Artur shares his experience pairing KISS flight controller with non-KISS ESC’s (BLHlie) on a Mini Quad.
KISS FC and its closed source software are easy to use and perform well, many prefer using it over Cleanflight/Betaflight. It’s common to pair KISS FC with KISS 24A RE ESC’s. However KISS ESC’s are expensive and hard to get as being constantly out of stock. Can we run KISS FC with one of the cheap BLHeli ESC’s out there on the market?
There are a few things to consider when running KISS FC + BLHeli ESC combo:
- You cannot flash/program ESC via FC passthrough (not supported by KISS FC firmware). ESC configuration and flashing needs to be done “one-by-one” using a programmer
- No ESC telemetry feature because KISS 24A is currently the only ESC that offers this feature
- KISS 24A doesn’t require ESC calibration, but BLHeli ESC does in order to work correctly
- No Multishot as KISS FC only support OneShot125 and OneShot42
- Some people actually prefer KISS setup because there is no need to change ESC settings. Using BLHeli ESC’s defeat that purpose.
Direct soldering ESC signal wire to the FC is a clean solution, but since FC passthrough doesn’t work on KISS FC this isn’t a good idea. I found it’s best to connect your BLHeli ESCs to the flight controller using header pins, so when you need to flash your ESC’s you can just unplug it from the FC. For example:
Motors are not numbered the same way as in Cleanflight (actually KISS numbering makes more sense), so this is also something to bear in mind when connecting ESC to the FC.
I tested KISS FC with DYS XM20A. At first, I did ESC calibration as per Flyduino manual, however during the test flight I experienced some level of de-sync. I checked BLHeli settings again, and found one of the motors did not calibrate properly (PPM-Min/Max didn’t match) – its min-throttle value was way higher than the rest. After changing that to match other ESCs it was all fine.
Flying KISS FC and BLHeli ESC feels great on the sticks. It’s responsive with the KISS rates system (Betaflight also has it now) flying was much smoother than other Betaflight quad I have tried.
Compared to my “fully Kissed” quad running KISS FC and KISS 24A ESC, this one feels very similar although the level of smoothness is not quite the same. To rate it with a score from 0 to 100, I would say the KISS combo was 100, and the KISS FC with BLHeli combo is about 85 to 90, which isn’t bad. I even enjoy it more than latest Betaflight 2.9 to be honest.
Test flight’s here (KiSS FC with XM20A ESC:
KISS FC with KISS 24A ESC:
Author : Arthur If you like this article please subscribe to his Youtube channel.