RCDC: DC motor control via servo signals

[Spikenzie]  has put together this nice kit for controlling a DC motor with RC servo signals. He’s using a PIC12F629 to convert the signal to PWM. As you can see in the video above, it seems to work quite well. It is in a neat and tidy package and available as a kit. We have to admit though, what caught our eye was the prototype. Even though it is a kit for sale, it looks as though they plan on releasing the PCB files and code.


  1. Hackius says:

    I’m thunderstruck by this project.

  2. dmitryg says:

    it’s this just an ESC?

  3. macegr says:

    I love these things, have used some from Pololu with PID/potentiometer feedback to servo big gearmotors, to turn the steering rack on a car. RC-style PPM is a decent protocol for this…it’s refreshed a lot so occasional noise isn’t a problem, works over long distances, and anything can generate it.

  4. AstroTurf says:

    WOW… its like 1980’s technology of the future…

    You know what would make it better…
    add 3 more Arduinos…

  5. ridefst says:

    I’m with dmitryg, looks like it’s just an ESC
    Would be better if it had a potentiometer input for position feedback, then it could be used as a custom sized servo.
    Cool that he made his own ESC, but you can buy a readymade 30amp ESC for under $10USD

  6. Natrix says:

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure you can buy that from Tower Hobbies or something for far less than most people’s opportunity cost to design and manufacturer an equivalent.

  7. Andrew says:

    Wow, this isn’t even open source…
    and look he’s selling a kit

    This would be a passable “hack” had he documented the build and provided code but really this is just free advertising for his product.

  8. Amnon says:

    At 2005 I have done some thing similar by modification of a servo to control a dc motor
    here is the video

    their is a google translation of a file that I wrote which explain how to do that.


  9. Coligny says:

    20usd for a closed source kit of an esc controller without reverse…


    Here… for 30USD you got a 60Amp forward 30Amp back, from tamiya no less


    And here on way esc starting 10USD for 12Amps http://www.rc-fever.com/index.php?keyword=esc&main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=0

  10. therian says:

    H-bridge + PWM work fine for me

  11. smartazz says:

    Thanks Amnon I’ve been wanting to do that for a while!

  12. Stu says:

    Somehow he mistook the whole ESC concept and put it into this project, clearly he (And hackaday?) think this is somehow original.
    Does his version allow you to use and control those very powerful main-drive motors found in good RC cars at full whack then?

  13. Haku says:

    Surely if you want something like this you can simply take the circuitboard from a servo and keep the potentiometer so for manual fine tuning, or put a couple of resistors in it’s place.

    That’s what I’ve done when I once turned a wired toy car into an RC toy car, use a circuitboard from a useless servo (stripped gears) as an ESC for the small motor already in the toy car – something I’m planning on doing to my Hitari K.I.T.T. because it drives like crap and needs an upgrade to a proper proportional control.

  14. user@domain.tld says:

    H-Bridge: TI SN754410NE

  15. Hank van Buren says:

    This is something I have been waiting for. I am building a large robot, the motors are 35 to 40 Amps at 12 Volts. I wonder or I could drive a large H-Bridge from the output of the RCDC, Currently I am using the circuit boards of servos.

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