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How to choose best esc for quadcopter and rc plane

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how to choose esc for quadcopter

how to choose best esc for quadcopterIn order to bulid yourself quadcopter, you have to know how to choose best esc for quadcopter and choosing others parts? And what motors ESC propellers and battery combination will work with each other.The correct motor / prop / esc should be chosen according to the size and weight of the quadcopter, flight time and power, also the battery and motor must be chosen to effectively drive the multicopter.

Before tell you how to choose the best ESC for quadcopter and FPV, you should know some knowledges about ESC as below.

 

Quadcopter ESC Types

For base on motor, ESC can be divided into brushed and brushless.It according to the control signal to adjust the speed of the motor.

#1 Brushed and brushless

For their connection, usually goes like this:

  1. The ESC input line connected to the battery;
  2. The output of the ESC line (brushed have two lines, brushless have three lines) connected to the motor;
  3. ESC signal lines connected to the receiver.

Brush and brushless esc & motors

#2 BEC and UBEC

BEC stands for Battery Elimination Circuit. In practice, this simply means that ESCs with a BEC are able to output a constant voltage and so power the equipment on board your flying platform, such as your receiver, servos or flight controller. Delivers power for your Rx and servos at ~5v (but usually no more than 2A-3A).

UBEC stands for universal BEC or sometimes ultimate BEC, which is typically a switch mode unit which is capable of reducing the voltage from 4s+ packs to the required ~5v, and can deliver as much as 10A to power many, big, digital servos and your Rx.

What’s the difference between BEC and UBEC

  • UBEC generally handles higher voltages, are more power efficient.
  • The BEC has a more undisturbed signal an voltage and cheaper to manufacture. Adversely, they are less efficient and generate higher temperatures at greater voltages.
  • BEC tends to overheat with large input/output voltage difference, or large load; UBEC doesn’t have this problem and thus more reliable.
  • UBEC generally can provide more current safely.

If your ESC don’t have BEC, you can use an external UBEC to power your FC and RX. The UBEC’s input cable should be connected to the LiPo battery, and the output cable to the RX and FC. No change is required in the ESC connection.

quadcopter esc types

ESC firmware

ESC program is divided into open source and not open source, For base on open source firmware, there are 3 main types of firmware that you can get on your ESC, which can be divided into blheli, simonk and kiss firmware.

What’s differences between with them? we have made a comparisons chart from performance, updated frequently, features, ease of use, ease to flash, size, reversibility, power as below.

1. ESC firmware Performance.

When we consider the performance of the three ESC firmwares, they are simply two peas in a pod. They all have an impressive performance. However, a closer look reveals that Kiss firmware beats the other two on various aspects. After trying each one of them, I came to a conclusion that Kiss performs better than the other two firmwares.

Now, between Simonk and Blheli, I would personally go for Blheli. Why is it so? Well, considering how fast Blheli has undergone improvements, it has been able to beat simonk on the performance. I was personally using Simonk but had to switch to Blheli for various performance-related reasons before settling for kiss. For instance “BHLSUITE” is one factor that makes its performance better than that of simonk. However, Kiss beats them hand-down on performance!

2. How frequently it is updated.

Personally, I think simonk has is getting forgotten when it comes to updating and supporting. For me, I think Blheli is getting upgraded more frequently than Simonk which is one of the factors that has seen it beat simonk on various aspects. Given Blheli’s stand alone GUI interface,. It is constantly becoming better than simonk. And yes, it is becoming easier to use than simonk on numerous aspects. However, Kiss still beats them both when it comes to updating! In fact, kiss firmware comes in a better version than Blheli and simonk.

3. ESC firmware Features.

Which among the three firmwares has better features than the other? Okay, I think this is subject to debate. Why is it so? Well, while some features might seem impressive to me, they might not be so relevant to you. However, considering basic operation features, I still go for kiss firmware. It has all features put in place to facilitate easy usability.

Between simonk and Blheli, I previously would go for simonk but not anymore. Currently, I think Blheli is really undergoing revolutionary improvements on its features. For instance, with its easy to use User interface, oneshot125 and active breaking, the features are quite impressive! Even with its impressive features, Blheli can not overshadow kiss firmware since kiss eliminates some of its features and replaces them with better ones. For instance, while Blheli is easy to flash, kiss eliminates the need for you to flash it!

4. Ease of use.

Ease of use is an important aspect when it comes to choosing any ESC firmware. I vividly recall the days I had to manually type endless command lines while using simonk firmware.

Thanks to Blheli, I stopped having to type anything since it comes with an easy to access graphical user interface. At the same time, it also makes its accessibility simply a snap!

And now, kiss just made everything better for me. When we talk of ease of use, I go for Kiss. It has integrated some basic features all aimed at making it user-friendly and easily accessible. This makes it quite convenient even for those who have limited knowledge in programming.

5. Ease to flash.

When we talk of ease to flash, we are only going to talk about simonk and Blheli. This is because kiss does not even need flashing. So, before we continue, you need to understand that kiss already beats the rest on this parameter. After all, prevention is better than cure!

Now, Simonk requires you to follow a very long procedure if you want to flash it. This makes it quite unfriendly when it comes to flashing. On the other hand, you will only need to follow a few steps in order to flash your Blheli. With its GUI, every step is clearly outlined and the steps are easy to follow. This makes it quite impressive!

6. ESC firmware Size.

Size is also another important aspect that needs to be considered. After all, the size affects the weight which in turn affects various other aspects.

Kiss has taken into account this important aspect and worked tirelessly towards achieving a desirable size. Although the difference in size between Blheli and kiss might not be that big, the difference is still a front leap for kiss firmware.

However, when we bring simonk into the equation, I would place the three firmwares as Kiss, Blheli and simonk in order of how impressive their size is. This means that kiss has the best size followed by Blheli and then lastly, simonk is the least impressive!

7. Reversibility.

When it comes to reversibility, we need to consider whether the firmware is programmatically revisable or not. Blheli and kiss are both programmatically reversible. Simonk is also reversible but not as easy as the other two counterparts. This makes Kiss and Blheli better in reversibility than simonk.

8. ESC firmware Power:

The amount of power that a given firmware can crank is quite significant. When we talk of power, kiss out-shines the rest followed by Blheli and then lastly simonk. This implies that kiss can handle a higher current than the others!

best ESC

 

How to choose best esc for quadcopter?

Blheli or simonk or kiss,   Blheli and Blheli_s is the most common firmware being run on multirotor ESCs today. It’s popularity is pushed further by support for what is called “BLHeli passthrough” built into any CleanFlight based flight controllers. What this allows you to do is to program and update all of your multirotors ESCs from the computer connection to the flight controller.

For BEC or UBEC, you really need to make sure which one you have or are buying if your goal is to have the better switching mode instead of the more problematic linear mode type BEC. Like a lot of things in RC, you have to study the words and numbers a little (types, input voltages, output voltages, ratings, etc.) to make sure you get what you need.

Brushless motors are typically 85–90% efficient or more, higher efficiencies for a brushless electric motor, of up to 96.5%, whereas DC motors with brushgear are typically 75–80% efficient. Brushless DC motors are commonly used where precise speed control is necessary. So base on the brushless motors, you should have to choose the matching ESC, which also is brushless ESC.

 

Key parameters for choosing best esc for quadcopter are

  • #1 The ability to switch the maximum current required by the motor.
  • #2 T he ability to withstand the voltage from the chosen battery.

Max Amp Rating

Brushless ESCs are used to control brushless motors that are used on most quadcopters. The maximum amperage an ESC can handle needs to be greater than the motor/prop combination will draw. If the amperage rating is not high enough, it could overheat and die.In terms of ESC, suggesting 20%-50% extra Amps is good rule to ensure your ESC do not burn out.

For example: Current rating for motor is 22A so ESC you are considering 30A should do fine. Here is simple forumla, ESC = 1.2-1.5 x max amp rating of motor. So you can select ESC between range of 26A to 33A.

Voltage from battery

Make sure your ESCs the ability to withstand the voltage from the chosen battery. If you remember our motor draws max 15amp, So watt value for 3S and 4S will be
At 3S battery 11.1 x 15 = 166.5 Watt
At 4S battery 14.8 x 15 = 222 Watt
but make sure your motor and ESC are capable of handling 4S.
Generally you should go with 3S battery only.

Now as we know our battery atleast 88A(2200mAh 40C) current. So here we will take ESC current is less 88A, maybe 60A is ok.

 

Research and Learn from Youtube & Forums

If you search on Youtube or google use keyword “how to choose esc for quadcopter” ,there are a lots of results are displayed in front of you. you can learn from their videos or reviews or experiences.

 

ESC calibration methods

In order to get the best performance out of your quadcopter, you need to calibrate your ESC properly. Some ESCs do not require, while others do not support ESC calibration. For those that do, ESC calibration involves a variety of steps. Want to know how to calibrate ESC? Click to read more Quadcopter esc calibration methods.

 

Best 12A ESC for quadcopter

Best ESC Firmware Circuit Types Weight Price
BW 12A SimonK BEC Brushless 9g $11.87
Buy Now
Emax 4x  12A SimonK BEC Brushless 9g $27.99
Buy Now
GoolRC 4x 12A BLHeli BEC Brushless 8g $29.99
Buy Now
Hobbypower 4x 12A Simonk BEC Brushless 12g $29.98
Buy Now
HOBBYMATE 4x Motor
4x 15A ESC
BLHeli BEC Brushless 4g $58
Buy Now

Above listing are high recommended of best 12A ESC for you, there are the most popular and best esc for quadcopter and FPV on today market. It’s vary great, therefore you can click the price to check out todays price or purchase it.

 

Best 30A ESC for quadcopter

Maybe you are looking for the best 30a ESC for your quadcopter, today I will recommended the following top five 30a ESC to you, please click the follow link: Best 30a esc datasheet.

 

Conclusion

Whichever ESC you choose make sure that it has programing facility (throttle range, battery mode etc) and go with quality ESCs check user reviews. If you want to Payload Capacity with your quadcopter, add all these parts weight into the calculation. If you have more experiences about how to choose best esc for quadcopter, please share it on here!

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4 Comments

  1. components of quadcopter what parts combination will work with each other

    March 30, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    […] So you can select ESC between range of 18A to 22A. But please note it’s note thumb rule. You can go with either 18-20A or 25A (it might be bit over powered). Whichever ESC you choose make sure it has programing facility(throttle range, battery mode etc). Go with quality ESCs check user reviews and buy 1 spare.Here is useful for choosing ESC: How to choose esc for quadcopter […]

    Reply

  2. RC Quadcopter project pdf guide for beginner - Diy quadcopter - Quadcopter diy,quadcopter controller knowledges build quadcopter and quadcopter design by yourself

    August 14, 2016 at 11:19 am

    […] How to choose esc for quadcopter and rc plane […]

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  3. How to make a simple quadcopter at home - Diy quadcopter - Quadcopter diy,quadcopter controller knowledges build quadcopter and quadcopter design by yourself

    November 20, 2016 at 9:11 am

    […] How to select best esc for quadcopter? Well it’s really simple. You only need to keep in mind that Ampere rating of ESC should be […]

    Reply

  4. Chard

    May 23, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Good article for choosing the best esc for quadcopter, useful and full description. How come I have never thought of these? help me a lot, thank you.

    Reply

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