What is an Electric Flight ESC?
An ESC commonly known as electronic speed control regulates the power from the batteries to the motor. It must be properly selected in order to be able to handle the current draw demanded from the motor. It is recommended to choose a high quality ESC. The most common ESC is the ICE, ICE HV and ICE LITE series by Castle Creations. For the most part these high voltage and low voltage ESC’s will handle the majority of setups. Be sure the motor selected will not exceed the maximum continuous current rating of the ESC. If it does a higher rated ESC is needed.
When using more than 4s LiPo, it may be necessary to disconnect the BEC on the ESC and use a 4 or 5 cell NiMh receiver pack or 2 cell LiPo with voltage regulator. This will be specified in the ESC manual whether this is required or not. To disconnect BEC remove the center wire on the ESC to RX lead. It can be pushed out with a pin and replaced later if needed.
In the photo above, you can see on the label of this Electric Flight ESC the maximum continuous current of 50A. You can also see the maximum LiPo cells in series is 6s LiPo. 6s LiPo equates to 22.2 volts nominal. All ESC’s will provide this information at the very least. The 3 wires that can be found exiting the right hand side of this ESC are the brushless motor wires. These leads will be wired to your brushless motor. The thick Black and Red wire on the left hand side of the ESC, are the leads to connect to the battery powering the ESC. The thinner 3 wires that exit the ESC on the left hand side between the two cylindrical capacitors, are the wires that lead to a plug that goes in to the ESC channel on the Radio Receiver.
Follow motor manufactures recommendations for motor timing. If unknown, keep low. For example Neu 1D motors must always be set for low timing.
Voltage cut off is standard at 3.0v per cell. However, if the power setup you are using does not draw a lot of power it’s recommend raising this value higher in order to stop a run a bit earlier leaving some capacity in the pack. In most cases many raise this cutoff to at least 3.2v per cell.