Good day @kbernard,
Have you tried calibrating while connected through USB-microUSB cable to deal with the timeout?
You should be able to determine the motor's intended rotation direction (as with many you can change the direction they rotate with the voltage entries) looking at their headers.
If the spiral goes downwards clock-wise then it's intended rotation is anti-clock-wise and they should be positioned at the front-right and back-left.
If the spiral goes downwards anti-clock-wise then it's intended rotation is clock-wise and they should be positioned at the front-left and back-right.
Have in mind that the images I used are just for explaining purposes, those motors aren't the ones we provide.
You should be able to see the direction the motors are running when you start or stop them, with the naked eye.
Lastly, I'm sorry to tell you that a RC set is necessary to calibrate your ESC's. If you need help with that, ask away.