Brushless Motors in Slot Cars

Slot cars are normally powered by 3 pole permanent magnet motors with brushes and commutators.   An alternative is a brushless motor.

In 2021 Bob Budge and Richard Mack developed brushless powered slot cars that were close to the pace of conventional cars, Bob making two main grade National finals with brushless cars.  These cars are driven with a normal slot car controller, so they don’t have full power on the track braids all the time  The key to this is the in car control board (the Electronic Speed Control board - ESC for short), the first ones were developed for drag racing slot cars in North America.   The ESCs are under development and the plan is to make them generally available after further development.  These brushless motors couldn’t run without the ESC any more than a conventional motor could run with the brushes and comm missing, so the ESC name can be misunderstood.

There’s an in depth explanation of these motors and ESCs in the motors section of the web site.

Here are some early examples of 1/24 cars .  Also see the 1/32 F1 and Sports pages.

Slot Cars with Brushless Motors

This is a 1/24 car as seen in August 2021.   Essentially a conventional Eurosport chassis with a slotted motor plate for motor mounting.    This had a relatively low reving motor and is geared accordingly, note the 13 tooth pinion compared with the 5 and 6 teeth commonly used in Eurosport.

The brushless motors attach to the chassis with screws, as the mounting face is made of light alloy there is no practical way of soldering them in. Brushless motors need much less maintenance, so there’s less need to take them in and out of the chassis and the screw fixing makes replacing the motor a quick job for the rare occasions it does need maintenance.

This is a new car as seen in September 2021.  

The motor box has been redesigned designed to suit the ESC and allows it to be mounted lower in the car.  Lowering the  ESC will lower the centre of gravity - 2 or 3 grams a few mm lower won’t make a huge difference but every little helps.  

Note the insulating sleeve over the ESC, you don’t want the electronics making contact with the track braid!

Thanks to Bob Budge and Richard Mack for all the help with this article

© Copyright British Slot Car Racing Association 2021  Photos copyright C.Frost All rights reserved