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Jan 27, 2015, 10:47 PM
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Clonkex's Avatar
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ESC Brake on or off for quadcopter?

Exactly what the title says. Should I have the ESC brake on or off for a quadcopter?

Also, what is the brake for and what does it do?

EDIT: I've determined that I should probably have the brake off, but the issue now is... how do I know if it's on or off?
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Jan 28, 2015, 12:19 AM
Hi .

The bake stops the motor instantly . If you like your quad falling out of the sky then leave the brake on , other wise you don't need it .

Jan 28, 2015, 12:36 AM
Registered User
if your running an ESC (bl-heli or simonk) without multirotor firmware then do not use brake.

bl-heli and simonk offer braking designed for multirotor use, so they only brake the amount that is needed to slow down the prop. in this case the amount of brake is up to you.

most ESC you a diode in the hardware to enable braking.... result is that braking is using battery energy = shorter flight times.

Some other ESC use a system called active freewheeling, a fet is used as a gate from the high side to low side fets to allow energy to flow in both directions. this way energy flows back into the power train (in theory) = same or longer flight times than ESC without breaking.

also as a side note - blheli and simonk remove the averaging that stock ESC's use to control Motor RPM. THis means that the FC's PWM commands are directly controlling motor RMP without the ESC acting as a middle man and averaging out the changes. This means the copter fly's better and responds faster and crisper.
Jan 28, 2015, 01:13 AM
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How can I test if the brake is on? I'm assuming that if the brake's turned on for one of the ESCs but not the others, the quad will have a hard time flying.
Jan 28, 2015, 01:23 AM
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Wait, don't worry, I tested by powering and arming the motors, then attempting to spin them with my fingers. Then I put them in programming mode and toggled Brake, and tried spinning them again. They felt much stiffer, and when I toggled Brake again they spun freely once more.

Excellent, now I can get on with programming my Arduino-based flight controller
Jan 31, 2017, 05:54 AM
Scratchbuild Aviation
speedactyl's Avatar
funny thing is with all the multirotors I've build I notice a relationship of motor KV and prop size and multirotor types that determines should you have it on or off. with small multirotors can have it off since small props can respond quickly and with less inertia while large multirotors with low kv and large props tend to do the pinwheel effect making it slushy in flight. more so with coaxial configuration where the bottom prop always pinwheels in the wash of the top prop. so brakes are necessary to get better throttle responds.

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