10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Lightweight / Folding / Portable EVs - seats optional
vedder   100 W

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by vedder » Jun 02 2015 1:20pm

I just received benj's enertion beta VESC and desoldered two of the caps. Here is a photo:
http://home.vedder.se/public/VESC_Beta_ ... acitor.jpg
I also measured the capacitance with my multimeter.

Instead of the 10 uF caps from my BOM, 1 uF caps have been used (10x lower value). The larger 15uF caps were correct though. This decreases the total ceramic capacitance from 110 uF to 38 uF, which will cause problems for sure, especially when running on higher voltage. Another thing I noticed is that the 3.3V regulator has been replaced with one that has much higher dropout voltage.

In order to fix this, I recommend that everyone with enertion beta VESCs orders the correct caps from my BOM from mouser or farnell and replaces the 1uF caps. Otherwise, I fear that there will be more dead DRV8302s.
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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by okp » Jun 02 2015 1:39pm

thanks for the info !

@onloop : was it specified in the original specs sent to the supplier ? it's still unclear to me what kind of quality checks where done to ensure that the product was delivered as specified. Focus is of course on the product.

I live in Paris... and I am not a soldering hero... I know BETA means BETA... but not going on the PCB to fix something that could have been done by someone else.

My setup is ready but I don't want to fry my VESCs.... especially when the creator give such alert.

What is the way forward and the next steps/guidelines on the BETA devices?

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by Shep_pard » Jun 02 2015 2:30pm

Hey I just received my beta VESC(by the one and only vedder) and tried it out. I did a lot of testing with 12V and everything worked fabulously. Later on I wanted to get closer to the 50V I want for my project and used around 44V of a few lipos in series. As soon as I connected it, the DRV basically exploded and went up in magic smoke. I can see no other component are visibly broken. Of course the LEDs and STM32 won't function without the buck down converter in the ESC, so I don't have a way to test them. But already ordered a few new ones. I am just wondering if anybody has any idea how that could happen and if anything else might have burned. I had the motor leads connected as well as the USB. Plugged in the GND first and after that the positive and well than... (I added pictures of the ESC)
Is there a way I can check the STM32? connect a seperate 5V power supply to the whole board and see if the USB will work?
Thanks,
Sören Alrutz
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okp   100 kW

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by okp » Jun 02 2015 2:36pm

damn, not sure if my APS Antispark PowerSwitch has allowed me to avoid this. Nevertheless I went 12S and only did one or two full throttle tests on my desk. No load.

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by 777arc » Jun 02 2015 2:52pm

Is it definitely just 2 of those caps we need?

CSN   100 W

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by CSN » Jun 02 2015 2:53pm

I have a minty fresh VESC from Onloop. Never powered or altered.

I think the beta testing skills are a little over my level.

Anyone want to buy it? Located in California

PM me if interested

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by erwincoumans » Jun 02 2015 2:59pm

Shep_pard wrote: Is there a way I can check the STM32? connect a seperate 5V power supply to the whole board and see if the USB will work?
You should be able to program the STM32 using the SWD pins, which provides 5V. You could use a programmer such as the STM32F4 Discovery board.
(for example do a 'make upload' in the bldc firmware folder, and make sure the proper target is selected at the end of the Makefile)


vedder   100 W

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by vedder » Jun 02 2015 4:02pm

Shep_pard wrote:Hey I just received my beta VESC(by the one and only vedder) and tried it out. I did a lot of testing with 12V and everything worked fabulously. Later on I wanted to get closer to the 50V I want for my project and used around 44V of a few lipos in series. As soon as I connected it, the DRV basically exploded and went up in magic smoke. I can see no other component are visibly broken. Of course the LEDs and STM32 won't function without the buck down converter in the ESC, so I don't have a way to test them. But already ordered a few new ones. I am just wondering if anybody has any idea how that could happen and if anything else might have burned. I had the motor leads connected as well as the USB. Plugged in the GND first and after that the positive and well than... (I added pictures of the ESC)
Is there a way I can check the STM32? connect a seperate 5V power supply to the whole board and see if the USB will work?
Thanks,
Sören Alrutz
Did you connect an electrolytic capacitor to the input close to the VESC, as in this photo?
http://home.vedder.se/public/VESC/VESC_batch1_front.JPG
Some of my projects: http://vedder.se
Support my open source ESC development with a small donation

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by akiraEC » Jun 02 2015 4:44pm

Hi Ben,
Would you also suggest to replace the 3V3 regulator ?

vedder   100 W

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by vedder » Jun 02 2015 4:59pm

akiraEC wrote:Hi Ben,
Would you also suggest to replace the 3V3 regulator ?
I think the one that you have should be fine. I changed to a lower dropout regulator just in case because there was little margin between 5V and 3.3v.
Some of my projects: http://vedder.se
Support my open source ESC development with a small donation

akiraEC   100 W

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by akiraEC » Jun 02 2015 5:02pm

Well, I also have a board from the BETA ...
On those BETA boards, it is better to change it or the capacitors are enough ?

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by 777arc » Jun 02 2015 5:34pm

Can anyone post the part number for 3V3 in the beta VESCs?

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by Shep_pard » Jun 02 2015 5:40pm

Thanks erwincoumans I tried it with an discoveryboard and luckily the STM is still well. But can't connect the 5V for too long. The DRV as well as the coil are getting pretty hot.

Vedder I did not for the initial test of just turning it on with the extra voltage(I had one for the 12V). Can the ESC just blow if you forget it even though there is no load on it? If so, darn my excitement and lack of capacitors :D
oh well a chance to improve my soldering skills, I guess.
Any tips on soldering it? I was thinking to get the whole board up evenly to like 150-200°C to minimize the chance of separating the PCB layers and then just using a lot of hot air to get it off and quickly put a new one on.

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by Shep_pard » Jun 02 2015 5:40pm

Thanks erwincoumans I tried it with an discoveryboard and luckily the STM is still well. But can't connect the 5V for too long. The DRV as well as the coil are getting pretty hot.

Vedder I did not for the initial test of just turning it on with the extra voltage(I had one for the 12V). Can the ESC just blow if you forget it even though there is no load on it? If so, darn my excitement and lack of capacitors :D
oh well a chance to improve my soldering skills, I guess.
Any tips on soldering it? I was thinking to get the whole board up evenly to like 150-200°C to minimize the chance of separating the PCB layers and then just using a lot of hot air to get it off and quickly put a new one on.

vedder   100 W

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by vedder » Jun 03 2015 2:29am

Shep_pard wrote:Vedder I did not for the initial test of just turning it on with the extra voltage(I had one for the 12V). Can the ESC just blow if you forget it even though there is no load on it? If so, darn my excitement and lack of capacitors :D
oh well a chance to improve my soldering skills, I guess.
Any tips on soldering it? I was thinking to get the whole board up evenly to like 150-200°C to minimize the chance of separating the PCB layers and then just using a lot of hot air to get it off and quickly put a new one on.
Not using the electrolytic capacitor is most likely what caused your problem. Here is some info about that from Linear Technology:
http://cds.linear.com/docs/en/applicati ... /an88f.pdf
They show that using only ceramic capacitors on the input can cause a voltage spike with up to twice the input voltage amplitude. The most effective solution they show to prevent that is adding an electrolytic capacitor to the input.

It is not obvious that this would happen, so I should have written that clearly somewhere (I actually never tried connecting a 12s battery without the electrolytic capacitor myself, so it didn't happen to me). I'm sorry about your broken VESC. If you'd like, you can order a new drv8302 and send it back to me, then I will try to replace it and send it back. Hopefully nothing else has died on the PCB.
Some of my projects: http://vedder.se
Support my open source ESC development with a small donation

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by chuttney1 » Jun 03 2015 2:42am

777arc wrote:Can anyone post the part number for 3V3 in the beta VESCs?
Is this the 3.3V regulator? I will assume 3V3 means 3.3V. The part number provided is the one from the Vedder's BOM from his github. I am assuming it is the same chip used in the Beta VESCs.
Manufacturer Part #: TC2117-3.3VDBTR
Mouser Part #: 579-TC2117-3.3VDBTR

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by Shep_pard » Jun 03 2015 5:39am

vedder wrote: Not using the electrolytic capacitor is most likely what caused your problem. Here is some info about that from Linear Technology:
http://cds.linear.com/docs/en/applicati ... /an88f.pdf
They show that using only ceramic capacitors on the input can cause a voltage spike with up to twice the input voltage amplitude. The most effective solution they show to prevent that is adding an electrolytic capacitor to the input.

It is not obvious that this would happen, so I should have written that clearly somewhere (I actually never tried connecting a 12s battery without the electrolytic capacitor myself, so it didn't happen to me). I'm sorry about your broken VESC. If you'd like, you can order a new drv8302 and send it back to me, then I will try to replace it and send it back. Hopefully nothing else has died on the PCB.
Ok I did not know that. Pretty interesting.
Well you wrote in your email, that "you have to connect an electrolytic capacitor" but its probably a good idea to write it a bit more explicit so others won't make the same mistake. And oh well it's a beta, mistakes are just bound to happen.
Thanks a lot for the offer but I think you are probably already busy enough and I can get in touch with some friends who are a lot better in soldering then I am and let them help me.

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by pkondratyuk » Jun 03 2015 9:27am

Hi Benjamin,

So there are 8 ceramic capacitors that need to be replaced on onloop's VESCs, is that right?

An unrelated question: is it possible to control the strength of the active braking? Or is it only on/off? What about regen braking?

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by Shep_pard » Jun 03 2015 9:46am

pkondratyuk wrote: An unrelated question: is it possible to control the strength of the active braking? Or is it only on/off? What about regen braking?
Hey pkondratyuk the active breaking is adjustable. You can adjust the max breaking current and the max regenerative breaking current(which goes back into the battery). I did not have a chance testing the regenerative breaking yet, but the normal active breaking is really nice and smooth. And as a warning be careful with it. It really homes to a halt fast and brutal if you want it to.(almost flipped a 4kg alternator):D

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by lizard » Jun 03 2015 10:31am

vedder wrote:
Currently the VESC cannot do active braking (putting power into the motor to slow it down) in the sensorless mode. That is why the brake force is quite weak close to zero speed. Only regenerative braking is possible. As soon as you stop, you will get full torque in the other direction. I'm trying to implement sensorless active braking in firmware, but it is quite difficult. If you connect the sensors active braking should work.
Does active braking work without sensors now?

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okp   100 kW

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by okp » Jun 03 2015 1:19pm

I am waiting from onloop feedback; this is where BETA management has to show it's efficiency; and I still have no feedback on my open questions. Do we all send back the VESC BETA for guarantee ?
@onloop : was it specified in the original specs sent to the supplier ? it's still unclear to me what kind of quality checks where done to ensure that the product was delivered as specified. Focus is of course on the product.

I live in Paris... and I am not a soldering hero... I know BETA means BETA... but not going on the PCB to fix something that could have been done by someone else.

My setup is ready but I don't want to fry my VESCs.... especially when the creator give such alert.

What is the way forward and the next steps/guidelines on the BETA devices?
Last edited by okp on Jun 03 2015 1:50pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by erwincoumans » Jun 03 2015 1:39pm

I'm not entirely happy with the VESC performance at low speed (startup, breaking, reverse at very low speed) using a direct-drive hub motor.

Here is a new topic how to add Hall sensors and use the VESC in sensored mode. http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 35&t=69951

Does anyone know where to buy a low-KV sensored brushless motor that is compatible with VESC?

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by torqueboards » Jun 03 2015 1:52pm

erwincoumans wrote:I'm not entirely happy with the VESC performance at low speed (startup, breaking, reverse at very low speed) using a direct-drive hub motor.

Here is a new topic how to add Hall sensors and use the VESC in sensored mode. http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 35&t=69951

Does anyone know where to buy a low-KV sensored brushless motor that is compatible with VESC?
How low of a KV were you looking into?
DIYElectricSkateboard.com Electric Skateboard Kits

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Re: 10S custom skate ESC: testers wanted!

Post by erwincoumans » Jun 03 2015 1:54pm

torqueboards wrote:
erwincoumans wrote: Does anyone know where to buy a low-KV sensored brushless motor that is compatible with VESC?
How low of a KV were you looking into?
Anything below 300KV I guess, I'm not very picky. I think VESC requires 120 electrical degree spacing between Halls?
Would it be easy to re-configure VESC to allow other custom Hall configurations? Has anyone tried VESC in sensored mode?

I tried using the E-Go hall sensors, but it didn't work, the motor just stopped rotating. Benjamin Vedder warned about experimenting and randomly connecting Hall wires to VESC I recall in an earlier message on this thread. Not sure what the Hall configuration is on the E-Go. Is there some easy way to figure out,
without disassembling the motor? Some sensor detection on VESC might be useful.

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