Where to mount ESC – Quadcopter Arms Or body – Multirotor RC

by Oscar

A very frequently asked question is: Do you mount your ESCs on your quadcopter amrs or body? Personally I like to put the ESCs on the arms for various reasons, some people might disagree. Anyway I think it’s more or less a personal preference, here I will list the arguments for both sides.

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Why Mounting ESC on Quad copter Arms

When putting the ESCs under the arm or on the arm, it’s easier to manage and replace.

mounting esc arm quadcopter

Spinning propellers help cool the ESCs down.

Sometimes ESC signal wire has ferrite rings, and it’s just easier to leave it on the arm.

Shorter wires from ESC to motors, less weight. Because you might have 2 shorter power wires and 1 signal wire to ESC, but you will have 3 long phase wires between motors and ESCs. Anyway the difference is trivial.

There are also concerns about Electro-magnetic field Interference created by the ESCs and power wires when they are mounted in the body, and having it so close to the flight controller. Some even start adding capacitors, twisting power wires and so on to tackle this “problem”. But since most of our systems only runs on 7V to 16V (2S to 4S), I think the effect is really minimal. I have not seen any problem caused by EMI because of mounting ESCs underneath the FC. Sometimes I think people think too much. :D

Why Mounting ESC on the body

Mounting the ESCs on the body is safer, when they are on the arm, they are more vulnerable to crashes.

Some people arguie cooling should not be a problem when mounted within the quadcopter body. If your ESCs do get too hot, it’s an indication that you should use bigger ESCs.

Finally, It looks cleaner and tidier.

mounting esc body quadcopter mini quad

Let me know if there is any other advantages and disadvantages where to mount your ESCs.

Further reading: 250 Mini Quad Parts List

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Taneli 26th July 2015 - 9:39 pm

Hi Oscar! I’ve been thinking about different ways to mount the esc on the body as neatly and securely as possible. on the arms zip ties are perfect cause the arm is usually approximately as wide as the esc. but on the body this is not as easy cause you dont allways have proper holes in the mid frame to match your esc. been thinking about diffrent adhesives and mounting brackets but I find it very difficult to find a relly neat and secure way to mount them on a carbon frame. I am just thinking if people would have cool ideas that they have come up with? any ideas?

Pontus 15th July 2015 - 11:48 pm

What I learnt from almost 30 years of electric flying is to keep the wires from battery to ESC as short as possible.
The ESC operates better with a stable voltage and less RF is emitted. If long power wires is required, additional low ESR capacitors should be added close to the ESC. If not, the already mounted caps in the ESC might get overloaded. Overloaded caps is one of the most common reason of ESC’s suddenly bursting into flames. When the caps gives up, very high voltage switching spikes will destroy the FETs and people normally think it was an overload of them.
I have used up to 2 m long cables between motor and ESC. You might think that the motor wires would emit more RF but that is not the case. Because of the motor inductance, the high frequency content is low. It is in any case a good idea to twist the motor cables (as well as the power cables) to balance out magnetic fields.

Oscar 16th July 2015 - 11:01 am

Thanks for the good information Pontus :)
I agree it’s always a good idea to keep wires as short as possible :)

hom chhea 10th June 2015 - 5:54 pm

This could be trivial as well but mounting it on the body would have less weight on the arms for faster rolls.

Jerwin Chan 15th July 2015 - 6:34 pm

Momentum will be smaller when mounting ESC on body, so it gain more mobility

Andrew 17th February 2016 - 11:12 pm

Yeah I think mobility for turning would be a big difference depending on where you mount things. I wonder where you should mount the battery, front better or back?