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Bringup, pinouts, general manual... where to find?

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kubark42
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Bringup, pinouts, general manual... where to find?

I just received my VESC 100/250. Beautiful piece of kit, but so far I've found nothing on how to actually use the board. I've got a lot of experience with BLDC, going as far as to develop them and even teach about them at uni, so the problem is purely the mechanics of an unfamiliar layout and firmware. https://trampaboards.com/resources/manuals/225.pdf is only the briefest of overviews, and does not go so far as to tell me what connections are mandator (ON/OFF?)

  • Where is all the documentation?
  • What needs to be done to bring up the board for the first time?
  • What are the connectors required? JST?
  • What kind of connections can be used for wireless control? Anything with a serial link?
  • What should I expect from the LEDs? Should there be an LED lit anytime there is power? Etc...?

Too many people have gotten this to work for me to just chalk it up to poor docu. I figure it's just poorly visible docu.

Trampa, could I humbly suggest you could make this a lot easier on your new customers? Maybe a link to a video which shows someone unpacking a VESC and proceeding to connect to it via the computer would be ideal.

maratik
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I would like to have this document also.

frank
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https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6kQ4bL2xPoOio_oRgjdhQA/videos

To bring it up for the first time, you need to wire it up and feed power with a battery. Minimum requirement is a fused connection and use of a anti spark connector or soft start switch. 

Connectors are JST PHR 2mm pitch

Wireless can be bluetooth via the WAND, or you can use UART, SPI, I2C, CAN, PPM/ PWM, ADC  posibilities are endless.

LED should be stable blue when it is powered up and resting.

 

 

 

 

kubark42
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@frank, just now seeing your response.

To bring it up for the first time, you need to wire it up and feed power with a battery. 

I think it would be very good to explicitly detail what "wire it up" means. For instance, until the 1st and 3rd pins are shorted together on the ON/OFF JST connector then the device will not turn on. This isn't  intuitively obvious, and isn't shown in the sample layout schematic on the first page of the current manual. Likewise, there's very little handholding for how to set up an input, nor which is configured by default.

Of course, we all figure it out in the end, but IMHO it's not great to be making guesses when powering up a 25kW device for the first time. I'm lucky to have a lot of small motors and current-limited power supplies, but it's easy to see how someone who only has a LiPo and a several hundred watt motor could make an unlucky guess.

Looking at the youtube videos, I only see ones which show how to set up certain parts of the firmware. Did I miss something? If not, it would be nice to have a video which shows an unboxing and first bring-up. Probably doesn't need to be longer than a minute or two if all you show is ESC + On/Off jumper + Connection to PC + Parameter autodetection + "Hey, my motor is spinning, how cool is that!". 

smith2e7
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I totally agreed with the thoughts of this thread.  I may well shift to use an industrial commercial BLDC driver in order to get better documentation.

For instance ( with VESC)  what does the green LED do on VESC 4.12 ? What makes it shift from dim to very bright ?

What are the conditions required to make the green LED go to "very bright" from dim  ?

   I have not found a documentation of the subject of the green LED.

TechAUmNu
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The dim green tells you the code is running. The bright green tells you it is actively driving the motor.

kubark42
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> The dim green tells you the code is running. The bright green tells you it is actively driving the motor.

That's a good start, however @smith2e7 is giving an example of the lack of documentation so it's fair to expect s/he has many more questions. As is almost always the case with open-source projects, there is insufficient documentation because it's exciting to make features, but the task of making documentation is usually a drudgery reserved for paid roles.

That being said, Trampa is a commercial endeavor and clients pay a fair amount of cash for their hardware. The upshot is they can expect a higher level of documentation. Unless Trampa indemnifies customers for hooking up things backwards, there really should be more documentation than "wire it up and pray".

A simple video which takes a user from unboxing a new ESC to using it to drive a motor would not take long and would add a lot of value.

smith2e7
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Further to my comment in this thread dated 2021-10-18.
I was very frustrated then because I could not reliably get the bright state for the green LED.  I needed documentation.

OK, so I never did get any docs to state what is required for the LED to glow brightly.

However, I did do a little poking around with my oscilloscope and the schematic for VESC 4.12.
I am using a VESC 4.12 version form Michobby.com.
I am driving the input with an electrical PWM signal generated by a Nucleo32 board with STM32F103 = Blue Pill.
I have an opto-isolator between my the Blue Pill board and the VESC, in order to separate the ground networks.
The Blue Pill board produces very nice PWM signals; the signals look the same as the ones from a Futaba receiver.
The optor-isolator is a common type with a transistor output.

The Problem that I found:
 
  The opto-isolator output collector is tied to 5v from the VESC. The emitter is tied to a my pull-down resistor connected to VESC return/ground.
  The VESC schematic shows a resistor-capacitor low-pass filter between the PWM input connection and a microprocessor pin.

The output wavefrom the opto-isolator was very much distorted due to the total time constant of my pull-down resister combined
 with the RC filter.  The time constant was much too long. Much.
My opto-isolator produced a pulse leading edge OK but the RC filter degraded the rise time a lot.
My value of pull-down resister, combined with the values of R and C in the low-pass filter, produced a remarkably slow fall time for the pulse.
The result was that the VESC uP was interpreting a pulsewidth Much longer than intended.
I fixed the problem by reducing the value of my pull-down resister and by changing the value of the C on the VESC board.
    I think that the installed value was 100 nF = 0.1 uF. I removed that capacitor chip. 0805 size in the USA.
    I soldered in a 0.01 uF cap.

Then my oscilloscope ( Tektronix TDS 224, very old but reliable) showed that the pulse on top of the new .01 uF cap on the VESC board
   was now a nice square pulse with a pulsewidth very close to that of my generated pulsewidth.

The great result of this work is that now the VESC recognizes a legitimate  "0" pulsewidth (for Stop) and it easily gives me a bright green LED.
Problem solved.