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Handyman's Guide to the ESC - Schematics (Technical)
12054 27 2015-1-11
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na5n
Second Officer
United States
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Several have asked me for the ESC schematic diagram I reverse engineered or my troubleshooting steps for the ESCs.  Explaining it via email was getting cumbersome!

I have prepared this information in a 7 page pdf file attached.  It contains basically how the ESCs work (theory of operation), schematic diagram, parts layout on the ESC board, and oscilloscope waveforms for troubleshooting.

I have the ver. 2.0 ESCs in my P2V+.  From photos of the ver. 2.1 posted, I see no HARDWARE differences between the two versions.  I think the difference is strictly in the MPU firmware loaded.  Thus, this should be applicable to both ver. 2.0 and 2.1.

The main ESC board failure are the MOSFETs.  To really see the operation of the ESC board and MOSFETs with the motors running, you really need to look at drive signals with an oscilloscope.  A DVM for voltage or resistance checks has limited meaning.

If you note any errors, please let me know and I'll update and issue a new version if neccessary.

Hopefully you'll find the "Handyman's Guide" useful for troubleshooting and repair at the component level.

Paul


P2V_ESC_P1-2.pdf

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Schematic

P2V_ESC_P3-4.pdf

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Pages 5-6

P2V_ESC_P5-6.pdf

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Pages 3-4

P2V_ESC_P7_SCHEMATIC.pdf

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Pages 1-2

2015-1-11
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rod
First Officer

New Zealand
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Brilliant work Paul, you have made carried out some dilligent work on this forum- speaking with data rather than just opinion- priceless!  Maybe you could give Fantomas permission to add your stuff to his ever growing almanac of knowledge on the Phantom, mentioned elsewhere on this forum. (then we get all the basic to advanced to super technical all in one place.)

Cheers!
Rod
2015-1-11
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cheong
lvl.4
Flight distance : 2778799 ft
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Singapore
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Thanks, appreciate your work on this issue.
2015-1-11
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applekiller
lvl.4

Canada
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Awesome work Paul !   thanks for your efforts... you clearly put alot of time and effort into it.
2015-1-11
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rod
First Officer

New Zealand
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guymacdonald@ip Posted at 2015-1-12 08:37
Where can this treasure chest be found that you speak of kind sir?

Regards

Hi Guy,
I have printed this out and bound it with my phantom manual.  There is a link in the posting to the actual document.  http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?m ... tra=page%3D1&lang=e
Cheers!
Rod
UGH! that didn't seem to work. The posting is just down the page from where we are at the moment. Scroll down and look for a thread entitled;
THE Ultimate Guide for the Phantom 2 Vision/Vision+    This is a running series by a member here called Fant0mas.  He has assembled lots of stuff which has helped me immensly and is worth studying.
Cheers!
Rod
2015-1-11
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TheRann4u
First Officer

United States
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No issues yet, but will collect the data with appreciation for your hard work!!!: )
2015-1-11
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jtrager
lvl.4
United States
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Thanks for all the info Paul!  I was wondering what was taking so long, but now I see why.  Nice professional job!

John
N2KBE
2015-1-11
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johnjohndufour
lvl.1

United States
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Wow Awesome work!
2015-1-11
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gil
Captain
Flight distance : 1362900 ft
United States
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The University of Phantom Operators and Electronic Things


To all whom these Presents shall come Greetings:


Be it known that Pxxx Hxxxxx otherwise known as secret identity "na5n"
(we could tell you but then we'd have to kill you)


Is hereby awarded an Honorary Masters in Signals Degree in recognition of his ability to analyse the intracicies and reverse engineer the Phantom Electronic Control Unit in relentless pursuit of issues which hitherto had not been sufficiently examined along with Superlative mastery of Charts, Diagrams and Schematics accompanied by detailed text sufficient to confound, confuse and otherwise glaze over the eyes of lesser mortals.


He is therefore entitled to all the rights, privileges and honors pertaining thereto and is hereby given authority by the General Assembly of members.  In witness whereof the membership have hereunto affixed their electronic equivelent of a "DUDE, you rock!" signature by clicking the "Support" icon below.
{:2_31:}

2015-1-12
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michael.haws
lvl.3

United States
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First class work Paul, very impressive !!!!!!
2015-1-12
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rod.email
First Officer

New Zealand
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guymacdonald Posted at 2015-1-23 12:34
Hello again.

This may be a question from an unknown planet but apart from switching the motor wirin ...

I know what you're up to guy- you want to make a fence post hole borer out of it ! (but they all drive into the ground eventually!)
2015-1-22
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stecowell
lvl.1
United States
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Excellent, cheers Paul.....now to get my skull around them.

Steve C.
2015-3-2
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DJI-Autumn
First Officer

Hong Kong
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It would be topped.
2015-3-2
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na5n
Second Officer
United States
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michael.haws@ya Posted at 2015-1-12 19:09
First class work Paul, very impressive !!!!!!

Thanks to all for your kind words.  Between business travel and a death in the family, mostly without internet access, I've been out of touch past month.

Gill ... your decree is a classic.  Much appreciated with some LOLing.

And guymacdonald ... yes, you could reverse the direction of the motors by changing the motor winding sequence in the firmware.  This would require two different versions of the ESC, depending if for the CW or CCW motors.  DJI chose to use the same firmware on all ESCs for simplicity and to prevent replacement errors.  The order of the three motor wires soldered to the ESC determines whether the motor spins CW or CCW.  So if replacing your ESC or motor, always make a notation of the order of the black, yellow and red wires on that arm.

As for my Phantom 2 Vision+ (new version), I had the old ver. 2.0 (actually, unmarked label) on mine from the factory.  I have since upgraded all the ESCs to ver. 2.1 and so far no noted problems after quite a few flights.

Here is a demo video I made to show the capabilities of the Phantom for the National Park Service in documenting existing remnants of El Camino Real Trail.  First flight with the ver. 2.1 ESCs.


Good and safe flying to all,

Paul

2015-3-2
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yorlik
lvl.4

United States
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Excellent Paul.  Sorry to hear about death in your family.  

I have a couple questions/comments:

1) You have 2.1 now and no issues:   So your help with DJI had them modify FW enough to stop instant death?  (I have gone thru 5 props on tip over stopping motors instantly in gravel driveway and no failures either) does that mean you agree that 2.1 ESC do not instantly blow FETS on rotor stopping?

2) You state on page 2 "The microprocessor (MPU U1) internal clock “counts” how long the pulse is HI to
control the speed of the motor from off(<1mS or <40% duty cycle) to full throttle (about 1.8mS or 75% duty cycle). PWM
allows for precise motor speedcontrol."  I see no indication of a current loop in U1 with no apparent current feedback, another reason for allowing the FETS to blow, so wondering since the PWM command does seem to be a command for speed, if the velocity loop in U1 is perhaps a bit unstable and that is causing the current saturation reversal spikes?   You never saw this problem in the PWM signal itself?  Or it might simply be PWM noise getting into their controller which is reporting the data via the SDK?  See 3) why I wonder....

3) I am concerned over SDK plotting of currentCurrent, shown 1/sec, in my flight logs.  Most full thrust vertical rises look like this:

typical full throttle rise currentCurrent
-18002
-18002
-17868
-17868
-24009
-24009
32767
32767
32767
32767
-29970
-29970
-21647
-21647
-12538

If this data is correct, then battery current into motors is apparently unstable during max rise and saturating IN REVERSE DIRECTION.  Anyone who has NOT tightened their props with wrench appear in danger of unscrewing them during the resulting max motor decel....  

What do you think?  Should I report this to SDK folks at dji?
2015-3-23
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acenothing
Second Officer
Flight distance : 112185 ft
United States
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WOW.  Thanks now it is Miller time.  You deserve it!  {:3_48:}
2015-3-23
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na5n
Second Officer
United States
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yorlik Posted at 2015-3-23 21:07
Excellent Paul.  Sorry to hear about death in your family.  

I have a couple questions/comments:

Thanks for your comments.  It was my 90 year old father that passed away.

I replaced all four of my ESCs with ver. 2.1, and so far and quite a few flights, have experienced no issues.  I also have been exclusively hand catching the P2V+.  I have not tried to stall one of the props, like on a tip-over, to see if any damage would occur.

I do wish DJI would share some technical details on their quadcopters, and some specific details on what firmware changes were implemented.  I see absolutely no difference between the 2.0 and 2.1 ESCs physically.  Same circuit, same board, same parts.  The change must be entirely the MPU firmware, and like you, suspect it was to alter the commutator and velocity loops for better motor control.  This would no doubt be some fine tuning of the PWM phasing to the motors, or some default routine to keep the motors from stalling and burning up the FETs.  According to DJI, the commutator feedback (speed control) is disabled when you first power up the motors, and speed control kicks in when the rpms indicate flight in progress.  Temporarily turning off the speed control in flight when some motor rotation "glitch" is detected, to allow the speed to stabilize, was also probably added.

Regardless of the specific firmware changes, it does seem DJI addressed the problem with a fairly valid fix.  I have seen very few ESC failure posts over the past couple of months as the ver. 2.1 are now the "standard issue."

Your motor/current data is interesting.  I haven't done that.  Always nice to see new data.

I think any of us that have the means to measure the performance of the P2V or other models should report them to DJI.  I think they appreciate the feedback, and it also sends a message that some of us are out there evaluating the technical performance and fully capable of providing sound feedback,

Paul
2015-3-23
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yorlik
lvl.4

United States
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Paul,

Thanks for your reply to my email.  One last thought:  can we post your 7 page wonderful pdf on ESC to phantompilots group as a sticky for others to also see?  With full credits to you of course!
73
2015-3-24
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na5n
Second Officer
United States
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yorlik Posted at 2015-3-24 19:52
Paul,

Thanks for your reply to my email.  One last thought:  can we post your 7 page wonderful pdf  ...

I have no objections to the ESC information being posted elsewhere.  I posted it here to share.  Thanks for asking, though.

Paul
2015-3-24
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i_anderson
lvl.3

United States
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na5n@zianet.com Posted at 2015-3-24 14:07
Thanks for your comments.  It was my 90 year old father that passed away.

I replaced all four of  ...

Sorry to hear. My sympathies too & may he RIP.

Wanted to add my profuse thanks for your hard work on this - Beautifully written & laid out. As others have noted, a printout has already been added to my ever expanding documentation collection..... Which already includes the fabulous document from Fantomas - Should be mandatory reading for all!

I personally tend to learn a lot more by reading than watching videos. Sure, some 'how to's' work well from YouTube, but there's nothing like a good read IMO!

Thanks again,
Regards,
Ian
2015-3-24
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fansb10f5407
New

United States
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Wow. A true EE with a twist of nominal for the dummies
2017-3-13
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Photica
New

United States
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Outstanding documentation.  It is exactly what I've been searching for.
All the best...
Bill
2017-12-6
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fans3f5b4dac
lvl.1

United States
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I has to replace my spark esc its a newer spark as well but it keeps poping the right front one turns out thr tracer wire is wrone side on the new frame i bought white tracer wire is on opisit side of the 3 wires from the arm across from it in all pics i see including the origonal frame. Hoping when a thirs esc comes in i can just flip them and it will work. Pos. Seems to be the middle one. So itd the ground and signal wire that must be reverced and poping the esc. Hope its not due to the esc being 2.1 and not compadable with the other 3.
2018-3-20
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fans3f5b4dac
lvl.1

United States
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Got it up it just needed the wires reverced on the one arm dji installed them backwards. All is good now and my esc is fine too
2018-3-20
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fans3f5b4dac
lvl.1

United States
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My baby is back and its blue now not white and flys perfect
2018-3-20
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NM_Quad
Second Officer
United States
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fans3f5b4dac Posted at 2018-3-20 18:26
My baby is back and its blue now not white and flys perfect

I must admit, I haven't looked at the P2V+ ESC thread in a couple of years.  Nearly forgot about it.  Still have my P2V+, but also must admit I got a P3S when they first came out and since have photographed and videod many miles of El Camino Real and other regional historic sites.  The better camera and no fish-eye distortion just makes superior photos and video.  You have me inspired to charge the batteries and give the old P2V+ a spin.  It saddens me to see it sitting on the shelf.  I have 200 flights on the P3S and so far no problems except repairing a couple of shell cracks.  For that reason, I've had no reason to dig into it like I did the P2V+.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it :-)  For those still with the P2V+, hope yours is working well and happy flying.
2018-3-20
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djiuser_DCZeFujsYIJr
New

United States
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Hi, PDF do not DL, error says not have permission. Would LOVE to see them. Thanks.
2018-5-16
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djiuser_Xcb374Lq2q1u
New
Flight distance : 1007 ft

Australia
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Unable to download the attachments please help
6-19 05:51
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