Master (V)ESC Controller

So I think I briefly mentioned this idea the other day, but it was poorly thought out, and I got some time to think about it more and drew up a schematic of things, and hopefully this will be something we can theorize over.

Anway’s, I am not a fan of the way we have to connect our VESC’s if were going a 2WD, and ESPECIALLY for a 4WD, so I was thinking about better ways we could connect them.

What I’ve thought of, I basically call a Master (V)ESC Controller. So assume you are building a 4WD setup. You connect your battery to all the VESC’s, but then you have to connect all the VESC’s to one another so they work in sync. What I talked about the other day was essentially you develop a bit of hardware that has a OS that allows you too designate each VESC to it’s corresponding spot. That’s about as far as my mind took me, lol. That was a bad idea cause I essentially wanted to run all the power through this Master Controller (MC), but that would create a whole bunch of unnecessary issues. Rather, I thought about it some more today and I wondered if you could just connect your battery to each VESC as you would normally. Then, setup a 5V UBEC so you can run some extra electronics without blowing them up, lol. From there, connect the MC, and basically, I imagine something similar to a VESC Tool or similar would be set-up for you to assign each VESC accordingly. To connect the MC to the VESC’s, you would simply connect them all via the “canbus.” So typically when you connect multiple VESC’s, you designate one “Master” and the rest the “slave.” What I’m essentially proposing is that this MC be designated as “Master” and all the VESC’s be designated as the “slave.” Additionally, from the MC you would also connect your remotes transmitter/receiver so all the VESC’s get the signal at the same time from the same source. It just seems like a must simplier way to control the VESC’s in my opinion. I made a little drawing of this. It’s my first so I am sure I missed a few things, but the overall gist of things can clearly be seen. So, does anyone this think is something that would be doable, or would it require way too much programming and coding, etc…?

This would work with both 2WD and 4WD since all it would require between the two is having just inputs for each canbus. For 2WD, just use the rear left and rear right inputs.

I am trying to understand your much “simpler way”. You connect a receiver to any of vesc set it as master and use canbus to sync all of them. This is already dead simple. Now you want to introduce another component to do exactly that?

Are you talking about the master VESC controller being a VESC with just the MCU and CAN and a few other components populated on the board?

No not a whole seperate VESC, just like some tech that allows you to easily connect to 4 VESC’s (this really should just be for 4WD as connecting 2 VESC’s is easy as pointed out by @Kug3lis) through the canbus and the remote is connected to this as well, so all the VESC’s get the signal at the exact same time and instead of having one master and 3 slaves you could designate front left, front right, rear left, rear right, and maybe that would make the whole traction control thing work better, I dunno. I just think connecting 4 VESC’s the normal way is a hassle is all and I like the idea of them specifically being designated to exactly the position they are at.

won’t a simple 4 way splitter for your remote receiver accomplish that?

Just use 4 receivers. That way, a failure doesn’t bring down your braking ability. Unless your hand controller fails :stuck_out_tongue:

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I don’t think so. I’ve asked about that before and basically was told you are supposed to connect them via the canbus. easy enough for just 2, but if you have for then you having to split a bunch… And what if your master VESC goes out? All your VESC’s would stop working. If it was set up the way I’m proposing, I think the three other wheels would still keep going, but you would probably notice the difference, so you could stop and check it out, as opposed to getting flung from your board cause they all stopped working.

What if your main controller goes out? You lose all controls :smiley:

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But that would happen regardless of how you set things up no matter what.

If you wire them so the only wires connecting them are the + and - power wires, there is no main controller to go out. It’s redundancy.

Oh you mean the Master Controller? Yes well that is true. I guess I’m just thinking that it’s such a simple piece of tech that it should be foolproof hopefully…? lol

I’m not suggesting plugging the MC into the main power, just power it off the 5V UBEC and then connect them to the canbus of the VESC. Where’s the redundancy?

What you are describing has none and one failure will bring down everything.

Yes but so would the failure of the master VESC. This is just a way to better manage them IMO.

So basically a 1 in x out splitter for PPM and Serial Data for the VESCs? Just use an Arduino for that, it could be done with a bit of coding. But i don’t see any immediate benefits over CAN. You’re just moving the failure point, not eliminating it.

True, but I think the ease of setting things up and potential improvement in any traction control, along with the simplicity of the HW/SW i’m suggesting is more beneficial then just keeping the potential failure point. I feel like this would be less likely to fail, and as I said, I think it also has some benefits as well, so to me at least it seems worth it.

Granted, I can’t make anything like this on my own I’d need help, and it doesn’t seem like anyone thinks this is a great idea, lol, but I figured it was worth discussing.

I mean I am planning to do this with my boards, to have main control unit but it will not be only splitting signal, but also collecting data, recording to sd/card, communicating with my own remote, telephone maybe some kind of linux board for wifi data sync and etc.

Really…? Are you planning on selling any? Would this connect the VESC’s via canbus as well?