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DNO: Reversing, 12V – 36V, 100A.

£111.00£135.00 inc VAT

A popular mid-sized controller with built-in reversing suitable for use in 12V to 36V applications.

DNOs are commonly used in small / mid-sized locos, electric vehicles and industrial applications.

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Please scroll down for full controller specification

Motor noise suppression

We strongly recommend fitting motor noise suppression components to each motor in your system to protect the controller. See this quick explanation of what EMC is and why it matters. We have interference suppression packs  and a page of advice on how to fit them, and other steps to take to reduce RFI.

Product Options

Remember to order multicore cable for control wiring


The DNO is a popular mid-sized PWM electric motor control with built-in reversing suitable for use in 12V to 36V applications. It is ideal for 5″ locomotives, and has also proved very successful in small industrial motor control projects. DNOs are often used in conjunction with our DMR-203 to provide radio control of large models such as this Panther tank, or robots.

Key features are:

  • 12V, 24V, and 36V operation selectable by internal link [default is 24V]. 48V operation is possible, see notes in support tab.
  • Built-in heavy duty reversing relays.
  • Integral box and heatsink [suitable for most applications].
  • Timed over-load trip [controller switches off if high current is sustained].
  • Reverse battery protection.
  • Gain control to adjust top speed.
  • Adjustable acceleration and deceleration ramps.
  • Selectable half speed reverse.
  • Selectable dual ramp reverse switching for a smooth transition from forward to reverse.
  • DNO-005 Peak current 50A. 1 minute current 40A. Continuous current 30A.
  • DNO-010 Peak current 100A. 1 minute current 75A. Continuous current 60A.
  • Expansion connector for double-heading locomotives.
  • Parking brake driver for vehicle applications.
  • Regenerative braking.
  • Input 4k7 ohm to 20k ohm potentiometer, direct voltage control, or PWM control by Pi or Arduino etc.
  • Direct replacement for the VTX range, uses existing wiring.
  • 3, 4, and 6 way IDC control connectors are included.

It is possible to add under voltage protection to the DNO [see support tab].

The manual provides full instructions on setting up and operating the controller. The manual is available in PDF  format:

Adobe_PDF_file_icon_32x32   Read manual


Model 5 10
Nominal voltage range 12, 24, 36 selectable by link on board
Minimum / maximum voltage 12V = 9V – 18V, 24V = 15V – 30V, 36V = 25V – 56V
Motor current A [max] 50 100
Motor current A [1 minute] 40 75
Motor current A [continuous] 30 [depends on mounting / cooling] 60 [depends on mounting / cooling]
Reversing Y
Half speed reverse Link selectable
Regen braking Y
Gain adjustment Y
Dimensions [mm] 170 x 80 x 49
Weight [g] 390 395
Power connections 6.3mm push-on blades
Input 5k to 25k pot, or 3 – 20V for full speed [adjustable via gain]
Reverse polarity protection Y
Over voltage protection Y
Under voltage protection N [but can be added]
Pot fault protection Y [>25k]
Thermal protection Trip after ~17 seconds at current limit
Current limit – drive Y
Current limit – regen Y
High pot lockout N
Joystick/Wig-wag input Via joystick accessory board
Radio Control Via DMR-203
Selectable dual ramp reversing Y
Pre-select reversing Y
Ramping Acceleration and deceleration adjustable between 0.1S and 5S
Parking brake Yes [1A max]
Inhibit function N
Powerdown state (motor) shorted
Tacho feedback Via tacho interface board
Ignition, Electronic Y
Heatsink Integral
Double heading Y
Switching frequency 20 kHz
Quadrants 4


The manual provides full instructions on setting up and operating the controller. The manual is available in PDF  format:

Adobe_PDF_file_icon_32x32   Read manual

The manual is designed to be printed double-sided in A4 booklet format. To print the booklet from the PDF on a double-sided printer, select Booklet in the Page Size & Handling section of the print window, and set Orientation to Portrait.

Wiring diagrams and Instructions

Full instructions are included in the manual. The wiring is exactly the same as for the older VTX (except for the expansion connector). Our knowledge base has several alternative wiring schemes.


For troubleshooting common to all controllers click here.

Specific issues you might hit with the DNOs are:


As standard the DNO was designed to block transition from ahead to reverse without reducing the throttle to zero. A number of customers asked if it was possible to remove this block so that the behaviour matches that of the VTX, this can be achieved by the addition of a single capacitor as shown in this modification sheet. The change was incorporated in all DNOs from serial number 16300 onwards.

48v operation

The absolute maximum voltage of the DNO is 56V which is the same as a 48V battery that has just been fully charged. Above this voltage the internal protection circuits operate, this means that although the DNO can be used on 48V there may be no regenerative braking available. Also the motor may creep and the speed may not be able to be turned to zero.

Under voltage protection

Although the DNO does not have a low voltage protection cut-off fitted as standard it is easy to retro-fit this feature. Two methods of doing this are given in our knowledgebase here.


Depending on the application some thought should be given to heat dissipation, some options are;

  • Making sure that there is a good flow of air over the standard heatsink, either by siting the heatsink in the vehicle airflow, or fitting a small fan.
  • Bolting the standard heatsink to a metal part of the vehicle chassis.
  • Fitting an aftermarket heatsink to suit your application.

Notes on Current

  1. The motor current can be a lot higher than the battery current, however the motor power will be equal to the battery power.
  2. At half speed motor current can be twice the battery current, at full speed motor current is nearly equal the battery current.
  3. In practise the current limits can be higher than quoted but do not allow the battery current to exceed 100A otherwise circuit board damage may occur.
  4. The maximum continuous current for the DNO-10 is the rating of the relays and is fairly conservative. It will also depend on how the controller is mounted, heat can build up in the heatsink and, at high currents, must be removed.


We have a number of DNO specific articles in our knowledgebase.


You may need some or all of the following


DNO range of controllers