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Are Brushless Motors For Your RC Car The Way To Go?
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Are Brushless Motors For Your RC Car The Way To Go?

Brushless Motors And Why We Need Them

Today in our fast past technological world, the wheels of evolution keep on turning along, with that, so does our motor technology too. What am I talking about? Our RC cars in the realm of electrics were (and still are) run by a humble brushed electric motor. A lot of the time a simple mabuchi 540 type motor did the job and was standard issue in most new kits that you purchased, but oh how things have changed……………

Allow me to elaborate. As I mentioned, a lot of the time a simple 540 mabuchi type motor did the job just fine. After a while, in some cases, things got a bit boring especially knowing at the time there was a constant improvement of motors. Manufacturers started experimenting with ‘hotter’ winds, stronger magnets and replaceable brushes. Without getting into too much detail, this type of motor also required a fair bit of maintenance. If you were competitive, that meant taking a motor apart and truing the commutator with a small portable lathe as this bore the most abuse with high performance motors. Keeping things clean meant having a possible edge on your competitor if he wasn’t like minded.

This type of DC motor, with I might add, a constant improvement of ESC’s (electronic speed controller) kept us very content! Content, some might say? Brushed motors and their constant maintenance at times with reliability issues wasn’t always keeping us free from headaches! Like everything, things change and one of those changes meant BIG brother was about to take over in the form of brushless motors!

I remember when these type of RC brushless motors were gaining a lot of momentum in the 90’s. As I flew RC planes at the time, I recall a few things that stood out to me. The first thing I guess as the technology was sort of new was how expensive a motor and ESC could set you back, which was out of reach for my pocket at the time! The second thing was performance, oh boy these where exciting times for the electric plane guys and soon after of course the car guys……..um and girls too. Lastly, and we need a drum roll here………….. NO MAINTENANCE!!! Ok, ok maybe just a tiny bit of oil on the ball bearings now and again.

Brushless RC motors had suddenly taken on the world by storm. The motor itself has less internal wear and resistance and is generally lighter and offers a lot more torque with a lower amp draw than its counterpart brushed motor. For me to explain how your RC brushless motor works properly and outlining the detail will take a new article in itself, so you might have to stay tuned for that one at another time.

Brushless RC motors today means affordability for all, low maintenance with the opportunity to experience and enjoy high performance!


Street Talk

Hi Zee, I guess it all depends on the track and whether its a high grip or low grip type of track. There are a few things to consider, firstly a 5 turn motor in the wrong environment can get you some great thrills only to be short lived by damaging your gearbox internals. This type of motor is very powerful and I'm more inclined to suggest a 10T motor that will still give you lots of fun with the right gearing without the expense of replacing the internal gears of your gearbox! Also the ESC (electronic speed control) settings play a big role as well. I would consider initial throttle settings NOT to be set too aggressively until you get to see how its all coping after some testing. Hope this has helped ;-)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Zee  

I have a question on TT-01 If you install a brushless 5 turn or ten turn motor is good for track and is there a way to make it good for track?

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Mabuchi motors live on !!!!! I think we used about 4 different "can" sizes 40 years ago. I was a Slot-Car finatic back in the early seventies when the hobby was hot. There were local retail store tracks in every city. I really got hooked. i built 3 cars for various classes. I had a seven, a 20, and a 12. Maybe it was a 14. I forget. It got to where the open class 7s costs got way out of hand. A custom wound motor with the rare earth magnets could cost up to $500.00. That was a lot of money in 1970. I just couldn't afford it anymore. We usually laid down some thick goop like tiger milk a few feet in front of every corner. If you laid it down just right and worked it into the track, you could hold the car wide open all around the track. Driver skill was out. The guy with the most money won. The slot-car craze soon faded after that. I liked the endurance races almost as much as the sprints. We would go through 2, or maybe even 3 sets of rear tires in an endurance race. It was a 2 man team. We would each drive for a hundred laps as I remember. I think the last endurance race we entered lasted 4 hours. All those marine batteries stacked under the track were almost totally discharged by the end of the race. We'd pool our parts boxes and build a car that was more rugged than blinding fast. Everyone crashed a little. Driver fatigue was a real factor. The Nascar bodied endurance races were a blast. Is the Dynamic company still around? The racing was exciting for us too. We didn't have to deal with rough track surfaces, though. You do, right? Our tracks were smooth and fast. Our cars could reach 60 real mph on a 220' track with high banking. If the car slid off and over the fence, the noise when the car slammed into the wall was pretty loud. BAM !!! A crash like that usually bent an axle and cracked or tore the body mounts. Occasionally a motor would fly out of the car. If a turn marshal put their hand down on the track and wasn't looking, a car could slam into the poor guys hand or fingers. Time to get out the gauze bandages. Stitches might be needed. Sometimes there was a bloody mess. That really brought back some good time memories. It was all pretty high tech. We couldn't do anything about the quarter inch wide slot in the track, though. That was a constant at all the tracks. I was a pretty hot shoe at my home tracks towards the end. I held a couple track records. Your cars must be much more challenging to drive. Don't your races last 5 to 10 minutes in the electric class?

Reply
  about 7 years ago

RC cars loo great! I wish I can have one of those soon. Thanks for this review on their motors.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks on the comments guys, yes RC racing can definitely make you burn the midnight oil. I can relate to rebuilding of a car and preparing it for a race meeting till the early hours of the morning, but haven't raced till 3am in the morning. That's crazy! But hey, it's a lot of fun :-)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
C. Hughes  

One of my fellow engineers at a former employer was very into RC racing. He would come in on Wednesdays with bloodshot eyes and dragging his tail behind him. Thought he was out drinking, but no, he was racing until 3 in the morning! Now that's dedication bordering on obsession.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
iZero  

Before I read this article I had no idea that RC cars could ever be looked at in that light (Let alone be that technical). O_o.. wow... nice article lol

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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