If you are new to the RC hobby or are just out of touch with the new systems you may find yourself asking, What is the difference between the brushed and brushless motor systems. I am writing this guide to Brushed vs Brushless RC Car to help everyone that is unsure about these systems to understand the differences between the two motor systems.
Brushed VS Brushless RC Car – Electric Motor
A Brushed Motor consists of the motor case, shaft, internal windings, and permanent magnets, Which is an internally commutated electric motor that is designed to be run from a direct current (DC) power source. Brushed DC motors can change speed by changing the operating voltage of the magnetic field. The speed and torque characteristics of a brushed motor can be changed to provide steady speed and speed proportional to the physical load, Depending on the connections of the field to the power supply.
The internal winding of brushed motors is fixed onto the motor shaft inside the motor case and spin with the shaft when current is applied. Permanent magnets don’t move, they are fixed to the inside of the motor case. Brushed Motor windings are powered by two brushes positive and negative that push on the commutator on the motor shaft.
The biggest drawback to a brushed motor, Is the Brushes and commutator will wear out after some time. This makes brushed motors require maintenance and parts need replacing over time. A bigger and more powerful brushed motor will wear out quicker than a smaller slower one. The friction between the brushes and the commutator is the reason why this motor is not as efficient as a brushless motor.
Benefits of brushed motors: 1) You can buy these brushed RC cars for slightly cheaper than the brushless versions. 2) The brushed RC cars typically are not as fast and powerful, which makes them great RC cars for beginners.
If you own one or plan on getting one of these brushed RC cars, Then you will need to keep up with the maintenance to keep it running at peak performance. A properly maintained motor will last a lot longer.
Maintenance – Brushed Motor
The maintenance of the brushed motor is not that hard to do and really does not take all that long to perform. All you need is an old toothbrush, a damp cloth, and a can of compressed air ( for cleaning computer keyboards).
You need to disconnect the wires before removing the motor. Make special note of the order the wires are in before you take them off, so they get put back on the same way they were. Remove the motor form the RC vehicle, be careful so you don’t break the motor wires
You can use the damp cloth to wipe off the exterior of the motor to remove any loose dirt and other particles. Gently use the toothbrush to clean any debris from the bushings at the motor shaft, careful so you don’t push any dirt into the motor. Then take the can of air and blow out the motor bushings and winding through the vent holes and the mounting screw holes, to get the dirt and debris out of inside the motor. Lube the bushings and winding, Reinstall the motor.
Don’t forget to blow out the transmission case where the motor sits before putting the motor back in.
“If” there is caked on debris you can use water in a bowl and submerge the motor. To do this the motor needs to hook up to the vehicle so it can be run. With the motor hooked up place it in the bowl of water holding the back end of the motor submerge it, Use the transmitter to run the motor at a steady speed. Run it for about 10 minutes like this, then stop the motor and remove it from the water. Let it sit for a few minutes and then blow dry it with a can of air. Lube the winding and bushings and reinstall the motor. That’s all there is to it.
Brushless motors were invented in the 1960’s but didn’t become available for the radio controlled cars until around 2003-2004. The construction of a brushless motor system is typically similar to a permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM), but can also be a switched reluctance motor.
Advantages the brushless motor has over brushed motors are high power to weight ratio, high speed, and electronic control. Brushless motors have been used in applications in such places as hand-held power tools, computer disk drives, and vehicles ranging from radio controlled to automobiles.
The brushless motor doesn’t require a physical commutator, This is one of the reasons they are so popular today. Having no commutator or brushes means almost zero maintenance. The bearings in these brushless motors will last a very long time. You’ll find a brushless motor system in the more expensive ready-to-run cars, and most serious racers will use this type of motor if permitted.
The benefits of the brushless motor: 1) Brushless motors provide very low maintenance. 2) More power and Higher efficiency. 3) These motors also give you longer run time and faster speeds.
These motors require very little maintenance, however, should still be checked and cleaned on a regular basis. Dirt can accumulate inside the brushless motor. The maintenance of brushless motors is very similar to that of the brushed motor. The brushless motor can be taken apart, Which greatly helps the maintenance process.
Disconnect the motor wires paying attention to where and how the wires are connected and remove the motor from the vehicle. Disassemble the motor, Do this by removing the screws from the case. Make sure not to lose the washers and or spacers. Lay the parts down on a clean cloth and note how all parts come out so it can be put back together in the same order.
Use the can of compressed air to blow out any dirt and debris from inside the case and from on the motor itself. The bearings should be cleaned with motor spray. Once everything has been cleaned and free of dirt and debris reassemble the motor and reinstall. That’s all you need to do.
This has been my guide to the differences between the brushed vs brushless RC Car motor systems. “I” hope that now you have a better understanding of the workings and benefits of these motors, Which should make it that much easier for you to decide what to buy next time you’re looking to purchase an RC Vehicle.
“I” would like to hear your thoughts and opinions on the subject, And if you have any questions at all you can leave a comment below.