A lot of people advise newcomers of the FPV community to either try a simulator or buy a Tiny Whoop to get a better feel for the sticks. There are two main types of Tiny Whoops, Brushed and Brushless. In this article we will explain the pro’s and con’s of both.
This article is written by guest writer, Connor Mullan, an experienced tiny whoop racer.
Basically the difference is in the motors.
Brushed Tiny Whoops simply use brushed motors.
While that of Brushless Whoops use brushless motors.
It is clear that there is a big surge in brushless whoops popularity in the last year, does this mean the brushed micros are dead and buried?
One of the reasons why brushless motors are getting more popular is due to its durability, but there are more to consider in terms of performance difference between the two types of motors. And we will dive into that in this article.
Looking for a new tiny whoop? Check out our Tiny Whoop buyer’s guide which features some of the latest and greatest whoops.
Better Handling In Corners
Brushed whoops don’t carry the same momentum in the corners as brushless whoops because they tend to be slower. This may seem like a bad thing, but it gives the brushed whoops the ability to turn on a dime and feel like they fly on rails.
Brushless whoops sometimes feel as if they drift around tight corners as you can approach corners with so much speed. Because of this, it is easier to overshoot the corner and lose some time in your laps when flying a race.
From using both indoors, it is clear that the brushed whoop is definitely quieter.
This makes it more acceptable in public spaces if you’re flying away from home, or if you’re trying to keep annoying others in your household to a minimum on a rainy day.
Longer Flight Time
Brushed motors are normally less abusive on batteries, I found they often give 30 or so seconds more of flight time than a brushless whoop. When they only fly for around two and a half minutes, this can make a world of difference.
Different Flight Characteristics
Brushed whoops have a more linear throttle response, making them easier to control and fly (at least, in my opinion). The throttle feels less twitchy, making it my choice of whoop in tight racing tracks that don’t have many elevation changes.
More Accurate Flying Indoors
This might just be me, but I feel like I crash less indoors with a brushed whoop as they are easier to fly. They are easier to handle in corners, making it easier to hit gates or gaps when flying in the house at speed.
No Turtle Mode
Turtle mode allows you to flip your whoop upright when you crash upside down without having to go and pick it up. Most, if not all, brushless whoops have this mode but only a few flight controllers offer this for brushed whoops. This can often make it a pain if you’re crashing frequently.
Further Reading: How to setup Turtle Mode.
Brushed motors require replacing
A TLDR of brushed motors is that the brushes inside the motors eventually wear out from use, in fact, a lot faster than brushless motors.
Take for example, in the past 12 months of intensive flying, I’ve managed to go through four sets of brushed motors, whereas I’ve not had to replace a single brushless motor in the same time.
Saying this, replacements for brushed are fairly cheap (much cheaper than replacement brushless motors!) and you can pick up set of 3 (so 12 individual motors) for roughly £20. If you fly batteries back to back and don’t allow your brushed motors to cool down after each flight, expect to be replacing them slightly more often than if you give them a few moments after the previous battery before you go flying again.
Not The Best for Outdoor Flying
Whenever I’m flying outdoors, I always reach for the brushless whoop. Brushed whoops are capable of flying outside, but brushless whoops have that extra power to make flying in horizon or manual mode just that little more enjoyable.
More Raw Power!!
As Jeremy Clarkson would say, more power = more fun. Brushless motors feel like they have a lot more juice, making outdoors tracks and freestyle exploring a lot of fun. This can however make it slightly more tricky flying precisely indoors, but for flying outdoors it’s a no-brainer.
I can’t think of any brushless whoops that don’t have this feature. It definitely saves time on having to go and pick up your downed aircraft. However! Be aware that on slick surfaces such as laminated floor, it often just slides across the floor upside down instead of actually flipping back over – it may not always work the way you want it to.
I am yet to break anything or replace a motor on the UR65 (a brushless whoop). Saying this, it definitely takes harder impacts than the brushed whoop due to the higher top speeds, so I feel like I am more likely to break the frame on this vs the brushed whoops.
Better with elevation changes
More punch (power) means they can ascend quicker, and slightly heavier than a brushed means they descend quicker as well, with less aggressive washout when going down stairs for instance.
This gives more confidence when descending, allowing for more aggressive lines when in races. Because of this, brushless whoops are definitely better suited for larger more open tracks, that have big elevation changes around the course.
Too Much Power?
Because of the extra juice from the brushless motors, it can make flying indoors slightly more intimidating as it takes a bit of practice to keep the whoop from bouncing off the walls and ceilings. Brushed whoops have a smoother throttle curve, making it easier for beginners to fly in a calmer manner in their house.
This is why many choose to limit throttle on brushless whoops especially when flying indoor.
If you need to replace a motor, be aware that is will be more expensive to replace over a brushed motor. You may however save money in the long run, because brushed whoop’s motors require changing far more often. For example, comparing the UR65 to the QX65 however, the brushed whoop is roughly £15 cheaper to buy depending on what deals are about.
Issues with the JST Connector
Bit of an odd one and might not be a problem for everyone, but I have had to replace the JST connector twice in my time of ownership. If you feel like your brushless whoop is constantly flying on a dead battery, replace the JST! I’ve only had this issue with the Brushless whoop so not sure why this is the case, I have heard many others with this problem so pick some spare JST connectors up just in case.
A combination of a higher top speed, and a slightly heavier whoop overall (in comparison to brushed whoops), means that brushless whoops hit the ground (or whatever your target is) a lot harder. This means you have to be more vigilant when flying a public spot as you don’t want to hit anyone with one at full tilt.
Unfortunately, the choice isn’t as easy as me choosing one for you, it is entirely down to your situation.
If you’re a beginner and fly predominantly outdoors? Brushless will suit you better. Fly indoors with friends often? Public spaces? Brushed for its quietness and less aggressive flying style, makes them safer.
Both have their quirks, and both fly really well, I doubt you’ll be disappointed with either. If you are racing with them, I think they’d both get similar lap times depending on the track layout, with more straights and more ups and downs, the brushless would be more beneficial, but a tighter track would be better suited with the brushed.
If you can see yourself pretty much only flying in big open spaces, I’d suggest a brushless whoop hands down. They are fast and feel more at home when you change into horizon or manual mode.
For indoors and small areas, brushed whoop would probably be the way to go. I feel like the brushed whoops offer better handling so you bounce off the walls less, and a more controllable throttle feel so staying level in flight is easier, requiring less modulation of the throttle (unlike brushless whoops indoors).
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