QuadCopter Version 2 - Speed Controllers

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Speed Controllers

The speed controllers chosen were cheap Hobby King 20A units. These were chosen because the programming connectors are easily acessible. Reprogramming the speed controllers makes a HUGE difference to how the craft flies. Standard speed controllers are designed to work with the Radio Control receiver signals at 50Hz. Commonly some filtering or averaging of the signals is applied by the software on the speed controller. this has the effect of limiting the motor response to any change in signal. We want our speed controllers to receive their signals at 400Hz with no filtering.

There are several alternative speed controller firmware and we chose the SimonK firmware. It has worked extremely well.

The heatshrink on the speed controllers was removed and a small 6-wire cable and plug soldered onto the 6 programming pins. Clear heatshrink was then re-applied. The 6-pin connector allows for the spped controllers to be reprogrammed using an Atmel AVR programmer.

More details on modifying the speed controllers can be found here

Hobbyking ESC

Speed Controller Mods

Closeup of the cable connection

Speed Controller Mods