VESC FAQ | Low Prices VS Quality Service | USER POLL

For anyone who doesn’t know about the VESC, it is a motor controller that helps esk8 builders make really good, feature rich electric skateboards that in most cases have better performance than most electric skateboards offered by mainstream brands.

Some of the key features that make the VESC awesome are: 1. Open Source 2. Regen Braking 3. Battery & Motor Voltage/Current control/limits 4. Temperature Sensors and cutoff 5. RPM limiting The list goes on & on

One of the the problems with the VESC is that it is very young, it’s basically a newborn who is starting to enter into the nearly-finished-product stage. It is available for purchase from only 3 or 4 sources worldwide, fortunately, most of these sources supply it in a mostly ready-to-use state without too much stuffing around or technical knowledge being required to get it going.

So be warned! it’s not something that comes in a pretty box with an instruction manual! To use it properly there is some basic knowledge one must possess which can be easily obtained with a few hours of reading. >Look Here<

SO IS THERE A PROBLEM? Some people will try to tell you that the VESC is just not reliable, some people will try to tell you that the Quality of manufacturing is to blame, some people will openly admit that they have stuffed up and destroyed the VESC after making a silly mistake and some people just end up not knowing how to get it to work at all and start pointing fingers.

All of this stuff is probably true to a certain extent, but at the end of the day there are plenty of people who will tell you how awesome the VESC is and will gladly recommend it to anyone. YES, There are actually many people who have never had a single problem with the VESC and are very happy with their purchase. The problem is you don’t tend to hear the positive stories on these forums because only the negative stuff bubbles to the surface… and that’s how products can get a bad reputation when they don’t deserve it.

Most reasonable people would agree, A product is only as good as the support, warranty & service that backs it up. Right?

Take Apple products for example: They have a great reputation right? Is this because they never have problems, apple hardware never fails? NO, its because apple have great service & support…

Apple build a percentage into their cost base to cover the cost of providing fantastic service & sleek modern stores… Some people call this Apple TAX - You do know that nothing is free! Right?

WHAT IS A WARRANTY? To understand this you need to understand the insurance business, because that is what a warranty is! It’s insurance. Businesses calculate that a small percentage of their products will fail, They calculate failure rates and multiply it by the cost to repair faulty products, add it all together and decide what warranty terms can be offered to all people who buy said product. That’s why warranties have strict rules, it’s to filter out the claims that are outside of the calculated risk profile & it ensures the books are well balanced by only solving the problems that were costed to solve. Because if business has to cover more warranty claims than it’s anticipates it eventually goes broke and then no one gets any warranty because the business doesn’t exist. This might explain why some VESC pricing has gone up lately, certain vendors have realised that they actually need to make some profits to continue to offer great service, this should not be frowned upon by consumers it’s just common business sense.

So let’s discuss (&vote) about this matter regarding the VESC!

What would you prefer?

  • VESC <$99USD - Very Limited 10 days Warranty & Very Limited Email Support
  • VESC $130USD - Longer More Flexible - Back-to-Base - 6 months Warranty & Basic Email Support
  • VESC $170+ USD - Long Warranty 1yr+ Unlimited Email/Phone Support, No questions asked replacement for any failure.
0 voters

My first two VESC which didn’t last long enough to actually use them were from a different vendor (no need to use his name, we all know who I’m talking about.) When I emailed him for help, this was his response (five days later) “Please NOTE: If you changed the firmware and now you have an issue it’s technically not covered by our warranty.” I’m not paraphrasing, that was a cut and paste from his email. With this type of customer care one has to wonder how this vendor is still in business.

My next VESCs were from @chaka, now this guy has a passion for our community that is second to none! I’m not sure what the story is on his new prices but I will tell you that I threw away well over two hundred dollars on my original two VESC. So if you add the cost of the original VESC plus the two that I had to buy to replace them, $170 a piece seems like a bargain.

If you buy a $99 VESC and you are lucky enough to not have any problems with them, consider yourself lucky! If you have an issue and need help from that vendor, expect to get an email similar the one I received. Folks, @chaka is not having his VESC made by someone else, when there is a problem with his stuff he doesn’t blame someone else, he simply says “Sorry for your troubles, please put it in an envelope and send it back, I’ll take care of it.” I don’t know about you but the choice seems simple to me! Just look on this forum and see how many folks are having trouble with their VESC and how many of them are actually getting help from the vendor.

@chaka for president. :sunglasses:

BTW, it’s not like I didn’t spend money with the first vendor. I spent around $1K USD with this guy. One last thing before I get off my soap box, I emailed this vendor while I was still waiting for my VESC to please send me an extra c-clip because I had lost one of the clips from the motor shaft, this was his response “Under normal circumstances, I could probably achieve this for you, but I have to send out over 150 units of vesc in one day, normally I don’t read the name of the customer - I simply pack the items into a bag then attach a label. there is a good chance I will forget to do this for you. Sorry for bad service just trying to be honest.”

Boy was he honest!


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This is fairly standard stuff guys…

Let’s apply this logic to something else, Say you buy a new mobile phone, you use a third party hacked app to flash new firmware and you brick the phone.

  • Do you expect a 100% refund from the store who sold it to you?
  • Is it the manufacturers responsibility to replace it just to make you happy?
  • Do you not expect questions to be asked?

Our warranty is really simple, we cover manufacturing faults!!!. If you can’t accept that don’t buy from us. Basically, you need to prove that the fault is due to manufacturing - If you have modified the VESC or Installed a new firmware & it stops working it becomes very difficult to know if the fault is due to manufacturing. So your option is to submit an RA and return it for review and we will help as much as possible to get it working but if you are responsible for the fault we are not going to bail you out.

This is all fairly simple stuff guys…

Nearly all failures occur on the bench, or after some playing around with firmware or inputting the wrong settings. Solder shorts or shorted pins is also a cause, this is often classed as a manufacturing fault & is covered under warranty.

Generally speaking, If the vesc is working it generally will continue to keep working.

3% failure rate is what we are running at…

is it lucky that your vesc works? NO it’s unlucky that your VESC doesn’t…

3% failure rate is what we are running at… is it lucky that your vesc works? NO it’s unlucky that your VESC doesn’t…

Wow, have you ever heard the proverb “can’t see the forest for the trees?”

My point which you clearly missed in this post, is that failures will happen, it’s what happens after the failure that defines the type of vendor that you are!

A 3% failure rate in a vacuum sounds amazing but when that rate is viewed in the shadow of “bad service” (your words!) it doesn’t seem so amazing anymore.

It’s really simple, people will be loyal to those vendors that want to help their customers.

To those who understand that these sensitive electronics that we are putting in a very hostile environment are susceptible to damage but are still willing to use them, you should consider buying them from @chaka. It’s been my experience that he is willing to help when it counts!

"So everyone needs to have a bit of respect and lay off the negative vibes otherwise this will get really ugly.

So please everyone chill the fuck out." Wow, so this is respectful?

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I bought my first VESC last year having read about them on various forums and watching a couple of Vedders videos. It seemed clear at this time that the product was not ready to be run out commercially and users were thought of as BETA testers - the low price at the time (given batch quantities) reflected buyers risk.

The first VESC died, I’m pretty sure it was faulty and death was not caused by running on unleaded.

There would be significant cost (in proportion to purchase price) sending back 10,000 miles for autopsy without guarantee of replacement so decided against doing so as in my head I’d accepted the risk of problems, having researched the product first and been warned.

My thoughts on VESC sales

I was initially happy to accept risk of faults and drop-down death as believed price reflected risk and that feedback from BETA testers would lead to development and a more robust and reliable product.

Now that these things seem to be being pumped out the market seems to have adapted a “good product but handle with care” attitude – I’m not sure buyers understand the risk.

@chaka appears to have responded to the first BETA testing developing the VESC (under his control) and offering a fault diagnose/repair service – cost of VESC is similar to my original purchase price (Enertion).

If BETA test stage is over then as a buyer I prefer to cry only once - put the price up - go for development, quality and service.

Ideas for sellers:-

1 month, no quibble, replacement or repair option - certainly be worth paying extra for.

Supply with latest firmware and disable ability for general public to update with BLDC tool – or password protect. Installing the wrong firmware seems to be a common route to blown chips.

If offering cheap mass produced VESC - clearly explain risk to buyers – something like – No money back no guarantees.

this is a really sensible well thought out consumer response…

I 100% agree with your way of thinking here. This product will eventually mature into a polished retail friendly plug and play fool proof option. it just takes time…

I think after my current $99ea sale has finished I will increase the price and offer a no questions asked 60 day replacement guarantee. This offer will not require the faulty unit to be returned for review, it will simply require some basic photo/video evidence/description of what happened clearly showing the unit is faulty. All faulty units will be replaced with a new unit. End user has to pay for shipping.

The question is, do people want to pay more up front for this level of product warranty?

I noticed your vesc now doesnt have any motor leads and the 5.5mm connectors are straight to the pcb. Any ideas on how to change the connectors besides using an adapter?

get soldering iron. remove 5.5mm and replace with whatever you want.

Please, if everyone can vote, this is really important for the future of ESk8 industry…

heres my reasoning to pick the cheapest option. I know these VESC’s are well made, and most of the issues that come out of them are from installing them incorrectly which means that usually they break within the first 10 days while theyre being installed.

my guess


I wonder how long until HobbyKing start making VESCS… then you’ve got their no quibble 30 day return warranty and your usual 12 month standard warranty.

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@onloop I agree with @barajabali … I’m involved in DIY because I’m willing to tinker with something and possibly repair it if needed. I would rather have access to a bare-bones device that I can afford, vs a fully-warranteed device that I can’t buy. A 70% price increase isn’t one that I’d endorse in this case.

I’ll happily pay for higher quality, but I don’t want to cost-share the price of repairs for everyone else who haphazardly abused the device and fried it. As other have said, the majority of problems with VESC right now are due to incorrect firmware updating and shorts or bad soldering\installation by a customer. Part of the fun of DIY is learning how to properly do things. If I break something by accident, and it’s my fault or ignorance that leads to the damage, I’d rather pay for a repair when it happens.

But if you asked about this outside of the DIY community, the response would be quite different. I think that to make VESC a mass-market device you’ll need to make it less possible for users to ruin it, by locking down features and putting it in a good-looking encasement.


I think the quality seems fair. However, having bought 2 VESC myself, 1 worked great out the bag and the other, is supplying 3.2 volts to the receiver instead of 5 volts. To me, it seems like a manufacturing fault, but again, could it be the firmware update I had to do in order to even test it? I couldn’t find any mac version other than 2.15, so in order to test the VESC, I had to do a firmware update (And I think many are in this boat). I did the same steps on both of my vescs, and one works great, and the other has the problem mentioned above, and both are v4.10, but 2 different batches. The one I’m having trouble with is the last batch you sold @onloop at the end of 2015. I haven’t tested to see if it can still be used a slave or not.

What I can say, is I would pay an extra $10 just to know it was hand tested with a controller and motor to verify it works before shipping them. Seeing as shipping and waiting times for the VESC is usually long, having one arrive with problems is frustrating.

Unless more people vote the price will be going up.

Please vote!

Why not offer warranties as optional addons, like apple care for the VESC?

I think some will not be able to afford $170, and will go to rc escs.

Others may love the idea of an apple care style warranty, and be willing to pay another $70 or $80 for the warranty.


@evoheyax Excellent idea! I would support this as well @onloop

Well if the failure rate is only 3% why would we have to pay 30% or 70% more to get ourselves a warranty?

I want to give you an idea of where I come from In the place I work at, we have a failure rate of 7% (within 2 years) on white goods in my department.

We offer a 5 years no questions asked kind of warranty that costs 20-25% the products’ price. So you could in theory smash your washing machine with a baseball bat after 4,5 years and get it replaced with a similar (probably newer) model without having to open your wallet.

Those rates seem a lot more reasonable to me.