Can You Use a Sensored ESC with a Sensorless Motor? [Solved]

You have a sensored ESC but you got yourself a sensorless motor. Now, wondering if you can use one with the other? Well, we’ve got the answers for you right here.

Can I use a Sensored ESC with a sensorless motor?

Yes, you can use a sensored ESC with a sensorless motor. Moreover, if it’s a hybrid ESC then there won’t be any problem. In other cases, you might need to configure your sensorless brushless motor. The torque, start-up, and velocity tuning can help to operate a sensored ESC in a sensorless motor.

This isn’t the entire sight of this issue. We’ve demonstrated everything extensively in the upcoming section. Stay with us to know more in detail. 

What is the Difference between a Sensored and Sensorless Motor?

There is a significant difference between a sensored and a sensorless motor. Now you might ask, what is a sensored brushless motor? 

A sensored brushless motor is just a brushless engine with hall effect sensors. These sensors notify the engine regulator about the rotor’s direction. Moreover, this system is extremely helpful to direct the startup series for the engine. 

On the other hand, a sensorless brushless motor doesn’t have any built-in hall effect sensors. Thus, it uses the back-EMF, the voltage generated by the engine, to detect the rotor position. Hence, they use it to maintain its speed accordingly as well.

So, basically, if you’ve got a crawler, then you should figure out between sensored and sensorless motors. 

That’s basically the difference between their motors. Now, let’s look into the difference in the ESCs. 

What is the Difference between a Sensored and Sensorless ESC? 

Now, similar to their motor difference, these two also have differences in their ESC. So, you might be asking, what is a sensorless ESC?

A sensorless ESC doesn’t have a built-in effect to link the motor to itself. Thus for the startup, it sends power to the engine and gets a voltage signal back. Then the ESC can apply the magnetic phasing properly to start up the motor. That’s basically how it navigates. For optimum performance, you need to use it at full speed.

Conversely, a sensored ESC already has built-in sensors that help with its rotor movement. Therefore, the power pulses that ESC sends to the motor are perfectly timed. 

The advantage of this is the enhanced productivity right from zero RPM. That’s why you’ll feel the smooth throttle without any stutter when controlling.

Now that we know of their differences, let’s check out their compatibility. Keep scrolling to learn about this.

Can a Sensorless Motor Work with a Sensored ESC? 

Yes, a sensorless motor can work with a sensored ESC. However, the sensored motor and ESC configuration are quite different from the sensorless one. 

For this reason, in reality, a sensorless motor doesn’t run properly with a sensored ESC. You have to configure it suitably to run it.

So, what sensorless motors can run using a sensored ESC?

Specifically, a sensorless brushless motor can run smoothly using a hybrid ESC. For example, you can use a ⅛ scale brushless buggy for this instance. Because such ESCs are apt for both sensored and sensorless systems. 

Here the motor/ESC combination uses sensors in the brushless motor during the startup speed. Once there’s enough speed the ESC uses sensorless operation. And this is true for all sensored ESCs. 

Now, this sensorless operation can be run in two ways. There is a closed loop and an open loop. Let’s check out the difference. 

Closed Loop

In a closed-loop, the basic production of the motor relies on the input of the system. This system delivers the necessary output by analyzing its input. 

Moreover, there are some directional data in closed-loop control. This data is sent back to the signal regulator of the system. Therefore, the motor operates in this positioning technique.

Open Loop

Unlike the closed-loop, here the action of the control system doesn’t get changed by the output. Meaning it doesn’t get any feedback. Here the output of the system is independent of its input.

So the difference between the output and the input doesn’t get assessed in this control system. 

Now to run your ESC you need to configure it accordingly. So, let’s check out how we can do that.

How Do You Configure Your Sensorless Motors?

To configure your sensorless motors you need to follow a few steps. By the end of it, you’ll be able to run your sensored ESC on a sensorless motor. 

Let’s see how you can configure your sensorless motors!

Step 1: Drive Configuration Wizard to Change Some Original Settings

To recognize the motor’s resistance and conduct a primary torque adjustment operate the Configuration wizard. However, don’t assign any feedback to identify the motor’s basic inductance. 

Next, set up the safety and profiler limits as per your motor’s requirement. Lastly, go to the sensorless wizard option to configure your motor in sensorless mode. 

Now, move on to the next section to know about the things you need to configure.

Step 2: Torque Adjustment 

To adjust your torque, go to the TORQUE option in the sensorless wizard tab. Now to tune your torque loop, it needs to follow the basic torque requirement. Make sure to tune it as nearly as possible to the requirement. 

Now, to start the torque adjusting you need to select the ‘Enable’ option. You can adjust the torque by using ‘Proportional’ and ‘Integral’ constant sliders.

Moreover, there are more alternatives to this option in the  “Basic/Pro” section. Select the command, and navigate to adjust your settings. 

Step 3: Start-up Configuration 

After you’ve adjusted the torque properly, it’s time to modify the start-up. You’ll find the START-UP tab next to the torque option. Now, upon clicking the tab, it’ll operate the modified start-up ramp. 

Start with fixing a “Final Speed” in the start-up settings window. It’s advised to select between 5% and 10% of the engine’s full speed. This might differ according to the engine. For example, if the engine is carrying extra weight and starting slow. You can increase the speed limit gradually.

Secondly, you’ll find the “Ramp Current” setting in the same window. Fix ramp current. There needs to be enough current for the engine to develop the ramp within the required pressure. For example, if your final speed is 2000rm then your ramp current should be 300. 

By selecting the “Basic / Pro” option, the lock phase can also be customized. Thus, the structure selected here will influence how quickly the engine starts up. It also controls how sufficiently the ramp is enacted.

Next place a ramp duration in the “Ramp Time” option. This will influence how rapidly the speed will rise in the open-loop. It needs to be sufficient enough that the stator maintains accordance with the applied direction. For example, if your final speed is 2000rpm, your ramp time should be around 500ms. 

Step 4: Velocity Adjustment 

To adjust the velocity settings, select the ‘velocity’ option and then click on “Enable” to start the tuning. The drive will attempt to start up the engine.

At first, there’ll be no speed adjustment. This will stop the engine from shutting the loop appropriately. As soon as the drive recognizes an engine cell, the start-up will operate too.

Now, to shut the loop, slowly upgrade the “Velocity Proportional Constant” (Kp) using the toggle. When this number is in its required range, the loop will be shut automatically. The speed will rise observing the profiler’s velocity ramps. 

There you have it. You have configured your gadgets successfully!

Will You Get Good Synchronization Using this Configuration? 

Yes, you will get good synchronization using this configuration. With this, you’ll be able to configure the ramp time, velocity, and current. That too, according to your motors demand. The torque configuration will also help in the appropriate synchronization of your motor.

However, before experimenting with all this with your brushless motor, you should figure out their connection with ESC sensors

How Good Will the Performance Be Using this Configuration? 

Sensored brushless motor ESC combo performance will be decent using this configuration. You might lose a bit of boost and turbo. However, you can still improve the timing in this configured sensorless mode.

Are There Any Benefits for Running this Configuration?

Yes, there are some significant benefits you’ll get by running this configuration. Firstly, you’ll have a smooth start-up of your motor. Moreover, this configuration will detect how fast your motor’s acceleration and ramp speed is. It’ll be furthermore compared to the initial phase. 

The performance of your sensorless motor will be quite decent at low speed as well. Besides, you can run a sensored motor using this configuration. 

When Should You Use this Configuration? 

You can use this configuration to run your sensored ESC on a sensorless motor. Moreover, using this configuration you can also run a hybrid ESC.

Can You Run a Sensored Motor with a Sensorless ESC? 

Yes, you can run a sensored motor with a sensorless ESC without any problem. The motor will just run as a sensorless motor using no hall effects sensors. 

This might mean that it might find it find it difficult to detect the rotor position. But worry not, using its back EMF it can detect it in no time. And it is true for all sorts of sensorless ESCs. We didn’t see any difference in this case when it came to mamba monster 2 and sidewinder 8th.  

Now, you might be thinking, without hall sensors, it can detect rotor position. So, can I run a sensored motor without a sensor wire?

Yes, you can run a sensored motor without a sensor wire. There’ll be no difference in the lap time with or without a sensor wire. However, most people unplug sensor wires while driving in the rain. Because water can harm the sensors. But you might have little cogging problems on start-up without this wire.

In case you’re having some trouble finding a sensored motor, we have some great recommendations. Here’s a list of a few:

These are some of the best in the market recommended by RC experts. So, go ahead and give it a try without any hesitation. 

That’s basically how you can use a censored ESC on a sensorless motor. 


Why is my brushless motor cogging?

Brushless motors generally cog because of the inappropriate setting of the startup current. This usually happens under excessive pressure. You can avoid the cogging by boosting power which gives the motor more exhilaration.   

How can I run a BLDC Motor without ESC?

You can’t run a BLDC motor without ESC. Because the brushless motor doesn’t have any commutators. As a result, they can’t be energized directly from batteries. ESC is important to change the required magnetic flux.

Why does a brushless motor carry 3 wires? 

A brushless motor uses three wires because it carries three packs of coils. These coils are powered in a specific sequence. It develops a cycle of electromagnetic forces. That includes permanent magnets. 


Hope we’ve settled the “can you use sensored ESC with a sensorless motor?” question properly.  

Normally, most ESCs can run in both sensored or sensorless systems. But always check your selected model to rule out any exceptions. If your ESC starts malfunctioning suddenly then use a multimeter to detect any short in the MOSFETs.

Have fun riding!