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  • I wish, if they had socket -cable for ATMEGA64 !

  • I have one. Very nice tool. Works well with a AVR Dragon or AVR MKII. We're a Linux shop, so command line avrdude is a super simple one liner process.Fyi, you want to flash your esc with a 4.8V or 1S battery pack, then reboot on that battery pack to verify the flash: it's to avoid the risk of loading the wrong firmware and burning a FET). If you have an ESC with 6 pads in a row, a simple clamp-style mechanism works just as good--heck, that's the way Mikrokopter does it for their BL-CTRL's!!

    We use the 20 & 30A blue series here as our main ESC. Which are the same as the mysteries brands EXCEPT THE FETS (HK uses N, Mystery uses N or P/N). Out of the box (no flashing) they can be run at 16Khz, which quiets the motors and smooths out the rpm transitions--a HUGE difference for multicopters. So, the simonk firmware doesn't add much to the table there. But for other ESCs, having 16Khz motor freq via simonk's firmware is a huge win.

    What the simonk firmware adds:

    • Hardcoded range for throttle value (0-1000, always, after calibration). Straight launches now guaranteed. We can now even mix and match HK/Blue/Red/Mystery escs on one copter!
    • Acceleration delay removed (every ESC has a ramp up/down on input change, which slowed reaction times). Improves loiter.
    • Any low pass filters removed (will now truly process the 490Hz signal). Improves overall performance.
    • low-voltage cutoff removed (pros and cons)
    • brakes and governor stuff removed (just in case the ESC defaults)
    • linear pwm signal to the motors (better reaction times and helps the PID controller "work better"). Improves alt-hold.

    What the simonk firmware breaks:

    • No voltage cut-off/monitor (better hook up the battery monitor!)
    • once you flash it--can't go back
    • defaults to medium timing w/o a code change (running out of the box blue series, I can run 16Khz and high timing--so I can have more thrust with the OEM firmware).
    • no rotation reverse option (the OEM firmware has it). wire it right the 1st time...
    • yes, it does have problems with low KV  "pancake" motors, or basically [any] motors with more than 14 poles. Why? like due to running them at 16Khz. The high end motors are optimized at 12Khz typically (Why? I dunno)

    Also, FYI, castle creations has their new made-for-multicopter ESCs, but they are fairly new (3months old)--same as the wii-esc firmware (less than 6 mos). What simonk/quax's f/w offers is some sense of reliability since it's been around more than a year with good results.

  • T3

    Use the Java LazyZero version from

    It's very easy to use and is platform agnostic.

  • I've got that AVR programmer, but can't figure out how to use it, what do I do?

  • This is very good. Thanks for sharing. Purchased. ;)

    If anyone wants to buy this you can use these links to get discounts.

  • Developer

    @Randy: Simonk firmware does not play nice with some low kV motors. The symptoms are loss of timing / sync and motor cutouts. A more robust ESC firmware that is still linear throttle / fast respose is wii-esc. They have a sync recovery system and better timing handling.

  • I saw this tool as well, but I have the F-40A ESC's and I think it's easy enough to do without it.  I think they have the 6 pads in a row which is easy to do.  I will probably be dabbling in this this weekend.  And yeah, it's an octo...

    Those XT-90 connectors look nice!  I use XT-60 on medium size stuff, but my big stuff I use these huge red things that I don't like that much.  I think I might switch over.  The XT-90 just looks more compact and easier to use.

  • Developer

    I think this tool will be especially useful for those escs that don't have the pads exposed.  I think the hobby king blue series in particular.  My understanding is that the blue series is a good ESC (it's got an external oscillator that runs at 16mhz while most ESCs use the internal resonator that only runs at 8mhz) but programming the simonk firmware on it has been a pain without this new tool.


    By the way, does anyone know why you wouldn't flash your ESCs with the SimonK firmware?  I've heard only good things about response time from supporters but only vague reasons why it shouldn't be used from detractors.

  • Developer

    Well it's about time somebody made one of those.  I know I wasted an hour of my life trying to make a tool that's not as good as this one.  I would have expected HK to sell it for a lot less than the $20 they're asking but still happy about it anyway.


    I'm glad the guy who made the video didn't have an Octacopter!  :-)

  • Thats is cool, but where can I get the software file for flashing an esc?

    Up to now I only flash and find software for multicopter and so on...

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