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Old 07-10-2007, 04:04 PM   #1
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Default Castle BEC- review and tech thread

New 100 pound test! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32SNVXklxxs

I just got a little surprise in the mail today, a BEC unit from Castle! They have asked me to give it the shakedown and really put it to the test. I will put it to servo and LED power duty this week, testing my servos at different voltages while keeping an eye on the BEC temps and performance. This should turn out to be a great product for crawlers, the one product that we all need. The best part about it will be the price, estimated about $22 each at this time. Not only is this considerably cheaper than most other switching regs out there, the output is 10 amps max and 7 amps continuous!

The down and dirty- 20awg power wire and 22awg servo leads. It is adjustable from 4.8 to 9 volts output. Input is 25v max, minimum isn't listed yet. Weight is very light, 17.7 grams with a deans inline adapter. Half of that weight is the deans plug I'm sure. The unit requires a Castle link to be reprogrammed, but I will offer that service to anybody who wants it. Most servos will be safe on 6 volts, but select servos might do very well overvolted. The Tower pro servos and the Hitec Ti servos come to mind.


I will continue to update this thread with my finding on performance and value. I cant wait to try this out as a LED power source. 7.2 to 7.4 volts will be perfect for 2 series white leds and 4 series red leds
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Last edited by JohnRobHolmes; 08-07-2007 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:09 PM   #2
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Good to hear there is another alternative for us power hungry folks Looking forward to hearing how it compares to the ACC234.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:10 PM   #3
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It will blow the adjustable reg out of the water, for sure. Cheaper, smaller, and if you really need 20 amps of power you could get two. Ill put up a comparison of the other BEC's I have after some test time tonight.

JRH
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:12 PM   #4
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WOW that's a tiny little powerhouse.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:25 PM   #5
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I'm excited to hear about this one.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:26 PM   #6
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Sign me up for one Johnrob!

If I remeber right, the TP servos at 7 volts were pushing 280 oz's of torque!

Going to have it on hand at the comp this weekend?

If so I would love to check it out!
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:32 PM   #7
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Nice stuff.

For folks looking at regs...you're not going to get an output greater than your input voltage. If you want a 7V output you'd better run a pack with a nominal voltage of 8.4V.

I wouldn't trust it to provide a solid 7V output on a 7.2 or 7.4V pack.
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:37 PM   #8
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Just did a bit of a test on carpet. test rig was a 2.2 with mashers

main pack, 3 cell lipo
servo, tp945
output voltage 7.4v


I wagged the servo back and forth as fast as possible (speed was way up there) for about 5 minutes while pressing down, stalling out, and generally trying to burn the servo up. Max temp on the servo was 140f and max temp on the reg was 120f, ambeint about 70f in my house. I would give these regs 160f operating temp like the rest of Castle's goods, but they tell me 220f is the max temp.

Bottom line so far, more power to my servo than I have had before and the reg took it without a problem.

More to follow
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:41 PM   #9
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NICE!!!!!!
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:44 PM   #10
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JRH,

Did it come with specs in regard to output current and input/output voltage? As the voltage changes what's happening with the current capabilities?
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Old 07-10-2007, 04:53 PM   #11
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Sign me up for a few of them... I'd rather run it then the MPI one I have.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonInAugusta View Post
JRH,

Did it come with specs in regard to output current and input/output voltage? As the voltage changes what's happening with the current capabilities?
It is a switching reg, so the output amperage should not change with regards to input voltage.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonInAugusta View Post
Nice stuff.

For folks looking at regs...you're not going to get an output greater than your input voltage. If you want a 7V output you'd better run a pack with a nominal voltage of 8.4V.

I wouldn't trust it to provide a solid 7V output on a 7.2 or 7.4V pack.
Well you can...but it would cost at least $30-$40 for a capacity of about 2A. And yeah, I think switching regulators that only reduce voltage have a dropout voltage of at least 1.5V or so.

Last edited by DKNguyen; 07-10-2007 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:17 PM   #14
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JIA, if you dont think it could do 7 amps continuous, consider this: They have 15 amp brushed ESC's of about the same size. From the looks of it they took an ESC and changed the sofware to offer PWM based on the programming and input voltage. The RMS voltage out is whatever you program it to be.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrobholmes View Post
It is a switching reg, so the output amperage should not change with regards to input voltage.
Switching...gotcha. Not linear.


Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrobholmes View Post
JIA, if you dont think it could do 7 amps continuous, consider this: They have 15 amp brushed ESC's of about the same size. From the looks of it they took an ESC and changed the sofware to offer PWM based on the programming and input voltage. The RMS voltage out is whatever you program it to be.

I said 7V. ;)

7V output on a 7.2V pack wouldn't work very well, I don't think.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:30 PM   #16
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are these needed with multiple servos or high torque servos on lower amperage bec esc's? ive seen alot about them here but never really understood the need for them.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:32 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonInAugusta View Post
Switching...gotcha. Not linear.





I said 7V. ;)

7V output on a 7.2V pack wouldn't work very well, I don't think.


ahhh, yes. I dont know what the voltage drop is yet. I will have to test or ask them.

JRH
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorsteenster View Post
are these needed with multiple servos or high torque servos on lower amperage bec esc's? ive seen alot about them here but never really understood the need for them.

I would say it is a good idea to have an external reg in those situations.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:35 PM   #19
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Just what I've been waiting for. One step closer to production.

Can the unit do any voltage between 4.8 and 9? Or is it set up in certain increments? Like could you do 7 volts, rather than 7.2?
That is something I would like to experiment with, to see what a good voltage setting would be for my 5995's to get less heat and still have good performance.

I'm looking forward to getting one of these.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:40 PM   #20
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Hey JRH as usual i'am in, sign me up for 5 of this puppies
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