Thursday, December 20, 2012

What is OPTO?

Opto in radio control (RC) contexts means Opto-coupler. On the ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) ie. Motor Controller, the power used to drive the motor is electrically isolated from the power used to control the servos. This is supposed to reduce radio interference between the motor and receiver as light signals are used between the motor and receiver circuits. As a result, the ESC requires separate battery packs, one of the motor and the other for the receiver and servos.

3 comments:

charles7328 said...

OPTO is supposed to mean 'opto-coupled', where the throttle signal is coupled into the ESC via a light beam. The idea is that there is no direct electrical connection between the receiver and the business end of the ESC, therefore stopping electrical inteference from travelling down the wiring into the receiver.
However there quite a few cheap 'OPTO' ESC's available that don't have an opto-coupler, and should really just be called 'No-BEC'. For most applications these work fine. If you have a 2.4GHz radio then interference won't be a problem, and if you connect an external UBEC to the motor battery then it bypasses the opto-coupler anyway.More info

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