Production Firmware Install

Instructions for installing V2 configurable firmware.

Update prerequisites

In order to install firmware onto an ESC, the following 3 items are required:

  1. Software utilities.

  2. Interfacing hardware.

  3. Firmware update mode activation mechanism.

1. Software utilities

The APD Flashing Tool is used when installing V2 firmware to the units. Ensure a copy of tool version 1.2 or later is running.

Flashing ToolConfigurator

2. Interfacing hardware

The 200F3 can be directly updated through its Micro-USB port. Additional hardware is not required for this model.

All other F Series models are updated using a USB to UART adapter, which can be purchased from APD. Alternatively, all FTDI and SiLabs USB-UART bridges are supported and known to work.

3. Bootloader pin shorting device

A pair of metallic, fine point tweezers can be inserted into the bootloader holes to enter firmware update mode. For the ESC to enter firmware update mode, the two bootloader pads on the ESC must first be electrically connected when physically connecting the ESC to a computer.

Once the bootloader pins are connected, the USB can be connected to a computer.


Prior to flashing, familiarisation with the following physical features of the ESCs is advised:

Hardware diagrams

Please see the following page for annotated images of each F Series ESC model to assist in locating the physical features listed above.

Physical features

Firmware update procedure

Flashing instructions

  • Disconnect external power sources to ESC, the USB-UART adapter will supply the required power for flashing and configuration. Do not power on with main power when the adapter is connected to the ESC, this will cause damage to it and the ESC.

  • Connect the ESC to the PC using the USB-UART adapter or Micro-USB cable. Ensure the two bootloader pins are connected together, this can be performed using a pair of tweezers or a small wire. Once connected, the LED on the ESC should be very dimly lit.

  • When running the APD Flashing Tool in Auto mode, the tool will automatically fetch the latest firmware versions available. Select the desired firmware to install. An internet connection is required for this process.

  • Select the COM port for the ESC (the tool will automatically detect a new ESC plugged in).

  • Select the correct model for the ESC that is being flashed. Ensure the correct model is selected, as the wrong model will result in an ESC that will not boot.

  • Click Flash and wait for the process to complete. Once completed, the ESC can be directly connected to the config tool. Ensure the boot pins are no longer connected.

Connecting to Configuration Tool

Once flashed, there are two methods by which an ESC can be connected to the V2 configuration tool. The USB to UART adapter can be used to directly connect to an ESC to edit its configuration settings. The ESC will signal that it is in configuration mode with a high-frequency LED blink. The boot pins should not be connected.

In connection with a compatible flight controller stack (currently, Betaflight units and ArduCopter 4.1 have been tested), the ESCs can be modified using the FC passthrough method.

Older 120F3 require a component to be removed when using passthrough. See the image below. If your ESC says R28, no modification is necessary.

Due to the onboard optoisolation, bi-directional communication is not supported on the F Series 200F3 model.

In the case of any issues or if assistance is required, the team can be reached with the options found here.

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