Need help choosing a new ESC

SixStar

Well-Known Member
Messages
148
Reaction score
141
Location
Seattle, WA
Arrma RC's
  1. Kraton 6s
  2. Typhon 6s
Yesterday my BLX185 in my Kraton 6S v4 gave up the ghost. It seems like some kind of internal component failure like a cap or resistor or something broke off or failed somehow. I bought my K6S used so no warranty, I asked Horizon and they said no dice. I do plan on opening it up to see if I can't either solder whatever broke back on or replace the component if I can. I am not planning on being successful.
So, I have a few options on the table:

1) get another BLX185. I really like the way my stock ESC performed while it was working, but I would like to have higher BEC voltage than the BLX185 provides.

2) get a Max6. This is a really attractive option to me, the only thing is the cost factor and I don't plan on running 8S ever. I only have 3S and 6S packs and I'm not stoked on buying a pair of 4s packs.

3) ZTW 220a 6S. This guy has even higher amperage rating than the Max6, plus it can also go up to 7.4v on the BEC. Downside is that the ZTW ESC's have a bit of a reputation for premature failure and the software for programming over USB sucks. I'd have to buy a programmer as well. Cost is similar to the Max6 when you add the cost of the programmer. I'm really tempted to get this ESC.

4) Mamba Monster X 6S. This guy is one of the less attractive options to me. I haven't been super impressed with the old Monster 2 I'm running in my Kraton till I get something better. Plus the price for the 6s version especially is absolutely outrageous. MMX8S is only like 35 dollars more online. On the other hand, I already have the Castle B-Link and I really like the tuning that I can do with it.

What do you guys think? I know there are cheapo options out there as well but I'd like something I can trust not to break down again or worse. I'm betting most of you will say get the Max6 but to me the ZTW looks better on paper for my purposes. If there is an option I overlooked let me know. I'm aware of the rebranded ESCs like the Hex6 from Redcat, but my understanding is that like the BLX, programming options are limited. I'm not sure what settings exactly are missing from the Hex6/8/etc ESCs. My needs are: 6S capable running with my stock 2050KV motor, at least as powerful and "punchy" as the BLX185/ HW 8BL150, and a 7.4v+ BEC. 8.4v would be ideal. Less than $140 would be great but Max6 money ($160ish) is kinda my upper limit. Curious what you all think.

P.s.: Please don't say send it to Arrma I got it used and I cannot do that.
 
Last edited:

Ace

Premium Member!
Premium Member
Messages
30
Reaction score
92
Location
Florida
Arrma RC's
  1. Felony
  2. Infraction
  3. Limitless
  4. Outcast 8s
  5. Talion
I would go with the castle MMX8S or XLX.

You can try to the new Spectrum ESC that comes in the the new infraction and felony.
hope that helps
 

gotnitro

Premium Member!
Premium Member
Build Thread Contributor
Messages
5,452
Reaction score
7,405
Location
1st place
Doesn't make sense to get Castle unless you plan on buying the motor combo to utilize the sensored system IMO. I'd buy the MAX6, tried and true, I have 3 of them (motor combo's) and have had 0 problems with any of the ESC's or motors. Power wise its the same as my Castle X6 combo. The MAX6 goes almost as slow as the Castle sensored system with no cogging.
 

K-BASH

Well-Known Member
Build Thread Contributor
Messages
4,451
Reaction score
6,291
Location
ST.LOUIS
Arrma RC's
  1. BigRock 4x4
  2. Mojave
  3. Notorious
  4. Senton 6s
  5. Senton 3s
  6. Typhon 6s
I run a h-wing quicrun 150a in mojave 2-6s option lots of tuneablity 13 items I think. Blx 3,4,6s only an 5 items.99$
 

DoNoHarm

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,112
Reaction score
2,892
Arrma RC's
  1. Senton 6s
I’d get another blx 185 and throw a better fan on it just because you liked how it performed and they’re dirt cheap on eBay. If you plan on running anything bigger than the stock motor though, I’d go max6 as you stated you’re not a fan of the mamba monster 2, which is no problem because ESC choice is all about personal preference. The X is a little more refined if that’s what bugged you with the 2 though. Smoother and stuff.
 

SixStar

Well-Known Member
Messages
148
Reaction score
141
Location
Seattle, WA
Arrma RC's
  1. Kraton 6s
  2. Typhon 6s
I’d get another blx 185 and throw a better fan on it just because you liked how it performed and they’re dirt cheap on eBay. If you plan on running anything bigger than the stock motor though, I’d go max6 as you stated you’re not a fan of the mamba monster 2, which is no problem because ESC choice is all about personal preference. The X is a little more refined if that’s what bugged you with the 2 though. Smoother and stuff.
Weirdly since I tuned my MM2 with the B-Link it crawls like a sensored motor. Smooth as silk even on an 18t pinion. If i build a crawler i will use the MM2, it's that good at low speed. It's weak at high throttle. It's like hesitation from a gas motor or turbo lag almost. Makes it much more difficult to do stunts, i have to let it "wind up" to get full power out of it. Im about to play with the B-Link a bit more and hope it gets better. Ironically I borrowed an iPhone from a buddy since I couldn't update the mm2's firmware via the B-Link with my Galaxy S9+ and after the update I lost some tuning features. Before I could force it to go over 7v on the BEC and now the slider only goes to 7.0v and it will not let me manually go higher, either. I'm thinking either a quicrun wp8bl150, the ZTW 220a, or Max6. The other Castle ESC's don't really make sense to me financially when I can get similar or better performance from an ESC that's 33% cheaper. The ZTW 220a ESC is around $110 before tax and whatnot. I would still need to get the programmer for it but based on my limited understanding I think there is a good chance that the Hobbywing LCD programmer might work. It appears to use the same case and it very well may be the same exact thing. If that's the case I should be able to find it cheaper under the HW brand.
 
Last edited:

DoNoHarm

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,112
Reaction score
2,892
Arrma RC's
  1. Senton 6s
Weirdly since I tuned my MM2 with the B-Link it crawls like a sensored motor. Smooth as silk even on an 18t pinion. If i build a crawler i will use the MM2, it's that good at low speed. It's weak at high throttle. It's like hesitation from a gas motor or turbo lag almost. Makes it much more difficult to do stunts, i have to let it "wind up" to get full power out of it. Im about to play with the B-Link a bit more and hope it gets better. Ironically I borrowed an iPhone from a buddy since I couldn't update the mm2's firmware via the B-Link with my Galaxy S9+ and after the update I lost some tuning features. Before I could force it to go over 7v on the BEC and now the slider only goes to 7.0v and it will not let me manually go higher, either. I'm thinking either a quicrun wp8bl150, the ZTW 220a, or Max6. The other Castle ESC's don't really make sense to me financially when I can get similar or better performance from an ESC that's 33% cheaper. The ZTW 220a ESC is around $110 before tax and whatnot. I would still need to get the programmer for it but based on my limited understanding I think there is a good chance that the Hobbywing LCD programmer might work. It appears to use the same case and it very well may be the same exact thing. If that's the case I should be able to find it cheaper under the HW brand.
Wow to be honest compared to all other ESCs I’ve always found the mamba monster 2 to be the best as far as top end and raw power, yet a poor performer at low speed. My revo can’t go slower than a semi quick walking speed without the esc starting to cog out. Both of these distinct features are pretty dramatic too imo, like it really is insane for torque and power compared to other escs that’s why I’m always telling other people to try it out lol.

That quicrun150 is basically the same thing as the blx 185 as far as functionality, so if that’s all you need go with what’s cheaper. Max6 is smart if you wanna go bigger in the motor department. I wouldn’t bother with that ZTW. Not really the most reputable brand. Castle and nowdays hobbywing have quite the rep built up so itd be a safe bet to stick with them.
 
Last edited:

SixStar

Well-Known Member
Messages
148
Reaction score
141
Location
Seattle, WA
Arrma RC's
  1. Kraton 6s
  2. Typhon 6s
Weird mine is totally the opposite. It does have the speed and the lag makes it a bit easier to keep the front wheels down, so it would be a decent ESC for a smaller speed run car, something 1/10 scale onroad with the twin-deck design most likely or a crawler like I mentioned earlier. I changed the "start-up power" setting from low to medium in the B-Link menu to achieve these results. I might turn it to high or make a custom throttle map to try and get more punchy acceleration.
 

DoNoHarm

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,112
Reaction score
2,892
Arrma RC's
  1. Senton 6s
Weird mine is totally the opposite. It does have the speed and the lag makes it a bit easier to keep the front wheels down, so it would be a decent ESC for a smaller speed run car, something 1/10 scale onroad with the twin-deck design most likely or a crawler like I mentioned earlier. I changed the "start-up power" setting from low to medium in the B-Link menu to achieve these results. I might turn it to high or make a custom throttle map to try and get more punchy acceleration.
A hesitation? That’s horrible. No esc should ever hesitate that makes driving so unpredictable. You need something that gives you power when you ask for it. I can imagine trying to do a backflip or any sort of high jump is a nightmare with an esc that doesn’t respond instantly.
Edit: hold up. Mines at low and it’s not hesitating.
image.jpg

I’m confused here. So let’s talk in relative to the BLX 185 (an esc we both also have). Relative to the BLX 185, my monster 2 is a way torquier esc with a higher top end but a worse low end control. It almost makes my blx 185 seem gutless. It also runs infinitely times cooler. How does yours perform? We might have an issue on our hands. As I said above, an ESC should never have a power hesitation.
 
Last edited:

SixStar

Well-Known Member
Messages
148
Reaction score
141
Location
Seattle, WA
Arrma RC's
  1. Kraton 6s
  2. Typhon 6s
So technically I have a MXL-6S which is a rebranded Castle MM2. When I pull the throttle, the power comes on like in a swell. It builds even though the trigger is pegged. My BLX was instantaneous in it's power delivery in comparison. It also, to me, felt more powerful overall almost like my MM2 feels like 5S compared to 6S on the BLX185. My MM2 will barely wheelie my Kraton once the voltage goes down to about 24V so practically immediately. My BLX would nearly standing backflip my Kraton with half a charge or less remaining.
 

DoNoHarm

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,112
Reaction score
2,892
Arrma RC's
  1. Senton 6s
So technically I have a MXL-6S which is a rebranded Castle MM2. When I pull the throttle, the power comes on like in a swell. It builds even though the trigger is pegged. My BLX was instantaneous in it's power delivery in comparison. It also, to me, felt more powerful overall almost like my MM2 feels like 5S compared to 6S on the BLX185. My MM2 will barely wheelie my Kraton once the voltage goes down to about 24V so practically immediately. My BLX would nearly standing backflip my Kraton with half a charge or less remaining.
I actually ran an MXL 6s for a few years. I will tell you it performed no different from a normal MM2. What you’re describing sounds like there’s something broken if you will, like the esc isn’t healthy. I don’t feel that way at all with mine, it makes my blx 185 seem like a dog. The acceleration should be a hard punch not a ramp like upwards climb of power. Does it run hot by any chance?
 

SixStar

Well-Known Member
Messages
148
Reaction score
141
Location
Seattle, WA
Arrma RC's
  1. Kraton 6s
  2. Typhon 6s
No it runs cooler than my BLX185. Im wondering if the batteries i use are the issue, but like I said I got awesome performance from the BLX185 on the same packs so I guess I just have bad luck with ESCs. At least I have something to use while I figure out what to get for a replacement. I can get a Max6 and 1650KV 4985 on Amazon Prime delivered in 2 days for 350ish after tax. Thats a lot of money for me but I'm confident that would be more than adequate for my needs plus I'd get some bragging rights at the weekend meetups lol. Unfortunately I can't get just the Max6 on Prime.
 
Last edited:

SixStar

Well-Known Member
Messages
148
Reaction score
141
Location
Seattle, WA
Arrma RC's
  1. Kraton 6s
  2. Typhon 6s
Alright, today I got some cash together and I pulled the trigger on a Hobbywing Max6. I wish they weren't so expensive. I could have gotten 2 Quicrun 150's for the same cost. I really hope that the build quality and performance are able to justify the dent i just put in my budget. Honestly it was a really crappy time for my Arrma ESC to fail. On the plus side the Max 6 will run any motor that physically fits in the K6S and if i want to run 8S in the future that is an option. I ordered the Max6 from Ebay, supposed to be here between Tuesday the 15th and Thursday the 17th. Unfortunately not in time for my local meetup this weekend but I'm really excited to start putting this guy through it's paces. I've been wanting to start a YouTube channel for a while and this will be a good opportunity to get some video content made.
 

IRONWORKER

Well-Known Member
Messages
226
Reaction score
265
Arrma RC's
  1. Kraton 8S
  2. Kraton 6s
  3. Talion
I run Castles but recently picked up a ZTW220a.... It’s an extremely capable esc, has no problem running a 4092 in a heavy Kraton. Look around & you can get 1 for just over $100, the prog box is $12 i believe.
 

SixStar

Well-Known Member
Messages
148
Reaction score
141
Location
Seattle, WA
Arrma RC's
  1. Kraton 6s
  2. Typhon 6s
Yeah I strongly considered the ZTW 220a 6S ESC, if you wouldnt mind doing a write-up/review post on it after you've been running it for a while that would be rad. There isn't a lot of good information out there from users that I've seen. Most everything on Youtube is just unboxings or showing it off installed in a car but almost nothing running it or talking about it's performance, features, etc.
 
Top