ESC Modifications

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Overview

Physical Modifications

  1. Start with a normal ESC
    Original ESC
  2. Use wire cutters (diagonal cutters) to carefully remove the original heatshrink from the ESC. Cut along the face of the ESC that does not have the sticker (the sticker will be reused later). The circuit board of the ESC will then be exposed.
    ESC with original heatshrink removed
  3. Take 4 small wires (you can use the wires from inside an ethernet cable) and solder them onto the 4 exposed pads next to the main processor (shown in the center of the above image). Make note of the order of the wires since that is important.
    Wires soldered onto the programming header pads
    For the above connections, pad 1 is located on the end near the capacitor. The wires used are as follows:
    • Pad 1 - Orange
    • Pad 2 - Orange/White
    • Pad 3 - Blue
    • Pad 4 - Green
  4. Apply hot glue over the solder connections and also on the wires near the capacitor (as a strain relief measure).
    Hot glue used as a strain-relief/short prevention measure
  5. Place pieces of heatshrink over each wire before completing this step, with the wire for pin 1 having a different color than every other wire.
    Solder each wire onto a 4-pin header in numerical order.
    Heat each piece of heatshrink on the 4-pin header so it covers the solder joint.
    4-pin header used to interface with programmer
  6. Remove the sticker from the original heatsink, and place it on the appropriate metal shield piece (so the +/- indications are correct). Place the two metal shields back on their appropriate sides, and then shrink a large piece of heatshrink over the entire ESC. The completed ESC should look similar to the one below.
    ESC with completed physical modifications

Firmware Uploading

These steps use the software called "BLHeliSuite" to flash and configure the ESCs. It is available for Windows from here.

Create Arduino Programmer

  1. Plugin the Arduino to the computer using the USB cable.
  2. Open the BLHeliSuite software, then click on the tab labelled Interfaces for SiLabs
  3. Above the button labelled "Make Arduino General", select the appropriate processor architecture:
    Arduino Uno -> ATMega328P
    Arduino Mega 2560 -> ATMega2560
    Step 01.png
  4. Click "Make Arduino General"
  5. A file selector box will now appear. Select the file with "Arduino_m328P_16_PB3PB4" in the name, then press Open.
    Step 02.png
  6. A new window will open to show the current status. Once it is complete, the following window should appear:
    Step 02-Results.png
  7. Now the Arduino is ready to be used to upload firmware to the ESC.

Connect the ESC to the Arduino

Make the following connections between the Arduino and the ESC programming cable:

    • Wire 1 - Orange -> Arduino Ground pin
    • Wire 2 - Orange/White -> Unconnected
    • Wire 3 - Blue -> Arduino ICSP MOSI pin
    • Wire 4 - Green -> Arduino ICSP MISO pin

Arduino Uno ICSP pinout can be found here: [[1]]

Upload New Firmware

  1. Open BLHeliSuite
  2. On the bottom of the main tab (SiLabs BESC Setup), select the serial port the Arduino is connected to
    ConfigWindow.png
  3. Click the button labeled Flash BLHeli
  4. A Firmware selector dialog box will now open.
    Under Flash to: select Turnigy Plush 30A.
    Select the version labelled MULTI.
    Click Ok.
    Step 04.png
  5. A confirmation screen will appear. Make sure that the firmware type is correct, it should say TUrnigy30A (Multi). If it is not, then click no. If it is correct, then click Yes. That will start the ESC flashing.
    Step 05.png
  6. Once the firmware upload is complete, a confirmation dialog box will appear. The ESC is now ready for configuration.
    Step 05-Results.png

Configuration Settings