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Guide to R/C Speed Controllers

08/12/2007 Specialist Radio Controlled Gamer Article
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Guide to R/C Speed Controllers

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For electronic radio controlled cars it is vitally important to be able to accuratley and efficiently control the speed generated by the motor. Two types are available, the more basic Physical Speed Contollers and all in one Electronic Speed Control units.

Physical Speed Controllers work by using a Servo to move a physical rheostat to vary the amount of power going to the motor. Although this is cheaper, you need to factor in the extra cost of the controlling Servo and maintenance of these additional moving parts. These are being replaced with Electronic Speed Controllers in even cheaper models.

Electronic Speed Controllers are stand-alone units that control speed electronically. This avoids the problems associated with physical controllers, and must be used with Brushless Motors. They incorporate the throttle and receiver into one sealed unit.


Beginners should be aware that some Electronic Speed Control units do not offer a reverse function. These higher spec control units are focused of efficiency and accuracy of forward motion, ideal for racing but not as convenient for leisure driving.

Intermediates should be aware that an Electronic Speed Controller ensures that they can upgrade to Brushless Motors in the future.

Experts will rely on the reduced wight, components and increased performance of Electronic Speed Controllers.

Written by Rupert Stelling

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Rupert Stelling writes the Radio Controlled Gamer column.

"Having grown up racing Tamiya radio and remote controlled cars and trucks I was keen to get my kids started on the same hobby. Here, I share my R/C reviews and guides to getting started in this electric and petrol powered world."

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