Schottky diodes are used by many speed control and motor manufacturers to improve the life and performance of their components. A Schottky diode helps reduce the amount of high voltage spikes from the motor that could reach your speed control; these spikes can contribute to premature ESC failure. The reduced spikes also would increase the motor commutator life.
NEVER use Schottky diodes with reverse speed controls! The speed control will be damaged!
Diodes are polarized. A band near one end indicates the positive lead. So hook the positive (+) lead to the positive tab and negative (-) to negative. (If connected backwards, the vehicle will act like it has a shorted motor when the throttle is applied--until the diode shorts out.) The diode is usually soldered to the motor. If soldering tabs are present on the ESC, you may mount the diode there if you wish.
We recommend using two diodes on a motor when running a high-power, low-wind motor in a truck. The high current (due to high traction and large tires) may be enough to overload a single diode.
Diodes on high-frequency speed controllers are a must.
Conclusion: diodes are cheap insurance against expensive motor and ESC failure.
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