Motors and ESCs

 

During the dry fit, one thing that should have become immediately obvious is that the motor and ESC wires are far too long. Let's fix that, and in the process, solder the motors to the ESCs. Don't worry about flipping the wires on two of the motors in order to reverse the spin direction; we can do that in firmware later.

Get the surgical blade ready. It's time to cut our fingers and hopefully also strip the factory heat shrink from the ESCs.

And now, pop off the heat sinks. Be gentle here. In addition to not wanting to damage the ESCs, you also don't want to split the tape since you'll be reusing it momentarily.

And now, desolder the original motor wires from the ESCs.

Slide the ESC into position on the arm and hold it in place with a strip of masking tape. Remember to leave the solder pads uncovered.

This is also the right time to mark the motor wires so you know where to cut them. You can do it with a paint marker (as shown) or use that surgical blade again to slice the insulation in two places: one for the cut length, the other for the stripped length. I did the second method because I'm neurotic and wanted something more precise than I'd get with the paint marker.

Next up is to cut and strip the motor wires. Hope you got that length right!

And now, we solder!

What do we do after we solder? We rinse and repeat until all motors are connected to all ESCs.

With the rinsing and repeating having been successfully rinsed and then repeated, let's apply the heat shrink. First is to replace the clear on the ESCs. Remember to leave a little bit of extra length for some overlap and also because the tubing will shrink slightly on its length as well as big time on its diameter. You'll need to unmount the motors for this stage.

Now we do the same thing for the black heat shrink which holds the ESCs in place. It also makes it look not just really clean, but like you have some secret prototype ESCs in there (because you're a sponsored pilot....right?) which are too amazing to tell anyone about.

Don't forget to mount the motor before shrinking the black heat shrink.

Looks nice, don't it? Repeat for the rest of the motors and ESCs.

This is what it looks like when you cut the black heat shrink just a little too short. If you're as neurotic as I am, this will bother you for years and you may even end up crashing the quad on purpose just to have an excuse to fit this error. If you're not as neurotic as I am, look at the red wire.

All shrinking now complete!

 

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