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Old Jul 06, 2012, 10:01 PM
Emress
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United States, SD, Rapid City
Joined Nov 2011
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Mini-HowTo
Flashing Turnigy Plush(SiLabs) success, now with tutorial!

here is the new and improved tutorial written by me: http://oddcopter.com/2012/07/18/flas...heli-firmware/
it goes through the entire process of flashing popular silabs based ESCs (not just plush) using two methods.


--------------------------------------------original post-------------------------------------------
I didnt see any threads on this besides very few mentions in the ESC flashing thread, so i decided id post some info here.

I found this thread on helifreak that talks about the BLHeli ESC firmware for SiLab based ESCs. it only shows a Turnigy plush 6A as compatible but the plush series has the same hardware except for the FETs so all plush should work. and as of the latest firmware version, it now has a Multirotor setting, yay!
it also requires you to buy a 25$ programmer. but since im cheap, i found this max232 IC based programmer to tryout.

i bought my plush 25A late 2011 an they are SiLbas based, so im gonna try this.

what do ya guys think of this?!

EDIT:
here is some more programmer info(the expensive one): http://www.hacksmods.com/2012/05/sil...heli-flashing/
and some openpilot discussion: http://forums.openpilot.org/topic/10...abs-based-esc/
and a parallel port programmer(yikes!): http://silabs.org.ua/sp_en.htm
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Old Jul 08, 2012, 06:27 PM
Emress
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United States, SD, Rapid City
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this is what im going to try:

VDD/V33 from the scheme can be either from the internal vreg, or an external PSU. that is a Turnigy plush 6A, but my plush 25A looks the exact same except the pads are in the center of the board because the PCB is bigger, so any plush should be good. Also, any ESC with a SIL should work as long as you find where VDD/GND/C2CK/C2D are.
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Old Jul 08, 2012, 08:52 PM
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fingers crossed!
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Old Jul 08, 2012, 09:51 PM
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are they flashed through the servo lead?
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 12:03 AM
Emress
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United States, SD, Rapid City
Joined Nov 2011
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yeah, so this didnt work out very well. these "DIY" programmers dont work and those pads on the ESC are a @#$@#% to solder onto because they are so small and squeezed between the silabs and a vreg?


anybody know of a way to connect with the pads without soldering? like a clamp type thing? id recommend to just spend the 25$ and get the usb programmer
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 12:06 AM
Emress
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United States, SD, Rapid City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGsoar View Post
are they flashed through the servo lead?
I wish! look at my post a few above. it as an image of an ESC without the shrink wrap and black/green/red/white outlined soldering pads that you must solder onto with wires to connect a special 25$ programmer.
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirbow2 View Post
yeah, so this didnt work out very well. these "DIY" programmers dont work and those pads on the ESC are a @#$@#% to solder onto because they are so small and squeezed between the silabs and a vreg?


anybody know of a way to connect with the pads without soldering? like a clamp type thing? id recommend to just spend the 25$ and get the usb programmer
I usually take a set of standard 0.1" header pins and bend them in to align with the pads. Instead of soldering I'll just hold it on, assuming that the pins are all in a row. It may be possible to power the esc through the servo leads and not have to connect VDD or GND, that would greatly simplify the wiring.

What advantages would their be for flashing a SILabs based esc, isn't the refresh rate already 490Hz?
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 03:54 PM
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if powering the esc through servo lead is possible do you still need to remove the capacitor?
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 05:15 PM
Emress
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United States, SD, Rapid City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sg1anubis View Post
I usually take a set of standard 0.1" header pins and bend them in to align with the pads. Instead of soldering I'll just hold it on, assuming that the pins are all in a row. It may be possible to power the esc through the servo leads and not have to connect VDD or GND, that would greatly simplify the wiring.

What advantages would their be for flashing a SILabs based esc, isn't the refresh rate already 490Hz?
i read some where that flashing the ESCs with simonk or BLHeli will pretty much stabalize the multirotor on default PIDs(that how bad some ESCs are). and will be better overall. refresh rate isnt the only important thing.

i dunno about the servo connector, but i didnt because the Silabs chip is 3.3v(5v tolerant pins) and the servo lead is 5v
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 06:40 PM
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This guy used an arduino to flash a SIlab chip:

http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=432282
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 06:48 PM
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sirbow2, was your problem with the diy programmer or was it that you were unable to solder the connections?
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 07:46 PM
Emress
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United States, SD, Rapid City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charbot View Post
This guy used an arduino to flash a SIlab chip:

http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=432282
THANK YOU i was looking for this but couldnt find any arduino programmers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charbot View Post
sirbow2, was your problem with the diy programmer or was it that you were unable to solder the connections?
the diy programmer was the issue; i tired the max232 based one and the parallel port one. i got the wires soldered on much easier with magnet wire. i think they didnt work because they weren't supported or something maybe. i kept on getting no connection errors. hopefully the arduino one works better.
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 07:56 PM
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i was going to suggest magnet wire and a very fine tipped iron. The arduino programmer looks a little complex- there is a windows GUI...? guess Im just used to AVR.

Id be interested in a solution that works on a Mac, but Im sure Im in the minority here
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 08:15 PM
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Are you sure the BLHeli ESC firmware is appropriate for a multi-copter?
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 08:29 PM
Emress
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United States, SD, Rapid City
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yes, it has a MULTI option that is new in v 5.0 you can see the hex files here: https://github.com/bitdump/BLHeli/tr...bs/Hex%20files but that AVR program only supports the MAIN version right now, but it shouldnt be too long until MULTI is supported with the AVR programmer.
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