How to connect the Motors and Calibrate ESCs

In this blog, we have step by step guide on how to connect motors to the ESC and how to calibrate them.

Firstly we will be Connecting motors to ESCs and will then Calibrate 

Connecting Motors to ESC – 

  • As we know, in a quadcopter, 2 motors rotate in CW direction and 2 motors rotate in CCW direction.
  • To connect the ESC to the motor, look at the image below.
  • Arrange the Motors as shown below

Calibrating ESCs –  

Electronic speed controllers are capable of spinning the motors at the autopilot’s specified speed. Most ESCs must be calibrated in order to understand the minimum and maximum PWM values sent by the flight controller. Instructions for calibrating ESCs can be found on this page.

About ESC Calibration

Because ESC calibration varies depending on the brand of ESC you’re using, always consult the instructions for the ESC you’re using for precise information (such as tones). Most ESCs respond nicely to “all at once” calibration, so try it first and then try the “Manual ESC-by-ESC” technique if that fails.

** Caution ** ::Please confirm that your copter has no props on it, that the APM is not linked to your computer via USB, and that the Lipo battery is detached before calibrating ESCs.

Method 1 – Manual ESC-by-ESC Calibration –

  1. Connect one of your ESC three-wire lines to the RC receiver’s throttle channel. (Typically, channel 3 is used.)
  2. Turn the transmitter on and set the throttle stick to the maximum setting (full up).
  3. Connect the Lithium-Polymer (LiPo) battery.
  4. There will be a melodic tone followed by one or two beeps.
  5. Lower the throttle stick to full down after the two beeps.
  6. After that, you’ll hear a series of beeps (one for each battery cell) followed by a single lengthy beep signaling that the endpoints have been established and the ESC has been calibrated.
  7. Remove the battery. Follow these steps for each ESC.
  8. After calibration, double-check that the motors are working in combination with the throttle stick, i.e., the motor should begin rotating as soon as the throttle stick is moved from its minimum position.
  9. Check that all of the ESCs are calibrated and working properly.

Method 2 – All at once ESC calibration –

  • Turn on your transmitter and put the throttle stick at maximum.
  • Connect the Lipo battery to the circuit. The red, blue, and yellow LEDs on the autopilot will light up in a cyclical pattern. This means that the next time you plug it in, it will automatically enter ESC calibration mode.
  • With the transmitter, throttle sticks still high, disconnect and reconnect the battery.
  • Press and hold the safety button on the PX4 or Pixhawk until it turns solid red.
  • ESC calibration mode is now active on autopilot. (On an APM, the red and blue LEDs blink on and off alternately, similar to a police car.)
  • Wait for your ESCs to emit the musical tone, followed by the normal number of beeps showing your battery’s cell count (i.e. 3 for 3S, 4 for 4S),, and two more beeps indicating that the maximum throttle has been caught.
  • Lower the throttle stick on the transmitter to its lowest position.
  • After that, the ESCs should produce a continuous tone to indicate that the minimum throttle has been caught and the calibration is finished.
  • If you hear the long tone indicating successful calibration, the ESCs are now “live” and should spin if you increase the throttle a little. Raise the throttle a little and then lower it to see if the motors are spinning.
  • To exit ESC calibration mode, reduce the throttle to a minimum and disconnect the battery.

Arming the Copter – 

  • Verify that the transmitter and receiver are both turned on.
  • Hold the throttle to the absolute minimum and the yaw to the extreme left for arming. That means the left joystick should be held in the extreme bottom right corner for 4-5 seconds.


  • Now hold in this position for 4-5 seconds to Arm.
  • APM’s blue and red LEDs will blink to confirm arming.
  • If the setup is left idle for 12-15 seconds after arming, it will be disarmed.


  • Ensure your transmitter’s flight mode switch is set to “Stabilize Mode”.
  • Your Drone is now armed.
  • Give a small amount of throttle. All of the motors should spin at a similar speed and start at the same time. The ESCs are still not properly calibrated if the motors do not all start at the same time and spin at the same speed.
  • Deactivate your drone.

Take a look at this video for more information about calibration:

I hope all of you are clear about how to calibrate the APM 2.8 flight controller using Mission Planner. We MATHA ELECTRONICS will be back soon with more interesting topics.

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