Newbie questions

Hi all and greetings from Italy. I have some generic questions about Pololu controllers because I have a project in mind. Unfortunately, I’m not an hardware expert being a software developer but I would like to try. I’m a slot car racer and my project would be a home made slot car controller.

Slot car motors are brushed and the input voltage is usually 12V. (at least here in Italy) My idea would be to use a pololu controller and an arduino.

Please don’t laugh for my basic questions.
What’s the difference between a controller and a driver ? I read the docs and they seems very similar in what they do.

The other question is : can a controller like, for example, the simple motor controller, be considered as an electronic speed controller or it’s most suited for other kind of applications ?

In my project, I’m going to use it as an ESC and slot motors usually reach more than 20000 rpm.

I hope to find answers… Many thanks to everyone who is going to share his expertise…


Hello, Sandro.

The way we use the words “controller” and “driver” is not universal (though others might also use them like that); we use them to identify specific categories of our electronics. You might have seen it already, but we describe the differences at the top of our Motion Control Modules page.

Yes, our Simple Motor Controllers can be used like electronic speed controllers for brushed DC motors since they can be controlled by RC signals. An advantage to using the SMC would be that in addition to RC, it grants alternative methods of control such as USB, TTL serial, and analog (potentiometer).


Many thanks Jon for your informations. I’m going to use the SMC with TTL interface or analog. This is why I was firstly interested. I’m already in touch with one italian reseller… thanks a lot.