FPVCrate - August 2020
With so many pilots using DJI HD, we are seeing more manufacturers putting out components that support the DJI Digital HD FPV System. This month’s premium item makes powering your Air Unit much easier.
Power is nothing without control. This month’s Crate has that and more with the T-Motor P50 A 4-in1 ESC. This ESC has stylish looks on top of lightning-fast performance. Let’s look at this month’s contents:
- T-Motor P50A 3-6s BLHeli-32 4-in-1 ESC
- Gemfan 5043 Lime Yellow Props (3 Sets)
- Lume Skids Red (Pack of 4, No LEDs)
- Lume Skids Lime Yellow (Pack of 4, No LEDs)
- FPVCrate 5” Hardware Kit
- FPVCrate August Sticker Sheet
- Discount Coupon Card
Let’s take a deeper look at this month’s premium item, the T-Motor P50 A 4-in-1 ESC:
- Model - P50 A
- Constant Current Rating - 50 Amps
- Burst Current Rating - 60 Amps (10 seconds)
- Battery Eliminator Circuitry (BEC) - 10V / 2A (For powering the DJI Air Unit)
- LiPo Cell Rating - 3s-6s
- Weight - 20 Grams
- Size - 44.6mm X 41mm X 7mm
- Mounting - 30.5mm X 30.5mm, M3 Screw
- Configurator - BLHeliSuite32
- Firmware - Tmotor_32Bit
- ESC Application - 170mm - 450mm Drone
What is an Electronic Speed Control (ESC)
An electronic speed control (ESC) is an electronic circuit that controls and regulates the speed of an electric motor. Basically, your stick commands (raising and lowering the throttle) are converted into signals that vary the voltage going to the motor. The T-Motor P50 A is a 4-in-1 ESC, meaning that all 4 ESCs are on a single board, saving weight and space needed (individual ESCs are usually mounted on the arms of the multirotor, near its motor) on the drone.
Constant Current Rating
ESCs are rated by the amount of current that they can support. The T-Motor P50 A has a constant current rating of 50 amps. This means that the T-Motor P50 A can withstand and deliver 50 amps without overheating.
Burst Current Rating
The burst current rating of an ESC is the absolute maximum amount of current your ESC can withstand, and only for an extremely limited amount of time. Extreme punchouts and throttle spikes after dives are perfect examples of burst current. The T-Motor P50 A is rated at 60 amps for a maximum of 10 seconds. Any amount of current higher, or for a longer duration, will damage the. ESC.
Battery Elimination Circuitry (BEC)
Battery Elimination Circuitry (BEC) allows your ESC to provide power to various components on your drone. Most modern ESCs provide a 5v power supply for powering the flight controller or other components that require 5 volts. The T-Motor P50 A has taken a cue from current trends and provides 10 volts at 2 amps to power the very popular DJI Digital HD Air Unit on your drone. This makes adding HD FPV to your drone easy and safe.
This is the maximum number of cells that an ESC can support. The T-Motor P50 A is rated for batteries from 3 cells (3s, 12 volts), to 6 cells (6s, 24 volts), meeting most multirotor applications.
The high amperage ESCs that we use generate a lot of power - this means they also create a huge amount of heat. Heatsinks have been used in many electronics applications to help dissipate heat. Lately manufacturers have been using heatsinks on various drone components to manage excessive heat. The T-Motor P50 A has an aluminum heatsink that is held to the top of the ESC with some double-sided tape that is specifically made to transfer heat from the ESC to the heatsink. The T-Motor P50 A heatsink is also milled with stylish heat-dissipating cutouts and has been splatter-painted to compliment the T-Motor PACER motors.
Different sized multirotors have different sized mounting patterns, from 16mm to 30.5mm. This is the distance from each mounting hole on the circuit board to the next. The T-Motor P50 A’s mounting pattern is 30.5mmX30.5mm, which is standard for multirotors with prop sizes from 3” and up (5” or more). The hole size on the board is M3, which means that a 3mm bolt or screw will fit through the hole.
The T-Motor P50 A is running BLHeli_32 firmware. This firmware has been written specifically for ESCs with 32-bit processors. Older ESCs ran slower processors, so they relied on 8-bit firmware, like BLHeli and BLHeli_S. The faster processors also give the ability to run fast throttle response protocols with lower latency (delay), like Dshot.
Wiring Your ESC
The T-Motor P50 A is very easy to wire up and get flying. Being a 4-in-1 ESC the T-Motor P50 A will get mounted as part of your flight control/video transmitter/ESC stack. Always check your stack height and make sure everything will fit within the height of the frame from the bottom plate to the top place. Be sure and space your components for air-flow cooling and to assure you do not crush any components. Using small o-rings that fit over your M3 screws are a great way to space your components.
Start your stack with your ESC. Be sure to solder your motors to the ESC before you add any additional components. The T-Motor P50 A is a 4-in-1 ESC (4 ESCs on one board) so all four motors will be soldered to this single board. There are 4 locations for soldering the motors - one for each motor. Solder your motor wires to your ESC for each motor. Each motor has three wires, each ESC on the board has three solder pads for the motor wires. Solder the three wires for each motor to the 4-in-1 ESC at the pads according to the supplied diagram in the user manual. The motors will either spin clockwise or counterclockwise depending on the order of the wires on the pads. Do not worry, this can be changed later in the ESC firmware.
Continue to build your multirotor, and remember to use a “Smoke Stopper” when you first plug in your battery to make sure your connections are all good and there are no shorts.
Setting Up Your ESC
Once you have completed your build it is now time to make sure your ESC is set up properly. Plug your FC into your computer and open Betaflight Configurator. Go to the “Motors” tab, plug in your battery, and WITH YOUR PROPS OFF, test your motor directions. Make sure they are spinning the right directions according to your setup. Check each motor individually with the sliders. Make note of which motors are spinning the wrong direction.
Next, download and install BLHeliSuite32. Open the program, connect your FC to your PC, hit the “Connect” button in BLHeliSuite32. Once you are connected, plug your battery into your multirotor. Now hit the button marked “Read Setup”. You will now see your 4 motors' information displayed in the configurator. Look for the setting marked “Motor Direction” for each motor. Reverse the direction of any of your motors that are not spinning in the right direction. Then hit “Save” and exit the program.
Go back into Betaflight and test your motors again. If they are spinning the right directions you are ready for props and a maiden flight!
Always remember to double-check all connections and USE A SMOKE STOPPER. These precautions can be the difference between re-soldering and replacing...