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mechanical speed control

Old 12-17-2004, 07:14 AM
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knowbest
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Default mechanical speed control

does anyone know about those mechanical speed control.i like to put one in a tug boat.thanks.
Old 12-17-2004, 11:54 AM
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LtDoc
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Default RE: mechanical speed control

knowbest,
The ONLY thing a mechanical speed controler has going for it is that they are cheaper than an ESC (electrical speed controler). Mechanical speed controlers are a variable resistor or a series of resistors which are switched in/out of the motor circuit to control the amount of current reaching the motor. Resistors 'burn up' current which is a total loss (another way of saying that is that they convert amps to heat). If it uses the 'switched resistor' method, there are only two or maybe three 'fixed' forward speeds, can't vary the speed except for those 'fixed' values. Going in reverse is sometimes an 'option' depending on the particular controler, but not possible with some. The mechanical speed controlers do work, though, so if that's all that you can possibly use, then use one. Select one that is rated for more current than you will ever use (as in 1.5 to 2 times as much!). The reason for that is that the heat produced by the controler would be less. Try to isolate the controler from any flamable material in/on the boat. The biggest problem with mechanical controlers (aside from wasting current) is that they 'tend' to catch on fire if their ratings are exceded (and sometimes if only approached).
- 'Doc

PS - If it sounds like I'm trying to talk you out of using a mechanical speed controler, I am! Been there, done that, absolutely nothing like seeing a boat with smoke and flames comeing out of it - LOL...
Old 12-17-2004, 06:41 PM
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knowbest
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Default RE: mechanical speed control

thanks for the answer on mech speed control.maybe you could recommend an inexpesive esc thaks again.
Old 12-18-2004, 01:24 AM
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LtDoc
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Default RE: mechanical speed control

knowbest,
I use a 'Traxxas' ESC, but that doesn't mean it would be suitable for your purposes. There are a number of good ESCs on the market, just depends on your requirements. Most manufaturors make an ESC that will work just fine, the 'trick' is picking the one that ~does~ suit your purposes. To be able to do that you need to know what the current requirements are. You find that out by doing a 'stall' test on your motor(s) to find out the maximum current draw. Then, select an ESC accordingly.
- 'Doc

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