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Cheap FOCer 2 (Open-source, Low-cost, VESC 6 based ESC) (v0.9 Release. Beta testing ongoing)

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shaman
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Cheap FOCer 2 (Open-source, Low-cost, VESC 6 based ESC) (v0.9 Release. Beta testing ongoing)

**UPDATED SUMMARY**

v0.9 released on GitHub. Beta testing ongoing with success so far.

https://github.com/shamansystems/Cheap-FOCer-2

I’m happy to finally announce the v0.9 release of the Cheap FOCer 2! Special thanks to @bj97301, @NuRxG, and @Davewesh  for formatting the repo into something truly outstanding, much better organized, and readable by humans.

Remember that this is still being beta tested (although successful so far). Myself and the other contributors to this project will be making tweaks as we go and as we receive feedback from the community. I hope this community enjoys having this open source hardware available to build, use, sell, modify, and improve.

Capabilities

  • 35A continuous and 70A peak with good heat sinking. These are real values. Not marketing numbers
  • Up to 50.4V(12s) safe operating voltage. For 20s version take a look at [these FOCers](https://forum.esk8.news/t/some-new-focers-84v-vesc-6-based-controllers/1513).
  • Compatible with the VESC Tool for configuration
  • Open source enclosure design to come
  • *Living” LCSC BOM to come. BOM document to be continuously updated with compatible and stocked components from LCSC

Advantages over VESC 6

  • Significantly lower build and BOM cost
  • TO-220 FETs allow for big heat sink attachment for better thermal performance
  • 2-layer PCB that enables low-cost manufacturing from JLCPCB
  • Designed with JLCPCB’s SMT assembly service in mind
  • Added optional ON/OFF connector to turn off control circuitry when controller is not in use
  • CAN connector changed to 2-pin to avoid improper connections that can cause damage
  • ESD protected I/O
  • Hardware open sourced
  • Designed with direct meme integration​

Advantages over Cheap FOCer 1

  • VESC 6 based instead of VESC 4.12
  • Significantly improved layout to reduce current loops and facilitate low-noise operation of both the power stage and control circuitry for more stable operation
  • Has IMU for balancing applications
  • Lower profile
  • Handles lower inductance motors much better
  • All components on the top side except MOSFETs
  • Addition of JST connectors to replace pin headers for Servo, CAN, COMM, ect.
  • Addition of header for unused GPIO pins
  • Micro USB

Disadvantages (that I know of)

  • Larger than original VESC 6. Cheap FOCer 2 is about 60mm x 100mm x 14mm without enclosure/heat sink
  • Uses custom firmware that’s not currently supported in the VESC project. Will make firmware available on GitHub until Cheap FOCer 2 is added to and supported by the official VESC project.

All this wouldn’t be possible without Benjamin Vedder’s hard work to build on. Please consider supporting him for his efforts through the link below.

[https://vesc-project.com/donations ](https://vesc-project.com/donations)

** Funding for essential materials has been achieved but I'm not stopping anyone from helping out. Anything you toss my way helps with unexpected costs and/or helps get this project to completion** 

https://www.paypal.me/shamansystems?locale.x=en_US

ripperpc
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Whats the current cost of building this ?

shaman
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About 100USD to 150USD for a batch of 5 depending on where you source the hardware (heatsink, cables. connectors, ect.)

tul00985
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i have ordered 5 pieces as discribed on Github.

Everything was fine, exept a very long time for the LCSC Parts.

Now i have build up the first Cheap FOCer and its working!

Thank you very much shaman.

Cost around 130€ with delivery to Germany wit TNT and Euro Packet.

shanghaijo
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Great job, I just built one and so far so good. I was looking into the code and found something. In conf_general.h, it still refers to hw_FOCer.h and not hw_FOCer_2.h. I don't know if it is a mistake. I intend to build the firmware to change the defaults values so I need to be sure the files are correct and won't fry my PCB blush

Did you make any change to the bootloader?

thanks!

shaman
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Hey there! Be sure to take the firmware from the "FW5.01" folder in the repo. I need to fix the other folders. FW should read for Cheap FOCer 2 and nothing else. Please don't try to operate the controller with the wrong firmware.

shanghaijo
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Hi Shaman, thanks a lot. I'll wait to have the other folders fixed then cheeky. I am having quite some fun with it and can't wait to play around with the code.

LeOgre
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Hello! Great project! This is exactly what I was looking for to be used in a large RC 6x6 rover. 

@tul00985: I am located in Germany as well, could you tell me how long it took to have the PCBs and the parts delivered? Thank you!   

mistersketchman
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Awesome! Donated.

shanghaijo
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Hi Shaman, I have been playing around with the Cheap FOCer and up to now, works great. I did burst 3 time D1 but all good. Do you think you can make the current source available? I would like to tweak further the response to the ADC but I am stuck without the sources.

Thiotric
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Hey, I tried to order some boards from JLCPCB but the most important part for me ( my soldering is really bad due to my physical condition ) to be pre-soldered on the board is the DRV8301 .

This part is out of stock for some time so I cannot order assembled pcb's. Someone any idea what to do ( I tried some other companies, but too expensive or too complicated to order because you cannot just send Gerber and Bom files ).. I try to build me a self balancing wheelchair that I can pay ( Cost around 15.000 Euro........ ). 

Best regards, thx in advance for any input!

LeOgre
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I am having the same problem. I can solder pretty well, but I am not confident to properly get the DRV8301DCAR onto the board. I am looking for alternatives as well.