Configuration of your VESC® or VESC® based ESC using the VESC®-Tool Software.
In this tutorial we will configure a genuine VESC® motor controller in combination with a BLDC motor.
We will run the motor in FOC mode and we will make use of Hall sensors.
Make sure to use the latest VESC-Tool version!
Download from http://www.vesc-project.com/vesc_tool
Setups using arrays of VESC devices are configured in one hit, as long as they are interconnected via CAN cable
Connect your VESC® motor controller to your computer using a mini/micro USB cable.
Mini USB is used for HW 4.xx only. Some cheap micro USB cables are designed for charging your
phone and will not work properly! Try another cable if you experience any issues.
Run the VESC®-Tool software.
Lets choose the correct motor size and type:
Example: If you want to use the VESC ESC as a controller for your electric skateboard or scooter, the 750g Medium Outrunner is 99% chance your motor to choose.
No matter if your motor is 6064 or 80100, the size category is still the Medium Outrunner. For other motor types and sizes, please choose accordingly.
Now we will tell the VESC motor controller about your battery. This is important to get right!
If you discharge your battery below a certain voltage, it will get damaged permanently. LiPo packs or Lithium Ion batteries usually operate between 4.2V and 3.1V per cell. Do not allow your system to discharge them beyond 3.1V per cell! For this reason the VESC controller will measure your battery voltage and will start to softly cutoff the power at 3.4V per cell (Battery Voltage Cutoff Start) and it will perform a hard cutoff at 3.1V per cell (Battery Voltage Cutoff End).
You can also set custom values if your cells have different ratings. This can be done in Motor Settings >>General after finishing this Wizard or by activating the advanced settings in the Wizard.
IF YOUR BATTERY CAN'T HANDLE THE CURRENT DRAW OR REGEN CURRENTS YOUR MOTOR IS RATED FOR, YOU CAN ADJUST VALUES ACCORDINGLY IN THE ADVANCED OR OVERRIDE TAB!
ADVANCED SETTINGS guide for less capable batteries:
Check your battery ratings and adjust accordingly. Please note: This is the value per controller / motor! If you run two VESC motor controllers on one battery, you need to cut your safe battery limits in half. -25A becomes -12.5A, 100A becomes 50A etc.
Current MIN is the value that is used during braking/regen (storage of energy into the battery). The motor operates as a generator and the VESC controller pushes a maximum of X Amps towards the battery during barking.
If your battery can only handle a burst charge of X Amps, you can limit the Amp flow here to protect your battery. Most batteries are rated for a charge current of X Amps, which refers to an extended charge period using a battery charger. Burst charge currents (for 10-30 seconds) are hard to find in data sheets but are usually higher than the constant charge currents. Low Battery MIn values result in weak brakes at speed! A test for appropriate brake strength needs to be done at full speed. Be careful when using a discharge BMS (Battery Management System)! The battery current settings need to match the capabilities of the BMS. Discharge BMS systems may protect themselves and decouple the VESC controller from the battery. Total loss of power and brakes and/or destruction of the hardware may be the result!
Current MAX is the value your battery will get discharged with at full power. If your battery or BMS can't deliver more than X Amps safely, you can define a max value for current draw here.
Example for a single drive: We have a 12S 10000mAh LiPo battery that can deliver 100A constant current (10C rated battery), so a max of 100A is a safe setting. It is advisable to stay well below max ratings for certain batteries. Some vendors tend to overrate their batteries for marketing purpose! We choose 60A for our setup. In many cases Motor Max is below Battery Max and will limit the Amp flow to the Motor MAX value regardless.
Gear ratio and wheel diameter:
If you want accurate real time data, the VESC motor controller needs to know the gearing and wheel diameter. Once set, you will get very accurate feedback on the VESC-Tool App.
Speed, estimated range, Wh usage per Km and many more. It's worth fill in accurate parameters. Measure up your wheel accurately!
Here are some measurements for small pneumatic tires.
6.5" pneumatic = 165mm diameter
7"pneumatic = 175mm diamater
8" pneumatic = 198mm diameter,
9" pneumatic = 222mm diamter
Wheels off the ground, propellors disassembled, fingers out of the way?
It's time to spin up your motors!
After detection we can now check the results to be reasonable
Resistance OK? Motor current reasonable? Sensors detected? Similar values for both motors (if the same)?
Click OK if everything looks good.
Everything spinning in the right direction?
Click on Fwd to spin the motor in forward direction. If it spins backwards, tick the Inverted check box
Congratulations, you have finished the Motor Setup Wizard!
Warning! For E-Skate and some other applications you now need to set DUTY CYCLE CURRENT LIMITS.
Warning! Failing to set the duty cycle current limit value to 85% on all VESC motor controllers in your system will affect your ability to keep the balance when reaching top speed!
Please watch this video tutorial to manually set the necessary values. DUTY CYCLE CURRENT LIMITS
Please continue with the Input Setup Wizard once you finished the motor setup.
Changing parameters after finishing the Wizard:
In the left Menu bar you can choose Motor Settings >> General to change the most basic values.
Changes only affect the connected VESC motor controller! Make sure you change values on all VESC controllers in an Array!
Connect to each VESC motor controller via USB or CAN Forward and change settings!
The following explanations will help you to configure your current limits correctly:
Motor Current Max: The maximum current your motor can handle (Ampere). Please refer to the motor specifications of your motor. You may use lower values to de-power your setup.
Example: Our motor can handle 40A, but we will only set it to 30A to get started. You can boost your settings once you feel comfortable. A safe approach towards higher values is highly recommended (e.g. start with 15-20A only).
Hint: This value can be greater than the Battery Current Max value, resulting in a higher motor power output at part throttle. At max throttle the Battery Current Max is the limiting value if set lower than Motor Current Max.
Motor Current Max Brake: The maximum current output you allow your motor to produce when operated as a generator. Electric vehicles may use the motor as a brake, generating energy when slowing down the vehicle. The energy produced will be stored in the battery. In this tutorial we will set the value to -30A to get started. The value should not be higher than the max. continuous current specification of the motor.
Hint: Higher values will result in stronger brakes if the Battery Current Max Regen settings allows the storage of the current generated.
Battery Current Max: The maximum continuous current your battery is rated for. Please refer to your battery specifications for safe settings. LiPo-pack batteries are usually C-rated. A 5800mAh, 25C rated battery can handle 5.8A x 25=145A max. Manufacturers often overrate the batteries and cutting the value in half is recommend. We will use 72A max for safety reasons.
Hint: Since our Motor Current Max is set to 30A, we could use 30A for the battery as well.
Technically there is no reason to use a higher value than the Motor Current Max.
Battery Current Max Regen: The maximum current you allow the ESC to push towards your battery or battery management system (if incorporated in your system) when braking. Battery Current Max Regen is important for brake strength at speed! Low settings result in weak brakes at speed! This value should not exceed the maximum burst charge current rating of your battery or capability of your battery management system. So lets set that to -30A for a skateboard with a big battery (e.g.12S4P LiIon)