New for the bashing world from Castle Creations is the Sidewinder 4. Castle has been known since their very start as the company to go to when you are looking for serious power. How well does the SW4 handle the day in day out torture of bashing? Does it cog? How smooth is the power delivery? Read on to find out…
Review By: Cubby
Pictures By: Cubby
Cryo-Drive technology to reduce temps
Works with brushed motors
5 volt, 2 amp BEC
Enhanced drag brake function
Telemetry Capable- Yes
Data Logging- No
Auxiliary Wire- No
Minimum Input Voltage- 2S
Maximum Input Voltage- 3S
Part Number- #010-0164-00
Test Drivers- For drivers we enlisted Hawaiian Chris, Robbie G., Mikeeee, and yours truly.
Set-Up Notes-. We used the Sidewinder 4 in two different applications. The first was in our 2wd Pro-Line PRO-SCB, with the second being a Vaterra Ascender rock crawler. Both were used with Maxamps batteries ranging from 2 to 3S. Both were used with Hitec servos, Castle motors, and a Spektrum DX6R transmitter.
Driving Performance- When driven in our PRO-SCB buggy the Sidewinder was a beast. It easily handled extended driving on 3S and felt like it put out loads of power.
From a dead stop, the SW4 seemed to be the best Castle speedo yet, at least as far as smoothness was concerned. We made repeated starts on a slight uphill to check for cogging and found none. Instead the SW4 was smartly programmed for a number of small steps off the line, making the SW4 one of the smoothest non-sensored ESCs that we’ve driven from a dead stop.
The power curve is relatively soft in the low end. This is a great help when driving on higher cell counts, and can make your vehicle easier to drive for new hobbyists. Then the mid-range kicks in and that’s where the action starts. The SW4 was smooth through the mid-range, but packed a punch. Up top is where you find out that indeed, the SW4 is a true Castle product. Once the revs got higher, the SW4 REALLY dropped the hammer with incredible tire throwing power.
In a rock crawler application, things were much different. With crawlers geared so much lower, the SW4 felt quite smooth across the powerband, but perhaps with a nice bump up top for getting over obstacles that require a WFO approach. We also found the drag brake to be absolutely top notch.
Castle did a number of things to ensure that the SW4 runs cooler than a normal ESC. Did it work? We would have to say yes. While we did get the ESC hot, it did seem to run cooler than the last ESC that we had in our PRO-SCB.
The SW4 is not a small ESC. We had no problems mounting it in our applications, but if you run 1/10th buggy or on-road, check the sizing before ordering.
No battery connector is supplied with the speedo so plan on doing a small bit of soldering during the install.
The length of wires supplied with the ESC is about right. Not crazy long, but more importantly, not too short for most installs.
Car Show Rating: B The black and yellow SW4 looked good in both of our review vehicles.
Bash-A-Bility: A We’ve been able to use the SW4 over a number of months now. We’ve put it through it paces on 3S, we’ve bound it up in the rocks with a crawler, and we found out that it is a survivor. Our test ESC is still alive, well, and looking for more action.
Power: A Ultimately, how fast your car goes depends not just on an ESC, but also on your motor, batteries, gearing, etc. However, we were able to go back-to-back with another ESC and found that the Castle felt every bit as fast, if not faster, and cost over $50 less, while still using the same motor/battery/gearing.
Fun Factor: A Pulling trigger on the new SW4 is much like the first time we ever pulled trigger on a Castle product- it instantly put a smile on our faces. How can you not have fun with a good ESC on 3S? 🙂
Value: B ESC prices really seem to be reaching all new heights lately, but the SW4 was designed to fit in just about everyones budget.
Big Squid Rating: A- We found the Castle Creations Sidewinder 4 to be a great electronic speed controller. It is fast, it is smooth, and it is an improvement over the previous model. In fact, it just might be the perfect day in day out ESC for the hardcore basher.