Quadcopter build - ESC programming - Turnigy Plush

by eluminerRC | April 8, 2013 | (10) Posted in Projects

This is 6th video in this quadcopter build series and it's about programming ESC's. This will be done using Turnigy programming card.

Although it's possible to program ESC's using transmitter only, this is very complicated and most people rather pay few bucks for programming card. You should too.
If you do that, this process is very quick and simple.
Since default settings on Turnigy Plush ESC's aren't "multi-rotor friendly" this step is highly recommended and sometimes necessary.

Parameters explained:

1. Brake:
If brake is ON ESC will brake the motor after you reduce your throttle to minimum. If it's OFF ESC won't do that, which allows the propeller to windmill. This is used in certain applications to reduce the drag but on multi-rotor this setting should be OFF.

2. Battery type:
Despite the fact that nowadays we usually use LiPo batteries, this setting should be on Ni-xx (Nimh or NiCd). When on Ni-xx, voltage cut-off function behaves differently and it's possible to turn it off completely which is our goal. This is not the best thing for a battery because you will damage it if you fly to long, however, if cut-off kicks in you're going down and then you will damage the craft and the battery. To save the battery you should have some kind of alarm system which beeps to warn you about low voltage. I'll talk about this in future videos. So, this setting should be on Ni-xx.

3. Cut-off type:
You can choose between soft-cut and cut-off. Soft-cut will reduce the power gradually when battery hits certain voltage. Cut-off just cuts the power immediately. However, since we are going to disable cut-off completely this is not really important so leave it at Soft-cut.

4. Cut-off voltage:
Here you can choose between three predefined voltage levels at which the cut-off will kick in. If in Ni-xx mode, these voltages are 0% (Low), 45% (Medium) and 60% (High) of the startup voltage. 0% actually means that voltage cut-off is disabled. This is precisely what we want. So, put this at Low (0% - disabled).

5. Start mode:
This determines how fast the power is applied to the motor at start. In normal mode it's applied immediately as you move the stick. In soft and super-soft modes the power will increase gradually from idle to full in 1 to 2 seconds. "Softer" modes are useful in helicopter applications (for spool up) and normal mode is suitable in fixed-wing and multi-rotor applications. So, Normal it is.

6. Timing mode:
This is very important and it's not easy to understand. There is a lot of things to know in order to completely understand this. The rule of thumb is the higher the number of pole is the higher the timing should be. For 2-pole motors Low timing is recommended, for 6-poles or so the Medium timing is recommended etc. However, people seems to use High timing with great success on multi-rotors (sometimes Medium as well) so this is what I'll use.

7. Music:
This will change the sound pattern that the motors will emit. It's completely irrelevant so leave it alone. :)

8. Governor mode:
If ON, ESC will maintain constant head speed in various conditions. This is useful on collective pitch helicopters to maintain constant head speed. On multi-rotors you should leave this OFF.


1. If your ESC doesn't have BEC build in or connected, you can supply power to the card via second connector on the card ("Batt."). You can use separate BEC, another ESC with BEC (in which case the signal wire from this ESC will be ignored on this connector), or even 5-6V battery pack.
2. If you connect your battery first and then your card to the ESC, card won't turn on. Card MUST be connected to ESC before connecting main battery to it.
3. Always double check that you have connected ESC wires correctly. If not, card simply won't work so don't worry, this will not create any damage to your card or ESC.

You need:

Turnigy Plush programming card:

Turnigy Plush ESC's:

LiPo battery:


Enjoy RC as much as I do! :)


John2 on November 10, 2016
Can you elaborate on why governor mode should be left off for multirotors?
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Quadcopter build - ESC programming - Turnigy Plush