How to Flash Bluejay Firmware to BLHeli_S ESC

by Oscar
Flash Bluejay Esc Configurator Options Common Parameters

In this tutorial I will show you how to flash Bluejay firmware to BLHeli_S ESC. Bluejay is an open source firmware that improves ESC performance and gives you additional features and options, makes your BLHeli_S ESC almost as powerful as the more expensive BLHeli_32 ESC.

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Benefits of Bluejay Firmware

  • Improves flight performance by allowing Bi-directional DShot and RPM filtering in Betaflight
  • Offers Fixed PWM Frequency: 24KHz, 48KHz and 96KHz Optional
  • Ability to play custom start-up melodies

There are other alternative firmware to Bluejay that offer similar benefits, such as JESC and JazzMaverick (BLHeli_M). However, JESC is not free (paid license required for each ESC), and JazzMaverick (BLHeli_M) is no longer being updated (last update 2020). BlueJay is becoming the most popular firmware for BLHeli_S ESC as it’s free and actively supported.

How to Flash BlueJay to BLHeli_S ESC

Two way to flash it, you can either do it via the standalone configurator (requires installation), or use the browser based configurator (https://esc-configurator.com). My recommendation is to use the web configurator, as it’s easier and just as reliable, that’s what I am using in this tutorial. Note that only Chrome based browser supports the ESC Configurator at the moment. And you can use it to configure and flash BLHeli_S firmware ESC as well.

If you’ve ever used BLHeli Configurator before, the interface and steps should feel familiar.

Assuming the ESC is already connected to the flight controller in your drone, you just need to plug in the USB cable to the FC. And plug in the LiPo battery to power the ESC.

Click on “Select Serial Port”, then choose the COM port of the FC. (if you are doing this for the first time, your browser might ask you for permission to access the COM port)

Flash Bluejay Esc Configurator Serial Port Com

Click “Connect”, it will show you all the ESC available.

Flash Bluejay Esc Configurator Connect Read Setup

To flash these ESC with Bluejay, click “Flash All”.

Flash Bluejay Esc Configurator Firmware Target

Here are the options you need to select:

  • in Firmware, select “BlueJay”
  • in ESC, just leave it as it is (this is the type of the ESC and it should be chosen for you automatically)
  • in version, pick the latest official release
  • in PWM frequency, choosing a higher value will make your motors smoother and more efficient (this is has an even more profound improvement in smaller aircraft like tiny whoops), but in exchange, motors will lose a small amount of torque and snappiness. Take a look at my article explaining PWM frequency. As a rule of thumb, select 96Khz for tiny whoops, 24Khz for 5″ FPV drones and 48KHz for any sizes in between. You can also try 48Khz for 5″ freestyle quads if 24KHz make your motors sound rough. Anyway, try different numbers if you are not sure and see what works best for you

Now hit Flash. Done!

Configure BlueJay

First thing you want to do is to enable RPM filter in Betaflight, which I explained in this tutorial. This will make your drone fly so much better!

To configure ESC settings, connect to the configurator, and click “Read Setup” to popular all the ESC settings.

Flash Bluejay Esc Configurator Options Common Parameters

If this is the first time you flash BlueJay, you will notice there are some additional options in the configurator. The default options are fine for most people, but take a look at my article explaining what some of these options do.

Custom Startup Melody

When you power on the quad, the motors make a start up tone (melody). You can customize the sound in BlueJay.

Click Open Melody Editor, and you can edit the start up sounds for each ESC.

Bluejay Esc Configurator Open Melody Editor

Flash Bluejay Esc Configurator Melody Editor

There are a bunch of pre-made melodies in the drop down menu, but of course you can make your own too if you know how.

Bluejay Esc Configurator Start Up Tone Melodies

 

When you have selected the melody you like, click on the “accept” button on each ESC, and Click “Write Melodies”.

Bluejay Esc Configurator Start Up Ton Melody Write Apply

That’s it.

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21 comments

Yoyo 22nd January 2023 - 4:23 pm

The bidirectional dshot and dynamic idle completely fixes my zero idle desync issue. Honestly this setup should be default for all newer drones that support it.

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Mike J 6th December 2022 - 10:05 pm

Hi I updated to BF 4.3 on a Tinyhawk 2 freestyle (new fc old one died) put blueJay 48khz on and the motor order is wrong what’s the best way to fix it

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Mike J 6th December 2022 - 10:27 pm

Hi found the solution there is a motor reordering button in the motor tab 😇

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Oscar 6th December 2022 - 10:55 pm

Go to the motor tab in Betaflight, there is a “motor order” button, click that it will walk you through fixing your motor orders.

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Pete 6th December 2022 - 1:49 am

Oscar,
New to drones and love your videos – learning a lot. Wish I had read more before I bought and installed my AIO FC, with is a JEMCUF405PRO AIO and unfortunately is BLHELI_S. Can I flash the ESCs to bluejay and not brick the FC? If I manage to brick the ESCs is there a “easy” way to get them back to life so I can just wait until I can find a better AIO and do some surgery but still fly?

Thanks

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Oscar 6th December 2022 - 11:01 am

Is there any known report of those ESC bricking when flashing bluejay? I’ve flashed a of lot BLHeli_S ESC and only ever bricked one or two and it’s extremely rare. If they get bricked you can ‘revive’ them following this post.

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Pete 6th December 2022 - 12:36 pm

I haven’t seen anything, but I am concerned as its an AIO (FC + ESC) and didnt know if that would change things. While I want to get this on the best possible solution for software, I really want to fly too….

Thanks – again – learning a lot from your videos!

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Yoyo 22nd January 2023 - 4:22 pm

It changes nothing being aio or not. Even with non aio you are still going through fc to flash the esc.

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Martial H. 7th November 2022 - 6:19 pm

Bonjour, merci pour ces excellents tutoriels ! J’ai une question : j ‘ai un quad 3 pouces 6S, crossfire, Vista, sur lequel j’ai voulu flasher les ESC (en BLHeli s) sous blue Jay avec esc-configurator pour avoir accès au RPM filter et bi directional Dshot. Bref, je flashe, c’est ok sauf qu’en reconnectant à BF j’ai un taux d’erreurs qui monte anormalement sur un moteur. alors je fais la procédure inverse : je flashe à nouveau en BLHeli S et là c’est la catastrophe : les moteurs 2 et 4 ne sont plus reconnus du tout ! Et pourtant dans BF, chaque moteur tourne normalement et dans le bon sens… je ne sais plus quoi faire. Aurais-tu une astuce à tout hasard ? Merci par avance. Martial

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Yellow 21st September 2022 - 11:43 pm

Hi Oscar! is every BLHeli_s ESC compatible with this thing? I have a F4 1S AIO FC and… while all the process was correct (I even put the X-files tune on it 🥰) Back on betaflight it gives me some error when trying to activate Bidirectional D-shot (something like, you need 4 ESC and the current value is 0)

Also, when checking the motors, only 1 starts up, so no luck for me so far. Can you think of any cause for this?

Thx in advance, I am so new into this lovely Hobby and mate, your posts really make everything easier.

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Oscar 22nd September 2022 - 11:41 am

Sorry i am not sure, maybe contact the developer and see if there’s a known issue for your particular ESC? Can you flash it back to BLHeli_S firmware using the same tool?

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Maksim 2nd October 2022 - 11:47 pm Reply
Sean 7th June 2022 - 8:09 am

Thank you Oscar! This is a great tutorial!
I was able to get one of my quad flashed and working well!!
Unfortunately, this bricked my second quad’s ESC – it has a Diatone Mamba F30 Mini 30A

going to rescue it with BLHeliSuite.
Is there a way to flash bluejay with BLHeliSuite?
I manually downloaded C_H_40_96_v0.16.hex firmware but BLHeliSuite seemed to refused flashing one of the unbricked ESCs, saying:

Flash file is of rev 0.16
and cannot be flashed over a bootloader

I’ll get C2 interface connected and try rescue later…

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Oscar 7th June 2022 - 3:33 pm

If it’s bricked then your only option is to flash it via C2 interface, regardless what firmware you are flashing.

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Sean 8th June 2022 - 7:48 am

Thank you! that answered my question. I was successful in flashing (all of the 4 ESCs) via C2, and now they’re all running bluejay. YAY!
It wasn’t immediatly successful though, some of the 4 ESCs needed me to flash them twice before they come back to life.

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Jeremy 30th May 2022 - 7:39 pm

Hi Oscar, I’m currently flying my QQ190 (circa 2017) on BF 3.1.7 and still have the appropriate configurator. It runs the following ESC’s:

• Silabs Busy Bee Processors
• Dedicated PWM Driver
• BLHeli-S enabled
• Fast 8-Bit processing
• Over-Current protection
• 25A Constant, 35A burst
• Multishot Protocol enabled- The Multishot protocol uses a 5-25μs signal that allows refresh rates of up to 32 KHz, while maintaining 240 steps of resolution.
• Active/regenerative braking
• Lost model/inactivity alarm
• Passthrough programmable
• 3-Phase brushless motor output

I want to flash them to Bluejay so I can get the benefits before I go up to BF 4.3.
My question, my quad flies pretty well now – if I flash to Bluejay will it affect the way my quad behaves (without going into BF3.1.7 to change anything). i.e. will I need me to re-tune my craft to behave as it does now? I’m not concerned about the benefits just yet, simply want to know if the ESC’s will still behave as they do now.?

Hoping you can shed some light on this.

Cheers

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Oscar 31st May 2022 - 10:28 am

just make a note of what version your ESC is on now, and if you don’t like it after upgrading you can always downgrade.
I assume your haven’t updated your ESC since you got the quad in 2017? then in that case it should fly better in the new version there’s been so much changes and improvements since. If you keep the settings the same you probably can’t tell much a difference anyway

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Mac 16th March 2022 - 11:33 pm

Hi, Oscar,

I have an MCU F405 flight controler useing omnibusF4SD right now i still have Betaflight 3,5.7. I want to go to the newer Betaflight version so to have bi directional D shot, but my ESC still has BlHeli-S A-H-30. Will flashing the Bluejay to my ESC work for me or is my ESC and FC board too old to do so. I hear how some people get their ESC messed up when trying to do it.

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Wraith 13th March 2022 - 3:40 am

I followed the flash steps exactly on my iFlight Alpha A75 and I seem to have a dead drone. The process stalled on ESC 2 and now nothing happens when I plug in the USB port. When I connect a battery I get a weak and broken startup tone with no lights or other functionality. Am I screwed or are there any recovery options?

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Oscar 13th March 2022 - 8:49 pm

The bootloader on your ESC might be corrupted. It rarely happens, but I found this can happen in some badly designed/manufactured hardware when flashing firmware.
You can try recover it following this guide: https://oscarliang.com/flash-blheli-c2-interface/

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Wraith 14th March 2022 - 10:37 pm

Thank you so much for responding! I did find that article shortly after crying for help and now have an arduino nano on the way. My C2 interface is soldered up and ready. Hopefully this works, thank you for the great information!!

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