Application of using High or Low Motor / ESC Timing

Most hobbyists who operate electric RC vehicles understand that motor timing can be controlled. The questions is how many actually change the timing of their setup? If you haven’t already read the article on timing, click the link to view the article.

Applications of High and Low Motor Timing

Applications of High and Low Motor Timing

Do you have to change timing?

The short answer to this question is you generally don’t need to. Many ESC’s whether sensorless or not have a default setting that works well with most brushless motors. Performance of these ESC’s are already operating in a range that is suitable for many applications. Years ago I was messing around with timing a lot more than I am today. In fact it is very rare that I will change the default settings of an ESC in terms of timing.

When should you change Timing?

There are a few reasons why you would want to open up the software for your ESC and make a change to the settings. Here are those few key reasons listed below:

  1. Your brushless sensorless motor is not operating correctly
  2. To squeeze more RPM out of your brushless motor setup.
  3. Setup is operating with high temperatures.

Application of Using High Timing

If your RC car, boat or plane is not operating at the speed you are hoping for, changing the timing may get you there. Changing motor timing is not going to add a significant amount of speed. It is something you are able to adjust if going up a prop size or pinion gear size is too much. Or it is something you can adjust since it’s quite easy to do and does not cost anything other than time.

Before changing the timing, you will want to be certain that your power system is not operating at its maximum thermal potential. If so, you do not have the room necessary to increase timing. Increasing the timing will certainly add heat to your system. Upon an increase to timing you will also want to re-check the temperatures of your power system components. This will ensure that you are still operating within spec.

Application of Using High Timing – Synchronization Issues

If you have a motor that you spin up and it starts making a loud screeching type noise and slowing down, you should try changing the motor timing. The screeching noise is a telltale sign that the brushless motor you are running is losing its synchronization with the ESC. Increasing motor timing may help solve this issue.

Application of Using Low Timing

Low motor timing is commonly used on motors that have a low magnetic pole count and a hot wind. This may be something similar to a one turn, 4 pole brushless motor with a Delta wind termination.  These high strung motors do not like high motor timing. Other applications for low motor timing is to maximize run time, power efficiency and torque. If you need the most amount of torque in your setup, use low motor timing.

Changing Timing, Where to Start

Plan to experiment with motor timing and do not know where to start? The perfect place to start when adjust timing is on the low end. Low timing offers the least amount of performance. As you are increasing timing you will want to monitor temperatures to ensure that you do not exceed maximums. It is also best to monitor performance to understand how much of an increase you are seeing or not seeing.

Keep in mind, if you hear screeching from the motor while operating on low timing, try increasing the timing and try again.

In general motors with more magnetic poles tend to prefer higher timing settings.

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