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Andy7:
24 Aug 2019 19:21:05
 ~~
Gaza07:
23 Aug 2019 19:26:42
I agree it does look a lot better for some reasom SMF shorten any recent posts display  :rolleyes:
Andy7:
23 Aug 2019 10:29:15
Nice! Looks loads better.  :beer2:
Gaza07:
22 Aug 2019 22:47:32
Sorted mate  ~~
Andy7:
22 Aug 2019 10:27:36
Sure. But basically, all the subjects are getting cut off.
Gaza07:
21 Aug 2019 18:14:54
Can you pm me a screen shot of what you mean
Andy7:
21 Aug 2019 12:15:41
Gaza - can you make the subject line section in the forum topic list wider? It's cutting off the subject field really short.
Andy7:
19 Aug 2019 09:14:20
Good for you!  ~~
DarkButterfly:
18 Aug 2019 19:13:57
Had another negative encounter, it's been a few years since the last one, just an uneducated ******, going on about drones being illegal yada yada yada.    :-/
Still that didn't spoil my flying time, had an absolute blast  ~~
Gaza07:
07 Aug 2019 19:52:01
ooooh mrs jones  :D
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3d - Printworx

Printing 3d Forum

How to flash your ESCs with improved SimonK firmware - the easy way

Started by teslahed, Monday,January 07, 2013, 18:11:22

Previous topic - Next topic

teslahed

I am just about to flash a bunch of hobbyking 12 amp blue series Electronic Speed Controllers;

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__28404__HobbyKing_12A_BlueSeries_Brushless_Speed_Controller_UK_Warehouse_.html



for the stunt quadcopter i am currently building and i thought I would try and write out a simple tutorial to help others looking to do the same thing.

These speed controllers use the ATMEL processor chip which is quite common and relatively easy to flash with the SimonK improved multirotor specific firmware.

In order to access the pins on the chip you need a USB programmer (USBasp AVR Programming Device);

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__21321__USBasp_AVR_Programming_Device_for_ATMEL_proccessors.html



The drivers needed to use this can be fiddly to install. You may want to read this website which includes instructions and links for for windows 7 and Vista x64;

http://www.protostack.com/blog/2011/05/usbasp-driver-for-windows-7-and-windows-vista-x64/

and if you want to make your life easy the Atmega Socket Firmware Flashing Tool allows you to connect the programmer straight to the ATMEL chip on the Electronic Speed Controller without having to do any clever soldering or fiddling around with making your own flash tool;

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__27195__Atmel_Atmega_Socket_Firmware_Flashing_Tool.html



The Atmega Socket Firmware Flashing Tool simply plugs into the USBasp AVR Programming Device.



You then need the right software to use with the USBasp programmer. I like to use the ';lazyzero KKMulticopter Flashtool';. This bit of software (and the previous hardware too) can be used for all sorts of ATMEL based flashing activities, including but not limited to upgrading the firmware on the KK1 and KK2 flight control boards and upgrading the turnigy 9x to the er9x firmware (and others). It works great for flashing Electronic Speed Controllers;

http://lazyzero.de/en/modellbau/kkmulticopterflashtool

You will need to download the latest version of the SimonK firmware. This is the improved firmware that you will be uploading to your electronic speed controller to improve it';s responsiveness and remove ';features'; that work well for planes and conventional aircraft but are not so good with multirotors, like the low voltage cut off which will save your lithium polymer battery but destroy your quadcopter.

Not all electronic speed controllers use the ATMEL chip but many do. This document has a list of the different common Electronic Speed controllers that people like to flash;

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AhR02IDNb7_MdEhfVjk3MkRHVzhKdjU1YzdBQkZZRlE#gid=0

As well as including links to the firmware itself. It';s worth looking closely at the document because there are different individual files for different Electronic Speed Controllers and if you pick the wrong one you could damage your speed controller. Looking at the document I can see that I need to flash the ';bs_nfet.hex'; file which will be included in the download found here;

https://github.com/sim-/tgy/downloads

New versions are released periodically - it';s probably best to get the latest (at the top) unless you know of any problems with this version, then try the next one down.

Now you should have all the software and hardware that you need to get going. You will need to remove the heatshrink from your Electronic Speed Controller to access the ATMEL chip on the underside so you will probably want to have some new heatshrink ready to replace the stuff you remove. Alternatively you can try and slice it neatly down the side and then reuse it with a bit of tape but this doesn';t look quite so nice.

A small amount of blue tack can be used to hold the Electronic speed controller down firmly so it doesn';t move whilst you do the flashing. You don';t want to let go and have the tool disconnect half way through the flashing procedure - that might mess things up quite badly.

In order to work out which way around the Atmega Socket Firmware Flashing Tool should go on the ATMEL chip you will need to look at a diagram showing which legs of the chip correspond to which pins on the Flashing tool itself. This rcgroups thread has photos of most of the common electronic speed controllers;

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1513678

Mine is this one;



The 3 clustered in one corner correspond to the corner of the flash tool with 3 pins near each other - so it isn';t too hard to work out which way around to hold the square flash tool on the square ATMEL chip. Most ATMEL chips should have a little circular dot in the opposite corner to the corner the 3 clustered pins on the flash tool fit over so you can use this to work it out even if you can';t find a picture of your particular Electronic Speed controller.





You will need to select the right options in the lazyzero KKMulticopter Flashtool program to successfully flash your Electronic Speed Controllers;



Then click on the icon of the running man next to the icon of the little disc you used to select the correct firmware to flash to start the flashing process. Make sure you';ve got a firm grip on the flash tool before you click the button!

The whole flashing process takes about 30 seconds and you';ll see several different progress bars quickly complete. Don';t be tempted to take the tool off the chip too soon or bad things may happen! You';ll see a bunch of stuff scroll through the flash tool program and it will end by writing, then reading to confirm that everything was done successfully.

The very last line of test will be "Flashing of firmware was successfull."



Hopefully you should now have one successfully flashed ESC loaded with the SimonK firmware ~~

All that remains is to solder it up to your quacopter replace the heatshrink and calibrate the ESC with the throttle on your radio transmitter. All other programming options are now gone but it is very important to get the ESC calibrated properly and do all 4 the same way. Here is a little video i made showing me doing one of mine, the beep tones should be the same for yours;



Please note - I have taken the propellers off my motors for this step. If you leave the propellers on and something goes wrong the motor may spin up and the multirotor could try and kill you!
One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.

teslahed

Monday,January 07, 2013, 20:15:39 #1 Last Edit: Saturday,September 20, 2014, 11:16:33 by teslahed
If you';ve been wondering what the ';enable bootloader'; feature is for;

RapidFlash!

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/rapidflash/gehadojofkekobiohnefkabgimeniglh?hl=en



This is a chrome based application that lets you use a usb flash tool;

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__39437__afro_esc_usb_programming_tool.html



to easily update your firmware via the RapidFlash utility.

If you have Afro ESCs this option is enabled by default and you can skip all the instructions in post one and move straight on to this easier step.

All you need to do it plug your ESC signal wire into the Afro ESC Linker device (or turnigy linker if you have one of those - same difference) and load up the RapidFlash utility. It will let you change all the SimonK options and reflash as often as you want without removing heatshrink or messing with the ATMEL chip directly.

One useful feature - no more guessing motor spin directions when soldering everything up! Just wire your ESCs to your motors however is most convenient, test spin all your motors then reflash those that spin the wrong way with the ';reverse spin direction'; option checked. This will reverse your motors much more quickly than having to mess with your wires and resolder everything.

Here';s a video someone else put together i found on Youtube;



One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.

teslahed

Monday,January 07, 2013, 20:18:23 #2 Last Edit: Wednesday,January 09, 2013, 00:06:34 by teslahed
A quick follow up tip;

Once you remove the heatshrink from your Electronic Speed Controller you may find the metal heatsink falls off. This is because they are often held onto the MOSFETs (the little chips that handle the power flow) by something called a thermally conductive pad which is barely sticky and by the pressure exerted by the heatshrink itself.

I like to replace the thermally conductive pad with silicon based thermally conductive glue. This conducts the heat away from the MOSFETs better than the pad, just by virtue of being thinner, and holds the heatsink more firmly onto the electronic speed controller. Better heat conductivity might result in a slightly more reliable Electronic Speed Controller - maybe...

It';s not particularly common stuff but if you google around or search on ebay (usually from somewhere based in china) you';ll be able to find tubes of the stuff quite cheap. It sets pretty quickly, it usually takes a couple of hours or so, and sticks much better than the pads but not as well as the much more expensive thermally conductive epoxy you can buy from companies like ';arctic silver'; (anyone into overclocking PCs will know what I';m referring to here).

I spread a little bit on each chip with something small like a cable tie then press the heatsink back down and leave everything for a couple of hours or so. A handy tip - if you leave a blob of the glue somewhere exposed you can test the blob periodically and when that';s set you can be reasonably sure the Electronic Speed Controllers are safe to handle.







Don';t worry if you can';t get hold of the thermally conductive glue - it probably only helps a little bit and if you are careful to put new heatshrink back onto the Electronic Speed Controller you can just reuse the thermally conductive pad. There are times i suspect I';m mildly OCD :laugh:
One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.

Gaza07



secretman

i will flash my silab esc soon i will add it here you can use an arduino to flash too

http://www.helifreak.com/blog.php?b=1972

teslahed

It';s good you can also flash the silabs chips now as well. Unfortunately I have no experience of doing that myself, just the ATMEL chips, so i can';t really write a simple guide on that. It';s definitely doable though :smiley:
One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.

XH558

Well - how handy  ~~ Couldn';t have come at a better time ....

I ordered my flashing tool from HK about 2 weeks ago and whilst waiting I';ve surgically removed the heatshrink from my 4 escs ... got Lazy Zero ';favourited'; .... so this is dead handy for when I get down to doing the deed ....

Brilliant  ::)

teslahed

Glad to hear it should come in useful. When you get around to trying this for yourself if you do find anything missing in the guide, or anything that needs more explanation, please just ask. As always if you point out any typos, spelling mistakes or technical errors that you find then i would be grateful for that to, thanks.

You can Beta test it for me :smiley:
One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.

QuadBod

Quote from: XH558 on Tuesday,January 08, 2013, 23:54:52
I';ve surgically removed the heatshrink from my 4 escs ...


There';s a way to surgically remove it? I';ve found just tearing it at the open end, end peeling it like an orange the quickest!   :confused:

XH558

Oh no  :frantic:

I tend to be much more ';surgical'; with my scalpel knife I';ve cut through just the heatshrink over the chip and made a little ';access door'; .... had to be careful not to go too deep and damage the board ... but then that';s what fettling is all about  :cool: ::)

secretman


teslahed

Quote from: XH558 on Wednesday,January 09, 2013, 14:32:31
Oh no  :frantic:

I tend to be much more ';surgical'; with my scalpel knife I';ve cut through just the heatshrink over the chip and made a little ';access door'; .... had to be careful not to go too deep and damage the board ... but then that';s what fettling is all about  :cool: ::)


That sounds like quite a good way to do it - cutting a little square out over where you know the chip to be then putting a bit of tape over the square hole after you';ve flashed them. I bet a sharp scalpel blade makes accurate cuts easier than trying to use a stanley knife.

I quite like the look of my new transparent heatshrink and some people like to get brightly coloured stuff and even use different colours front and back to help with orientation.

If you cut the heatshrink totally off the ESC you can access the solder pads on the ESC circuit board itself - this can make soldering new wires to the speed controller that are the perfect length easier than soldering wire to wire, sometimes. It just depends on how you prefer to do things really.
One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.

XH558

Quote from: teslahed on Wednesday,January 09, 2013, 15:11:37
That sounds like quite a good way to do it - cutting a little square out over where you know the chip to be then putting a bit of tape over the square hole after you';ve flashed them. I bet a sharp scalpel blade makes accurate cuts easier than trying to use a stanley knife.

I quite like the look of my new transparent heatshrink and some people like to get brightly coloured stuff and even use different colours front and back to help with orientation.

If you cut the heatshrink totally off the ESC you can access the solder pads on the ESC circuit board itself - this can make soldering new wires to the speed controller that are the perfect length easier than soldering wire to wire, sometimes. It just depends on how you prefer to do things really.


I didn';t know on the first esc  :hmm: I had to do some exploratory ';searching'; ... :rolleyes: then the other 3 were a doddle  :laugh:

I prefer to do things as best I can - or at least ';have a go'; - if it goes tits up then at least I learned for the next time ... +1 for the memory banks  :azn 

teslahed

Quote from: XH558 on Wednesday,January 09, 2013, 23:54:57
I didn';t know on the first esc  :hmm: I had to do some exploratory ';searching'; ... :rolleyes: then the other 3 were a doddle  :laugh:

I prefer to do things as best I can - or at least ';have a go'; - if it goes tits up then at least I learned for the next time ... +1 for the memory banks  :azn


If you are able to take a close up picture of one of yours cut out like that I will be tempted to add it to the guide, thanks :smiley:
One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.

Smeagol

Great wee guide Chris, I went the manual solder wire way to flash mine, and now a couple of them may never be reflashed due to lack of padding  :rofl:

QuadBod

Quote from: Smeagol on Friday,January 11, 2013, 22:28:03
I went the manual solder wire way to flash mine, and now a couple of them may never be reflashed due to lack of padding.


If you get the HK Socket Firmware Flashing Tool that teslahed mentioned, you';ll still be able to flash even without pads to solder to, as no soldering is required! It';s a superb bit of kit - I flashed 4 ESCs yesterday in less than 5 mins. Worth every penny!

Smeagol

Quote from: QuadGod on Saturday,January 12, 2013, 12:57:30
If you get the HK Socket Firmware Flashing Tool that teslahed mentioned, you';ll still be able to flash even without pads to solder to, as no soldering is required! It';s a superb bit of kit - I flashed 4 ESCs yesterday in less than 5 mins. Worth every penny!

:embarrassed senior moment, forgot about the wee chip tool, i';ll get one when i';m ready to build my hex.

XH558

Right - here we go - this will be a long post ... but needs must ....

The HK flashing tool arrived....

Laptop has KK software on board - USBasp driver installed

So ..... first issue

Crius USBasp v0.2 gizmo has already been successfully used to flash KK v2 board so i know it works....

BUT - when it arrived it had the lead already attached to it for flashing boards and I can see that 6 cable ribbon lead has to come off so I can attach the ESC flashing gizmo.

So I unplug the old 6 cable ribbon lead -this now leaves me with a plastic piece on the USB device which holds the old lead and guides the plug onto the 6 pins ...this plastic piece is 15mm wide and the old KK lead has a 10mm plug that goes into it. BUT the new gizmo has a 10 cable ribbon lead and an 18mm plug with 10 holes and there aint no way that';s going in the old plastic guide ....

After a lot of head scratching it takes me a while to realise that the plastic guide on the USB end can be pulled off ...... 

This now leaves me with 6 bare pins sticking out onto which has to go a 10 pin plug --- so I guess it has to go in the middle 6 ....

BUT - again ... more complications - the old plastic guide bit I';ve just pulled off had a slot in it and the old 6 cable ribbon leads has a guide on the plug that goes in that slot so you can';t get it the wrong way round .... when putting a 10 pin plug on to 6 bare pins you have no clue which way up it goes  :o
There is a similar peg on the bigger plug but this time no slot to guide it in to. I also forgot to note which way up the plastic guide bit went before I pulled it off as that may have told me  :embarrassed

So I';m starting off on the wrong foot ....

Anyway let';s give it a try ...

Did my research - found my Mystery Cloud 30 on the database and noted that in the FW File column it said ';tp.hex';  - duly noted

Plug it all up and open the KK programmer

Go to the downloads thing https://github.com/sim-/tgy/downloads
But no reference to ';tp.hex';   :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Now what ....

So think I';ll just wing it ....

In programmer I select USBasp
In port I select USB
In controller I select Atmega 8-based brushless ESC + enable bootloader etc
In file I leave it blank
In the first drop down I select TP
In the next drop down that narrows it down to 2 so i leave it on the one it selects

I then spend ages trying to work out which way round the white programmer head goes on the chip and finally figure it out ... but I have to take off the 2 small white pegs as they are in the way of other bits on the esc and the plug won';t sit down square - finally get it and press it down and click the green man ......................

Surprise surprise ...a quick flash of white text then shitloads of red text and a fail ....

In for a penny - take the plug off the USB thing and reverse it just in case ......

same result exactly .....

scrabbling around in the dark now ..... photos aren';t brilliant but I hope they help identify my dilemmas - a bit blurry in places ....

so .......

a) where is the correct software to download for my ESC
b) which way round does that friggin plug go on the USB thing

Then I';ll have another go ....

PHEW ......... :azn

PS - there';s a reference to photos - well the board wouldn';t let me add them - kept failing - so I left them off - they weren';t much use anyway as it';s panned out  :rolleyes:

Jumpy07

Try powering your ESC from a lipo when you flash... 

cant comment on the cable as my amtel tool plugs into USBASP only one way and is keyed.. so cant go wrong..

.. but some ESC';s will not flash without being powered..
BNUC-S Pilot with PfCo /PFAW.
UAQ / CAA PfCo Instructor / Flight Assessor

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"

Smeagol

Not having thoroughly read your text, but I did notice one difference to mine.

When I tried flashing using :

"Atmega 8-based brushless ESC + enable bootloader"

It failed, On Gaz advice I looked for the same option but without the bootloader bit

It worked......

Gaza07

You cant just plug the 10 pin connector on to a 6 pin header it just doesn';t work that way you need a usbasp with the 10 way socket, here';s a layout of the pins doubtful you could have done any damage as you wouldn';t have had any voltage to the adapter ~~

[attach=1][attach=2]

You cant get a 6 pin to 10 pin adapter

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10PIN-to-6PIN-ISP-Adapter-board-for-ATMEL-AVRISP-USBASP-/230762022566?pt=UK_BOI_Electrical_Components_Supplies_ET&hash=item35ba7d06a6

teslahed

QuoteGo to the downloads thing https://github.com/sim-/tgy/downloads
But no reference to ';tp.hex';   :rolleyes: :rolleyes:


Download ';tgy_2012-09-30_0d3e617.zip';;

https://github.com/downloads/sim-/tgy/tgy_2012-09-30_0d3e617.zip

Then extract the zip file using winzip or similar. ';tp.hex'; should be in the folder made when you do this.

QuoteBUT - when it arrived it had the lead already attached to it for flashing boards and I can see that 6 cable ribbon lead has to come off so I can attach the ESC flashing gizmo.


There are a few different standards of plug that these things can come with and it sounds like your flash tool and your usb device just happen to use 2 different standards. Can you get pictures of the ends you have available? I might be able to recommend an adapter (or it might be cheaper just to buy a USB flasher that has the right plug type as standard).
One circlip short of a quadcopter.
 1 lobe short of an antenna.

XH558

Ok - machine gun replies .... thanks all   :notworthy:

I take it that is ';CAN';T'; attach a 10 pin to a 6 pin Gaz :)

So ... ordered the 10 pin to 6 pin adapter as linked to by Gaz then realised it';s bl**dy China again - so another wait .... the programmer from HK just took over 3 weeks  :rolleyes:

When that arrives and I get it hooked up I';ll have another go using the other tips and links provided .....

What a game .... however .... soldier on ......

Stand down troops   ::)


Gaza07

You are correct the word is Can';t  :rolleyes: I think I might have a spare one of those adapters  :hmm:

Quote from: XH558 on Tuesday,January 15, 2013, 20:18:47
Ok - machine gun replies .... thanks all   :notworthy:

I take it that is ';CAN';T'; attach a 10 pin to a 6 pin Gaz :)

So ... ordered the 10 pin to 6 pin adapter as linked to by Gaz then realised it';s bl**dy China again - so another wait .... the programmer from HK just took over 3 weeks  :rolleyes:

When that arrives and I get it hooked up I';ll have another go using the other tips and links provided .....

What a game .... however .... soldier on ......

Stand down troops   ::)

XH558

Quote from: Gaza07 on Tuesday,January 15, 2013, 20:23:47
You are correct the word is Can';t  :rolleyes: I think I might have a spare one of those adapters  :hmm:


Well get on and have a look then --- pronto  :blink 

I';d be very grateful old bean  ::)


QuadBod


Your quickest & simplest route might be just to get a USBasp with a 10 pin connecter from a UK seller.  This one';s only £3, and the seller has 100% positive feedback:

At least then you';ll have a use for that 10-6 adapter when it arrives!  ;D

XH558

Thank you  ~~

Ordered one .... never thought to look for the programmer on ebay  :embarrassed :embarrassed

Gaza07

Sorry XH558 I meant to look for a spare adapter today but got tied up with a new chat program for the forum and totally forgot, looks like your sorted now though  ~~

XH558