ESC 30A Motor Controller
An electronic speed control or ESC 30A Motor Controller is an electronic circuit that controls and regulates the speed of an electric motor. It may also provide reversing of the motor and dynamic braking. Miniature electronic speed controls are used in electrically powered radio controlled models. Full-size electric vehicles also have systems to control the speed of their drive motors.
An ESC 30A Motor Controller follows a speed reference signal (derived from a throttle lever, joystick, or other manual input) and varies the switching rate of a network of field effect transistors (FETs) . By adjusting the duty cycle or switching frequency of the transistors, the speed of the motor is changed. The rapid switching of the transistors is what causes the motor itself to emit its characteristic high-pitched whine, especially noticeable at lower speeds.
Different types of ESC 30A Motor Controllers are required for brushed DC motors and brushless DC motors. A brushed motor can have its speed controlled by varying the voltage on its armature. (Industrially, motors with electromagnet field windings instead of permanent magnets can also have their speed controlled by adjusting the strength of the motor field current.)
A brushless motor requires a different operating principle. The speed of the motor is varied by adjusting the timing of pulses of current delivered to the several windings of the motor.
Brushless ESC 30A Motor Controller systems basically create three-phase AC power, like a VFD variable frequency drive, to run brushless motors. Brushless motors are popular with radio controlled airplane hobbyists because of their efficiency, power, longevity and light weight in comparison to traditional brushed motors. Brushless DC ESC 30A Motor Controllers are much more complicated than brushed motor controllers.
The correct phase varies with the motor rotation, which is to be taken into account by the ESC 30A Motor Controller: Usually, back EMF from the motor windings is used to detect this rotation, but variations exist that use separate magnetic (Hall effect) sensors or optical detectors.
Computer-programmable speed controls generally have user-specified options which allow setting low voltage cut-off limits, timing, acceleration, braking and direction of rotation. Reversing the motor’s direction may also be accomplished by switching any two of the three leads from the ESC 30A Motor Controller to the motor.
Most modern ESC 30A Motor Controller contain a microcontroller interpreting the input signal and appropriately controlling the motor using a built-in program, or firmware. In some cases it is possible to change the factory built-in firmware for an alternate, publicly available, open source firmware. This is done generally to adapt the ESC to a particular application.
Some ESCs are factory built with the capability of user upgradable firmware. Others require soldering to connect a programmer. ESC are usually sold as black boxes with proprietary firmware. As of 2014, a Swedish engineer named Benjamin Vedder started an open source ESC project later called VESC. The VESC project has since attracted attention for its advanced customization options and relatively reasonable build price compared to other high end ESCs
An ESC can be a stand-alone unit which plugs into the receiver’s throttle control channel or incorporated into the receiver itself, as is the case in most toy-grade R/C vehicles. Some R/C manufacturers that install proprietary hobby-grade electronics in their entry-level vehicles, vessels or aircraft use onboard electronics that combine the two on a single circuit board.
Electronic speed controls for model RC vehicles may incorporate a battery eliminator circuit to regulate voltage for the receiver, removing the need for separate receiver batteries. The regulator may be linear or switched mode. ESCs, in a broader sense, are PWM controllers for electric motors. The ESC generally accepts a nominal 50 Hz PWM servo input signal whose pulse width varies from 1 ms to 2 ms.
When supplied with a 1 ms width pulse at 50 Hz, the ESC responds by turning off the motor attached to its output. A 1.5 ms pulse-width input signal drives the motor at approximately half-speed. When presented with 2.0 ms input signal, the motor runs at full speed.
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