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VESC Hardware

Submitted by benjamin on Wed, 2018-01-24 11:22

The VESC software is designed to work with a wide variety of hardware, from very low power to very high power. A complete reference schematic and layout with two shunt resistors can be found here

https://github.com/vedderb/bldc-hardware

this hardware is referred to as version 4.10 in the firmware. If you plan to manufacture and sell it, please respect the trademark policies of the VESC Project and use your own name on your product, and give a reference to the VESC Project to show what your hardware is based on.

Currently there is no complete hardware layout available with three shunts, but we will make one available in the near future. For now you can refer to the schematic for the official VESC hardware versions, which will be published here. This is the schematic for the official VESC SIX:

All schematics found above are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.

In the future we will publish the schematics for all official VESC hardware, but not necessarily the complete hardware layout with gerber files. The reason is that unlike the software, the hardware layout is not very reusable when creating new hardware. For example, for creating the VESC6 I made a completely new project in KiCad and only looked at the schematic for HW4.12 to get started. Likewise, when working on a new high power layout that even looks similar to the VESC6 with the L-shape but with 18 MOSTEFs, I created a new project from the start. Once you know how to make a proper high power layout and are familiar with the awesome KiCad, it is just faster and simpler to layout everything from the start rather than moving things around. Therefore the software, tutorials and schematics are enough as a great base for making a wide variety of awesome motor controllers. Over 99% of the work is in the software, and the software can be adapted and reused to a great extent, which is why we think the right thing is to keep it free and open source.

Another reason for not publishing the official hardware layouts as-is, is that it leads to many companies and individuals who have no background in electronics just giving a github reference to a manufacturer to make hardware and start selling it. Currently there are more than 25 places where V4.x hardware can be bought, with quality varying from excellent to not working at all. If the same thing would happen with the VESC6 it would be confusing for the customers. If you are serious about electronics, the VESC project provides everything you need to make your own custom hardware to fill a missing spot in the market, and then sell it. If electronics is not your area, but you want to sell your own hardware independently anyway, you can refer to the HW4.12 layout or wait for the three shunt reference PCB. We do however recommend and encourage that you get into electronics and design your own hardware if you are serious about what you are doing.

In the near future we will offer partner programs where you can support the VESC Project when creating and selling you hardware, and in return get help to make sure that it stays compatible with future firmware and that we have resources to create new features and bug fixes in the software. When we have sorted out the details for the partner programs they will show up on the VESC Project website.

Third party hardware

We will try to maintian a list with third party layout and schematics for reference. Please drop a comment below if yours is missing, and you would like to see it included.

Name Reference
Paltatech high power driver board 1
MINI4 1

 

 

 

Comments

Above it says that there will be a full 3 shunt design posted soon, I am planning on doing a DIY board in the next month or so, and I would like to have the features of the new VESC six, but I am also a college student and I don't have the capital to prototype my own board regardless of my skills. Which are a bit rusty to say the least, it has been a while since I did any power boards. So my question is, are the VESC 6 files going to be up anytime within a month or should I just order VESC 4 boards made and deal with a slightly lower power?

Thanks!

-David Hickox