Flashing Multirotor ESCs with SimonK Firmware


If you’ve done everything you can to tune
your multicopter’s flight characteristics and are still looking for better performance
the SimonK Electronic Speed Controller firmware may be the way to get smoother flights with
a more locked in feel. Today I’m going to show you how to flash Turnigy Multistar ESCs
with SimonK firmware. This same procedure can be used on other ATMEL based ESCs with
only minor changes. First you’ll need to get some hardware….
A USBasp programmer I bought this one for under ten dollars on Amazon. And an ATMEGA
AVR socket flashing tool like this one from Hobbyking…. some people make their own wiring
harnesses but this tool clips right onto the ATMEL chip and makes the job super simple.
There is a link in the description for both of these items. Next you’ll need to download some software…
do a quick google search for KK multicopter Flash tool. It should come up as the first
search result. The website is in German so you may have to used Google translate to read
it. Scroll down until you find the downloads area. and download the appropriate software
for your operating system. Next you’ll want to go to the Rapid ESC
database and find out what the appropriate firmware is for the ESCs you are going to
flash. For my 30A Turnigy Multistar ESCs I will use the KDA hex. Plug the Socket programmer into the USBasp
and make sure the jumper on the USBasp board is set to five volts. That way your computer
can provide power to the ESC while flashing the firmware. Then plug it into an open USB port on your
computer. Install and run the KK multicopter flash tool
and make the following settings. Set the Programmer to USBasp. Set the controller to ATMEGA 8
based brushless ESC plus enable boot loader. Then select the firmware for your ESC that
was listed in the Rapid ESC database. With the ESC you’re going to flash on a
clean surface carefully cut open the protective heat shrink. Make sure you don’t cut too
deep and damage any components or electrical traces. remove the heat shrink. The main processor is keyed with a dot in
one corner So is the programming socket. Align the dot on the programming socket with
the dot on the ATMEGA chip and seat it firmly. Press the GO button in the KK multicopter
Flash software. In the event of a failure the text will turn
red, double check that the Programming Socket is seated properly and try again. Hold the
programming socket on the chip until the process finishes and the readout says “Flashing
of Firmware was Successful” You can reheat shrink the ESCs or I usually
just replace the cover and seal up the seam with a piece of tape. That’s it… repeat the process for as many
ESCs as you need.

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