Posts in Castle Surface Customers
The Paths to Speed (Series 2)

TAKING A “DUMP” ON YOUR RUNS

By Guest Contributor: rhouse21

I think it's pretty safe to say that Castle Creations Inc. makes the most successful speed running / drag racing ESCs on the market right now. However, just like any other piece of high performance machinery, you need a certain amount of skill to get the most of them without destroying stuff. In this post, I'll talk about one of the most common "rookie mistakes" that I see out there and give a few tips to help you avoid cooking your very expensive hardware.

So, you've just completed your dream build. The car is lined up and ready to have two sticks of LiPo dynamite propel your Castle XLX ESC and GINORMOUS custom-built motor to a new personal best. Your heart is beating at 180 beats per minute and you pause to wipe a bead of sweat from your brow. Your mouth is a little dry and it feel like time is nearly standing still. This is it. Time to squeeze the trigger and "Get dat speedah!" You count backwards in your head. "3..........2...................1............................Go!"

Your finger instinctive clenches and over 13 electrical horsepower are unleashed into the world in one glorious rush..... and all heck breaks loose in your car. You smell the acrid stench of char and you break into a sprint in an attempt to save your precious work.

"What just happened??!!!!!"

Castle Creations Data Log File Example (Stay tuned for more on these in a future post!)

Castle Creations Data Log File Example (Stay tuned for more on these in a future post!)

Unfortunately, this scene has played itself out countless times in the speed running / drag racing communities. It's usually followed by an angry post about a "bad" ESC, and a rant about how much money was spent/lost. But then the veterans step in and ask the question that quiets the storm. "Can we see your logs?"

So what went wrong?

As I said in the beginning of this piece, high-end RCs are extremely high performance pieces of machinery, which requires a LOT of technique to get the most out of. When using high-quality LiPos (like those from my buddies at Venom Power), our systems are capable of unleashing a MONSTROUS amount of power. To put it in perspective, an average American or Canadian home consumes ~1.2 kW of power, so a 10kW Mamba XLX puts out enough juice to power ~8 homes....for a few seconds. 😮

Now imagine suddenly unleashing enough energy to power 8 homes in a few microseconds.... inside of a device smaller than a soda can. What would that look like? A bolt of lightning in a bottle, maybe? That's the problem.

The solution is simple: CALM DOWN!!!
If you think back to the original speed run videos on YouTube that got a lot of us into the hobby, guys were always bragging about only using 1/3 or 1/2 throttle on their 100 mph runs. Why? Because they all figured out that VERY bad things happen if you apply too much throttle too quickly.

Put bluntly, no one in their right mind should be lining up and just dumping the throttle on a speed or drag run. That's just an easy way to destroy a lot of good hardware. The veterans are actually very skilled at knowing exactly how much throttle they can safely lay down in a run without spinning out or breaking things. Some guys have "full throttle" cars, but others can only use 2/3, 1/2, or even 1/3 safely depending on their setup... but they probably won't tell you that. And why would they? You're the competition.

A typical speed run last ~10 seconds, but a drag run is just 2 seconds (or less). Close your eyes and practice doing a series of smooth full trigger pulls that last about the length of your run. Then do it again, but hitting a level less than 100%. Start with ~75% then do ~50% and ~25%. Do this over and over until it feels like second nature.

My advice? Take some "quality time" with just your radio and "visualize" your run. A typical speed run last ~10 seconds, but a drag run is just 2 seconds (or less). Close your eyes and practice doing a series of smooth full trigger pulls that last about the length of your run. Then do it again, but hitting a level less than 100%. Start with ~75% then do ~50% and ~25%. Do this over and over until it feels like second nature. Then, go out for a practice session on REDUCED POWER and practice hitting your mark with your car. This is how you build your technique so you are truly ready to handle your car.

Once you can reliably hit your throttle marks, THEN start practicing with full power, but gradually increasing your max trigger pull with every run (and checking your data logs to see how you REALLY did). This is how you learn your car and what it can actually handle. It also lets you find and fix problems in your system before "race day". This is where you learn how much power your tires can take before spinning out or if your gearing matches your speed goals. You may find that you need a bigger (or smaller) pinion, you have a traction problem with your tires, or you have a weak driveshaft that can only handle 2/3 throttle. All of this helps to ensure that both you and your car are ready when it counts.

I know.... this sounds like a lot of work. It is! But this is what the really fast guys do.... that they almost never tell you about. They just sit back and watch the newbies blow up their gear on "Race Day" and smile to themselves.

I hope this was helpful!

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Castle Creations Inc. The authors, blog and/or Company are not to be held responsible for misuse, reuse, recycled and cited and/or uncited copies of content within this blog by others.

What is the right Castle Sensored 1406 motor and Max Power for your vehicle?
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During the initial track-tests of the Castle 1406 Sensored motors,  Castle engineers quickly realized that these motors were much faster and provided more torque than was expected by a typical racer. Repeated testing showed that decreasing the ‘max power setting’ resulted in a ‘feel’ that closely matched existing ROAR-style 2-pole motors used in modified racing. Further lab testing using a dynamometer (dyno) compared several standard 2-pole, ROAR-style motors under load to the new Sensored 1406 series motors. This data was then verified by a professional racer to ensure the ‘feel’ was correct. These tests produced the following chart to help you pick the right Castle Sensored 1406 motor and max power for your vehicle.

ROAR-style 2-pole motors produce different speeds for a given turn-count depending on the manufacturer and series. This testing averaged data from several top manufacturers’ motors with the same gearing to create a baseline. Modification to the suggested max power below or to the gearing may be necessary to fit your personal preference.

 

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Adjusting the ‘Max Power’ percentage allowed by the ESC, as shown in the table, will result in a setup with around the same top-speed as the desired ROAR-style 2-pole motor. You will experience the ‘feel’ you are used to while still enjoying the efficiency and performance you expect from a Castle motor. For higher efficiencies and lower motor temperatures, choose the lowest Castle 1406 Sensored Kv that fits your application. More information about the efficiency advantage of Castle Sensored 1406 motors please check here: http://support.castlecreations.com/1406-sensored-motor-competitive-testing

This is not a motor timing adjustment or a boost mode, this is simply the ESC limiting the maximum amount of throttle to the motor. In other words, if you want our 1406-4600Kv to feel like a 9.5T motor, this would be the same as limiting yourself to only pulling the trigger three-quarters of the way (74% to be exact). For even greater flexibility, you can set an input on your transmitter to adjust max power, allowing you to essentially ‘motor-up’ or ‘motor-down’ mid-race without having to change your motor.

To limit the max power percentage, use one of the following methods:

  1. Use the AUX wire with your Castle X-Series Controller, and assign the ‘Auxiliary Wire Mode’ to ‘Max Throttle Adjustment’ in Castle Link.
  2. Use Castle Link to set the ‘Max Forward Power’ setting in the ‘Power’ tab.
Castle Crawler & Scaler Series – Get the Lowdown on Rock Race/Crawler Mode!
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With the recent introduction of the 1406 series brushless sensored motors in a “SLATE” color, Castle is taking  low RPMs very seriously. Months of hard work went into this release. We focused on several aspects to cater to the wishes of everyone who loves to run scale. Delivering monstrous torque and ultimate control, combined with the high end speeds that we are known for.

We have diverted from our traditional green color with slate colored cans making the motors less noticeable in your scale trucks. Simultaneously we wanted to mark a new product line for Castle Creations which emphasizes that we concentrate on low RPM control. Combined with any of our X series speed controllers these motors will enable you to fine tune and set the controllability of your ride to the maximum, or even use the aux wire to toggle between drag brake settings for example.

A brand new running mode is now available available on firmware version V2.02 (Click for complete summary of new features, improvements and changes)  and newer for the Mamba Micro X, Mamba X, Mamba Monster X and Mamba XL X ESCs. This is a mode which is designed to allow users to get the most out of their ESC when used in Rock Race or Crawler vehicles. While it can be rather confusing initially, when it is set up correctly it can be very beneficial.

This feature is accessed through the use of the programmable  Auxiliary Wire that is available on the Mamba Micro X, Mamba X, Mamba Monster X and Mamba XL X ESCs. The AUX wire function is disabled by default but is programmable via Castle Link. Once you have programmed the functionality of the AUX wire, that particular setting can then be adjusted on-the-go from a compatible transmitter. The ‘Rock Race Mode’ and ‘Crawler Mode’ allows the user to switch between two different modes on the fly: ‘Race Mode’ is optimized for either Racing/Bashing and ‘Crawler Mode’ is optimized for crawling.

Rock Race/Crawler Mode Overview

This auxiliary wire mode is designed to allow users to get the most out of their ESC when used in rock racing or rock crawling vehicles. This mode allows the user to switch between two different ‘Reverse Type’ modes on the fly: ‘Rock Race Mode’ and ‘Crawler Mode’. ‘Rock Race Mode’ is optimized for either racing/bashing and ‘Crawler Mode’ is optimized for rock crawling. It also allows you to adjust the motor’s Drag Brake based on the AUX wire signal.

Adjusting Drag Brake – While in this mode the motor’s Drag Brake percentage is controlled by AUX wire signal. At 1.1ms the Drag Brake will be disabled at 0% and at 1.9ms the Drag Brake will be set to 100%; it is proportional throughout the AUX wire signal range; IE at 1.5ms the Drag Brake will be at 50%.

Rock Race Mode – The ‘Reverse Type’ in this mode will be set to the Castle Link ‘Reverse Type’ setting on the Basic tab (default is set to “With Reverse”). Refer to “Reverse Type Definitions” at the end of the document for a full description of each ‘Reverse Type’.

Crawler Mode – The “Reverse Type” in this mode will be set to the Castle Link ‘Reverse Type’ setting on the Basic tab (default is set to “With Reverse”). Refer to “Reverse Type Definitions” at the end of the document for a full description of each ‘Reverse Type’.

Please see the examples below for a better understanding of how this works.

Note: If the AUX wire becomes disconnected, the controller will default to ‘Rock Race Mode’.

Example 1: Castle Link Settings: ‘Drag Brake’ – “0%”, ‘Reverse Type’ – “Without Reverse”

  • ‘Rock Race Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is at or below 0% (? 1.1ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “Without Reverse”.
  • ‘Crawler Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is above 0% (> 1.1ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “Crawler Reverse”.

Click here for a diagram of Example 1.

Example 2: Castle Link Settings: ‘Drag Brake’ – “10%”, ‘Reverse Type’ – “With Reverse”

  • ‘Rock Race Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is at or below 10% (? ~1.2ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “With Reverse”.
  • ‘Crawler Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is above 10% (> ~1.2ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “Crawler Reverse”.

Click here for a diagram of Example 2.

Example 3: Castle Link Settings: ‘Drag Brake’ – “50%”, ‘Reverse Type’ – “With Reverse”

  • ‘Rock Race Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is at or below 50% (? ~1.5ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “With Reverse”.
  • ‘Crawler Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is above 50% (> ~1.5ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “Crawler Reverse”.

Click here for a diagram of Example 3.

‘Reverse Type’ Definitions:

  1. “Without Reverse” – Racing Setting. No reverse motor direction. Pressing the reverse trigger on the radio will engage the motor brake.
  2. “With Reverse” – For bashing or racing (may not be allowed in some racing situations). When transitioning from throttle to reverse the ESC will brake the motor. To run in reverse the ESC must see a neutral signal for at least 2 seconds before the reverse will engage when reverse trigger is applied.
  3. “Crawler Reverse” – The ESC will immediately spin the motor in reverse when the reverse trigger is pressed. The ESC will apply a brake to bring the motor RPM to zero before reversing the motor; this helps prevent potential damage to the vehicle’s drive train. This setting is recommended for low speed rock crawling; using this mode at high speed will result in an amazing front-flip, but expensive repairs.

Now that you have the lowdown on the newest features and optimizations, we hope you dig out that Castle Link and hit the trails!

CC BEC 2.0 – The Next Generation of Voltage Regulators (BEC) from Castle Creations!

From the trusted manufacturer of BECs comes the next generation of voltage regulators.  Designed and assembled in the USA1, Castle Creations’ CC BEC 2.0 gives users higher voltage ranges in two unique packages.   For pilots there is a smaller, lightweight (0.7 oz.) design capable of 14 amps peak, perfect for sport flying, helicopters, and UAVsRacers, crawlers, and other splashers can now integrate a 15 amp peak power regulator in a waterproof (WP), CNC machined, aluminum case.  Both versions handle up to an impressive 14S without brake enabled or 12S with brake.

The CC BEC 2.0 complements our established line of BECs hobbyists have relied on for years.  With hundreds of thousands in the field, users can count on this new design to power today’s high-power, digital servos and accessories safely.  The CC BEC 2.0 features heavy duty, dual output wires that will provide clean power to sensitive radio equipment. Castle Link2 can be used to set the output from 4.75 to 12 volts and power today’s power hungry servos, cameras, and other accessories.   Do it right the first time, invest in the CC BEC 2.0 to protect expensive electronics for the long haul.

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Footnotes:

  1. Assembled in the USA with foreign and domestic components.
  2. Adjustable Output Voltage may be set with Castle Link (sold separately).
  3. Ratings are determined with a 5mph airflow at 25° C (77° F). Ratings for CC BEC 2.0 are dependent on both input and output voltage as follows in chart below:
  4. Weight with full length wires, power wires may be shortened to save weight depending on application.
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