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DK-Tank Control Board a new MFU- Review

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DK-Tank Control Board a new MFU- Review

Old 07-03-2021, 01:09 PM
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RichJohnson
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Default DK-Tank Control Board a new MFU- Review

DKLM RC has recently started carrying a new TCB made my an associate of his in Russia. DKLM is the only place I know of currently to get this board.
First off, let me say this is review, first impressions and a critique. I will point out good and bad as I see it. Also note, I have been in contact with DKLM providing requested feedback for firmware updates and modifications through this weeklong process of setting up and testing this board.
This board is available here https://www.dklmrc.com/DK_Tank/p2389473_21001608.aspx
Further info and setup manual https://dkmodule.com/tank/description/

Now, first off, this is very much like an IBU board the way it is set up with an SD card and an INI file text.
Sound sets for tank variants are fairly limited right now but, they are just wave files so you can create your own or, if you have an IBU you can copy the IBU sound files to your pc, rename them to the required file name scheme of the DKTank and then move them over. Some sounds will not correspond to the DK sounds so pay close attention to what you do.

The DKTank offers lots of options for setting driving parameters including breaking steer and super spin as well as wheeled vehicle servo steer. Also dual motor trannys and clutch drive or propulsion dynamic trannys are supported.
I wont go into all the options available here, go read the tech sheet on your own to learn all the tiny details.

Some cool highlights, there is some spare output options from the board and allows you to set up your smoker to come on when you get shot up and KO'd in IR battle. A neat option.
I had a hard time getting the smoker to tun on with the corner position of the sticks. After many many tries I got it to work once and could not turn it off or make it come on again other time. Other option is to use a switch on a radio channel.
It offers HL IR plug in as well as Clark sytle IR base cable plugged in and tamiya apple protocol for IR.
You can configure where you want your speed reductions to take place during the IR hit sequence as well.

The sound on this thing is amazing and super loud, louder than a tamiya, what an amp it has. There is an option for using a channel on your remote for either a knob or a 3 position switch or default to the master volume setting in the text file on the INI. Also offered are setting the individual event volume sound levels like MG and gun fire and engine and turret traverse etc.

Like I said, there are lots of options, I compiled the instructions into a word document and printed it out for ease of use.
One thing I was unable to figure out was if the board would support using a tamiya recoil unit. There are options to set up and operate the airsoft gun via timing and spring tension for mecanical recoils but no specific place to plug in a tamiya recoil unit.
Recoil with a servo is fully programmable timing and reversible.

Where I ran into a glitch was with the track recoil. The track recoil has two settings, one toward the rear and one to return forward. I cant imagine why you would want to have the tank return forward after the jerk back from a gun fire shock but its there, I can only think of the violent HL track recoil to shake the bbs up and feed them into the airsoft gun hopper properly.
Any way, the problem I found here was trying to turn off the forward track return after the track recoil. I tried 0, .1 and 1 and no matter how I set the forward track return to turn it off or minimize it, it still returned forward just as far as I had the rearward track recoil set. So it looks really stupid and is annoying. After a few days of testing that I just turned off track recoil.

Another place I found a glitch was with the servo elevation on the stick. When I elevated my gun all the way up and then let go of the stick, the elevation servo would go limp and droop the barrel a little. Then, when I pulled the stick down to depress the gun, it would jerk violently up to the top before it began to lower. See here...
gun elevation

Testing in Ir battle the tank performed perfectly. There are options to program force stop to fire, or stall motion when hit to simulate crew shock etc. I tried these but put them back to normal tamiya style to drive it around.

Now driving, this is where I came across a big problem I spent alot of time on.
Inertia is an option, but you can turn it off, unlike the nasty heavy inertia stuck into the IBU Ultimate board.
Another nice option is time to reach full speed, and an option for delay to move where the throttle sound revs up before you move, neat additions to the feeling of a tank. Also there are options for motor protection etc etc. Again, read it and play with the settings to get a feel for how they work.

On to the driving test...
I have the DKTank installed in a stock tamiya sherman chassis and I just felt it was way too slow even at full speed.
I checked my hobby king TH6 radio on my PC and pushed the throttle travel up to 120%, the max, and it was still slow, it didnt seem to make much difference at all.
So on the bench I began to test and take readings
With my radio set at 120% of travel the battery read7.6 Vdc no load and 7.3 under load at top speed.
The voltage going to the motors was only 5.2v each.
If I pushed my trim all the way up, it delivered 6.6 volts to each motor. Still quite low and slow

I wondered if the board was draining off the power for operation so I tried an 8.4 Nimh
No load voltage was 9.2v, under load at top speed was 8.8. The motors received 6.5v with the trim centered and 8 with it all the way up.
Now obviously you cant drive with your trim all the way up but this was proving something to me, that the DKT board wanted to receive more stick travel input than my cheap hobby king radio would provide.

So I got out my Spektrum DX8
on the 7.2v Nimh at 7.3v under load, the DX8 radio had the DKT delivering 5.4 Volts to each motor. Just a tad more than the HK radio at 120%
Now I was getting somewhere...
I moved my servo travel setting up to the max at 150% and then the DKT board delivered 6.5 volts to each motor. Thats it, as fast as I could go.

So now I decided I need a bearing, something to compare the test results against.
I have a tamiya sheridan system here that is installed in another tamiya sherman I have that has not been finished. This is the newest MFU Tamiya has produced.
My DX 8 radio is already bound to that RX in that tank.
So I pulled it off the shelf and moved the 7.2 NImh battery over to it and verified my settings, throttle travel was set to 100%
The Tamiya Sheridan MFU put out 7.2 volts to each motor at full speed.

So there you have it, I would expect that the DKTank board would be able to deliver about 7.2 volts to each motor at 100% of stick travel but it only does about 5.2 - 5.4 volts depending on what your radio is. Now there are ways to push that up with a very fancy radio, but still not to full voltage spec of the battery.
So your going to have a slow tank.
After my correspondence with DKLM they have provided my feed back to the designer and I hope that he will be able to resolve this issue with a firmware update and make it put out full power.
For now, its too under powered for how I drive and battle most of my tanks so I will set it aside hoping for an update to it unless I decide I have tank that it would work ok in as is.

I also recommended that an option be added to make the Machine Gun fire an IR burst at values that will trigger the IR like clark offers for options for LAVs and such that dont have a large one shot cannon.

I also recommend that if you get the adapter cables with the bullet plugs for tamiya or HL7.0 compatibility that you slide the rubber grommets down and solder the connector onto the wire as 3 of mine all slipped off their crimp quite easily right away during install causing me to pull it all back out and solder the wires.

My overall impression is once the throttle motor voltage issue is resolved and hopefully the other glitches fixed or remedied this Tank Control Board will be revolutionary for play especially with clubs in IR battle. I have high hopes for it despite my current situation with the board I have on hand. If you dont mind a slow tank right now, this board is a great option. But if you battle your tanks or like them fast, you better wait a bit until this is resolved before you go buying one.




Last edited by RichJohnson; 07-03-2021 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 07-22-2021, 02:37 PM
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I have had considerable correspondence back and forth with DKLM involving his Russian designer regarding my tests and results.
The Russian has confirmed my readings and determined it’s a limitation of the hardware for the ESC portion. Feedback to me was they are now going to look into making a hardware change to minimize or eliminate the voltage drop as much as possible.

This should improve the performance of this product as the new runs of product are designed but for now, it’s just too slow for me to make any use of.
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Old 07-24-2021, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
This should improve the performance of this product as the new runs of product are designed but for now, itís just too slow for me to make any use of.
Sounds perfect for the little FT-17 I'm back to working on now.
Old 07-24-2021, 06:57 PM
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One thing Iíd like to see tank board manufacturers make, is a proper casing for their boards, along with better-quality connectors so that they stand up to handling during troubleshooting and maintenance.
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Old 07-29-2021, 06:56 AM
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Thanks alot for the review. I will get one of those and try on my Taigen T34. But first I need to solve the flexing problem with the chassis. Now it looks like a drift mod tank with lots of negative camber

Old 07-29-2021, 08:15 AM
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I wondered why for two weeks I had no comments at all but I have since learned there are only 20 DKTank boards out there being tested and most are not providing feedback and the whole Hong Kong circle using them is mostly all driving WWII tanks at slow speeds he told me.
Right now there are no more boards, but they are going to make changes to the design and produce more but, the draw back is they can’t yet as electronic components are in too short supply.

So, soon we should see a Version 2.0 variant of the DKTank come out with updates based on my feed back I’m told.

I’m keeping my hopes up that this can become my new standard board since the old green IBUs I relied on are long gone.
Old 07-29-2021, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
I wondered why for two weeks I had no comments at all
That is because most guys here don't have interest in anything beyond Tamiya and heng long. My Beier review had more or less the same comments here and man... well, just take a look at it here: https://radindustries.wordpress.com/...beier-sfr-1-d/

Also I must say, and always under my humble opinion, this new DK board brings nothing new. In fact, seems to be a very basic board. Could you tell them to implement user sounds? Is something easy to add and something that I always love to have.

Last edited by Rad_Schuhart; 07-29-2021 at 08:38 AM.
Old 07-29-2021, 09:26 AM
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What is user sounds?
you can customize the sound sets, they are just wave files.

but truthfully, as much custom building as I do, while impressive, the Bier and the Elmod just offer too much and are too complicated and way more than I need. They are much more niche than they think they are. And when you build several tanks, the costs of the board are a bit high.

what the mass market needs is something like Clark but different and better. The IBU2 was close but had issues of its own just as Clark does.
What the hobby needs, is a system that is plug and play like Tamiya, with tank class switch accessible, run a reversible servo recoil, and motor recoil with a jumper or switch and a SD sound set with various tank sounds.

Everyone tries to reinvent the wheel with a board that does way more than 90% of customers need or want. Even DKTank offers a lot of stuff I will probably never use but so far I like what I see as a prototype for improvement and price point. It does what I need and want and once they change the esc chips it will work for me.
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Old 07-29-2021, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
What is user sounds?
you can customize the sound sets, they are just wave files.

but truthfully, as much custom building as I do, while impressive, the Bier and the Elmod just offer too much and are too complicated and way more than I need. They are much more niche than they think they are. And when you build several tanks, the costs of the board are a bit high.

what the mass market needs is something like Clark but different and better. The IBU2 was close but had issues of its own just as Clark does.
What the hobby needs, is a system that is plug and play like Tamiya, with tank class switch accessible, run a reversible servo recoil, and motor recoil with a jumper or switch and a SD sound set with various tank sounds.

Everyone tries to reinvent the wheel with a board that does way more than 90% of customers need or want. Even DKTank offers a lot of stuff I will probably never use but so far I like what I see as a prototype for improvement and price point. It does what I need and want and once they change the esc chips it will work for me.
With user sounds I mean tank commander voices, musics, marches, radio chatter, artillery strikes and so on, played at my will. That is an absolute must for me, and a deal breaker if not present.

But being honest, yes, one thing is what most people might want/need, which I also believe is exactly what you wrote, and another thing is what some megafreaks like me want. lol.
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Old 07-29-2021, 01:00 PM
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I'm not a fan of the Tamiya electronics at all. I've already took them out of my Tamiya KV-2. I don't like the way they drive or all the stick manipulations. I agree that a in order for a board to become popular it needs to be on the less expensive side. I thought the ASP was going to be my new gold standard board until I could never get one, they were expensive, and then they stopped making them. I like the TCB for the price, but it also has its headaches (it's large, no current limiting for LED ports, and needs external ESCs which can take up a even more room). The Clark TK-40 I have is pretty good, but it hasn't had much runtime yet and that has the "Clark factor". My Firefly has a Clark TK-80, but it also doesn't have much runtime yet. I do IR battle so the Beier boards are not an option for me otherwise I would consider them. The DK review was quite good so there wasn't any real need to comment. If the board won't do full throttle then I really don't want that either. I have a green IBU board to test, but if the newer boards are not as good then that probably isn't an option either.
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Old 09-26-2021, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
I wondered why for two weeks I had no comments at all but I have since learned there are only 20 DKTank boards out there being tested and most are not providing feedback and the whole Hong Kong circle using them is mostly all driving WWII tanks at slow speeds he told me.
Right now there are no more boards, but they are going to make changes to the design and produce more but, the draw back is they canít yet as electronic components are in too short supply.

So, soon we should see a Version 2.0 variant of the DKTank come out with updates based on my feed back Iím told.

Iím keeping my hopes up that this can become my new standard board since the old green IBUs I relied on are long gone.

I will be in Russia for the next 3 weeks and would like to buy a DKTank board if they resolved the hardware issue. Any news on this?
Old 09-26-2021, 07:56 PM
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The international chip shortage has hit them and prevented new boards being made yet. I asked for an update a couple days ago and not heard back. DKLM basically said hopefully end of the year for more boards. You cant get them in Russia, only from DKLM.
Old 09-27-2021, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by hetzer View Post
I will be in Russia for the next 3 weeks and would like to buy a DKTank board if they resolved the hardware issue. Any news on this?
well, seems I am not yet allowed to posts links

but try these guys:

rctankDASHclubDOTru/catalog/dkDASHtank

they have it švailable on request" for actually a very nice price.

they are located in Moscow as far as I know
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