BLHeli_32 is a new firmware for 32 bit ESCs that has recently been announced by Steffen, the contributor for the original BLHeli and BLHeli_S projects.
Its worth noting that despite the fact it shares the name with its BLHeli counterparts, the code is in fact written from scratch and is closed source. This means the code will not be released to the community, similar to how the KISS ESC code is not released.
This firmware should bring significant improvements to ESC performance at the moment, compared to BLHeli_S. Here are a few of the advantages:
- Programmable pwm frequency, up to 48kHz, that can run motors even smoother, and also allows for moving of small but potentially disturbing humps in the throttle response. All ESCs have these bumps, with BLHeli_32 they can now be moved in the rpm range, to a place where the system has low sensitivity to them.
- Auto timing. Which is not the option to choose if you’re after max power. But if you want the most efficient running with very good robustness against desync, it is the perfect choice.
- Voltage and current limiting. Which is implemented in the code, and will be supported on some ESCs. Voltage limiting is desirable for fixed wing crafts. And current limiting adds protection against ESC failure.
- Programmable brake on stop force. Which allows control of the braking of fixed wing props.
- Improved direction change in bidirectional mode.
- More functionality coming in the future. Such as setup from the FC by using Dshot commands. Such as telemetry functionality. There is room to grow performance and functionality.
- Runs D-Shot 1200 straight out of the box (up to at least a rate of 32kHz supported)
This certainly looks like it will give KISS ESCs a run for their money. Although its sad to see another firmware go closed source, we understand the reasons behind it. We look forward to seeing what BLHeli_32 can bring to the table and hopefully it will push prices down for us, the consumer.