Multiple ESCs to One Output

Has anyone tried hooking up 4 or 5 ESCs to one output channel? Wondering if this would cause the signal output voltage to sag.

The reason for this would be to replace one big motor with 4 or 5 small ones, all turning in the same direction to preserve control torque, in case you dont want to buy a new large motor when you have many small motors. So functionally a large quad can be built with 16 or 20 small motors.

I would not expect the voltage to sag, the signal inputs should be high impedence.

I suspect this is similar to what Google’s “Wing” is using:

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I think the Wing drones have custom ESCs that are 3in1 or 6in1 (something like that) and they are all treated individually. Just like we would with a 4in1 on a quad.

In the picture you can see what look like three groups of FETs on each end of each boom, presumably each group corresponds to a single ESC.

I’d be slightly surprised if they’re addressing each ESC individually though…you’d need custom hardware to control 16 motors individually. It’d be simpler to treat it as four vertical-lift motors (i.e. groups of three) and two horizontal motors (groups of two).

It could well be how you say, we’ve all heard of more surprising things. I thought all the little vertical lift motors are treated individually for redundancy.
The Wing stuff is all custom, as far as I know they are not using a standard FC, software or ESCs.
So it wouldnt be hard to make a FC with plenty of outputs.
I’ll see what else I can find out.

I’m hearing the older models had all motors treated individually, newer models have the motors operated in groups (but individual motors still monitored).
The ESC to run the group of 3 motors (what the FC treats 1 motor) is special and will itself control each of the 3 motors within a range of what the FC has requested. All individual motor data is fed back to the FC for monitoring/safety/maintenance.

  • disclaimer: not official Wing information