|Speed Controller & Programmer!|
One of the nice things that has happened to me through writing a few articles and reviews is that people keep sending me stuff to try out and write up! The latest box to arrive at my door is from Steve Webb Models, and contains the above pair of items.
I am most intrigued by the claim that this speed controller is specially made to increase motor rpm without increasing current draw! As a firm believer that you can’t get something for nothing, I thought I'd put it to the test.
I'm fortunate in that I have the ideal set-ups - two models with identical motors/props and batteries. I also have access to a pair of wattmeters and a rev-counter, so I can have the two models running side by side, each with a meter on and then I can check the RPM.
First of all, the website specs:
World Models ESC
Supported highest motor speeds - 210000 rpm, 2 poles, 70000 rpm, 6 poles and 35000 rpm, 12 poles.
Dual PCBS: control circuit and MOSFET circuits use a seperate PCB. Air Gap between the two PCB's.
Extremely low resistence means higher RPM than some similar ESC's.
My usual procedure for doing a review is to make a few notes of my initial impressions and not to start the write up until I have done some work on the subject. But I am in the mood to do some writing, and so I will start now with my first impressions when all I have done is read the instructions!
Maybe buying so many Dualsky products from Model Pro has spoiled me, but on opening the box my first thought was “where are the plugs?” Dualsky motors and ESC’s arrive with 3.5mm gold connectors and heatshrink to connect motor to esc, but the WM one does not, so I will have to get some or change those on the model.
Not a major issue, but as there are 3 leads, and I have 3 males on the motor already, I will have to buy 2 packs. My LMS sells these in sets of 2 pairs, and I will also have to buy the heatshrink separately.
This is an expensive way to buy these items, luckily I have plenty of 4mm ones for the battery side!
Reading the ESC instructions just showed what I would expect from an ESC today, a lot of useful features, readily set up by either the programming card or by transmitter programming. But reading the programming card instructions provided my first surprise – this one has a choice of start up tunes!
I am well used by now to the inevitable comments like “ can I have a strawberry cone with a flake, please” when I plug in my Formosa and the Ice cream van chime starts, but with this programming card you can apparently choose to disable the start up tone or set one of 15 tunes! If it were early December I would set number 8, Jingle bells or late December number 7, Auld Lang Syne. There is one choice that has a nice ring to it. My dear old Mum lives in Spain, and she is a beautiful person, even if at 85 the looks that she passed on to her daughters and saw 2 of the 3 winning beauty contests and herself winning a Glamorous Granny contest are an ancient memory, I can still choose a tune called “Beautiful Spanish Lady” as a tribute to her.
The card comes with an extension lead, so fitting it to the ESC will be no problem with the ESC in the model. You simply take the Rx connection from the Rx and plug it into the programming card instead.
Okay, now we are back to the normal routine, I am writing this after doing some work. I have arranged that the testing will be done at a club meeting, gives a chance to explain a bit about Lipos, ESC’s, brushless motors etc, and will give me plenty of willing hands to hold things and read meters while I stand back out of the way! But I have soldered on connections and hooked it up to a motor, tested the rotation direction and done the programming card bit.
The card is ridiculously easy to use. You simply take the throttle plug out of the receiver and plug it into the card, using the supplied extension lead if you wish. Then plug in the battery, and the card lights up with very bright red LED’s In fact they were so bright I found it difficult to read the card until my eyes adjusted! There are 2 buttons at the base of the card, one up/down, one left/right, and you simply scroll through each setting till you have the one you want. Then press the Connect button, a blue Led lights up and then your chosen music starts and you are done! Excellent! You could even change it with the ESC in the model! First time of asking it took 3 minutes to configure the ESC as I wanted, and so much easier than counting bleeping bleeps!
Speed Control In The Model
As you can see, the results were not exactly as expected, and I am not certain why this should be. I repeated the Me 109 test with the original ESC, which was a Tower Pro 25a, and results were similar. So the next thing is to try the World Models ESC in the Formosa, it could be that the motor simply needs “running in”.
When I went to do this, I did a check on the Formosa and to my surprise found that in the same configuration as before the motor pulled 144 amps! So I postponed further testing until I could examine things in detail, and found that the batteries were not fully charged. Since each had been charged and balanced before leaving home that evening, I am unsure why, and still do not know for sure!
Since then there has been no opportunity to borrow the extra equipment again, unfortunately I bent the shaft in my ‘Mosa motor, but what I can conclusively state that the World Models ESC works at least as well as the Tower Pro, and seems better, although this is purely subjective! The Tower Pro mysteriously broke down today, and was replaced by the WM one. As the Me 109 has been cannibalised to equip my Spirit 3d, it was fitted to this model instead. It did seem to have a little more power, and it when I went vertical at one third throttle to do a stall turn, it went up a lot further than I expected before I cut the throttle completely and yanked the rudder over! The model certainly flew very well indeed, as well as it has ever done, although this could be the ideal conditions and my growing familiarity with her.
I cannot be certain whether more power is available from this ESC. But I CAN state that it is possibly true, even probably so. And the Programming Card is far and away the easiest method of programming a speed controller that I have used. Some cards require an Rx pack instead of a flight pack, and if you are not an IC or glider flier you may not have one to hand as I do. This one uses the flight pack, and can be used with the ESC in the model, so if you want to change a setting, get fed up with the music or for whatever reason, it takes literally moments to do! Being able to set your cut-off voltage for Lipos with absolute certainty is a big plus for me, I cannot afford to replace Lipos because I counted 17 bleeps instead of 18!
The World Models ESC and programming card are an excellent pair, and seem very reasonably priced, cheaper than some, more expensive than others. And the ease of use of the Programming Card makes it a winning combination for me!