This review and advice article covers the use of the surpass hobby/racerstar/goolrc brushless ESC programming card which can be used on most in not all power systems from these suppliers. It is a simple <$10 device that allows you to easily change the parameters of the ESC - how fast power comes on, how power braking is and much more.
One of the easiest ways to upgrade your brushed RC car is to change the brushed motor and ESC with a brushless ESC. If you are lucky like me the drive train (gears, differentials, driveshafts) are designed to take brushless power but even if you don't there is a way to tame you power and still get the benefits of fast acceleration, higher top speed and better battery life. I've used budget Surpass Hobby (also branded as Racerstar) systems on both a large 4x4 SCT brushless upgrade here and the very popular WLtoys 144001 brushless upgrade here and can confirm the programming card works for both
There are several cards that can be used to program these ESCs but the one I recommend is the Racerstar LED Program Card that works with all of the ESCs and motors branded as surpass hobby, goolrc, racerstar and probably more.
Closeup of the Racerstar program card adjustable parameters
There are 5 sets of parameters that can be adjusted using the programming card and Ill run through those now:
Low voltage cutoff, maximum reverse force and neutral range will likely never need to be adjusted again once set as there are clear 'best' settings here.
Maximum brake force could be changed if you switch the same car between high and low grip surfaces e.g. gravel vs tarmac or carpet where the high grip surfaces allow you to have more braking power available without losing traction. But the most important setting available I believe is starting power (also called punch). If you have a car with and older or weaker drivetrain designed for brushed motors then you will definitely want to set this to "soft". This will limit the maximum current the ESC allows between battery and motor - this is always during heavy acceleration and this is where the impact will be noticed. For this reason it is also good for protecting your ESC if you are having overheating issues.
You will probably find acceleration is still much stronger than the brushed setup it replaced plus you get the benefit of top end speed and efficiency. Conversely if you have a tough, reliable drivetrain with an over-specced ESC then the 'strong' setting will be your best chance of wheelies and skids - impressing kids in the neighbourhood 🤘💪
This Racerstar programming card for Surpass Hobby and Racerstar ESCs is a low-cost upgrade I definitely recommend - everyone runs their car in different conditions with different style and so this is a great way to customise performance to suit you personally.
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