Tuesday, 26 April 2011

ESC ... Woe is me!

I have decided to write a little bit about the venerable, and all of a sudden ubiquitous, speedo from Hobbywing, the original manufacturers of Speed Passion. There are various versions available including the 60a, 120a, extreme stock and 1s.

I have been runnning the 120a version since last summer. My buying decision was based primarily on cost as it looked like great value, this has certainly proven to be true. The big bonus is that it actually turned out to be pleasingly competitive, so much so that I also purchased a 60a version which is now in my buggy.

Fan removed to fit under the bodyshell.

The first thing I did when it arrived was to visit the Hobbywing website and download the latest version of their boosted software. At the time this was known as 518stock.

I loaded it on to the speedo via the LCD programming box (pictured above), a straightforward task, and was pretty much ready to go. I dropped the unit into my Xray together with a Tekiin 13.5 and hit the track. I was astounded by the performance from such a competitively priced esc. After some minor tweaking of the various parameters I was competing with RS Pro Tekins and even the GMs!

I was managing 20 laps at Aldershot and 18 at Adur... a happy chappy.

Anyway, around Christmas time Hobbywing decided it was time to update their software and so came a flurry of software updates: 1224, 119, 211 and apparently now even 213.
These new updates included some new parameters to play with, adjustable from the LCD box or direct from a laptop. There were accompanying claims of extra speed and lower temps, gotta be good right?

Well yes and no.
This was where the headaches started for me.
In the pursuit of extra pace I have tried them all and whilst I think I have a reasonable understanding of how they all work I haven't been able to use any of them to any great advantage on the track. If anything I seem to be going backwards. At Aldershot on Sunday with 211 software installed 20 laps looked a long way off!
No such problems for Jon Wilkins and Kevin Bissell who seem to have a handle on the software and were storming round... Grrr!

120a squeezed into my Mi4LP, it does have quite a large footprint.

So I guess it's back to the drawing board, I've reinstalled 119stock, am going back to some old settings and I will work from there. I will be pressing buttons, changing pinions, smoking motors and swearing a lot but I am determined to get back on the pace.

Feel free to send me your fast set-ups and I will post some of them here if anyone is interested.

Despite my vexation I would, and do, recommend this unit to anyone looking for a competitive well priced speedo for almost any application. From bashing to club racing to regional competitions I don't think one could buy anything better for the price.

The same 3 F's apply here as to all my RC endeavours;  Fun but F****** Frustrating!


  1. Phil
    Start with the 211_Stock default settings and work from there. I find that I need to increase the brakes from the default (50%) to 87.5% or 100% depending on motor. I also reduced the Punch from 9 to 7 but may try putting it back to 9 for the next meeting seeing as there is plenty of grip.
    To protect the motor try increasing the boost cut-in rpm from 4,000 to about 7,000 and also increase the boost ramp up from 350 rpm per degree to 400 or 450. I have found that these two measures let the motor run a little cooler.
    The default Turbo delay is 0.3 seconds, John W has adjusted this to zero and I have copied him because turbo only cuts in at Max throttle and when I push the stick to max I want it now, not 0.3 seconds later ;-)
    I was running James's spare Graupner on Sunday geared at 6.0:1 FDR and it never came off above 60 celcius.
    If your motor is running cool then you can start to wind back the boost cut-in and increase the boost ramp rate.
    All this from a 60A Xtreme Stock with a purchase price of about £65... Bargain :-)

  2. This is not far away from where I was Kev. 5 rounds allow for a lot of experimenting!
    I tried gearing between 6 and 7, boost cut in between 4 and 7, DRS from 6 to 9, ramp at 350. I have a theory that the Team Powers motor just doesn't like the 211 software, although it did liven up when I put on some mechanical timing. 211 seemed to be about 4 tenths slower than 119 for me with that particular motor.