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Feb 06, 2011, 06:29 AM
destructive testing expert
dcaspi's Avatar
Thread OP

ESC setup for multirotors


In multirotors, you want your ESC to be as dumb as possible, as all the smart work is done by the flight controller. Specifically, it is a really bad idea if an ESC cuts off the motor due to low battery (while the other ESCs may still think the voltage is within limits). To achieve this, I programmed my ESC with the following setup:

- NiMH battery (though in reality I use LiPo)
- Low cutoff voltage

The combination of the above should set up the cutoff voltage to 0 volts.
Low voltage alarm / protection will be taken care off by the flight controller and/or separate card.

The ESC I use is Turnigy Plush 18A.

What do you think of this setup? What do you think of the other setup items (see programming card picture below)?

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Feb 06, 2011, 07:39 AM
Member FPV UK
IWCoburg's Avatar
When I was making gyro only tricopters I had the same setup as you show, but I set the throttle timing to low in stead of the middle you have set. That said, now I am using flight controllers, high seems to give the me the better performance.

Feb 06, 2011, 08:16 AM
Suspended Account
High gives me smoother starting motors.
Feb 06, 2011, 08:59 AM
Registered User
dcaspi, thanks for the tip, I'll test it on my rig today.

Is it true that high timing reduces the efficiency (i.e. makes the ESC heat up more)?
Feb 06, 2011, 10:03 AM
A man with too many toys
I always use low timing for RCTimer and HK motors. It gives me a little more flight time and cooler running ESC’s and motors.

Feb 06, 2011, 11:13 AM
Registered User
Neat, it really cuts off close to zero

Regarding the timing vs. power issue: Turnigy Plush 25A at High Timing eats about 960 mA, while Low Timing consumes only 920 mA at the same throttle. The difference is measurable, but insignificant. It's less than 5% difference. I observed much less clicking and throttle fluctuations at high timing though.
Feb 06, 2011, 12:23 PM
Suspended Account
If you overdraw a lipo it will ruin it in short order. That's why they have low voltage cutoffs built into esc's
Feb 06, 2011, 12:40 PM
Registered User
Zirt57's Avatar
Originally Posted by randall1959
If you overdraw a lipo it will ruin it in short order. That's why they have low voltage cutoffs built into esc's
Yes but this is a multi-copter, not a plane. We would rather sacrifice a battery rather than a quad/camera. I set a timer and have a lipo alarm but if for some reason I get in trouble and have to fly below the lipo's cut-off, so be it.

- Jeff
Feb 06, 2011, 01:11 PM
Registered User
Exactly. Without a cutoff you might ruin a lipo. Total cost: $50. With a cutoff you will save the lipo for about two seconds, before it hits the ground like a rock, destroying your quad and the lipo. Total cost: >$500.
Aug 23, 2015, 07:46 PM
It's mine now, I took it apart
RCFanatic845's Avatar
Speaking of cutoffs, what is the voltage that these 18a escs cut off at when set to the 'low' setting on the card? I'd like to set my lipo alarm to go off about a minute before my tri drops from the sky.


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