How to Program the ESC for a Brushless Motor

By Timothy Burns
Radio-controlled vehicles with brushless motors must use an electronic speed control.

When you are building and flying radio-controlled (RC) vehicles, a brushless electronic motor will provide your RC vehicle with a smoother and more efficient power supply. Because brushless motors are electronic, they require programming that matches them to a given battery pack and vehicle. An electronic speed control (ESC) receives the programming, which is accomplished through either a computer interface, a multi-user programming box or a programming card.

Programming Using a Computer

Connect an ESC to your computer using a USB cable.

Navigate to the ESC manufacturer website, and click through to the programming interface.

Choose the proper programming options, matching your vehicle specifications, motor size and battery pack to those listed on the website.

Initiate a programming download to the connected ESC. The manufacturer website will communicate with the ESC directly and flash the selected programming options into the device.

Programming Using a Multi-user Programming Box

Connect an ESC to a multi-user programming box using manufacturer cables.

Choose parameters and programming options, matching your vehicle specifications, motor size and battery pack to those listed on the website. Programmable options include start and running mode, breaking forces and motor speed when the vehicle is in neutral. These options also depend on the individual vehicle. Each parameter can be individually selected and programmed.

Press the “Program” button after selecting your individual parameters. ESC programming will download to the connected ESC.

Programming Using a Programming Card

Set your ESC's programming options using toggle and dip switches built into a programming card. Individual programming options are identified by dip switches on the card.

Connect the programming card to an ESC. Some cards connect via a manufacturer-supplied cable. Other cards plug directly into the ESC.

Connect the programming card to the battery pack. Your programming will automatically download to the ESC.

Things Needed

  • Electronic speed control (ESC)
  • Manufacturer programming connector cables
  • Access to manufacturer website
  • Manufacturer programming device

Tip

Consult manufacturer instructions. There is a wide variety of ESC devices, programming methods and brushless motors. The user should familiarize himself with each application before attempting to program an ESC.

About the Author

Since 2003, Timothy Burns' writing has appeared in magazines, management and leadership papers. He has contributed to nationally published books and he leads the Word Weavers of West Michigan writers' group. Burns wrote "Forged in the Fire" in 2004, and has published numerous articles online. As a trained conference speaker, Burns speaks nationally on the art, science and inspiration of freelance writing.