Basic ESC R3 with i2c

This topic has been kicked around a bit in the past, but most of the discussions revolved around the Blue ESC, which is sadly unavailable.
My understanding is that the Basic ESC is 3rd party h/w running a slightly tricked over version of SimonK firmware. If this is the case, and BlueRobotics is rebadging and reflashing batches of these things, would you consider offering Basic ESCs with an i2c interface rather than the PWM interface? Or is this too much of a configuration nightmare because there’s no easy way to strap select the address?
Failing that, has anyone gone through the process of converting a Basic ESC to i2c recently. The discussion referred to at this link, refers to another dead link and it was the pre-R3 ESC anyway.
I know that there are i2c to PWM breakout chips, but that does seem a daft way to communicate between two MPUs.

hey @LinK

Hi @psupine,

While the Blue ESC and Basic ESC R2 used a customised SimonK firmware with I2C support, the Basic ESC R3 runs BLHeli_S firmware with some configured parameters (see here for more details). It uses a different microcontroller, which (as far as I’m aware) doesn’t have support for I2C.

If I2C was possible I assume it would be available in the BLHeli_S firmware (which is not the case), and the other protocols BLHeli_S does support (OneShot, DShot, etc) are still one-way independent-wire from controller to ESC (like PWM), so don’t support controlling multiple ESCs from one signal wire via IDs, and don’t support sending back information about the motor or ESC state.

ESCs with smarter control and bidirectional communication are something we’re generally interested in, but given the variety of PWM-only outputs on our supported flight controller boards (including our own recently released Navigator), it’s not currently a major priority.

Not sure if you ended up pursuing this, but I’ve fixed the links in that post to the correct location.

In general, links that follow the old forum structure:<title-slug>

can be fixed by copying the title slug to"<title-slug>

That said, I’ll see if we can get a redirect sorted, because ideally that should be something we can fix on our end, instead of needing to be applied manually when the issue is run into.

@aperson if you’re interested in a discussion and want to bump it or bring attention to it, it’s generally best to specify what you’re interested in / what information you’re after. In this case hopefully it’s answered by my response above, but if not feel free to follow up.

As it turns out, the person you tagged is not connected to our company, and hasn’t been active for several years. I’ve updated their username (and the various other similar ones) to hopefully remove that ambiguity for anyone in future.

New posts and comments come up for everyone in the “Latest” section of the forum homepage, so you can just direct a question to Blue Robotics if you specifically want a response from us (there’s no general tag for that).

@EliotBR I didn’t pursue it any further, but thanks for addressing the question. Better late than never! :slight_smile:

Instead I figured out a way to mount the stock BasicV3 ESCs in the particular space I have available, where I can also use my internal aluminium frame as a heatsink. I’m also using a low power SAM micro as a kind of port expander, to provide the various PWM signalling for the ESCs and other I/O lines I need.

@aperson Thanks for bumping my thread. I’d long forgotten that I’d asked the question.

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