Castle Creations Monster X & 2200Kv motor combo
Castle’s classic monster combo packs an even more potent punch
Castle Creations’ Mamba Monster power system is a rockstar combo among 1/8-scale monster truck fans and anyone seeking heavy-duty horsepower for big, heavy 4WD machines. Want proof? It’s a three-time Readers’ Choice Award winner. Castle could have easily kept cranking out Mamba Monsters as-is, but the Kansas-based company is always looking to push speed and power further, and that brings us to the Mamba Monster X. Available by itself or as a combo with a 2200KV or 2650KV motor, the speed control has new features, such as an adjustable voltage BEC, programmable auxiliary wire, and more. Let’s see what the new Monster X speed control and brushless motor combo is all about.
Gold-plated 6.5mm connectors get power from the speed control to the motor efficiently.
The Monster X speed control is fully waterproof so you don’t have to worry about damage when running in the mud, snow and water. Power can come from as low as a 2S LiPo battery up to 6S of power; Castle suggests that you use this system in 1/8-scale vehicles or anything weighing up to 15 pounds. Like most speed controls in its category (and the Monster 2 that this speed control replaces), you can make adjustments to the settings of the speed control to fine-tune it to your needs. Settings can be made directly at the speed control, or for greater flexibility and convenience, you can plug in the Castle Link programmer and tune the speed control via card or your computer. In addition to changing the speed control settings, you can update firmware online with Castle Link. The Mamba Monster X can be used to run brushed, sensored brushless or sensorless brushless motors. The port for the sensor wire is protected by a molded plastic cover when not in use. The BEC’s voltage is adjustable to provide the right amount of power for your vehicle’s steering servo, and you can choose from 5.5, 6.0, 7.5, and 8.0 volts. Data logging is also possible, and you can retrieve data including battery voltage, battery current, motor power output, RPM, BEC voltage, battery ripple, and speed control temperature by way of a Castle Link adapter. Once you look over the data you can then use the Castle menus on your computer to make necessary adjustments. The Monster X can also transmit telemetry data when paired with a Futaba 4PX transmitter via Castle Creations’ S.BUS Telemetry Link. Speed control temp, voltage, and motor RPM are all displayed by the 4PX. One of the coolest new features is the ability to make adjustments to the settings of the speed control by way of an open channel on any radio. You can only choose one item to adjust, but it allows you to make adjustments on the fly. You can use this feature to change max throttle, max reverse, max brake, drag brake, reverse enable/disable or torque control, or to erase the data log.
Castle supplies plenty of wire to suit a wide variety of applications.
For testing, I installed the Monster X and the 2200KV brushless motor into my Traxxas E-Maxx Brushless Edition and used the stock Traxxas TQi radio. Before putting the speed control in, l wired it up with two Traxxas connectors to go with the batteries that I had for the truck. Castle helps you out by cutting off some of the insulation and tinning the wires to make them ready for the connectors of your choice. Installing the speed control and motor was as easy as removing the stock components and replacing them with the new ones. The receiver and motor wires were more than long enough to make all my connections. The hardest part of the install was trying to figure out where to mount the speed control’s switch. There are no mounting tabs for it on the speed control’s case and the holes for the switch aren’t designed to fit any mounts found in most vehicles, so double-sided tape and a flat spot on the chassis provide the only option for mounting.
Matching the speed control to the Traxxas transmitter only took a few seconds, and I went for a full fist of throttle as soon as the speed control confirmed it was good to go. The E-Maxx took off with a big burst of
power and its front tires in the air. As expected, the combination of 4S LiPo and the 2200Kv motor gave the E-Maxx mountains of torque and matched the speed of the previous gen Mamba Monster that is stock equipment in the E-Maxx. What impressed me more was the system’s smooth engagement and partial-throttle precision. Sensorless power systems can engage abruptly when easing into the throttle compared to sensored systems, but the Mamba Monster X transitioned smoothly. Hammering the trigger is more fun, but when you need fine control to pick your way through tight terrain, you’ll appreciate the smoothness. B raking felt good from slow to fast speeds but I was wanting a little more out of it. The stock setting on the speed control is set at 50%, with options for 75% to 100% on the top side. I decided to bump the braking power up to the 75% mark and did this through the speed control. The programming system uses the throttle trigger to make selections, and it’s easy to do, but you have to pay attention to the tones coming out of the motor. Bumping up braking force instantly gave the E-Maxx more powerful stopping capability, and also highlighted how easily the motor coasts when off-power. I decided to add some drag brake for a smoother transition to braking from neutral, and used Castle Link to make the setting. This required me to open the receiver box so I could plug the speed control into the Castle Link adapter. If you have the Castle Link Quick Connect that will no longer be a problem because it allows you to connect the speed control to the Castle Link by way of a open plug on the outside of your receiver box. The minute of wrenching that it took to get into my receiver box was well worth it because Castle Link makes it so easy to program the speed control—just follow the menu items to make your changes and click “update.” While I was in the program I experimented with voltage cutoff, drag brake, motor timing and throttle curve. Castle Link makes it easy to experiment, and there’s plenty of programming flexibility to give the Mamba Monster X the throttle and braking feel you prefer.
Monster X Speed Control
Item no. : 010-0145-01
Input Voltage: 2-6S LiPo
Max. Amps: 100+
Max. Vehicle Weight: 15 lb.
Dimensions: 2.1 x 1.9 x 1.4 in. (53 x 48 x 36mm)
Weight: 4 oz. (111g)
Wires: 10 AWG
Motor connectors: 6.5mm bullet, gold-plated
Requires: Battery connector
BEC Voltage: 5.5, 6.0, 7.5, 8.0
Brake/reverse type: Reverse, Brake only, Crawler
Cutoff Voltage: Auto-LiPo, None
Brake Amount: 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%
Drag Brake: Disabled, 10%, 20%, 30%, Full On
Motor Type: Brushless, Brushed Reversing,
Brushed High Power
2200kV Brushless Motor
KV Rating: 2200
Max. RPM: 60,000
Shaft Diameter: 5mm
Weight (with wires): 15 oz. (424g)
+ High power capability
+ Smooth feel
+ Castle Link-compatible
– Motor is plug-in only, no solder tabs
– No switch mount
– Castle Link not included
Castle Creations has put together another great speed control and motor combo worthy of the Mamba name. The Monster X speed control is truly an all-in-one unit that’s capable of powering many different types of RC vehicles, and I think that $272 is a very good price for what you’re getting in this package. It’s great that you can not only make adjustments to the speed control, but when hooked to Castle Link you get even more adjustments and get everything set up just right. Power delivery is smooth and this speed control and motor combo gives all the control that I could want in any vehicle. — Kevin Hetmanski