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.
UAS BRUSHLESS MOTORS
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 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 is the temperature rating of KDE Direct UAS 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 for 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 UAS 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 UAS Brushless Motors are near maintenance-free (triple-bearing supported) and won't require anything when first received - simply bolt in the motor and ready for operation. 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, may produce a minor 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 of driving. Once the motor has been flown for a few dozen flights, the varnish vapors will disappear.
Can I perform the motor maintenance at my location, or does it require sending this in to KDE Direct for inspection?
- Yes! All KDE Direct UAS Brushless Motors are designed to be field serviceable and a detailed, instructional video is provided in the Technical Videos section of the Technical Support Center. Direct Video Link (YouTube). Please review the video for step-by-step instructions on how to replace bearings and shafts (full disassembly/reassembly) and Bearing and Shaft Replacement Kits are available for purchase.
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.
UAS ELECTRONICS (ESC/UBEC)
How do I setup my Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)?
- ESC setup instructions can be found on each Product Page under the Technical Media webpage tab. Click on the UAS ESC Series Instruction Manual (PDF) link to view the most recent information and safe-operation requirements. The manual is provided as a guide through your ESC setup, from start to finish, and is critical to read through the full manual before operating the ESC and always follow all instructions.
How do I update my ESC to the latest Firmware?
- By purchasing the Device Manager Adapter Programming Kit (KDEXF-DMA), and following the details of the latest Instruction Manual (found under the Specifications webpage tab, access to advanced features are available. This will allow you to update all of your ESCs to the latest firmware edition and adjust Advanced Settings as needed for custom applications and/or further optimization of your propulsion system.
Are the firmware updates free?
- Yes! KDE Direct is a Research and Development company, continually striving to improve technology and functionality in the UAS industry.
What ESC options should I select?
- The detailed Instruction Manual for the Device Manager Adapter Programming Kit (KDEXF-DMA), found under the Specifications webpage tab, reviews all of the Advanced Setting options for optimal operation or customization to your own custom requirements.
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 from the ESC to the flight-controller or direct-receiver (white/red/black wires) and (2) the dedicated programming line to the ESC (orange/red/brown wires) using the Device Manager Adapter Programming Kit (KDEXF-DMA). 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.
For FPV Racing, what is the weight of the KDEXF-UAS20LV ESC with the heat-shrink and heat-sink removed?
- For clients looking for the ultimate performance in FPV Racing, the KDEXF-UAS20LV ESC can be reduced in weight by removing the heat-shrink cover and heat-sink. This will reduce the maximum continuous amperage capability of the ESC from 20A to 12A (up to 6S voltages), but the overall weight becomes a mere 7.0 grams!
UAS PROPELLER BLADES
Do I need to balance the Propeller Blades?
- No, all KDE Direct Propeller Blades come dynamically-balanced and provided in matched-pairs or sets, so simply install the blades and go fly - no need for secondary balancing or other headaches. Self-balancing can potentially damage the propeller blade and/or weaken the structure, leading to an unsafe operation and/or making it unusable in flight operations.
How do I keep the Propeller Blades organized as balanced pairs/sets?
- The Propeller Blade product comes with a custom, KDE Direct decal sheet contained within the packaging. The decals are self-adhesive, so select a different color for each propeller pair/set to keep them organized. Best to perform this upon initial receipt of the Propeller Blades, matching the pairs/sets as provided in the original product packaging from our production facility.
If I crash, can I still use the Propeller Blade?
- Unfortunately, no. Any damage to the propeller blade, such as surface imperfections or internal cracks outside the view of the human eye caused from crash impact, can lead to unsafe flying. If a single-blade is damaged during operation, make sure to replace the propeller blade pair or set (CW or CCW).
Can I save extra propellers if I crash and use them later?
- Unfortunately, no. All KDE Direct Propeller Blades are dynamically balanced at our production facility, so each set is perfectly matched for smooth and vibration-free operation. The use of a static-balancing propeller stand is non-ideal, as both static and dynamic balancing methods are needed to produce a high-quality Propeller Blade. At KDE Direct, specialized CNC equipment is used in manufacturing for this detailed operation.
UAS SYSTEM SETUP
Can the Brushless Motor or ESC wires be modified to length and/or direct-soldered to alternate connectors?
- One of the ideal design-aspects of the KDE Direct propulsion equipment is the addition of silicon-jacketed, 200°C copper leads extending from the Brushless Motors and Electronics. This allows for simple modifications to length, soldering, and/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.
Does KDE Direct offer wire-extensions or bullet-connectors compatible with the KDE Direct Brushless Motors and ESCs?
- Wire-extensions and 24K bullet-connectors can be found in the UAS Multi-Rotor Brushless Replacement Kits section of the website, offering the full-range of bullet-connectors and other items compatible with the KDE Direct propulsion equipment, as well as maintenance items to keep the products lasting for extended life.
Are the KDE Direct ESCs and Brushless Motors compatible with the 3DR™ Pixhawk (PX4) Autopilot?
- KDE Direct UAS ESCs are OPTO-isolated and require a few simple requirements for direct-compatibility with the PX4-series autopilots. 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 unit or alternate power-sources. Please review the Autopilot Instructions found online (found under the Technical Media webpage tab for each ESC edition) for full-details on proper installation and connection.
Are the KDE Direct ESCs and Brushless Motors compatible with DJI™ flight-controllers and autopilots?
- KDE Direct UAS ESCs are designed as a drop-in installation with the DJI™ flight-controllers and autopilots (including the latest A3 series), 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. If desired, alternate Advanced Settings and Firmware Updates can be accessed in the ESC using the Device Manager Adapter Programming Kit (KDEXF-DMA).
XF SINGLE-ROTOR BRUSHLESS MOTORS AND ELECTRONICS
What Advance Timing and PWM Frequency is optimal?
- The KDE Direct XF Single-Rotor Brushless motors are versatile and can handle various ranges of Advance Timing and PWM Frequencies to suit your own style. For Castle Creations EDGE and TALON 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. For the Kontronik controllers, the AUTO timing functionality is optimal for maximum efficiency and performance throughout the full throttle-range.
How many magnet poles or pairs?
- All motor details are listed on their respective product pages (found under the Specifications webpage tab) and all "G3" series motors are 10-pole (5-pair) designs for maximum efficiency and horsepower in single-rotor and geared applications. Higher pole-counts are used in the UAS Multi-Rotor series motors, reaching up to 28-pole (14-pair) designs more optimal for multi-rotor and drive-drive applications. Electromagnetic simulations and performance studies are used by the KDE Direct R&D Team, in choosing the optimal electromagnetic design and layout.
For optimal performance, what gearing should I use?
- Gearing recommendations are provided in the Brushless Motor product pages, found under the Technical Media section of the webpage. Direct Link (PDF). In addition, setup information for common R/C Helicopters can be found in the Performance Setups webpage, with insight to installed hardware, technical information, and gearing details.
How about Kontronik and YGE ESCs?
- The KDE Direct XF Single-Rotor Brushless Motors have been tested and are compatible with Kontronik ESCs, primarily the KOSMIK, Jive PRO and Koby series. For the KOSMIK series, make sure to use the latest Version 4.9 firmware or later with the Auto-Motor Timing for optimal operation with the "G3" series. The YGE ESC series is also proven directly compatible with the Brushless Motors - and for optimal settings, the default programming of 12 kHz PWM-frequency and 18° Timing is typically used. Please review the controller manual to properly program these settings before flight.
CNC UPGRADES AND COMPONENTS
What bearings are used in the KDE Direct upgrades?
- All bearings used in KDE Direct equipment 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 (or dual-sealed) for longevity and reduced maintenance requirements.
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