What is Dshot: Update your Quad!
What is Dshot
It seems like every week there’s a new protocol, firmware or flight controller coming out. The newest thing right now is Dshot. It’s currently available on KISS flight controllers running KISS esc and BetaFlight based hardware with STM32 F3+ processors running BLHeli-s. I’ve used nothing but KISS gear for the past 6 months so I’ll talk about Dshot on KISS in this post.
Dshot is a digital FC/ESC protocol developed by the mad geniuses Felix Niessen (Flyduino, maker of the KISS fc and esc) and Boris B (Betaflight). Compared to OneShot125, OneShot42 and Multishot which are all analog.
Advantages of Dshot
- Digital protocol
- No need to calibrate ESCs
- 2048 steps vs around 1000 for analog protocols
- No jitter, much less prone to data error
- No need to connect an external buzzer. Dshot uses the motors as a discovery buzzer. It’s not quite as loud as a regular buzzer but it still does the job.
- Now you can choose to assign the AUX switches to a high or low positions. Before it was high only.
There are 3 selectable speeds when running Dshot on KISS gear, 150, 300 and 600. Technically Multishot is faster than Dshot600 but the advantages of a digital protocol outweighs the small increase in speed.
How to Flash Dshot on KISS
All the files you need are in the rcgroups post HERE. Before you start flashing, write down or take a screenshot of your current KISS fc settings. Make sure your props are off.
Flash the KISS fc with Dshot
- Download and install Chrome if you haven’t already
- Download the new KISS GUI for Dshot “KISSFC_GUI_shot_T8”. Unzip the file and remember where this folder is.
- In Chrome Window -> Extensions and check “Developer mode” at the top then click “Load unpacked extension…” and choose the directory you just downloaded and unzipped. Click launch.
- Now you should see the new KISS configurator.
- Download the actual hex file for Dshot “KISSFC-1.03-RC30-8-shot-T104” and unzip the file.
- Hold down the boot button on the KISS fc and plug in the USB.
- Select the hex file you just downloaded and click “FLASH FIRMWARE”
- When the firmware is finished flashing you will see “SUCESS!”. Unplug the USB from the fc.
- Connect the USB and enter all your settings into the KISS configurator, hit save.
Flash the KISS 24A ESC with Dshot
Note only KISS 24A ESC version 1.02+ can be flashed from the KISS fc right now.
- Download the Dshot firmware for the KISS 24A esc “KISS24A_108a_Dshot_T10_w_o_debug”, unzip folder.
- In the configurator go to the ESC Flasher tab.
- Select the hex file you just downloaded for the ESC “KISS24A_108a_Dshot_T10.hex”
- Plug in your lipo battery and click “FLASH FIRMWARE” This process will take a couple of minutes or so.
- Unplug the battery and USB.
- Connect back to the configurator and select Dshot600 for the ESC mode.
- Done, go kick ass
How does it fly?
At first I didn’t think it was that big of an improvement. Maybe it’s because of all the hype I read online about how good it is I got my hopes up. It was only when I flew a quad that wasn’t running Dshot is when I really noticed the difference. The Dshot quad just felt smoother and more precise. Even when I put a 5s battery on my Armattan SCX200 with slightly chewed up props, the quad still felt buttery smooth. The throttle response somehow feels more crisp also. I highly recommend upgrading to Dshot.
If you are running a KISS fc and KISS ESC (v1.02+) I would definitely upgrade to Dshot. It only takes about 5 minutes total and it’s free!
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