Axial AE-2 ESC Set-up and Programming

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Set-up tips for installing and programming Axial’s AE-2 ESC.

Set-up:

1. Mount ESC in an area that is well ventilated, and isolated from vibration and shock.

2. Connect ESC wires to the motor(s).

3. Plug the receiver wire into the throttle channel on your receiver.

4. Before plugging the battery into the ESC, make sure your transmitter is on and that the throttle trim is set to zero.

5. Double check that the battery wires on the ESC are wired correctly, red on red and black on black. **Reversing the polarity will permanently damage the ESC**

6. Plug the battery into the ESC, with the ESC switch in the “off” position.

7. Apply full throttle on the transmitter.

8. Turn the ESC on while applying full throttle.

9. The ESC will emit a series of beeps through the motor with the “Red” LED.

10. Continue applying full throttle until the ESC blinks “Green” and emits a series of beeps to finalize the full throttle endpoint.

11. Once the ESC blinks “Red”, apply full brake/reverse, and hold.

12. The ESC will emit a series of beeps while blinking “Red” to finalize the reverse/brake endpoint.

13. Return the throttle to neutral and the ESC will emit a series of beeps to finalize the neutral point.

14. The ESC will emit one last series of beeps confirming the ESC is ready to go.

15. Apply throttle to make sure motor turns in the proper direction. To reverse the direction of the motor, switch the wires going to the motor.

Notes:

1. If ESC set-up does not initialize while holding full throttle, try switching the throttle reverse switch on the transmitter. Also double check that the throttle trim is still set to zero.

2. Lipo “Cut-off” is set to “On” from the factory.

3. Use the “Castle Link” to access the advanced settings in this ESC.

Specifications:

Input Voltage – 6 cell NiCad/NiMH or 2cell lipo**

Size – 1.7″ x 1.24″

Weight – 45 Grams

Motor Limit – 19t

On-Resistance FET – .0018

Rated/Peak Current – 106A Peak

Braking Current – 106A Peak

BEC Voltage – 5.0V/2A Peak

PWM Frequency – 6KHZ

**You can run higher voltage batteries such as a 7 cell NiCad/NiMH or 3 cell lipo with the installation of a “Castle BEC”

Manually programming Axial’s AE-2 ESC

Here are a few tips for programming Axial’s AE-2 ESC, without a computer or “Castle Link”.

You can manually adjust 3 of the most important settings in the AE-2 ESC.

1. Lipo Cut-off

2. Drag Brake

3. Reverse

Manual programming

Follow these steps to change settings on your Axial AE-2 ESC without a computer.

*Remove your pinion gear before calibration and manual programming as a safety precaution!*

STEP 1: Start with the transmitter ON and the ESC switched OFF and not connected to the battery.

STEP 2: Plug a battery into the ESC. Hold full throttle on the transmitter and turn the ESC switch ON. After a few seconds you will get the four rings in a row signaling full throttle calibration. Keep on holding full throttle. After a few more seconds, you will hear another four rings in a row. After the second group of four rings, relax the throttle to neutral. If you have successfully entered programming mode, the ESC will beep twice, pause, and repeat the two beeps.

STEP 3: The programming sequence is always presented in sequential order and always starts with the first setting (None) within the first section (Voltage Cutoff). The first beep(s) signifies which section of the programming you are in and the second beep(s) signifies which setting is waiting for a “yes” or “no” answer. As you go sequentially through the options, you will need to answer “yes” by holding full throttle, or answer “no” by holding full brake until the ESC accepts your answer by beeping rapidly. Once an answer has been accepted, relax the throttle back to neutral for the next question. After a “no” answer is accepted, the ESC will then present you with the next option in that section. After a “yes” answer is accepted, the ESC knows you aren’t interested in any other option in that section, so it skips to the first option in the next section.

Settings and explanations

The following section explains all the settings available to you via manual programming and what each one does to change the reactions of the ESC in order to tune it to your specific preferences. More settings are available via “Castle Link”.

1. Cutoff Voltage

Sets the voltage at which the ESC lowers or removes power to the motor in order to either keep the battery at a safe minimum voltage (Lithium Polymer cells) or the radio system working reliably (NiCad/NiMH cells).

Setting 1: None

Does not cut off or limit the motor due to low voltage. Do not use with any Lithium Polymer packs!

Use this setting ONLY with NiCad or NiMH packs. With continued driving, the radio system may eventually cease to deliver pulses to the servo and ESC, and the vehicle will not be under control.

You will irreversibly damage Lithium Polymer packs with this setting!

Setting 2: Auto-LiPo (Default)

This setting allows you to go back and forth between 2 and 3 cell LiPo packs without having to change the cutoff voltage for each one. The ESC automatically sets the cutoff voltage correctly for a 2 or 3 cell pack when that pack is plugged in.

2. Drag Brake

Sets the amount of drag brake applied at neutral throttle to simulate the slight braking effect of a neutral brushed motor while coasting.

Setting 1: Drag Brake OFF

Vehicle will coast with almost no resistance from the motor at neutral throttle.

Setting 2: Drag Brake 15%

Very Low amount of braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle

Setting 3: Drag brake 25%

Low amount of braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle

Setting 4: Drag Brake 40%

More braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle.

Setting 5: Drag Brake 50%

Fairly high braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle.

Setting 6: Drag Brake 100% (Default)

Full braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle.

3. Brake / Reverse Type

Sets whether reverse is enabled or not, and exactly how it can be accessed.

Setting 1: Reverse Lockout

This setting allows the use of reverse only after the ESC senses two seconds of neutral throttle. Use it for race practice sessions and bashing, but check with your race director to see if this setting is allowed for actual racing.

Setting 2: Forward/Brake Only

Use this setting for actual sanctioned racing events. Reverse cannot be accessed under any circumstances with this setting.

Setting 3: Forward/Brake/Reverse (Default)

Reverse or forward is accessible at any time after the ESC brakes to zero motor RPM.

Axial Car ESC Programming Reference:

1: Voltage Cutoff

Option 1 : None

Option 2 : Auto-LiPo (D)*

2: Drag Brake

Option 1 : Disabled

Option 2 : 15%

Option 3 : 25%

Option 4 : 40%

Option 5 : 50%

Option 6: 100% (D)*

3: Brake/Reverse Type

Option 1 : Reverse Lockout

Option 2 : Forward/Brake Only

Option 3 : Forward/Brake/Reverse (D)*

(D)* = Default setting from the factory

How to Waterproof your SCX10

Lately there has been a surge in scale truck competitions. The competitions range from mild trail runs with gates, to full on “Top Truck Challenge” style events. No matter which style event you are into, there is probably going to be one common obstacle at most of these scale events…………………water. As most people know water and electric R/C’s don’t really mix well together. Most electronic R/C’s can be very sensitive to moisture, let alone splashing water and/or snow. But, with some care and a little preventive maintenance driving your SCX10 in wet conditions can be done with no consequences to your electronics, or your wallet. This article is geared towards keeping your electronics dry, even if you completely submerse your SCX10 in water. There is something about driving scale R/C trucks in water, mud and snow that is unbelievably fun. I can’t really put my finger on it, but for some reason it is an absolute blast. So, here are a few tips to help keep you splashing around in your local creek, instead of at the work bench replacing ruined electronics.

For this article I will use a stock SCX10 TR Honcho, that has been modified to run 2.2 wheels and tires. Here’s how it looks before I got started.
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Here’s how it looked after I removed the battery tray. Next I took the cover off the receiver box, then peeled the ESC off the box as well.
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I started with the receiver and simple LED kit. First, I used a little double stick tape to attach the LED controller to the side of the receiver. With it configured like this I will still be able to put everything back inside the electronics box after the balloon treatment. Make sure your wires are somewhat organized too, and are all on one side of the receiver. The wires will exit the balloon through the opening.
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Now grab a balloon and stretch the open end up using both hands.
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While holding the balloon open, use your left over fingers to guide the receiver and LED controller into place.
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Here is how it will look after installing the first balloon.
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Now we will move onto the ESC. I marked the power switch on the ESC with a Sharpee, so I know where the “on” position is. We will be inserting the ESC inside another balloon, and access to the power switch may no longer be available. I personally would cut the switch off and solder the positive and negative leads together. So when you plug your battery in the ESC kicks on automatically. But, there are ways around that if you don’t want to solder.
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To avoid soldering the power switch leads, I just used a Ziptie to ensure the ESC remains on at all times. Depending on how it’s set-up, you may be able to access the power switch right through the balloon.
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After prepping the power switch, I used a little double stick tape on it as well, and attached it to the side of the ESC.
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Here you can see the ESC is ready to be installed inside another balloon.
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Stretch the balloon over the ESC just like you did for the receiver.
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Now grab a second set of hands to help with this next step. Have your second set of hands hold the ballooned electronics at the base of the ESC/receiver and at the end of the balloon. While you grab the neck of the balloon in the center, pull up, and wrap it around itself as many times as you can.
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Now use a Ziptie to hold the neck of the balloon in it’s wrapped state.
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Add a couple more Zipties to either side of the first after, just for piece of mind. Also, we will be installing a second balloon over both the ESC and receiver, so try to keep the first set of Zipties that hold the neck of the balloon close to the actual ESC/receiver. Because the second balloon will be installed over the whole assembly, and you will have to wrap the neck of the second balloon just like you did the first.
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Now, as mentioned in the last step, double balloon the ESC and receiver using the same method. It may seem redundant to wrap the electronics in a second balloon. But, I will gladly spend the extra few minutes and .5 cents it takes to ensure my electronics are 100% safe from moisture. Please keep in mind that you will want to monitor your ESC temps for the first few runs to make sure nothing is going to overheat. If you are geared right, temps shouldn’t be a problem at all. But, if your ESC gets hot under normal driving conditions, you may want to install a smaller pinion on the motor to help eliminate heat.

You can see the receiver fits nicely back into the stock location , after I installed the second balloon.
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Here you can see everything is back together just like the stock set-up. I used double stick tape to re-attach the ESC to the radio box, then added a Ziptie around them both, just to make sure the ESC doesn’t go anywhere.
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Now it’s time to prep the steering servo. Remove the servo horn, then remove the servo from the axle.
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Now remove the 4 screws from the bottom of the servo.
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Remove the top and bottom caps.
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For this step we will use some dielectric grease to stop water from entering the servo through the hole in the top cap.
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Add some of the dielectric grease around the servo’s splined output shaft, on top of the bushing/bearing.
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I also added a little more dielectric grease to the gears just to re-lube them.
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Then reassemble the servo, you should see the grease starting to push out around the servo’s output shaft. Now reinstall the servo on the front axle.
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For an extra measure of protection you can dip the whole servo in Plasti-Dip. It’s a liquid rubber compound that will coat the outside of the servo, and help stop water from penetrating the working internals. While no one here at the Axial headquarters has used this method, or can endorse the use of this product. There are video tutorials on YouTube that show the proper method for using the Plasti-Dip. Also keep in mind if you plan on submersing your SCX10 in water deeper then the center of your headlights, you should install a high quality snorkel first.

One last thing we should mention is that running your SCX10 in water will rust anything that is steel on your truck. Bearings, steel gears, axles shafts, etc will all develop rust if exposed to water. Proper maintenance will be required to keep rust down to a minimum.