By Mike Garrison
Whether it's wheel nuts, wings, tools, tracks, trinkets and/or anything in between, the LiveRC staff gives their testimonial and review of each every Thursday morning!
Castle Creations Sidewinder 4 ESC and 1406-4600kV Brushless Motor Combo
# 010-0164-01, $129.95
What is it?
The Sidewinder 4 is the next generation in the Castle Creations Sidewinder 1/10-scale ESC systems. The new Sidewinder uses the new Castle “Cryo-Drive” technology, which is designed to increase thermal performance – meaning cooler temperatures, longer run-times, and more power. The Sidewinder 4 is a sensorless brushless ESC that is intended for vehicles up to 6.5lbs and capable of running 2S or a 3S LiPo battery. In addition, the ESC features a waterproof design with splash resistant fan. Advanced ESC programming is capable using the Castle Link software and USB adapter, the Field Link Card, or new Castle Link Bluetooth adapter (all sold separately).
The 1406-4600kV Brushless Motor is capable of sensored or sensorless operation, and is intended for 2wd short course trucks, 2wd stadium trucks, and 2wd buggies.
To test the new Sidewinder 4 ESC and 4600kV motor, I installed it into my Traxxas Slash 2wd short course truck with Pro-Line Racing “Monster Slash” conversion with monster truck tires. The test was conducted in a variety of locations including the race track, the fresh cut grass of my front yard, nearby gravel roads, a concrete driveway, and splashing in and out of muddy puddles.
The Sidewinder 4 ESC is very easy to install, setup, calibrate, and get up and running. The overall footprint of the Sidewinder 4 ESC is larger than some others on the market, and while it fits nicely in the Traxxas 2wd Slash, finding a place on more compact and smaller chassis may be slightly more difficult.
The unit itself is extremely advanced with the inner-workings, however, it features the capability to be a simple or advanced as the end user may want. The system is virtually “plug and play” for someone who simply wants to get up and running fast, yet also has the capability to be fully programmed and fine tuned for those looking for a more advanced experience.
In my opinion, programming of the Sidewinder 4 ESC is easiest using the all-new “B-Link” Bluetooth Castle Link (sold separately) and iOS app – stay tuned for B-Link product review coming soon. Other options for programming the Sidewinder 4 ESC include using a Windows PC and traditional USB Castle Link, or the Field Programmer (both sold separately).
For this system I geared my Traxxas Slash 2wd with a 90-tooth spur gear and 16-tooth pinion, as recommended in the gearing chart included. With the larger monster truck tires, I knew this would put the system to the test and add an extra load to get moving.
The combination of the Sidewinder 4 ESC and 4600kV motor brought our “Monster Slash” to life! With no adjustments to the ESC there is MORE than enough power to pop wheelies, go fast, and have fun. While there is gobs of power, it is still very controllable as well with a very linear feel.
To find a flaw or failure in the system I ran battery pack after battery pack on a variety of surfaces, smashing, bashing, and splashing any chance that I could possibly find. After four straight battery packs of wide-open good times, the system was definitely warm, however, never once did it shut down, fail, or beep an error code.
- Sidewinder 4 ESC uses new Cryo-Drive technology to lower temps for longer runs and more power.
- 1406-4600kV brushless motor is capable of sensored or sensorless operation.
- Waterproof system.
- Easy setup and radio calibration.
- Smooth, controllable, and enjoyable power.
- Compatible with B-Link Bluetooth Castle Link programmer.
- Larger footprint of the Sidewinder 4 ESC can make placement difficult on smaller, narrower, or more compact chassis layouts.
The Traxxas 2wd Slash with Pro-Line Monster Slash conversion is fun with the stock motor, but is very sluggish. Adding the Castle Creations Sidewinder 4 ESC and 1406-4600kV brushless motor system brought the truck to life. This is a very affordable, easy to install, durable, and high quality addition for anyone looking to upgrade their 2wd short course truck or stadium truck for more power and speed. The Sidewinder 4 ESC is a sensorless unit that I recommend for bashers only, however, the 1406-4600kV motor offers sensored or sensorless operation great for bashing and/or competition racing. For those looking to pair this motor with a Castle sensored ESC, look no further than the Mamba X.
Overall, I am very happy with this system’s capabilities, performance, price, and ability to take my backyard basher to the next level.
Rating: 5 out of 5