nature of the download.
The second firmware I tried was BLHeli. This version
was touted to have more knobs to tweak, so that
immediately got my attention.
To start off, go download the BLHeli suite from
eliSuite. Also head over to the project’s GitHub page at
https://github.com/bitdump/BLHeli and download that
You can do this either by cloning the repository if you
are familiar with Git and GitHub, or by clicking the
download button and getting a zip file.
Go ahead and unzip everything we just downloaded. In
the BLHeli folder from the GitHub repository, navigate to
the ATMEL directory and search for the file “BLHeli
supported Atmel ESCs.pdf.” Open this file up and have a
look inside. You’ll see many ESCs with front/back PCB
photos. Using this guide, you can identify what version of
the firmware is available to use on a mystery or clone ESC.
Paging through, we can find our ESC and see that we
should use the “Afro_20A_..” firmware and see the
parameters in BLHeli that it supports (Figure 15).
Next, open the extracted folder with the BLHeli
application — no installation is necessary. Again, disconnect
the motor from the ESC and separate the output leads.
Power the ESC and connect the USB programmer to the
56 SERVO 07.2017
Figure 17: After selecting the correct COM port and clicking connect,
the button should turn to disconnect and the setup interface will be
Figure 18: Scroll through the listed firmware versions to find one
that matches the description given in the BLHeli PDF reference.
We want the MULTI version since this is a quadcopter and not a
helicopter with a main and tail rotor motor.
Figure 16: Select the “ATMEL SK Bootloader (Afro/Turnigy USB
Linker) from the interface menu after starting BLHeliSuite.
Figure 19: BLHeli has a warning before Flashing asking you to
double-check the firmware version you’ve selected. Take a
moment to pause and verify the information before clicking yes.