Let's Make Robots!

finding cheap RC ESC (speed controller)

I love RC ESCs. They are electronic speed controllers that you connect to a servo output on a RC receiver or a micro controller, and they give you full step free control over a big motor in both direction. Most of the ones made for RC cars work in the voltage range 6-8.4Volts, but there are several alternatives for people who plan to run up to 24 volt motors in almost constant stall at a gazzilion amps (read robot war contenders).

But I'm the eternal cheapskate, and wants the cheapest there is.. So far I've found this 


It costs $19 and comes as a kit, so I guess I have to solder it myself. Do any of you know of any cheaper ones?

My wanted specs are:

  • run in both direction (not plane type)
  • for brushed motor (not brushless)
  • cool if it has BEC (can supply regulated power for RC receiver or Microprocessor)
  • without break function (racing ESCs will stop the wheels if you go from full forward to full reverse)
  • really really cheap (since I need 4)
  • around 7Volts (I'm not fuzzy)

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As far as I can tell they're all either brushless or plane-ESCs (without reverse), or both... Did I miss anyone in particular?


There are 9 pages of controllers.

I scanned all 9 pages, but they all describe their Throttle curve. That usually indicates that it's made for planes which throttles not cars/robots with reverse.


Did you try Dealextreme ? 

2A doesn't seem like much and more of soemthing you could do with a l293/298 or something.

If you get one of those esc's, check the voltage on the bec circuit as they are usually higher than 5v.

Check out Tower Hobbies as well. they had a big selection back in the day when  I used to run rc cars...



Did you find ESC you've been looking for? And why would one use ESC over L293 motor drivers? I mean, what are the pros of the ESC over L293 ?

Wow, not so expensive. But that ESP is on the backorder or out of stock :( So the ESP is basically like the L293 motor driver, right?

It's more like a servo electronics board, but for a beefier motor. It takes regular servo signals and converts them linearly to motor speed, 1.5ms signal being motor stopped (you also have a jumper to break the motor or just coast at 1.5ms signal). I have a couple of them and they work perfectly with 12V power window motors. I wanted to make a sun following solar pannel, that's why I bought them. But they are good for robots too.

I have no idea why people don't use HobbyKing for LiPos, servos, ESCs and uBECs, as they have great products at cheap prices!