Review: Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC – BetaBees

Let’s check out the new Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC – BetaBees! This Betaflight branded BLHeli_32 ESC is a collaboration between FPVModel, Betaflight, Airbot and BLHeli.

The design looks very similar to the Airbot Wraith 35A (BLHeli_32), but with additional filtering capacitors on the power line. To learn more about ESC, check out this guide.

Pre-order is now available at FPVModel.

Spec and Features

  • Voltage Rating: 2S-6S
  • Current Rating (burst): 35A (45A)
  • TX pin available for future Telemetry support (connect to FC and you would get current sensing, motor RPM, ESC temperature etc)
  • DShot1200 support
  • Programmable RGB LED
  • Weight: 4.6g

Unboxing

It comes with electrical wires, 20AWG for signal/signal gnd, 16AWG for power. All these wires are 10cm long.

Closer Look

Here are some close-up shots of the Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC.

I love the PWM signal and ground pads sticking out and the generous space of the solder pads for power, making this ESC much easier to solder and work with. All the solder pads are available on both sides too.

To access the settings on the Betaflight BLHeli_32, I had to download the latest BLHeliSuite32. It’s loaded with BLHeli_32 V32.1.

Configurable RGB LED

As you can see in the BLHeliSuite GUI, there is an additional setting which is “LED Control”. This is used to configure the colour of the LED on the ESC.

At the moment, it’s not doing anything fancy, it’s simply just a On/Off indicator: when the ESC is being powered the LED turns on. I hope it can do more in the future, for example, error indication, it flashes red light when ESC overheats; or throttle indicator, it flashes faster/slower depends on throttle level…..

You have a choice of 6 different colours by using the 3 RGB colours or mixing them. You can also turn the LED off by switching off all the colours.

As shown in the following photo, when I mix “blue” and “red”, I get purple. It’s a pretty bright LED! :)

ESC Dimension

  • Length: 37mm (including the signal tab), 34mm (excluding the signal tab)
  • Width: 16mm
  • Height (thickest part): 7mm

ESC Telemetry Connection to Flight Controller

Connect the “TX” pin on all the ESC’s to the same UART “RX” pin on the flight controller, and enable “ESC telemetry in the port tab in Betaflight Configurator.

I really wish FPVModel can move the telemetry pad closer to the signal output and make the pad a little bigger for easier soldering.

Quadrant or Betaflight ESC?

I will be testing these ESC’s on my mini quad to replace the existing Quadrant BLHeli_32 ESC’s.

Comparing the Betaflight ESC’s and the Quadrant, I don’t expect there would be a noticeable difference in performance. The Quadrant are designed to be flexible and can be used as a 4in1 or standalone ESC’s. But because of the pin layout, it isn’t the easiest to use as standalone ESC’s mounting on the arms, also the wiring could get a bit messy because of that. They also don’t come with any electrical wires which was a bit disappointing.

The Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC’s addresses all these issues: it has much better pin layouts, pads are very easy to solder and work with, comes with wires, and the RGB LED is just a great addition.

I will come back and update this review when I finish setting up and testing them.

9 thoughts on “Review: Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC – BetaBees

  1. Alex Leov

    Did you do a follow up on these? I have them and I have had no end of problems with them. The soldering is very bad and I have had multiple components rip off. Today I was removing the double sided tape that I had stuck the ESC protection on with and it ripped the led off , with the traces.

    Reply
  2. Joyrider

    Does the escs make noise when u plug the battery? I am still bulding the quad, i soldered all the components to the flight controller Bf f4, the only thing remaining to solder is the engines. But i plugged the battery because i was curious to check the camera(i just bought the run cam eagle 2) and my surprise was that the escs didnt made any noise when i plugger the battery, and i checked all the connections and are correct

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      The ESC don’t have beepers, so they don’t make any noise.
      The things that make noise on a quad as you plug in the battery, are the motors.

      Reply
    1. John Pickles

      I believe that the telemetry pad is the centre one of the 3 in a straight line closest to the edge of the board. There is a diagram on BLheli32. Com for the esc. But havent tested yet so can’t verify. New hex files for the latest firmware version were sent to manufacturers for approval yesterday I believe with telemetry, so should be available with the next week all being well. (from the BLheli_32 thread on rc groups)

      Reply
  3. txrx

    hey oscar, what’s up with the solder along the sides that FPVmodel are talking about?

    “*** Update on September 12th, 2017: This is the new updated version of Betaflight BLHeli_32 ESC that comes with a line of soldering along the ESC sides for a better protection and giving more power. ”

    mine doesn’t have this, should i add it?

    Reply
    1. Oscar Post author

      I think this is to increase the current capacity of the ESC to make it more reliable, I don’t think it would cause any major issues without it.

      Reply

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