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Why no brushless motors?

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  • Why no brushless motors?

    I flew radio control (planes, copters and quads) for many years, always used brushless motors where ever possible. I haven't seen any in slot cars. I was just curious why.

  • #2
    I THINK you would have to run some kind of speed controller. So in way you could if you build with rc reciever/ radio and speed control and hook up the power leads the normally go to the battery to the guild and then just install jumper wire were you normally hook up your control you now have a rc slot car. No more being tied down to your driver station.

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    • #3
      i dont know anything about brushless motors,but the only time ive had a slot car motor fail was because i over oiled it. is there a big advantage to brushless? price might be an issue as well. do brushless motors produce good torque as well? id be interested to check one out.

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      • #4
        One of our old HRW guys, Rod, was a huge RC planes guy- really sophisticated giant stuff. He tried again and again to do brushless motors in slot cars and he never got them to work right. I don't remember why, but he posted a series of problems as he addressed each one.

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        • #5
          I think the biggest issue would be size.

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          • #6
            This issue has been discussed before. For people that are not familiar with brushless motors those have the magnets built into the armature and the coils are in fixed positions. There is no commutator or motor brushes, hence the name. A controller switches the coils on and off in sequence to drag the armature around. In the case of RC motors those draw a huge amount of current and the brushes and commutator take a real beating. In the past a serious racer would have to turn the commutator fairly often or replace the motor to stay competitive. With brushless motors that problem has been eliminated. In the case of 1/32nd motors those are not under much stress, a $12 motor can easily last for an entire 24 hour race without slowing down, so there is little incentive to use brushless motors for that application. With brushless motors the track rails would have to be at full power all of the time. Your hand controller would have to send signals to the controller in the car to change the motor speed. That would work about the same as digital systems. The signals between the hand and motor controllers could be carried by the track rails or be via RF.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bal r 14 View Post
              I flew radio control (planes, copters and quads) for many years, always used brushless motors where ever possible. I haven't seen any in slot cars. I was just curious why.
              In simple terms, one of the main advantages of a brushless motor is that it is considerably more electrically efficient than a "brushed" motor. This is a big advantage in RC applications where the the "power" is carried in the car/plane /boat, and the more efficient brushless motor can run much longer that a brushed variation.

              From a slotcar perspective, power is basically a non issue as obviously the track itself is powered, so no real issues of batteries dying. As well, controllers must be carried in the car which do add weight/complexity., and some re wiring of the tracks and controllers would be needed. Additionally, current costs of suitably powered brushless motors are considerably more than the costs of the millions and millions of electric motors produced for the auto/electronics industry. So, at this stage, manufacturers (and therefore customers) would incur significant costs to change a system that has worked quite well for many many years, without any discernable benefit.

              Quite a few folks have experimented with brushless motors in Slot cars, and this is a recent example of one in a 1/24 Eurosport car............more complex/more costly, and not as quick !!

              Cheers
              Chris Walker

              Click image for larger version  Name:	post-4624-0-59780900-1614275889.jpg Views:	0 Size:	63.7 KB ID:	88552
              Last edited by chrisguyw; March 19, 2021, 02:43 PM.

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              • #8
                I vividly remember the first moment I first tried brushless in an r/c car with a couple of club members, it was in a 1/10th scale touring car, the motor was sensorless (cheapest) the LiPo's (also cheap & cheerful not performance packs) were less than half the price of the NiMh's we were using but run time was 50% longer and the car just ran faster, I had a grin from ear to ear and that was the moment I realised brushed motors belonged in the dinosaur era. We raced cheap sensorless motors (they're coggy compared to brushed motors) and 1S LiPo's indoors after that but once we got sensored brushless we got the smooth delivery we used to get with brushed motors...one of the top racers insisted on hanging on to his brushed motor & ESC for a few months and I remember him saying 'that's it, it looks like I'll have to join 'em'.
                To cut a long story short, sensored brushless motors & LiPo's were an immediate game changer, a big jump in efficiency, run time, lower battery cost, zero maintenance and lap times reduced.

                ...now we're not seeing this in slot cars for obvious reasons, I tried my brushless ESC controlled with my r/c transmitter with a slot car nearly 5 years ago and came to the conclusion it wasn't instant enough to work competitively.
                I can't see brushless replacing brushed motors in our cars, if it was possible it would already have happened.
                Last edited by Kevan; March 21, 2021, 09:07 AM. Reason: 'motors' typo
                Print It, Build It, Race It, Improve It, Repeat...

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                • #9
                  If there is a subset of slotting where brushless tech would work well, it would be slot.it DiSCA Oxigen digital racing.

                  Oxigen is radio based control and this can be negatively impacted by noise from old school motor designs.
                  Ferrite suppressors are used but problems persist because they are imperfect and can be prone to short circuit , blowing up the onboard chip.
                  Thr onboard digital decoder chips are also prone to failure because of the motor noise ( which is really annoying in endurance racing)

                  A major advantage of brush motors is the downforce that can be garnered from flux leakage. However, in Digital racing, rail shortout can occur if motors as run too low, stopping the whole track dead. Motors are typically run at 1.8 to 2mm clearance. No significant downforce at those clearances.

                  in summary, Slot.IT have more reasons than others for going brushless but without a Financial incentive to put the development effort (and a clear market) , it's unlikely to happen.

                  Alan W

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                  • #10
                    These are some real good answers. I think I see there would be probably be no advantage. I had a Traxxas Stampede I switched from brushed to brushless/sensored and gained a huge amount of power. The problem is I can't recall if that allowed me to run a lot more voltage... it was 15 years ago.

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                    • Kevan
                      Kevan commented
                      Editing a comment
                      In a club environment voltage would be limited, the same with slot car clubs, most are voltage controlled, ours is 13.8V, others are 12V some are even 10V.
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