newbie to the elec stuff. Do you have to use the Zigras timer? Can you just wire the brushless motor to a esc and battery with and on and off switch?
Yes you do need a timer. A brushless motor has 3 wires and is (Although not in the true sense of the word) like a 3 phase motor and the controller energises the different sets of coils in sequence which then causes the motor to run. If you just connect the motor to the ESC it will do nothing (Although you should always treat it as live once you have connected the battery to the ESC). The ESC requires a signal (Usually from a R/C receiver) and is normally plugged into the throttle channel. The timer replaces the receiver and sends a pre programmed signal to the ESC to tell the motor to start, what RPM to operate at and then stop after a predetermined time. There are quite a few timers out there, the Zigras already mentioned is a great unit as are the Will Hubin timers, another is the JMP2 and Keith Renecle from SA produces another excellent unit (Which also has a governor allowing you to use cheap ESC's with no governor). Then there is the E-Flite unit which is pretty basic (But very cheap and easy to use).
Hope this answers your question.