Gauging Interest in New Micro Forward/Reverse ESC (Now with Video) - RC Groups
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Jun 05, 2013, 08:59 PM
Registered User

Gauging Interest in New Micro Forward/Reverse ESC (Now with Video)

As I mentioned, I am designing a new micro ESC. It mostly was intended for my projects, and perhaps a few others. Despite this, I have had a handful of people ask me if I would plan on selling this. So I am throwing this out there to see if there is interest. It would likely sell in the $12-$15 range. Here are the specs:

-1 and 2 cell lithium rated
-1.8A continuous rating, 3.5A burst
-Thermal protection
-Over amperage protection
-Low voltage detection for lithium batteries (Not specifically set up for Nickel based batteries)
-Small size, .25" x .6" (~6mm x 15mm)

Due to its small size, and anticipated usage, it does not have a BEC. Also it does not come prewired. It would be anticipated that the user would solder the connections.

Current Status:
The device has been prototyped and run. Initial functionality has checked out. I need to test the code for the low voltage detection. I also need to do some stress testing to make sure that it can handle the rated current. If there was enough interest, I would open it up to preorders. I would need to sell 20 parts to get the component costs low enough to make it viable.

Here is a picture of the prototype device shown below. Note, there are two boards shown side by side. One is assembled, and the other one is a bare board.
Last edited by Aeroengineer1; Jul 29, 2013 at 07:25 PM.
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Jun 05, 2013, 11:37 PM
derk's Avatar
what is the difference between the square board and the long one? just different layouts?
Jun 06, 2013, 12:48 AM
Registered User
tchalfant's Avatar
That is a yes +1 for me - per other post.
Jun 06, 2013, 08:43 AM
Registered User
Derk, the other board is a completely different project. It is not near as far along in the code development as the micro ESC. I have yet to actually build one up. It is a micro pitch leveler that can fit into my small 144th scale Type 206 sub. None of the ones currently on the market will fit in that boat. Why should I go without one when I can design one myself. I am not sure that one will be commercially viable. Some of the components are not cheap on it. This was the trade to get the size down. When completed, the board will measure .55" x .55" (14mm x 14mm).
Jun 06, 2013, 09:58 AM
derk's Avatar
okay, i see. i wouldn't have much need for a leveler anyhow, as my main goal is to build a research submarine or a tourist sub. i may however need a few of those escs but that will have to wait a little while.
Jun 06, 2013, 10:47 AM
Registered User
I have also gotten questions about why there is no BEC. Here is the reason why, if you are running this on a 1s setup, then you should be able to power all of your electronics from a single cell with out needing the regulation. If on the other hand, you are running on 2s, then most likely these are being used for a system as an auxiliary device, and not main power. In this case, adding a BEC would just make the board larger, and be superfluous.

Jun 07, 2013, 03:32 PM
Log me in for 2, Adam!!
Jun 07, 2013, 06:35 PM
derk's Avatar
also, there are stand alone regulators that would run the receiver and a few servos that are very small and cheap.

when i find out what i am allowed to get, i will let you know
Jun 07, 2013, 06:58 PM
Registered User

You could use that regulator in conjunction with these units. Most receivers just have a power rail that attaches to the power out on their pins, and will allow for current draw. This would allow you to power this from the receiver that has what ever you choose to provide for regulated voltage.

The main design goal was to provide a very small, but feature rich device for small submarines. Most of these are going to be running on single cell. The voltage regulator that I have on the board, though, will allow for it to be powered from higher cell counts. In theory it could even be used for 3s operation, but would not have a low voltage warning. If the device is running off a single cell, then there is not going to be a need to reduce the voltage down for other components in the system as they would also be rated for single cell.

If I had chosen to add a bec, the board would have needed to be at least twice the size if not triple the size to be able to handle the thermal loads. This would have made it too large to fit into the space that I needed it to fit into.


Thanks for letting me know. I am hoping to have an update tomorrow on some of the testing. I will let you all know how it goes. I might see if I can get some video posted of the device running.

Jun 08, 2013, 12:27 AM
Go small or go home
ruzam's Avatar
Tell me more about its operation. Is this a full forward, full reverse ESC?

I'd really like to see a 2 channel 2 ESC unit with tank type control (skid steer).
Jun 08, 2013, 12:59 PM
Registered User

The current operation is set up so that it will go from 100% reverse to 100% forward. This particular device does not have a braking function as there is no need for it on a low inertia propeller. The resolution of the device from full reverse to full forward is 1000 counts.

I am testing today the Low Voltage Cutoff. This should reduce the output to half the current setting once you reach a certain limit. This will allow you to make it back to shore if your battery goes low.

I have looked at potentially, in the future, making a dual micro speed controller with mixing as you have suggested. I would have to think about it. In order to get it done and still have the low voltage cutoff, I would either need to get resourceful, or I would need to change the microcontroller that I am using. I am not sure which approach I want to take. This is definitely under consideration, but I would not expect anything till towards the end of the year. I may get to it sooner, but I would not want to commit to it.

Jun 08, 2013, 02:48 PM
George Jure

I would also be interested in the esc if you go forward with production.
Jun 08, 2013, 03:16 PM
Go small or go home
ruzam's Avatar
Originally Posted by Aeroengineer1
I have looked at potentially, in the future, making a dual micro speed controller with mixing as you have suggested.
I've been interested in micro indoor blimps for quite some time. The best control method is dual motors (one on either side) in a skid steer arrangement. In this small size, servo circuits are an option re-purposed for use as ESC, but doing it this way is more of a 'full on' or 'full off' result and not much variable speed. So 2 of your speed controllers would be better than 2 servo circuits. A combined dual ESC board (with less weight) would be even better. A board that takes two channels and mixes them into skid steering, would be the bomb.
Jun 08, 2013, 04:10 PM
Registered User

These are better than reusing a small servo board. The one thing to be aware of is that a dual controller would not be much smaller or lighter. The reason is that these are sized for heat dissipation. With a dual controller, you would have a board that is twice the size, it would just have one regulator and microcontroller on it as opposed to two.


I will be sure to keep you updated.

Jun 08, 2013, 09:17 PM
Registered User
microgyros's Avatar
Originally Posted by Aeroengineer1
...None of the ones currently on the market will fit in that boat. Why should I go without one when I can design one myself. I am not sure that one will be commercially viable....
I could have sworn I posted out twenty, that'd fit, only three days prior to this statement.See the foot of my homepage.

Last year I was selling ones half the size.

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