These are the smallest and lightest motor controllers currently manufactured for RC hobby robotics. They take up very little space but can handle more than enough motor current for your robots.
Version 2.4 now includes backwards-polarity protection - plugging a battery in backwards will not destroy a tinyESC! There is also now protection on the 5V receiver line so that other BECs will not affect the tinyESC - no need to disconnect the red wire anymore!
Check the Videos tab for an introductory video by SparkFun!
- Bi-directional brushed motor controller.
- Ultra-compact and lightweight.
- Undervoltage, overcurrent, overtemp reverse-polarity, and BEC protection.
- Internal BEC (battery eliminator circuit) provides 5V to receiver - no extra receiver battery required!
- Calibrate function allows precision driving.
- Status LEDs for both directions and calibration.
*The tinyESC includes a Battery Eliminator Circuit. If there is no 5V supply present on the robot, this will power the radio receiver from the main battery. (There is a blocking diode in v2.4, so multiple tinyESC BECs can be run at once, along with one non-tinyESC BEC. It is still not recommend to run multiple unprotected BECs together.)
*If you are controlling the tinyESC from a powered device (like Arduino, etc), there is now (v2.4) no worry about damaging the tinyESC from higher voltages.
*Includes 0.01uF capacitor. Solder between motor leads to filter motor noise and voltage spikes. (Not required for FingerTech Spark motors - they are high quality and do not generate dangerous voltage spikes.)
SERVO Magazine Reviews:
Battery Voltage: 6.5V - 36V
Motor Current: 1.5A continuous (forever). For robots, usable continuous current is 2.0A.
Max Current: 3A. For robots though, 5A-stall motors are easily handled by tinyESCs (see Videos
BEC Output: 5V, 100mA (can run other electronics like receivers and other ESCs, but not motors or servos.)
BEC current is reduced for voltage above 8V - see graph: BEC Derating Graph
Motor is braked to stop rather than coasting. This gives precision motor control, crucial for robot drive!
Motors that our customers regularly run off a single tinyESC:
- 2 Gold/Silver Sparks 16mm
- 2 Maxons
- 3 BotBitz/Pololu/Sanyo 12mm
- 1 Kitbots 1000RPM 25mm (needs capacitor)
- 1 B16 (2.5A stall) 22mm
- 1 B62 (5A stall) 22mm
Circuit board size: 1.27x1.27x0.41cm (0.5x0.5x0.16”)
Outer heatshrink size: 1.35x1.85x0.48cm (0.53x0.73x0.19”) - calibration pins have been changed from male to female (v2.4) to reduce length and fragility
Weight with wires: 4.5grams (0.16oz)
Currently there are
known ways to destroy a tinyESC. (So avoid them!)
1) Reverse battery voltage.
2) Applying battery voltage to the motor outputs.
3) Voltage spikes from noisy motors (not using the included capacitor).
FingerTech Spark motors are not noisy and do not need the capacitor.
||Either LED Could Flash
|No R/C Signal
||No Pulse Stream
||Slow Blinking Red
The tinyESC comes pre-calibrated with defaults that match the 1000-1500-2000µs of most radios, but if you wish to change the limits or center position:
1) Plug tinyESC into unpowered radio receiver.
2) Jumper the two tinyESC Calibrate pins with any piece of wire. (see image
3) Power up tinyESC.
4) Move transmitter stick to high and low limits.
5) Return transmitter stick to center.
6) Remove the jumper.
The center position is now “motor off” with full forward and full reverse speeds at the upper and lower limits.
*You may calibrate multiple tinyESCs at once (as in channel mixing).
Reset to Defaults
- To revert to default calibration, do the above steps without moving the transmitter stick at all. (Or with the transmitter turned off.)
Note for Spektrum users:
The Spektrum transmitters do an odd thing with their mixing. If your motors only run full speed when the stick is in a corner (meaning going straight ahead/reverse is *not* full speed), then you will want to calibrate the tinyESC just like the directions above, but make sure you only move the stick straight up
and straight down
, not moving the stick sideways at all. This will give you full speed for forward and reverse!
Is one motor faster than the other?:
When calibrating the faster motor, also move the trim on the transmitter up (when you move the stick to the maximum) and down (when you move the stick to the minimum). Recenter the trim lever, center the stick and remove the calibrate jumper. This will limit the top speed of that motor. You may have to try different amounts of trim to get the motors to behave exactly the same.
SparkFun has created a nice introduction video for the tinyESC now that they carry it:
The videos below show a tinyESC running a powerful "B16" 22mm diameter motor that draws over 5A stall at 12V.
On the left is 11.1V operation and on the right is 14.8V operation.
- At 11.1V, the tinyESC runs at full power even with over 2.3kg (5lbs) of weight on the wheel.
- At 14.8V, it takes 2.3kg (5lbs) before overcurrent protection kicks in. (Remember, that's 5lb per wheel!)
A quick video showing the difference between "coasting" a motor to a stop and the tinyESC's "braking" to a stop. tinyESCs give much more control when driving!
|FingerTech "Gold Spark" 16mm Gearmotor - 19.05 CAD|
|FingerTech's Gold Spark motors are great for hobby use and in competition robots such as mini-sumo and line following. If your application will be close to or exceeding the torque limits listed below, check out our Silver Spark motors.|
• The extra-long 3mm shaft is triple-supported internally so that wheels can be mounted directly.
• All-metal spur gear reduction gearhead mated to a Mabuchi FK-050 motor.
• 9 different gear ratios for a wide range of rpm and torque to choose from (see details).
• Only 28grams (0.99oz).
|FingerTech "Silver Spark" 16mm Gearmotor - 23.81 CAD|
|The new Silver Spark line of motors has the same 16mm diameter as the Gold Sparks, but the gears are a larger pitch. This means less worrying about stripping teeth in your bigger or heavier applications!|
• Extra-long 3mm shaft for mounting wheels directly with the option to use a bearing block for support on the wheel's far side.
• Same 11mm face mount pattern as Gold Spark motors.
• All-metal spur gearhead mated to a Mabuchi FK-050 motor.
• 9 different gear ratios for a wide range of rpm and torque to choose from. One twice as fast, and one twice as slow as the Gold Sparks!
• Weights from 28 - 32grams (0.99 - 1.13oz). (see details)
|FingerTech Mini Terminal Block (pair) - 6.19 CAD|
|• When you don't want to solder every wire connection, these push-wire terminal blocks are a convenient solution. |
• Easily connect and disconnect up to four 18ga wires to a common connection point.
• Includes one red and one black terminal block for positive and negative (ground) connections.
|JST Connector (Female) - 0.95 CAD|
|• 2-Pin JST-style female connector. |
• Wires are 20 gauge, 10cm (4in) long. 12cm including connector housing.
• High quality, high strand count silicon wire used gives higher amp throughput than standard wire of the same diameter. Connectors are plated for greater amp handling.