In today's high-performance segment of RC racing, there are many competition-level ESCs to choose from, and any one of them usually features programmability, low resistance, and a small footprint. The Robitronic iCUBE fits this description, but it adds something very interesting and unique to the competition.


Words: James Revilla

Issue 136 - March 2007

• External one-button setup and programming
• 4 profiles +1 PC profile
• Adjustable current limiter, drag brake/auto-roll, max. brake, and brake frequency
• Fully replaceable wires (inc. radio leads)
• Auto-off with transmitter
• 14-minute data logger

Upon removing the iCUBE from the packaging, you'll notice its small size (27x25x13.5mm), comparable to others in its class. The wired external on/off switch also houses the socket for their optional PC interface, which is required if you want to tap into the unique data logging feature. All wires are replaceable, including the radio wires, so you can shorten or lengthen it if needed for your own custom application.

I ran the iCUBE in my XRay T2 ‘007, simulating laps around our parking lot behind the XRC offices. I made sure to run the same line in order to check out the PC-Interface later. As for the iCUBE's performance, it pretty much did as advertised. Response was good, and brake feel was consistent. Changing settings was easy, due to the external switch, which required no extra tools--just your finger. After a run, the heatsink was warm, but not burning hot. Having the ability to turn the car off with just the radio was a novelty (just hold full brake for about seven seconds, and the ESC will shut down automatically).
Back in the office I borrowed Oliver's PC laptop, loaded up the PC-Interface software and had it up and running within seconds. I plugged one end of the interface cable into the port on the iCUBE's external switch, and the other end into a free USB port on the laptop. Firing up "Trace" (the name for the data logging software), I imported about 15 laps of data in about 12 seconds, and the next thing I knew, I was staring at a graphical representation of the entire run. I could easily see throttle position, motor current, battery voltage, and other statistics. Also, Trace automatically analyzed my data to plot out each individual lap. Although not as accurate as an actual lap counting system, it was useful information nevertheless. There isn't any stand-alone ESC currently in the market that can do what the iCUBE can do. With this info (and some calculating, which I had to learn on my own since the Trace program didn't come with any instructions), anyone using the iCUBE's data logging feature can get a better gauge of overall improvement, driving consistency, and performance of motor and batteries.

When looking at the ESC side of things, the iCUBE doesn't disappoint. It's a solid, high-performance speed controller that not only stays toe-to-toe with its competition, but also takes a step beyond, due to its data logging features. It's too bad that the PC-Interface is a little pricey for what amounts to a 5' USB cable and an interface adapter (the software is basically free, since you can download it from the Robitronic website). The data logging is a definite plus on the scale, and although there was no guide to utilize all of the data to its full potential, any RC racer can still get some good use out of the program. All in all, Robitronic's iCUBE ESC is one for all racers to consider.

Celebrity Equivalent; Rating 8.0
• Performs like a pro ESC should
• Very compact package
• Automatic data loggin is useful
• No reverse-polarity protection
• $75 for a cable?
• No guide to using Trace software







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