Using an Arduino to flash ESCs

A project log for Arduino Skillz

Week of Arduino 02/02/2017 at 04:200 Comments

By 'flash' I don't mean what I did here...

I am trying to flash some escs with the right firmware to make them be able to reverse the direction of the BLDC they are driving... maybe it's a myth or a pipedream, but this is my adventure...


I got my BLDCs to turn in one direction, but one direction only. Not sure if it the firmware (trying to use SimonK latest 'reverse') or my ESCs or something else...

Tools and Supplies::

KKMulticopter Flash Tool - Flashing program

ESC - I'm using a Q-Brain 4-in-1 20A, because it is what I had and it already had the SimonK Bootloader)

Arduino Nano

Some male-to-male jumper wires

So the idea here is to make my Arduino Nano into a USB-run, one-wire ESC programming tool. According to what I have been able to glean from the interweb of assorted tutorials, all you need to do is plug the ground and signal wires from the ESC into the GND and D3 pins of the Nano. I also plugged the positive VIN on the ESC into the 5V pin on the Nano. This seems a lot easier than trying to figure out the pads on the ESC, making a tool or soldering wires to the ESC to program it with a USB ASP Atmel programming tool.

1. Download KKMulticopter Flash Tool

- check!

2. Connect to Arduino

Start up KKMulticopter Flash Tool (KKMFT) without your Arduino plugged in.

Plug in Arduino via USB. KKMFT should recognize it and make the required adjustments of COM port and baud settings.

- programmer option should be 'Arduino'

- port option should be 'USB'

3. Choose your controller - should be 'atmega 8-based brushless esc' option

4. Choose the latest firmware version with the word 'reverse' in it under the 'firmware' option

5. Hook up Arduino to ESC cable::

The white wire - from D3 to ESC signal

The red wire - from 5V to ESC positive

The black wire - from GND to ESC ground

6. Click on the green circle button to 'flash firmware from internet'

That should do it?

We will see when I get some motors hooked up tomorrow...