RCU Review: Electrifly Silver Series Brushless ESC

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    Contributed by: Michael Parsons | Published: December 2005 | Views: 79724 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Electrifly Silver Series
    Review by: Michael Parsons

    Plug and play seems to be a way of life these days. Ever present in today's computer industry as well as the gadgets and gizmo's we all love to play with. This term has forever changed the range of products that we as consumers can experiment, purchase and play with.

    Electrifly has now introduced a truly plug and play speed controller into the world of RC flight. From the pre soldered motor connectors to the amp appropriate Deans® battery connectors, these speed controllers make it simple with no muss and no fuss. The Silver series controllers range from 8amps to 45 amps to suite any need.

    • Deans Micro/Deans battery leads pre installed
    • Compatible with Lipo, NICD and NIMH
    • Auto detect battery type and sets cut-off voltage automatically
    • Programmable Brake
    • Safe Start programming
    • Thermal Protection

    Before we get into testing the Speed controllers, lets go a bit deeper into the features. Each ESC comes with a Deans® battery connector installed. The SS-8 and SS-12 controller have a Deans Micro® plug which can handle currents easily at the SS-12's 15 amp burst rating. And the SS-25, SS-35 and SS-45 comes with a Deans Ultra®. These are both quality connectors and save the end user from having to break out the soldering iron. Also to save from burning those fingers, the motor wires already have bullet connectors soldered on. The SS-25 and SS-35 have the more common 3.5mm bullet connectors while the SS-8 and SS-12 have what appears to be 1.8mm and the SS-45 has a larger connector that I am guessing is 4mm. I am standardized on 3.5mm so I did have to modify the 8, 12 and 45amp controllers for testing.

    LVC (low voltage cutoff) is preset and non programmable. It is preset at voltage x .67 or 67%. That equates to around 2.7- 2.8 volts per cell. I am not sure what the reasoning was at setting it at this variable and not the mainstream 3 volts per cell. However, it works fine and I have measured the resting voltage at 3.2 volts per cell upon hitting cutoff with a 3 cell lithium pack. The one precaution and is mentioned several times in the included documentation is to ensure that your pack is fully charged when you plug it in. This is again due to the voltage x 67% rule. A half charged pack could result in the cutoff voltage being set low enough to damage your pack. So

    The brake option is the Silver Series one programmable feature (default is off). The brake is set by taking your radio to full throttle and then plugging in the battery. The ESC will beep twice and you then move the throttle to zero, listening for two more beeps. Then back to full for two more beeps and then back to zero where you will hear four confirmation tones indicating the ESC is armed. The steps are repeated to turn the brake off.

    The Safe Start feature is a very nice one. Simply plugging in the battery does not arm the ESC as in most speed controllers. With the Safe Start feature, once the battery is plugged in, the throttle must be moved to full on and then full off again before the ESC is armed. It really takes care of those accidental startup's!

    When the ESC reaches a 230° F temperature the Thermal Protection feature kicks in. This feature protects the hardware by shutting down signal to the motor.

    Stock Number: GPMM1800
    NiCd/NiMH (Cells/V): 6-12, 7.2-14.4V
    LiPo (Cells/V): 2-4, 7.2-14.8V
    Max Output: 8 amps (10 surge)
    BEC: 5V / 1.5A
    Max Output: 100 watts
    Operating Frequency: 8.5 kHz fixed
    On-resistance: 0.05 ohms
    Brake: ON/OFF
    Voltage Cutoff: battery voltage x 0.67
    Thermal Cutoff: 230°F / 110 °C
    Dimensions: 1.18 x 0.24 x 0.79 in. (30 x 6 x 20 mm)
    Weight: 0.39 oz. (11 g)

    Stock Number: GPMM1810
    NiCd/NiMH (Cells/V): 6-12, 7.2-14.4V
    LiPo (Cells/V): 2-4, 7.4-14.8V
    Max Output: 12 amps (15 surge)
    BEC: 5V / 1.5A
    Max Output: 150 watts
    Operating Frequency: 8.5 kHz fixed
    On-resistance: 0.03 ohms
    Brake: ON/OFF
    Voltage Cutoff: battery voltage x 0.67
    Thermal Cutoff: 230°F / 110 °C
    Dimensions: 1.30 x 0.24 x 0.91 in. (33 x 6 x 23 mm)
    Weight: 0.49 oz. (14 g)

    Stock Number: GPMM1820
    NiCd/NiMH (Cells/V): 7-12, 8.4-14.4V
    LiPo (Cells/V): 3-4, 11.1-14.8V
    Max Output: 25 amps (28 surge)
    BEC: 5V / 2A
    Max Output: 250 watts
    Operating Frequency: 8.5 kHz fixed
    On-resistance: 0.015 ohms
    Brake: ON/OFF
    Voltage Cutoff: battery voltage x 0.67
    Thermal Cutoff: 230°F / 110 °C
    Dimensions: 1.58 x 0.31 x 1.02 in. (40 x 8 x 26 mm)
    Weight: 0.92 oz. (26 g)

    Stock Number: GPMM1830
    NiCd/NiMH (Cells/V): 7-12, 8.4-14.4V
    LiPo (Cells/V): 3-4, 11.1-14.8V
    Max Output: 35 amps (40 surge)
    BEC: 5V / 2A
    Max Output: 350 watts
    Operating Frequency: 8.5 kHz fixed
    On-resistance: 0.01 ohms
    Brake: ON/OFF
    Voltage Cutoff: battery voltage x 0.67
    Thermal Cutoff: 230°F / 110 °C
    Dimensions: 2.0 x 0.31 x 1.02 in. (52 x 8 x 26 mm)
    Weight: 1.13 oz. (32 g)

    Stock Number: GPMM1840
    NiCd/NiMH (Cells/V): 7-12, 8.4-14.4V
    LiPo (Cells/V): 3-4, 11.1-14.8V
    Max Output: 45 amps (50 surge)
    BEC: 5V / 2A
    Max Output: 500 watts
    Operating Frequency: 8.5 kHz fixed
    On-resistance: 0.008 ohms
    Brake: ON/OFF
    Voltage Cutoff: battery voltage x 0.67
    Thermal Cutoff: 230°F / 110°C
    Dimensions: 2.76 x 0.39 x 1.30 in. (70 x 10 x 33 mm)
    Weight: 1.76 oz. (50 g)

    I wanted to test each controller against their published ratings. I have an array of Torque motors and Chris from Extremeflightrc.com was kind enough to allow me to use his largest outrunner to test the SS-45.

    What I am looking for is to see how the controllers handle their continuous ratings for 60 seconds, surge ratings for 10 seconds and 2x max for 10 seconds*. I basically want to see how much they can handle**. I know it seems that I am trying break them...and well ...I am to an extent. However I have a feeling it wont be as easy as it sounds. But it is all in the name of science!

    Using my thrust stand, Wattmeter, IR temp gun and appropriate motor to yield the necessary results, I hooked each controller up for the test. Included are my findings.

    ** I could not test the SS-45 above Surge Max

    * I do not condone or recommend running any controller above manufacturer specifications. Also this is not good for the motors. I successfully burned up a motor during tests.

    60 sec
    10 sec surge
    continuous for 10 sec

    Temp at 10 sec

    201° F
    192° F
    45 amps
    229° F
    189° F

    The test results shows that each controller handled the rated spec's exactly as listed and almost all of them far exceeded those ratings. The SS-25 made it to 45 amps for 10 seconds before thermal cutoff engaged.

    I am pleased with the results given as they were tested under harsh conditions and beyond what the average modeler would put them through.

    Electrifly has done a great job in including everything needed to truly make the Silver Series plug and play. A true value for the money.


    Distributed by:
    P.O. Box 9021; Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    Telephone Contact: 217-398-8970 (Option 1)
    Website: www.electrifly.com
    Comments on RCU Review: Electrifly Silver Series Brushless ESC

    Posted by: benbailey50 on 08/19/2010
    My Spitfire Mark VIII includes the SS-45 ESC. A great ESC.
    Page: 1
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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