Brush vs Brushless motors - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:30 PM   #1
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Brush vs Brushless motors

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Well, I've been out on the field watching some flying and have been hearing the guys debating about brush vs brushless motors and how one or the other was better for performance, maintenance, etc. I have to admit I'm at a loss at what this means and surprisingly, no one was able to explain exactly what it means and "google" doesn't seem to provide an answer for once.

Can anyone explain the difference between the two??
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:52 PM   #2
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Go brushless, way more efficient & much more power. Brushless motors have no brushes to wear out. They will last a lot longer too, unless you smoke them which is pretty hard to do. Buy the most expensive motor you can afford, it pays off in the end. Scorpion motors are very good & not overly expensive. With the HK stuff you get what you pay for, ask me how I know. Good luck.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:02 PM   #3
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Re: Brush vs Brushless motors

In general, I'd say brushless is better. As stated they are more efficient and less maintenance but more expensive and you'll need to switch to a brushless esc as well.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:31 PM   #4
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Re: Brush vs Brushless motors

Can anyone explain the difference between the two??
here is a link to a site that explains it pretty well.

note that this info is talking about rc car/truck motors but is exactly the same for planes/helis.

note also this info refers to brushless outrunner motors where the motor can with attached magnets spin with the prop shaft. inrunner brushless, while brushless, have a similar structure as brushed motors where only the armature spins inside the can.

outrunner motors because of the centrifigal force of the spinning can and heavy magnets can spin much larger props than inrunners.

the link:
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:49 PM   #5
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Re: Brush vs Brushless motors

Brushed motors are in the low 50 percentile in efficiency, while brushless are on average for every one I checked in the low 80 percentile.

Brushless is definitely the way to go as you get to utilize more of the stored energy in the battery. However, no change happens without affecting other parts of the system. First, as waylander noted the ESC is completely different and will need to be changed along with the motor.

As for inrunner and outrunner, the difference in torque to swing larger props on outrunners is not due to the mass of the magnets and case, but from the fact the force is applied further out from the shaft axis. This gives more turning force but sacrifices max RPM. Inrunners have much higher RPM capability but sacrifice torque. Each application will require some checking as to which would work best. Check for previous conversions for your particular app and likely someone will already have some experience and recommendations. That goes to optimum gearing as well as brushless motors require good setups for that optimum efficiency.

As stated, brushless motors are far more efficient than their brushed predecessors. However, they have what is called a "Sweet Spot" RPM/V and if lugged down with improper gearing or excessive load then the efficiency falls off rapidly. This is easy to check as the motor will be too hot to touch at the end of a run, (the extra current not going to work for you is dumped as heat).

Also as stated nothing happens alone. Along with the ESC you have to consider every other component of the power system. The battery and connectors are also part of the system. The fact you can now make better use of the power may also mean you can draw more current. If the battery cannot supply the current demand or the connectors are not rated, then you could have problems, (the brushed motor would likely not be able to draw anywhere near the same current and the stock connectors may not be adequate for the higher demand). You always consider the max capacity of a system by the lowest rated component in that system.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:46 AM   #6
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Re: Brush vs Brushless motors

@Astroflyer, thanks for the link, that helps a lot!

@Cougar429, interesting about sweet spot re: force vs rpm.

Thanks all!
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:54 PM   #7
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Re: Brush vs Brushless motors

Here are two good videos (mind you the guy's accent is hard to understand from time to time...) but it shows you how the motors are built, and how they work. Also, what everyone said above is true - brushless is the way to go... but if you have a plane (supercub for example) that comes with brushed, no need to upgrade until you have to. Taken care of, brushed motors can last a long time...


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Old 07-02-2012, 09:30 AM   #8
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Re: Brush vs Brushless motors

Originally Posted by photecs View Post
Here are two good videos (mind you the guy's accent is hard to understand from time to time...)
click on CC (closed caption) button at bottom of video

or this
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