The arduino sends pulses to the servo motor much like sending them to an ESC. The pulses have a different meaning. The pulses describe a spot to go to. Within the servo there is a feedback mechanism that counts shadows or turns a variable resistor. The servo circuit board then moves the servo to that spot. It knows when it has reached the spot when a certain number of shadows have past or when the resistance reaches a certain value. The arduino has to keep sending the same position over and over again to hold the motor in a current spot. Short pulses go one direction, long pulses the opposite direction, medium pulse widths go to the middle. Middle is typically 1.5 milli seconds.
Speed can be varied by either changing the voltage or pulsing the motor. Most computer controlled DC motors are pulsed. Pulses of a fixed voltage are sent to the motor, usually by an Electronic Speed Controller or ESC. A pulse of 1.5 ms causes no motion. Wider pulses cause faster spinning in one direction. Shorter pulses cause faster spinning in the opposite direction. Eventually, an overstressed ESC stops pulsing and turns one wire on and one wire off, depending on the direction.
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