Idea for improvement to the compatible drivers page

Just thinking that I have seen a lot of people being told bad news a little late in the game about their hardware choices, and I remember this happening to me too. The b-g431b-esc1 board was clearly the right choice for me although it is certainly far from ideal, and also for many other people, but you wouldn’t know this without looking at the forums and stuff, which takes a long time. Also the uno us shown in the animation etc. but we all know it is nearly useless for most practical purposes.

I think it might be advisable to not just list a bunch of different stuff but actually dispense some advice. Just a little discussion. It doesn’t have to be short. What always happens is people who aren’t actually looking for which driver to use right now see it and say the discussion or whatever is " too long", but someone who is actually looking at the details will appreciate a page or two of discussion on the subject a great deal.

We could tell people to consider the torque, power, rpm and angular resolution they require or whatever, then discuss a few common motors and one or two common driver solutions. The G431 nucleo board appears to be advisable for many uses if you need more pins etc.

I believe this is part of the march of technological development, that wisdom must be scraped together and packaged and made more accessible every once in a while. Any child can send an email with a phone, for instance, because things are all packaged up. We aren’t at the stage where we can hand someone a list of really nice ready to roll drivers - or a set of modules that can be mixed and matched into hundreds of different driver systems - that are cheap and good, but some day we might get there.

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In principle, this is a very good idea and, staying with the B-G431B-ESC1 example, there is a tremendous amount of infromation on it in the forum, but it is scattered over hundreds of posts in different topics. For a beginner, that’s certainly difficult. Collecting such information will definitely be a lot of work, probably too much for anyone who does this as a hobby only. Maybe, it would be better to have dedicated topics in the forum with a sticky post at the beginning, which summarizes the knowledge. Everybody could then propose text fragments and additions and someone else only needs to merge that text after agreement was reached. That sounds more doable to me and for the B-G431B-ESC1 I could contribute quite a bit.

On the other side, we should consider what we want. Do we want SimpleFOC to be plug and play without knowing what one does, or shall it remain more educational, which includes that reading docs, understanding things and being prepared to invest efforts is part of the fun. Personally, I would remain with the educational orientation. Making things too easy may very well attract a lot of people which cause a lot of work because they don’t want to read the docs…

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I think, we also have some responsibility. If things sound very simple, people, who are not expert enough may easily blow up a lot of hardware and even hurt themselfes. Hoverboard motors have a lot of power and MOSFETS or capacitors may create nice little fireworks. Take again the example of the board mentioned above. It is really compact and everything is small. Featurewise, it is probably perfect for beginners, but someone who has no experience in soldering may easily kill it before even attaching a motor to it. On the one side, we can (and should) warn people about this, but on the other side, it may be better to not tempt people at trying it at all by explaining every little detail. It is difficult …


I agree with both of you and would like to propose a “top ten” list on homepage level.
Same for sensors: I bought 5x AS5600 before I read that they might be to slow for certain projects.
On the HP they are now listed as equal choice, because the HP simply lists HW options.

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I think the best approach is to exhibit good engineering and document things thoroughly. I don’t believe in the educational v.s. whatever else divisions. A well made system is the most educational system.

The main problems arise when things are not documented well. Good documentation also can actually reduce the pressure on the engineering side, because difficult choices about usability vs whatever else don’t have to be made. As long as the documentation is good, the system can be complicated or have experimental features or whatever, and still be useful.

SimpleFOC is relatively good compared to many libraries or code bases, but there are still gaps that require a lot of trawling through the forum to patch up. The lowest hanging fruit is to focus on common use cases and features first, which is done but I think it could be taken further. One small step here is to just have a quick discussion on what the best recommendations for most people are, here in the forum, for instance on recommended compatible hardware, then put that on the drivers page.

I think we are probably on the same page with the B-G431B-ESC1 board being one of the top options, although it certainly has issues that should be mentioned (very hard to access the pads, not many pins broken out, tends to get hot/waste power without good reason, major licensing and sourcing issues).

Thoughts on recommending the G431 MCU nucleo board?like this one NUCLEO-G431KB STMicroelectronics | Development Boards, Kits, Programmers | DigiKey

It uses the KB variant, while the ESC1 board uses the CB variant, IDK what the difference is.

I don’t see much point in using the nucleo board instead of the ESC1 unless you needed more pins or SPI, but as a general purpose replacement for blue pills, picos, and unos it makes sense.

I have never actually tried it it just seems advisable, more so than a blue pill or a Pico. Darlington transistors for the power output seems good up to 5 amps, I tried that and it went well. I don’t think this TMC6200 boards are good value.

The problem with any mosfets is they sort of need higher voltages etc. to switch, so you need a board and there is no triple half h bridge board that I know of.

Regarding sensors, I don’t actually think te as5600 is that bad as long as the smoothingsensor stuff is used, it’s clearly not the best chip I would grant but at the same time there appear to be no other boards available for magnetic angle sensors, at a reasonable price. The boards for the AS5048 or whatever were like $30 each or something on digikey. They both come with the little magnet, at least.

If someone is going to get boards made, the SDC6022 or whatever appears to be the best SPI magnetic angle sensor, in the balance, a number of people have tried it out and it appears to be good and readily available. I have like 15 complete boards with them if anyone wants one or two for testing.

All the optical encoders are totally overpriced, and mounting/interfacing them could be even harder. At the same time these magnetic sensors are not like a compass, they do have a lot of error issues and need calibration etc… I don’t see any viable other option for most people most of the time tough.

For me the as5600 is actually working out ok when I need a sensor although I am definitely going to have to go sensorless for long term.

Edit: maybe this is kind of a useless discussion and the main thing is just to get on with the third gen lepton which is bound to be cheaper and better in basically every way for our purposes than the ESC1 board.