ESC sync issues with SimonK?

Category : RC

I remember back some time when SimonK had some sync issues with some NTM motors, but that got sorted out quickly by Simon. So I have not really thought much about it till recently when I was going to build me a small fpv quad.

It seems like high pole count motors are especially prone to develop sync issues. This caught my attention since my new quad are going to use some 2204 size sunnyskys with 16 pole count, which is considered a high count (some say more than 12 is). So I dug around the forums and found this thread which several users are experiencing everything from sync issues to burnt motors.

bickie @ rcgroups: I noticed when running this motor it stutters when running (all other motors are fine on the same ESCs – HK F10A + SimonK)

It seems like several user are experiencing the same problems using the Hobbyking F10 esc and simonk. After some more reading it become quite clear it isn’t the ESC itself, but the firmware. The bottom line is to change to BLHeli, so it seems for now. Since it’s most likely a firmware issue I guess it isn’t long time until Simon fixes it. BLHeli also supports the popular Afro ESC series from hobbyking now!

sskaug the developer of BLHeli wrote this great article explaining the sync issues! Read it. You might also be interested in my guide for flashing BLHeli. It’s the same principle for all ESCs except you need to change to the corresponding .hex file.

If you’re not into flashing there is a alternative, the Hobbywing Platinum series. They are special designed for multirotor use, might be worth checking out if it seems interesting.

Guide: Flashing Hobbywing Skywalker 20A ESC with BLHeli Firmware

Category : Arduino, Electronics, RC

This guide will tell you step by step how to flash a Hobbywing 20A esc with BLHeli firmware for multirotors. It will be the same procedure for any other ESC with a silabs chip, you just need to find the pin-outs for it. Well lets get started.

You will need the following:

Arduino (UNO, Nano etc. I use a Mega 1280 in this guide)
Three wires (I used some male to female jumper wires)
Soldering-iron with a tiny tip
OlliW`s flash-toolkit

Step 1:

Attach your selected Arduino board to your computers USB and run the following file from the OlliW toolkit “AvrBurnTool_vxxx.exe”. Choose the type of Arduino board and select it’s COMport, then click the button “Burn All”. This will burn the flashing-tool onto your Arduino board, you can use your Arduino board for other sketches later, this will not make your board useless for other tasks.

A CMD window will popup and let you know the flashing is in progress and then done. Just close the AvrBurn tool and the CMD window. Lets move onto next step!

Step 2.

Remove the plastic wrapping around your ESC, and get familiar with the soldering points as show in the next picture (click on the picture to see a larger one).


Now solder on the three jumper wires onto the pads shown in the picture above. The GND can be very tricky to solder, but after some try and fail I noticed it doesn’t need to be soldered exactly where the picture shows, but you can use the GND(black) at the servo-cable connection. Or generally any other GND. The red and white are easier, just put some tin on them first, then while you heat the wire, attach it!

It should look something like the picture below.


Then we attach the three wires onto the Arduino boards ISCP header, as shown in the picture below.

Step 3.

We are now almost ready to flash the ESC, but before we do so the ESC needs a lipo battery connected. Needs to be powered on while flashing. The start the file  “BLHeliTool_v100.exe” and choose your ESC make, model, type. As shown in the picture below.


Or choose the firmware file directly “BLHeliHexFiles\SKYWALKER_20A_MULTI_REV9_3.HEX “, and hit Flash!

If everything went smooth it should say “Flash hex file… DONE!” 🙂 To verify this click the “Setup Basic” tab and select READ, this will tell you the firmware type.


PS! At the moment 9_3 firmware will cause “twitches” when used on the Skywalkers, a new fix is in the works. And will be released in a matter of days.

UPDATE: v10 firmware is now available, check out this link.