Is mixing VESCs OK?

It’s been a little over a year since I got to a point I could call it good on my board, so I’m pretty out of the loop on some things.

I plan on upgrading to a dual drive setup so I’m gonna be getting new sets of motors and mounts, but my main question is can I mix using my FOCBOX with a standard 4.12 VESC or is it just safe practice to use same parts? I mean, technically I could, right?

This saves me a ton of money upfront, but will be temporary until I can get a Unity, another FOCBOX, or something else.

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Can’t think of any reason this wouldn’t work okay, but if you are planning to use CANBus instead of split PPM/PWM signal going to each speed controller then would probably want them both on the same firmware version just to avoid any potential differences in the CANbus implementation/details. Also have not tried this myself so just speculating.


What are some advantages and disadvantages of split PPM and CANBus?
One thing about CANBus I can remember is a sort of traction control, right?

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Yah only advantage I’ve heard of with CAN is the traction control feature but maybe more to it if you are trying to get telemetry/metr data on the go think with CAN connection can have bluetooth hooked up to one ESC and get data from both, down side being error in one VESC can somehow bring down other VESC in some cases with CAN.

Also canbus makes setup a bit easier

Split ppm is safer and also means if you have a problem with one vesc not both will go down

Ah I see. I used to have bluetooth setup for my VESC before getting the FOCBOX, but I don’t use it now. I’ll just go with split PPM.

Thanks for the input.


I would just like to say i hate you very much @turdburglar

You stole. My favorite go to username.


Best to match the firmware because you want both vesc basically doing the same stuff and programming is easier. Known bugs are dealt with and you do not want one vesc doing one thing and the other doing something else. Other than that you can use any 4.12 variant with any other unless you can’t and thats esk8. welcome.
There have been a number of very heated discussions on the benefits and the pitfalls of both systems but they both work if you know what you are doing.
Canbus with 4.12.
Never disconnect one vesc from the canbus wiring when powered up. Never. You will blow the can chip and then have to remove it to use your vesc.
Never disconnect the battery from one vesc while the can bus cable is connected because you will blow the can chips in both.
Split ppm with 4.12
One vesc should have all 3 wires to the receiver and 1 with just the signal cable. Thats the one thats not + or - Colours differ. Your receiver will have it marked.
You only want one of the vescs to provide power to the receiver and not both.
There is a potential for a ground loop situation using split ppm but in 2 years I have never experienced it and I only use split.

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Never forget about the best (in my opinion) option with is dual PWM (“PPM”)

This is where each ESC has its own wireless receiver and if one fails, it does not bring down the other drivetrain with it.

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Do you know any other remote then the mini that works with dual receivers?

I know GT2B does. Not sure which other ones.

I use split ppm on my build, have been for 2 years. I use a GT2b and I just left both of the power wires connected because the receiver specs note that it can take between 5 and 15v. Been working fine.

Not sure about other receivers though I just thought I would say this.

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The DIY ones based on nordic radio chip (nRF) can work with multiple receviers as well

@ShutterShock think reason you don’t want to hook up 5V and GND from both VESCs is because then you’re hooking them to each other so if the 5V on one is 4.95V and the other is 5.10V relative to some common GND then current will flow (same goes for the GND, if they aren’t hooked to each other normally then they aren’t necessarily the same voltage but now you have them hooked to each other then they are at the same voltage).

Oh I see, so basically the wires may get warm from time to time?

well just could get current flow into the regulator from the output side which it doesn’t expect/isn’t designed for so it’s a little safer I think to just keep one hooked up in case of variance in the regulators leads to some current flow (like you said heating wires or components or burning something up)

Hmm yeah that is possible

Maybe it’s fine maybe not, I can always just cut one wire if I need

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I leave the 3 wires on to set up my ppm in the vesc tool because its a pain to swap the things around to get power to the receiver and then once its all calibrated i snip them off. If I were you and using the gt2b I would be running 2 receivers. No drama then even though theres no drama lol

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Lol oh yeah I forgot that was the reason I left them connected.

Meh that’s like 10 bucks I don’t need to spend since it’s working

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If its not broke don’t fix it. Been using split now for over 2 years on various different things and never had one issue. Did the can bus chips on 2 sets of vescs though because nobody warns you about that shit and realistically for new guys there should be a fucking great warning sticker. My first focboxes literally turned up in a bubble wrap bag with nothing else.

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I know for a fact that APS remote doesn’t support it. I should try out the mini

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