Amethyst AUV Knowledgebase
How to flash BLHeli S ESCs for Amethyst AUV motors to work bidirectional
Amethyst using brushless motors which are requiring ESCs - electronic speed controllers. Most of the ESCs are designed for aerial applications - drones, RC aircrafts and then their setup is just for rotate motor in one direction only - no aircraft need to fly reverse. Fortunately, there are some reasonably priced ESCs which allowing reverse rotations as well. For Amethyst AUV we use BLHeli type ESCs which are most widespread, not expensive and super reliable. This article is small guide how to flash them for so called bidirectional operation.
What we need:
0. Windows computer
1. Arduino UNO, NANO, MEGA are best.
2. BlHeli_S type ESC
3. USB cable
4. wires 2x
5. LiPo Battery
6. BlHlei Suite Software
As I wrote. For interfacing computer with ESC you will not need any USB Linker. If you already don´t own one, do not buy it, we gonna make our own with ordinary arduino.
1. Install BlHeli Suite
BlHeli suite was long time just for Windows computers only. So I manage to get old windows notebook for the job. There were apear versions for MacOS and Linux which are my faworite operating systems, but I didn´t make them run on my Ubuntu Desktop 18 and MacOS ElCapitan in first releases unfortunately. In time I will retry them and see if I make progress. So, this guide showing windows setup.
For ESCs S type sugested here wich has no 32 bit architecture, pick the BlHeli_Suite not BlHeli_32. Unzip and run exe file.
2. Install Arduino IDE
If you do not already install the Arduino IDE, do it. It will help activate needed ports without headake.
3. Make Arduino Bootloader
First of all we need interface. Connect Arduino Uno or Nano to computer via USB cable. Start BLHeliSuite software and navigate to "Make interface" card:
Chose Arduino 4way-interface
After flash you should see this.
4. Connect ESC with Arduino and computer
For ESC 1 (single) connect signal wire of ESC with digital pin 11 on Arduino UNO / NANO. Ground to ground. ESC must be powered by LiPo battery.
5. Chose right driver
Chose D marked item from rollout menu - SILABS BLHeli Bootloader (4way-if)
6. Connect the ESC and get ESC settings
Chose right (available) COM port (usually same as you using with Arduino IDE) and click CONNECT button. If ESC become connected, click READ SETUP.
7. Set up settings for flashing ESC
In MOTOR DIRECTION chose BIDIRECTIONAL. You can change what ever othe settings you want, but If you change range of throtle for exmple, you should address it in settings of Arduino Dolphin sketches then.
8. Flash ESC
Flash ESC preferably with Write setup button. This way ESC´s setup will be readable next time when you load settings again. You can flash it without settings write by clicking Flash BLHeli as well. In pop up dialog chose what is best suit to you (and you have drivers for), I using default settings which are shown on image.
You should see this and when you click OK, you should see and click YES here:
Ok, maybe in reverse order, anyhow... you are done!
BlHeli Configurator for Google Chrome | Not tested by me | Click here
BlHeli at Github | Click here
BlHeli_32 configurator for MAC OS | BETA | Not tested by me | Download here
BlHeli_32 configurator for LINUX | Not tested by me | Download here
Tutorials I followed without success, but still contain usefull information.
HOW TO FLASH BLHELI_S ESC FIRMWARE | Click here
How to configure your BLHeli ESCs using BLHeliSuite | Click here
This documentation book is released under the CC-NC-SA 4.0 License.