VESC-Tool 6 just arrived. Check www.vesc-project.com and the Google Play Store. The iOS App should also be updated very soon.
Vedder and contributors have been working very hard over a very long period of time to get this fresh piece of software out before Christmas, so that you can properly play with your new toys found under the tree. VESC-Tool 6 has a ton of new and exiting features making your every day life a lot easier. I will try to give you an overview about the biggest steps forward and the most important new features.
First of all the new VESC-Tool features a firmware archive and can load pretty much any old FW you might want to test, compare or still use. We don’t recommend to use old FW but we have seen some demand for older FW support. The VESC-Tool 6 fully supports older Firmware installed on the devices, no need to run older versions, just load the old FW! VESC-Tool 6 also supports all older hardware. So if you still have some PCBs from the very first years of the VESC journey, feel free to update them.
The second major step is the integration of the PACKAGE Store.
Packages are software additions that can be placed onto your ESCs processor. If VESC-Tool finds a Package it will ask you to load the software. Packages can be anything, ranging from small feature additions to self balancing applications. Mitch Lustig converted his work (the self balance feature of VESC-Tool) into a Package for self balancing. Once loaded, VESC-Tool will add a user interface for self balance adjustments.
Packages can be coded and adjusted to your needs in QML and LISP format. You can also load C- code at runtime.
Packages allow two things:
a) They keep VESC-Tool a lot cleaner while allowing you to add the features and user interfaces you need for your application.
b) Packages can be developed independently from VESC-Tool and this speeds things up a lot. Package developers can now publish changes a lot faster and independent from Mr. Vedder.
This will speed up the progress on many things.
Big props to Joel Svenson for his work on LispBM, a super compact coding language based on LISP. This language allows developers to max out the STM processors storage and handling capabilities. VESC LispBM Progress and Demo - YouTube
Apart from pre-made VESC-Packages, you can also load your own scripts or scripts shared by the community. VESC-Tool also incorporates lots of example scripts you can tweak for your own needs.
Run LED strip directly from the VESC motor controller.
Run display from UART port.
The new VESC-Tool now supports the VESC-Express, a high speed WiFi connection device to your phone, tablet or desktop computer. Yes, also Windows and Apple!
The VESC-Express also allows for permanent logging including GPS/GNSS data.
Apart from this the UI has seen major updates across the entire platform.
The connection page is much faster, finds devices automatically and speedy.
The start screen is structured a lot better with added wizards for many things – for example an IMU calibration wizard. The mobile app UI is now partially added to the desktop environment.
There is now a TCP hub to connect to your device from a distance. You can create an ID and a password and share this information with someone else. The other person can sit on the other side of the planet and configure your hardware or look at your log files etc. This feature is very convenient to service boards for customers, help friends with their problems or monitor your devices form far away.
Silent HFI or sHFI for short is a new method to generate 100% torque from stand still without the need for sensors. Works even without temp sensors. sHFI only works in combination with phase shunt and fully phase filtered hardware. It can track the rotor position down to 0.2 deg at zero RPM. The accuracy depends on the motor but for the typical 14 pole Outruner it is very accurate.
So basically we can do highly accurate position control without sensors now.
The new VESC-Firmware features a lot better observers compared to older firmwares.
The regular HFI is also a lot better now. This is highly beneficial for older hardware or hardware with low side shunts or hardware without phase filtering.
Quite a few new Encoders are now supported, including Sin-Cos-Encoders.
PT1000 temp sensor support
Vedder added the PT1000 sensors that seam to be quite common in some motor designs.
Integration of many pull requests, checking the code, correcting & recoding, integration into VESC-Tool.
Firmware and device support:
Support for all the new devices like the VESC6 EDU, VESC6 MKVI and VESC 6MKVI HP, VESC6/75, VESC 6/100, VESC75/300 MKIV, VESC- Express and many more.
The Firmware numbers now match the VESC-Tool revision number! So VESC-Tool 6 goes along with FW 6.
Workflow and contributions
Here you can see all the work that was put into the new tool. Most of the contributions are by Vedder himself but there have been quite a few pull requests in 2022 and it is getting more. A big thank to all people who involve themselves into the VESC-Tool code base and development in general.
That also includes feedback from the entire community.
Please consider a donation when downloading VESC-Tool 6! In order to push things further in the future, a healthy base of funding is vital for the project.