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  1. #1
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    Need help making a final decision. Hw or castle... or....?

    Sorry for the posts lately. I’m new to the hobby and want to learn how to do everything the right way the first time. I’ve had my crawler for a few months now and it’s time for a motor and esc upgrade. I’m stuck between the hobbywing axe system and the castle mamba x. Mainly the kv ratings honestly. I like hw because of the built in Bluetooth, but the castle seems to run cooler and handle more of a load better. I like trailing and crawling, as well as pulling around some things with chains and such. Also would like to run my tracks in the winter with no trouble. Help... castle 540 or 550 2300kv, or castle 1800kv, or castle 2850.. or some combo like the mamba and a different motor. Anything really. Just want to be able to have fun on 3s without overheating every few minutes. Thanks guys!
    Last edited by Millsie; 07-05-2020 at 11:01 PM.

  2. #2
    RC Qualifier RCWilly's Avatar
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    The Hobbywing Axe is sealed better (almost nothing gets in it). I have seen others completely submerge it underwater, and not have a single problem with it. The Axe is also smoother.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCWilly View Post
    The Hobbywing Axe is sealed better (almost nothing gets in it). I have seen others completely submerge it underwater, and not have a single problem with it. The Axe is also smoother.
    Would you recommend 540 or 550? And what about kv.. like the 2300?

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    Have you thought about staying brushed?Hobbywing 1080 and a Holmes hobbies trailmaster sport. Less than half the price of a brushless esc and you have a whole system ready to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MysterE View Post
    Have you thought about staying brushed?Hobbywing 1080 and a Holmes hobbies trailmaster sport. Less than half the price of a brushless esc and you have a whole system ready to go.
    I haven’t thought about staying brushed, only because of the heat. I like to tow and put some load on my trx4, and my surrender setup just overheats. I have heard good things about the hobbywing 1080 and the HH crawl master 12t though. I could try that out. Just one question though. Would putting fans on the motor keep it cool enough if it began to overheat, or do I go straight to changing gearing?
    Last edited by Millsie; 07-05-2020 at 11:19 PM.

  6. #6
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    The Mamba X and the Hobbywing axe are both great systems, but the both have their advantages and drawbacks.

    I'll paste the post I wrote comparing the systems here.

    Mamba:
    -Definitely more programmability, you can adjust so many things, throttle curve, power input, lots of stuff like that, however, you do need to get a castle link USB, which is free, but the code for it only comes when your ESC actually arrives, which is even more of a wait.

    -The mamba has ever so slightly a smoother startup but isn't terribly noticeable, but it's there. Built-in throttle curve adjustment is helpful, (I don't think the axe has throttle curve adjustment, I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think it has, I use my radio to adjust throttle curve.)

    -The one bad thing about the mamba is it's not completely waterproof in sensored mode, you can splash some water on it, but I doubt it'll like being hosed down or submerged in/with water.

    -I use my Mamba with with a Holmes Hobby Puller pro, plenty of power and torque.

    -Mamba has a 8A BEC which is more than the AXE at 6A I think

    The mamba is also more expensive, with a good motor you're looking at 250+ USD
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Axe: I have a 2700Kv axe 550,

    -Very good torque, great low speed control, and is also buttery smooth.

    -ESC programmability is less capable as the mamba, but arguably easier to use and comes with the Bluetooth module built-in so you can link your phone and program it wirelessly.

    -The AXE does seem to hold its torque better on the trail, the mamba's torque dwindles a bit like a brushed motor when going over some obstacles at reeeallly low speeds, the AXE just keeps plowing through it, it may lead so some broken parts on some less well-built rigs, but the TRX4/6 handles everything you throw at it pretty much.

    -The AXE is completely waterproof, even sensored, I've driven it completely underwater with no problems.

    -Axe is also cheaper, I think its around 220 USD for the 550 and 200 for the 540 motor.

    -You can only use the AXE motor with the AXE ESC though (they have unique sensor plugs), which may be limiting for some people, but the AXE motor is still amazing.


    Both run very cool, even at speed.

    I'd pare the Mamba X with a Holmes Hobby brushless motor, the Castle 540 motors are nice, but the Holmes Hobbies motors are nicer than the the Castle 1406 motors.

    Between the Axe and the Mamba, choice is yours.

    About staying brushed, brushed was definitely the better system... 3 years ago. Brushless motors used to not have the best low-speed control, now they have arguably better low speed control than brushed. Some people, especially the pro crawler competitors like brushed for it's unique handling and torque characteristics, but for the average person, brushless tends to be better. Brushed will be quite a bit cheaper...mostly, some high-end motors can go for $70+, they have changeable brushes and all, but most are for around 20 or 30. With brushed, you might spend a bit over 100 for a very nice system, brushless you're looking at $200. I think it's worth it if you drive your rig a lot. I prefer brushless because the thought of the motors slowly losing it's power capabilities without me noticing bothers me, but that's just me.

    As for Motor KVs, I like to stay between 2000 and 3000 KV. Lower KV equals more low-end control, while higher Kv offers more speed. Some people like to go with a higher Kv because they can always make the pinion smaller, but the onions only get down to 11 tooth at most, rarely 10t, so I like to get something around the 2500KV range, + or - 200 or so. If you get a Kv too low, there's always gearing it up, the same applies for higher Kvs, gearing down, but as I said pinions don't get as small as they get big. (hope that made sense)
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TITANIUM94010 View Post
    The Mamba X and the Hobbywing axe are both great systems, but the both have their advantages and drawbacks.

    I'll paste the post I wrote comparing the systems here.

    Mamba:
    -Definitely more programmability, you can adjust so many things, throttle curve, power input, lots of stuff like that, however, you do need to get a castle link USB, which is free, but the code for it only comes when your ESC actually arrives, which is even more of a wait.

    -The mamba has ever so slightly a smoother startup but isn't terribly noticeable, but it's there. Built-in throttle curve adjustment is helpful, (I don't think the axe has throttle curve adjustment, I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think it has, I use my radio to adjust throttle curve.)

    -The one bad thing about the mamba is it's not completely waterproof in sensored mode, you can splash some water on it, but I doubt it'll like being hosed down or submerged in/with water.

    -I use my Mamba with with a Holmes Hobby Puller pro, plenty of power and torque.

    -Mamba has a 8A BEC which is more than the AXE at 6A I think

    The mamba is also more expensive, with a good motor you're looking at 250+ USD
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Axe: I have a 2700Kv axe 550,

    -Very good torque, great low speed control, and is also buttery smooth.

    -ESC programmability is less capable as the mamba, but arguably easier to use and comes with the Bluetooth module built-in so you can link your phone and program it wirelessly.

    -The AXE does seem to hold its torque better on the trail, the mamba's torque dwindles a bit like a brushed motor when going over some obstacles at reeeallly low speeds, the AXE just keeps plowing through it, it may lead so some broken parts on some less well-built rigs, but the TRX4/6 handles everything you throw at it pretty much.

    -The AXE is completely waterproof, even sensored, I've driven it completely underwater with no problems.

    -Axe is also cheaper, I think its around 220 USD for the 550 and 200 for the 540 motor.

    -You can only use the AXE motor with the AXE ESC though (they have unique sensor plugs), which may be limiting for some people, but the AXE motor is still amazing.


    Both run very cool, even at speed.

    I'd pare the Mamba X with a Holmes Hobby brushless motor, the Castle 540 motors are nice, but the Holmes Hobbies motors are nicer than the the Castle 1406 motors.

    Between the Axe and the Mamba, choice is yours.

    About staying brushed, brushed was definitely the better system... 3 years ago. Brushless motors used to not have the best low-speed control, now they have arguably better low speed control than brushed. Some people, especially the pro crawler competitors like brushed for it's unique handling and torque characteristics, but for the average person, brushless tends to be better. Brushed will be quite a bit cheaper...mostly, some high-end motors can go for $70+, they have changeable brushes and all, but most are for around 20 or 30. With brushed, you might spend a bit over 100 for a very nice system, brushless you're looking at $200. I think it's worth it if you drive your rig a lot. I prefer brushless because the thought of the motors slowly losing it's power capabilities without me noticing bothers me, but that's just me.

    As for Motor KVs, I like to stay between 2000 and 3000 KV. Lower KV equals more low-end control, while higher Kv offers more speed. Some people like to go with a higher Kv because they can always make the pinion smaller, but the onions only get down to 11 tooth at most, rarely 10t, so I like to get something around the 2500KV range, + or - 200 or so. If you get a Kv too low, there's always gearing it up, the same applies for higher Kvs, gearing down, but as I said pinions don't get as small as they get big. (hope that made sense)
    That made total sense! After hearing all of that, I think I’m going to have to go with the axe 550 system. The only problem, I can only find it separetely, not as a combo, for about $270.. links help.. I like trailing and crawling, and pulling a few different homemade trailers and stuff like that. I’m not worried about it being faster then stock, even though I’d like it, but I’d rather be able to pull stuff and have it run cooler..

  8. #8
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    The Axe Hobbywing is specific for Crawler, better sensor system, is waterproof, if you have the money, get the 550 3300KV, is a beast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juanmacine View Post
    The Axe Hobbywing is specific for Crawler, better sensor system, is waterproof, if you have the money, get the 550 3300KV, is a beast.
    And you think it wonít ever heat with pretty much anything I throw at it?
    And what kind of gearing change would I need?
    Also, what cell lipo do you run it on?
    Last edited by Millsie; 07-06-2020 at 11:12 AM.

  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    And you think it won’t ever heat with pretty much anything I throw at it?
    It shouldn't. But, it is always prudent to take temp readings on the motor after fiddling with it

    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    And what kind of gearing change would I need?
    I would start with stock gearing, see how you like the performance and how the temps settle out, then adjust from there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    Also, what cell lipo do you run it on?
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    RC Qualifier TITANIUM94010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    And you think it won’t ever heat with pretty much anything I throw at it?
    And what kind of gearing change would I need?
    Also, what cell lipo do you run it on?
    I would get the 2700 Kv, 3300Kv is a bit too high and doesn't have the best low speed control.

    I can't seem to find the combo anymore, it says it's no longer available on the website, and on Amain Hobbies, it's discontinued, which is strange.
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    And you think it won’t ever heat with pretty much anything I throw at it?
    And what kind of gearing change would I need?
    Also, what cell lipo do you run it on?
    Mine never stay very hot. I use a 45T and 12T pinion in mine, 3S lipo, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TITANIUM94010 View Post
    I would get the 2700 Kv, 3300Kv is a bit too high and doesn't have the best low speed control.

    I can't seem to find the combo anymore, it says it's no longer available on the website, and on Amain Hobbies, it's discontinued, which is strange.
    Yeah that’s what I was noticing. So you think I should get the 2700 550? And what kind of gears would you reccomend to keep it cool under most normal conditions like some high speed and a lot of crawling. Basically a trail truck to keep up with me on the hike without overheating

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juanmacine View Post
    Mine never stay very hot. I use a 45T and 12T pinion in mine, 3S lipo, of course.
    Wow that’s impressive. I would’ve thought with a 12t like that it would get hot. Good to know though. I’m stuck between 2700 and 3300.. I know you can always gear up or down..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatscott View Post
    It shouldn't. But, it is always prudent to take temp readings on the motor after fiddling with it


    I would start with stock gearing, see how you like the performance and how the temps settle out, then adjust from there.


    3-cell, all day, every day!

    Good info! If you had to choose a motor between axe 550 2700 or axe 550 3300, knowing that I want the truck to keep up with me on the trail, and also do some crawling, what would you choose?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    Good info! If you had to choose a motor between axe 550 2700 or axe 550 3300, knowing that I want the truck to keep up with me on the trail, and also do some crawling, what would you choose?
    I run Mamba-X systems in my TRX4 and TRX6. The TRX4 has a Castle 1800kv motor, and the TRX6 has a HW 2500kv motor, both give good top end speed with excellent torque.
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    RC Qualifier TITANIUM94010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    Good info! If you had to choose a motor between axe 550 2700 or axe 550 3300, knowing that I want the truck to keep up with me on the trail, and also do some crawling, what would you choose?
    The 2700Kv is plenty of speed, it pushed my rig to around 20mph on high gear, and considering the average walking speed is 3-4 mph, 2700Kv is plenty.

    Brushless motors used in crawling pretty much never overheat. Mine runs very cool, even without the fan that the Axe includes. Same for the Mamba, except it doesn't come with a fan.
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    Wow that’s impressive. I would’ve thought with a 12t like that it would get hot. Good to know though. I’m stuck between 2700 and 3300.. I know you can always gear up or down..
    If you want run with 3300KV, get the 45T spur and 12T pinion, control, torque and speed, all in one. Always gear down, better, minor temps and a bunch of torque.

  19. #19
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    I have a Tekin 2300kv motor. Plenty of speed running 3s and can go nice and slow also. If you go with a high Kv motor, remember you can only gear down so much. 9T pinion/45T spur is the lowest that fits.

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    Need help making a final decision. Hw or castle... or....?

    Iíll just weigh in for the Castle combo. Itís what I use. MambaX 2850 kv 1406. Super smooth. So much flexibility, if youíre losing pull, you can adjust your esc to tune that out. Iím sure the HW is also nice. Both top notch combos.


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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    I have a Tekin 2300kv motor. Plenty of speed running 3s and can go nice and slow also. If you go with a high Kv motor, remember you can only gear down so much. 9T pinion/45T spur is the lowest that fits.
    When I use the 9T pinion in my TRX4 Sport, it sounds and moves like a John Deere tractor

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by TITANIUM94010 View Post
    The 2700Kv is plenty of speed, it pushed my rig to around 20mph on high gear, and considering the average walking speed is 3-4 mph, 2700Kv is plenty.

    Brushless motors used in crawling pretty much never overheat. Mine runs very cool, even without the fan that the Axe includes. Same for the Mamba, except it doesn't come with a fan.
    Okay then, guess itís settled. Hobbywing axe 2700. I would love to run a mamba, but I currently only have Mac PCs, meaning that I would have to spend another $50 to be able to tune it through Bluetooth.
    It does come with a fan? Every pic I look at online there is no fan, but then I watched a videos saying there was a fan...
    This is what I want right? https://vortexhobbies.com/hobby-wing...tionwide_small
    Last edited by Millsie; 07-07-2020 at 05:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatscott View Post
    I run Mamba-X systems in my TRX4 and TRX6. The TRX4 has a Castle 1800kv motor, and the TRX6 has a HW 2500kv motor, both give good top end speed with excellent torque.
    I would rather run a mamba x because of all of the tuning options, but I think I’m going to have to go with the axe, only because, I run Mac. So I can’t tune it without spending $50 on a Bluetooth module, and then I’m up around $270-$300.. whereas the axe I’m around $220.
    Thanks for all of the info and help though. I’m sure I’ll have more questions in the future!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    Okay then, guess itís settled. Hobbywing axe 2700. I would love to run a mamba, but I currently only have Mac PCs, meaning that I would have to spend another $50 to be able to tune it through Bluetooth.
    It does come with a fan? Every pic I look at online there is no fan, but then I watched a videos saying there was a fan...
    This is what I want right? https://vortexhobbies.com/hobby-wing...tionwide_small
    The new series of AXE comes with fan for the ESC.

    https://www.hobbywingdirect.com/coll...18645210464371
    Last edited by Juanmacine; 07-07-2020 at 02:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juanmacine View Post
    The new series of AXE comes with fan for the ESC.

    https://www.hobbywingdirect.com/coll...18645210464371
    This is out of stock. But besides that, can I only buy it separately?
    No like motor esc combo? Or maybe I can just buy the fan separately and buy the motor esc combo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    This is out of stock. But besides that, can I only buy it separately?
    No like motor esc combo? Or maybe I can just buy the fan separately and buy the motor esc combo
    You can buy the ESC and motor for separate, of course, and the fan too, is this:

    https://www.hobbywingdirect.com/prod...=8052724957212

  27. #27
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    Iíve had a castle link for years. Itís USB plug and play. Just an FYI. Is the application not Mac compatible?


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    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    This is out of stock. But besides that, can I only buy it separately?
    No like motor esc combo? Or maybe I can just buy the fan separately and buy the motor esc combo
    Quote Originally Posted by Juanmacine View Post
    You can buy the ESC and motor for separate, of course, and the fan too, is this:

    https://www.hobbywingdirect.com/prod...=8052724957212
    They are asking if it is sold in a combo. Millsie already knows they can buy it separately.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gripdog7205 View Post
    Iíve had a castle link for years. Itís USB plug and play. Just an FYI. Is the application not Mac compatible?
    Mac is weird. I look at them the same way I look at Apple OS.

    Straight from castle:"Macintosh users may take advantage of software such as Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, or Apple's Boot Camp along with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows10 to run the Castle Link software, provided the Macintosh has an Intel processor. Macintosh installation is not supported by Castle Creations."

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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    Mac is weird. I look at them the same way I look at Apple OS.

    Straight from castle:"Macintosh users may take advantage of software such as Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, or Apple's Boot Camp along with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows10 to run the Castle Link software, provided the Macintosh has an Intel processor. Macintosh installation is not supported by Castle Creations."
    I know isn’t that great? Have you ever tried to boot up parallels or any of that stuff? It’s a pain! I feel like that shouldn’t hold me up from buying their esc, but whatever. I ordered the axe 550 2700kv. One popped up on eBay brand new for $215 so I hopped right on it.

    Question tho, am I going to need a new pinion? I heard that the axe 550 has like a 5mm shaft or something like that. I don’t know, just need to know if I’m going to need a new pinion.
    If so, what size? I’m running 2.2’s that are a bit larger than regular 2.2’s

  31. #31
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Glad you found what you wanted. I'm not much help with gearing. I'm running 16/45 with a Tekin 2300kv motor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    I know isnít that great? Have you ever tried to boot up parallels or any of that stuff? Itís a pain! I feel like that shouldnít hold me up from buying their esc, but whatever. I ordered the axe 550 2700kv. One popped up on eBay brand new for $215 so I hopped right on it.

    Question tho, am I going to need a new pinion? I heard that the axe 550 has like a 5mm shaft or something like that. I donít know, just need to know if Iím going to need a new pinion.
    If so, what size? Iím running 2.2ís that are a bit larger than regular 2.2ís
    Congrats for the purchase, of course, Axe 550 motors have 5mm shaft.



    I think if you want torque and speed, a 14T or 13T pinion works well.

    Good choice with the stuff for your TRX4, Axe don't need any PC or MAC, only a bluetooth mobile device and the Hobbywing App.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Juanmacine View Post
    Congrats for the purchase, of course, Axe 550 motors have 5mm shaft.



    I think if you want torque and speed, a 14T or 13T pinion works well.

    Good choice with the stuff for your TRX4, Axe don't need any PC or MAC, only a bluetooth mobile device and the Hobbywing App.
    Thanks for the pic! You think 13t will be enough to keep it cool under decent load? Like towing a trailer with another trx on it and stuff like that? Or should I go lower

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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    Glad you found what you wanted. I'm not much help with gearing. I'm running 16/45 with a Tekin 2300kv motor.
    You get decent torque and stay cool enough with that setup? Juan recommended around a 13 tooth pinion, do you think that will be low enough to get torque and stay cool?

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  36. #36
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    Pinion size doesn't matter too much. I run an axial 5mm bore 11t pinion, very cool temps with very good speed. Even with a 15 t pinion, I doubt the motor will get very warm at all.

    With my AXE, the motor is only barely warm after some speed bashing.

    Heres the 11t: https://www.amainhobbies.com/axial-3...54399?v=233044

    As long as the pinion is 32 pitch and the bore hole is 5mm in width, you'll be fine.
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TITANIUM94010 View Post
    Pinion size doesn't matter too much. I run an axial 5mm bore 11t pinion, very cool temps with very good speed. Even with a 15 t pinion, I doubt the motor will get very warm at all.

    With my AXE, the motor is only barely warm after some speed bashing.

    Heres the 11t: https://www.amainhobbies.com/axial-3...54399?v=233044

    As long as the pinion is 32 pitch and the bore hole is 5mm in width, you'll be fine.
    Cool, thanks! Sounds like I’ll run a 12 at first. I was doing some reading and one of the things I read said it comes with a 12t 32p gear with the motor. If that’s too slow I’ll try a 13 and then 14..

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    I could be wrong, I never purchased a Hobbywing product. I haven't seen pinions included with other manufactures so I would be hesitant to believe Hobbywing does. Maybe they do? IDK.

    That would be a bonus if they did include one.
    Last edited by grizzly03; 07-07-2020 at 10:40 PM. Reason: bonus

  39. #39
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    Join Date
    Feb 2020
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    Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    Thanks for the pic! You think 13t will be enough to keep it cool under decent load? Like towing a trailer with another trx on it and stuff like that? Or should I go lower
    If you run with gear down, always run fresh.

  40. #40
    RC Champion
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millsie View Post
    This two are good brands.

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