I'm currently working on a RPi project to control an RC car via my phone, and I am having difficulty setting up my ESC. Based on research I have done online, I need to first calibrate the ESC by sending a series of high and low signals, and I'm having trouble achieving this. My ESC is connected to the Pi through a PCA9685 board, and this is what I am using to send PWM signals to the ESC.

To calibrate the ESC, how do I find the values that I need to send for these high and low PWMs? The ESC I am using can be found here

Once I have found these values, what is the series of signals that I need to be sending to properly calibrate my ESC?

1 Answer 1


It's odd that the arming instructions are not clearly noted in the ESC documentation. However I've never had much luck searching on-line.

Try sending 1 millisecond pulses for a second or two. That seems to be a popular choice for arming an ESC.

ESC/Servo pulses are typically send at 50 Hz. So sending a 1 millisecond pulse means on for a millisecond, off for 19 milliseconds, repeated until a new pulse length is requested.

  • I've tried sending 1 ms pulses with no success. When manually adjusting the PWM, my ESC will beep 3 times when set to 0.3 ms. What does this mean for my calibration values? The motor will also start to drive after being set to .3 ms, and then increased again.
    – AlecR
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 6:05
  • @AlecR Looking at the description it doesn't appear to be what I would call a standard ESC. It mentions it uses PPM at 2kHz (rather than PWM at 50Hz). Doesn't make any sense to me. You could try a dedicated RC forum for answers.
    – joan
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 8:40

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