I am planning to buy an ESC for my tricopter setup. What is the purpose of programming an ESC? I am cost effective and is it really necessary that I should necessarily buy a programming card to program my ESC for my model?

  • $\begingroup$ In addition to using the programming card all the ESCs I've ever owned (not that many) had an option to set the program directly from the receiver with a very lengthy and boring procedure of throttle stick gymnastics. $\endgroup$
    – cube
    Sep 10, 2014 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


An Electronic Speed Controller can be used in various situations, and rather than make 20 different speed controllers for every different situation, they make one which is programmable. The options you have vary depending on the ESC you buy, but typical ones include:

  1. Battery types (NiMh, LiPo)
  2. Different battery voltages
  3. Cut-off voltages
  4. Whether or not it should use active breaking
  5. What to do when it's told to reverse
  6. PWM frequency

ESC Programming Card

It's annoying to have to buy a programming card, but this is one way they keep down the cost of the ESC. Rather than have all of these buttons and LEDs on every ESC, you just pay for them once.


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