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Can You Use Any Motor With Any ESC?
You can use any motor with any ESC. There are some limits to what you can do and precise setups that you may want to avoid, but there is generally no problem.
Yes. A brushed electronic speed controller (ESC) will only work if its brushless counterpart has the same number of cells in series. Otherwise, it won’t work. For example, if you want to use a three-cell brushless with a six-cell ESC, it will not work.
Another limitation is the motor. For example, if you install a Brushless BEC on the same shaft and armature as the stock brushed ESC, you will get in trouble and change those parts to fit an actual Brushless BEC.
A final limitation is regarding mounting the ESCs to the chassis. You can run them on the same motor shaft, but it may not be safe, especially if your motor has a higher speed rate.
If any of these limitations concern you, consult a qualified ESC expert.
Do You Need To Change The Brushless Motor ESC?
A brushless motor ESC is a device that is typically used to control the speed and torque of electric motors.
It monitors voltage, current, and speed as the controlling system sends information to it.
ESCs generally have built-in protection circuitry responsible for turning off power to an electronic device when it detects an abnormally high temperature or over-current condition.
Yes. One way to save money on the cost of brushless motors is by making sure you don’t need to change ESCs if the current one can handle your throttle signal.
Brushless motors are a more expensive but significantly more efficient solution than brushed motors, which can dramatically affect the total cost of your project.
If you’re designing a new system, do some research and find which motor will give you the best performance without exceeding what your controller can handle or requiring an upgrade.
If you’re using brushless motors that are more powerful than your controller can handle, it will overheat and fail.
You might get away with it for a while, but if you find your ESC is getting hot after extended use, you’ll know why.
From personal experience, I recommend using at least a mid-range ESC, if not a high-end one, for applications with brushed motors.
Use common sense when choosing your ESC.
I recommend something in the 4-6amp current range if you’re only using brushed motors and 6 to 10amps using standard motors with a large diameter and brushless motor speed controllers.
This is because of the voltage requirement of the larger and higher speed motors and aesthetics (6-10amps is always better looking and more efficient than 4-6amps).
To be clear, I’m not saying you should only use high-end ESCs for your brushless application.
An ESC of mid-range quality will work fine with a brushed motor; however, if you get into brushless, it’s good to know that the motor is more efficient on a higher current motor speed controller.
How Do I Know If My RC ESC Is Bad?
There are various ways you can know if your RC ESC is bad. One way is by listening to the sound it makes when you run your quadcopter.
Another way is by looking at its LED lights. If you hear clicking noises or the LEDs are flashing rapidly or in random patterns, your ESC might be bad.
But many people also look at the bottoms of the ESCs.
Scratches might be typical signs of normal usage, but if the scratches form a pattern (more scratches on one side than on the other), that pattern is usually considered harmful, and you should replace your ESC.
So how do you know if this is bad?
There are two ways of doing that:
The easiest way is to run your quadcopter at full throttle and observe the LEDs on your ESC and their exact flashing patterns.
I can’t tell you precisely what the two red lights should do because ESCs have different flash patterns. Just look for anything that differs from what it should be doing.
For example, if your quadcopter lifts off the ground but then falls, this might not be an ESC problem. It might be a receiver or a motor problem instead.
Can You Mix And Match ESC And Motor?
Yes. ESCs work with a variety of motors. All ESCs and motors come with JST connectors, so connecting and disconnecting power cables is easy.
Most ESCs also have built-in protection for overloading, under-voltage, over-temperature, and throttle signal loss. These protect your expensive battery packs from damage.
You can even use motors with different specifications. For example, some H-motors have a higher current capability and a lower voltage rating than the corresponding L-motor.
But you can use both in your ESC if you use the right programming.
For example, if you have three RC cars (Red, Green, and Blue), all of which use L-motors, you can mix and match ESCs with the motors.
The only restriction is that the motor (or combination of motors) must have at least as much voltage as your ESC and at least as much current capacity, but not more than the maximum current rating of your ESC.
This approach works well because most ESCs have a throttle range of 1.5 – 8.0 V and so will work with four or five different motors with no change to the programming.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you might have to change the gearing ratios on your vehicles when you change motor types.
If you don’t change these already, you will have to do so manually.
Why Does My Brushless Motor Stutter?
Your brushless motor stutters because of the voltage drop between the battery and the armature. A shorted motor coil or armature can also cause this stuttering.
A shorted motor coil will cause a high-pitched whine since there is not enough delivery of power to the bearings to spin.
If your brushless motor is running and no sound is coming from it, check that there are no bent or broken teeth on the rotor pulley.
This could cause intermittent contact with a rotor tooth, which interrupts power to the bearings. Suppose your brushless motor is stuttering, shorted out, or not spinning.
Check your voltage readings between the battery and the armature using a digital multimeter.
First, you will need to check the voltage on the battery. Your battery should be able to produce no less than 4.2v per cell when fully charged.
For example, if you have a 3s lipo 11.1v when complete, it should be no less than 4.2 x 3 = 12.6v.
If the voltage is less than this, please check your charge settings, and if that does not work, you may have a faulty pack and will need to replace it or check for other possible electrical issues.
Next, you need to measure the voltage on the armature.
You will measure across two wires coming from the armature connected to either side of the brushless motor controller or ESC.
You will want to measure the voltage between these two wires by placing the black multimeter lead on one wire and the red multimeter lead.
This is a common ground, so things will work out nicely if you keep it.
What is ESC for 3S LiPo?
ESC for 3S LiPo is a relatively new connector that allows you to connect a battery to a 3S balance lead.
You can power your model with a battery pack, making it much easier to experiment with RC car racing or drone flights.
It’s also allowing more people to enter the world of RC cars and drones without the significant expense of buying a matching battery.
ESC for 3S LiPo adds the power of a battery to your planes and helicopters.
It’s an active device that can deliver more current during high-demand situations, such as during flight maneuvers or when your motor stalls on the ground.
You can connect ESC for 3S LiPo to the battery pack of your model. Once connected, the battery can deliver more power to the model.
The new features that 3S LiPo brings into the game include:
– More power for your plane.
– More torque for your RC car.
If you have a three-wheeler and want to increase its speed and acceleration, you might use a lithium polymer battery.
Lithium polymer is a high-performance battery with a maximum voltage of 4.2V per cell.
This is much more than the 3.7 volts that nickel-cadmium (NiCad) or the 1.2 volts per cell in nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries can deliver.
Because of this high voltage, lithium polymer batteries can provide more power between each cell.
As a result, lithium polymer batteries are generally easier on your motor than NiCad or NiMH batteries.
Why Is My Brushless Motor Cogging?
Your brushless motor is cogging because it’s not getting enough power. If you’ve tried everything (and we recommend you do), the motor might need replacement.
Brushless motors comprise a series of magnets, and they work by running an electric current through these magnets to create a magnetic field that is strong enough to pull in another unit magnet and make it spin around instead.
But brushless motors only work at extremely high RPMs, so if you try to run them at lower RPMs than their designed specifications, they will not function properly.
To help prevent cogging from happening, make sure your motor is running at its maximum speed by doing:
1) Connect the battery to your ESC before it’s installed into the frame.
2) Do not connect the motor to the ESC until after installing the motor in your aircraft.
3) Make sure all of your electronics and components are working correctly.
How Do You Fix A Brushless Motor?
You can fix a brushless motor by adjusting the speed and reversing the motor’s rotation. measure the current using an ohmmeter or voltmeter so that you can change it.
Sometimes, you can fix a shorted motor by replacing the brushes with bobbins attached with tungsten steel wire to a metal frame.
If your brushless motor cannot start, it may result from corrosion on one of its power terminals or even poor wiring.
If you need to fix or replace a motor, the first thing you should do is find out the exact type of motor that needs replacement.
Different motors have different speeds, voltage ranges, and power ratings.
Typically, people use brushless motors in appliances and machines like photocopiers, printers, and staplers.
One common problem in a typical brushless motor is its high internal resistance, which causes the brushes to wear out quickly.
The best way to fix a brushless motor is by measuring its current draw before and after each position change.
One can adjust national engineered motors using speed control modules, while brushed motors use manual potentiometers. Follow these steps to troubleshoot a brushless motor:
- Remove all insulation from the motor and locate its wires. Check the rotor for burned or cracked lead, and if it is, replace it.
- Use a voltmeter to measure the voltage drop across the brushes. The voltage range starts at 0 V before a position change and goes up to 10 V in the last position. If there is no voltage drop, then adjust the motor’s resistance.
- Measure the current draw during each position change with an ohmmeter. You can do this with a source test and an open circuit (short circuit).
A. With A Source Test:
Replace the motor’s brushes by using a pair of non-conductive bobbins attached with tungsten steel wire to a brass frame.
Set the ohmmeter on GND (Ground). Connect the probes to the circuit board and a brushless motor leads.
Step 4 uses no-load and measures current draw when the motor runs at low speed. For step 5, set the ohmmeter on the motors and source test mode by pushing it down.
Connect the probes to the circuit board and a brushless motor leads. Measure current draw when the motor is running at high speed.
This allows you to measure high-speed current draw while no load is on the circuit board.
B. With An Open Test:
Replace the motor’s brushes with tungsten steel wires attached to a brass frame.
Measure the current draw without connecting the motor to a load.
Measure current draw when the motor is spinning.
4) Perform adjustments by following the manufacturer’s documentation. If there is no documentation, you can still perform adjustments by following these steps:
- Measure the voltage drop across inductances on the rotor and stator coils. If all inductances have 0 V, there is a shorted brushless motor.
- Measure the voltage across the brushes using a voltmeter connected to a power source. If there is no voltage drop, then adjust the motor’s resistance.
- Measure the current draw using an ohmmeter connected to a power source and read its value in high-speed mode. If there is no current draw, replace the brushes with bobbins attached with tungsten steel wire to a metal frame.
- If there is poor wiring or faulty connection of wires to the circuit board, it may cause poor motor performance. Replace all burned-out wires and damaged connectors.
What Does The Amp Rating On An ESC Mean?
The amp rating on an ESC means it’s an electric speed controller, and it will regulate the speed at which your motors run.
If you have a high amp ESC on a high-powered motor and it isn’t turning the motors, this is usually because of the turning down of the throttle.
One way to bypass this is by using differential braking so that one motor will turn while the other coasts.
Amp rating on an ESC shows how an ESC can deliver many amps of continuous current at any given time.
Car ESCs are typically between 1.5 – 6 amps, while most helicopter ESCs range from 6 to 25 amps.
The amount of amps an ESC can deliver depends on the capacity of the batteries you are using because it’s only the voltage from your battery that provides current to the motors.
If, for example, you have four cell car batteries (4×1.5v = 5.25V) and your ESC can only produce 1.5 amps, your motors will run at 1.5/5.25 of their rated voltage (1.5 volts).
If you turn the throttle on a four-cell car battery down, your motor won’t turn because it receives only 1/4 of its rated voltage.
One way to bypass this is by using differential braking so that one motor will turn while the other coasts.
Does Higher KV Mean Faster Motor?
Yes. Higher KV, or RPM per Volt, means that the motor will spin faster for a given voltage. This is because the stator is spinning faster and has more poles (although it may not be using them all).
For example, if you have an RC car with a 1:12 gear ratio and 500KV motors, then you would need 12 Volts to achieve 100 RPM on your motors.
If you use 500KV motors and 12 Volts per turn, you would need 6.6 Volts to get 100 RPM, whereas if you used a 1:12 gear ratio and 500KV motors, you would only need the same voltage to achieve 85 RPM. Speed is the difference.
The higher the KV of your motor, the more efficient your motor will be. You will have more pulling or pushing power out of a vehicle with faster RPMs than one with slower RPMs. This may be a good thing.
Brushless motor technology is getting better and better every day. They are now more efficient, less costly, and have more power than brushed motors.
But they need a bit of tinkering to make them work well. Some brushless motors don’t work well with some ESCs and vice versa.
It’s best to test them out and see the best motor and ESC combo for you.