Quadcopter ESC Types

If you have started looking into ESC types for quadcopter or FPV drone, you will found that some ESC have BEC usb but some are UBEC, we often hear about brushed and brushless ESC, for the ESC firmware there are blheli, simonk and kiss etc.

How many ESC types? Maybe you have been confused by this question. For this reason I have looked online at several websites and collected from internet hope helping you to clearly know more about What is based on these classification?

Quadcopter ESC Types

ESC (electronic speed controller), there are many the following types.

#1 Brushed and brushless

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

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 motors

Image from internet

What’s the difference between brushed and brushless ESC?

Brushed Motor and Brushless Motor is like Hub and Switch in Computer Network. Brushed Motor is just a normal motor where it work by direct current/voltage (We only focusing in DC area… NO AC Motor)

So to spin faster, you supply higher voltage.

In Brushless Motor (B/L for easy explaination), it work by propelling its magnet instead. I think i was derrive from Stepper motor technology. With that if you supply DC voltage, the motor will spin for 1 small step (or let say 120 degree) and just stop down there. To move further by another step, u need to energize another coil to push/pull the magnet. So for continuesly move the motor, it requires pulses of signal (just like stepper motor) Each of these pulse is lag by certain timing or phase. So to move faster, u shorten the timing or phase.

With that u will normally see at least 3 wires output for B/L motor (3 wires for 3 poles…therefore 120 degree movement per pole. It is also the minimum pole in order to work)

You can look at this image as below,

Brushed and brushless connection

#2 Blheli, simonk and kiss 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 the difference between blheli,simonk and kiss?

Next part will be tell you and even more interesting. Please click hereESC firmware blheli vs simonk vs kiss

#3 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

What type of ESC do quadcopters use?

BLHeli 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.

Most popular and best ESC for quadcopter

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