VESC vs ESC: pro&cons for efoil

Since almost one year I’m at the window observing VESC development s and steps forward toward efoiling utilize. I’m pretty ignorant about the latest release, self builds and improvement but somebody suggest to upgrade to VESC to solve once for good all the fry&paddle I’ve been thru and to achieve a real control over phase current etc.
I guess this topic might interest other efoilers other than me, so it would be great to hear from who uses such controller, success (and failures), suggestions…

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On this forum , someone else and i are using the trampa vesc 75/300 ( that i know of) with success
I didn’t know much about vesc but since I fried one esc (swordfish 300a) on the first try I wanted something that will work for sure
It is very nice to have control over current , to play with the limit , to adjust throttle curve and to run Foc , the vesc sets the motor to the optimal run , smooth and quiet
I was planning to have watercooling but no need, just mount it on a aluminum plate 2mm

No voltage spikes, efficient run all motor type , help settings included , almost no cooling needed , didn’t try it at max yet , motor and vesc are over my riding skills

You have all the data on your phone , you can set and change limits : if one day I tried I want to ride easy I set the current control of the battery to 60a , if I want to speed run on one battery pack I put it on 100a …

Failure with mine : be able to run the iOS app metr.at and have a trip data log but metr is working on it , I need to send back my module , no problem with the other iOS app

The only problem is its price

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I have also been using the VESC 75/300. It’s a very nice controller and will provide more than enough power. I machined a custom heatsink for it which is mounted to the underside of my board… This particular heatsink is probably overkill to be honest, as my VESC never gets warmer than 35deg C. I am currently riding with my batt. current limit set at 90A, and my motor current limit set to 160A.

The VESC 75/300 does feature an inbuilt BT module which can connect to the android VESC Tool App, however I personally prefer to use the external Metr Pro dongle for detailed trip logs etc, and because I mainly use iOS.

As Alexandre said, the biggest downside about the 75/300 is the price.

@Alexandre, what exactly doesn’t work with your Metr Pro? Did you first disable the internal NRF module to free up the external UART port? I had to do that before things co-operated with the Metr dongle…


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How to do free the use of the external uart ?
Do you have first bach of the vesc 75/300 Or the second one ? Benjamin suggested me to erase the code from the firmware as mine came from the first made …

I also have Rev1.
Yes Benjamin is correct… for the Rev1 editions you must erase the code from the NRF module.
To do this is actually a rather simple process and you can even use the VESC itself to program / erase the NRF module.

First you just need to make up a 3 wire cable which connects between the SWD port and the NRF port. The name of the connectors that fit are ‘JST PH 2.0’ connectors. I highly recommend using this exact type of connector to ensure a good contact is made.

Wire CLK<–>CLK, GND<–>GND, IO<–>IO (See diagram below):

Once this custom cable has been plugged in, power up the VESC, connect via USB, and navigate to the ‘SWD Prog’ page within the VESC Tool SW.

Then click ‘connect’ and it should detect the NRF module.

Then click ‘erase’. If you ever want to bring it back, you can simply use the same process to flash the firmware back to the NRF module.

Please note that I am using VESC Tool 1.16, and VESC firmware 3.58.


For users with a Rev2. VESC 75/300, there is a checkbox in the VESC TOOL SW under App Settings, General. This checkbox is called ‘Enable Permanent UART’. You will want to disable this to be able to use the external UART port.

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I really really thank you a lot for this !
I will make the connector and try this , it looks more simple now
I am trying to connect my module for past 2 months now, so I was right the internal ble interfere with the metr.at module !
I will tell that to Dario from metr who was very kind trying to help me

I thank you Benjamin as well who I think made the update in since the 1.15 or 1.16

You’re most welcome. I look forward to hearing of your success!

75/300 looks outstanding and I’m sure it is, but so it’s the price (unfortunately!) and size also would require a major mod to my board.
Does anyone know this smaller version of VESC: https://freeflyrobotics.com/products/arc200
Sounds like the classic smaller VESC but with a current rating will fit our (my) purpose, 100A max current with watercooling it’s more than enough for my efoil.

Will FOC prevent the temp issue with hi loads at partialized throttle that affect BLDC ESCs? Which no matter for freewheeling it proved to kill my ESCs? This could be worth the swap.

No fried unit reported yet + when you type Arc200 in the search function area you see a growing list of satisfied users… amp and temp limit + data logging functions are most appreciated, … 12s max though…
https://efoil.builders/search?q=Arc200

https://freeflysystems.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/FRP/pages/269287436/Arc200

Even on Foc partial throttle will heat more the vesc ( about 10C ) , it is important I think to match desired propeller rpm with kv motor

Working known vesc on efoil:

Maytech
Flipsky
Trampa vesc6
Trampa vesc 75/300 ( no problem for sure)
Arc200 ( no problem for sure with cooling but 12s max)

Using vesc for nearly one year now, no issues so far
FOC is silent, very efficient, max amp function is awesome, température protection too. In the meantime We burnt 4-5 flier ESCs and decided to stop with that piece of ****

With VESC we have powerful logs,
the only condition is to use optimized setup good motor prop combo otherwise if the propeller is not matched the amp limit will make your setup non functional ( which might save your esc or motor from burning )

We hope be able to release our kit very soon including perfect matching vesc / foil / motor / propeller combo .
At the moment we are able to efoil with 1200w at 25km/h

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Which wing are you using?

Just ordered the Arc200, a few Euro more than Maytec or Flipsky but not that much. Maybe it’s just an illusion but it gave me better feelings than Chinese knock off. I’ll machine a nice watercooling fixture for this and let’s try the difference with standard BLDC esc!

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I guess, it is more a matter of Motor&Prop (and a bit foil & weight), than a matter of the ESC :thinking:

I will always use vesc. it gives you much more control and metr.pro module is just awesome, you can get precise speed data over gps. also, all parameters during ride.
on my 14s battery, normal vesc could be a little bit too limited. but I am happily waiting for this:

84V limit, possible to go even beyond 14S battery!

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Rl foil, other sup surf foil wing works (there is a 10-15% difference in consumption beetween models), we are in the 1200 cm2 area, the critical point is motor prop, not the foil

Powerful logs of vesc help us improving efficiency and finding flaws

Would you care to share these logs, it would be interesting to see them.

Yes i will :slight_smile:

Just to make sure others don’t get confused. The Freefly Arc200 is not VESC based so it uses its own software and is not based on the VESC open source project. So setting it up is different from all VESC derivates and also equipment like bluetooth modules and apps that work with VESC based hardware are not working with the Arc200.

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