ESC started smoking after motor direction change

Hi everyone,

So the problem is the following: I assembled DJI F450 quadcopter from ARF kit as per tutorial on this resource and decided to calibrate ESCs. Because All-At-Once method wasn’t working very properly (one motor wasn’t spinning), I decided to do manual One-By-One calibration by directly connecting receiver to ESCs as per this article:
All ESCs were successfully calibrated using this method and everything worked like a charm.

Then I proceeded to switching direction of one motor by switching randomly chosen 2 bullet connectors between ESC and the motor. Please refer to the picture attached - this is the picture of fried ESC which was working correctly before.

So, after switching 2 cables I connected battery once again and started playing with throttle to check if motor spins in correct direction. It indeed was normally spinning in the other direction, however after about 1 minute it suddenly stopped and ESC started smoking.

Basically I see 3 reasons for this:
1. Due to bad quality of ESC - this was cheap ARF kit bought from China and I heard about problems with such (however it worked fine after first calibration)
2. After switching 2 wires going to motor I didn’t perform calibration once again - is this needed? Could this be the cause
3. I have just realized another stupid reason for that - because I’m newbie, I was checking motor spinning direction by putting fingers on the motor, slowing it down. This was working fine, however maybe being very happy I pressed my finger against motor to hard causing it to stop and I read that this may cause ESC to fry.

Could you please advise which reason is the most likely one, because I don’t want to fry another ESC :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot for any help


Hi Andre

Thanks a lot for your reply, bought another ESC from local store, attached everything and managed to launch all the propellers without smoke, which I consider as success :slight_smile:

I’m having the problem with quadcopter flipping over after taking off, however I suspect that’s because replaced ESC is different from 3 others.

no it wont’s flip because it’s a different ESC. , it may be very unstable, or look as it would do it.
-Recalibrate throttle
-verify that all motors are connected to correct outputs, rotates correct way, and propeller directions are ok.

I have some ESC’s that were cheap, and the same color as the one in your picture. The name is hard to read, Hobbywing, or something like that. And I have problems with them too. One in particular will just studder the motor upon arming, sometimes a different one will do the same thing. If I disconnect, and reconnect, they usually will start up OK, and fly normally. I tried swapping with another new ESC, of the same manufacturer, and got the same results. When you try to do a calibration, these particular ESC’s go into a programming mode. I did a lot of research, and found out which beeps indicated default setting, and did each one separately. Still having the intermittent problems. I guess it’s the ole, “you get what you pay for” thing. I have them all soldered in, so I’m dragging my feet about replacing all 4, but will eventually I guess. But I won’t be buying anymore of these ESC’s for sure. :confused: