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Common Electric Terms

Before establishing the relationships and concepts of basic electricity it is important to explain all the common terms that are used. Terms will be listed in order of the most simple or common to terms that are not as used as often. These terms may be used in the other pages.

Battery – The battery for any RC plane, boat,  or car is the main source of power.  The battery provides the electricity by means of a chemical reaction.

ESC – The ESC controls the amount of power from the battery to the motor.  In general Brushless ESC’s alter the frequency of power delivered to the motor to control RPM. The ESC follows the demands provided by the user.

Motor –. An electrical motor is used to convert Electrical Energy to Mechanical Rotational Energy. Ultimately, it provides the power to your RC plane, boat, or car.

Voltage – Voltage is the electromotive force typically provided by the battery measured in Volts. (V) Can also represent a voltage drop over a load in a circuit.

Current – The current, commonly termed amperage, is the amount of electricity flowing through a circuit in a given period of time. Measured in Amps (A)

Resistance – Acts as an opposition to the flow of electricity. Found in every component of an electrical circuit.

Data Logger – A unit used to measure common electrical parameters in live real time.

Internal Resistance – Commonly associated with batteries or a power source, is the resistance measured across the battery leads or power source.

Nominal Voltage – The average voltage of a battery through it’s cycle from charged to nearly discharged.

Power – Power is the amount of energy being consumed in a circuit per unit time. Measure in Watts (W)

Cogging – A cogging brushless motor occurs when the motor is at or close to 0 RPM as the ESC timing is not in sync with the motor timing.

Continuous Current – The maximum allowable current that can be maintained for extended periods of time.

Maximum Peak Current – The maximum peak current is the maximum allowable current that can travel through a circuit for only a few seconds. Always higher than continuous current.

Unloaded RPM – Is the theoretical RPM of a motor calculated from a predetermined battery cell count at nominal voltage.

Loaded RPM – Is the actual RPM of a motor when loaded. Often but not always lower than Unloaded RPM.

Conductor – A material with electrical properties that conduct the flow of electricity

AC – Alternating Current is current that constantly switches between the two possible directions.

DC – Direct Current is current that travels in one direction

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