tool by looking at the commits on github, but you have to be aware of that and know which revision of the firmware is installed.

Yet another problem is that the latest firmware versions are not well tested, since I cannot do any driving outdoors in Sweden in the winter. There is snow, water, small stones and ice everywhere. Going up and down hills is a more difficult load that going a few meters forth and back in my basement, of driving on a flat low-traction surface in the corridors at chalmers. I have been hoping that some of the people I have sent assembled ESCs to (Austin, Dexter, some bachelor students) would help me testing the development I made during the winter, but they haven't had so much time yet.

I'm sorry if I'm sounding pessimistic, but I don't want to disappoint people. This ESC is a super complex project, so I would like to ask everyone to be patient. I also have a full-time job because I need income to survive, so all my ESC development is in my spare time on evenings and weekends. Just answering all email I get about the ESC takes me about one hour every day, and I still miss a lot of emails (sorry about that).
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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by onloop » Feb 17, 2015 9:13 pm

Hi Vedder I understand why you are taking a cautious approach with your ESC.... after all it is your baby.

However if people never get this ESC to test it you can never expect it to get to a stage that you are happy with.

The beta program is designed specifically to get it into the hands of people who have the time to test it in a range of different real world environments and then provide feedback.

The electric skateboard industry needs a quality ESC... because frankly our options are rubbish... your ESC could be a game changer or it could be rubbish aswell.... the only way we will ever know is testing... & the more people testing the better.....

In my opinion there is no point sitting around waiting any longer....lets all work together and start testing your baby. Throw caution to the wind. The rocket that sent the first man into space was not guaranteed to work... but they had to try it at some point....

All of the feedback you will receive should only aid in development.

If you like I can send you 3-4 motors that I think most people will want to use, such as;
1. NTm prop drive 5060.
2. Sk3 6354.
3. R-spec enertion motor.
4. ? Any other suggestions?

You can create a profile for each motor. Then people can start testing the ESC and tell you how it goes.

Eboarders are sick of crappy stuff.... If you want to build an ebike... there are so many controller options to choose from.. us eboard builders deserve to have a quality controller.... and if I can help make it happen I will not wait.

So we must work now to make it happen eboarders all over the world deserve this.

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by torqueboards » Feb 18, 2015 2:05 am

Think I might have fixed it..
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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by onloop » Feb 18, 2015 4:09 am

huh? fixed what?

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by John in CR » Feb 18, 2015 12:10 pm

Please add some specs to this thread. I need to know voltage and current capabilities to evaluate. While I'm sure they can't drive a high performance bike, I can envision very useful and interesting vehicles that use multiple small wheel hubbies. Also, with the right features they probably could be useful on low power ebikes too.

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by onloop » Feb 18, 2015 7:48 pm

VESC TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

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.
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 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.
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).
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, I’m not sure if FOC will have many benefits for low inductance high-speed motors besides running a bit quieter.

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by vedder » Feb 19, 2015 3:44 am

onloop wrote:Hi Vedder I understand why you are taking a cautious approach with your ESC.... after all it is your baby.

However if people never get this ESC to test it you can never expect it to get to a stage that you are happy with.

The beta program is designed specifically to get it into the hands of people who have the time to test it in a range of different real world environments and then provide feedback.

The electric skateboard industry needs a quality ESC... because frankly our options are rubbish... your ESC could be a game changer or it could be rubbish aswell.... the only way we will ever know is testing... & the more people testing the better.....

In my opinion there is no point sitting around waiting any longer....lets all work together and start testing your baby. Throw caution to the wind. The rocket that sent the first man into space was not guaranteed to work... but they had to try it at some point....

All of the feedback you will receive should only aid in development.

If you like I can send you 3-4 motors that I think most people will want to use, such as;
1. NTm prop drive 5060.
2. Sk3 6354.
3. R-spec enertion motor.
4. ? Any other suggestions?

You can create a profile for each motor. Then people can start testing the ESC and tell you how it goes.

Eboarders are sick of crappy stuff.... If you want to build an ebike... there are so many controller options to choose from.. us eboard builders deserve to have a quality controller.... and if I can help make it happen I will not wait.

So we must work now to make it happen eboarders all over the world deserve this.
Sorry if my post was discouraging. I think it is great that you are so enthusiastic and that you want to make my ESC available to everyone as soon as possible.

I got worried when I read this:
Will the VESC work with my motors?

The VESC will work with your motor, however to get the best performance some software achanges will need to be made.
It should be something like:
Will the VESC work with my motors?

The VESC will work with your motor, however, you must install Linux on your computer and use BLDC Tool to configure VESC over USB.
Just testing a new motor will not make it work without doing the configuration, but what is does is that it enables me to create a configuration that you can load as an XML file (there is a button in BLDC tool for doing that). I have a couple of them here:
https://github.com/vedderb/bldc-tool/tr ... igurations

Testing a new motor only takes me a few minutes, so if you send me the most common motors I can make configurations for them and upload them to github. Then you can have a list of motors to chose from to be loaded as the default configuration when you sell VESCs to beta testers, as well as an option on how to control the VESC (nunchuk, RC receiver, with/without reverse etc.).

Does that sound like a good plan?
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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by Vanarian » Feb 19, 2015 11:26 am

Onloop :arrow: If you're going to send motors to Vedder to get standard configuration, you should add to your list a Mamba from Castle Creations and also two motors from Brunot (50mm and 63mm units are widely used).

John :arrow: Hi it's been some time! you keep test going with your hubs? I was planning to go twin ZombieSS controller, I got one but I could not get the second unit listed for sale weeks ago. Have some crazy thing to make with VESC when I receive the controllers, ordered 2. I'll send you link when updated.
I needed to turn Air Gear stuff into reality so I am making this!
-+Electric inline skates - no remote control - weight / angle sensor - hub motors - one frame for all wheels sizes between 80/125mm - from 3.2 to 12 KW :mrgreen:

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by torqueboards » Feb 19, 2015 1:03 pm

Sounds like a good idea about the XML upload configurations Vedder.
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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by vedder » Feb 20, 2015 9:55 am

I made a brief video tutorial about what you need to to to use VESC. It is not that difficult, but without the configuration nothing will work. Every beta tester should read the configuration tutorial I wrote on my homepage carefully before expecting anything to work.



What do you think? Would you feel confident performing these steps by yourself?
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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by made_in_the_alps_legacy » Feb 20, 2015 10:35 am

I am afraid the first 7 mins would take me hours if not days to go through...
on the other side, from 7min onwards, it seems do able in a reasonnable time for me...
any chance to have something simple to go to the state shown at 7 min (CD) ?

anyway, thxs a lot for your efforts in this open source project

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Re: VESC - OFFICIAL BETA PROGRAM

Post by torqueboards » Feb 20, 2015 10:45 am

I think it's doable. The more people who have gone through the steps and with XML configuration files on specific motors already created then there isn't much else to do -- unless they were tweaking it and/or adding to it. But if they were doing that then they can learn how to use it.

With more people testing these ESCs the more documentation and help newer people can get.

It's actually nice that I got it working on a virtual machine now too which makes it easier for most people who have windows based computers. However, a downside to people switching over to Linux and simply just using it to program the VESC :) Sorry Ben.
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