Technical Support Center
Welcome to the KDE Direct Technical Support Center. The Technical Support Center contains resources for helping you get the most out of your KDE Direct products, including instructional videos, detailed specifications, and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).
To get started, simply click on the tabs located to the left and browse the available content.
What motor edition is ideal for the DJI™ Phantom® 2 Series?
- The KDEPSK-2315-965 Power System Kit is the ideal upgrade package for the Phantom® 2 series, and provides the full quad-motor setup for direct installation to the airframe. Containing four (4) of the KDE2315XF-965 Brushless Motors and Adapters for optimal performance with the standard battery system (3S voltage) and are directly-compatible with the stock ESCs for drop-in operation. Please feel free to review the Installation Instructions for additional details.
What motor edition is ideal for the DJI™ Phantom® 3 Series?
- The KDEPSK-2315-885 Power System Kit is the ideal upgrade package for the Phantom® 3 series, and provides the full quad-motor setup for direct installation to the airframe. Containing four (4) of the KDE2315XF-885 Brushless Motors and Adapters for optimal performance with the standard battery system (4S voltage) and are directly-compatible with the stock ESCs for drop-in operation. Please feel free to review the Installation Instructions for additional details.
What is the temperature rating of KDE Direct Brushless Motors?
- The entire motor is rated to over 400°F (windings rated to 240°C and magnets to 180°C), so no concerns of any damage from heat-generation. In actuality, when the motor is running in the flight, the centrifugal fan is efficient at keeping the motor cool and consistent, designed to run around 120°F-140°F during a flight as optimal performance. When you land and shut down the centrifugal fan, you’ll experience a motor that feels much hotter than during operation, simply due to the high-performance design of the motor. With high-performance motors, there is a high-copper concentration stored in the motor which naturally stores heat during flight. When the fan is shutdown, all the heat is expelled to the outer case and what you are feeling is the heat conducting to the Aluminum Fan, as it’s designed to do. In this, the temperature may feel hot, but this is normal for all high-performance motors and nothing of concern due to the quality of the components.
How often should bearings and shafts be replaced on KDE Direct Brushless Motors?
- KDE Direct is currently developing the maintenance schedules for the multi-rotor (UAS) product series. KDE Direct is actively developing test studies to finalize the maintenance recommendations and accuracy in a wide-range of applications worldwide. There are many outside factors that can have a large impact on each device over their life span; including environmental effects outside of our control (such as sand-conditions, hot-temperatures, or saline). In most applications, the lifespan of the brushless motors is determined by the manufacturer’s recommendation of bearing life - all of which our designs use NMB and NSK-brand, Japanese bearings stating a lifespan of approximately 200 hours in normal conditions. For the shafts, we recommend replacement every 400 hours of use in normal conditions, or when visible damage/fretting is found at the bearing interfaces from natural wear. With proper maintenance, all of our devices can last for many years of safe operation in most applications. Bearing and Shaft Replacement Kits can be purchased online for the UAS product series, as well as Replacement Kits for the single-rotor series.
Anything to expect from the motor on the first flight?
- The XF Brushless motors are near maintenance-free (quad bearing supported) and won't require anything when first received - simply bolt in the motor, install/program your ESC, and go fly. The motors have a specialized varnish applied to the windings to prevent any shorts or shifting when the motor is energized (more expensive manufacturing, but high-quality) and as such, will give off an electrical smell during the first few flights when brand new. This is in similar fashion to buying a new car, where the engine compartment will produce varnish vapors during the first 1,000 miles. Once the motor has been flown for a few dozen flights, the varnish vapors will disappear along with the characteristic smell at the end of a flight.
Can I do the motor maintenance?
- Yes, please see the video link provided here for step-by-step instructions on how to replace bearings and shafts for KDE Motors. All replacement kits are available online here.
Are the KDE Direct COAX motors available for purchase?
- KDE Direct is continually leading the industry in new technologies and innovations, and the coaxial-motor is one such product brought to the world in 2016. These motors are custom-designed for various heavy-lift and commercial applications, and can be produced for your specific requirements (such as for the Shotover U1 system). Please review the Custom Products and Design Inquiries webpage for additional information on KDE Direct’s capabilities for your production needs.
ELECTRONIC SPEED CONTROLLERS
How do I setup my ESC?
- ESC setup instructions can be found on each Product Page under the Technical Media Tab. Click on the XF UAS ESC Series Instruction Manual pdf link to view the most recent ESC manual. This manual is designed to guide you through your ESC setup from start to finish.
How do I update my ESC to the latest Firmware?
- By purchasing the KDEXF-DMA, and following the Instruction Manual, found under the Specifications Tab you can update all of your ESCs to the latest firmware edition.
Are the firmware updates free?
- Yes, KDE Direct is a R&D company, continually striving to improve technology and functionality.
What ESC options should I select?
- The Instruction Manual for the KDE Device Manager (KDEXF-DMA), found under the Specifications Tab, reviews all of the Advanced Setting Options for optimal use.
What is the second lead (orange/red/brown wires) on the KDE Direct UAS ESCs used for?
- There are two leads included on all UAS ESCs: (1) the control line to the ESC from the flight-controller or direct-receiver (white/red/black wires) and (2) the dedicated programming line to the ESC using the KDEXF-DMA Programming Kit (orange/red/brown wires). The dedicated programming line allows for simple updates and programming of the ESC, without needing to disconnect leads from the flight-controller that can lead to installation errors or other concerns. Please review the latest Instruction Manual included with the ESC or found online (see the Technical Media tab for each ESC edition webpage) for full-details on proper installation and connection.
Do I need to balance the Propellers?
- No, all KDE Direct Propellers come pre-balanced. Self-balancing will damage the propeller, making it unusable in flight.
How can I keep my Pre-Balanced Propellers in Sets?
- Each Propeller Set contains a decal sheet, select a different color for each propeller set to keep them in balanced sets.
If I crash, can I still use the Propeller?
- Unfortunately, no. Any damage to the propeller, such as surface imperfections caused when crashing can lead to unsafe flying.
Can I save extra propellers if I crash and use them later?
- Unfortunately, no. Since all KDE Propellers are dynamically balanced, each set needs to be matched.
Can the Brushless Motor or ESC wires be modified to length or alternate connectors?
- One of the ideal design-aspects of the KDE Direct series is the addition of silicon-jacketed, 200°C leads extending from the devices. This allows for simple modifications to length, soldering, or alternate changes for specific applications. Some modifications can invalidate the KDE Direct Warranty and Returns Policy, so please make sure to review these requirements before making any physical changes. The leads cannot be replaced - make sure to measure twice and cut once, as once the modification is done – it cannot be reverted back to stock form.
Do you offer wire-extensions or bullet-connectors compatible with the KDE Direct motors and ESCs?
- Wire-extension and bullet-connectors can be found in the Replacement Kits section of the website, offering the full-range of bullet-connectors and other items compatible with the KDE Direct product line.
Are the KDE Direct ESCs and Brushless Motors compatible with the 3DR™ Pixhawk (PX4) flight-controller and autopilot?
- KDE Direct UAS ESCs are OPTO-isolated and require a few simple options for direct-compatibility with the autopilot. A 5V or 6V external power-line is required to properly arm the internal circuitry of the KDE Direct UAS ESCs, and can be provided via the KDEXF-UBEC22 BEC unit or alternate power-sources. Please review the Autopilot Instructions found online (see the Technical Media tab for each ESC edition webpage) for full-details on proper installation and connection.
Are the KDE Direct ESCs and Brushless Motors compatible with DJI™ Naza-M, WooKong-M, A2/A3 flight-controllers and autopilots?
- KDE Direct UAS ESCs are designed as a drop-in installation with the DJI™ flight-controllers and autopilots, and do not require any special programming for proper operation. The “Dynamic” throttle calibration mode of the KDE Direct UAS ESCs is designed to properly adjust to the flight-controller for simple operation and compatibility, and alternate advanced features can be accessed in the ESC using the KDEXF-DMA Programming Kit.
SINGLE-ROTOR MOTORS AND ESCS
What timing and PWM is optimal?
- The XF Brushless motors are versatile and can handle various ranges of timing and PWM rates to suit your own style. For Castle Creations EDGE/ICE controllers, the default PWM rate of 12 KHz works well throughout the line of motors and Low (0) to Normal (5) timing. Recent testing has shown Low (0) timing produces the highest level of torque, efficiency, and cool-running temperatures when utilizing Governor Mode.
How many magnet poles?
- All motor specifications are listed on their respective product pages. The KDE Direct XF Brushless Motor Series are high-copper concentration, hand-wound motors to yield superior power output capabilities and market-leading efficiencies and generally range in the 8- or 10-pole design.
For optimal performance, what gearing should I use?
- Gearing recommendations are provided for each motor in accordance with the most common helicopters on the market and can be found in the Performance Setups section. In addition: programming files, images, and full specifications for various KDE Direct Team Pilot helicopters are provided for additional information.
How about Kontronik ESCs?
- The XF Brushless motors have been tested and are compatible with Kontronik ESCs, primarily the KOSMIK, Jive and Koby series. When running the XF Brushless motors, Version 13 firmware or later and KSA mode is recommended by their engineers for optimal operation with the Jive series. For the KOSMIK series, use the latest Version 4.0 firmware or later with the Auto-Motor Timing for optimal operation with the "G3" series. Please review the manual for your controller to properly program these settings before flight.
CNC-machined Upgrades and Components
What bearings are used?
- All bearings used in KDE Direct upgrades are ABEC-5 or ABEC-7 rated, depending on the upgrade and application for the bearing. The construction consists of tool-grade, hardened SAE 52100 chrome alloy steel and dual-shielded for longevity.
KDE Direct Design Engineering Video Series
- Episode XII: UAS HVC Electronic Speed Controllers (New Generation)
- Episode XI: Carbon-Fiber Propeller Blade Series
- Episode X: XF UAS Electronic Speed Controllers
- Episode IX: XF Gen3 Brushless Motors
- Episode VIII: XF Multi-Rotor Brushless Motors
- Episode VII: SG500 Battery Tray System Assembly
- Episode VI: Universal Tail Boom Case Support
- Episode V: Battery Tray System Assembly
- Episode IV: Blade 130X Upgrades
- Episode III: Performance Tail Control
- Episode II: XT Main Rotor Head System (Part 2 of 2)
- Episode II: XT Main Rotor Head System (Part 1 of 2)
- Episode I: XF Brushless Motors
KDE Direct Knowledge Base Video Series
- Episode XI: Motor Testing (Winding Short)
- Episode X: Motor Terminology
- Episode IX: ESC Calibration
- Episode VIII: Rain and Wet Conditions
- Episode VII: Temperature Measurement
- Episode VI: Matched Power Systems
- Episode V: Operating Temperatures
- Episode IV: Soldering Techniques
- Episode III: Low-Voltage Alert Calibration
- Episode II: XF Bearing and Shaft Replacement
- Episode I: XF Power System Testing