Tekin raises the gauntlet yet again
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s April 2015 issue.
By Scott Donaldson
Tekin has pushed ESC development in racing ever since the early 90’s. I remember those gold anodized heat- sinks coming out of the top of my 411G2 and loving how smooth, efficient and programmable Tekin gear always was. Well this ain’t the 90’s anymore but Tekin has continued to create some of the smoothest, most efficient and programmable brushless ESCs anywhere and their latest model, the RSX 1/10-scale ESC looks like it has the goods to carry on the Tekin heritage.
While the RSX is packed with features inside its machined aluminum case it’s actually very svelte. You can mount the ESC in any vehicle easily, from crammed 1/12-scale pan cars and touring cars to larger 1/10-scale buggies and short course trucks. One important note is that the RSX is rated for vehicles weighing in at four pounds or less and is not rated for 4-pole motors. Sorry 4WD SCT racers, this is not the ESC for you. Thankfully Tekin has you covered with their excellent RX8 ESC, but that a topic for another review.
There’s something about the fit and fin- ish of the RSX that also has a very premium feel to it. It reminds me a lot of when I am shopping for a new smartphone. Sure, the phones with plastic bodies may have nice internals, great displays and impressive network performance, there’s just some- thing that an aluminum unibody delivers in the perception of quality. That perception is echoed out here quite well with the RSX. It’s designed for durability, too, as the removable fan shroud can take a ton of abuse, a lot more than a molded composite fan shroud would be able to handle. The RSX is definitely built to take just about anything you can dish at it.
For as long as I can remember Tekin ESCs have required that you solder the power and motor wires on yourself. While some may not like this I personally love it. I’d rather solder everything up myself to begin with, ensuring that I have the proper wire length I need versus having to unsolder the stock leads if I need something longer. You do need to remember to solder up the capacitor that is included with the RSX, something that will definitely bring you old-timers like me back to the past.
The GenII motor is a work of machined art. The aluminum can has been machined for reduced weight and features the Tekin logo etched on the side. Spinning the stator by hand gave me a confidence-inspiring “cha-chunk” as the stator spun inside the can. Having run the original Redline motors a bit I felt like the magnets were a little on the weak side however, these new GenII motors have much stronger magnets which will yield better torque. The solder tabs are large and spaced out nicely; noth- ing is worse than having the tabs too close and having solder bridge two tabs on your motor. It’s a pain, but thankfully something you shouldn’t have to deal with when using the GenII motor. Finally Tekin offers a full-line of tuning rotors to get you dialed in regardless of your application.
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Testing took place in a few different vehicles as I really wanted to put the RSX through its paces. I started with what I am sure many of you have and that was my 2WD Short Course Truck, in this instance my TLR 22SCT 2.0. I used Randy Pike’s setup for a baseline and was instantly impressed. The smooth throttle response I have come to expect from Tekin was still there as the RSX made up for my rather ham-fisted on/off lightswitch-style throttle management. After a few batteries through the truck I started playing around with dif- ferent on-board settings however, I kept coming back to Randy’s setup. That’s one of the RSX’s best features; Tekin constantly updates and posts new ESC setups so you don’t have to work as hard to go fast.
My next test day I installed the RSX in my rock crawler but opted for Tekin’s 55T brushed motor instead of the GenII brush- less. Going through the software and set- ting up the RSX with the right profile took just a few minutes thanks again to the Hotwire interface. Where racing is all about smooth throttle delivery, efficiency and strong brake performance, rock crawling has a totally different sort of throttle man- agement needs. Once again the RSX han- dled the situation perfectly, never losing its
cool and giving me the precise control I needed to get through the trails without issue. Thus far the RSX was two-for-two.
My final installation was in my dirt oval SCT late model. Anyone who has run dirt oval knows that getting off the corner is crucial to fast lap times and the torque and performance of the GenII motor and the RSX was amazing. I actually de-tuned the ESC and motor slightly as I was able to carry the front end off the ground if I got on the power too hard coming onto the main straights. Oval is also different than crawling or off- road racing in that you rarely, if ever, use the brakes. As such the current load is pretty constant and the RSX rarely got over ambient room temperature and the GenII motor stayed a modest 145-to-150 degrees all day.
Tekin has done it again and come out with an amazing ESC to fit just about any application. They built upon the winning heritage of the RS and the RS-Pro and took one of the best ESCs and made it even better. The GenII motor was also a pleasant surprise as it seems as if they addressed all my concerns about the original motors and surpassed my expectations. I’d like to see Tekin offer a package deal with the RSX and the Hotwire programmer as a combo as you really should invest in the Hotwire to get the most out of the RSX. The biggest problem I found with the RSX is that I only have one and now I have to decide just which chassis gets the special treat!
Tekin TeamTekin.com, (208) 634-5559