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Old 07-22-2010, 10:39 AM   #1
flymustangs
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Default Kontronik vs Castle

I decided to put this in a different thread instead of continuing off topic in the other one.

My frustration comes from the almost constant posts of "Jive is the best", "Castle sucks" without any data to support it. It reminds me of the recent thread chastising Mikado fan-boys that indiscriminately post in unrelated threads.

Nobody offered up any data so I did some research on my own. I went back and looked at an eagletree log I had from a Logo 500 running a Jive. Unfortunately, I couldnít seem to get the settings correct so the data didnít look right. It probably wasnít a good choice for comparison anyway because the flight was pretty tame.

I did find a good graph that MrMel put up in the Data and Power sticky using a Jive on a Logo 600. I took that graph and compared it to one from my Logo 600 running the CC Ice 80HV. I compared graph to graph since I didnít have the actual numbers from the Jive graph.

What I determined was that the CC held the head speed to within a range of 260 rpm around the target. The Jive held the heads speed to within 200 rpm of the target head speed. Not much difference there, but it is noticeable. Based on the amp draw on the curves from MrMel, he was WAY more aggressive than my flying style, which is another plus for the Kontronik.

The other thing I found interesting was that the head speed on the Castle seemed to deviate equally above and below the target head speed. The Jive seemed to deviate mostly below the target head speed. I donít know if thatís good or bad. It does mean that the Castle was dropping below the target by 130 while the Jive was dropping 200 below the target with very little above the target. Not sure which one of those scenarios is better.

I do understand the advantage of running the motor at a higher speed instead of gearing up. I also still donít understand how you can get 2200 head speed with 10S, 12T, 560kv motor at min battery voltage of 37V unless you ignore the motor efficiency.

I also saw some graphs in the sticky with Castles running the older firmware and Iíll admit they were pretty bad. The new firmware is obviously better, but based on the above, not up to par with the Jive unless the 200 drop below target is considered.

Unless there is another standard other than head speed stability, the governor performance between the two is pretty close. Iím not arguing the ease of setup on the Jive, but how many times do you have to do this? Would you pay half the price for a new computer if you had to initially install the software or full price so it works out of the box?

Having said all that, Iím still going to get a Jive to try on the Logo 600. It would be nice to have two Logo 600s so I could test them side-by-side, but Iím waiting on the Logo 700 for my next heli. My skills have improved significantly since I last used a Jive so I might actually be able to tell the difference with the Jive now. Regardless, it will eliminate the worry Iíve been having with using the CC Pro BEC.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:12 AM   #2
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Well i'll toss my .02 in here. Keep in mind i'm currently flying a Castle (ICE 100) and spent COUNTLESS time on the governor.

First, the Castle internal BEC is not up to the task of running full size servo's on a heli.... period. I was one of the first to get one, in my area, and was under the impression that the internal BEC would handle the servo's. It was a selling point to me. I believe the internal BEC is the same size/capacity as the ICE 50... i could be wrong.... Advantage: Jive

Second, their are a TON of posts of Castle spontaneously combusting and no one seems to be able to figure out/pinpoint the causes.. THAT is SCARY to me!!! Advantage: Jive

Third. Firmware updates... i mean its cool to be able to do, but when Castle realeases them and controllers shut down/burn up/don't arm after an update... WTF?? On one occasion, my Logo hit the dirt due to an "update" when my motor shut off mid flip for NO REASON... Jive's dont need updates... Advantage: Jive

Fourth... the all imortant governor. I will be the first to admit that the governor DOES work. It really does. Not quite as well as the Kontronik BUT it does do a good job at holding headspeed, and for 99.9% of people out there, it's fine. The problem isn't controlling the headspeed, the problem is HOW it controls the headspeed... In order to get a good hold on the headspeed, you have to run the governor gain at a point where you get a tail wag/oscillation in a hover and during flight. It sounds like CRAP when you do a flyby with that FREAKIN' motor oscillation in any light/moderate flight... Almost like something's about to fly off! Just so you know, i spent months of tuning to take that oscillation out of the governor and still hold headspeed but i could NOT do it. I was up and down with PWM, motor timing. governor gain, motor gearing, headspeeds, you name it. I finally settled on a lower governor gain that held the headspeed somewhat, but got rid of that oscillation. I was NEVER able to get the tail right. Advantage: Jive

Now, i'm also the first to admit that the price is right, and the data logging is truly AWESOME!! Am i sorry i bought the Castle? Nah... i couldn't afford the Jive at the time, and i was able to taste a governor for the first time, and LOVED it!! I have since switched to flying endpoints for now, and am going to be buying a Jive eventually.

These are just my personal experiences so take them at face value..
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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I have had Castle ESC's for a long time and have never had any issues. I ran them from the 35amp phoenix to the 110HV which I have now. I never had an issue with the governors on them, or having them blowup on me. The 110HV I am running now on my Logo600 keeps the HS pretty damn well.

I will personally never buy a Kontronik because the price for them is ridiculous. I have heard of guys having their Kontronik fail or burn up and then what,,,, they have to buy a new one for another $300 to $400 dollars. Until Kontronik decides to drop their prices, I will never buy one. I will stick with my Castle ESCS until then.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:31 AM   #4
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I'll watch this post closely, but can only contribute a small amount at this time.

I am just getting my 6003D set up now with the Jive. My first Kontronic ESC.
Still haven't really had a chance to fly, fly, fly as I'm experiencing some set-up quirks (see my thread).

So far, the governor works really well. I'm getting some tail 'nervousness' that I can't pinpoint the source of yet. 105mm tail blades are far worse than 95mm for this. I'm thinking it 'might' be governor related as all tail linkages seem smooth and bearings feel right.

I own two castle ICE ESC's that are on a TREX 450se V2 and a Compass Atom 500. Both Flybarless and both using the latest firmware with 'Set RPM' mode.
Other than the same tail 'nervousness' at higher governor gain, no problems.

The logging is WONDERFUL and very helpful for troubleshooting. It would have helped out tremendously when I maidened the 600.

The taller gearing seems to revolve around the Castle ESC's wanting to leave headroom toward the end of the flight. The red warning comes on at 95% of the softwares calculation of end-flight headroom. Castle recommends 90-93% for best efficiency, and I run a little higher than that. Much over 95% and the motor peaks more toward the end of the flight.

I would have put an ICE 80HV in the Logo, but it seems most Logo guys have pretty tried & true set-ups for these with the Kontronic ESC's. Didn't want to 'experiment' with a new $2000+ machine.
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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While I have never had a Jive I used to run Jazz 55-10-32 and it was a great speed controller. When I went to a bigger heli and read that the 55 amp might not be good enough way back when I switched to CC escs. I have had a couple 85HV's go out. One caught fire and 2 just mysteriously (sp?) signed out early. But each time I had no damage (lucky maybe but still no damage well other than a little smoke stain!) and CC did replace them all, no questions asked other than to try and help. I know that in 99% of the ways it could be the Jive is better but I betcha I couldn't tell the difference. Set up on all of my CC are easy enough. I've done it all from end points, governor and set-rpm mode and they do work. On my e550 Rondo Raptor and Logo 500 V-bar both hold the 550 main blades to within 250 rpm according to the graph. I'm not a super 3D guy, just light stuff and sport flying so that may be good or bad but at 2150 rpm I can't tell much other than flips back to back and overloading the system. I assume it's my collective management or motor/lipo combo than governor mode, again just a guess.

If I had the unlimited funds I would buy Kontronics in a second but right now I have to stick with my Dodge till I decide the Audi is needed to make a difference. Now on the car end I actually have an Audi S4 and it's is clearly better than 90% of the other cars on the American market.......I guess you can say I splerged in that area!

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Old 07-22-2010, 11:57 AM   #6
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Dirtmagnet400's post is bang on, on all points.

When us "fanboys" recommend the jive, it's not blind loyalty, it's from in depth experience with both kontronik and castle esc's, many times in identical applications.
I've personally owned dozens of castle hv and ice series esc's.
I've owned a dozen kontronik jazz and jive esc's.

The kontronik esc's have actually been cheaper in the long run, as unlike the castle's, they've never had a failure that's caused a crash.
That extra couple hundred bucks for the jive looks like a small sum after you have to re-kit and re-blade a logo 600.

But regardless, in identical setups, with the same pilot, the difference in gov performance is quite distinct.

The only people I see recommending castle esc's are people that have never owned a jive.
However I've never seen someone switch back to a castle from a jive, and you could if you wanted to, the resale value is usually very good on the jive's.

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Old 07-22-2010, 11:59 AM   #7
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Good stuff guys. Thanks for contributing. I do have to argue one point, though. The Jive is on version 9 now so I don't think I would give that advantage to Kontronik, especially since it has to go back to get updated.

Granted, some of those updates were to fix a specific problem that wouldn't apply to everyone, but I think the same thing can be said about the updates on the Castle.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:05 PM   #8
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The Jive didnt go above target speed but the cc did. This is because the cc is keeping the head speed to with +/- 150 whereas the jive is keeping the head speed to within +\- 20 rpm but the flyer is bogging the motor somewhat.


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Old 07-22-2010, 12:08 PM   #9
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I understand your point, Nathan, but when someone sees a post that says "Buy a Jive" it's not obvious that you've had extensive experience with the two. It's like the posts that say "+1". It adds very little if any to the discussion, hence the use of the term fanboy.

I've seen you make the claim before that no one has switched back to a Castle that has used a Jive. That's another bold statement with no data to support it. I'm the perfect example. I had a Jazz and a Jive on two different Logo 500's. When I set up my Logo 600 I decided to go with the CC Ice because of the newer firmware and price point.

I am going to give the Jive another try for the reasons I stated above.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skint Eastwood View Post
The Jive didnt go above target speed but the cc did. This is because the cc is keeping the head speed to with +/- 150 whereas the jive is keeping the head speed to within +\- 20 rpm but the flyer is bogging the motor somewhat.


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OK, that's good information, but where does it come from? Is this the band the manufacturers are claiming or has someone actually tested this? I'm pretty sure I'm not a better pilot than MrMel so why didn't I go outside the +/- 150 on the Castle because of bogging?
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:11 PM   #11
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There is one category where the CC wins, and that category is appearance. The Kontroniks are ugly as sin, and then you have to add an even uglier heatsink to it. The Castle ESCs are definitely better looking by far. Now, I know that doesn't matter, but at least Castle can win in one area.

Unless I can get a Kontronik for free or a big discount, I will stick with the affordable Castle.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:22 PM   #12
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I have no clue what the Skint tries to say.

My experience is that in identical applications everything just works better. The differnce is like going from an esky controller to a CC Ice. The motor just sounds better and has more rpm and torque. The governor just works and saves you countless hours of tweaking.
The only thing I have to admit is that an update is a bit of an issue with the current generation of Kontronik controllers. However Castle is in love with their firmware updates and keeps pouring shitty firmware releases out before ironing out the issues of previous releases. Remember that the beta releases suddenly disappeared? That's the other extreme.
I was a bit disappointed at first that Kontronik only has programming cards and stick programming but it's so easy to program them you don't need anything else.

Nathan is 100% right about the loudmouths cheering about Castle. They don't know better. Feel free to draw the same conclusion as us fanboys have drawn because I have no doubt you will. Learning you own lessons is an important part of this hobby I think o don't take my word for granted try to find other club members that use other controllers and just listen and compare.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1140057
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:24 PM   #13
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Castle has put the beta back on all the releases except 3.0 which was also beta a few months ago.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:24 PM   #14
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+\- 20 i dont remember but i read it on helifreak somewhere.

You werent flying as aggresively so the cc was able to hold the rpm to within its capability. Aggresive flying will always bog motors so the jive held it from over speeding but it obviously cannot stop the headspeed from slowing due to boging


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Old 07-22-2010, 12:31 PM   #15
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I think it's more of a "what you can afford" or "what you want to put into your setup" than any of the fanboy crap.

Again, I totally agree that the Kontronic stuff is better but the same 2 points come to mind,

Can the average person/pilot tell the difference?
How many Kontronics vs CC controllers are there out there?

10 to 1 would prolly be a good guess so obviously your going to hear the 5% failure rate of the massive CC following compared to the 1% of Kontronics. Volume wise there are at least (I'm guessing!) 90 times more Castle stuff sold in just the USA than the Konitronic stuff.

So in my opinion get the Jive if you can afford it or the Castle if you can't. Buy what ever keeps you happy!

It's all good, no enemies here!

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Old 07-22-2010, 12:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by litespeed View Post

Can the average person/pilot tell the difference?
How many Kontronics vs CC controllers are there out there?

10 to 1 would prolly be a good guess so obviously your going to hear the 5% failure rate of the massive CC following compared to the 1% of Kontronics. Volume wise there are at least (I'm guessing!) 90 times more Castle stuff sold in just the USA than the Konitronic stuff.

Absolutely the average person can tell the difference.

I have had around two dozen castle esc's, and a dozen kontronik's, 0 failures with the kontronik, 6 catastrophic failures with the castle's.
Draw your own failure rate percentages from that.
Others experiences are similar.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:00 PM   #17
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Bummer for you and a good reason to switch. As I said in an earlier post I had 3 failures with CC85HV's but no damage on any of the three. Must have been my "cat like" reflexes that saved the day!

Tom
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Old 07-22-2010, 02:44 PM   #18
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First off I'm a Kontronik rep. Secondly I owned Kontronik all sizes far before being a rep. Thirdly I have setup owned dozens of Castles prior to and also spoke closely during those times with CC techs such as Joe Ford and others.

Several in these parts have Castles. In plane environments they seem to fair ok. In heli environments where the demands are much higher there is a clear failure rate. I have not had one Kontronik cause a crash on me since in the hobby not one. I've lost two two thousand dollar machines to in air castle fires. I've had 4 castle hv85s burn/smoke on bench first hookup. This is all true.

If someone has one I help to setup with them it was their budget and needs I clearly understand that and don't hold it against them.

It's clear as was said unless you tried each you can't know. For every Kontronik fanboys there is 5 Castle fanboys almost all of which have not tried a Kontronik at all as said so really this can go forever... Thing I find in Mikado and larger electric groups is most have un fact tried both as they're entering a world where quality electronics count allot more then in a 450 persay or a swift kinda heli ya know?

It's frustrating to see people say "buy this" then that's it but it's also hurtfull to read the nightmare stories of people losing their whole investements to. QC with anyone can falter no doubt but Id say Kontronik has done a far superior job on that and quality components over the years. In these economic times the dollar sways to many decisions inthis hobbby agree or disagree but this hobby IMO is not something you can cheap out on, your safety, others safety and your hard earned money is not worth risk.
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Old 07-22-2010, 03:09 PM   #19
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No one has mentioned crash durability yet. I have wiped out several castle escs due to getting wacked by a blade. I just recently put my logo600 in hard and the jive took a direct hit from the main blade. It was enough to put an indentation in the case. I plugged it in after the rebuild and it fired up just fine. Also I have lost several caps on cc hv controllers because they are not supported and just the wires moving have caused them to come off. The newer ice controllers appear to have solved that problem though.
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Old 07-22-2010, 04:50 PM   #20
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The old 'avarage joe won't be able to tell the difference' is a fairytale our hobby. It starts when people that just entered the hobby defend their decision to go for say Walkera or Esky, then when a 450 clone is purchased again the same argument. Then when there is a choice between a fake 401 and real one, then 401 vs Spartan and then Spartan vs FBL and then T-bar vs Vbar or sk720... You get my point because in the end any beginner will learn quicker and better piloting using a properly setup Logo 600 then on a Honey Bee FP. Avarage Joe wil notice and most importantly benefit. Just as much as the pro's.

This hobby is for me about relaxing and enjoying. Not about tinkering and countless hours of tweaking and repairing. I like flying so I choose the best quality I can afford. Electronics make or break any helicopter. If I had less cash I would have bought a smaller helicopter and put a Jazz in it. Perhaps I would not have gone flybarless but I would have bought a Spartan. Instead of getting a cheap 600 size clone with dito electronics and then complain I can not afford a Jive.
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