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Home » Reviews » Sensored Has Never Been So Good! – The Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System

Sensored Has Never Been So Good! – The Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System

My first experience with a Castle Creations speed controller was the tiny Mamba 25 for my Losi Mini T.  Combined with one of their green anodizes sensorless motors this set-up was brutally fast, pretty smooth and very, very adjustable.  Over the years, I have used just about every single Castle esc from the various versions of the Sidewinder, Mamba Micro Pro, Mamba Max and the Mamba XLX.  While the first few product lines focused on sensorless speed controls (except for the successful Mamba Max Pro) that provided brutal power their new “X” series of speed controls, including the Mamba Monster X, Mamba Micro X, and Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System all take advantage to sensored operation to resulting in the ultimate combination of smooth, speed and power.  Looking to take the performance of my Losi TEN SCTe 4wd desert buggy up a level or 3 I decided it was best to install a Mamba X and give it a try.  The results were beyond impressive!

Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System

THE GOODS

Inside the cool box you’ll find the Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System, Mamba X Series Driver’s Ed Guide, Mamba Micro X Quick Start Guide, a cool decal sheet and redeemable coupon for a free Castle Link or for $10 a Field Link Tuning Card.  On one end of the Mamba X there are the red and black power wires waiting for a connector of your choosing and three, 4.0mm female bullet plugs for the A, B and C motor wires to plug into. The opposite side features the X series wire harness that includes a receiver plug wire, power wires for the cooling fan, white aux wire and red/black wires the extend to a waterproof on/off switch.  Next to this harness is the adapter for the sensor wire plug.

Other cool features found on the Mamba X include a sturdy black anodized aluminum case with Mamba X etched into the left and right sides, and identifying markings on the front and back for the motor and power wires as well as the sensor and rx harness.  A sweet heatsink that has an X machined into it, and a cooling fan with aluminum cover that features the Mamba X logo to ensure efficient operation.  Oh, and did I mention that the Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System is waterproof?!  Yep, take it just about anywhere, wet or dry, without fear.

Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System

While I have owned countless Castle speed controls over the years the X series speed controls are different in that they feature a white aux wire (white signal wire) that is designed to plug into an auxiliary port (like channel 3 or 4) on a receiver allowing for on the fly adjustments of a preset parameter. In order to access this feature you’ll need to download the free software from www.castlecreations.com, have compatible USB cord and Castle Link.  With everything unboxed and a Castle Link in hand I installed the newest version of the software, 3.72, from www.castlecreations.com and plugged in the receiver wire and double clicked the Castle Link icon on my laptop.  Immediately the software opened up and let me know that I could update the software on the Mamba X from V1.80 to V2.02.  I proceeded to click update firmware and in a few moments the process was complete.

Navigating through the various settings, the Basic tab allows you to adjust cutoff voltage, reverse type, BEC voltage that is adjustable from 5.5V – 8.0V, enable or disable idle/error beeping, brake amount and drag brake.

Under the Power tab there is start power, max forward power, max reverse power and punch control.

The Advanced tab is where arming time, live link enables, throttle dead band and auxiliary wire mode can be adjusted. The aux wire mode allows for you to adjust one of the following parameters directly from your transmitter; max throttle, max reverse, max brake, drag brake, reverse enabled/disabled and torque control.

The Motor tab is where motor direction, motor type, sensorless motor timing and C.H.E.A.T (Castle High Energy Advanced Timing) mode can be set.

The Logging tab is where users can select the parameters they would like the Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System to keep track of

The next two tabs are Throttle and Brake Curve followed by Software and Save-Print.

After having a good look at all the factory installed settings I set the drag brake to 10%, max reverse power to 50%, auxiliary wire to drag brake, motor type to sensored only and as stated earlier, I updated the software to the newest version.

Want to know how Castle puts the Mamba X together?  Check out this cool video that they produced!

 

BEFORE YOU HIT THE TRACK

Not all that much is required to get the Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System ready to go.  Everyone will need to solder on a battery connector; I opted for a Deans style connector.  If using a Castle motor, like I am, no other soldering will be needed as their sensored motors comes with 4.0mm male bullet plugs pre-installed.

Installing the Mamba X and 1410 1Y 3800KV sensored motor into my Losi TEN SCTe was a painless install as the controller I was previously using was the original Mamba Max Pro.  It took less than 10-minutes to have get everything installed and in no time at all I was running through the calibration chimes.

PERFORMANCE

Once installed and calibrated I headed to Mittineague Park near my house to put the TEN SCTe with with the new Mamba X to the test.  There are plenty of open areas, hardcore trails, and a stream at Mittineague Park so this was the perfect test location.  First up I decided to challenge the top end speed and braking.  I set the TEN SCTe down and yanked back on the throttle.  Promptly the wheels spun, kicking dirt and sand all over and the buggy lunged forward, lifting the front wheels off the ground.  Once the it reached full speed I grabbed the brake hard and the nose of the TEN SCTe dropped down promptly.  I did this a 6-8 times or so then decided to check and see if the speed control was heating up.  It was not, in fact, it was still as cool as a cucumber due in large part to the cooling fan and aluminum case.

After testing top end and braking capabilities I decided to drive through some trails.  During this phase of testing I was almost exclusive using low and medium speeds, an ideal test for the sensored capabilities of the Mamba X.  The entire time the throttle response was smooth, proportional and there was not even a hint of cogging or hesitation that can sometimes plague sensorless systems.

Next I headed for the small stream and sandy area.  There is plenty of sand and a gradual drop-off into the water.  I slowly drove the TEN SCTe into about 1-2 inches of water and then gave it about half throttle.  Water splashed about and went all over the inside of the buggy, drenching the Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System.  I drove it in and out of the water, one time until the entire buggy was nearly submerged.  When the batteries had been fully drained I took it home for a full inspection.  I cleaned the speed control using a clean, dry toothbrush and the remainder of the buggy as I charged up a fresh 3S New Wave battery packs.  Once fully charged, and the buggy was clean, I went outside for a quick test to make sure everything was still in fine working order, it was.

CONCLUSION

The Castle Creations Mamba X Sensored Brushless System is one of the most versatile high voltage brushless speed controllers on the market. I love that it is so customizable using the Castle Link and that it is designed for sensored motors. While it can be used by high end racers in the very competitive electric 1:8 buggy class (vehicles up to 9 pounds), it will be even more appealing to bashers of all types as well as trail truck fans because of its waterproof design.  Castle has yet again raised the bar and industry followers will be playing catch-up once again.

VITAL STATS

MANUFACTURER: Castle Creations

PRODUCT: Mamba X

PART NUMBER: 010-0155-00

PRICE: $137.99

INPUT VOLTAGE 2-6S LiPo

MOTOR TYPES: Sensored, sensorless and brushed

DATA LOGGING CAPABLE: Yes

AUXILARY WIRE: Yes

BATTERY WIRES: 12AWG

FOOTPRINT: Length: 2.14″ (54.4mm), Width: 1.39″ (35.2mm), Height: 1.18″ (30.0mm)

COOLING FAN SIZE: 30mm

ESC WEIGHT WITH WIRES: 3.56 oz. (101g)

BEC: User selectable output of 5.5V, 6.0V, 7.5V. or 8.0V (8A peak)

CURRENT: 120A continuous

DIRECTION: Forward, brake and reverse with optional reverse lock-out for racing

BATTERY CONNECTOR: Not included

WHAT WE LIKED:

  • Very smooth throttle response
  • It is waterproof
  • Many programing options with the Castle Link
  • 2S – 6S capable
  • Runs sensored and sensorless motors
  • Sturdy aluminum case
  • Great price point
  • RX harness is easily replaceable

WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED:

  • Would like to see the sensor port on board, not through a harness

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