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HK200 from HobbyKing

The HK200 (HK-SS200ALV ) is notable for its low cost, $29 from Hobby King international and $32, about £20, from the UK site. This is for an ESC rated at 190/200A by the manufacturer but easily capable of up to 300A for a (very) short time. The circuit design is good and robust. A disadvantage is its size, mainly a bit wider than the YGE FAI. It comes with a heat sink which makes it even bigger. The heatsink is easily removed when it fits vertically into the nose of an Avionik at one side. I have seen one fitted to a S16 with the heatsink on.

Another disadvantage is its high resistance for an ESC nowadays. It uses 54 big TO252 FETS at 6 milliohms, though some have been seen with 4 milliohm FETS. This is roughly comparable to the yesteryear Kontronik JAZZ FAI 18 which had 54 SO8 FETs at 5 milliohm. It can only be used up to 6S for 4 or 5 kilowatts F5B, otherwise it will overheat, especially without heatsink. This is not enough for today’s ramped power at top competition level. But for aspiring beginners it is very suitable. The ESC is a delicate piece of electronics sandwiched between a motor and a battery and often damaged in crashes or with finger trouble. Use of a cheap one at first can avoid discouragement.

The software that comes with the HK200 is barely adequate for F5B. The brake is not strong enough and the start up on more than 4S is too hard. But it is good enough to get a plane flying. Better software has been written which can be flashed into the ESC. This is now quite a common technique as it is usually required for multicopters. The F5B software also provides built in ramping which enables a simpler transmitter to be used and eases set-up. More information is provided on this rcgroups blog. Best start reading at the end and work backwards.

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