Category Archives: Tech Support

Castle Crawler & Scaler Series – Get the Lowdown on Rock Race/Crawler Mode!

With the recent introduction of the 1406 series brushless sensored motors in a “SLATE” color, Castle is taking  low RPMs very seriously. Months of hard work went into this release. We focused on several aspects to cater to the wishes of everyone who loves to run scale. Delivering monstrous torque and ultimate control, combined with the high end speeds that we are known for.

We have diverted from our traditional green color with slate colored cans making the motors less noticeable in your scale trucks. Simultaneously we wanted to mark a new product line for Castle Creations which emphasizes that we concentrate on low RPM control. Combined with any of our X series speed controllers these motors will enable you to fine tune and set the controllability of your ride to the maximum, or even use the aux wire to toggle between drag brake settings for example.

A brand new running mode is now available available on firmware version V2.02 (Click for complete summary of new features, improvements and changes)  and newer for the Mamba Micro X, Mamba X, Mamba Monster X and Mamba XL X ESCs. This is a mode which is designed to allow users to get the most out of their ESC when used in Rock Race or Crawler vehicles. While it can be rather confusing initially, when it is set up correctly it can be very beneficial.

This feature is accessed through the use of the programmable  Auxiliary Wire that is available on the Mamba Micro X, Mamba X, Mamba Monster X and Mamba XL X ESCs. The AUX wire function is disabled by default but is programmable via Castle Link. Once you have programmed the functionality of the AUX wire, that particular setting can then be adjusted on-the-go from a compatible transmitter. The ‘Rock Race Mode’ and ‘Crawler Mode’ allows the user to switch between two different modes on the fly: ‘Race Mode’ is optimized for either Racing/Bashing and ‘Crawler Mode’ is optimized for crawling.

Rock Race/Crawler Mode Overview

This auxiliary wire mode is designed to allow users to get the most out of their ESC when used in rock racing or rock crawling vehicles. This mode allows the user to switch between two different ‘Reverse Type’ modes on the fly: ‘Rock Race Mode’ and ‘Crawler Mode’. ‘Rock Race Mode’ is optimized for either racing/bashing and ‘Crawler Mode’ is optimized for rock crawling. It also allows you to adjust the motor’s Drag Brake based on the AUX wire signal.

Adjusting Drag Brake – While in this mode the motor’s Drag Brake percentage is controlled by AUX wire signal. At 1.1ms the Drag Brake will be disabled at 0% and at 1.9ms the Drag Brake will be set to 100%; it is proportional throughout the AUX wire signal range; IE at 1.5ms the Drag Brake will be at 50%.

Rock Race Mode – The ‘Reverse Type’ in this mode will be set to the Castle Link ‘Reverse Type’ setting on the Basic tab (default is set to “With Reverse”). Refer to “Reverse Type Definitions” at the end of the document for a full description of each ‘Reverse Type’.

Crawler Mode – The “Reverse Type” in this mode will be set to the Castle Link ‘Reverse Type’ setting on the Basic tab (default is set to “With Reverse”). Refer to “Reverse Type Definitions” at the end of the document for a full description of each ‘Reverse Type’.

Please see the examples below for a better understanding of how this works.

Note: If the AUX wire becomes disconnected, the controller will default to ‘Rock Race Mode’.

Example 1: Castle Link Settings: ‘Drag Brake’ – “0%”, ‘Reverse Type’ – “Without Reverse”

  • ‘Rock Race Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is at or below 0% (? 1.1ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “Without Reverse”.
  • ‘Crawler Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is above 0% (> 1.1ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “Crawler Reverse”.

Click here for a diagram of Example 1.

Example 2: Castle Link Settings: ‘Drag Brake’ – “10%”, ‘Reverse Type’ – “With Reverse”

  • ‘Rock Race Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is at or below 10% (? ~1.2ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “With Reverse”.
  • ‘Crawler Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is above 10% (> ~1.2ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “Crawler Reverse”.

Click here for a diagram of Example 2.

Example 3: Castle Link Settings: ‘Drag Brake’ – “50%”, ‘Reverse Type’ – “With Reverse”

  • ‘Rock Race Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is at or below 50% (? ~1.5ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “With Reverse”.
  • ‘Crawler Mode’ is enabled whenever the AUX Wire Drag Brake is above 50% (> ~1.5ms) and the ‘Reverse Type’ will be set to “Crawler Reverse”.

Click here for a diagram of Example 3.

‘Reverse Type’ Definitions:

  1. “Without Reverse” – Racing Setting. No reverse motor direction. Pressing the reverse trigger on the radio will engage the motor brake.
  2. “With Reverse” – For bashing or racing (may not be allowed in some racing situations). When transitioning from throttle to reverse the ESC will brake the motor. To run in reverse the ESC must see a neutral signal for at least 2 seconds before the reverse will engage when reverse trigger is applied.
  3. “Crawler Reverse” – The ESC will immediately spin the motor in reverse when the reverse trigger is pressed. The ESC will apply a brake to bring the motor RPM to zero before reversing the motor; this helps prevent potential damage to the vehicle’s drive train. This setting is recommended for low speed rock crawling; using this mode at high speed will result in an amazing front-flip, but expensive repairs.

Now that you have the lowdown on the newest features and optimizations, we hope you dig out that Castle Link and hit the trails!

 

Resources:

 

AUX What?!?

Adjective: auxiliary – providing supplementary or additional help and support.

Okay, we all get that. But what does it have to do with my speed controller?

When the Castle Phoenix Edge line was introduced for heli and plane applications, we announced the addition of the user programmable auxiliary wire. Our car enthusiasts will now have a taste of the simplicity and convenience if this feature with the Mamba X Series Electronic Speed Controllers (ESC).

In short, the auxiliary wire is an extra white wire, that when connected to an open channel on your radio, allows users to take advantage of on-the-fly adjustments (using your transmitter) that would otherwise be modified or set using the Castle Link Programming Suite. The feature is enabled through the Castle Link Programming system and one mode may be selected at a time.

Let’s take a look at the available options, we are certain you’ll find a favorite or two.

Mamba X Series ESCs (Mamba Micro X and Monster X)

Max Throttle Adjustment
The ESC’s maximum power is scaled from 10% to 100% depending on the signal received on the AUX wire. Perfect for passing the controls to children, neighbors or your boss.

Max Reverse Adjustment Mamba X Series AUX wire
The ESC’s maximum reverse power is scaled from 10% to 100% depending on the signal received on the AUX wire.

Max Brake Adjustment
The ESC’s maximum braking power is scaled from 10% to 100% depending on the signal received on the AUX wire.

Drag Brake Adjustment
The ESC’s drag brake setting is scaled from 0% to full brake depending on the signal received on the AUX wire.

Reverse Enable/Disable (Only works in modes with reverse)
Reversing is disabled when the controller receives an AUX wire signal above 50% (>1.5ms). When the controller receives an AUX wire signal below 50% (<1.5ms) or if the AUX wire is disconnected, reverse capability is enabled.

Torque Control Adjustment
The ESC’s torque control setting is scaled from 0.1 to 5.0 depending on the signal received on the AUX wire. Torque control is disabled when the input exceeds 1.9ms. Great for finding the perfect torque control setting for your track and tires. (Motor test must be performed before using this setting.)

Datalog Erase Enable
When the vehicle is stopped, toggling the AUX signal for a few seconds will erase the datalog. The motor will emit a long beep to indicate the log was erased. This feature can be added to any of the other AUX wire modes by checking the Idle Datalog Erase box in Castle Link.

Castle Phoenix Edge Series

Gain Input (ESC must be in a governor mode)
Connect the AUX line to an open channel on your receiver and use this mode to adjust the governor gain in real time. 0% TX signal equals a gain of 1 (min) – 100% TX signal equals a gain of 50 (max).

Phoenix RX+AUX wireTech Tip: Once the gain has been tuned via the Tx its value can be displayed on the data logger. Permanently save that value in the Edge via Castle Link programming and use the Aux. wire for another feature!

Audible Beacon
Connect the AUX line to an open channel on your receiver and this mode will use the motor to emit an audible locator signal when the AUX line is above 50%. The beacon is only emitted if the motor is not running.

RPM Out
Connect the AUX wire to 3 axis gyros that support RPM sensors and the ESC will toggle the AUX line at every electrical commutation. Divide this number by your number of magnetic pole pairs for mechanical RPM.

Arm Lock Key – requires ARM LOCK HARNESS
When the ARM LOCK key is in the socket, the controller will be incapable of arming. Once removed, the ESC will arm when it receives the low throttle command on the traditional throttle line.

RX Arm Lock

The controller won’t arm or run when the auxiliary channel is below 50% throttle.

Tech Tip: Loss of Aux wire signal during use reverts selected mode to default status.

So there you have it, the quick and dirty on Castle AUX wire functionality. Its sheer purpose is to provide at-your-fingertips options and adjustments to give you great flexibility, versatility and most importantly, the competitive edge!

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Tech Tip / Installation Notice for Talon 90 and Talon HV120

If you are the owner of a Castle Talon 90 or Talon HV120 ESC  then this Tech Tip / Installation Notice is for you.

We have received reports of a small number ESCs failing in the field. After reviewing the failed units and their setups, we believe that we have found the cause. On certain applications, we have discovered that plugging the motor’s timing wires directly into the ESC can lead to a failure.

This can be caused by two factors:

One, the motor’s timing wires are inflexible and usually less than 3 inches in length. This makes it difficult to plug the motor’s male bullets into the ESCs female connectors. This can lead to damaging/bending the male connector, which in turn results in a loose and poor connection. As a result, this loose connection can potentially disconnect during use which can cause an immediate and catastrophic failure of the ESC.

Talon HV120_wiring1
NOT RECOMMENDED

The second potential issue is due to vibrations. Because the motor’s timing wires are stiff they have no slack or relief. Due to the extreme nature of some setups, the vibrations and the motor’s movement from torque can stress the female bullet connectors installed on the board and lead to a failure.

Castle highly recommends using 2 – 3 inches of appropriately sized silicone wire. The silicone wire (like the battery wires on the ESC) is quite flexible and provides some strain relief to the bullet connectors.

Below are two images from Helifreak user, “rotary guy” and a Talon 90 installed in a Goblin 500 helicopter. Note the extra lengths of wire between the connections and how this provides some post-installation flexibility, reducing the amount of “wire pulling” during flight while still maintaining a neat and tidy installation.

New Castle Link version available: 3.57.12

There is a new firmware update available for ALL brushless aircraft Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs), including the Phoenix, Phoenix HV, Phoenix ICE, Phoenix ICE HV, Phoenix Edge, Phoenix Edge HV, Talon, Talon HV, Multi-Rotor and Thunderbird. This latest update is V4.22

Castle_LinkThis latest release of Castle Link addressed the following issues:

  • Bug fix for firmware version 4.20. Some users experienced problems reengaging the throttle after the brake was turned on at zero throttle. This issue only occurred when the brake feature was utilized.
  • Adjusted software to improve performance under heavy load.
  • Talon 15, Talon 25 and Multi-Rotor 25 had their current limit setting removed due to inconsistent operation. The software has been adjusted to measure excessive current using other means.

This latest version gives all ESCs access to features that were added to firmware version 4.20.

Firmware version 4.20 for aircraft ESCs has been “broken arrowed”. This means that any ESC that is currently utilizing firmware 4.20 and is connected to the new version of Castle Link (3.57.12), the program will NOT allow you to change ESC settings and you MUST update the firmware to version 4.22.

We also made some edits to the text of the “connection status” boxes to make it easier for users to determine whether their status is connected or disconnected. This was done to help red/green color blind users determine the connection status of the Castle Link and ESC.

For more information, visit the Castle Link page from the Castle Creations website (click on the Downloads tab). And don’t forget, our Tech Support page has a number of documents and FAQs to help you with the tuning and setup of your Castle Creations ESCs.
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Service Advisory: Castle 14xx and 15xx Series Motors

It has come to our attention that a very limited number of 14xx series and 15xx series motors may have been assembled with Front End Bells that were not properly machined during manufacturing. Affected motors will have one or more of the three screws that attach the Front End Bell to the green motor body/can protruding above the top surface. The protruding screw(s) will cause improper alignment of the motor (and the customer-installed pinion gear) once it has been installed onto the vehicle. This misalignment could result in damage to the vehicle’s spur gear or the motor’s pinion gear.

Customers who purchased a Castle 14xx or 15xx series motor AFTER JULY 1, 2014 are encouraged to closely examine the Front End Bell of their motor. If the head of the machine screw extends above the plane of the Front End Bell (illustrations above), you are asked to contact Castle Creations Customer Service Team via email (support@castlecreations.com) or call 913-390-6939 between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM CST, Monday through Friday. A Castle Customer Service Representative will discuss corrective measures with you personally.

For more information and possible affected part numbers, view the full Service Advisory on the Tech Support page.

Talon HV120 and Castle Link Update

Talon 120HVIf you happen to be one of the owners of the new Talon HV120, you may see a strange pop-up window when trying to connect to the Castle Link. This is what it will look like.

Talon_warning_screen

The ESC is still fully programmable and works with 100% functionality on the Castle Link. This pop-up is simply informing you that firmware updates are disabled for the Talon HV120. This is because it is a new product line and there is currently only one firmware version available, hence, no updates.

Since you cannot select a different firmware version, the firmware update option has been temporarily disabled. However, when a new version of firmware is released for the Talon HV120, this notification will disappear.

We are currently working on adapting firmware version 4.20 to the Talon HV120. Version 4.20 is the same version current available for the Phoenix Edge and Phoenix Edge HV series ESCs. Once it is available, this update will allow the Talon HV120 to work on high pole count, high inductance out runner motors like the newer Hacker 28-pole out runners.

Castle Link adapter for Blade 180 CFX helicopter

Castle is proud to have the design and engineering teams at Blade helicopter select our proven and reliable Talon 15 ESC for their all-new E-Flite Blade 180 CFX helicopter. This micro heli (with 700-size features) packs a big 3D performance punch and even features a carbon fiber frame to house all the components.

However, pilots wanting to fine-tune the performance of their Talon 15 controller via Castle Link will need to purchase an adapter from Horizon Hobby. This adapter allows the pilot to connect Castle Link to the 180 CFX’s receiver.

The Horizon “Universal Adapter” retails for $6.99 and is available directly from Horizon Hobby or your favorite Blade retailer.