Maker Hangar is a 15-part video series by Lucas Weakley.

In Episode 3 of the Maker Hangar series, Lucas Weakley breaks down the important role electric speed controllers (ESC) play in RC planes. These components convert DC power into AC power and regulate power to the motor. But it’s important to pair the appropriate ESC to the right motor otherwise you’re headed for a meltdown. In this video, Lucas will also talk about battery elimination circuits (BEC) and what they do.


MAKE and Lucas Weakley have teamed up to bring you Maker Hangar, a 15-episode tutorial series that will teach you everything you need to know to build and fly this custom RC plane, the Maker Trainer.

New installments will air every Tuesday and Thursday through August. Also, be sure to join us on the Maker Hangar Google+ Community page to share your ideas, comments, photos and video and details for your own RC plane project builds.

Lucas Weakley is a 17-year-old Eagle Scout who will be a senior next year in the Engineering and Manufacturing Institute for Technology (EMIT) at Forest High School in Ocala, Fla. Lucas became interested in flight and got his first RC plane for his ninth birthday. Recently he’s been designing and building his own planes and hosts an R/C aircraft YouTube show called BusyBee TV. Lucas also has his own aerial videography company called TopView Aerials.

For more information about the series, as well as archived videos, head to the Maker Hangar page.

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.


  • Eric

    So (45 seconds in…) pulsating DC = sine wave AC due to a speed controller…..?

  • http://miracleair.blogspot.com/ David Medlock

    This is SO GOOD! I’m a teacher with a nacent rc club and this is now my curriculum.

  • Andrea Bettati

    Could be a stupid question, but:
    could I control a dc motor with the
    ESC? If yes (as I suppose) why fo we have 3 cables going to the motor? I
    can control a DC motor with a hbridge (for the direction of the
    rotation) and a PWM, which actually takes only 2 wires. Any help would
    be appreciated!

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