SimonK vs. BLHeli firmware vs. T-Motor 10A Air ESC


Both SimonK and BLHeli firmwares are getting updates, new features and I was wondering which of these is better for my quadcopter. I have always used SimonK firmware and I am still happy with it. Here I will try to find out, if BLHeli performs better. I will also test the T-Motor 10A Air ESC, which has its own multirotor firmware.

On four different ESCs I flashed the following versions and features of the firmwares:

  • SimonK 2014-09-30
  • SimonK 2014-09-30 comp_pwm enabled (here is how-to enabled it)
  • SimonK 2015-04-19 comp_pwm enabled (“OneShot125” support)
  • BLHeli 13.2 damped light enabled (“OneShot125” support)

There is a significant difference between the SimonK firmware with comp_pwm feature enabled or disabled. The motor on the ESC without the comp_pwm stops probably a second later. On the other side the ESC with the BLHeli 13.2 and damped light stops even faster than the one with SimonK and comp_pwm. I haven’t enable the “MOTOR_BRAKE” feature on SimonK, so the comparison is not exactly right.

Then I decided to compare the BLHeli 13.2 and the SimonK 2015-04-19, as both support the “OneShot125”. I found the SimonK a bit better and smoother. The motor on the SimonK ESC was much quieter too. Note: I used the standard settings on BLHeli.

The T-Motor 12A Air ESC with its stock firmware doesn’t have features like comp_pwm and damped light, so it behaved like the normal SimonK firmware. The motor was very responsive and quite. It performs great, but can’t stop the motor as fast as a SimonK ESC.


I only tested one type of ESC (BlueSeries 12A) and one type of motor (T-Motor MN2206 2000kv) on a 3S battery. The results could be completely different on other configurations.

Leave a Reply


  1. Felixrising

    You should try modifying the motor timing to see if you can achieve a similarly quiet motor from BLHeli.

    • Sergey

      Hi, thank you for your comment. I have noticed same great performance with the new LittleBee 20A BLHeli ESCs. So either the BlueSeries 12A or the motor timing was the problem for that behavior.

      • Felixrising

        The Littlebee 20a has a Silabs MCU which has a specialised 16bit 3 channel PCA targeting motor control and power control applications. Atmel 8bit 328p can’t compete with that. Still, BLHeli has a stack of settings that might see the Atmel MCU get some better results (closer to tgy achieves on its native Atmel MCU) than you’ve seen in your testing thus far.

        • Sergey

          Is this the way the F330 MCU target the gate chips?