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Is it time to go brushless?


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#1 gatormark

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 03:32 PM

Is it time to walk away from Chinese made sealed motors and go modern? The majority of battery power tools are brushless,RC cars are brushless and they seem to have a long lifespan. I have been told they are linear. By the time you buy four race motors or more to find the best you can purchase one brushless. Thoughts?
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#2 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 04:02 PM

My questions are not about durability, but about drivability in something other than a wing car or a drag car

 

I want to see brushless in retro and flexi type cars. And someone needs to come up with a ESC that is plug and play. 


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#3 Bill Seitz

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 04:06 PM

A purveyor of r/c cars had a fairly long post on Facebook a few months ago stating that r/c cars had hardly been taken over by brushless motors. Despite trying and making noise that they were taking over for the past 20 years, brushless motors had only recently achieved 50% of sales. There were a number of issues with unreliable (blown/DOA) motors and clandestine reprogramming of ESC's in competition. The drone market was mentioned in particular in introducing a new flavor of motor and ESC so often, that this purveyor had quit drones for being unable to keep up with the market. By the time the new parts arrived from the distributor, another iteration of new parts had been announced, so no one wanted the parts that had just been received. Brushless in slot cars sounds better than this, but I wonder if it's what we have to look forward to if we fall for the hype hook, line, and sinker.

 

Brushless in battery operated devices makes sense because there's a definite advantage in power efficiency that allows longer run time. I personally have had poor experiences with battery operated tools and avoid buying them. Reliable sources tell me that the latest generation of 20 and up volt tools are decent, but anything earlier are not worth having. This probably a battery thing more than anything, but they've had brushless motors for a while now. I see that in Europe they are experimenting with 16 to 20 volt power in brushless slot cars. That's going to take some new track power supplies here in the states if that's the direction brushless is going. I think brushless slot cars are still in development mode, so beware.

 

I'm sure the brushless motor fans will disagree with everything I've said, and they're permitted by free speech.


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#4 bbr

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 04:46 PM

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#5 crazyphysicsteacher

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 04:46 PM

The real problems will happen when they really use them for racing. The current calls of cheating are bad enough but once the ESC can be programmed and changed by anyone the cries of cheating will be louder than anything.


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#6 bbr

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 04:50 PM

Top 20 racing cheats: “If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin’”
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#7 Larry Labounty

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 06:44 PM

I only did 3-4 RC races with brushless motors. With the ESC that I was using there was a huge lack of brakes. I'm sure there has been big improvements since then.

 

My gut feeling is that will end up being like GP7 racing. It seems like brushless motors have become way faster than brush motors stock or modified. Not sure but it seems it became how good you can tune the motor with the rotor. From what I have heard 1/12 on-road carpet cars have become rocket ships that only a select few can drive well. I will have to ask around to learn more..



#8 MSwiss

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 07:07 PM

The thing I've been most impressed with the brushless craze is the apparent ability to do a bolt-in motor in the sidewinder configuration without eating the spur gear.

 

Maybe it's that they are close to, or full, sidewinder.

 

For those that go with the assumption that they will be more consistent, motor to motor, they have been mostly raced on flat tracks, in Europe.

 

Put eight cars on a fast King, Engleman or Hillclimb track, and then you'll find out out how consistent they are.

 

But I wiil remind people of what the late Tony P, who worked for a company that sold brushless motors for RC, stated;

 

Screenshot_20230830_190413_Chrome.jpg

 

What I don't see mentioned much is, along with them being flat tracks, that they have been used in classes with no motor restrictions.

 

With the dominant outrunner style motor, there is no way of sealing them that I'm aware of and people have commented on how easy they are to wind/dewind/modify.

 

Of course, with slot racers participating for just the fun and camaraderie, with little interest in winning, cheating shouldn't be an issue.


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#9 jimht

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 07:20 PM

The only reason we race slow motors is because they are cheap (and because the NCC thought that controlling what was raced defined capability).

 

I've yet to meet a customer that wouldn't buy the fastest motor they coud afford, whether they could handle it or not.

 

Brushless motors are cheap, reliable, and fast. They are a great alternative to expensive rebuildable race motors.

 

Those of you who think it will be like the Wild West are just not remembering how logical no motor restrictions combined with driver classes was in the heyday of the USRA. 

 

The market will decide.


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#10 MSwiss

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 07:27 PM

I've yet to meet a customer that wouldn't buy the fastest motor they coud afford, whether they could handle it or not.

 

Maybe casual racers, Jim. Certainly not weekly racers.

 

When there was a bit of chit chat about overpowering Retro cars to make buying a lot of restricted motors pointless, it was quickly shot down at a recipe for disaster.

 

Racers didn't want to destroy their $125 chassis with eight cars going around at various wildly various speeds.


Mike Swiss
 
Inventor of the Low CG guide flag 4/20/18
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#11 jimht

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 08:07 PM

Retro is about not destroying expensive handmade jewelry. It has made sense to limit the motors from the beginning.

 

The motor complaints in Retro have mostly been about performance inconsistency. which made it necessary to buy multiple motors to be competitive.

 

That may have changed lately but it hasn't increased the number of Retro racers, eh?

 

Casual racers is what we lack. We shoot ourselves in the foot by making rebuilding motors expensive rocket science.

 

FK motors are great for the casual racer but what if they want to go fast without breaking the bank?

 

The brushless stuff I've played with easily goes C12 speed for way less money (7500kv).

 

There's less of an issue with destroying chassis if we stick with steel, whether it's with Eurosport or Wing.

 

Brushless in stamped steel as an alternative to Gp12 is a no-brainer.


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#12 stoo23

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 08:11 PM

I seriously wish people would Stop referring to RC car racing and what happens/happened there, (and often a number of years ago), as there is virtually NO comparison !!

 

The motors are Completely different in both Design and intrinsic Ethics, as Each motor is Not designed as purporting to be THE best ever fastest Motor but is part of a Set of motors whose sole purpose is to be AS Similar as possible to the 3 others, Simply for performance and operational reasons, NOT for All out Speed etc

 

There is also this Constant fear and reference to what will happen when the ESC's are programmable etc,.. well, apart from the CASTLE unit, which, compared to the other available dedicated Slot Car ESC's is Far from ideal or as good as the Slot car units, due to the Minimum voltage parameters and lower MCU frequency, limiting the kv of the motors you can use.

 

The differences are greater than Chalk & cheese !! lol

 

NONE of the Slot car ESC's are Programmable or Re-Programmable per se and atm no one has really seen any overt Performance difference on track with different ESC's, least not what has yet been observed.

 

As far as cheating goes,.. gee I really don't know, in Retro, serious Scale or Wing car racing here in Aus', I have not observed ANY cheating whatsoever compared to the Shenanigans and fears you guys from the US keep 'harping' on about ??

 

In the world of RC, things ARE different, I think especially as a PILE of Dad's Money had often been Spent to let little Jimmy be the best etc and things in the older RC climate stated to develop into a far less than friendly, honest environment,.. the "Stock Motor" escapades became truly ridiculous.

 

I'm not suggesting that perhaps cheating Won't be tried by some perverts in our hobby, but with the Drone motors being so Close in performance 'off the shelf', checking them, (with a simple suitable device) would make Any 'Modified' motor almost instantly noticeable by both Current Draw and RPM/Volts on the Tester.

 

Drivability wise, as Mike has pointed out Most of the previous usage, testing and racing has been on particularly tight and tricky Brittish Club style tracks and EU ISRA MTT style tracks requiring a far greater deal of drivability than a "Punch bowl King" !!

 

They are great in a Flexi and compared to some of the more awesome 'tin can' motors are actually Nicer to drive, as the Power delivery is slightly different and with the aforementioned Wing Cars, well gee, if you thought your Wing car handled well, just wait till you have virtually Zero weight in the back end !! :)

 

In some recent testing, we ran one of the UK SB Ecom ESC's and an EMAX 1106 6000kv in a Retro Pro like chassis and I did a quick test after around 250 laps.

There was NO discernible Heat from the ESC and the Motor was as warm as the surrounding 'ambient' air.

 

If 'pressed' I would imagine Most people would have suggested the car had NOT been run, at all. I have Never experienced that with ANY slot car I have run before !!

 

The concept of going Mad with Wire Size/Windings on the Motors is intrinsically limited by the current handling of the ESC's, which in Slot cars will be a realistic limiting factor, as I somehow doubt suitably capable chips will be produced just for us slot car dudes and I also kind of doubt our cars will work very well with Added Fans to keep the ESC's cool as in RC :)

 

Still, early days and I don't doubt some Ratbag will endevour to Ruin everything :)


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#13 Wizard Of Iz

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 08:25 PM

Sure... start a class that runs brushless motors and see what participation is.

 

But don't try to mix brushless and brushed motor just to try to make one or the other look good... or look bad.

 

As Jim said... "The market will decide."


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#14 bbr

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 09:04 PM

in the begining - only a few,,, now a many

a group of Arizona racers racing a lot.

DoSlot seems 2b all in,,, I used their speed control - works well

 

many others,,, saw someone rewinding,,, making motors with 2mm shafts,,, motor mount plates...

 

I currently racing 1/32 at Electric Dreams,,, though about brushless setup,,, but since the track has magnet braid - brushed motors have an advatage


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#15 stoo23

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 09:06 PM

Sure ... start a class that runs brushless motors and see what participation is.

 

We have and are, as well as mixed racing,.. 

 

But don't try to mix brushless and brushed motor just to try to make one or the other look good ... or look bad.

 

??? and Why would it be about that ??? as far as we and many others are concerned it is simply something new and interesting that offers Great Handling and  Great Cost / performance / maintenance ratio ,.. Nothing particularly to Prove, just Fun !!

 

I'm sure the Market will decide. It invariably does.

 

I'm simply pleased and pleasantly surprised that the owner of one of my (sadly not too local) raceways has happily taken on the Brushless concept with equipment and motors available over the counter and class, club and events planned etc.

 

No 'Fear & Loathing', No Doomsday predictions and no confrontational comparisons etc

 

In an era where so many people are financially limited and the cost of many Fast bits in certain classes so high, I'm thinking it is and can only be a good thing, to allow racing and fun to continue for people who take their racing slightly more serious than the mere casual racer, but who have not been able to afford the Faster classes.

 

So far, both young and old have shown keen interest :)


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#16 Bucky

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Posted 30 August 2023 - 11:02 PM

I tried a brushless setup in a flexi recently and have been converted. It was similar in speed to a S16, and the braking and acceleration were very similar to brushed cars. I was told the ESC is locked, and since the esc limits performance (power curve and max RPM) any variations in motors have no impact on how the setup performs.

Regarding racing, I think it will happen sooner rather than later in the US. Brushless avoids the inconsistencies and durability issues in FK motors and the need for maintenance on rebuildable motors. Depending on pricing, they make a lot of sense for weekly racing where guys just want to show up race.


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#17 Samiam

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Posted 31 August 2023 - 06:48 AM

Until brushless attains the perfection we have reached with brushed motors it will never work.


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#18 Bucky

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Posted 31 August 2023 - 08:45 AM

Until brushless attains the perfection we have reached with brushed motors it will never work.


That time is now.
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#19 MSwiss

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Posted 31 August 2023 - 09:36 AM

I was told the esc is locked, and since the esc limits performance (power curve and max rpm) any variations in motors have no impact on how the setup performs.

 

I'm not going  to pretend to know anything about locked ESCs assuring identical performance, or how hard it is to work around the locking, but back in 2019 ROAR felt compelled to issue this apology about their past inability to provide fair races in the Spec classes.

 

If RC racing, which is much than slots, hadn't figured it out by 2019, I would guess it may not be cut n dry.

 

Also, if speed was predetermined by the ESC, why would someone rewind a motor as Mike Low mentioned?

 

Why would I see someone selling blu printed motors?

 

Screenshot_20230831_073332_Chrome.jpg


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#20 Sloter

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Posted 31 August 2023 - 09:58 AM

My 2 cents. This sport is dying and we do not need more expensive cars. Yes, technology is great but we do not need additional expense in this sport. Attendance is down at the big races now and what do you think this will do, it will only shrink the attendance further. To me, racing a blur or watching a blur go around a track is not slot car racing to me. Just my 2 cents.

 

Bob


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#21 Brian Czeiner

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Posted 31 August 2023 - 10:01 AM

Wouldn't mass manufacturing flaws still cause variations in performance? We would be right back where we started except with more expensive motors.


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#22 gatormark

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Posted 31 August 2023 - 11:03 AM

Did someone say how perfect these Chinese junk motors are? LOL.


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#23 jimht

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Posted 31 August 2023 - 11:05 AM

The discussion keeps going back to support for the NCC's flawed Group Racing Classes concept.

 

There are only 3 kinds of slot cars: Scale, Semi-scale and Wing and arbitrarily requiring a particular motor for each category and sub-variation within each category just plain hasn't worked to reduce cost, control speed, or equalize driver ability.

 

Try to imagine that there's no need to fruitlessly control the speed of the motors when:

 

1) Experience shows it's not possible.

2) The need for control based on cost is irrelevant when cost is not a factor.

3) Given that everyone will be able to afford fast motors, driver classes become the easy way to sort racers.

 

Yes, I know that ATPIT we've subdivided slot car racing into umpteen variations based on motor speed and cost, but if we can break lose from that with brushless and simplify what we deal with we might be able to get away from the current silliness of National and World Champions that sometimes win races that don't even have as many racers as there are lanes on the track.

 

Define the body, define the chassis and let the racer decide what motor he likes.

 

If someone wins because he can build a better car and/or drive a faster motor isn't that fair?

 

Every race is not supposed to wind up in an eight-way tie.


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#24 Terry Tawney

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Posted 31 August 2023 - 11:15 AM

Gatormark, you don't race anyway.


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#25 Bucky

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Posted 31 August 2023 - 12:39 PM

The way that the current brushless technology was explained to me makes sense. None of the claims seemed outlandish to me. I believe human technological understanding is at a point where an ESC can dictate motor performance, and the ESC can be locked to avoid tampering or easily checked pre/post race. If you choose not to believe this thats likely where we differ.

The price might be too steep in RTR cars, but at ~$100 for an ESC and motor that outlives many FK motors makes financial sense for racing.

I personally hope its interesting to look back at this post in a few years after brushless racing is very common, or we might still be racing brushed motors with no real change. Who knows.
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