I have a brushless motor what is hooked up to a external power supply and I'm using an arduino with a potentiometer to control it. I know that the motor has power but whenever I turn the potentiometer nothing happens. I'm wondering if my wiring is wrong. Here's the wires is connected:

First pin of the potentometer to arduino GND Second pin of the potentometer to arduino A0 Third pin of the potentiometer to arduino 5V

Black wire of the ESC to arduino GND Red wire of the ESC to VIN White wire of the ESC to D8

I'm also using a switch to give both the arduino and motor power and they both seem to turn on fine.

Motor has external power and does twitch very slightly when powered on with this circuit but I can't get is to actually move substantially using the potentiometer.

Here's my code:

#include <Servo.h>//Using servo library to control ESC
Servo esc; //Creating a servo class with name as esc
void setup()
esc.attach(8); //Specify the esc signal pin,Here as D8
esc.writeMicroseconds(1000); //initialize the signal to 1000
void loop()
int val; //Creating a variable val
val= analogRead(A0); //Read input from analog pin a0 and store in val
val= map(val, 0, 1023,1000,2000); //mapping val to minimum and maximum(Change if needed) 
esc.writeMicroseconds(val); //using val as the signal to esc
  • In addition to supply issues, ESC's usually require an arming sequence to demonstrate that there is a prepared pilot at the controls. Sensor-less motor startup algorithms may also be designed with the dynamics of a propeller in mind, not a bare shaft - though do be very careful of clearance and motor mounting if you fit one. Do not, for example, try to clamp the motor in a vise for a test run, as it's likely to work itself loose. Aug 15, 2017 at 5:33

1 Answer 1


It would seem you are attempting to power the motor's coils from VIN of the Arduino. If you are powering the whole system from USB or from the barrel connector on the Arduino, then it's likely that the small voltage regulator on the Arduino cannot supply sufficient current to the motor.

You should connect the black and red wires of the ESC directly to a high-current power supply, and ensure the black (GND) wires of the ESC, power supply, and Arduino are tied together.

  • So the big red and black wires on the ESC should be to the power supply, but where should the small three ones go? This is the one I'm using: amazon.com/… Aug 14, 2017 at 19:43
  • Sorry, I did not see earlier you noted the motor has external power. The ESC you linked to provides power out via the small black and red wires, so it would seem you have the connections correct. However the amazon reviews for that product often note the same issue you did (twitching) and say it's a poor quality unit. Is there another you can try? Aug 14, 2017 at 19:49
  • One more thought: The small red wire supplies 5V, but VIN expects something a bit higher because of the voltage drop. What happens if you power the Arduino via the 5V pin, rather than Vin? Aug 14, 2017 at 19:53
  • I actually read some information on the motor and noted that I'm using a phone charger to run the circuit. Is it possible that it's not running because the amperage is too low? Aug 14, 2017 at 20:01
  • What is your motor info, and what are the specs of your phone charger circuit. Without details, we are just guessing mainly. Aug 14, 2017 at 20:03

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