After Receiving the FR-10 ESC from Fantom a number of weeks back, I thought it about time to install the product and give it a whirl.
During this review I will make some comparisons between a couple of well know brands
The ESC is delivered in a very well presented box, bright red with lots of information about what is inside. The ESC is also well protected inside the packaging, with a dense foam packaging protecting the ESC for bumps and knocks during transportation.
The progam box is no different , well presented packaging, and the same dense foam to protect the program box.
What you get!
In the ESC Box, you get, well the ESC for starters, well presented in typical Fantom Red anodize on all the alloy parts. 11 awg wiring is pre installed, and all wire is pre tinned.
The fan that comes with the ESC is pre installed, and so is the the capacitors, unusually Fantom have gone with a three cap capacitor, where as most modern brands offer a 2 cap, and the three as an option.
You also get a brief guide to binding the esc to your hand controller.
In the Program Box. Box you get a programming box, an cable to attached to the esc, and one for going to the pc for firmware updates etc and a small instruction card also, explaining how to use the program box.
The ESC itself is compact and is comparable weight wise to other brands.
Speaking of other brands, the first comments I have received about this is it looks to be very "Hobbywing" comparing the two brands, while they look similar, which will happen when you are all striving to make something as small as possible, obviously design cue spill over from one brand to another, without actually being a copy.
Even if they are made on the same production line in China,( I dont know if they are, this is just a reference to builds) there are differences between the Fantom and the Hobbywing. Most obvious, is the Fantom does not have an external switch. the on board plug configuration is laid out differently. The biggest difference I can see between the two brands, the Fantoms set up process is simple and fast to do, a single go and I had it locked and loaded, where as the Hobbywing has always taken two or three goes to get right.
The Fantom FR-10 Pro is preset in Modified run mode with no boost or timing added, so the ESC is Blinking.
Plugging in the Program card (they call it a box, and for a good reason its the size of a shoe box) is simple enough and easy to do, parameters show up, this is where the fun starts.
The Layout of the program box is pretty standard, but I have to say the functionality is a little bit of a let down, when you compare it to an Orion, Maclan or Hobbywing ESC, for the dollars spent on it, I feel it could have been a little better.
You cannot scroll backwards only forwards on the parameters, which while not terrible, it is a bit of a pain if you miss the parameter. The other item which is important, is there is no instructions on how to set up your esc, there is a reference to a download online, and at the moment, there is nothing available, apart from what one of the team drivers has done and posted on Facebook.
I have it all wired and set up for 13.5 Blinky, on the bench it feel smooth and plenty of grunt. First run in anger will be on the 9th of December. I will update you to how I get on.
So how I would rate this esc to start is a 7/10 would be a 9 if it came with full instructions and a nicer program box.
Next time,, track time, results soon.