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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Scorpion Power Systems Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control, RS-3420 13.5 Turn Motor and 2S 6500mAh 65C Competition LiPo Battery

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Hot and new manufacturers who “make” brushless electronic speed controllers and motors seem to be releasing the next big thing all the time these days, only to be replaced by something newer and better just months, or even weeks later.  This makes it difficult to know what to get when considering price, performance, reliability and customer service.  Once of these newer manufacturers, Scorpion Power Systems, is not that new at all.  While their Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control and corresponding RS-3420 Motors are new entries to the surface field, Scorpion has long been in business making top-notch speed controls and motors for all things that fly.  Thus, when I had the opportunity to test the Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control and a RS-3420 13.5 Turn Motor in my new 3Racing FF2014 I jumped at it.

THE GOODS

I received pre-production samples of the Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control and RS-3420 13.5 Turn Motor and was told that the packaging was not finalized.  That said, the motor and ESC were sent in separate plastic boxes, similar to what servos come delivered in, only three times the size.  Each was kept safe with plenty of soft foam padding and there were some small instructions sheets (although those were not complete).

As for the Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control, it came delivered with a 6V, 10mm x 25mm Hi-Speed Cooling Fan, Super Booster Capacitor Pack, Commander USB V-Link Cable, and black, red, orange, blue and yellow silicone coated wires.  The Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control itself has a yellow anodized upper half with built-in heatsink and black anodized aluminum lower half.  To the front left there is a port to plug the cooling fan into, three status LED lights, the on/off switch then a sensor port. On the right hand side of the Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control there are five well laid-out soldering posts and directly underneath that is a second sensor port.

To install the necessary software to alter settings on the Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control I had to go to www.scorpion-team.com/downloads. This where the proper  software as well as the USB drivers and instructions can be found.  Speaking of the drivers, there is a conflict with a new driver found on Windows 8 and 8.1 and the USB programmer so the driver has to be rolled back.  This is a bit tricky and if you don’t turn off automatic updates Windows will update the driver and you’ll have to roll back the driver each time you go to use it.

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Once installed and hooked up there are several screens to go through to customize the ESC settings.  From top to bottom there is the About tab followed by Update (for updating the ESC firmware), and State.  Under the Configuration settings are the most useful adjustments including Throttle where running mode, motor rotation, maximum forward, maximum reverse and throttle mode can be adjusted.  Next is Throttle Curve followed by Punch where initial punch rate, first stage, second stage, switch point and reverse can be adjusted.  Other adjustment screens are straightforward and include Motor, Protection, Cut Off, Brakes, Brake Curve, Boost, Turbo and Miscellaneous where the unit serial number can be found.

The Scorpion RS-3420 13.5T 13.5-turn brushless motor is hand wound and features a built-in cooling fan to promote efficiency and air flow and a patent screw type holds the motor together and increases flux density.  This creates fantastic airflow to dissipate heat and keep the motor operating efficiently.  A built-in temperature sensor, when used with the Vanguard S3-140 ESC and USB software, allows for easy monitoring.  The ever important rotor magnets are protected by a metal sleeve, while the overall design of the motor has nearly 200% more cooling surface compared to other motors to help heat dispensation.

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BEFORE YOU HIT THE TRACK

Installation of the Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control and RS-3420 13.5 Turn Motor is fairly easy as long as you have a decent soldering iron. I soldered all the wires to the ESC posts prior to securing it to the chassis so I could later cut them to the precise length with a high degree of certainty.  I decided to install it to my 3Racing FF2014 front wheel drive touring car.  While space is at a premium I had plenty of room to mount it on the left-hand side of the chassis across from the steering servo and set the Super Booster Capacitor Pack right behind the steering linkage centered on the chassis. As for the motor, it installed quickly and painlessly.  Due to the dual sensor ports on the ESC it was easy to maneuver the short TQ Wire sensor cable from the motor to the port located under the solder posts. Additionally, when I want to now use the USB port I can use the port located on top of the ESC and not need to disconnect the motor.  With everything in place I cut the motor and battery wires to length and soldered the motor wires and TQ Wire bullet connectors to the battery wires.  Once calibrated (Scorpion had to email me these directions) I was able to hit the track.

Scorpion Power Systems also sent me a 2S, 7.4V, 6200mAh, 65C Competition LiPo battery pack to use when testing the Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control and RS-3420 13.5 Turn Motor.  This pack is the same size as standard 2S LiPo packs at 138.4mm x 46.6mm x 24.9mm and weighs in at 294g.  What makes this pack stand out from the crowd are the 5mm female bullet plug connectors that go through the pack so you can access them from either side.  Also, because they are 5mm in size, 1mm larger than most other batteries, Scorpion included a pair of 4mm inserts so the more common 4mm male bullets can still be used.

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PERFORMANCE

I used my Protek Prodigy 640 to charge the Scorpion battery and once it peaked I installed it into my 3Racing FF2014 with the Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control and RS-3420 13.5-Turn Motor and headed for the on-road carpet track at R/C Madness in Enfield CT.  Starting off with the stock settings, I took a few slow laps around the track getting a feel for the car and Scorpion power plant.  Once I started to open things up I was very impressed with how smooth the acceleration was as I pulled back the throttle heading down the straightaway and through the entire infield. Top speed was absolutely fantastic and many people watching the test session thought I was running a modified motor!  The brake response was great, being absolutely linear in response and feel.  Runtime was phenomenal and after six-plus minutes on the track there was absolutely no fading.  It was after about seven minutes on the track that I took the car off the track to check the temp and play with the settings of the Vanguard S3-140.

Back in the pits the motor was just barely warm, thanks in part to the fan/mount built into the FF2014 by 3Racing, and the ESC was still cool. I turned down the timing and boost just a bit to make the acceleration a bit tamer and increased the brake just a touch. Making these changes took no time at all using the USB link and software and once the battery was recharged I headed back to the track.  This time the car was a bit easier to drive as the acceleration was more in tune to my driving style and skills and the brake was perfect.  I let a few other people at R/C Madness give the FF2014 with the Scorpion motor, ESC and battery a spin and all were beyond impressed with the feel and power. I ran several more batteries through the Vanguard S3-140 and RS-3420 13.5 Turn Motor and made a few other changes to the ESC, sometimes adjusting the throttle, brake, boost and timing.  At the end of the day I was completely satisfied with how well everything performed and without a doubt would give the Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control and RS-3420 13.5 Turn Motor my stamp of approval.

CONCLUSION

The Scorpion Power Systems Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control, RS-3420 13.5 Turn Motor and 2S 6500mAh 65C Competition LiPo battery pack is a true trifecta of speed, power and efficiency.  The adjustability of the Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control when used with the UBS Link Scorpion is able to deliver everything you need to compete and then some.  Once Scorpion attains widespread distribution across the United States their popularity is going to grow by leaps and bounds so if you need a motor, ESC or battery, get one from Scorpion as soon as possible.

 VITAL STATS

MANUFACTURER: Scorpion Power Systems

PRODUCT: PART NUMBER: Vanguard S3-140 Speed Control and RS-3420 13.5 Turn Motor

PRICE: $249.99 for the ESC and $89.99 for the motor.

INPUT VOLTAGE 2-3S LiPo/LiFe cells, 4-9 NiMH cells

FOOTPRINT: 30.6mm x 35.6mm

HEIGHT W/O FAN: 21.6mm

ESC WEIGHT: 40g

ON-RESISTANCE: .0004 Ohm

BEC: 6V/3A

FAN: 6V/0.2A

CURRENT: 140A constant / 800A burst

DIRECTION: Forward, brake and reverse with optional reverse lock-out and a crawler mode

BATTERY CONNECTOR: Not included

MOTOR: 13.5-Turn / 2445Kv

STATOR DIAMETER: 34mm

STATOR THICKNESS: 21mm

MOTOR WIRE: 1-Strand, 1.4mm

MAX CONTINUOS CURRENT: 46A

WEIGHT: 146.3 Grams

MAX LiPo COUNT: 2S

OUTSIDE DIAMETER: 36mm

LENGTH: 52.5mm

SHAFT DIAMETER: 3.17mm

SHAFT LENGTH: 15.5mm

 

WHAT WE LIKED:

  • Many tuning/programming options
  • On board on/off switch
  • Dual sensor ports on the ESC
  • The USB programmer plugs into either of the sensor ports
  • Very powerful motor
  • Once installed, the PC interface is fantastic

WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED:

  • Difficult to install the USB software/driver
  • The ESC is priced on the higher side

LINKS

Scorpion Power Systems, www.scorpion-team.com
3Racing, www.3Racing.com
R/C Madness, www.rcmadness.com

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