Review ~ Castle Mamba X Crawler Edition 2850 Sensored!
This my friends has been a long time coming! Again slight disclaimer here, we already owned almost every castle variant before this and have enjoyed every single evolution of the brands very powerful ESC/Motor Combos. But have faith my friends this is not a paid review. Now if you have been in this hobby awhile you know that castle has always been synonymous with massive amounts of power! To my knowledge they were the industry leaders when it came time to drop 6s power into your monster truck or high speed street demon! Then they upped the ante and dabbled in 5th scale 8s power, not to mention they have always had options for those of us that like H2O RC fun as well as taking to the skies. Odds are if you need to power something remotely you can bet on Castle having a speed control and motor to fill those needs.
Fun Factor –
The wait is over…. Now all your crawlers no longer have to run those pesky brushed motors. For the newer crowd brushed motors up until now have been the staple for smooth power delivery and that’s what you need in a crawler system. So why go Brushless in the first place? Well honestly this has everything to do with Fun. You want to drop a system in and just hit the trails with almost zero regard for terrain or wet weather? How about maintenance although it’s a critical part of RC FUN your intervals for maintenance drop down to almost zilch! The Fun Factor is high on this set; you can drop and go or level up the control options with a Castle Link! Not to mention this new fancy Auxiliary Wire we have in this bad boy. What the heck is that you ask… this is the FUN BUTTON! All you need is an open channel on your radio system to plug in that new Auxiliary Wire. What Castle does on this wire is open up some ESC switching options. Done with Software you can ON THE FLY swap between an ultra smooth crawler mode with very modest throttle curves to a beast-ish mode to give you more aggressive Rock Racer power. But this is just one of several options to choose from so get in there and have FUN!
From the moment you open the box you can tell this is a quality system. With the gorgeous aluminum in trick steel blue anodizing on the ESC and Motor. The solder joints are solid on the motor and the wires are high strand for maximum current as well as being just the right length. The fan is even a quality piece that’s replaceable in case that ever goes south. We put a decent load on our trail rig, but it is on the chillier side with temps in the 40 to 50 range so the motor and esc never even got warm to the touch.
How can you judge an ESC on how it handles…? Very easily actually, this is a finely tuned instrument. Precision is the name of the game here when it comes to crawling and following your perfect line out on the trail. Your esc/motor combo has to be smooth as butter and very consistent and that’s exactly what you get here. What this package does is give you the confidence to take on that challenging line, packs enough power to get you over that next ledge and the durability you need in the middle of nowhere to get the job done. The real effect on handling that fits here is having an onboard BEC that can kick out up to 8V at 8A peak. Now that is some serious power from an onboard system. Does it really have what it takes? This was a surprise to us but we dropped in a high power Spektrum Servo and ran this on everything with tires size up to a large 2.2 and it worked flawlessly … No “Brown Outs” or low voltage issues at all, great power, consistent voltage all totaling precision steering.
So let’s be honest here this is not the cheapest Combo on the planet. Having said that when things go sideways you never hear anyone say “so glad I didn’t buy the best”. What you get here is 20 years of experience in top notch power management for all things radio controlled. This one is coming in at a street price of about 200 bucks and in our opinion it’s well worth it. You get rock solid performance, ultra smooth power delivery, once linked up to the Castle Software you get to go next level with the data logger, endless throttle and brake adjustments, play with the new Aux Wire options and basically any other parameter you can possibly think of is all in there to set to your exacting standards! We now see this as our go to crawler system and its worth every penny!
We are thrilled to say so far so good! What we like is its simplicity if you want to drop and drive please do. If you want to get creative and adjust curves and braking powers go right ahead but just be mindful you don’t tweak yourself out of what works best out on your terrain. So overall let’s keep this simple people we had no problems and can’t see any in the foreseeable future.
This one is totally a no brainer but if you have any form of PC with a USB you have to get yourself a Castle Link interface. This actually comes in two flavors a yellow box as we like to call it offers some adjustments without the use of a PC but still has the option to get you connected for total access. Then there is a mini version Castle Link V3 that goes from the ESC to your PC. One more item if you like to tweak is to wire in the Quick Connect. This is a very clean and effective option so you don’t have to dig out and constantly unplug your ESC from your receiver.
So what’s the Verdict? …
Well if it sounds like we are gushing like proud parents we kind of are. We can’t tell you how long we have wanted Castle to step up to the plate and get a Sensored system and in our opinion they have done just that! This combo for all of its attributes is very much still a compact package with a ton of options that takes a beating is backed by decades of knowledge and is everything you are looking for in your next esc/motor purchase!