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How can you tell if a motor is brushed, brushless, or a stepper? Answered

I am trying to buy speed control but being that this is my first time building a battle bot when i bought the motors i just bought some motors off of ebay. Unaware, that there was much more to this aspect of the bot. Thank you in advance.


what is the type of this? I've searched every website related to this but never saw "brushed" or "brushless" word!


That's because that is not a motor but a servo. It translates stick movement into a 180 degree rotation on the servo arm. It is meant to move things like rudders on models instead of providing propulsion like a motor.


6 years ago

If the motor is brushless it will have 3 connectors such as the link below:


If it is brushed it will have 2 connectors such as the link below:


These are examples that fit into RC Cars but they may as well be the same for whatever you are looking for.

the brushless as the name it say's...doesn't have brushes...inside the brushless motor the magnets are turning and the coil is fixed ;) these motors are slidely more efficient then brushed motors ;) peace

a stepper motor will have four leads coming off it, one for each coil 9each coil turns the shaft 90 degs, which is why it is controleabul. the only way I know to check brushed or brushless, is to open the motor up.

ok, well... i know for sure i dont have a stepper, but i dont really want to risk opening one up? can you even open them up?

1/3 of the way there. no its not a good Idea to open one up when you then want to use it agane but, yes they can be openened (if you wanted to see how they worked). you prise off the back of the motor and the inside parts can be pulled out. good it you need some high power magnets in a hurry. I have been thinking though. brushed motors produce what is called electronic "noise" and this can be detected with a radio. ifs like when a motorbike goes past and the TV goes a bit fuzzy for a second (only on analog signals though). Any way, get a small radio and set it to a good strong station, then turn on your motor, if there is any interferences with the signal, you probaly have a brushed motor. you may want to do it several times to check though.

Usually brushed motors are harder to turn then a brushless motor, kind of like an alternator is easier to turn then a generator.

it depends on the size as well, this may not work for small motors. If the are small motors run a 9 volt battery through it both ways and if it turns very fast it DC if it does not turn it is AC but generally most small motor are DC. Also check if it has a label. If it looks like this then I am 99.99% sure it is AC.

Electric motor.jpg

i think it is, but i still need to figure out wether or not it is brushed or brushless.

If it is a DC cooling fan from a computer it is brushless, other then that it is probably brushed.