How To Test Quadcopter Motors

An inferior quadcopter will often have a weak motor that doesn't work as well as it should. This is why it's important to spend time on testing the motor to see whether it has issues or not.

How should a person go about doing this so the results are accurate and tweaks can be made (if necessary)? Here are all of the important details about this subject so a person can move forward and start adapting to their quadcopter motors.


Start with the setup as this is going to be an important part of the process.

You want to have all of the right tools in hands before beginning, or you will end up running from one end to the other without quality results. To ensure you are getting a satisfactory gauge on the motor, look at acquiring these materials and having them ready to go before the DIY test.

  • Rudder
  • Transmitter
  • The Throttle
  • Battery
  • Mission Planner (if necessary)

These are all of the requirements you're going to have for the process before you get started and run tests on the motor.

No Propellers

The first step when testing a motor is to make sure you have removed the propellers. This is critical because they will get in the way and can be a safety hazard. It is essential to take care of this step and not become reckless with a DIY motor test because damage is a possibility.

Stay safe and make sure you are doing this before anything else.

As long as you have the propellers out of the way, the motor test is going to run well. If not, you are going to get injured, and if you don't, it is going to lead to an insufficient test which is utterly useless and isn't going to do much for you in the long-term.

Get the propellers out of the way and start progressing towards acquiring the results you're looking to get. This process should go ahead smoothly once this is done.

Stabilize Flight Mode

Once the propellers are out of the way, you have to look at the "flight mode" on your quadcopter. The goal is to make sure this is set on stabilize. If not, you are not going to get a good read on the motor, and it will end up sending odd results that are insufficient.

Make sure you are doing this right off the bat instead of delaying it.

This is going to be done before you turn on the transmitter to get a reading. The stabilize feature is going to eliminate some of the variations in the results when a motor is sending out mixed power outputs. This is why stabilization is a significant component of a DIY motor test.

Keep an eye out on the quadcopter while you're doing this to make sure additional features are not being missed. If necessary, it is always best to go through the user manual to ensure you have clicked on the right settings and got things into place for the test.

This is a good precaution to take into account, so you're not left with inferior readings that are not going to let you figure out whether or not the motor is ready to go.

Connect Battery With Transmitter On

Once you have moved past the quadcopter, you want to look to turn on the transmitter. This is where you are going to take the quadcopter battery and connect it to the transmitter. Make sure you are doing this with care to get the right power output from your motor and transmitter.

If not, the results are not going to come in, and you will struggle to get anything noteworthy from the test.

Be patient while doing this and make sure everything is connected in the right place. This will only help you out in the long-term because it will ensure the results are right immediately.

The power supply can be tested with a gentle go using your quadcopter. This will assess whether it is running as needed or if there are loose wires in place. This is a good test to run but it's not required as long as you are sure the wiring is in place as needed.

Pay attention to this step as it is one of the most importance ones when it comes to the DIY motor test and how it unfolds. Too many people end up making mistakes on this part and get stuck.


The next step is to throttle your quadcopter motor, and it is similar to a car in essence.

The premise of doing this is to make sure you can get a read on the motor and how it is doing. So, how are you going to "throttle" the quadcopter? You are going to arm it.

This is done by holding down the throttle (to the right) before pushing it down. This is going to be done at the same time as you are holding the rudder (to the right) for around five seconds. This has to be done in unison for the throttling to take place.

Remain alert as you are doing this and ensure you have followed all of the steps to a tee.

There are times when a person can end up getting an error during this step because of how it has to be carried out. If that is the case, you don't have to worry and can give it another shot until you can arm the quadcopter. Sometimes, it will require a "once over" on your part to make sure something didn't go amiss.

The next part will tell you what to do if things are simply not working out and you're unsure about where things have gone wrong.

Recheck Quadcopter

So, are you continually getting an error when it pertains to your quadcopter motor? Are you unsure as to what you have done wrong?

This is normal.

You don't have to panic. Just start rechecking the configuration as that will tell you a lot about what's going on and where you have made a mistake. Usually, the problem is a simple one where you might have misplaced a wire or not hooked it up the right way.

If so, make the changes and try again.

You should work on all of the angles and see where you might have made a mistake. If needed, you can restart the process and try again.

Note Direction of Motor

If you can arm the motor, it is time to move to the next step in this DIY motor test.

You are going to be looking to see what happens when you have throttled the motor. What is its reaction to your steps?

Is the motor spinning clockwise? Is it spinning counter-clockwise? You have to keep a vigilant eye on this to get a good reading on what's taking place. If the pusher propeller is heading in a clockwise direction and your normal propeller uses counter-clockwise, it is doing well (this can be determined without the propellers).

If not, you have an issue with the power leads, and that is going to require another step on your part before moving forward.

Interchange To ESC Power Leads (if necessary)

As mentioned, if you have not been able to get the right direction as specified in the manual, you will need to move forward and start making changes. This is the power of doing a DIY motor test on your quadcopter in the first place. You can end up making these changes.

How do you go about making these changes?

You are going to look to interchange the ESC power leads that are coming from the motor. This is often the reason it is spinning in the wrong direction. Once you start to change at least 2/3 ESC power leads, you will be good to go, and it is going to work well.

To make sure that is the case, please run the DIY motor test all over again to see if it responds the way you want it to. If not, you have to continue to make changes to the ESC power leads as that is where the issue lies.

Run Test Multiple Times For Consistency

This is the final step in the test after you have completed the initial steps. Too many people think they're good to go after a single test and that's untrue.

You have to spend time on making sure you are running multiple tests on the motor. Do this at least 2-3 times in a row to see if the results are consistent. It eliminates any inconsistencies that might develop.

This is how you have to go about testing a quadcopter motor in this day and age. For some, a mission planner (software) can be used to run these checks as it will be provide incoming data but that's not always required.