Advanced Setup

Further details of the F-Series ESC setup including recommended prop/motor combination, tuning, firmware updates, and audible tones.

Maintenance

Check-Ups

Regular checks and maintenance should be performed on the ESCs, especially after crashes. This includes:

  • Inspect for any broken or chipped components on both the top and bottom sides.

  • Power on using a smoke stopper or low-voltage battery to ensure electronics are not damaged or getting hot quickly.

  • The no-load current draw of the 120A ESC is 40mA. This can easily be checked by de-soldering the ESC from any PDB or wiring harness, and powering on using a 3S Li-Po. If the ESC draws less than 35mA or more than 45mA, there is a damaged component on the board.

  • Capacitors that are swelling or bulging should be replaced immediately. Excessive heat and high-current loads will reduce the capacitor's life. The performance drops over time, so the capacitors should be replaced every 20-30 flights, even if no visible degradation exists.

Protection Mechanisms

The F-Series ESCs contain the following factory configured protection mechanisms to ensure maximum product lifetime:

Phase Current Limiting

The motor phase current is limited to the maximum burst rating for each F-Series ESC. These are as follows:

  • 40F3 ESC: 100A Limit

  • 100F3 ESC: 180A Limit

  • 120F3 ESC: 200A Limit

  • 200F3 ESC: 300A Limit

Over Temperature Protection

All ESCs are set to 110°C, at which point the maximum throttle is limited to a 50% duty cycle.

Over Voltage Protection

All ESCs will reduce regenerative braking response when a voltage rise is detected on the bus while braking.

Motor and Prop Size

Correct motor and propeller selection is very important to reduce the load on the ESC and to reduce motor saturation. Incompatible combinations can result in reduced overall performance, reduced system lifetimes due to excess heat and even ESCs burning out. If the prop and motor combination draw more than the ESC's nominal current rating at a static load, they are not recommended. For reference, a system running a 120F3 and a MAS 13x12x3 propeller should have the following motor Kv:

Cell Count

Recommended Kv

6S

500-700Kv

8S

400-600Kv

10S

350-450Kv

12S

300-400Kv

In order to use larger propellers, either the motor Kv or battery cell count should be reduced.

Tuning

For tuning the flight controller with BetaFlight, we recommend the MPU6000 series accelerometers. ICM gyros are low-power and more susceptible to noise.

PID Tips

If increasing frame size by X%, then increase your P-value by X%.

If increasing prop size or rpm by X%, then reduce your P-value by X%. Start with a lower I and D value, and gradually increase them.

Filters

On larger frames filters play a large role in the effectiveness of PID set-points. The lower the filter values, the better the system performs.

The ESCs update loop-time is much higher than the frequency of the vibrations that pass through the arms of larger machines. As a result, the vibrations will be equally seen at the flight controller as they are at the motors, resulting in the need to filter them out.

Firmware Updates

Firmware updates and tools can be found under the Configuration Tool Section.

Tones

Once the ESC is connected to a motor and powered on, the following sequences of tones give statuses and errors as they occur. The tones occur in either high or low beeps (high and low frequency).

Power Up Tones

Tone Sequence

Indication

3 High, 1 High, 1 Low

PWM or ProShot detected + Armed

2 Low, 1 High

DShot detected + Armed

6 Fast High Tones (5-second repeat)

An Incorrect signal detected on power-up, throttle too high for arming

1 Low Tone (2-second repeat) or white LED

Waiting for valid signal input

After Arming Tones

Tone Sequence

Indication

1 High (5-second repeat)

Normal operation, waiting for throttle

3 Low (5-second repeat)

Thermal limit exceeded last flight

As always, reach out if there's any issues or questions, we try to respond as soon as we can. Contact options can be found under Help.