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Old 06-03-2011, 05:50 PM   #1
mckibben
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Cool low cost ESC vs higher cost ESC

I see ESC that cost 10.00 and ESC that cost 40.00 and put out about the same thing. Is one better then the other? Will one last longer then the other?
Thanks Tom
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:14 PM   #2
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Spend a few weeks to months reading everything you can find out about ESC first. Then make you own decision.
The things are actually pretty complex, some of the marketing is pretty exaggerated (like much of the cheap stuff), and the opinions about them are all over the board as are use patterns.

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Old 06-03-2011, 08:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mckibben View Post
I see ESC that cost 10.00 and ESC that cost 40.00 and put out about the same thing. Is one better then the other? Will one last longer then the other?
Thanks Tom
Hi Tom a very good ESC is the Turnigy plush or sentry ESC for the money, they have been Bullet proof for me, there are a lot of Cheap ESC out there, but the quallity varies a lot, and the cheaper ESC quallity is Normally not very good, i stick with the turnigy ESC, they are reasonably priced and work great, use a ESC thats 20 to 25% bigger than what you need, because they will last longer and stay cooler, just my 2 cents worth, Take care, Chellie

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=2164

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=3729

the sentry ESC normally have a switch mode BEC thats very good, the turnigy built in BEC are better than most.

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:50 PM   #4
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you cant beat the High End ESC like Castle Creation and others, If you have the money, thats what i would use but i am a poor person so i use the Turnigys

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Old 06-03-2011, 09:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Hi Tom a very good ESC is the Turnigy plush or sentry ESC for the money, they have been Bullet proof for me, there are a lot of Cheap ESC out there, but the quallity varies a lot, and the cheaper ESC quallity is Normally not very good, i stick with the turnigy ESC, they are reasonably priced and work great, use a ESC thats 20 to 25% bigger than what you need, because they will last longer and stay cooler, just my 2 cents worth, Take care, Chellie

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=2164

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=3729

the sentry ESC normally have a switch mode BEC thats very good, the turnigy built in BEC are better than most.
Hi Chellie,
I like turnigy ESCs too for the price point, but I recently discovered a weird compatibility issue where they (30A plush) seemed incapable of supporting the max kV of the motor. For the longest time I thought the prop was slipping under heavy load. I would get a squeal and a temporary ESC/RPM spool down. I tried another ESC (the same model) to see if the ESC was bad, but it did the exact same thing. Finally after trying a different brand of ESC - perfection. This was between 11 and 12K RPM.

Also, to the OP, make sure you check out the BEC side of the ESC when comparing. For example I have been really happy with Hobby King's 40/50A, which have a large exposed heatsink on the back that you can mount in the air flow as a direct radiator...

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...idProduct=6459

...but it has no BEC. I have come to prefer that, given a lower price, as I use independent BECs, double motors on a single shaft, or dedicated Rx batteries to eliminate that single point of failure.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:32 PM   #6
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Hi Z-8 thats one of the reasons that i use a ESC thats 20 to 25% bigger on the amps than what i need, so the esc will be able to handle the max amps, sometimes the esc and the motor will not be a perfect match, because of the number of poles or the feed back from the motor to the esc, so a different ESC has to be used so its a better ESC to motor match, you just have to experement to see what work best for you, for the average RC flier the turnigy ESC work great, but if a person is out for Max power and Max performance, thats not where the turnigy ESC shines and a High End ESC is better for that application, Take care and have fun, Chellie

I may be getting Older, But I Refuse to grow Up I am Having to much Fun to Grow Up LOL
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:35 AM   #7
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+1

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Old 06-04-2011, 03:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mckibben View Post
I see ESC that cost 10.00 and ESC that cost 40.00 and put out about the same thing. Is one better then the other? Will one last longer then the other?
Thanks Tom
I like the Castle Creations ICE ESC's. They cost more, but have built in switching battery elimination circuits, and they have built in data recording.

And, you can run them at their maximum current rating and not leave a trail of smoke behind your model.

As far as lasting, my seven CC ESC's are mostly 4 years old, and are still working well. Did have a problem with one when it was two years old. $40, and they replaced the top circuit board. Still flying that one.

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Old 06-04-2011, 05:46 PM   #9
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Yes, data recording ESCs are definitely worth the extra cost. And the cheap ESCs teach you the difference between design specs (which you do not know) and advertising specs (which they loudly trumpet).
You find the true design specs of cheap equipment through trial and terror.

With the Castle units you can run them at advertising specs. They are honest. Cheap Chinese ESCs are generally okay, but you have to draw your own conclusion as to what the genuine design specs of the unit are. I run a 40A Super Brain ESC in my Slow Stick that draws a maximum of low 20s. No problems! I could have just as good luck with a 30A but the price difference was just about nothing. Pop a 20A Castle ESC on there and you'd never have a problem.

So with the cheap stuff leave yourself lots of headroom. Only rely on the published specs for proven brands that have been trusted for many years.

The same thing is true for motors.
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rockin Robbins View Post
Pop a 20A Castle ESC on there and you'd never have a problem.

The same thing is true for motors.
Agreed:
I've run my CC ESC's at their maximum current rating repeatedly for years. Zero problems.

(Just don't try to run them over their design maximum voltage! That will kill just about any ESC.)

And for my Hacker motors, they are run at their current and maximum power ratings (Maybe even a little over max ) for years now, zero problems.

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Old 10-08-2011, 09:17 PM   #11
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Default ESCs behave differently

I just compared an eflite 10amp to a CC 9amp. Same type of motor, exact same battery, same transmitter, different receivers.

With the eflite, nothing happens until the throttle stick is almost at centre, then the power is steadily variable all the wall to full.

With the CC, the prop spins as soon as you move the stick a mm, but tops out just past centre and the rest of the stick movement does nothing.

Could it be the ESCs the receivers or both?

Interesting (to me anyway).

Pete
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:43 PM   #12
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You should be able to calibrate the endpoints on either ESC to get full control over the full range of stick movement. You can also fine tune it by using the servo travel adjust if your Tx is programmable.

Regarding the benefit of expensive vs. cheap ESC's.. I like my castle ESC's, they are designed by Castle and are unique. You cant say the same for some other higher price ESC's.. Hacker and Hyperion ESC's for instance are made by ZTW in China and are physically identical to ZTW's own brand ESC's and also those branded 'Mystery' and 'Black Mantis', these sell for a fraction of the Hacker/Hyperion price yet are exactly the same. More expensive does not always mean better. Having said all of this the ZTW ESC's are very good; but no point paying double for one just to get a fancy name on the heatsink.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1333719

Steve
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:53 AM   #13
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heres what i'v learned from these guys and gal[chellie] at wattflyer.from now on the esc i use and what motor i choose will be evaluated to the plane it's on. i like the advise given here in regards to the sig hog bipe i built using a turnigy 50-55-580sk,and turnigy 100 amp esc.

for the effort of building this bird and to have an issue on its second flight i went with the advise from many here to switch to an eflite power 60,and an esc 100amp ice. runs fantastic and all parts including batteries are cool apon landing.

in the aj slick arf which only cost $140,i'm perfectly happy to use hobbyking motors and plush esc's. they last a long time and if they burn i don't feel cheated as there cheap. i have extra motors sitting in a drawer for the uproar and slick. now i have 2 larger turnigy motors i may not use sitting in the same drawer.go figure.

freedom to choose,choose the good ways to outfit your birds.

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Old 10-09-2011, 12:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by HobbyJumper View Post
I just compared an eflite 10amp to a CC 9amp. Same type of motor, exact same battery, same transmitter, different receivers.

With the eflite, nothing happens until the throttle stick is almost at centre, then the power is steadily variable all the wall to full.

With the CC, the prop spins as soon as you move the stick a mm, but tops out just past centre and the rest of the stick movement does nothing.

Could it be the ESCs the receivers or both?

Interesting (to me anyway).
Don't know which version CC you have, but my CC Phoenix 45 and 60 Amp units are set to "Automatic" detection of end limits. That's where you move the throttle to minimum, that's off on the CC ESC. Then move the throttle to wide open, and back it off to zero, that becomes "full on".

If you only move the throttle to midpoint on the CC ESC's, then that midpoint is the "Full on".

And, the CC ESC's can also be manually adjusted for min/max, but to me the automatic is simpler.

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Old 10-11-2011, 12:02 AM   #15
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The one I have (T-bird 9) doesn't do that stuff. In fact, no bells and whistles is the big selling feature. It works fine. I was just curious.

Pete
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by HobbyJumper View Post
The one I have (T-bird 9) doesn't do that stuff. In fact, no bells and whistles is the big selling feature. It works fine. I was just curious.
Neither one is calibrated correctly. Read your instructions.

fly
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Old 10-11-2011, 04:43 AM   #17
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As I see it ... cheap ESC's are usually cheap components, often over-stated on specs ... and need to be substantially over the limit that you need for operation.

But in saying that ... I have a 30A ESC in my 450 heli ... a 20A in another plane ... both are close to minimum size recc'd ... and work fine. In fact I had a 35A ESC of higher price and branded burn up in the Heli ... the 30A was a temp replacement out of my spares box .. months later still there.

In the cheap to moderate pricing ... I don't really think there is much difference ... just odd extras on some like Governor mode etc. or program card compatibility.

Me ... I use cheap where possible and had no trouble.

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Old 10-13-2011, 05:01 PM   #18
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With respect. I did/I had. I would never build a model without carefully reading the instructions.

Originally Posted by flydiver View Post
Read your instructions.

Pete
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:26 PM   #19
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I just rejoined the hobby early this year and during the bulk of the fair weather flying season I logged a lot of hours. I wish I would have kept a log book but I fly in the morning on my way to work, at lunch and sometimes even after work as well as the weekends. Anyway, here are my statistics for this year:

All systems are 3S so they do somewhat compromise the BEC efficiency

1. (3) Cheapo Hobby King Mac (18A) ESC's supporting Park 400 size motors with 5-6 servos on the linear BEC's. No failures and no brown outs (that I could detect.

2. (2) Castle T-bird 18's, linear BEC's 1 FAILURE, (unknown cause, no motor throttle response) 1 OK no brownouts 4-5 servos, Park 400 size motors.

3. (1) Jeti Advanced 18 ESC, no failure, no brownout but too expensive Linear BEC.

4. (1) 40 Amp Exceed ESC ($45) Supporting a rather hot Park 480 (almost 300 watts). Switching 3 amp BEC (built-in) No issues. This seems like a really good value.

5. (1) E-flite 40 Amp ESC supporting Park 480: FAILED

6. (1) E-Flite 10 amp ESC, linear BEC supporting a 300 size motor, FAILED

One note, I have had 2 Spektrum failures that cost me airplanes so I am using Orange receivers almost exclusively and they have been flawless. The lost planes were due to a known Spektrum defect and not brownout. The reason I mention this is the Orange receivers don't seem to brown out even with 4-5 servos and a 2 amp weeny linear BEC. I tested some and they do seem to go quite low in voltage before they indicate a problem.

I took several systems and tested on the bench by doing a worst case servo actuation (activating 5-6 at a time very rapidly with the motor running) and the Spektrum browned out occasionally but the Orange did not. I am a Spektrum fan but I am a little weary of the receivers. Horizon has been really great on support though.

Dave
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:16 PM   #20
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Default The only truth about ESCs failing ???

You are using the ones that have...NO... temperature sensing protection circuits.

Heck most guys I know CRAM THE ESC, battery & servos into a almost dead air space. OR, the ESC is in back of the batteries getting hot as hell on the vertical climbouts.
Or it is behind a hot motor with way too small air in & air out holes.

I have used CHEAP & expensive ESC .
Air flow over ALL THE ELECTRONICS is more important than any price you paid.

Good thing about the temperature protected ESCs ?
They will keep slowing down the engine UNTILL YOU GET ENOUGH AIRFLOW CORRECT.

Works for me.

On the ducted fans escs. I cut off that thick plastic heat shrink. ESC smiles up at me. I smile back.

Cheap is good. So is expensive.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:53 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by cyclops2 View Post
You are using the ones that have...NO... temperature sensing protection circuits.

Heck most guys I know CRAM THE ESC, battery & servos into a almost dead air space. OR, the ESC is in back of the batteries getting hot as hell on the vertical climbouts.
Or it is behind a hot motor with way too small air in & air out holes.

I have used CHEAP & expensive ESC .
Air flow over ALL THE ELECTRONICS is more important than any price you paid.

Good thing about the temperature protected ESCs ?
They will keep slowing down the engine UNTILL YOU GET ENOUGH AIRFLOW CORRECT.

Works for me.

On the ducted fans escs. I cut off that thick plastic heat shrink. ESC smiles up at me. I smile back.

Cheap is good. So is expensive.
Most of that is true ... and is why many models have ducts from front or under to flow air through. Even my Me109 has two ducts through to cool battery and ESC ... but of course my looking for perfection added wing seating tape that filled the gap between wing and seat. Stopped the airflow. So now I have that removed to allow air-flow again. I could have cut an exit hole in rear under fuselage ... but didn't want the hole and reduction of strength incurred.
My Cessna battery door is slatted so air flows through from front over ESC and past battery out door ... and I see that on many models.

So on a lot of models - the problem is internal and keeping electronics in place but also able to get air over them.

Only 2 ESC's have ever failed on me ... first was my stupidity and lack of understanding. Second was unknown reason ... one day my 450 heli ESC just smoked..... when starting up.

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Old 10-15-2011, 09:17 PM   #22
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There is no question that the more expensive ESC's are made with better components but, in my experience, the less expensive ones are made with good enough components. They either work or they don't. As long as they stay cool, they should continue to work. What has been said about the current ratings is true. You need to buy at least one size bigger than called for if using a cheap ESC.

I'll give you an example. I have an E-Flite model that calls for a 60 amp ESC. I'm using a Castle Ice 50 in it. The current draw gets within 5 amps of the rating at full throttle (45 amps.) The ESC gets pleasantly warm to the touch during a flight but not hot. It is plenty of ESC for the application. If it were a Turnigy ESC, I would use a 60 or 70 amp for the same application and I would expect the ESC to get warmer.

I've done pretty well with the Turnigy DLux ESC's. They have built in heat sinks and switch mode BEC's. That's important for me because I use a lot of 4S batteries and it is convenient not to have to buy and install dedicated BEC's. So far so good. For my best models, however, the Castle Ice ESC's give me extra confidence.
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