what RC motor can be used with what ESC | solved

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All experience RC enthusiasts want to change their car components to improve their performance, speed, and torque while ensuring their RC car can adapt to different environmental conditions. 

While it’s easy to tweak and change your car’s electronics, the ESC and motors are two components that depend on each other; hence, changing RC motors usually implies changing ESC simultaneously.

However, you can’t just use any motor with any ESC as motors differ in type, size, compatibility to the ESC, and motor shaft diameter. 

If you’re wondering whether all motors and ESC are compatible no matter the type, read on to find out more!   

Can you mix and match ESC and RC motor

For the most part, you can change the motor in your remote controlled car, but any motor will not work in any RC car. 

A few things you have to consider before matching your ESC to an RC motor are the compatibility of the ESC unit, the space in the chassis, and the shaft size of the new motor. 

For example, you can’t run a sensored motor on a sensorless ESC.
You have to ensure the ESC can handle the RC motor wind or VK. Plus, you cannot use a brushless motor with a brushed ESC.

Brushed motors need brushed ESC, and brushless motors need brushless ESC. One of the reasons is that they run on different currents. The brushless ESC’s outputs are three-phase AC current, whereas brushed motors run on DC current. 

What ESC to use with what RC car’s motor

Before choosing an ESC for your motor, the most significant factor to keep in mind is to match the ESC to the motor they are built for. So, make sure to use the correct ESC for the right motor.

The brushed ESC re typically used with the brushed motor, while the brushless ESC is used for the brushless motor, never vice versa. 

Can you use any brushless ESC with any brushless car’s motor

While any brushless ESC will work with any brushless motor, not all brushless ESC’s are compatible with all brushless motors. Why? It all depends on the power the ESC can handle. If a brushless motor is rated at 18A max and the ESC will handle up to 40A, then the brushless motor is compatible with it. On the other hand, if the ESC can handle up to 25A and the brushless motor is rated 25A max, they may not be compatible as the Esc won’t be able to perform functionally with a motor on the same capacity. 

Which rC car’s ESC for brushed motor

Since we’ve established that the ESC must be compatible with the motor, it simply means that the brushed ESC’s will work well with the brushed motors.

In other words, using a brushless ESC for a brushed motor is not possible. The brushless ESC’s outputs are 3 phase AC current while the brushed motors run on DC current. Hence, brushless motors need brushless ESC’s, and brushed motors need brushed ESC’s. 

What can happen to your rC car if your ESC and motor aren’t a match

An ESC and motor that isn’t compatible can cause burnout in your RC car. For instance, when you use a brushless ESC for a brushed motor, the brushless ESC can send its AC current into the brushed motor’s DC current, causing it to burn out. 

Can you mix and match ESC and motor Brands

Yes, you can mix and match different brands of motors with ESCs. Essentially, sensored brushless motor ESCs can run any sensored brushless motors, notwithstanding the manufacturer. On the other hand, non-sensored brushless motor ESC can run any non-sensored brushless motors regardless of the manufacturer. However, non-sensored brushless ESC cannot work with sensored brushless motors.

Should you upgrade your ESC when upgrading the motor of your car

Technically, the motor is the heart and core of the RC car because every other component is structured around it. On the other hand, the ESC can be seen as the brain of the RC car because it interprets the signals that help you control the motor from the transmitter to the motor itself. 

This means that when you consider upgrading your motor, you also need to upgrade the ESC. Why? The RC car requires compatibility between the ESC unit and the motor to perform well. 

What is the ESC responsible of in a remote controlled car

The ESC is often used to power RC car models. 

Electronic Speed Controls are integral in any electric RC car as they are that component that tells the motor what speed to use and how fast they should spin. Essentially, without the ESC, your car won’t run. 

An electronic speed control (ESC) is an electronic device that allows you control and regulate the power and speed of an RC car’s electric motor. The ESC may also provide motor reverse functions and dynamic braking. 

So, how does it carryout these functions?
What the ESC does is to integrate a circuit that regulates a stable voltage to run the receiver. The ESC, receives an input signal known as the Pulse Position Modulation (PPM) from the receiver, which is set by the throttle position the transmitter. When it gets this signal, it transforms it into a current that can be drawn from the battery to power the motor. The current then powers the motor while also providing suitable energy supply for the steering servo. 

What types of ESC there are?

Technically, there are two types of ESC’s you can use for your RC vehicles; Brushed and Brushless. Almost all ESC’s engineered today are designed for compatibility with only one motor and never two at a time. 

  • Brushed ESC: This ESC is designed for Brushed Motors. A brushed ESC typically has four thick wires in different colors; red, black, blue, and yellow. The Red and Black wires connect directly to the battery, while the Blue and Yellow wires connect to the motor. A thin three-wire cable also connects the brushless ESC to the Receiver and another wire to the power switch. Brushless ESC’s are usually easy to connect and install. 
  • Brushless ESC: Like the Brushed ESC’s, the brushless ESC’s are designed for brushless motors. It also spots the different wires that connect to the battery, Receiver, and power switch. But, unlike the brushed ESC that has just two wires connecting to the motor, the brushless ESC has three wires connecting to the motor (black, yellow, and orange). There’s also the capacitor that connects across the battery connections. It functions to filter out high-frequency noise to protect your ESC. Brushless ESC’s are a lot more complex and harder to install in our vehicles.

How should you choose the right ESC for your motor?

To choose the right ESC for your motor, you need to consider the current rating of the ESC, which is usually measured in Amps. 

Your brushless and brushed motors draw current when they spin. So, when the motor draws more Amps than the ESC can handle, the ESC starts to overheat and eventually fail, which may also end up in the ESC burning up.

Final thoughts

It is easy to upgrade your motor, but it’s not that easy to continue using the same old ESC for the new motor. The ESC and motors are two essential components of your RC car as the motor is the heart of your RC while the ESC is the brain. These parts function hand-in-hand, and using one without the other will mean your car won’t work. If you’re considering upgrading your motor, you also want to consider changing the ESC. Brushless ESC’s will only work with brushless motors, while the brushed ESC’s will work only for Brushed motors. 

sources used for this article

Electronic Speed Control – Wikipedia

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