Quick Start Guide

Getting started with the UHV ESC.

In the Box

The following items are included in the box with each APD UHV ESC. If items are not included as expected, please reach out to APD technical support for assistance.

  • 1 x APD UHV Electronic Speed Controller

  • 5 x M6 (16mm) Cable Lugs (Wurth 5580616)

  • 1 x Signal Connector with Crimp Terminals (Harwin M80-4601442)

  • 1 x Quick Start Guide Card

Required for Setup (Not Included):

  • 2 x Power Cable (7 or 8 AWG)

  • 3 x Motor Cable (7 or 8 AWG)

  • Crimping Tool or M80-FE21468F2-0450L assembly

  • 1 x Micro USB Cable

Unit Overview

All UHV units have the following pin configurations, alongside the relevant electrical properties.

Front connections of the UHV controller.
Rear connections of the UHV controller.

Electrical Properties

Purpose and limits of the UHV pins on the Datamate connector.



Min Voltage

Max Voltage


PWM signal input for throttle control.




Power for signal input isolation.




GND for signal input.




Analogue real-time RPM output pulse.




Non-isolated UART GND for telemetry.




Receive pin for UART operation.




Transmit pin for UART operation.



Wiring the ESC

Power and Motor Connections

When wiring the UHV ESC, we recommend you use high-temperature silicone insulation for the power cables. This ensures maximum thermal reliability is achieved.

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

The UHV ESCs contain an electrolytic capacitor bank that is designed for up to 3 meters of input power cable. Longer runs of cable should have the DC bus voltage ripple observed to ensure this remains below +10% of the input voltage. Extra capacitance should be added to minimise ripple.

If running the UHV from a power supply that can not absorb current (when the UHV is regen braking), this can cause damage to the unit or supply if the Synchronous Rectification function is enabled. It can be disabled in the configuration tool, under the Advanced tab.

We recommend using a battery or bidirectional power supply to avoid this issue.

When attaching cables to the screw terminals of the ESC, care must be taken not to over-torque the terminal and cause it to shear. The maximum torque to be used when attaching the cables is 3.9Nm.

Ensure clearance is maintained between the terminal lugs and the enclosure. While the enclosure is anodised and provides some electrical isolation, prolonged contact with the lugs may cause a breakdown in isolation. Use the recommended lugs where possible.

Signal and USB Connections

The minimum requirements for controlling the throttle to the UHV ESC are the PPM (Signal Input), VCC (Signal Power) and GND pins. This will ensure the ESC will correctly respond to throttle inputs. An absence of one of these three connections will result in the No Signal error tones while the unit is powered.

The USB is used when connecting the ESC to a PC for configuration and accessing data logs. When the USB is connected, the ESC will lock out the motor drive. If the unit is first powered on with main power, the USB will be locked out.

Firmware Check

Before starting up the UHV ESC, it is important that the ESC contains the latest firmware, ensuring maximum performance and that the most up to date features are included.

The APD ESC Configuration Tool is used to update ESC firmware, adjust ESC settings and view/manage logs stored from previous device usage.

The latest Configuration Tool can be downloaded from here: Download

  1. Download the Configuration Tool to a Windows PC from the link supplied.

  2. Connect the UHV to the computer using a Micro USB cable (not included), and run the Configuration Tool.

  3. All the released firmware versions can be found under the Firmware tab once the ESC is connected. Ensure that the desired firmware (or latest) is installed on the unit.

  4. Check relevant settings are applied. Settings can be saved to a file, for easy installation to other units.

  5. Disconnect the ESC, perform the wiring setup.

Powering Up

Before powering on the UHV unit, be sure to check all the power connections. In addition to this, test the motor phase cables for shorts with a multi-meter.

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

Powering up procedure:

  1. Ensure the motor is connected to the phase connections.

  2. Connect the signal header to the ESC (pin purpose and requirements can be found here).

  3. Power on the signal source, ensure it is sending 0% throttle on startup of the ESC, end-point details below.

  4. Power on the ESC.

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.

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