Quick Start Guide

Getting Started With The F-Series ESC

In the Box

The following items are included with each APD F-Series ESC.

  • 1 x F-Series Electronic Speed Controller

  • 1 x Input Capacitor

Required for Setup (Not Included):

  • 2 x Power Cable

  • 3 x Motor Cable

  • 1 x Signal telemetry cable (2 or 3 pin dependent on protocol)

Wiring the ESC

When wiring the F-Series ESC, we recommend you use highly flexible and high temperature silicone insulation for the power cables. This ensures unnecessary stress is not applied to the ESC terminals, and maximum thermal reliability is achieved. Also ensure there is enough mechanical relief on all wiring so in the event of a crash or due to vibrations, the pads are not ripped off.

8 AWG, 10 AWG or 12 AWG wires are recommended, depending on the current draw of your application

If the final desired ESC location is further than 12 cm from the power source, an additional capacitor (in addition to the included input capacitor) must be soldered to reduce input voltage ripple. For higher current application (e.g. F5B aircraft), we recommend 2 or 3 additional capacitors to be added.

Wiring Diagram

The following diagram outlines a typical multirotor setup using the APD PDB500 and the F-Series 120A ESC.

Wiring Diagram for ESCs in a Quad configuration with PDB

The following diagram illustrates the signal wiring between the ESC and the flight controller. For applications with PWM signal inputs, only the signal (S) and GND (-) connections are required. ESC Telemetry will output when the ESC is operated with DShot and requests are received. The reverse tabs will reverse the output motor direction, these can be solder bridged as required.

Wiring Diagram for General F Series ESCs

When wiring the 200F3, an extra pin is available on the input header. The Vcc pin is used for PWM receivers that do not have enough drive to supply current for the onboard OPTO isolator. In most setups, this is not required. As a minimum, the Signal input and GND pins are required.

Wiring Diagram for the 200F3 ESC

Capacitor Mounting

The included input capacitor should be installed on the ESC with the correct polarity. Recommended additional capacitors should be either Panasonic FM/FS series or Rubycon ZLJ series. The following image shows the recommended capacitor mounting on the F-Series 120F[X] ESC. Further capacitors should be mounted close to the input terminals in setups where it is needed (high power, long input leads, etc). For example, in a 10S F5B application, we recommend 3 extra 330uF 50V capacitors. The 200F3[X] has 3 capacitors mounted on the board, further capacitors are rarely required. Please keep the capacitor legs as short as possible (keeps the noise to a minimum). Avoid using low power irons to solder the capacitors, as this can result in cold solder joints leading to issues and/or failures in the future with your ESC.

ESC capacitor mounting position and lead lengths on 120F3[X]

Capacitor legs should be folded as follows, to reduce the overall length of the legs. Excess should be cut away. The polarity is important, positive is marked with a longer leg, negative with a grey stripe on the capacitor body.

Capacitor legs should be folded close to the body

Assembly Instructions

For systems that utilise a wiring harness rather than an APD PDB, the following should be followed to ensure your system works as expected:

  • All ESC Power GND wires should be connected to a single 'Star' node (common GND)

  • The flight controller GND must also be connected to this node

  • Signal GND wires must be used, to provide signal integrity between the ESC and flight controller

  • Flight controller power must be supplied via a regulator that can sustain high noise environments or from a separate battery

  • Additional capacitors must be attached in the case that input leads are longer than 12 cm

Keeping all input leads as short as possible will reduce noise and unexpected behaviour. Signal wires should be wired as a twisted pair along corresponding signal GND wire.

Powering Up

Before powering on the F-Series ESC, be sure to check for cold solder joints. The motor phase wires should be checked that no short occurs between them (using a multi-meter). First time power-ups should be performed with a low-voltage battery and a smoke stopper to reduce risk of damage due to incorrect wiring

Make sure input polarity is correct! Connecting the ESC incorrectly will damage the unit, and void any APD warranty.

End Points

In order for your ESC to perform correctly when using a PWM input, make sure that the end points coming from the receiver are between 1000-1020 uS for the lower end point, and 1980-2000 uS for the upper end point.

If the lower end point is above 1020 uS, the ESC will not arm. Similarly, if the receiver is outputting less than 1980 uS, you will not experience the full power range.

The ESC's can receive up to 500Hz PWM, with standard TTL 3.3V or 5V inputs. If the input voltage is less than 2.7V, the drive voltage of the receiver is not high enough and the ESC will not respond to signal inputs.