Castle Creations Sidewinder SCT Review
Since the SCT is built specifically for the short course vehicles, it was time to pick one out of the stable to receive a transplant. We had been beating the heck out of our stock HPI Blitz for a while now, and it seemed like the perfect time to try and breath new life into it. The stock Blitz was hitting the radar gun right around 22mph on a 2s Lipo before the transplant.
The install went pretty smooth. I used the stock gearing, just removed the old ESC and motor, and replaced it with the new Castle SCT equipment. The SCT esc is slightly bigger than stock, but there is plenty of room in the Blitz for it to fit, so this wasn’t an issue.
Once everything was plugged in and ready to go, I turned on the power, and did the standard Castle Creations calibration. (see the manual or Castle site for info) I’m happy that Castle has kept it pretty simple and standard to calibrate their ESC’s. Sadly, I would really like to see it easier to program the ESC’s in the field without the use of the Field Link. Navigating the menu’s via beeps and blinking lights is so 2005. I did happen to have a brand new Field Link on the work bench, so I plugged it in. Sadly, the new Field Link didn’t have the latest software to recognize the new ESC. So while they have stuck to standards over the years, having to keep updating the programmer, and ESC all the time is a little annoying. The time it saves, and the ability to change some stuff in the field (without a 2 page cheat sheet of beeps and lights) is worth it though. I did go ahead and update the Link and everything was fine after that.
Without changing any of the settings, our of the box we were now hitting around 32mph! I’m a big fan of the HPI Blitz, and if I liked it before, I love it now! The extra speed and zip brought a smile to my face. Adding the ability to stop was a huge plus! (The brakes on the stock setup Blitz are more of a suggestion).
My new power had me a little worried that the gears were not going to survive the abuse I was now putting on them, but so far they have held up well.
Bashing in the street and hitting the ramps was fun all over again! The new kit was just the kick the Blitz needed to get back into heavy rotation. At the track the added power, acceleration and breaking was night and day. I was doing circles around some of the truggys hogging up the track, and easily making (read over shooting by far) any of the jumps that I was barely making earlier.
At a street cost of only $119, this is a great upgrade to anyone running a stock brushed motor in their short course vehicle. The ability to fine tune the settings with it’s programmable featuers to get that feel you are looking for is always nice. From a basher standpoint, I’d really like to see Castle start to waterproof their stuff, or at least give us an idea of how water resistant it may be without us having to add extra waterproofing steps. For you racer types, this may not be a big issue, but the parking lot here is covered with snow, and I own gloves!
Overall it’s a worthy update, but I’d like to see Castle start to bring their technology up a little for the future, and let us play in the water!
As with all our stuff, if you see us at a bash or track, stop by and say hi! We may let ya play with the stuff, and at the very least, get you some stickers!
SUMMARY Time To Bash – 8.0/10 – Install went very smooth. Workability – 9.0/10 – Programmable on several levels, could be better. Car Show Rating – 8.0/10 – Standard castle green motor. Bash-A-Bility – 9/10 – More speed, acceleration and braking. WooHoo! Would like to run it in some puddles though. Big Squid Rating – 9.0/10 - Tentacles.. It’s at a good price point. You get some instant speed and fun right out of the box breathing new life into your short course vehicle.
Time To Bash – 8.0/10 – Install went very smooth.
Workability – 9.0/10 – Programmable on several levels, could be better.
Car Show Rating – 8.0/10 – Standard castle green motor.
Bash-A-Bility – 9/10 – More speed, acceleration and braking. WooHoo! Would like to run it in some puddles though.
Big Squid Rating – 9.0/10 - Tentacles.. It’s at a good price point. You get some instant speed and fun right out of the box breathing new life into your short course vehicle.