Silverware FC Brushless conversion (Whoop Lite FC, Fishpepper ESC, Betafpv 16000kv 0603)

I have converted a silverware brushed FC to brushless using a Fishpepper 4-in-1 ESC. I want to pair it with a set of betafpv 0603s i have but they have motor plugs, and i am hesitant to just cut them off, since all of my other FCs have plugs for the motors, i dont necessarily wanto start converting everything to plugless.

Since these motors apparently have convenient soldering points on the motor side i thought i’d try soldering new wires onto them… but what guage do you need for this? I cant even work out what guage the stock wires are, I have 30AWG silicone wire i got for other projects, the inner strand is fairly thin but the outter shield is fatter than the betafpv motor wires.

While i am on this topic i also have some Diatone Mamba 1103s that I will try on either a toothpick, or 75-85mm whoop frame. On these motors there is like 4cm of heatshrink coming out of the motor.


Why is there so much heatshrink and can I cut most of it off?

I saw recommendations to use 18-20 awg wires for motors, but i think 24-22 awg will be fine. Bottleneck in power circuit is battery pigtail, which is, as i remember, 24awg for tinywhoops. So you can take wire with same or slightly less gauge.

By the way, can you describe your setup? Lite 2.0 is the only silverware compatible controller with usb (and fancy leds:)), it may be interesting to convert it to brushless instead of bying brushless one.

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Thanks. 20AWG seems like overkill, thats thicker than the wires that came on my 1103s and they are quite thick too.
The wires that come stock on the 0603s are thinner than the 30AWG that i got, but i suspect that the shielding is thinner, and the inner strands are a bit thicker. I just dont know what or where to get that wire.

As for my setup, i am using this 4-in-1 ESC https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32845475246.html
with a Whoop Lite flight controller, that has been flashed with the brushless conversion setting enabled.
You just solder the signal wires to the bottom left leg of the mosfet for each motor (when looking at the three legs like a triangle △), there are youtube videos and posts on this forum about how to convert brushed to brushless.
But if i do this again (and likely i will) i would go with the HAKRC 4 in 1 https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32995598652.html since it has motor plugs, so you can use any of the common small motors without needing to mess around with direct soldering like i am facing now.

The Lite FC might be a good candidate, though its not a cheap one. I suppose now i realise you dont need to desolder pulldown resistors and mosfets, its not so risky - i can just unsolder the signal wires and go back to using it for brushed

Oh and that cheap ESC has some microscopic solder pads, which lift very easily. I lifted one of the pads and couldnt expose the trace to fix it, i had to solder a wire direct to the QFM20 EFM8 chip (0.45mm pin spacing!!) to revive that. The fact i got that first go seems like beginners luck to me. I wouldnt trust myself doing that again.

@Tokyo_Dom
Ouch (regarding the lifted pad). FWIW, I’m using 30gauge silicon on some BetaFPV 0802 12000KV motors. No problems with sag or inefficiency that I’ve noticed, and that gets like 7mins of flight time on a toothpick build using 1s 300mah battery.

I posted about that build over here: Show us your builds!

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And oh…please post more details about your brushed FC to brushless conversion. I know other folks here have done this type of work (@yets or @Ian444 maybe).

I picked up some H8 mini’s and wouldn’t mind running NFE SIlverware on them, and maybe one day converting one or more to brushless with cheap 4-in-1 ESC as you are doing.

The H8’s I have are using the PAN163CX chip and not the STM32F0 so it’s unclear if I’ll get NFE ported over or not. Plus it only runs at 48Mhz while NFE Silveware uses an overclocked F0 (72Mhz?).

Looking forward to hearing more of your progress

Oh that is good to hear! Means i can use this silicone wire i have so much of.

The conversion i am just sort of fumbling my way around it. All fairly basic it feels like most of the work is already done for me in the Silverware code - just defined BRUSHLESS_CONVERSION and the ESCs played their funky tune.

Yets and NFE actually gave some pointers to me in the AlienWhoop discord channel when i lifted that pad, and Chaotix is also quite active on there.

I actually have one of those Play F4 boards now, i am planning to throw it together with Betaflight first, but yeah my next plan is to put SilF4ware on it, after seeing your builds i got intrigued. I just have so many things on the boil at the moment; I spend so much time on the bench and never actually flying…
Btw since we last chatted, i made a diy multiprotocol using the blue pill and an NRF and CC2500 module. I wired up an LCD to the Lite Radio 2, and i wrote an Android app to display the telemetry data that i am spitting out via a HC-06 bluetooth module. That project was so much fun i bought another lite radio and plan to do it again but with full multiprotocol support and an embedded screen.

Also planning that Play F4 based Silf4ware whoop (2S 75 or 85mm), and this little conversion… phew

I saw the posts in the silverware thread on RCGroups. Some amazing stuff, though not sure that replacing all the pid calculation code with a single line like that guy did would be good… i feel like the control code in silverware is what makes it special, whether its textbook correct or not.

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“I saw the posts in the silverware thread on RCGroups. Some amazing stuff, though not sure that replacing all the pid calculation code with a single line like that guy did would be good… i feel like the control code in silverware is what makes it special, whether its textbook correct or not.”

Absolutely right in what’s said here. I always feel that coders with educated programming backgrounds always look down on hobbyist coders. Silverxxx started with an Arduino and learned to code it over a weekend. His groundwork with Silverware is brilliant and for him to use various PID set ups and code specific filters that ended up in Betaflight is pretty amazing. Anyway, I digress.

@sakitume Unfortunately kt_ has gutted the code in Goldenware and I find it unlikely that you’ll be able to do brushless conversion. I’ve checked the code and t is minimal in terms of options and only has PWM outputs for brushed motors. There’s no protocols for ESC/Dshot drivers, mix scaling, motor idle offset, etc so I think you’re out of luck for the Panchip and Silverware.

Maybe I’ll take it on as project myself and try to port Silverware over to it while learning something in the process

@sakitume I’d be more than happy to talk you through a conversion etc, it’s not particularly difficult, seems more daunting than it actually is. The wiki is a great place to read up and I did a small guide a few years ago https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?2968650-BR0705-Motor-and-BWhoop-Micro-build

Hey @yets. Glad to hear from you and I appreciate you pointing out that link to your writeup and offering help. When the time comes I’ll reach out.

With regards to Goldenware, I can see where kt_ was coming from in trying to just get something going on the H345. Plus he does have a point about how messy it was to configure the Silverware codebase to work with new hardware. What he accomplished with his research and digging deep into the PAN159 and PAN163CX stuff was super helpful.

But after having said all that, I think Silverware (and NFE Silverware) is brilliant. I love it!

So my goal is to play with his Goldenware codebase, for sure. That will be fun. But if I can crack the newer H8 hardware (based on kt_ research and work thus far) I would definitely be going back to Silverware (most likely NFE Silverware) and re-implement what it is doing to work with this newer H8 board. It has the space, but not the speed, so I’m not optimistic it will happen. But I do want to try.

Flying my NFE Silverware BWhoop B03 is still so much fun. And I only have one NFE Silverware H8 (bought it on ebay last year and it had the STM32F0). So would love to have more H8 toys running it.

sakitume, if you want a spare F0 board I should have something here I can send you in an envelope. PM me your address if you would like one. The silverware flies great, I have decommissioned nearly all my BF boards, I just prefer flying silverware.

Tokyo_dom, be prepared to spend a lot of time trying Silf4ware, just my experience…but that was some time ago.

Stm32F0 boards run on 48mhz and are overclocked to 64mhz. Are there any datasheets available?

Ian I was kind of hoping it would be somewhat plug and play, or at least follow in @sakitume’s footsteps since he has it on the play f4 with an nrf module receiver. Though ultimately I want to try quicksilver when that comes out

Right now my biggest dilemma is that my motors don’t have convenient 1.25mm plugs for the play f4 so I can I interchange with the 0802s later on… And I’ll need to cut the wires, but how long to cut them since I’m wondering if they will be better on a toothpick later on. Fairly insignificant dilemma, I know…

@yets, kt_ provided lots of links on some of the posts he made in RCGroups regarding the PAN163CX, particularly links going back to the Panchip forum where datasheets, sample code, etc could be downloaded from. He dug deep, found gold, and made a map to it. Without that work he shared I don’t think I would have considered the newer H8 board a prospect worth spending time on.

@Ian44, thank you for the offer of the F0 board. That is most generous of you! But I will decline as I am not hurting for one at the moment. And also I do want to play with getting the H8 (PAN163CX) board running if I can.

@Tokyo_Dom, Ian444 has a point with spending time on SilF4Ware. It could take some time to get up and running. If you intend to use it just like Markus is doing, and with very similar hardware, it is possible it could be plug and play. But otherwise you’ll really need to make sure you pore over the code and various options to make sure you set it up to match your hardware. And likely need to fire up STM32CubeMX to custom configure some things to match a different flight controller board than the ones he’s provided support for.

SilF4ware is pretty awesome in its own right, it has RPM filtering, 3D (inverted) flying, and more! But I’m not using it myself, instead I forked it and made many changes and additions so it would work for my specific use case. Such as working with whoop boards like the Play F4, or support a basic OSD, or support IBUS protocol. Your welcome to take a look at my fork, and I even wrote up a little bit of documentation for it here. That documentation is already out of date though. It mentions IBUS as being a proof of concept, when in fact it runs quite nicely using an FS-RX2A receiver, as well as some other things that have changed.

Also, the Play F4 doesn’t have plugs soldered on the board. They provide them to you if you want to use the plugs. Should you do it? Let me share my own experience with plugs (and again, this is my experience and preference).

On one or two of my boards I don’t use the plugs. These are/were whoops that I wanted to get as light as I could (around 20grams). My other boards I decided to use plugs to make it easier to swap out motors. For my Whoops I’ve never had to swap out my motors yet.

And I also didn’t think I’d swap out need to swap out my motors on my tiny 2" micros (GR1FF and toothpick style) since my motors hold up nicely. However a couple of weeks ago I thought I’d try some tri-blade props on a new build (which seemed to work pretty nicely, lots of grip when cornering!), but that resulted in bent motor shafts on the first maiden flight!!! I didn’t have that happen to me with the 2-blade props. Mind you, these are 0802 motors with 1mm shafts.

Oh…are the motors you have that don’t have “convenient 1.25mm plugs for the play f4” the 1103s you mentioned in your first post?

Indeed, the 1103s dont have motor plugs, and i would like to use them on the Play F4 (in 2S)

Conversely the Tiny Pepper ESC doesnt have motor plugs, and i would like to use them with the tiny 0603s i have on my tiny whoop, but to be honest i am not expecting that ESC to last very long, given the issues i had with solder pads. I managed a minor miracle getting a wire onto that EFM8BB chip pin, plenty of hotglue to secure the wire, and after 20 seconds of testing arm/throttle, i noticed the hotglue was completely soft and sticky again. But its a proof of concept for me. When this fails, i will get a HakRC ESC, which comes with the motor plugs, its own BEC and all PWM inputs/power inputs in one location.
Apparently the 0603s have convenient solder pads on the motor side, but honestly i dont think they will be very convenient. Probably less than 1mm spacing and i face doing 24 solder joints plus all the swearing and messups that i will inevitably make, compared to soldering on 4 plugs and having it plug and play with my other whoop FCs

For the Play F4 My thought is to solder the plugs onto the board, but then solder the motor wires to the top of the plugs… I heard that the Play F4 also has fairly weak solder pad adhesive, and i am not sure i would trust just soldering the motors to the top (or bottom) of the FC.
I will also be using your fork of SIlF4ware. It peaked my interest when you sent pics of your whoop with the Play F4 and an NRF module for a receiver. I mistakenly thought the Markus Gritzch’s silf4ware had support for the Play F4 (and OSD!) so if thats not the case, i will start with your branch. I have a 4 wire XN297L module to go with it.

Markus updated his fork yesterday to include OSD

Oh nice! But still, as per the comments a few posts up Markus doesnt really have interest in AIO boards, so i assume it would be a fair bit of tweaking to get it working on the play f4.

While on the topic, yets your brushless fork - would that be a good fw for my brushless conversion fc? Or is it more intended for toothpicks/bigger quads? Currently i just have NFE silverware with the BRUSHLESS_CONVERSION definition enabled. Hoping to have something that flies similar to the brushed whoops i love so much.

@Tokyo_Dom Tweaking is half the fun!

My brushless fork is intended for any size Brushless. When NFE came out, after pushing another coders Blheli passthrough code to it I thought I’d fork it to make it easier for brushless and new users. I took out all the brushed items I could and followed the majority of Travis’s work. However I diverged a bit as I was always thinking what would make things easier for new users, e.g putting in PIDs in config.h. The fork has a few options which the NFE doesn’t offer like Dual PIDs (silverAg’s work), Z axis G level logging, PIDs displayed on screen and a few other bits. It flies like Silverware should fly, but Travis worked a few level mode algorithms into NFE while I didn’t implement them. The layout is familiar too. His code or my fork, it’ll be Silverware, you just need to learn how to PID tune

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I’ll give it a go once I build this thing. I still can’t do blheli connection/configuration without removing the fets/pull down resistors can I?
I am still sort of on the fence about it whether I should revert the fc to brushed use at some point or not.