Brushed vs. Brush­less

RC Car Action - - PERFORMANCE TEST -

If you’re new to RC and won­der­ing what all this “brush­less” stuff is about, here’s the deal. RC mo­tors, for a looong time, all used brushes, as il­lus­trated be­low. The brushes trans­fer elec­tric­ity to the com­mu­ta­tor, which makes the mo­tor spin be­cause of mag­nets and science and stuff (we’re keep­ing it real sim­ple here, guys). The com­mu­ta­tor spins too, which means it’s con­stantly wear­ing against the sta­tion­ary brushes and cre­at­ing fric­tion. Mo­tor per­for­mance even­tu­ally de­te­ri­o­rates, un­til you have to re­place it.

A brush­less mo­tor, as you may have guessed, has no brushes or com­mu­ta­tor. In­stead, a “sta­tor” is en­er­gized to cre­ate a mag­netic field that makes the mag­netic “ro­tor” spin with­out touch­ing it. No touch­ing means no fric­tion or wear, so you get more power and ef­fi­ciency, with much longer mo­tor life.

The Mus­tang is pow­ered by Traxxas’ tried-and-true Ti­tan 550 mo­tor. In­side, a pair of brushes rub against the com­mu­ta­tor to trans­fer elec­tric­ity to it and make the mo­tor run.

All of Traxxas’ VXL mod­els get the Ve­li­neon 4-pole 3500 mo­tor. It doesn’t have brushes or a com­mu­ta­tor; hence the term “brush­less.” Brush­less mo­tors are more pow­er­ful and ef­fi­cient than brushed mo­tors, and last much longer.

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