Understanding Throttle Calibration and ESC Deadbands


Do KDE Direct ESCs need to be calibrated?

KDE Direct ESCs are plug and play with RC radio systems; throttle calibration is not required for most radios. The default settings utilize an auto-scaling algorithm which dynamically adjusts throttle endpoints when it first powers on. The throttle range is based on the normal operating range of a Futaba system (1100µs-1940µs with 1520 typically being center).

If your radio system does not have a standard pulse range, you might need to adjust the throttle end points in the radio to properly arm the ESCs. It's important to make sure the throttle channel direction is correct while trying to arm the ESCs. If needed, reverse the direction in your radio to achieve proper arming.

What is an ESC deadband?

An ESC deadband is a region where changes to the throttle input doesn't affect the motor output. The deadband region is used to enable arming, improve throttle sensitivity, and to provide a smooth start and stop. Different brands of RC radios have different signals for brake, neutral, and full throttle. For full compatibility, KDE Direct ESCs have 3 different throttle calibration modes: Dynamic, Manual, and Range.

The throttle calibration mode can be changed by connecting the ESC to the KDE Device Manager PC software. For the UVC series ESCs, simply connect the ESC to the computer with the included USB cable. For HVC and XF series ESCs the DMA (Device Manager Adapter) allows connecting the ESC to the computer.


Dynamic calibration:

Factory calibrated, automatic throttle calibration ideal for most applications including the DJITM A2/A3 series. The throttle range is dynamically shifted based on the minimum and max pulses. The motor spinning pulse is based on the initialization pulse + 160µs.

Manual calibration:

Enables fixed throttle calibration, allowing users to calibrate the ESC with the endpoints of a RC radio. Always make sure to remove the propellers when working on the system with power applied. When this setting is selected, the ESC will learn the throttle travel range. Reference the ESC manual for complete setup information.

Range calibration:

Allows direct input of the throttle calibration minimum and maximum points. Ideal for flight controllers such as the Pixhawk. When this mode is selected, values can be typed in the throttle calibration text boxes. The allowable value for the minimum can be set from 800 to 1250µs. The allowable value for the maximum can be set from 1750 to 2200µs.

The default Range calibration (1100-1940) has the following deadbands:

  • Motor Arming pulse: 1100µs
  • Motor Spinning pulse: 1125µs
  • Motor Stopping pulse: 1110µs
  • Max thrust output: 1915µs
  • Full Stick: 1940µs

What different types of PWM do KDE Direct ESCs works with?

All KDE Direct ESCs work with standard PWM protocols. The UVC series ESCs (40A, 85A, and 125A) can also do throttle control through CAN bus.


LV (2S-6S), XF (2S-8S), HVC (3S-12S)

ESCs: 95A HVC, 75A HVC, 55A HVC,
35A HVC, 55A XF, 35A XF, 20 LV

UVC (4S-14S)
ESCs: 125A UVC,
85A UVC, 40A UVC
  • PWM (50-600Hz)
  • OneShot(1000-2000µs)
  • PWMSync 500Hz
  • OneShot125
  • PWM (50-600Hz)
  • OneShot(1000-2000µs)
  • PWMSync 500Hz
  • OneShot125
  • KDECAN Bus Throttle
  • Do KDE Direct ESCs have an internal BEC?

    All KDE Direct ESCs are opto-isolated and don't have an internal BEC. The power to the ESC battery leads are electrically isolated from the throttle control lead and the signal is transferred via light (phototransistor). Depending on your flight controller, we recommend supplying 5V for each ESC. 3V is the minimum voltage and 35V is the maximum voltage. The additional voltage reduces electromagnetic and RF interference. If less than 3V is supplied, it can cause issues with noise corruption.


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