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  1. #1
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    ESC/motor advice.

    Iím looking for some ESC/motor advice. I originally wanted to upgrade the steering servo which requires the $40 upgraded BEC. Seeing as a hobbywing 1080 is the same price it seems like a no brainer.

    But now Iím seeing everything else thatís available and Iím wondering if Iíd really be better off upgrading everything. Is the hobbywing fusion esc/motor any good? It seems cool, but my concern is if something dies youíre out both a motor and esc.

    In a crawler are brushless systems really that much better than brushed?

  2. #2
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    If you're a scaler guy, or just have no need to ever go over 4 or 5 mph, brushed is the way to go. If you have the need for more wheel speed and torque then what you have now, say for hill climbs, trail running, rock racing, etc, then a brushless systems is the way to go. Longer motor life, and a nice increase in battery life too.
    As for the fusion system, seems a little small for the trx4. Would work if you kept it geared low and never went too fast. That system is intended for the smaller lighter weight builds

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  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Yes, brushless systems are that much better. But, like Steve said, you many not need that much "better". It all depends on what you want to do with your rig. I am really not sold on the ESC/motor combos like Fusion. For the new guys, it is nice to have a sensored brushless system in one package, so there is less to futz with, and the learning curve isn't that steep. But, you start limited your options at that point, and like you said, if one goes out, they both go out.

    You are spot-on with your BEC reasoning. The Traxxas BEC is good, it is plug-n-play, but it is expensive for what it is. The HW 1080 is a really good brushed ESC at a great price. Its 3A BEC will handle just about any servo under 500oz, and the install if fairly clean.
    The only thing you need to be careful of is the 1080's adjustable BEC, the Traxxas RX is only rated to 6VDC. Some have said they have taken their RXs higher, but every Traxxas RX I have pushed more that 6VDC has fried.
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  4. #4
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    I’ve entered down the rabbit hole and now the hobbywing axe system is looking very nice...oops

    I do have a question about the app. Can I set up individual profiles that are easy to change? For example one with a lot of drag brake and another without any?

    Also can you see things like voltage and temperature in real time? Does the system know the motor temperature?

    I’m more interested in trail running but at scale speeds. Not interested in going 30mph or anything. But I want it to perform well crawling too.

  5. #5
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    I'm not sure on the hobbywing system, but the mamba x, you can assign a free channel on your remote to adjust the drag brake while driving, and can even set it up so when you go below a certain percent drag brake (got mine set for 20), it will change from forward/reverse to forward/brake/reverse. Great for trails. Seen people use it on the shift servo, so 1st has full drag brake, and 2nd has little or none. It also has an adjustable throttle curve, makes the low speed control much nicer, once you use it, you'll wonder how you lived without it. I think the hobbywing also has throttle curves, not sure. Tekin does. Tekin is another option, also has adjustable drag brake. But doesn't change the brake modes. Is much quieter then the castle though.

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  6. #6
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve g View Post
    ...Tekin does. Tekin is another option, also has adjustable drag brake. But doesn't change the brake modes. Is much quieter then the castle though.
    Tekin has added the On-The-Fly Drag Brake Adjustments feature (Link to info:teamtekin/adjustabledragbrake). A bit pricey, but I love my setup. I'm more of a trail runner and enjoy coming across different types of obstacles to try out.

    FWIW: My Tekin setup (RX4 ESC & ROC412HD 2300kv motor) has no problems running tracks in high gear.

  7. #7
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    I’m seeing the hobbywing has an auto level drag brake setting. Which automatically adjusts how much drag brake is applied depending on your speed.

    Does anyone have any experience with that?

  8. #8
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    Another thing is Iím just not sure which setup to get. What KV I want or even what size 540 or 550.

    Iím looking to keep things fairly scale here. Iím not interested in my Defender pulling wheelies (I have other vehicles for that kind of stuff). But I definitely donít want it to be under powered either. Iíd say around 15mph in high gear is plenty.

  9. #9
    RC Qualifier TITANIUM94010's Avatar
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    I think the AXE one of the best systems out there with the cost calculated, Tekin and Castle are good, but both aren't completely waterproof. The AXE can take a dive like a submarine.

    The min drag brake on the AXE is 50%, but it's low enough so you can still glide quite a bit, and with the drag break quickness setting (can't remember what it's called, it's a setting where you can make your drag break kick in instantly or slowly), it'll glide along pretty well.

    Depending on you gearing, generally, 2300-3000 KV is a good amount for the TRX4, you could go lower or higher, but I like to keep the KV centered.

    I'd go wi

    I have an AXE 550 2700kv in my TRX6, it goes 15mph high gear 11t pinion (lowest I can go with the larger shaft size), and 16mph when turbo timing is set to the max.

    the 540 AXE is only a 20 dollar difference from the 550, and it's mainly just the higher motor KV in the 550.

    The Mamba X would allow for the same power with the Castle slate motors, and more tuning, but you would need an extra 20 dollars for the Castle Link USB connector on top of the already pretty expensive price.

    I'd go with the Axe, it's a bit cheaper, but equally as nice as the mamba.

    I wrote a comparison of the 2 systems a while back on this thread: https://forums.traxxas.com/showthrea...01#post6544301

    I'ts down there somewhere, and if you need it, here ya go
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TITANIUM94010 View Post
    I think the AXE one of the best systems out there with the cost calculated, Tekin and Castle are good, but both aren't completely waterproof. The AXE can take a dive like a submarine.

    The min drag brake on the AXE is 50%, but it's low enough so you can still glide quite a bit, and with the drag break quickness setting (can't remember what it's called, it's a setting where you can make your drag break kick in instantly or slowly), it'll glide along pretty well.

    Depending on you gearing, generally, 2300-3000 KV is a good amount for the TRX4, you could go lower or higher, but I like to keep the KV centered.

    I'd go wi

    I have an AXE 550 2700kv in my TRX6, it goes 15mph high gear 11t pinion (lowest I can go with the larger shaft size), and 16mph when turbo timing is set to the max.

    the 540 AXE is only a 20 dollar difference from the 550, and it's mainly just the higher motor KV in the 550.

    The Mamba X would allow for the same power with the Castle slate motors, and more tuning, but you would need an extra 20 dollars for the Castle Link USB connector on top of the already pretty expensive price.

    I'd go with the Axe, it's a bit cheaper, but equally as nice as the mamba.

    I wrote a comparison of the 2 systems a while back on this thread: https://forums.traxxas.com/showthrea...01#post6544301

    I'ts down there somewhere, and if you need it, here ya go
    Thanks for the reply.

    Is there any real benefit going with a lower KV motor other than a lower top speed? Is torque notability different?

  11. #11
    RC Qualifier TITANIUM94010's Avatar
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    A 1800kv motor of the same brand and type has a 2700kv motor would technically have pretty much the same amount of torque, however, if they both ran the same gearing ratios, the 1800kv would give more torque in the same gearing. To acheive the same amount of torque you'd get with 1800, you would have to gear the 2300 down.

    I did see somewhere that lower KV motors can take more voltage, but that's really technical, and for most car needs where gearing can be adjusted, kv dosen't really matter, but for things like drones where you can't gear the rotors down, KV choice is more important.
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

  12. #12
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    Amain hobbies is saying the 550 Axes are discontinued? So I’m not really sure what’s going on with that. Hobbywing only wants to be contacted by email.

  13. #13
    RC Qualifier TITANIUM94010's Avatar
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    Yeah, wasn't sure what that meant either, you could buy it right off of the Hobbywing website.
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TITANIUM94010 View Post
    Yeah, wasn't sure what that meant either, you could buy it right off of the Hobbywing website.
    Not the 550 size. https://www.hobbywingdirect.com/prod...r-rock-crawler

  15. #15
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    They do sell the axe on Amazon, so maybe go there,

    I looked at the AXE 540, it's a newer version I think, with the silver ring instead of a red one. Maybe they just haven't started producing the newer 550 yet, or maybe their discontinuing the 550s
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

  16. #16
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    I sent them an email. See what hobbywing says. I don’t think I’d buy something that was released fairly recently only to be discontinued. I’d probably just go with the castle instead.

  17. #17
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    ESC/motor advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by c7aea View Post
    I sent them an email. See what hobbywing says. I donít think Iíd buy something that was released fairly recently only to be discontinued. Iíd probably just go with the castle instead.
    have the castle mamba x in mine paired with a Holmes Hobbies Puller Pro 2200kv motor and love it. You can search for mamba x waterproofing, thereís a couple of good videos on it. Iíve had mine completely submerged and have had no issues.

    Iíve also geared down to a 9T pinion. Nice smooth crawl speed and still jogging speed in high gear.

    You can also set your sensor wire to your drag brake. On mine low gear is forward-instant reverse-full drag brake. High gear is forward-brake-reverse and 0% drag

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    Last edited by PFongemie; 10-01-2020 at 06:40 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFongemie View Post
    have the castle mamba x in mine paired with a Holmes Hobbies Puller Pro 2200kv motor and love it. You can search for mamba x waterproofing, there’s a couple of good videos on it. I’ve had mine completely submerged and have had no issues.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I have actually been searching for that as that’s really the only thing I don’t like about the castle. But I haven’t found much. Got any good links?

    Apparently the ESC is pretty water proof (minus the fan) which I don’t know would really even be required on just 3s. According to castle the most susceptible area is the sensor connections. And I’m not sure if water will cause permanent problems (frying electronics) or temporary issues. I know long term water will cause corrosion issues.

  19. #19
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    Its waterproof. Worst case you could loose your sensor connection temporarily. I hose mine down after most runs with it on and the wheels spinning. Also don't avoid water much, especially in the winter. Been doing it for years and never had an issue. Put some dielectric grease in the connector and you won't have any problems.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by c7aea View Post
    I have actually been searching for that as thatís really the only thing I donít like about the castle. But I havenít found much. Got any good links?

    Apparently the ESC is pretty water proof (minus the fan) which I donít know would really even be required on just 3s. According to castle the most susceptible area is the sensor connections. And Iím not sure if water will cause permanent problems (frying electronics) or temporary issues. I know long term water will cause corrosion issues.
    https://youtu.be/a3qKTPq31Gk this is what I followed. Also I removed the fan. Did this once when I first installed it and never have any problems. One of my favorite local places to crawl is a river with deep spots. Iíve been deep enough to where I loose the radio signal, and had to wade in 2 feet of water to retrieve it.


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  21. #21
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c7aea View Post
    I have actually been searching for that as thatís really the only thing I donít like about the castle. But I havenít found much. Got any good links?

    Apparently the ESC is pretty water proof (minus the fan) which I donít know would really even be required on just 3s. According to castle the most susceptible area is the sensor connections. And Iím not sure if water will cause permanent problems (frying electronics) or temporary issues. I know long term water will cause corrosion issues.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve g View Post
    Its waterproof. Worst case you could loose your sensor connection temporarily. I hose mine down after most runs with it on and the wheels spinning. Also don't avoid water much, especially in the winter. Been doing it for years and never had an issue. Put some dielectric grease in the connector and you won't have any problems.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
    The trick here is to use a healthy amount of dielectric grease on the sensor connectors, which protects the contacts from shorting out. I am running Mamba-Xs in my comp-built TRX4, my TRX6, and my Bomber, both my TRX4 and Bomber have seen their share of water-crossings without an issue.

    I do like that the AXE system has a water-proof sensor connector, it gives you one less thing to fret about. But, the two things I don't like about it is that the system is proprietary, and that the sensor connector is ridiculously big.

    With that, I haven't heard too many people complain about the Mamba X or AXE, so you really can't go wrong either way.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve g View Post
    Its waterproof. Worst case you could loose your sensor connection temporarily. I hose mine down after most runs with it on and the wheels spinning. Also don't avoid water much, especially in the winter. Been doing it for years and never had an issue. Put some dielectric grease in the connector and you won't have any problems.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
    I’ve never had a sensored brushless motor before. What happens if the sensor signal is lost? Could it have some slight hesitation as the ESC tries to figure out the position of the rotor like on a sensorless motor? Or could it actually damage something?

  23. #23
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    No damage, it'll act just like a sensorless system. The sensors actually only are used for the initial start, once it hits about 800 to 1000 rpm it switches to sensorless.

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    Cool. Thanks for all your help guys. I think I’m going with castle and the mamba x/slate motor combo. I am leaning towards the 2280kv though.

  25. #25
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    I do not like brushless motors for crawlers. I have played with the axe, and do not like it. To me the main difference is throttle control. With a brushed setup my trigger finger calls for both torque and rpm. More throttle=more torque and then as a side effect more rpm (speaking of unloaded). Brushless systems give whatever torque the system decides to give and the throttle calls for rpm. It feels unnatural to me, but that is just my opionion. I think for the crawlers a decent 40 hw esc and 20 dollar HH motor is hard to beat.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by patmanz28 View Post
    I do not like brushless motors for crawlers. I have played with the axe, and do not like it. To me the main difference is throttle control. With a brushed setup my trigger finger calls for both torque and rpm. More throttle=more torque and then as a side effect more rpm (speaking of unloaded). Brushless systems give whatever torque the system decides to give and the throttle calls for rpm. It feels unnatural to me, but that is just my opionion. I think for the crawlers a decent 40 hw esc and 20 dollar HH motor is hard to beat.
    This is the very heart of the hobby right here, wheel your way, and not doing something just because the cool kids say to do it, but doing something because it feels right to you. If you like the way the bushed systems react, stick with them. You might find a reason to change to brushless down the road.

    With that, it sounds like you need to tinker with the throttle curves on the radio or the ESC.
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  27. #27
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patmanz28 View Post
    I do not like brushless motors for crawlers. I have played with the axe, and do not like it. To me the main difference is throttle control. With a brushed setup my trigger finger calls for both torque and rpm. More throttle=more torque and then as a side effect more rpm (speaking of unloaded). Brushless systems give whatever torque the system decides to give and the throttle calls for rpm. It feels unnatural to me, but that is just my opionion. I think for the crawlers a decent 40 hw esc and 20 dollar HH motor is hard to beat.
    I think what you are describing is the Hobbywing FOC of the AXE. Where the ESC will control the motors RPM not your finger. It doesn't matter if you go from uphill to downhill the Hobbywing setup keeps the motor from gaining RPM or losing RPM. Something I would probably need to get used to also.

    Not all brushless or sensored brushless setups act that way. My Tekin setup (RX8&T8) in my Summit acts like a super efficient brushed motor setup. Where if I come up to an obstacle I need to give it that little extra throttle to get over it or let off on the throttle coming down off an obstacle. I have my Tekin (RX4) in my (TRX-4) Bronco setup close to the same as a brushed motor as well.

  28. #28
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    Grizzly03 is right. I have a tekin set up, and a mamba x set up, both are normal. Its only the hobbywing systems that do that. Personally I think its a big screw up on their end, at least make it so you can disable it. I like to feel the obstacles I'm driving over with the trigger. I can see this causing newer people to break parts more often. No feedback on the trucks drivetrain.

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  29. #29
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    Interesting. I did some reading/watching on this hobbywing FOC. It does sound a bit strange.
    So it’s opposite of a typical ESC, which would behave more like driving an actual vehicle right?

    I want the feeling of needing more “gas” to get up/over an obstacle.

  30. #30
    RC Qualifier TITANIUM94010's Avatar
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    What FOC does it if more power is needed to go over an obstacle, the ESC automatically adjusts it so it goes over the obstacle without moving the throttle.

    If you want more gas to get over something, the the AXE isnt the right system.
    Jumping: maneuver and pray it won't break.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by TITANIUM94010 View Post
    What FOC does it if more power is needed to go over an obstacle, the ESC automatically adjusts it so it goes over the obstacle without moving the throttle.

    If you want more gas to get over something, the the AXE isnt the right system.
    Thanks. I was already leaning towards castle but I think that’s the final push.

    I agree if they made it optional that would have been great.

    I also have a question about brakes. With something like the mamba x on 100% drag brake can it hold the vehicle on an incline.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by c7aea View Post
    Iím looking for some ESC/motor advice. I originally wanted to upgrade the steering servo which requires the $40 upgraded BEC. Seeing as a hobbywing 1080 is the same price it seems like a no brainer.

    But now Iím seeing everything else thatís available and Iím wondering if Iíd really be better off upgrading everything. Is the hobbywing fusion esc/motor any good? It seems cool, but my concern is if something dies youíre out both a motor and esc.

    In a crawler are brushless systems really that much better than brushed?
    Mate, brushless systems always are better than brushed, Hobbywing Axe, Hobbywing Quickrun Fusion, Castle Mamba X and Tekin stuffs are the must haves.

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