ESC Protocols - Which are supported and stable? What are you running?

Which ESC are you running and why? Which ESC protocol are you using and why? How have the flights been going?

Im just getting back into Arducopter after a bit of a hiatus. Last I was involved, most of the discussion was on diydrones - years ago at this point! My old quad is still flying great, albeit on an APM 2.6

While im researching and planning on building a new Hex, I am struggling to find or at least feel confident in my understanding of which new ESC protocols are supported and stable. Last I knew, simonK was the latest and greatest. Now there are a ton more modern ESC protocols like Oneshot, Multishot, Dshot, etc.

However, I am struggling to find really current information on these new protocols, what people are using with Arducopter, which FC boards are compatible, so I wanted to put a stake in the ground, and hopefully some with more knowledge than myself can help fill in the missing pieces.

I have tried to understand the various protocols - I understand that Dshot 1200 is the latest as of writing this.

For those that want some background, I found a few good videos discussing the various protocols:

Part 1:
Part 2:

Here is what we know:

MOT_PWM_TYPE: Output PWM type

Note: This parameter is for advanced users

This selects the output PWM type, allowing for normal PWM continuous output, OneShot, brushed or DShot >motor output

Values RebootRequired
Value Meaning

0 Normal
1 OneShot
2 OneShot125
3 Brushed
4 DShot150
5 DShot300
6 DShot600
7 DShot1200 True

Personally, I would like to implement Dshot for the reduced latency and elimination of calibrations.

Hi Ted,

I think DShot is a good choice although I don’t personally use it on my multicopters (yet) but I am using it on my boats. seems to be down (and it’s been down for a while now) but it use to provide a list of compatible ESCs… no idea what’s going on there but personally I use these DShot ESCs from holybro (I should add that HolyBro sent me them for free). I’ve actually heard from other devs that the Turnigy ESCs which appear on our DShot wiki page are not recommended.

ChibiOS is stable and it does perform better than NuttX (faster and more consistent update rate). I have not seen any crashes caused by ChibiOS issues in some time. NuttX has been removed in “master” so all major releases (i.e. Copter-3.7) from now on will use ChiboOS instead of NuttX.

Old Pixhawks should all be able to run ChibiOS with the exception of the very very old two-layer Pixhawk1 which almost nobody has.

Telemetry is not stictly required

The turnigy esc that appears in the page I burned one with the vtol still on the floor, It get fire, fortunatly no other damage, I cant figure what happens but just in case I changed the four for another type.

I had noticed that was down - I had tried to find that same list since i had seen it referenced on a few websites.

@rmackay9 - Which ESC protocol are you using on your 'copters? Any particular reason you’re not using Dshot yet?

I’ve been using Dshot for about a year now. I haven’t had any problems running it, and the ESC telemetry is a nice bonus. I would love to see some sort of RPM controlled filtering implemented via the telemetry, as they are doing in the latest version of Betaflight.

I assume you mean filtering on the flight control loop at the RPM frequency?

Or simply filtering the telemetry data?

Here’s all the details. It switches between filters on a fixed bank depending on motor RPM.

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That would be completely awesome for small multicopters!

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+1 that would be AWESOME :slight_smile:

Does Dshot with reverse thrust work on Ardurover (boat) yet? I’ve been trying to get it working without any luck. Mid stick when lowered starts reverse at full throttle and ramps down to 0. I would expect this to be the other way around.

bidirectional dshot support is now in master. Anyone wants to test it out?