Castle’s Long-Awaited Sensored Power System is Here!
I have a quick test for you; find someone that wants to build (or has built) an over-the-top speed project for the dirt or asphalt and ask them what brushless system they want to use. I guarantee that 99.9% of the time you’ll get the same answer – a Castle Creations system.
Castle has been in the speed business for a long time, making systems for 1:18 scale all the way up to 1:5 scale rides. All of these, however, have been sensorless systems, so even though they are brutally fast, they never quite give you that completely connected feel to your ride.
Well, until now. Castle has tweaked their sensorless systems, creating a whole new line of sensored ESC’s and motors. Doing this has opened the door to racers and crawlers that need that precise throttle control while still delivering savage power.
I received a couple systems to test, but for this particular review I’m focusing on the Mamba X 1:10 Scale Sensored System. I’ll be dropping it in my Axial RR10 Bomber, a perfect rig to test both power and control.
Product: Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System
Part Number: 010-0155-01
Castle Creations Mamba X
BEC: Adjustable: 5.5V, 6.0V, 7.5V. or 8.0V
Telemetry Capable: Yes
Data Logging: Yes
Auxiliary Wire: Yes
Minimum Input Voltage: 2S
Maximum Input Voltage: 6S
Sensored Capable: Yes
Castle Link Compatible: Yes
Cooling Fan: Yes, 30mm
Connectors: 6.5mm bullet connectors
Castle Creations 1406 4600kV 4-Pole Sensored Motor
Input Voltage Range: 2-3S LiPo
Max. RPM: 100,000
Weight (w/wires): 197g / 6.9oz
Shaft Diameter: 3.17mm
Connectors: 6.5mm bullet connectors
Sensor Wire: 210mm
What’s In The Box
The Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored 1:10 Scale Brushless System comes in two different boxes wrapped in an outer sleeve; one box contains the Mamba X ESC while the other houses the 1406 4600kV 4-Pole sensored brushless motor I’ll be using in this review.
After removing the two boxes from the sleeve, I opened box 1 and was greeted with the Mamba X, all tucked away in an oversized foam surround. After lifting the ESC (and foam surround) out of the box, I found a few additional items at the bottom of the box; sticker sheet, Quick Start Guide and instruction manual. Visually, the new case is simply gorgeous; flat black case with the printed logos, aluminum fan cover with the Mamba X logo and the exterior capacitors are locked in place on top of the unit. Its definitely got a very competition-esce feel to it.
The second box contains the 1406 4600kV 4-Pole brushless motor also wrapped in a foam surround. Additional parts were tucked under the foam as well; Hall Sensor wire, sticker sheet, Quick Motor Setup Guide and instruction manual. The motor looks very similar to the sensorless ones; green in color and etched logos on the can and back plate. Unlike previous motors, though, the long motor wires are connected to solder tabs sticking out of the motor and have large bullet connectors at the other end. This design lets you un-solder and shorten the wires (if needed) without losing the bullet connectors. You will also notice the inclusion of the sensor port on the back of the motor.
The Mamba X Sensored System is compatible with the Castle Link USB Programming tool. This allows you fiddle with onboard settings like throttle and brake curves, LiPo cutoff, punch, etc. – right from the comfort of your computer. It’s definitely a great tuning tool that I would highly suggest getting when you’re picking up your X-system!
Even though the installation of the Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored 1:10 Scale Brushless System is pretty straightforward, there are a few things you need to do beforehand. First, you’ll need to plug in the replaceable sensor harness; the X has a diagram on the side just under the port to help you correctly plug it in. Next, make sure that the fan is plugged in. This might already be done; my 1:8 systems had the fan plugged in, my 1:10 didn’t. Other than that, the system is ready to be installed.
I loaded up the RR10 Bomber and headed out to Holy Jim Trail, a local offroad route for full-size rigs. I didn’t have to go deep into the trail to find a suitable playground; at the base there is plenty of dirt and rocks to play on. Thanks to the recent rains here (yes, it DOES rain in SoCal), there was even a stream flowing through the area.
My first test was to romp around the dirt to get a feel for the power this system had. As I expected, the Mamba X packs quite a punch – so much so that I had to be a little careful when stabbing the throttle on wavy terrain. On a 3S LiPo, the system has gobs of go throughout the powerband; wheelies on command from a standstill (or slow run-up) and great top end, but the beauty of it is the overall feel at your fingertips.
After some fun on the flat, I traversed down a slight incline to the rock garden area. There was an array of different-sized rocks – small rocks, big rocks, rocks on top of rocks. The low-range feel while slowly climbing over them is fantastic! Throttle inputs are extremely fluid; honestly, it feels kind of odd that it’s not coggy – kind of what I’m used to from my rock rigs. I was able to slowly maneuver my way over and around obstacles with a smooth, consistent feel. This is something racers (especially rock racers) need to control wheelspin on uneven terrain.
The one thing I didn’t test out, unfortunately, was how well it works through water. While the Bomber does come with a waterproof receiver box, the upgraded servo I’m using is not. I guess it’s time to swap it out…
Castle Creations, www.castlecreations.com