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VESC Tool BLE + Mobile version plans

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benjamin
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VESC Tool BLE + Mobile version plans

Bluetooth low energy (BLE)

I have been working on the NRF51822 recently, and got everything working quite well on it with a firmware that I wrote using the Nordic SDK and Softdevices. The NRF firmware does the packet encoding/decoding and some buffering internally, and I have adjusted the BLE settings for maximum performance as power consumption is not an issue. I was ably to achieve the full throughput of UART with 115200 baudrate. VESC Tool has a BLE tab in the connection page now where it can scan for BLE devices and connect to the NRF51822 with the VESC-compatible firmware. Configuration, RT data, firmware updates (a bit slow, around 3 minutes to upload) and everything else works over BLE as it does over USB, which is really convenient as most laptops have bluetooth built in. The next version of VESC Tool will have the BLE support and I will put the NRF firmware on github with some instructions on how to build and upload it using an stlink in a documentation page, so if you want to give it a try soon you can order some nrf51822 modules. The ones I have been using are these, which are less than 4$ including shipping:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Low-Power-Consumption-BLE4-0-Bluetooth-2-4-GHz-...

you also need an stlink and a Linux computer as Qt does not have BLE support for windows.

Mobile

This weekend I downloaded the Android SDK + NDK and was able to get it running with Qt for android; and I made a few simple test applications. Just for fun I tried building VESC Tool as it is for android, and with just a few tweaks it actually worked including BLE!! With a keyboard and mouse connected to my phone I was able to upload firmware to a vesc, stream rt data and configure it for a motor using BLE from Android. With some patience it also works with the touch screen only, even though the interface is not made for a mobile device at all.

As the code in VESC Tool is modular and the UI is separate, all of the low level code and built in documentation can be shared between the mobile and desktop interfaces. Now I'm working on learning qml to make a nice mobile interface with qt quick controls 2, which seems to be easier than i first thought. Hopefully a basic, but fully working version will be ready for testing before the end of the year. The development will be done on github in the official VESC Tool code base, so you can test it along the way. All of the low level stuff already works, so the work is really only the UI design. A high priority for the mobile app is good real time data display and the ability to switch between different profiles, which is very useful on the go. I also have many ides for ebikes, as I have a phone holder on my ebike which I have been using almost every day recently.

I'm also meeting with Roman who made the metr.at app soon to see if there is anything we can collaborate on. It would be great if the development and efforts put into the project can be a bit coordinated in the community instead of having everyone work in their own corner on different incompatible forks and versions.

benjamin
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Today I bought a cheap lenovo tab 4 10 tablet with android to give vesc tool a try on a bigger screen with android, and it is surprisingly useful even with just the touch screen. The BLE also has good range and is stable. Qt is quite impressive. The mobile interface is not far away now.

Boesila
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Benjamin you are brilliantyes  Thanks for your work!

Danny Bokma
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Awesome! I ordered a few devil.

benjamin
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This is the code for the NRF51822 with some details in the README on how to use it:

https://github.com/vedderb/nrf51_vesc

I got really exited about learning how to make mobile UIs in qml (which actually is quite nice even though this is my first try), so I have been working on this late after work and in the weekend every day for a week now. All of the VESC Tool backend has been updated to be useful from qml so that as much code as possible can be reused. So far the UI can list all VESCs over BLE and connect, display real time data and upload firmwares and bootloaders. It also looks quite nice and runs smoothly. When connecting, firmware compatibility is checked and a limited mode is entered where only the firmware can be updated if something is out of date, to prevent bricking the VESC just as VESC Tool for desktop does. The firmware upload also has hardware version checks and only shows matching included firmwares.

I will push the updates to VESC Tool some time in the next days, as soon as the mobile UI is over the threshold of being useful enough for me to actually use it on my ebike. For now I will also publish precompiled APKs for andoid (one for the mobile preview and for the full vesc tool for tablets) with the vesc tool downloads on this site so that people can give it a try if they can manage to upload firmware to the NRF. Eventually I will also put VESC Tool on the android market. The mobile ui will be developed on github as well, but setting up the android sdk with qt can be a bit tricky if you only want to test it which is why I will try to generate APKs on a regular basis.

With the mobile version I also have many new plans. One of them is profile support, so that current and speed limits can be updated from the app with a list of profiles. Another thing is to add gearing, motor pole and wheel diameter info to the vesc and a new CAN message to share RT data between them. This way speed, distance traveled, wh/km, ah counters and many other things can be displayed from the app from combining the information provided by all VESCs connected over CAN.

benjamin
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I have pushed the first version with the mobile integration to github now, and added BLE support to the desktop version (only the linux version). There are also prebuilt releases available when buying any version of VESC Tool (free as well) as android APKs in case someone wants to give it a try. There is one APK with the first version of the mobile gui, which is somewhat useful for realtime data; and one APK with the full desktop gui that is quite useful for tablets. These APKs and the linux version of vesc tool should work with the nrf51822 ble code that I have pushed to github, linked in my previous post. Please give it a try and let me know how it works. Eventually I will try to put vesc tool on the android market as well, but first I want to make the mobile GUI a bit more complete.

benjamin
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Small update: I have just updated the NRF51 code to also work with chips that only have 16K ram. Before it required the 32K nrf51822, and the ones I linked on ebay would actually not work as I figured out just now. The latest code should work with both 16K and 32K NRF51822 chips.

Pimousse
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Benjamin, you'll never stop to impress me ! This is, once again, a huge improvement given to this project !

Glad to be part of it. Thank you very much !

Had ordered a few as well :)

benjamin
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Has anyone tested the app yet? It would be nice to get some feedback.

This weekend I spent a lot of time on it, and made quite a bit of progress. All motor and app parameters can be edited now, and bldc, foc, foc_hall and foc_encoder detection dialogs are implemented. Help buttons, current and default in the parameters are implemented as well, and the detection dialogs have the help texts and display invalid results properly as well. Today I will try to finish ADC and PPM mapping. Then my goal is to, using only th app, do a full firmware update, detection and configuration of my ebike; which has two VESC4 connected over CAN-bus, an analog throttle and hall sensors in both hub motors.

After that I will implement profiles in the app, to quickly change current and RPM limits during runtime.

benjamin
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ADC and PPM mapping is finished, and testing everything on my ebike was a success. What I did on my ebike was, using the APP and a bluetooth connection to VESC1:

  1. Update FW on VESC1
  2. Set current limits on VESC1
  3. Run FOC detection on VESC1
  4. Run FOC hall sensor detection on VESC1
  5. Repeat 1 - 4 on VESC2 over CAN-bus with CAN forwarding
  6. Configure dual ADC throttle on VESC2 over CAN-bus and do mapping
  7. Stream real-time data from VESC1
  8. Stream real-time data from VESC2 over CAN-bus

Everything worked nicely. This will be really convenient out on the field with only the phone available. Wizards are not implemented yet, but it is quite straight forward to do the configuration if you have done it before.

Screenshots

Main window, with CAN forwarding option

Screenshot_20180312-195458.png

RT Data

Screenshot_20180312-194355.png

Motor Configuration

Screenshot_20180312-194249.png

Motor CFG ... Menu

Screenshot_20180312-194302.png

FOC Detection

Screenshot_20180312-194233.png

App help text

Screenshot_20180312-194417.png

Firmware Upload

Screenshot_20180312-194445.png

Bootloader Upload

Screenshot_20180312-194456.png

Drawer Menu

Screenshot_20180312-194436.png

If you want to give it a try, you can update any of the VESC Tool purchases (including free) to download an android APK. Eventually I will put it on the android market. My github link has some info on how to put the firmware on a NRF51822. There are precompiled versions, so all that is needed on linux is a stlinkv2 and openocd installed.

The vesc tool code is also on github, this is the commit from today:

https://github.com/vedderb/vesc_tool/commit/0fdd0ba2477c6096447615c54b8e...

r2d3
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Hi benjamin,

 

Looks great! But i get a parsing error when i try to install the apk on my old S4... Which android version do i need?

THX for all your work!

benjamin
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Thanks for giving it a try. Android 6 or later is required. I think the s4 might be a bit too old unfortunately.

e-biker
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Hi Benjamin, nice work!

Would it be possible to add an actual speed of vehicle instead of EERPM (maybe select which you want to be displayed)?. Actual vehicle speed can be set by adding wheel radius and motor pole pair number to the settings. 

Martin.

benjamin
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Yes, that is the plan. I will add motor poles, gear ratio and wheel diameter to the settings, and create a new RT data display. These settings will be stored on the VESC to avoid having to reconfigure the app for each vehicle. The plan is to have another RT message with additional information, that also collects and merges information from all VESCs on the CAN-bus. This will enable reading the total power, amp hour consumption, wh/km etc. The profiles will also be connected to these settings, so that a speed limit in km/h can be set instead of in ERPM.

e-biker
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Great news, because these settings could be used to legally drive in city and in off road you can use all yours VESC potential.

So far police is ignoring our 15kW 80+km/h bicycles but you never know when it will change, so this "magic" max km/h settings will really help.

Martin. 

lock
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I just installed a NRF51 in my dual VESC6 Trampa build. Running the VESC Tool (v0.89) on Ubuntu in Parallels (MacOS) with a cheap Bluetooth 4.0 USB. Everything works quite well; as in identically to how the USB connection was functioning. It was a real PITA opening up my enclosure, so this is really quite nice 👍.

Was hoping an iOS build wouldn't be too much work given that it's all in Qt, unfortunately it seems the Qt serialport library doesn't support iOS.

Any thoughts on the iOS side of things? Someone had to ask 😉

 

 

Pawel
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Hello,

I have the problem during trying connecting to my Vesc 4.12 with firmware 3.34. I'm using nrf52832 chip instead of 51 but it shouldnt be a problem because I have another app which can communicate with vesc using uart. During connecting I recieve this message:

30120843_1731673100202112_1250354483_n.png

Can you tell me what could cause this problem? 

badger1666
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hi 

any plans for this app to work with other bt modules like the one that i already use with vesc6 and the vesc monitor app ?

thanks

C green

benjamin
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Currently it will only work with the NRF51822 and the custom firmware for it on my github. This is because it is not simply an USB-UART bridge, it also decodes and encodes the packets to get the maximum possible throughput and reliability.

Tilman Baumann
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The added complexity sucks a bit. But it really makes sense. Those serial ports over bluetooth are just plain dumb and connection based.

I haven't looked too deep into the code, but I suppose benjamin uses GATT. Which is so much nicer to be used in bluetooth apps.

What would really be snazzy is if the BT stack would live in the vesc firmware and you'd just have to connect a dumb BT module via serial. :)
 

badger1666
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does anyone sell the nrf module pre programmed ? i dont have the ability to program one. :(

 

thanks 

chris

C green

Lzx19961014
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Does Vesc only communicate with nRF 51822? Can I use HM-12 as a Bluetooth transmission?

Lzx19961014
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Hello,I use HM-12 as a Bluetooth tranmission.But I can't connect to the phone's VESC tool.Do I have to do some configuration before the connection?I really need some advice.

frank
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Quote Benjamin: "Currently it will only work with the NRF51822 and the custom firmware for it on my github."

Pimousse
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Really amazing Benjamin !

Thanks for that !

Lzx19961014
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What you've said is reasonable. I'm convinced.Thank you.

frank
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http://www.trampaboards.com/nrf-dongle-p-25516.html

Plug and Play, flashed with the firmware already.

badger1666
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hi did you resolve this issue ?

 

mine also does the same, i can not get a connection because it can not read the firmware :(

can anyone help me please.

 

FIXED baud rate was  set to low as i was using vesc monitor with another bt module :)

C green

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Hi,

I am having trouble getting a bluetooth HM-10 module to work.  It is connected right to the VESC6.  What iPhone App should I use? Is there a specific Bluetooth HM10 that I should purchase?

frank
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You should use NRF51822 based modules. If you don't know exactly what to buy, you should use a tested and pre-configured module or dare to buy a module X and test it yourself. It is impossible to tell which module performs how good. There are many many modules on the market, some are better than others or have a stronger signal, more or less RAM, fake or original chip sets, approval of standard etc. So it's up to you to try them out if you know how to flash the firmware.

Frank

Enak
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Will the app be on the Google Play store?

Lzx19961014
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Hi, benjamin.  I have a Samsung s7 edge with the latest firmware. But I can't scan to nRF51822, is my Android version too high? I used to be able to scan and connect with the Android 7 phone.

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Hello,

I am trying to program the NRF51 board I recently purchased:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Low-Power-Consumption-BLE4-0-Bluetooth-2-4-GHz-Wireless-Module-NRF51822/400970594571?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Apparently everything goes OK:

C:\OpenOCD-20190210-0.10.0\bin>openocd -f openocd.cfg -c "init" -c "halt" -c "nrf51 mass_erase" -c "program nrf51_vesc_ble_wt.hex verify reset exit"
Open On-Chip Debugger 0.10.0 (2019-02-10) [https://github.com/sysprogs/openocd]
Licensed under GNU GPL v2
For bug reports, read
        http://openocd.org/doc/doxygen/bugs.html
WARNING: interface/stlink-v2.cfg is deprecated, please switch to interface/stlink.cfg
Info : The selected transport took over low-level target control. The results might differ compared to plain JTAG/SWD
adapter speed: 1000 kHz
Info : clock speed 1000 kHz
Info : STLINK V2J29S7 (API v2) VID:PID 0483:3748
Info : Target voltage: 3.196881
Info : nrf51.cpu: hardware has 4 breakpoints, 2 watchpoints
Info : Listening on port 3333 for gdb connections
target halted due to debug-request, current mode: Thread
xPSR: 0x81000000 pc: 0x0001b200 msp: 0x20004000
Info : nRF51822-QFAA(build code: H2) 256kB Flash
target halted due to debug-request, current mode: Thread
xPSR: 0xc1000000 pc: 0xfffffffe msp: 0xfffffffc
** Programming Started **
auto erase enabled
Info : Flash write discontinued at 0x000007c0, next section at 0x00001000
Warn : using fast async flash loader. This is currently supported
Warn : only with ST-Link and CMSIS-DAP. If you have issues, add
Warn : "set WORKAREASIZE 0" before sourcing nrf51.cfg/nrf52.cfg to disable it
Info : Padding image section 1 at 0x0001afe0 with 32 bytes
Warn : using fast async flash loader. This is currently supported
Warn : only with ST-Link and CMSIS-DAP. If you have issues, add
Warn : "set WORKAREASIZE 0" before sourcing nrf51.cfg/nrf52.cfg to disable it
wrote 125952 bytes from file nrf51_vesc_ble_wt.hex in 5.796848s (21.218 KiB/s)
** Programming Finished **
** Verify Started **
verified 125560 bytes in 0.964566s (127.122 KiB/s)
** Verified OK **
** Resetting Target **
shutdown command invoked

After that, I don't find the NRF board when scanning for bluetooth devices.

Does anyone have an idea what is wrong?

Thank you,

Cris

 

 

 

janusz.smyl
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Exactly the same as above. is this related to usage *_wt.hex? If so there would be good to have pre-compiled hex/nrf51_vesc_ble.hex

benjamin
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Can you try using the VESC and VESC Tool to flash the firmware? The latest version supports using the SWD port on the VESC as an SWD programmer to flash other VESCs and NRFs. VESC Tool includes firmware for NRF51822, NRF52832 and NRF52840. The RX and TX pins are written in the firmware name. The interface is available from the SWD Prog page in VESC Tool. When connecting over SWD, VESC Tool figures out what kind of chip is connected, and shows compatible compiled firrmwares.

janusz.smyl
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I just give it a try...

Dicovered target: NRF51822 256K/16K

FW: 
BLE - Xtal: 16M RX:1 TX:2 LED:3​
BLE - Xtal: 16M RX:11 TX:9 LED:3

Both do not make me happy - nRF not discoverable via nRF Connect on Android

However chip seems to work - been playing with Arduino GUI -> Soft Device  S130 + serial example and nRF become discoverable and UART works.

Tried recompilation with SDK for 16k mem give me only linker error... going to dig more

Any tips warmly welcome :)

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I hav bought the kit from the trampa website and installed it in my board however I keep getting the "Could not read firmware version" I have am using PPM + UART and have enabled permanent UART and made sure that the baud rate is is set  to the required 115200. I am using the vesc tool app with a samsung galaxy s9+. Any help would be appreciated.

Edit: I am using a 4.12 hardware vesc from diyelectric skateboards with the newest vest firmware and vesc tool 1.09 on both my pc and phone.

benjamin
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I think there might be a problem with the 16K RAM version. I will look into it in the next days.

alotoffluffyhair
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I have checked the chip on the trampa board i've purchased and it uses a Tiayo yuden EYSGJNZWY module which is a 32Kb chip. So i don't believe my issue is due to this.

benjamin
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@janusz.smyl

The 16K firmware for the NRF was defenitely broken, and that is fixed in the latest version of VESC Tool. Can you upgrade and give it another try?

@alotoffluffyhair

Did you make sure to cross RX and TX? TX should go to RX and RX should go to TX.

alotoffluffyhair
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Absolute hero switched them round and it works perfectly thank you :D

district9prawn
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Many thanks Benjamin the 16K nrf flashes and works correctly now. Previously I was having the same issue as janusz.

janusz.smyl
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Finally works like a charm :)

BIG THANX Benjamin!!!

benjamin
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Nice that you got it working! Here is a video in case someone else wonders how to make your own NRF5X module that work with the VESC Tool mobile app:

 

doomy1986
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Hi,

Firstly thank you very much for your great work on the vesc controller, it is truly the best ESC out there.

I have a problem with two new nrf51822 modules i ordered (NRF51822-QFAA G3). They flash fine with openocd but are not found when scanning with the android vesc tool.

I tried flashing them with VESC tool SWD Prog but they are not recognized (i get an unknown device error). Tried another NRF51822 module connected exactly the same way and this one is detected without any problems.

-> cortexm_probe
0xe0001000: Generic IP component - Cortex-M0 DWT (Data Watchpoint and Trace)
0xe0002000: Generic IP component - Cortex-M0 BPU (Breakpoint Unit)
0xf0002000: Debug component - Unknown (PIDR = 0x4000bb9a3)
AP 0: IDR=04770021 CFG=00000000 BASE=f0000003 CSW=03000040
0xe000e000: Generic IP component - Cortex-M0 SCS (System Control Space)

Do you have an idea what could be the problem?

benjamin
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Did you try with VESC Tool 1.10? The firmware for the NRF51 with 16K RAM was broken before.

janusz.smyl
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Latest VESC Tool mobile... i can't write motor configuration. Clicking on a write button does not seem to invoke any action.

I can read and write app configuration. I can read motor configuration... but not write

I've tried on two different android phones. 

VESC 4.12 with latest FW and latest app. 

Just sharing with what i have found today.

benjamin
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I had a quick look, and found the problem: The UART TX buffer now too small to fit the whole mc configuration. I will try to fix it later when I come home.

benjamin
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This is now finally fixed (hopefully :-)).

I also recorded a boring video while I made the fix:

 

doomy1986
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Hi Benjamin,

Thank you for the quick answer. Yes, i tried this with the lastest vesc tool, it reports "unknown device". I also tested the modules by flashing the redbearlab bootloader. They show up in the BLE tool.

Maybe they report with a new ID ?

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