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Flashing ESC without a computer

Balu

Lurker
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
#3
Quick question, Can You flash an ESC without a computer? Can it be done with a programmer?
What earthsciteach was trying to say was: No.

You can program an ESC with a programmer. Programming is changing some of the ESCs options like "braking on/off", "low voltage cutoff on/off", "voltage limits", etc.. I think most ESCs allow you to change these settings by stick movements of the throttle. It is a little difficult because you have to wait for the right amount of beeps, move the throttle, wait for another beep and so on. To get around this you can use a programming card specific for your ESC model.

Flashing is something different. By flashing you replace the ESCs firmware - its basic programming if you will. This will usually result in a very different behaviour than just switching the options listed above.

You need a computer and the right adapter to be flash a new firmware.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#4
Short answer, no.

Long answer. It would technically be feasible for ESC's that have already been flashed once and have a SimonK or BLHeli bootloader. But you'd have to make a custom flashing box using something like an arduino with a SD Card to have room to store the hex files. It would be really tricky to build and would require a computer to get working in the first place. So given all that I don't see anyone jumping to make one. There are boxes people have made like that for programming BLHeli and I think they may support reflashing...but you'd still need a computer to get the latest hex files loaded onto the flash box. So fully eliminating a computer just isn't going to happen.
 
#6
Ok so its its possible to fly without a flashed esc then. My laptop is outdated so I wasnt too sure if a prommer that I saw from HK would do the trick. I may just buy a new laptop anyway but trying to save up for a wedding lol. ( hense why Im getting my stuff now before the wife can say anything lol) Once I get back from deployment I will start building my first tricopter.
 

RAM

Posted a thousand or more times
#7
Ok so its its possible to fly without a flashed esc then. My laptop is outdated so I wasnt too sure if a prommer that I saw from HK would do the trick. I may just buy a new laptop anyway but trying to save up for a wedding lol. ( hense why Im getting my stuff now before the wife can say anything lol) Once I get back from deployment I will start building my first tricopter.
Good point about the laptop. I wonder, how old of an operating system will work with flashing software??? Anybody know?? XP?
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Staff member
Moderator
Mentor
#8
Most of the programming software has Java driven versions . . . so I suppose it begs the question "how old?"

TRS-80 model 4P? no, not a chance.

win XP? almost certainly.

win 98? win 2k? hard to say . . .
 

x0054

Senior Member
#9
Hmm, I flashed my ESCs with BLHeli using my 2002 Panasonic running a 1.3 Ghz PIII. So.... if you laptop can run XP and has USB, you should be ok. How outdated is outdated? I think you need XP for the driver support, but it's not like you need lot's of power.
 
#10
Its fairly old I guess. I know its runs XP and its 4 years old. I cant tell you much about it right now since I dont have it with me right now. I did have realflight on it and that slowed it down a lot. I think I will try to clean it up and take realflight off.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#11
My main computer is about 9 years old running Vista and my notebook is about 10 (but running the latest Ubuntu Linux), they both run the flashing software no problem. It's really simple stuff that doesn't take much in the way of system resources :D
 

PHugger

Church Meal Expert
#13
Just stating the obvious -
If you are wanting an ESC with a specific firmware - why not buy something that is pre-flashed?
I know there are many available pre-flashed with SIMONK......
Hit up google - "simonk preflashed esc"
No computer needed, well except to do the google search.
I suppose you could purchase via telephone if you really wanted.


Best regards,
PCH