Programming ESCs


#1

<Title was Calibrating ESCs, but that is actually a sperate activity that follows programming>

I'm having a heck of a time figuring out what needs to happen here. The only other post forum back in December was using a receiver in the mix... which I assume we don't need now that we have the capes and all... right? I'm assuming that is left over from when more of a RC input system was being used that has been displaced with the connection to the laptop... but please feel free to correct me.

I am trying to follow the instructions on the wiki but its not working for me. I've tried the following:

  • ESC powered directly by power supply (12V/1A) and the cape unpowered. Motor attached. No LEDs come on in the ESC
    • With power already on and starting with switch in off position. Hold little red reset button while switching ESC to ON. Nothing...
    • Hold red reset button while powering up the ESC... nothing...
  • ESC powered directly by power supply (12V/1A) and the cape powered. Motor attached. No LEDs come on in the ESC
    • With power already on and starting with switch in off position. Hold little red reset button while switching ESC to ON. Nothing...
    • Hold red reset button while powering up the ESC... nothing...
  • ESC powered directly by power supply (12V/1A) and the cape powered. Motor attached. Logged in to the Cockpit software. LED is red
    • With power already on and starting with switch in off position. Hold little red reset button while switching ESC to ON. Nothing... red led just remains on (even after 10 seconds)


#2

And you have this ESC?? ...Hrm...

Perhaps we can make a video showing how we program in case you're somehow missing a step (also, since you're in the area, feel free to stop by OpenROV HQ some time and I'll try to help you out).

General procedures:

Start with the ESC switch in the "off" position

Make sure 12v is supplied to the ESC

Make sure a valid servo signal is making it to the ESC, starting in the neutral (90 degree) position

Make sure the ESC is plugged into a brushless motor (so that you can hear its setting beeps)

Before calibrating the ESC, you'll want to program the ESC to be reversible and adjust several other settings. Doing this requires turning the ESC on while holding the set button, then continuing to hold the set button until it enters program mode. For each of adjustable items, you'll have to release the set button when the corresponding number of beeps happens, then adjust the value of that item by momentarily pressing the set button until it beeps the right value, then turning the ESC off and doing the same procedure again for the next item. Toward the end you have to hold the set button for quite a while as it cycles through the various item numbers. Here are the values I program into each of the 10 items on the ESC (special thanks to Jim Trezzo for taking notes on this when we did it at my house one day):

Item Value
1 3 Rock Crawler
2 1 0% Drag Brake Force
3 1 Non-protection low voltage cut off (not needed except for lithium)
4 1 Soft - Punch
5 4 default - N/A Max brake force
6 4 100% Max Reverse (seems to only act like 78% cuts out at 20 to 0)
7 1 = Drag Brake Force
8 1 Narrow Neutral Range - 6%
9 5 default - timing 15.0 degrees
10 1 default - Enable over-heat protection

For calibrating the ESC:

1. Press and hold the red "set" button on the ESC while turning the switch on. Once you hear the ESC beep (using the motor as a speaker) release the set button. The beeps will continue

2. Press the "set" button once. The ESC will beep once

3. Command the servo output going to the ESC to send full forward (180 degrees). While this command is being sent, press the "set" button momentarily. The ESC will beep twice.

4. Command the servo output going to the ESC to send full reverse (0 degrees). While this command is being sent, press the "set" button momentarily. The ESC will beep three times.

5. Command the servo output going to the ESC to to send neutral (90 degrees) once again.

I hope this helps!

Eric


#3

Oh man! I read Brian's post and thought that I was having the same issue but I think I might have a more basic problem. Can some one tell me where I am supposed to hook up the thick red and black wires coming from the ESCs? I thought I did not need these if I was using the cape and only hooked up the servo fitting and motor wires. After reading Brian's post is seems like I was wrong about that. Assuming I do need them can I gang them (3 red/3 black to one red/one black) and hook them up to aux 2 on the cape?

Could Brian's problem be related to the position of the servo power jumper somehow? I am not sure what that jumper is for.


#4

the thick red and black wire from the esc go directly to the battery.

you can use the wiring schematics for reference. i've tried to mimic the physical position of the wires on the esc in the wiring to ease the understanding of the wiring schematics: https://github.com/OpenROV/openrov-electronics/blob/master/Openrov-wiring-rev1.pdf


#5

your #3 looks close

power to esc's, power to beaglebone, power to cape, in open cockpit diagnostic, motor your are calibrating set to 90 on slider bar. turn switch on esc off (powers it off) hold button down and turn switch on, it starts beeping. the part that gives trouble, I found, was the 12 votls. I adusted my bench supply down to between 6 to 7 volts to get it to work. I think the esc see 12 volts as to much voltage for calibration. The other thing that may get you when running is 1 amp is not enought to run a single motor with the prop on. The calibration instructions, I think, say nothing is attached to the motor. I am doing this from my memory, as I did it some weeks back.


#6

I just got some parts into the house, and i knew that i probably had a programming card that fit these ESC's.

I have this set for one of my RC cars: http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__9127__Turnigy_Brushless_1_8_Scale_Car_Power_System_2000KV_150A.html

The programming card in this kit worked perfectly with the 18amp ESC's and the programming was done in less than 30seconds.

i think this programming card is equal to the one i have: http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__7187__Turnigy_Speed_Controller_Programming_Card.html


#7

So it turns out that you need to have the ESC controller disconnected from the cape when attempting to program it. I stopped by and Zack had the time to demo programing an ESC while I video'd.


#8

There was a concern that you cannot count on how the ESC comes programmed from the factory. That said. Here were the defaults in my batch. The number in (#) is what it needs to be changed to per the wiki if different from the default.

1 - 2 (3)

2 - 3 (1)

3 - 1

4 - 5 (1)

5 - 4

6 - 2 (4)

7 - 1

8 - 2 (1)

9 - 5

10 - 1


#9

OK, Since we are on the subject.... The programming values in para 3.1 of the ESC user manual recommends that "Drag Brake Force" be set to 100% in Rock Crawler mode. Anyone experimented with this? The OpenROV recommended setting is 0%.

....and another thing - I calibrated using the diagnostics which validates the statement, "100% Max Reverse (seems to only act like 78% cuts out at 20 to 0)"..... I can't get reverse using the arrow keys on my keyboard because I am assuming that it goes to the 20-0 range. I can get reverse using a game controller, but have a dead-band at the end (that 20-0 range again).

But alas, I am sure I am missing something somewhere in the documentation as I so often have done, lol.


#10

I think the drag brake force means that when you dont go forward or reverse, it uses power to maintain the position the motors in. kind of a motor brake. for our purpose its not really usefull.


#11

Aha! That makes sense. Thanks.


#12

The 0-20 issue is ongoing, so we've created a patch using software. You can find links to that discussion here:

http://openrov.com/forum/topics/patch-reverse-working-with-kit-escs

Best of luck!

E


#13

I have definitly calibrated 6 esc's using the OpenRov Cockpit diagnostic software but like I said I lowered the voltage.


#14

Yep, that did it. The only thing to clear up now is the servo chatter...... Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.