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Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC)

Learn essential things you need to know about electronic speed control systems.

esc.pngAn electric speed control (ESC) is a device that controls the amount of power/speed of the electric RC motor.

The ESC interprets the signals transmitted from the receiver and regulates the variation of motor speed and direction, and may also serve as a braking mechanism.

The power supplied by the batteries to the motor system is either switch or off. The ESC works likes a power manager that allows you to regulate the amount of power you want to go to the motor giving you the throttle.

2 Types of RC Electronic Speed Controls

There are two major types of RC electronic speed controllers. Depending on your specific needs, you can get the right one available in RC Models shops.

Now let’s take a closer look of each particular type of ESC and its functions and key features.

1. Brushed ESC. This is the very first electronic speed controller that has been around for many years. It is also cheaper one that is used in many RTR electric RC vehicles.

2. Brushless ESC. This is the latest advancement in technology when it comes to electronic speed controllers. It is also a bit more expensive.

Connected to a brushless motor, it delivers more power superior performance as compared to the brushed ones. It can also last a longer period of time.

Choosing the right ESC

How do you know which ESC is the right one for you? Obviously, each RC electronic speed controller is designed specifically for a specific type of motor.

The number one important consideration to keep in mind is to match the ESC to the type of motor you have. Be sure to buy the right ESC for the right motor: brushed ESC for brushed motor, brushless ESC for brushless motor, never vice versa.

(Check out this Upgrade Kit: 360 Motor Brushless ESC and Fan for 1:16 scale RC vehicles.)

Generally, aside from the labels, you will immediately know that it’s a brushed motor if it has two wires. If the motor comes with three wires, it is brushless.

For people who are not familiar with ESC, most RTR RC models are supplied with a pre-installed electronic speed controller. Most of the ESCs are brushed digital units that deliver a decent performance in their operations. esc-himoto.png

If your RC car comes with an analog speed control, which requires a servo in order to operate the swing arm, consider getting a digital one as soon as you can.

It is also best to get an ESC with a reverse functionality. This way you will eliminate all the hassles and frustrations going down from your driver’s stand area to retrieve your RC car every time it gets stuck in the track. Focus more on fun, right?

Know Your Limits

When purchasing ECS, just like any other products out there, you always get what you paid for. Electronic speed control systems are pretty much advanced in today’s RC technology. But again they have their share of limitations.

It is very important to be realistic with your RC driving and racing goals. If you are planning to get into speed racing, it would be best to get an ESC that can help you achieve your goals.

Some ESCs come with 15 turn motor limit. Others come with 19 turn limit. Higher ends electric radio controlled models either come with no turn limit at all or with 5-7 turn limit.

If you want to improve your skills, don’t settle for an ESC with limits. This allows you to hone your skills better and drive much faster.

To learn more about basic information about electric RC models, you can check out our list of articles here. You can also browse our growing list of guides and information we provided for free.

Have a good one today!