Motor Controllers

Another parcel! They seem to be coming fast now! This one contained 5 ESC’s (Electronic Speed Controllers) and a Programming Card. Normally these ESC’s are used to directly translate the throttle signal from the Remote Control to a certain number of RPM’s that the motors need to spin at. With the quad however this is more indirect, it’s ‘fly-by-wire’ since the Arduino (the ‘brains’ of the quad) will be interpreting the throttle settings as they are on the Remote Control, and translate these to the speed that is needed on the four propellors (this is the very short version of what the Arduino is doing btw ;)).

These things have micro-controllers onboard themselves (actually, I believe it has the little brother of the same one that is going to control the whole quad), and so they can be programmed.That’s where these little babies com in handy:

Attach them to a battery (still waiting for those) and the ESC, and configure it to your liking.

Time for some mock-up-ery with the parts received today somewhat integrated into the frame, or parts thereof:

My options of placement of the ESC are just about the following:

  • With the first option, things are going to be very tight. the bolt holding the arm fastened to the body of the quad (quite an essential function) is going to fit just about, or maybe not, the margins are very small.
  • The second option has another problem. Aerodynamics. Quite a lot of area under the propellor (obviously not in the picture) is going to be blocked by the ESC, and that just cannot be good for the performance of said propellor.
  • A third option is to place the ESC’s in the body of the quad itself. I tend to lean towards that solution, however, that means an extra solder joint, which I’d rather do without.

We’ll see how things pan out.

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