Motor arming and kill switch

Mike Shellim 26 April 2016
Updated 3 Jan 2021

Here's a recipe for a safe arming/kill switch for an electric motor. It's designed on the premise that arming the motor should be difficult, and killing it should be easy - but not so easy that you can do it accidentallly.


To arm the motor:
  1. Throttle to idle
  2. Elevator stick back, and hold.
  3. Pull and release SH.
  4. Release stick

To kill the motor:

How it works

The system is based on the safety switch recipe with a couple of mods. Key points:

Highlighted areas show differences from the safety switch recipe.

Note 'Thr' and 'Ele' refer to the sticks, not the inputs - make sure to make the correct selection when entering the data (inputs are prefixed with 'I', sticks have no prefix)


Here's the suggested mixer setup for controlling a motor on CH3:

How it works:

[An alternative method of disarming the motor is via the Channel Override special function. However, it's not generally recommended; it's applied at the last stage in the command pipeline, and has no effect on the mixer outputs. This can cause problems for example if you want to query the mixer output to detect if the motor is running. The method shown above is more explicit and easier to debug.]

The following demo shows the arming/kill switch operating on CH3.