Vesc - where to not

Hmm I also have 1 broken from Enertion, paid while it’s still above 100 usd waited 2 months usable for 5 minutes. The false economy hits hard. Not sure about the new batch, but I am gona wait for some members experience first.

However I wonder why so many people have issues with heat on their VESC, mine is being run without heatsink and it works just fine without any issues even not stopping after 10km++ ride.

Whats the steepest grade you ride on and whats your longest ~10% grade hill?

For me, flat ground stretches are never an issue. It could be linked to the inefficiency in the settings I am using, or in the motors. But the vesc works flawlessly on flat ground. So much power and speed on a full charge.

I bought two vescs from Enertion, one was DOA, returned it and got store credit. I bought two vescs from Ollinboard, one failed while fiddling with settings, was repaired for free.

In the end, those are two equivalent forms of good customer service.

In my opinion the vesc has an inherent flaw, which is the touchy mosfet driver chip: look at it the wrong way and it will die on you, no matter where you bought it. I hope Vedder realizes this and improves robustness in 5.0.

I’m pretty sure that my VESC’s did not die due heat. They both died when starting a new ride (first 2 minutes of use)

The first one it was probably due to a high kv motor, I was using 245KV motor.

The second one lasted less than 1 week on a 149KV motor.

The rest of the setup and conditions:

  • No hills what so ever: live in Houston - TX
  • I weight 120lb (~55kg)
  • No way of having short circuits between the phases, I used heat shrink on all my connections and 3d print a plastic spacer to fix the cable on the board.
  • Did not pass 10 miles / hour

I use VESC on 280kv motors with no issues.

so no idea what killed my VESC’s…

same thing happened to me but i think that issue will be ironed out with this new batch. I thought at first mine was moisture related but i had a UCF student take them to the lab. Blown DRVs, both of them at the same exact time. I’m having a place near hear fix them for me since i have the replacement chips.

Glad this post is up.

It’s good to read real world feedback from VESC users.

Posted the other day with concerns of multiple manufacturers of VESC leading to inconsistencies in quality. Interesting to read peoples experiences.

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Interesting news… after following the vedder forum, he just posted something, he mentioned that the blew DRV chip can be caused when the capacitor fail.

I went and removed the heat shrink on my two vesc’s and guess what I saw? both vescs had capacitors leg broken / desoldered.

Capacitors were poorly soldered to the PCB, so when they failed my VESC’s died.

You can check the discussion here:

Explanation on what happened here:

Now, I’m pretty confident that this is a manufacturing issue, nothing related with my setup.

Sent emails to enertion but no response so far!

on a side note: that is why I don’t think we should use anti-spark plugs, the spark is a good indication that capacitors are working.


I’m checking both of mine as soon as I get home. I am making arrangements to have my DRVs replaced locally so i’m not going to be happy if they blow again right afterward.

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Can you upload a picture of those capacitors legs? This way people can compare them with the ones they are going to receive, so they can fix the problem before the drv chip is blown.

this is why a good bms should be used, to suppress those voltage spikes. could probably get away with it with a big 50V TVS

It’s not difficult to see that your capacitor is unsoldered or broken, I’ll post a picture when I get home… but you also need to check for it’s value with a multimeter and a ESR meter.

Capacitors on my enertion vesc were pretty cheap and probably would die anyway after couple months.

Am I the only one that thinks it’s interesting none of the people that sell the VESC have commented on this yet?

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@vitormhenrique I don’t understand this; wouldn’t there be a spark on connection with or without the capacitor functioning?

A while back @lowGuido taught me that capacitors slowly age and need to eventually be replaced. If someone has a recommendation for their lifespan, or how to test them, that would be helpful!

While this thread is about VESC issues, I often hear from vendors that no one weighs in when their VESC is working well, so I’m gonna share my good experience:

I have a VESC from Enertion, the HW4.7 batch from September 2015. It was manufactured to spec (as far as I am able to tell) and has been working great for 125 miles on my esk8. I soldered the connection wires and cap myself, added a cap to C18 to improve FOC performance, soldered the cable for my GT2B receiver to the board, used an ST-LinkV2 to install a bootloader, and covered it in heat-shrink. I’ve updated the firmware several times with Ubuntu and run in FOC mode with no issues, but there was a learning curve to figure out how to configure it, especially with regard to voltage cutoff and braking. It’s mounted in my enclosure using velcro and is wrapped in foam to minimize vibration.

There are so many things that can go wrong with VESC, my good experience is 80% luck and 20% practice. I would feel disappointed if I received a DOA VESC or near-DOA. Hopefully all that we do as a community can help the vendors to learn and improve.

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Good idea,

I’ve built 8 vesc and bought 2. Busted them all atleast once, what was the root cause?

Me, by mishandling them, either bad soldering or bad settings.

I tend to think i know what i’m doing, they all working now.

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check the capacitor if the top is bloated or seems to be bloating. that is one of the telltale sign of the capacitor having problems

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below is a rough picture of problematic capacitors and good capacitors

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@AreaKruzer Thanks these are helpful!

the spark is from the huge amount of power the caps draw once plugged in, without the caps there is no huge on-rush.

now on to the other point mentioned, with out the anti-spark yes you can tell that the caps are ok but constant sparks will eat at your plugs over time.