Last month we did a mini brushless motor guide and one of the standouts was the Quark (Sky & Technology) Hacker combos. My first experience with the system was actually at the 1/18-scale Mini Nats where they won the 1/18 4WD Brushless class and the talk at the track was how "brush-like" the brushless felt. That's a confusing term but for racers that's an important characteristic to have in a brushless controller. So we thought it was time to test the system alone and see what we thought of it. You can buy the Quark controller and use any motor with in the specs, but you can also get the combo, which includes the motor. And much like when you order a Quarter Pounder at McDonalds, it makes sense to get the fries and the drink.

Words: Derek Buono

• Input Voltage: Ni-CD 5-15 cell Lithium 2-5 cell
• Continuous: 22amps (@Full throttle, 25 deg C)
• Surge: 35amps (@10 Seconds)
• Switching Rate: 38KHz
• Resistance: 0065ohms
• Braking: Realistic ABS (Proportional)
• Drag Brake: Adjustable
• Voltage Cut-Off: Automatic/Adjustable
• Temp Cut-Off: 110 - 120 deg C
• Reversible: Yes/Adjustable
• Timing Adjustment: Automatic
• Race/Safe Mode: Fail-Safe On/Off
• Programming: Single Button/ 4 LED
• BED: 5V/1.5A
• Size: 33.5 x 25 x 6 mm
• Weight: 22 grams (w/o wires)
• Price: $67.95
• With Hacker Motor: $99.95.

I installed the system into my stock Associated RC18B. I had just finished racing the Nats with it and in box stock form, so I was pretty comfortable with the performance and how the stock brushed system performed. The installation required me to move some electronics around. The controller is larger than the micro-spec ESC it replaced and didn't really fit in the stock spot. It required me to move the receiver in front of the motor and mount the controller on the top deck. One of my biggest complaints is that the wires (all of them) come out of the controller flat. This makes it very difficult to mount in a car. The wires should exit the controller out of the top or have solder tabs so the extra room (that is already at a premium) is reduced. I'm hoping that this will be a running change made to the design, because it really is a bad idea. The motor bolts right in and has bolt patterns to fit most micro motor plates.
Once installed I was slightly scared by the instructions, where it looks like I'd have to go through some overly complicated setup procedure, something that newbies might have trouble with. But after talking with Frank over at Quark he told me that his setup is how it defaults with the exception of switching to the LIPO setting that has voltage cut-off. With my mind at rest, I did the setup, which is similar to most ESCs out there and was ready to rip.
I went outside after a quick blip of the throttle down the carpeted hallway. I felt the power this system was throwing down and new it would be too much for our office. Outside I had a chance to feel the smoothness of the speed control. I could barely sense any cogging or hesitation that sensor-less systems are known to have. I could putt around at close to zero, stop and the controller never lost its feel, never hesitated. Rolling on the throttle resulted in one of the most linear systems I've felt to date. Top speed was great and most people will be happy using nothing more than the stock gearing and a good set of batteries. Temperature never felt like it was a problem, although in some of the larger "minis" you may want to keep that in check.
One huge warning is that to make sure you do NOT leave the battery plugged in to the controller. I found out that if you do that it will drain the battery. This isn't that big of a deal with NiCad or NiMH, but with LIPO you will ruin the battery in a blink!

My overall experience with the Quark/Hacker combo is great. It provided some exceptional speed over the stock, felt very smooth and linear in the process. The controller will let you get freaky with a lot of settings if you feel the need, but even the braking felt strong and smooth in the stock setup. We tested the 22A system and for those looking to run hotter motors and push more limits, the 33A system is the obvious choice.


Celebrity Equivalent; Rating 9.0
• Zero cogging felt
• Near brush-like acceleration feel
• Easy set up and lots of tuning options
• Leaving battery plugged in when not in use drains the battery! LIPO users beware!
• May not fit all trucks
• Wires don't exit out of the speed control in the right direction. Takes up too much space!
MANUFACTURER: Quark Brushless
PART NUMBER(S): QRK022APC (22A controller only), QRK0022ACM (combo)
STREET PRICE: $68 (22A controller only), $99 (combo)


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