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Load tested VESCs for sale...gauging interest

bldc-tool
vesc

#1

So I’ve purchased quite a few VESCs since they’ve become available. Doing so I’ve also burned a few, and despite the varying manufacturing quality a common theme is that none(as far as I am aware) of the VESC manufacturers actually test their product under load before shipping them out. So here is where I want to gauge interest in the community.

I have been talking to a local electronics manufacturer/assembler here in the US that has proven reliability in their processes. I am having a few VESCs produced by them and as long as their quality shows through I wanted to see if anyone is interested in purchasing VESCs that are only sold after being tested under load and inspected in house by an engineer.

We are still working on pricing, but it should be very comparable to the VESCs already on the market.

This manufacturing run would happen without taking any pre payment from the community and would be self funded to launch this effort for a more reliable VESC market.

UPDATE: I received the VESCS and they are working excellently and the placement of the components is top notch, will likely post some pictures soon. I need to do more testing with these but they seem promising.


#2

What kind of long term effects does the load testing have on the VESC.

I dont want to buy something thatll break in a few rides you know?


#3

I’m hoping to develop the tests more and more with each revision. But I was initially thinking of having it run through low and high voltage and current scenarios, testing light regen, BLDC and FOC modes. On the inspection side of things we want to develop a list of points that have a high failure rate, like the DRV placement, and inspecting each and every one to make sure it’s properly placed and aligned. I’ll be talking with the manufacturer about developing these tests further. Also any ideas the community has as to tests they would like to see happen I am more than willing to implement.


#4

The reasons I’ve been holding off…but would be interested in this…


#5

I think this is needed. At least, plugging them in to see if they turn on without errors. I won’t buy any vesc’s from @onloop again because he doesn’t test them and out of 2, 1 was broken on arrival and the other broke 2 days into use. This is why I now buy from @chaka.

The VESC really is the best, if they don’t break or arrive broken. But I really don’t want to buy it with the way they are being sold from anyone but @chaka.

I think this might help shed more light on why they break so easily. @onloop, you say the real world test is the best way to test eboards, and I think real world tests are crucial, as I would never buy parts or a board without a video of it in use first. But we need someone to invest in testing VESCs to understand more of why they break. From all of the sellers of VESC on here, no one can tell me why when hitting either an amp limit or a heat limit, that my VESC broke and starting giving a UNDER_VOLTAGE fault code. What component is broken, and what really caused it?

This is unknown, because we don’t have enough data to correlate certain fault codes with certain actions with the components that broke as a result. This is why we need a scientific approach to testing the VESC under stress to find more about the VESC out, and then vedder can hopefully fix the bugs:


#6

i would be if the price was right


#7

That’s a good point, improving our understanding of the vesc through testing could actually speed up development for Vedder by providing him with specific identified bugs.


#8

I would be interested in buying tested VESCs as well. Currently, the quality issues with the current suppliers are why I slightly backed off. Hopefully, something like this will improve everyone’s product.


#9

Load tested VESC should become the new standard. I would definitely be interested. I would also be interested in the testing process itself. I would suppose several rigs would need to be built to test VESC under simulated load conditions. Would there be a certification provided?


#10

I have always been a strong proponent of load testing.
If you assemble a product that’s supposed to be able to handle 50A continuous, I think you need to make sure it does before shipping it.
I believe @chaka already does this and now maybe even @onloop with his US batch but I’m not sure.


#11

I am doing those tests on every single VESC before its shipped over here (esk8.de). That’s one of the points which add to the price, but helps with reliability.

Although, you will never find a test scenario which will cover all possible applications users might use. Including weird motors. They are putting those VESCs in any possible environment you can think of (incl. robotics, eBikes, pedelecs, industrial components, etc.).


#12

I test every VESC twice, the first test is to be sure the bootloader, bldc detection and FOC calibration works as designed. After they are coated and the conformal coating has cured, each controller is load tested with a prop To be sure nothing pops when they take a load for the first time.

I don’t really advertise that I test because in the end I am still going to help out my customers if they blow up their VESC. I highly doubt I would be able to do this if I outsourced manufacturing even if that manufacturer agreed to do load testing.

The truth is, new people to the sport are going to burn up some gear. If you are not willing to take a little loss every so often with the VESC then you should find something else to turn a profit. All the testing in the world is not going to stop someone from doing a poor installation.


#13

I think isolating problem areas and fixing them and posting about it would be beneficial to the community and generally raise awareness of issues with manufacturers.

you mentioned bad DRVs. I have a pair of enertion VESCs that both failed at the exact same time and when i had some UCF engineering students check them out they said the DRV chips were both fried, and that was only a month after i bought them. So of course i bought 5 more when the last fire sale pre-order happened. Hopefully i won’t have the same results with those.

but when building for other people i don’t have time to wait around for two months so i’ll probably end up getting from Ollin or DIY or elsewhere anyway.


#14

I would be in for 3 or so. I haven’t had any issues with enertion or chaka but I keep collecting hub motors and don’t want to change everything out.


#15

That’s great that you’re testing them, I wasn’t aware of that!(I like to buy from you currently).


#16

So it seems like there is definitely interest, but Chaka actually does test his VESCs.

So I’ll still wait and see how these VESCs from my supplier turn out. If it seems like significantly better assembly quality than what I usually see I will likely still offer boards to sell and establish a testing plan. Doesn’t hurt to have more VESCs available.

I’ll keep you guys updated!


#17

Load testing is a great idea! But doesn’t guarantee the VESC is failure proof

On our first three batches we didn’t do a load test on all units, only did firmware loading & random selection load testing.

However, the last two batches & the new US manufactured batch was/will be load tested…

However, end users need to understand, load testing is not a guarantee that the end user will have a problem free VESC. Even @chaka who has the “self-proclaimed-best” vesc available still has faulty units that he needs to repair… Shit happens.

If anything doing a load test makes it easier for the manufacturer to deny warranty claims…

At the end of the day, I think the challenge here is, having a warranty & a returns process that can be easily utilised by the end user, whilst minimising the cost for the supplier. Users need to adopt a systematic approach when setting up the vesc and promptly provide evidence that that fault is due to manufacturing so that they can quickly get a refund or replacement if a manufacturing fault is confirmed. Some faults are not actually hardware related and it becomes a customer service exercise… which requires resources too. Will you have a support network?

The fact of the matter is, SOME VESC WILL STILL PROBABLY FAIL! (Just like the ESC from hobbyking do)… even more so when considering the various experimental things people are doing with them…

Such as:

  1. Loading new/wrong firmware incorrectly… (this problem seems to be less common now thanks to some firmware warning messages)
  2. Running the system with bad settings
  3. Stressing the system with poorly designed drive trains (this will kill all ESC’s)
  4. Basic user error, like shorting it out on the bench.

What I will be interested in most is whether or not using a PCBA factory that adheres to strict IPC-A-610-Class-II PCB manufacturing & assembly standards improves reliability or not… of course I think it will… but the proof is in the pudding.

For those interested, Class II is the general commercial standard: items produced and inspected to IPC-A-610 Class II are deemed to be of high quality suitable for typical commercial applications. This is the standard used for making consumer electronics like mobile phones, cameras & computers.

The next batch of Enertion VESC, Made in the US, will be the first batch of VESC produced & inspected according to these strict quality guidelines.


#18

Haha! @onloop

I take care of my VESC users and I use quality components, if that makes them the best so be it!

Glad you are using a US based manufacture, care to divulge the name or are we to just take your word for it? Or are you only having the pcb’s manufactured in the US? The latter seems more likely given the high cost of US based pic and place manufacturing.


#19

I just checked my user poll, out of 77 votes it seems most (50%) of people just want a lower price, they obviously don’t care about service? :frowning:


#20

I may eventually decide to reveal my VESC supplier… just not sure what commercial implications that will have for my business… I am still in talks with them about doing some electric skateboard assembly work, mostly battery & vesc integration/ sub-assembly work for the new next edition of SPACE CELL PRO, so I probably don’t want the info public just yet.

But I will say this; The assembly is done 100% in house in US based PCBA factory.

No bullshit.

If the public demands proof I can arrange it.