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FrSky Neuron ESC

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Mike Blandford16/05/2019 14:11:29
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Testing a FrSky Neuron ESC. You need to use BlHeli_32 on your PC to configure it. The BlHeli program offers several ways to connect. I originally used an Arduino nano, flashing the nano from the BlHeli program.

I have also used an Arduino Pro Mini, connected to the PC using a FTDI type device. I just "told" BlHeli it was a nano an flashed the Arduino then used it like the nano.

Having looked at what the Arduino was doing I came up with this. You just need a FTDI type device, a diode and a resistor. I just tested it and it works fine.

Mike

neuron.jpg

Chris Bott - Moderator16/05/2019 15:13:08
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That's very interesting Mike.

On the surface that appears very similar but not exactly the same as the old FrSky FUC-1 programmer for the old D8 modules and receivers which when it turned up came with FDD-Lite printed on the back.

You could then turn it into a upgrade tool for smart port devices by adding a FrSky SPC which turned 4 wires into 3 and as far as I can see only included a diode but not your pull up resistor.

Mike Blandford16/05/2019 15:56:18
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Yes, but the FUC-1 outputs inverted serial while the FTDI is non-inverted. The diode is polarised the "other" way round. I did think could we use a FUC-1 then remembered it was inverted!

This is the same principle.

Mike

charlie holdford21/07/2019 15:44:27
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Hi Mike

I have just purchased a Neuron ESC. Looks like a nice item.

Obbviously, to change config I will need to use BlHeli software.

However, just connectiing it to a RX. I cannot seem to find any sensors.

I have updated my Taranis and Horus to 2.2.4 but can not discover any sensors.

Testing with the same cables a std lipo sensor works OK

Am I missing something?

Cheers

Charlie

Chris Bott - Moderator21/07/2019 18:19:44
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Hi Charlie. Did you have a motor connected and did you run it at all? I seem to remember having a similar issue to you, which all came good as soon as it had some numbers to send.

Bob Cotsford21/07/2019 18:23:53
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Are you powering up the esc? Most sensors use all three cables but the Neurons now have the +ve connection disconnected on the Sport plug so I would expect they need the power pack connected to drive the sensors. My first experience was with an early version where the Sport and BEC +ve connectors were common. Using my usual setup process of plugging a battery into the receiver reverse biased the BEC and let out the smoke. Ooops.

My second attempt with Neuron #2 shows a full range of sensors on 2.2.3 when powered from the drive pack, I am not trying powering it just from the receiver again! I'm about to update to 2.2.4 so I'll let you know how I get on!

charlie holdford22/07/2019 11:09:27
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Hi

Yes motor connected and ran it briefly, seems to control the speed OK

So running from a Lipo as per diagram no centre pin on the sport on this item.

The brake is on. I am wondering if the Auto Telemetry is set to off...

I have just sent for a DYS V2USB Linker. Maybe that will shed some light on the thing.

Cheers

charlie holdford22/07/2019 16:22:29
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All working.

All it required was BLHeli 32 to read from the ESC do nothing except write it back to the ESC

Telemetry sensors then discovered...

So if your new out of the box Neuron does not show the sensors give it a boot up the USB

Cheers

Charlie

Tim Ballinger31/07/2019 09:08:35
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I had been considering using the neuron 80 on my latest project but discounted it without checking the details as I just sort of assumed it would be quite large. I have just had a closer look and it is actually smaller than my standard 60 A ESC.

how can they cram all that kit into the same space envelope as an ESC only device. Is something being sacrificed ?

Tim

Bob Cotsford31/07/2019 11:43:33
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I suppose that if you take away the connectors and packaging from the standard current sensors you end up with quite a small chip that is easily accomodated in a two board ESC package.  It may have the same footprint as my current 60-80A ESCs but it is fatter.

Chris, I was a bit surprised to see your comment on the pricing. Take your average ESC with 7A BEC and add in a current sensor and you will probably find it working out more expensive, not to mention bulkier. Add on current sensors are a pain in the rear when you are trying to squeeze everything into a compact installation. It's just a pity they couldn't have incorporated a 1-6S LiPo voltage sensor to make it a true all in one unit. Maybe include an altimeter too like the Unisens sensors though FrSky probably think only gliderists would want one and they would be using the G series receivers anyway? In which case they hadn't taken account of the trend to altiude limit all model types!

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 31/07/2019 11:44:50

Chris Bott - Moderator31/07/2019 12:03:51
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Hi Bob

After further consideration you're right. I was probably just comparing with a cheap-ish ESC and not considering the telemetry stuff.

They will be my future preference even over my own telemetry units.

It's still very simple to add an altimeter etc, if required.

Bob Cotsford31/07/2019 12:41:00
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Chris, I initially thought the same having been used to Hobbyking pricing. I tend to use a LiPo sensor with everything big enough to carry one, I've only tried a Neuron in a H9 UltraStick and that has a miniLiPo sensor daisy chained in there. I don't have a vario to hand, but I have this idea at the back of my mind that they needed to be at the end of the chain. As the Neuron doesn't accomodate a daisy chain link I'm not sure how the vario would be linked. I know you can Y lead Sbus connections but I didn't think it worked with Sport data feeds. I am happy to be corrected though.

Memory tricks -after checking varios I think it was a voltage sensor that had to be on the end of the chain back when there were a mix of D series and Sport sensors available.

Indidentaly, I hooked my Neuron up to Blheli 32 using a KINGKONG BLHeli ESC PC Communications Adapter (USB/Com) costing £1.90 from Hobbyking, though they seem to be out of stock everywhere now.

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 31/07/2019 12:55:15

Andy4831/07/2019 17:08:12
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I used an Arduino Nano to program it, very easy.

In terms of size, the 80a for about £6 more seems the best bet, all three are the same size.

The BLHeli suite has some novel features. The model finder for instance, though if the battery is still connected, the tx RSSI signal provides a good indication. (Got the tee shirt in a 4ft high field of rape in flower and a yellow model!!!)

I particluarly like the ability to limit the current to prevent the motor/speed controller burning out.

Its a pity there isn't a full lipo sensor as you say, however, I only find that useful for indicating when a battery is nearing end of life, otherwise the current sensor is far better for judging flight times.

Bob Cotsford31/07/2019 17:45:21
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Andy, with the state of a couple of my 6S packs it's now a case of knowing when the low cell is dropping too low so that I can avoid cooking it further with any full throttle burns! Otherwise as you say it's down to logging consumption with an appropriate alarm at 75% or so of the pack capacity.

When I resort to a simpler model with no telemetry and have to rely on the flight timer I feel quite a sense of loss now crying

Andy4831/07/2019 22:09:20
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Yes I know what you mean, the individual cell sensor is great for identifying a low cell in an old pack. Can still use one with the Neuron though. I've adapted a current sensor to work with the XT30 plugs by unsoldering the XT60s and replacing them. This is great for those smaller models, thus I'm never without that telemetry.

Tim Ballinger26/11/2019 11:27:21
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I know I am still one of the few sticking with FrSky OS but the recent Firmware upgrade has enabled the use of lua scripts and one of the ones issued with the update was a frisky esc (neuron) lua. There is little supporting documentation but simply looking at the interface it appears to give access to setting all of the neuron user parameters. Not yet got a neuron Esc to test it out but I think I will now give it a try on my next project . Certainly seems like a step forward.

Tim

Mike Blandford26/11/2019 12:43:04
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What update download is this in? I can't locate one on the FrSky site with such a LUA script in it.

Mike

Tim Ballinger26/11/2019 13:38:27
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Mike,

They are in Horus 10 firmware upgrade 1.303 . There are 4 . GasSuit_fros.luac, gtrans_fros.luac, SBEC_fros.luac and SXR_fros.luac

Only guessing at the Neron connection as it says added neuron support in the release notes but it seems a good bet.

Tim

Bob Cotsford26/11/2019 14:00:11
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Tim, I'd guess it's the same as the latest Opentx which now allows you to see the Sbec voltage and current plus ESC temperature in addition to the total current and pack voltage, and the SBEC LUA will allow you to set the SBEC output voltage. I haven't seen anything about it replacing BLHeli32 for other settings but if it does then well done FrSky!

Tim Ballinger26/11/2019 14:08:18
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Bob,

Perhaps I was being over optimistic in thinking it would allow settings to be updated. Not possible for me to tell without obtaining a neuron . The bits of scripts that are readable in a text editor give me no clue.

If it already exists for OpentX as simply displaying parameters then odds are it performs the same function in FrSky OS

Tim

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