This article is a Warning & Guide for how to properly handle the VESC.
There has been lots of issue lately with people blowing up their VESC… It’s really the worst feeling when this happens! I have now blown 3 myself. If I had better knowledge I could have prevented this from happening.
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTES ABOUT VESC
- The VESC is not a finished product! - It’s only just reached BETA stage.
- The VESC is a bare PCB with no protective case/cover - It can be damaged very easily!
- The VESC should be installed into a protective case OR insulation heat shrink tube before use.
- When powered up the VESC can be shorted very easily against ANY conductive material, even carbon fiber!
- Electrostatic Discharge could damage the VESC.
- Install a fuse between the VESC and power supply to help prevent damage from short circuits.
- Power the VESC using a low voltage low amperage power supply (e.g. from a laptop) when doing motor detection and parameter adjustments in the BLDC tool
- Make a Backup of the default VESC settings before you change anything.
- The VESC doesn’t come with any instructions! - You will need to read up on it yourself!
- Handle the VESC with Caution.
Thanks @onloop I think this will help lot of people using VESC.
Regarding this comment:
Could someone perhaps provide a recommendation for what kind of power supply is right for this usage (maybe show an example)? I’ve had no issues using my regular batter packs (fed through a battery arming switch) during motor detection, but I may have just been lucky!
A Battery can instantly dump high current into the VESC causing burns, electrocution, equipment damge & fire, better off using a controlled power source such as a LAB POWER Supply.
Otherwise a 12-20V 3-5A Laptop power supply is the poor-man’s alternative.
so the space cell is not safe to do motor detection?
The space cell has a fuse. So it’s not too bad, the short will blow the fuse… But you’d be crazy to put a big lipo on your VESC during configuration.
Would the charger that comes with the space cell be a good poor man’s alternative? What about the 12 volt rails on a PC’s internal power supply?
also, would this work? Its sort of a mini version of the bigger lab power supplies and its only $55 (most are over $300). It looks like it would do ok by putting out up to 30 volts at up to 5 amps. 5 amps should be just fine for no-load bench testing of motors, motor detection, and programming on the VESC, right?
a cheap alternative to a lab power supply is an old computer PSU.
you can convert them into a desk supply quite easily.
you just need to jumper the “on” signal wire from the mainboard to ground to power it on.
this guy has written up a nice how to:
If you guys are anything like me you will probably have 4 or 5 old computers laying around waiting to junk so its essentially FREE!.
the main aim here is to have output of low amps and low voltage. a pc power supply can still pack a punch.
Every PC power supply is different but most -12V rails are ~0.5A max
oh, ok… well, maybe that is not enough amps… I actually don’t know what the minimum is, in Vedder’s video he has the lab power supply set to 21v and during the motor spin up it reaches about 4A.
@onloop so what if I replace the 30amp fuse on the space cell with say a 5 or 10 amp fuse just for the purpose of configuration? then replace the 30 amp fuse when finished.
sounds like a really good idea.
Can a vesc directly connect with a laptop power supply connector or do you need some kind of connector to xt60 converter
the vesc doesn’t have the same connection as a laptop, i suppose you could put one on though. The VESC i sell have an xt60
so it sounds like that 5 amp lab power supply i found would probably be ideal. There’s also a 10A version just like it for $30 more. both let you dial in current and voltage.
ok so changing the fuse to a smaller fuse on spacecell will work as well? what size fuse do you suggest? 5 , 10 or 15 amp? i hope the november batch of vesc is in on time!
Take precaution not to short the vesc and you don’t really need to worry about fuses and high amps, but accidents do happen.
With a fuse in the circuit components will still likely get damaged, but hopefully not as bad.
i ordered one of those 30v 5amp lab power supplies, and another one for my older son for christmas. I’m looking forward to using it with both the VESCs i ordered as well as some Arduino stuff i want to mess around with again. I never did finish building my hall sensor based speedometer with digital LED display.
@onloop what is so different about configuration and use? Couldn’t you “burn” the VESC while in normal operation?
And what is the max amps and max volts one should use to power the VESC during config?
The lab power supply I have goes to 20V (maybe 24, can’t remember) 2A, will this be enough for motor detection on a SK3 168kv?