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  • brushless motors

    How about brushless motors for H.O. cars? MAN, talk about potential RPM! SLO.

  • #2
    Why? Are the cars too slow as they are? Have you tried an Unlimited?

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    • #3
      Apart from better efficiency a brushless motor has a longer life seeing as there is no brushes to wear. Anyone have an idea on how long a standard afx inline motor will last? Would have to be determined in hours probably. Does anyones well used older afx turbo motors still crank along?

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      • #4
        Not to hijack the thread, but I can provide some insight into motor life for you Grantman.

        Since you are referring to SRT/Turbo can motors, here is one thing I can say with certainty. Under normal operating conditions the brushes will wear out long before the armature is no longer usable. Depending on conditions brushes tend to last around 6-10 hours. The wear rate will depend on the supplied voltage used, and how many Amps the car is drawing. So you can easily get more or less life than what I stated.

        As for armature life this really depends on the persons view of performance. Of course like everything they are always best when they are new, however with a little service (re-truing of the commutator) from time to time you can minimize the performance drop off. If you never re-trued the comm I would expect the arm to be good for about 12-20 hours, but even then you could start to see a severe performance decrease.

        To get an idea of wear to the extreme, a G3-R Neo Modified will wear out its brushes in roughly 45 minutes. As for armature life that is really hard to say, as in the racing world the standards are different. I can say that when they get really warm (temps over 350 degrees F) those usually only last several minutes. These cars are run on 18-19 Volts, and will be pulling between 6-8 Amps almost all the time.

        Thanks for asking the question, as now I will also be making reference to life in hours as opposed to just focusing on wear rate.

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        • #5
          Very interesting J. Banta. I haven’t done regular racing meets or long endurance type races myself so I would find it interesting to know whether these racers replace their motors quite regularly (10 hours lets say)? When the brushes to wear out does the car get gradually slower or is it rather noticeable straight away? If a brushless motor could be developed for HO it would be interesting to evaluate its life expectancy vs the existing motors.

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          • #6
            Our group runs a 12 hr enduro race for Turbo cars and we tend to replace the motor after about 6 hours of constant running whether performance has dropped off or not. Though a motor can run the whole distance we prefer to replace the motor rather than clean it etc. since its faster to do a swap.
            I also have cars that I have run on a weekly basis with regular cleaning and maintenance for over 15 years that I'm sure have run far more than 12 total hours without a motor swap.
            Brushless motors are pretty expensive are they not?

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            • #7
              brushless motors

              Originally posted by sloboat View Post
              How about brushless motors for H.O. cars? MAN, talk about potential RPM! SLO.
              It has been my experience that brushless motors do not provide more rpm than brushed motors, voltage does. This is based on having both types in rc aircraft and helicopters. What they do provide is better efficiency and longer life. I have gone through many brushed motors in my helis and have noticed a large degradation of performance for brushed motors in a short amount off time, where as the brushless just keep on ticking. Another point to consider is brushless motors are 3 phase motors requirering a specialized speed control and like digital chips, it may be hard finding room for the device in the confines of the HO scale. Notwithstanding, with nano technology making leaps and bounds in the computer and health industries these inovations could very easily filter down to the big boy toy market.
              Concerning costs: the brushless motors are more money and the speed controls are more money but although it is more initially, it is less in the long run because one does not have to constantly replace or rebuild the commponants. Personally I would like to see these things in our hobbys, it can only make it better.

              Ted

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              • #8
                I would think that for a brushless motor to work the track rails would have to be at full power all the time like a digital track. The speed of the motor is controlled by a processor that switches the field coils on and off. The signal to the processor would either be RF or riding on the track voltage. Your controller would have to plug into a black box. The processor in the car would have to be able to handle a lot of power, as much as 10 amps in the case of a high end car, and still fit inside of the car. All of this would cost a lot more than the occasional motor rebuild. It costs about $4.50 to rebuild a Tyco car. In the case of HO cars people tend to have a lot of them, so it takes a while to accumulate a lot of time on a single car. I do not practice a lot with the cars that I race so I have been racing the same car for eight years without a rebuild!

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                • #9
                  Motor longetivity is pretty much a non-issue. At the peak of my racing, I'd need to do about 2 or 3 motor rebuilds a year. That's for 2 or 3 classes for me and my daughter, about 6 cars. About the only time you will notice an issue with motor life is in an endurance event of several hours. And in these events, you can get back most of your performance with brush adjustments between heats. I kind of like that aspect. It adds something to the racing. In RC cars, a brushless motor/controller setup costs about as much as the rest of the car. And since I prefer to have lots of cars with cheap motors, as opposed to one or two with really expensive motors, I'll stick with the cheap brush type motors.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks guys

                    Well I guess that answers my ?. To spend the kind of money apperantly needed to use a brushless motor in a toy ( assuming it is even possible) just dont make sense! LONG LIVE BRUSHED MOTORS! slo.

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                    • #11
                      Brushless motors are typically three phase motors driven by a variable frequency AC drive. In order to get it to work on a slot car with the variable frequency drive located off the car you would need three rails. Putting the electronics on the car would take up way too much room.

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                      • #12
                        THE FINAL WORD !thanks Steve!

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                        • #13
                          yeah, 3 rails, and I reckon it'd still have problems due to the inconsistent pickup/rail connections..
                          Or 2 rails and a radio/IR controlled throttle..
                          Can't see it fitting within a HO scale car for a while, but ya never know

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                          • #14
                            Just off the top of my head I am thinking of a 2 pole rotating magnet and two electromagnets. That would run from two rails. Of course all the electronics would be in your controller. The two electromagnets would simply connect right to the pickup shoes. The rotating part is just a magnet. The on-board 'electronics' would have the simplicity of an old vibrator car.

                            I imagine this with just two electromagnets but don't know if that would work: http://en.nanotec.com/steppermotor_animation.html



                            I do see a big advantage to 'consumer' products. No brushes to wear out. In terms of racing, we don't need more speed, but by eliminating brush tension tuning, com truing etc. could add considerable consistency to one's racing program.
                            Last edited by ic-racer; 10-17-2009, 02:48 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Sorry but that circuit requires four wires be routed to the electromagnets to establish the correct rotating magnetic field. With two electromagnets there would be a 50/50 chance that it would start in the right direction. Assuming, of course, it would run at all.
                              Last edited by Maddman; 10-18-2009, 08:01 PM.

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