What Is Blinky Mode?- An Insightful Approach!


As a beginner to RC racing, you may have often heard of blinky mode. It’s a very popular term within the community. But it’s hard to understand what it is, and its definition without proper guidance. 

Don’t worry, by the end of this article, you will have a clear idea about blinky. I have detailed its background, definition, and installation procedure. 

So, what is blinky mode?

By definition, Blinky mode refers to a mode of ESCs that do not have dynamic timing. The term is derived from the blinking lights of the ESCs. Hence the word, ‘blinky’. The blinking lights indicate the car being in the no boost spec mode. 

But, this is just an abridged summary of the entire concept. If you want to know about this topic in detail, read along. 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s delve right in!

What Is A Blinky Mode?

To properly understand Blinky mode, we must take a deep dive into its history. Let’s take a look.

Background of Blinky Mode

Around 2010, the use of brushless motors and ESCs (electronic speed controllers) were widely popularized. 

There was quite a buzz in the RC community regarding newer tech manufacturers developing. They were constantly trying to enhance ESC performance so that they go faster. 

And hence dynamic timing software was developed. This dynamic timing is also commonly referred to as boost or turbo. What it does is essentially adjust motor timing based on RPM. Other factors are also taken into account.

This dynamic timing provides substantial advantages to the ESCs that use them. It basically increases or retards the motor timing based on RPM readings. 

Source: redrc.net

This causes the car to go much faster but adds a layer of complications. This is especially a problem for beginners. Lastly, dynamic timing also causes the motor to overheat. So you need replacements often too which can be expensive.

Speaking of motors, you may be interested in breaking in a brushless motor.

This is where blinky mode comes in. But before that, we have a great deal just for you.

Take a look at our recommendation for buying the best RC car ESCs. These recommendations cover both 60A and 120A versions. 

These ESCs have high-speed bearing and provide high efficiency. Adding to that, these ESCs have been tested to show high output and consistency. Hope this helps!

Why Blink Mode?

When it comes to RC racing, people are always looking for advantages and expedients. So you might wonder, why blinky mode?

The answer is actually quite simple. Blinky mode levels the playing field. It is a mode with no dynamic timing. This is especially applicable for the stock classes. Before the introduction of blinky by ROAR, time and boost were allowed. 

The blinky is a mode that can be installed onto an ESC through your computer. It keeps an ESC’s ability to use boosts, turbo, warps at zero. Hence it is also called ‘zero timing’ mode. 

The blinky mode is very favorable to new entrants as it puts complexities off the equation. This is why it was widely favored in community surveys. 

Source: liverc.com

The blinky mode is indicated by the ESC having a blinking light. This helps scrutinizers track ensure that the mode is on, and the car is running fairly. In this method, the motor timing is not adjusted based on RPM. 

This blinking light is what coined the term ‘blinky mode’.

The blinking light usually ensures that the ESC is not capable of using boosts. In other words, it has ‘zero timing’.

While entering an event with a blinky ESC, it’s also important to adhere to some rules. As a racer, you must have a list detailing all the ESCs in the event. This indicates that everyone has a clear understanding of how the ESCs work. 

Also do keep a list of mottos for the event. 

How to Set up ‘Blinky Mode’ For your ESC?

So, now you have a clear idea of what Blinky mode is for ESCs. The next obvious step, which we cannot leave you without, is the setup procedure. 

So, what is the ESC blinky mode setup procedure?

You should start by updating your ESC to the latest USB link software. Download your respective software to your computer, for example, the Hobbywing Link Software. 

After installing the software to your computer, you need to follow the steps mentioned below!

  • Run the Link Software on your computer.
  • Use the programming box to connect your ESC to the computer
  • Now, the ESC must be turned on
  • The link software should automatically recognize the connected ESC
  • Select your ESC in the software
  • Navigate to the firmware link, and select the ‘no timing’ mode that you find
  • Lastly, click on the ‘Upgrade’ option and you should be good to go!

Voila! You’ve now successfully set up blink mode on your ESC. 

Source: mibosport.com

In case it still doesn’t work, you may need to check the RC car for damage. But not to worry as just using a simple RC Car Tool Kit you can solve this issue. 

Reading reviews around the net, Traxxas stands out as a top-class RC brand. But you may face problems. For example, the steering not functioning in traxxas slash

To avoid these problems, check out our recommendations for buying Traxxas RC cars.

These cars have a long battery life, and high traction wheels. This allows for optimal performance and guaranteed satisfaction. Hope this helps! 

With that, you must have a detailed idea about blinky mode and its installation process.


In RC racing, what is a sportsman class?

A sportsman class basically implies that you can be very fast while making fewer errors. In this class, you should have foresight coupled with insightful knowledge of the rules. This class does not have any limitations in terms of winning. 

What do you mean by ‘spec class’?

By definition, spec class refers to a job class. Generally, this will include the titles, code numbers, and distinguishing factors. They might also include your duties, expectations, competency, and the minimum requirements. 

Do all ESCs have a blinky mode?

The Blinky mode generally refers to any ESC which doesn’t use “Electronic Timing Advance” to motors. In a nutshell, ESCs with zero timing options are basically blinky ESCs. Therefore, all ECS of the XR10 line fall under this category and are listed for ‘Blinky Mode’. 

What are some of the most popular RC brands?

There is an abundance of top-notch Racing Car brands. But as of 2022, Axial, Mugen, HPI racing are on top. Besides them, Traxxas, Kyosho, X-ray are also up there as high-performance RC brands. Losi RC cars are also perfect for beginners. They tend to be user-friendly and can successfully kickstart your RC hobbies. 

What do you mean by 13.5 in RC terminology?

The 13.5 refers to the 13.5 Four Wheel Drive Buggy Cars. This RC car is mainly catered for intermediate, advanced, or even expert levels. Racers must have a decent knowledge of handling these 4WD buggies. They have ROAR-approved 13.5 brushless motors. They also have a 4WD 1/10th buggy style chassis.


And with that, we’ve reached the end of our discussion. That’s all we have on ‘what is a blinky mode’

We hope this article helped answer your queries. If you found this article interesting, browse through the others!

Until then, take care of yourself, and of course, your RC car! Best of luck!