Rather Good Guides®

Documentation the way it ought to be.

ESC, Motor, and Propeller Testing Results Now Available

It’s been a long two years' work, stealing time from other projects, about $20,000's worth of data acquisition hardware, test stands, custom software for post-processing the data, and oh, yeah, about a dozen motors and propellers, but finally (oh the humanity!) we’re ready to launch the first in a series of Rather Good Guides® to Electronic Speed Controllers, Motors, and Propellers.


It’s a humble start because we wanted to be sure that we had our data acquisition and post-processing right before we invested thousands of additional dollars buying the ESC, motors, and propellers, so we started with what we were flying on our Cinestars: Freefly ESCs, Quadrocopter QC-3328 motors, and APC and Xoar propellers.


You may wonder why on earth we’re doing this all and then publishing the results for free (to be truthful, you can donate if you want to). The answer is a bit prosaic: we wanted to know the answers ourselves and it bugged us that nobody out there seemed to be doing the hard science necessary to get the data (the notable exception being Old Man Mike on rcgroups.com who was kind enough to document and share his research results — they were a bit out-of-date, but it was a kindness that was much appreciated).



  1. Before you click on a link to download the first introductory document please note: the distribution of these are handled by gumroad.com.
  2. You will need to manually enter a donation or a 0 (zero) to get access to the documents.
  3. Of course, it’s entirely up to you what you feel the documents are worth to you so you can make a donation if you want.


Read This Document First

The first document you should read is the Rather Good Guide® to ESC, Motor, Propeller Research Results.  This gives you the basic introduction, glossary of terms, and a good clear guide to understand all of the subsequent research result documents that we will be publishing in the weeks and months ahead. It’s free so, if you choose to ignore our advice now, you can always come back and download it later. (Did we mention you can donate if you want to?)


The list to the right contains links to the reports -- yeah, it's a short list right now, but we're starting full time testing now that we know that our apparatus and post-processing software is producing valid results.

Our first report is a Rather Good Guide® to the Freefly ESC, the QC-3328, and the APC 14 x 4.7, APC 14 x 5.5 MR and the Xoar 14 x 5 propellers.


We have also compared several different ESCs using the QC-3328 and the Xoar 14x5”. The results of our testing are in the Rather Good Guide® to Certain ESCs, Motors and Propellers. Specifically, we compared the Freefly ESC, the KDE Direct KDEXF-UAS55, Maytech 50A opto with SimonK firmware, Castle Creations Phoenix Edge HV60, and the Tiger Motors 80A 400Hz. As you’ll see from the report, we’re trying to get some technical data from Mikrokopter so that we can test the BL-Ctrl v3.0 and we’ll update this report as soon as we get the data and can run the tests.


Our initial testing was at 16 volts (4S), but we have now gone up to 22 volts (6S).


More tests: We’re going to be working steadily testing numerous other ESC, motors, and propellers — check out the list of each of these we already have in-house. Here are the ESCs:


  • Freefly ESC
  • Mikrokopter BL-Ctrl 3.0
  • Castle Creations Phoenix Edge HV60
  • Maytech 50A-Opto-HV



Here are the motors we’ve already bought and will be testing:


  • Avroto: 3515 400 Kv, 3520 400 Kv, 3520 520 Kv
  • KDE: 3520XF-400, 4012XF-400, KDE4014XF-380, KDE7208XF-110, KDE5215XF-435
  • Tiger: MN 4012-13 340Kv, MN 4012-11 400Kv, MN 3515-9 650 Kv, U7 420 Kv, U8 170Kv
  • Quadrocopter: QC-3328, QC-3644 (don’t sneer — we happened to have these before we started this project!)



And here are the props we’ll be testing:


  • APC 14 x 4.7, 14 x 5.5 MR, 12 x 3.8
  • Xoar 14 x 5
  • Tiger Carbon Fiber: 11 x 3.7, 12 x 4, 13 x 4.4, 14 x 4.8, 16 x 5.4, 17 x 5.8, 17 x 5.8, 18 x 6.1, 26 x 8.5, 26 x 8.5, 27 x 8.8, 28 x 9.2, 29 x 9.5 (well, at least we are impressed by that list!)



So you can see there is huge number of possible combinations — we’re not sure which combinations will end up making sense, but we’ll be testing those that do and publishing the results as soon as we can over the weeks and months ahead.


And all of the results are free (although you can donate if you want to) — at least they will be for the time being. We may end up charging for the reports just so we can keep a steady stream of new ESC, motors, and props coming in the door.


Anyway, download’em and let us know what you think of the results. We’ll send out email messages to everyone who downloads these Rather Good Guides® as soon as new research results for different ESC, motors, and propellers are available — or if we update existing research results.

Copyright © 2020 Johnson-Laird Inc.