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.
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 However, JESC is not free (paid license required for each ESC), and JazzMaverick (BLHeli_M) is no longer being updated (last update 2020).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)
Click “Connect”, it will show you all the ESC available.
To flash these ESC with Bluejay, click “Flash All”.
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!
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.
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.
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.
When you have selected the melody you like, click on the “accept” button on each ESC, and Click “Write Melodies”.