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Author Topic: Flashing BLHeli to your Afro ESCs  (Read 20930 times)

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Offline quadfather

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Flashing BLHeli to your Afro ESCs
« on: December 29, 2014, 21:34:30 »
A short tutorial for flashing BLHeli to your Afro ESC.

Requirements

Driver Installation
If you have previously flashed a Naze 32 you can skip this section.
  • Unzip the downloaded drivers to a directory of your choice.  Make sure to extract any subfolders, although this is usually done automatically.
  • From the folder run the VCP installer.  This will be either CP210xVCPInstaller_x64.exe or CP210xVCPInstaller_x86.exe, depending on your operating system.
  • Plug in the Afro USB Linker on its own and let Windows install the drivers.  You should now have a new COM port.
  • Unplug your Afro USB Linker.
  • You can also now remove the directory you unzipped the downloaded drivers to.

BLHeliSuite Installation
There actually is no installer.  Just a zip file containing the flasher and some libraries.
  • Unzip the downloaded BLHeliSuitexxx.zip to a directory of your choice.  Again, make sure to extract any subfolders.
  • Remember this folder's location.  We will run the flasher from there later.

Preparing the ESC
You can flash BLHeli with the Afro USB Linker using the servo wires.  But you must first remove the positive (middle, red) wire from the ESC's servo plug.  This is only temporary.
  • Gently push the servo wires into the plug.  You should see the receptacles move.  This is done to free the plug's latch from the receptacle.
  • With a small tool gently bend up the middle latch until you see that it's free from the receptacle.
  • Gently pull out the wire.
Alternatively you can bend the middle pin on the linker out of the way, or remove it completely (at your own risk!).

Flashing the ESC
As a precautionary measure make sure you can supply power to the ESC quickly in step 7 below.  You only have a few seconds before it times out.
  • Connect the ESC's servo plug to the Afro USB Linker.
  • Plug the Afro USB Linker into your PC.
  • Start BLHeliSuite.exe from the folder you extracted it to.
  • In the ATMEL / SILABS menu select ATMEL Afro/USB Linker Interface.
  • Back in the main window select the COM port and 9600 baud at the bottom.  The COM port should be labelled Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge.
  • Click Connect.
  • When prompted power the ESC with a battery.
  • Click Flash BLHeli.
  • Select your ESC as the target, MULTI as type and the latest firmware revision and click OK.
  • Answer Just one last question... with Yes.
  • Done. ~~
You can then make changes to the ESC behaviour using the sliders in the main window.  If you did make any changes click Write Setup to commit them to the ESC.

When you're done flashing the ESC you can put the red wire back into the plug.  You could also just insulate the receptacle with tape or heat shrink if you don't intend to power anything with that ESC's BEC.

Edit: Updated link to BLHeliSuite.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2015, 21:37:13 by quadfather »


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Offline stickboy

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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2015, 05:58:54 »
Thank You!!!!! Just spent an hour or two trying to get the kkmulti flash to work and this BLHeli flash only took minutes! And it actually worked!  ::)

Offline Paul01

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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2015, 06:19:57 »
A short tutorial for flashing BLHeli to your AfroESC.
Thanks for the guide, what are the benifits of the BLHeli firmware over SimonK?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 07:47:35 by teslahed »
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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2015, 07:51:07 »
what are the benifits of the BLHeli firmware over SimonK?

BLHeli can be smoother for some and can also help with desync problems.

On 3 cells my Afro ESCs ran very well but as soon as i went to 4 cells (with micro titan airbot 2300kv mini motors) i was getting terrible desync issues. Here's a video;



Unfortunately i haven't got a second video of the performance now that i've flashed all the ESCs in that first video with BLHeli so you'll have to take my word for it; they no longer desync and i can get a LOT more power out of them as a result.

So i would suggest stick with SimonK unless (or until) you run into problems. Then try BLHeli.

Oh yeah, and BLHeli supports Oneshot i believe. Not sure if that's doable on Afro ESCs or not but if it is i will definitely be trying it on the quad show in the video above. Maybe this weekend.

Nice guide quadfather, thanks for posting!
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Offline Paul01

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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2015, 09:13:29 »
BLHeli can be smoother for some and can also help with desync problems.

Thanks for info, I'm only running 1100kv motors with mine on 4s not seen that issue. Might flash one and see and see if I notice a chance at some point.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2015, 09:18:54 by teslahed »
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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2015, 09:19:52 »
Paul - when you quote someone else's response, any chance you could just quote the relevant section please? Otherwise the amount of space taken up by repeated information quickly grows quite large. I've edited a couple of your posts in this thread along these lines i hope that's ok. Thanks.
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Offline Paul01

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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2015, 11:24:33 »
any chance you could just quote the relevant section please?


Responded on my phone and it wasn't obvious, I was quoting the whole post.
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Offline kilby

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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2015, 11:48:36 »
Oh yeah, and BLHeli supports Oneshot i believe. Not sure if that's doable on Afro ESCs or not but if it is i will definitely be trying it on the quad show in the video above. Maybe this weekend.


According to the thread on RCGroups the Afro does support oneshot (of course RCG reports and reality often diverge)
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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2015, 12:12:49 »

Responded on my phone and it wasn't obvious, I was quoting the whole post.

Fair enough. Just hit reply if in doubt, especially if the thing you are replying to is directly above your comment.
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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 14:47:28 »
I have oneshot/damped light on my 20a afro slims with my naze32 and cleanflight on my 450!


Offline jampot1027

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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2015, 10:11:10 »
I have afro 30A escs. One is running slower than the other 3 . I am using base flight to view the throttle being applied to each motor. Motor 3 was always slower. I move the esc to motor four and then motor 4 was performing slower. This leads me to believe i have an issue with that esc. I want to flash all 4 with blheli. I have a few cp210 usb adapters lying on my desk. Am i right in thinking that these adapters are the same device as a turnigy usb linker or afro esc programmer? If so for the 1 wire programming which output pin from the usb adapter do i use??

Offline Revs

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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2015, 19:24:39 »
Guys, I'm struggling here, please help. I've got a dozen tabs open, a head-ache and no clue what to do.

I'm trying to install BLheli on my Arfo's so I can use DL and OS.

I have 3 Afro 20A slims, a USBisp and the tool for connecting directly to the chip in the ESCs. I've done this before to using the kkmulticopterflashtool, but that was SimonK fw and it was dead easy.

Can I use what I have to flash BLheli? I've downloaded the suite, selected ATMEL/SILABS and selected ATMEL ISP interface. But past that I'm lost.

EDIT: I think I've sorted it. I selected USBasp Clone from the drop-down at the bottom. Does this look ok?..



EDIT2: I've changed the timing to high and turned DL on and it seems good :)
« Last Edit: April 29, 2015, 20:41:48 by Revs »

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Re: Flashing BLHeli to your AfroESCs
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2015, 18:11:34 »
Top notch guide  ~~  Many thanks for your time Quadfather