Looking for a new controller

Hi guys

As some of you may know, about a year ago I finished my 6DOF racesim powered by 3 ODrives. Now I’m starting a new project and I’m looking into all options for BLDC controllers again. I’m comparing BLHeli32, ODrive, VESC, normal ESC, sensored ESC, Trinamic and SimpleFOC.

I was wondering if someone could explain me the pro’s and con’s and what hardware is available and if there is new hardware coming.

Thanks in advance.

Carelsbergh Stijn

Just found your stijns projects youtube channel. I wasn’t sure what a racesim was, that looks really cool!

I guess you used 3 odrives for your 6 DOF. And some beefy low KV motors. What is your voltage / peak Amp requirements and what improvements do you want to make?

The main SimpleFOC board is going to be way under powered to shift an adults weight, however it is a good place to start if you want to explore the library.

I’ve been using BGC gimbal motor controllers (2x and 3x axis). I like the storm32 but again under powered. It’s original use case is keeping a ~1kg DSLR steady, so it may struggle with 75kg!.

There are a few people around who are developing their own boards. The Dagor board by @David_Gonzalez is one to look at. It can handle higher Amps but its a revision or so away from being ready.

Looking at the others on your list.
BLHeli32 - I wasn’t aware that you could do position control on this. It’s mostly velocity about velocity control (drones, boats, etc)
ODrive - you know more about this than me. Capable, mature, bit expensive.
VESC - capable, mature. Like ODrive they have a dual board.
Normal/sensored ESC - I imagine this is similar to BLHeli32 (mostly velocity control) but with black box firmware. They sometimes have a control card for some settings. Very cheap.
Trinamic - I’ve read a little about some new FOC drivers, don’t know too much.
SimpleFOC - works on a bunch of different hardware (esp32, stm32, atmega328p) and with a bunch of motors/sensors. As it’s a library you can put your control logic on the same MCU rather than having to integrate with some external board. I’d be intimidated about changing VESC or ODrive firmware. I’m not intimidated writing code that uses SimpleFOC library.

I suspect most of the SimpleFOC community is working on lower power systems than you and your main challenge using SimpleFOC may be finding a board that can handle that power.

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@Owen_Williams thanks for the reply.

That’s indeed my YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm_1VXkyWDUTdYQefzBz5qw) I used Keda 6468 190KV motors @ 24V 60A max (I think) but it never reaches the max. I have 3 30A psu’s and they do not max out.

I’m looking for a new controller for another project, the odrives are staying in the racesim. But I do need more power than 10 amps, more like 40-60, i was looking at all options (including BLHeli32 and so on) because the position controll in my new project is not top priority. Top priority is getting the best preformance out of a small motor with a cheap and compact driver and I like to believe that simpleFOC will be the best it there are more boards with seperate gate drivers and MOSFETs for example. I will take a look if I have some time to design a board myself.

Carelsbergh Stijn