» S

ESC Settings and Calibration

Note: The performance of the ESC is very important to stable multi-rotor control.  Choose one wisely.  Above all else, make sure it is really designed for multi-rotors, and/or has appropriate 3rd party firmware installed (eg. SimonK or BLHeli).

You do NOT need to calibrate the AQ M4 onboard brushed ESCs.  Everything below only applies when using external brushless ESCs.

As with any device which uses an ESC to drive a brushless motor, all attached ESCs must be properly calibrated to work with AQ.

For ESC32, please read the ESC32 Documentation

Most other ESCs (SimonK, BLHeli, KISS, Ultra, etc) follow a typical calibration procedure where you power it on with a “full throttle” PWM signal, and then reduce the signal to idle.  Please check your ESC documentation for the proper procedure.  Here is a forum post describing the process in general, and the followup post describing AQ-specific settings needed.  (TODO: expand this article!)

If you are using an ESC with configurable settings (eg. BLHeliSuite), you can simply set the minimum/maximum PWM values in the settings to correspond to the AQ parameters (or adjust AQ params to match ESC settings).  See below for the relevant AQ parameters and what they mean.

AutoQuad ESC PWM Parameters explained

These settings are found in AQ QGroundControl in Misc. Settings -> Motor/Esc Settings.

  • Arm PWM (MOT_ARM): When AQ is disarmed, no pulses are sent to the ESCs.  When you arm the AQ, this pulse width is sent to indicate that a PWM signal is present. This should always be lower than the starting/minimum pulse widths. Default: 975us.
  • Minimum PWM (MOT_MIN): This corresponds to the low (zero throttle) range of the ESC calibration.  Depending on your ESC, the motor may or may not run at this setting.  Default: 1000us.
  • Starting PWM (MOT_START): The minimum PWM pulse at which the motors still run.  AQ will never output a lower value than this while flying.  Recommend setting this slightly higher than MOT_MIN.  Default: 1125us.
  • Maximum PWM (MOT_MAX): This corresponds to the high (full throttle) range of the ESC calibration.  AQ will never output a wider pulse than this.  Default: 1950us.

In general, we recommend using the maximum PWM range which your ESC will permit (eg. BLHeli is 1000 to 2000us).  This will give you the highest control resolution available.

Further Reading

This page was created on 8-Mar-15 by MaxP. Last modified on 16-Aug-15 by kinderkram.