Viper RC VTX Sensored Brushless Motor/ESC System Review
THE Viper VTX Sensored Brushless Motor and ESC System Review
Should Bob over at Novak be worried? What about Patrick over at Castle? Should the German LRP crew start working more overtime? Is Jim over at Tekin shake’n in his boots? Viper is the new crew on the speedo/motor scene and they promise “Innovation, Performance, and Precision”. Is Viper product just run of the mill, or should the big names be losing some sleep? Read on…
From: Viper R/C Solutions
Street Price of System: $230
Footprint- 30 x 32.5 x 14.5 mm
BEC- 7 volts/5 amps max
On Resistance- .00045 ohm * 2
Cell count- 2 to 3S Li-Po
Li-Po Cut-off- 6.4 volts (adjustable)
Motor Limit- 540, 6.5 Turns
Default Profiles- 8
Warranty- 365 days
Size- 540, 2.08″ x 1.41″
Output shaft- 3.2 mm
Weight- 6.35 oz
Output wattage- 304
Adjustable Timing- Yes
Warranty- 180 Days
What’s In The Box- Viper VTX10 Speedo, VST8.5T motor, ProGauge adjustment/testing tool, wires, wire harnesses, sensor wire, manual, zip ties, double sided tape.
Build Quality- Everything looked exceptional, very impressive looking.
Test Drivers- Cubby, Brian, Ryan “Fly’n” R.
Test Venues- Outlaw RC in Collinsville Illinois, RiverCity Raceways in Peoria Illinois, Costco parking lot, streets of a local sub-division, grassy backyard.
Set-up Notes- Test truck was an HPI Blitz. Gearing varied from 16 to 22 on the pinion. Stock spur was always used. We only used MaxAmps 2S 6500 Race Spec packs during testing. A Hitec servo arched the front tires. A Futaba 3PRKA radio system ran the show.
Ease Of Use- Calibrating the speedo to our radio gear was a snap after reading the manual. The same could be said for making adjustments (like programming in reverse, changing timing etc). Read the manual and you shouldn’t have a problem setting the speedo up any way you like it.
Efficiency- I remembered my stopwatch! I ran our HPI Blitz for 15 minutes (on a 20 tooth pinion) practicing our iHobby demo routine then stopped to see how much energy I had used out of the battery. This routine consisted of pounding a ramp, making a few turns, then hauling butt to hit the ramp again. After the 15 minute run I then placed the MaxAmps 6500 on our Hyperion 720iNet charger. After having run the Viper system in our Blitz for 15 minutes it only took 2551 mah to re-charge the pack. Based on that data, I should have gotten over 30 minutes of runtime on the MA 6500 if I had continued to drive till the pack was empty. To boil it down, the Viper puts out good power for a very long time.
Drivability/Feel/Powerband- Overall, considering how new of a company Viper is, the feel of the VTX10 was excellent. If you compare the Viper to a run of the mill non-sensored system the Viper will feel incredibly smooth. Compared to the Novak Havoc Pro we recently tested it felt comparably smooth in the mid-range and top end but was slightly notchier from a dead stop up to roughly 5 mph. One more note on drivability, our Viper had an occasional delay going from reverse to forward. This little issue would sometimes pop up at the worst times and is something that needs to be fixed.
Thermalling- We never had an issue with our Viper system getting too hot.
Cogging- We did not experience any cogging with our Viper system (even with me torturing it trying to get it to cog).
Power- Our Viper system had slightly more power than the Novak Havoc system we just tested. It exhibited slighly more power from a dead stop all the way up to the rpm ceiling (with supplied settings). That is not to say that with some timing (and/or gearing) tweaking the Viper (or the Novak) might have woke up and became much faster than the other. What I am saying is that using “out of the box” settings the Viper had a tad bit more yank across the board. Btw, while the Viper had slightly more power, its motor also ran slightly hotter though the Viper speedo always ran remarkably cool for us.
Brakes- The brakes on the Viper felt firm and progressive, certainly very usable, slowing our test truck controllably and quickly, but they were not quite as good as the Novak we recently tested. On slicker surfaces the brakes on the Novak came across as being more controllable while slowing the truck slightly more quickly. Once again, both speedo’s are ridiculously adjustable, but that’s our feeling with out of the box settings, and once again some tweaking might put one brand way in front of the other.
Fit- The Viper VTX10 speedo has a very small footprint leaving you lots of mounting options (even in 10th buggies and TC’s!). The Viper does not come with a fan, which I consider a very good thing as fans always break (eventually), and without a fan the Viper speedo is much shorter than many others on the market. One last note on fit- the supplied motor wires were “almost” too short for our installation. In the speedo biz it’s always better to be slightly too long than too short. We spun our speedo around and mounted it all the way to the rear of our chassis to allow the motor wires to reach. The wires should have been an inch longer.
As with all of our stuff, if you see us at a bash, stop by and check out the vehicles we have with us. We may let you take a test drive, and at the very least get you some stickers!
Time To Bash – 6.5/10 -Mount the VTX10 speedo and the VST8.5 motor, solder up 5 wires to the speedo, solder a Traxxas plug on the power wires and the 3 wires to motor, calibrate to your radio, then break out the ProGauge to make final adjustments, then you are ready to jam.
Car Show Rating – 9.0/10 – From the classy packaging, to the anodizing on the motor and heat sink, the Viper gear looks top notch.
Bash-A-Bility – 10.0/10 -We bashed it, we crashed it, we hucked our test truck off the roof and yet our Viper still works good as new.
Fun Factor – 9/10 – As far as speedo’s go the Viper is fun to play with. Not only does the Viper system put out plenty of power to rock around the track, but the supplied ProGauge module is fun to fool around with. With the ProGauge you can make adjustments on the Viper speedo plus check the individual cell voltages on your Li-Po batteries, test your servos, and it even has a built in rotor/prop tach!
Drivability – 8.0/10 – Good controllable power that’s easy to put to the ground, but could be smoother in the very lowest rpm ranges.
Power- 7.5/10 – Snappy on the bottom end, good breathe on top, and enough power to make every jump on the track. No it doesn’t put out crazy 6S like power, but it’s dern fast for an 8.5.
Value- 7.5/10 – Not the cheapest system on the market, but quality is never easy on the pocketbook. The ProGauge certainly ads value.
Big Squid Rating – 8.2/10 - Tentacles.. – So… do the heavy hitters in the speedo game need to be worried? Based on what we’ve seen Viper makes a fine product (I’d even say a terrific product if you consider how young of a company they are). We tested one of their first ever products on the market and it works quite well. So… should the heavy hitters be losing any sleep? Nope, not yet, but Viper is off to a very promising start.