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Old 09-06-2012, 06:34 PM   #1
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Default Legalise Software *Fixed* Timing?

This topic applies to both EP OFR and EP ONR, I've just posted it here because this is the first board.

Ok, so my basic proposition is this:

Fixed timing as programmed through the ESC should be legal in non-boosted classes.


What exactly do I mean?

In most non-boosted classes endbell timing is allowed. You can adjust the timing on your motor by physically twisting the endbell around. I want to legalise software that replicates this process.

I am not talking about boost or turbo, those two things vary depending upon inputs during the race. This would be timing you set at the start and then can't change till the end, exactly like fixed motor timing.


How would this be possible? Would this create scrutineering headaches?

I only have experience with the Hobbywing ESCs myself, and these currently can not perform this function, but I don't know about others. It would be dead easy for ESC manufacturers to add this function to future software though, I think this is the way to go.

The blinky profile would just have one extra setting for fixed timing.

Scrutineering isn't a problem if ROAR get on board. ESCs that are using a programmable fixed timing mode would be blinky if approved just like the current crop of programmable ESCs that can be set-up for non-boosted operation.

In terms of the mapping that is used for the approval process the only difference would be that an offset is allowed so long as it stays fixed between programmings.

Basically this is a minor tweak to the current regulations, not a complete overhaul.


Why is this a good idea?

Changing the timing on a motor can be fiddly, and not all motors have the same range of timing available, some motors even require optional timing boards or plug-ins to get a different range.

A change to allow software fixed timing would level the playing field between different motors since all motors would then have the same range of fixed timing available to them. It wouldn't matter if I had an LRP X12 or a Speed Passion V3, I could set whatever timing I wanted.

I wouldn't have to pull the motor out of the car either, as is sometimes the case now, so the job becomes less fiddly. It's also easier to be accurate and replicate your timing settings again and again.


I don't want to buy a new ESC.

Chances are you won't have to. This could be taken care of with a software upgrade, and even if it can't you can still time your motor on your endbell and be at no more of a disadvantage than you are right now against motors with a larger timing range.

It's important to realise that this change wouldn't make any currently available ESC illegal, and it doesn't actually offer any theoretical performance advantage over a motor/ESC combo you could use under the current regs. It simply makes life easier and levels the playing field for people who have the "wrong" motor, or a chassis that makes getting to the motor hard.


Over to you!

Ok, so comments? Is there anything I have overlooked. Do you think ROAR could go for this? What do you think?
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Last edited by Radio Active; 09-06-2012 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Clarified a point.
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Old 09-06-2012, 06:40 PM   #2
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So you want to completely change ESC rules AGAIN just so you don't have to loosen a couple screws?

As for motor manufacturers, they either build motors that can be set to blinky timing levels or people stop buying their motors.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:00 PM   #3
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Leave it how it is for a couple of reasons.

Keeping it simple, with the growing popularity of "blinky" class racing in onroad, I believe this is one of the reasons that many now race in zero timing classes.
Even in 0 timing mode you can still adjust some settings in the esc along with timing & gearing options of your motor of choice.
It's still daunting for some new to the hobby that have not been informed and acquired equipment that can not, or have not been set to the correct settings and have been left disillusioned by the complexity.

Not all manufacturers are the same, even if ROAR gets on board there will in probability be some esc manufacturers that will chose not to offer a software update due to costing to support the new software for a particular make or model of esc. Would those with said esc be forced to purchase another esc because a brand/model that they were using and happy with now doesn't comply with the suggested addition?

Diluting of the classes, would this add another class to club and title level racing? Would clubs be forced into deciding whether or not to cater to another class because some members are not or can not buy a new esc if some manufactures decide not to offer new software?

Not trying to shoot your ideas down, I can see some good points about it but I believe they are far outweighed about the negative points, and have many questions that need to be asked before I can believe otherwise.

Cheers
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ta04evah View Post
Leave it how it is for a couple of reasons.

Keeping it simple, with the growing popularity of "blinky" class racing in onroad, I believe this is one of the reasons that many now race in zero timing classes.
Even in 0 timing mode you can still adjust some settings in the esc along with timing & gearing options of your motor of choice.
It's still daunting for some new to the hobby that have not been informed and acquired equipment that can not, or have not been set to the correct settings and have been left disillusioned by the complexity.
This would actually make it simpler because a newby would learn timing along with the other settings like brake on their ESC, they wouldn't have to learn about timing on the motor.

As it is, to run a blinky class you have to learn about motor timing before you purchase a motor or risk getting the "wrong" motor. I know a lot of new racers have purchased the Hobbywing fixed zero timing motor and been burnt financially by that decision.

The simplicity for newbies, whose first class is blinky, is one of my primary reasons for suggesting the idea.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ta04evah View Post
Not all manufacturers are the same, even if ROAR gets on board there will in probability be some esc manufacturers that will chose not to offer a software update due to costing to support the new software for a particular make or model of esc. Would those with said esc be forced to purchase another esc because a brand/model that they were using and happy with now doesn't comply with the suggested addition?
As stated above no ESC that is legal now would be illegal if this change were introduced because the old ESCs wouldn't offer anything the newly updated ones don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ta04evah View Post
Diluting of the classes, would this add another class to club and title level racing? Would clubs be forced into deciding whether or not to cater to another class because some members are not or can not buy a new esc if some manufactures decide not to offer new software?
As stated above the change offers no theoretical performance advantage over what is allowed now. In essence it is a minor update to the rules to make things simpler for people. So, no new classes would be needed, because the performance of the top motor/ESC combos would be the same as now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ta04evah View Post
Not trying to shoot your ideas down, I can see some good points about it but I believe they are far outweighed about the negative points, and have many questions that need to be asked before I can believe otherwise.

Cheers
Rob.
I think if you take a close look at the idea you will see there are no negatives.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
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If you want easy, get rid of timing all together. Lock the motor so you can't change the timing or rotor and no timing adjustments in the esc.
The negative I see is that with your arrangement you create 2 different timing adjustments, physical and software. Now the new guy is even more confused.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by chensleyrc1 View Post
If you want easy, get rid of timing all together. Lock the motor so you can't change the timing or rotor and no timing adjustments in the esc.
The negative I see is that with your arrangement you create 2 different timing adjustments, physical and software. Now the new guy is even more confused.
That's a valid complaint. I still think it is better to have two possible timing adjustments than have to buy a new motor, but I admit you will have to find out what timing your motor comes with to compare your timing set-up to your mate's.

Fixed motor timing would be simpler. Bushed stock was fixed timing at 24 degrees, going back to that is theoretically the best thing for spec racing, it gives you more even motor performance and nothing to think about for a new racer.

The horse has rather bolted on that though. There are so many motors with variable timing, that educating new people not to buy them would be nigh on impossible (it's hard enough just to get them to pick up a motor with the right number of turns and a blinky capable ESC). And there are so few motors with fixed timing at a particular value that it's not really practical at the moment. Fixing the timing on a variable timing motor is extraordinarily difficult to police, so you wouldn't consider that.

So every motor people are using now would be faster and would have to be made illegal, so too hard a change to make. I think what I'm suggesting is the next best thing.
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Old 09-06-2012, 07:54 PM   #7
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As a newby to brushless racing, that has recently been stung by a fixed timing motor and then having to purchase extra sensor boards for the motor that I purchased to replace it, I think it is a great idea.

Provided there is no performance advantage in running both motor and esc timing over only running one type of timing, then I can't really see a problem.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:30 PM   #8
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My brother tried to suggest the idea of RPM limiters built into the ESC's. Couple the RPM limiter with an FDR limit and wind limit, and you have a true spec class with little fiddling. With this the only variation between EXISTING motors is slight variances in the power band, which leaves manufacturers some ability to differentiate themselves. With a relatively low RPM limit the use of high fixed timing would be a thing of the past.
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:45 PM   #9
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So how has anyone bought the "wrong" motor? There are motor variances. How is adjusting timing through the esc any different than the end bell? Your talking about making the motors even more prone to heat. There will always be someone who says motor x is faster than motor y. When actually motor y and x are tunable via gearing and timing to be equal. I can tell you now with brushless there is so little variance between motors. Yeah your gonna get a freak motor or a slower motor but the 98 percent is going to be so close to equal. So why make an esc something that has control? The esc is 200 bucks. The motors are around 80. Keep the timing in the motor. Keep temps regulated. I'm willing to drop 80 a year for a hot new motor. 200 every 6 months to a year for an esc I'll pass. If you think I'm wrong what happened with boosted 13.5 and 17.5? It became blinky why? To keep it so you don't need a speed control to compete.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NolanP View Post
So how has anyone bought the "wrong" motor? There are motor variances. How is adjusting timing through the esc any different than the end bell? Your talking about making the motors even more prone to heat. There will always be someone who says motor x is faster than motor y. When actually motor y and x are tunable via gearing and timing to be equal. I can tell you now with brushless there is so little variance between motors. Yeah your gonna get a freak motor or a slower motor but the 98 percent is going to be so close to equal. So why make an esc something that has control? The esc is 200 bucks. The motors are around 80. Keep the timing in the motor. Keep temps regulated. I'm willing to drop 80 a year for a hot new motor. 200 every 6 months to a year for an esc I'll pass. If you think I'm wrong what happened with boosted 13.5 and 17.5? It became blinky why? To keep it so you don't need a speed control to compete.
Did you even read the original post?

To answer your quesitons one at a time:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NolanP View Post
So how has anyone bought the "wrong" motor? There are motor variances.
Lots of new drivers buy a motor only to find that it is not well suited to blinky racing because there isn't sufficient timing adjustment.

The cheaper motors don't have the range of timing adjustment needed, this makes them more competitive.

This is even more of an issue in the slowest beginner spec classes because some kits don't let you gear the car high enough to make up for lack of timing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NolanP View Post
How is adjusting timing through the esc any different than the end bell?
It's not. That's the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NolanP View Post
Your talking about making the motors even more prone to heat.
They will be no more prone to heat than if you overgear them or if you turn the timing up on the can of a motor that is capable of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NolanP View Post
There will always be someone who says motor x is faster than motor y. When actually motor y and x are tunable via gearing and timing to be equal. I can tell you now with brushless there is so little variance between motors. Yeah your gonna get a freak motor or a slower motor but the 98 percent is going to be so close to equal. So why make an esc something that has control?
Sure, some motors are better than others, some definitely have an edge though, and a large part of the variation we currently see in blinky classes is due to different adjustability in timing.

Gearing can't make up all the difference from a lack of timing adjustment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NolanP View Post
The esc is 200 bucks. The motors are around 80. Keep the timing in the motor. Keep temps regulated. I'm willing to drop 80 a year for a hot new motor. 200 every 6 months to a year for an esc I'll pass.
My fully programmable, ROAR legal, 1S capable 120A ESC costs $104: http://www.rcmart.com/hobbywing-xeru...Path=1560_1021

But as I've already pointed out, this is a minor software tweak, you wouldn't have to buy a new ESC.

Even dedicated zero timing ESCs like the Novak GTB have settings: "Adjustable Parameters in all profiles: Minimum Brake, Drag Brake, Deadband, and Minimum Drive," adding one more would be dead easy for ESC manufacturers.

And this is not a setting that can be subject to development, there is no way to make it better with clever programming. It has exactly the same effect in exactly the same way as motor timing. So, you wouldn't have to buy a new ESC any more regularly than you do now, not to be competitive anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NolanP View Post
If you think I'm wrong what happened with boosted 13.5 and 17.5? It became blinky why? To keep it so you don't need a speed control to compete.
I'm sure it was to make it so you didn't have to have access to the latest software that only the team guys had.

Again, even if you didn't have an ESC capable of this you'd still be able to do it with the motor if you have a motor capable of a good range of timing adjustment (just like now).
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Active View Post
This would actually make it simpler because a newby would learn timing along with the other settings like brake on their ESC, they wouldn't have to learn about timing on the motor.

As it is, to run a blinky class you have to learn about motor timing before you purchase a motor or risk getting the "wrong" motor. I know a lot of new racers have purchased the Hobbywing fixed zero timing motor and been burnt financially by that decision.

The simplicity for newbies, whose first class is blinky, is one of my primary reasons for suggesting the idea.

As stated above no ESC that is legal now would be illegal if this change were introduced because the old ESCs wouldn't offer anything the newly updated ones don't.

As stated above the change offers no theoretical performance advantage over what is allowed now. In essence it is a minor update to the rules to make things simpler for people. So, no new classes would be needed, because the performance of the top motor/ESC combos would be the same as now.

I think if you take a close look at the idea you will see there are no negatives.
So you want to add an additional factor into motor/car tuning to make it easier for those new to the hobby and new to brushless motors?

As for buying the "wrong" motor, that doesn't present a valid point as I and others have successfully proven at club level that you can be competitive & win with a 0 timing motor if you gear it correctly.

Recently at the last Club Challenge held at SMA Matt Brabant in 21.5 blinky used a 0 timing Hobbywing motor in the 2 & 3rd legs of the A finals and his results were consistent with his previous times during the day.
With skill, car setup knowledge, track knowledge and correct gearing he placed 5th on the day ahead of many others using motors with timing that vary between 10-50 degree's.

Also if you add timing on the esc along with on the motor which many will do to get that speed advantage, you're setting up an environment to even more push motors to the limit and go up in a puff of smoke. As you well know there will always be some that pour large amounts of their pay packets into the hobby, will timing on the esc escalate this even more?

And I am taking a close look and seeing negatives which I am here trying to make you aware of them.

Cheers
Rob.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ta04evah View Post
So you want to add an additional factor into motor/car tuning to make it easier for those new to the hobby and new to brushless motors?

As for buying the "wrong" motor, that doesn't present a valid point as I and others have successfully proven at club level that you can be competitive & win with a 0 timing motor if you gear it correctly.

Recently at the last Club Challenge held at SMA Matt Brabant in 21.5 blinky used a 0 timing Hobbywing motor in the 2 & 3rd legs of the A finals and his results were consistent with his previous times during the day.
With skill, car setup knowledge, track knowledge and correct gearing he placed 5th on the day ahead of many others using motors with timing that vary between 10-50 degree's.

Also if you add timing on the esc along with on the motor which many will do to get that speed advantage, you're setting up an environment to even more push motors to the limit and go up in a puff of smoke. As you well know there will always be some that pour large amounts of their pay packets into the hobby, will timing on the esc escalate this even more?

And I am taking a close look and seeing negatives which I am here trying to make you aware of them.

Cheers
Rob.

Ok Rob, I'll try and address your concerns.

There is no difference between over gearing and over timing a motor, both will result in a dead motor.

The idea behind timing on the ESC is partly to reduce the strain on your pay packet, it will give older motors a new lease of life. It also means that timing boards on certain motors wouldn't be necessary.

I'm sure in the right circumstances you can do well with the HW 0 timed motor, but that's not been the experience of people I've talked to. And from racing offroad Stock I know that playing with my timing rather than just my gearing (as I did to begin with) has definitely helped my car go faster.

Also, gearing is only an option if you have a car you can fit the pinion and spur on that you need. There are still plenty of entry level kits out there that aren't capable of being geared appropriately in 21.5 blinky without timing. Not to mention that the spurs and pinions you need are hard to find if you are a beginner.
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Old 09-07-2012, 02:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ta04evah View Post
Also if you add timing on the esc along with on the motor which many will do to get that speed advantage, you're setting up an environment to even more push motors to the limit and go up in a puff of smoke. As you well know there will always be some that pour large amounts of their pay packets into the hobby, will timing on the esc escalate this even more?
This is exactly what I'm thinking.

Now I do see your point, in equalising a 0 timing motor to one that has timing adjustments. Locally we are doing something similar in F1, as one of the guys doesn't have a blinky esc, but its not a dynamic esc either. It has fixed timing settings, from ~10 to 28 degrees. I am running an adjustable motor with 0 to 20 degrees timing and a blinky only esc. The cars are very equal on performance.

But what if I was running an esc with the timing option, and a motor with the timing option, wouldn't I now have access to much more timing? Not necessarily going to be a huge advantage, but having access to more timing then the next guy has to be worth something? And a lot of the blinky only ESCs are not software update-able, which means if it was true you have more of a disadvantage and therefore need a new esc?

The only way I see it working is if there was a limit on additional timing as a combination. Lets say that's something like 20*, if your motor can only have 10* the esc could let you have another 10*. If you motor had 0 then the esc lets you have 20. If your motor has 20 or more, then you cant have any additional timing in the ESC. That would achieve the effect your looking for. But I have no idea if something like that is even possible? The esc would either need to detect how much timing the motor can have, or how much timing it is set to.
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Old 09-07-2012, 03:24 AM   #14
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is it even physically possible to control motor timing from the speed control
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:09 AM   #15
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There is only so much timing you can physically throw at any given motor , before it will start to cog - energising the next phase.
Besides, is zero can timing really equal to zero across each and every brand ? I dont think so......... A said manufacturer can make their "zero " marking equal to the.next brand's 20* mark, giving the illusion of better performance .
Everyone needs to worry about driving the damn cars and enjoying themselves. A surefire way to get laughed at , is to tell (non-r/c fanatic) people that you won a trophy driving r/c cars ....... Oh yeah, but they're just like the real thing - only smaller !! Hahahahaha !!

So, could we please just let sleeping dogs lie for a little while longer ? Constant change is getting ridiculous....
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