Dyno Test: Team Orion Element 19T

High-torque spec power

Words: Steve Pond

Team Orion has jumped into the growing 19-turn spec modified market with its new Element motor. Based on the "TOP" can-and-endbell design that's used for Orion's stock and modified motors, the Element offers spec racers another option in this growing and competitive racing class. The motor can be used for any purpose, of course, and there are wilder machine-wound modifieds in the same price range, but the features of this particular one make it most attractive to spec modified racers.

Tagged armature and special shaft for ease of identification
Factory-installed endbell capacitors
Available with laydown or standard brushes
Polarized color-coded brush heat sinks
Timing fixed at 24 degrees

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ENDBELL. This is the same endbell that introduced factory-installed surface-mount capacitors. Two capacitors are mounted to the endbell, so you don't have to solder them into place (at least for applications that require two capacitors).

The Element's aluminum endbell heat sinks have been anodized green to match the motor's label. At each end of the brush hood there's a polarized, aluminum brush heat sink; one is anodized red, and the other is black to show which is the positive side and which is the negative side. Timing is fixed at 24 degrees. The endbell is locked into place by a tab that's indexed to the motor can. Last, but not least, the Element is available with standard brushes or laydown brushes and brush hoods; our test motor had laydown brushes.

MOTOR CAN. The motor can's design is the same as is used for Orion's other modified motors. It features diagonal cooling slots in the sides and four triangular vents in the bottom. This particular can, in keeping with the spirit of the rules that regulate stock racing, has "spec19" stamped into the bottom to prevent racers from can swapping and the other tricks some might try to build a "ringer" motor. Orion's G12 wet-pressed magnets are affixed to the

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The endbell tab that indexes to the motor can to fix timing at 24 degrees has been shortened (shown above, circled); it is shorter than the tab found on the early TOP motors. Unlike in the original TOP motor, the screws that fasten the endbell to the can do not have to be completely removed when you want to take off the endbell.

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The endbell's built-in capacitors save you the trouble of soldering them into place. The Element is available with standard or laydown brushes and brush hoods; it also has distinctive, unique green-anodized brush-hood heat sinks.

As with all motor dyno tests for RC Car Action, I tested the Element with a Robitronic Pro-Master dyno. I set the dyno at 7.5 volts to simulate a 6-cell battery pack, and I made sure that the motor was properly broken in, the brushes and commutator were clean and true, and the bearings were properly lubricated.

The Element puts out numbers that are very competitive in this class: 185.1 watts of power output at peak. Not only does it have good power output, but it also shows very strong torque numbers: it starts at a 251.4 Nmm (Newton millimeters) and still pumps out 137.7 Nmm at peak power output. It falls off only when at peak rpm. I expect lower peak rpm from a motor that demonstrates higher than average torque, but if you gear it as you would any other 19-turn motor, you might reduce your vehicle's straightaway speeds. I suggest that you gear up slightly to take advantage of the Element's higher initial torque.

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The Element's design is a hybrid of stock and modified. It has the solid stacks (laminations) of a modified motor and the armature tags and extended motor shaft of a rebuildable stock motor.
Wind: 19 turns of 19-gauge wire
Brushes: pro-stock serrated laydown
Springs: polarized; positive (red); negative (green)
Comm. diameter: 0.295 in. (7.5mm)

Peak rpm: 28,510
Peak power (watts): 185.1
Peak torque (Nmm): 251.4
Torque C peak power (Nmm): 137.7
Peak efficiency: 76.5%

ARMATURE. A full-rotor, modified armature is wrapped with 19 turns of 19-gauge wire; that's the emerging standard for spec-class 19-turn motors. The armature is also tagged to help tech inspectors identify it as the proper one for the motor. As a final means of identification, the top of the armature shaft extends considerably beyond the bearing and has a unique taper at the tip of its shaft.

BRUSHES. The version of the Element I tested had pro-stock serrated brushes. This type of brush balances performance and longevity; Orion prefers to install these instead of others that may run better but need to be replaced frequently. The brushes include thick copper shunts to better handle a heavy current, and the shunts have been soldered to the brush hoods for a more solid, efficient connection.

BRUSH SPRINGS. The Element's polarized springs are color-coded to identify the tension they'll provide. Springs of different tension are used on the positive and negative brushes; a slightly heavier spring is used on the positive brush.


The Element is a strong, very capable motor in the emerging 19-turn spec class. Its excellent power output leans a little more toward torque than toward screaming-high rpm. Its total power output is as strong as that of any other motor we've tested; it just delivers its power a little differently.

Team Orion Inc. (714) 694-2812; team-orion.com.
Robitronic; robitronic.com.






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