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Emax Bullet ESC Review

Thanks to GearBest for sending us these ESCs for review, you can purchase them here.

After witnessing the success of other BLHeli S ESC such as the DYS XS30 Amps and cicada ESCs. Emax set out to replicate their trade mark formula of the last year: make the best, the fastest and the cheapest of a component and drive competition. Well it looks like they’ve done this again with the Emax Bullets. One really unique feature of the bullets is the mass of different sizes available. They go all the way from small 6A options for brushless micros so massive 35A options for GT quads and extreme racers.

Main Features:

  • With the latest firmware BLHeli – S ( 16.5 ), the hardware generates a signal to boost smoother and quieter throttle response
  • Supports new digital signal DShot150, DShot300, DShot600 as well as analog signals including Multishot, Oneshot42, Oneshot125
  • With high-quality MOSFET and Japanese ceramic capacitors, the 3oz high TG PCB board significantly improves heat dissipation and system efficiency
  • New aluminium heat sink protects propeller from blocking in case of crash
  • Thermal stable silicone signal cable, flexible and easy to install

 

Initial Impressions

The Emax Bullets were much like any ESC we have used before. They were packed in the classic anti-static bag. In the bag was the ESC, 2 spare black wires (most likely for spare power leads) as well as a spare heat shrink to cover the ESC.  The quality of the SMD soldering looked good. A large heatsink was included on the top of the ESCs, its almost certainly larger than anyone would need. But it does help protect with prop strikes. If you are serious about racing with these ESCs then you could probably remove the heatsinks so save a few grams.

Design

There isn’t much that one can do when it comes to designing an ESC, as you pretty much have to stick to 1 standard design. That isn’t to say that the Bullet 35A didn’t impress us. Emax have said they are using high quality Japanese MOSFETs and capacitors. This should improve performance slightly, although it is likely to be unnoticeable. The real difference will come in heat dissipation, which will be better with higher quality MOSFETs. They should also be able to stand more mechanical stress from the high frequency vibrations that are prevalent when flying quads,  although again this is more down to the quality of the soldering on the ESC than the brand of the MOSFET. Its worth noting that the specific ESC we are reviewing, the Bullet 35A, D-Shot does not work out of the box. However there are D-Shot capable Bullet ESC available, which should be of the same high quality as the version we are reviewing.

BLHeli_S

The Bullets are designed to operate on BLHeli_S firmware, and thus it uses a Busybee2 (EFM8BB21F16). This MCU is faster than we have previously seen in standard BLHeli_S ESCs . What is the advantage of this faster processor you might say? Well it enables the ESC to use hardware PWM, whilst we are not computer programmers, from what we understand it is far better than the software PWM that most previous ESCs are using. This also means that the ‘refresh rate’ between the gate drivers and MCU is double what it was before. The ‘Busybee2’ MCU is a step above the ‘Busybee1’ we have seen in other BLHeli_S ESCs, therefore it has 2048 steps of throttle resolution. Although no one is quite sure whether the ESC/FC can actually use this greater resolution.

Flying

We recently got a chance to try out these new ESCs on RDQ to really test their metal, and we must say we were more than pleased with them. The response time was great and you could really feel the difference between the standard BLHeli and BLHeli-S with Beta Flight which the Emax were running. Subjectively one really felt a punch from these ESCs with the high throttle response, and objectively these do consistently come out on top of ESC shoot outs.

Conclusion

All in all when considering the design, the specs and the build quality of these ESCs they are certainly a good buy. They are priced at a slightly higher level than some cheaper alternatives on the market. However, over the last year Emax have proven themselves to be a series player with their RS motor series re-calibrating the standard within the industry. After the failure of the Emax Lightning launch it is nice to see an offering from Emax which offers a series alternative to the likes of DYS, ZTW and Cicada.

Update 28/4/17: After running these ESCs on our quad for around 4 weeks. 2 of them have outright failed.

Thanks to GearBest for sending us these ESCs for review, you can purchase them here.

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