Lessons learned after a season with an MTroniks Marine ECO 20 ESC, and other people’s experiences over the year. If there is an example or something specific listed, someone has experienced it.
- Replace your motors at least once a year. This keeps overall noise down, and the ESC performing as it should. Motors that operate in our environment will eventually start consuming higher amps over time, possibly exceeding what the ESC will handle in stall/moss conditions, so check the amps used on them stalled occasionally over time. Overall motors in our environment should be considered expendable. To help stave off wear and tear from our hostile environment (and keep the resulting noise down), keep them lubed with something non-conductive and that won’t eat the brushes like One Lube (spray lube from Slick50).
- When the instructions said to CAP the motors, they really weren’t kidding. CAP them, or potentially fry a direction on the ESC, especially when switching quickly from forwards to reverse.
- If using a separate receiver battery – CUT THE RED WIRE on the servo lead from the ESC. If this isn’t done, the ESC will draw power out of the receiver battery, potentially frying the ESC, or it will give spotty performance after that and need replaced.
- Check your motors stall current and make sure that combined they are under the 15A rating of the Marine ECO 20.
- When purchasing – get the MARINE ECO 20 and not the plain ECO 20. The “Marine” designation signifies that it does INSTANT reverse. The standard ground Mtronik’s ESC’s do a delayed reverse, which isn’t conducive to battling in tight quarters, it is conducive to ramming friend and foe alike.
- To save yourself plunking down another $35 for another ESC if a motor seizes up (debris in the gearbox or bad moss): Make sure to either fuse the motors indivdually (to have some fault tolerance if just one of them develops a fault), OR just put a fuse on the Mtronik’s itself. Use your best judgement here for sizing fuses keeping in mind the rating of the Marine ECO 20 is 15A continuous, 18A with water cooling.
There are a few varieties of the Marine line other than the ECO 20 that all have higher amperage ratings. The ECO 20 is the one mentioned here because for the last 18 months it was the only “Marine” series ESC available in the North America, and is $35. If you motor combination needs more amps than the ECO can provide, the other ESC’s in the “Marine” series bear looking at. There may be different features on them as well that might be better suited for your application, such as like a lower Voltage dropoff or a higher BEC current on the Submarine ESC’s.
To make your life easier – when purchasing a radio get one with the ATV feature (adjustable endpoints). This makes speed checking incredibly easy and lets you stay dry, and lets you get rid of the onboard rheostat, recovering space and battery capacity now not wasted as heat. Adding the ATV pots to an existing transmitter is also possible, but is a bit of extra trouble obviously since it involves taking the Transmitter apart and using a soldering iron.
Marine ECO 20 Specifications:
- Motor short protection
- Set-Up: Digital Touch
- Direction: Forwards/Instant Reverse
- Motor Limit: Up to 600 size
- Number of cells: 4-10
- Voltage: 4.8 – 12
- Continuous Current: 15Amps
- Continuous Current with Water cooling: 18 Amps
- Frequency: 2.3kHz
- B.E.C. Output: 1.5A
- Voltage Drop @ 10A: 0.07 Volts
- Weight including wires: 50g.
- Weight excluding wires: 27g
- Dimensions L x W x H: 35.0mm x 34.0mm x 15.0mm