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RC Glossary


New to the RC Hobbies? What does buggy, bulkhead, nitro mean in radio control car hobbies? Check out the glossary for remote control cars below.

Brush --

The small alloy 'block' attached to the end of a brush shunt. Brushes are usually made from a copper (soft) or a high silver content (hard) alloy, and they slide into the brush hoods on a brushed electric motor. The brush is what makes contact with the comm, transferring power from the battery to the motor (via the speed controller). Brushes are available in many styles (such as square, rectangle, round, and octagon), and often come with serrations or grooves cut into the contact face, affecting their resistance and power distribution. Larger brushes (more face area) transmit more voltage, but may cause shorting if they are too big. Smaller brushes transmit less voltage, but help reduce arcing. A brush spring presses against the back of the brush to hold it against the comm. In some cases, such as with micro motors and closed endbell (cheapie) motors, the brushes may be copper strips or 'fingers' that are not replaceable. The following represents common RC brush shapes and alignments :

LAYDOWN - This is a rectangular brush that is wider than it is tall. Good for low end and mid range power, but may produce arcing (reduced power) at high RPMs. Laydown brushes are the RC car standard.
OCTAGON - A good compromise between square and round brushes - an octagon brush can provide some of the benifits of a round brush on any motor that uses square brushes.
ROUND - Commonly used in 'V' endbells, round brushes offer great mid-range power with reduced arcing at high RPMs.
SQUARE - An all around brush meant to offer the best between power and torque.
STAND UP - This brush is taller than it is wide, basically a brush laid on it's side. This may reduce low end torque (as well as reducing arcing) but increases top end potential power.
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