Using High Current ESC?

I'd like to build a self-balancing vehicle and would like to use a brushless 48v 1000W motor. I know, brushed would be much easier but I run into the same issue, no controllers powerful enough. There are a lot of scooter ESCs that can handle the power and I'm wondering if I can hook up an Arduino to one and have reverse? I don't know how scooter controllers work, but I'm hoping I might be able to simply tap into the throttle lines. I suspect this would only be good for one direction though, unless I found one that has reverse already, even then I'm not sure how I'd hook up to it.

Does anyone know of a reasonably priced high-power ESC ready for Arduino input, or even a good schematic I can build from? I'm not an engineer type but I can etch and solder a board. I'd even be willing to try cracking open a scooter ESC to bypass or cut traces and then solder in some wires to the Arduino where they need to go, if anyone has some tips on how to do that.

Thank you,

Sensored or sensorless BLDC?

Roboteq makes this controller (SDC2150NS), which I think would be adequate for 48V, 1000W (ie, 20A) brushed DC motor:

It isn't cheap, though ($225.00 USD) - but you're not likely to find such brushed DC controllers to be so (not sure about BLDC).


I honestly can't say. I've asked for detailed specs and I'm hoping to get them next week. The motor I'm looking at is the Golden Motors MW16B, if anyone knows anything about it.


I've looked at Roboteq but their incredibly expensive, 150A 50v for $550 for a bldc. If I were to go brushed I'd go with the OSMC board that is 160A 50v for about $170. My hope was to simplify the physical design by using a hubbed motor. I know this will add cost and complexity to the electronics.

I did find a couple of threads over on the forum;
Simple BLDC controller - Endless Sphere
Not simple BLDC controller It RUNS! :) - Endless Sphere

I'm studying both designs to see if I can use them, since they're intended for scooter use.

All those hub motors are hall-sensor BLDCs - however some of the Golden Motor ones have integrated controllers (the "Magic Pie" ones at least) - their integrated controllers for bike hub motors are unidirectional, note. If it's a bare motor (3 wire power + 5 wire sensor connectors usually) then any industry BLDC controller should be able to work with it (once you've figured out the correct phase wiring!)

Note that RC models use sensorless motors (no space for the sensors) and their ESCs will not necessarily work with a low RPM motor and certainly don't work at slow speeds with any motor as they rely on back EMF sensing. "ESC" usually means RC style, not a standard industry sensored BLDC controller.


Thanks for the clarification on the motor and the terminology, I'm still learning. Some of the scooter guys call them ESCs, so that's what I called it. To me it's a 'driver', since the control part will be taken care of by the Arduino. At least that's how I learned the terms when I was building my CNC and RepRap.

I'll keep studying the two links above and report back here with progress, if any.


I may need to start a new thread, but I'll give you an update on my investigation into Golden Motors offerings. Apparently the MW16-C or -B is not able to go in reverse, but their Magic Pie 2 offers that capapbility. I received the wiring diagram and it appears that the controller is internal since there are only connections for the battery pos and neg and then an 8-pin connector that takes inputs from throttle, regen brake, reverse switch and such.

This motor is the same one being used in the SBU V2 and V3. This being the case I know it can be done, my question is how can I do it with an Arduino?

So, I'll start a new thread to ask about this specifically and I'll include the wiring diagram.