What are the controlling input specifications of a Hobbywing Quicrun WP-1040 Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) for brushed motors? I assume it should use the standard PWM with 1 kHz frequency as stated in its manual? Do I have to find the "pulse length to motor speed/direction translation" by myself or are there any common conventions?

I want to use the ESC directly without a radio receiver to drive a Himoto RC540 26T motor in an RC car (Himoto Short Course Corr Truck 4WD RTR 1:10).


1 Answer 1


Generally all RC gear uses the same old pulse-width modulation scheme: a pulse whose length varies between 1 and 2 ms, repeating every 20 ms.


A pulse of 1 ms means "motor off"(airplane ESCs), "full reverse"(car ESCs) or "servo to the extreme left/right", while a pulse of 2 ms means "motor to full power" or "servo to the other extreme end".

The 1 kHz specification in the manual is about the motor output. The ESC switches the H bridge MOSFETS at 1 kHz at varying duty cycles in order to precisely control the motor speed.

A period of 20 ms means a frequency of 50 Hz, not 1 kHz like you assumed. Some components like RC helicopter tail rotor servos and multicopter ESCs are designed to also accept non-standard, higher frequency signals (500 Hz or less) for tighter control loops.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your quick and clear answer! I badly misread the PWM principles. So I guess the motor should be stopped with 1.5 ms pulse as that seems to be a common "neutral" position. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kozuch
    Feb 22, 2016 at 11:35

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