Review: Cicada 30A BLHeli_S
The Cicada 30A was one of the first ESCs, that supports the new BLHeli_S firmware. I got few samples for testing and reviewing, so big thanks to Sunrise Model for the support! Let´s start with some details about the Cicada 30A ESC, before we go to the thrust results.
Silabs EFM8BB10 MCU
Size: 28.5 x 14 x 4.75mm
2-4S LiPo rated
The 8bit Busy Bee MCU runs at 25Mhz, just like the “old” Silabs F330 MCU on standard BLHeli ESCs. Size and weight of the Cicada are definitely an advantage. The ZTW Flash 30A as well as the Maytech 30A are a bit bigger.
The manufacturing quality is very good. Everything looks clean and all components are on place. The PCB is 1.2mm thick.
On the bottom side you can see the SiS476DN FETs from Vishay. These are rated for up to 30V and maximum current of 80A. I haven´t tested the ESC on 6S as I am not sure if the voltage regulator can handle the 25V. Will check it again later and update this article.
The motor and power wires are 18AWG, which is pretty standard for a 30A ESC. The signal wire is not too long, so I don’t need to cut it off to fit on my quad.
There are five ceramic capacitors and no big electrolytic capacitor on the power side of the Cicada 30A. This is a current trend in the ESC manufacturing and design, but it could lead to voltage spikes.
My standard testing equipment includes the RCbenchmark thrust test, 16.000mAh 4S LiPo battery and a HQ5045 propeller. I tested the ESC with the following popular motors:
Scorpion MII 2204 2300kv
T-Motor F40 2300kv
DYS SE2205 2300kv
On the graphic bellow you can find the maximum thrust achieved with the Cicada:
The results surprised me a bit :). I have never expected to get more thrust than with a regular BLHeli ESC (for reference check my latest 2300kv motor comparison). I haven’t experienced any sync problems or cut offs. Response is also great, however I think the motors were not so smooth as with the ZTW Flash 30A BLHeli_S ESC. It could be because of the 25Mhz MCU (ZTW Flash has the 48Mhz one), but I am not 100% sure. The complete data can be downloaded here (only for private use).
Overall a great new BLHeli_S ESC in a small package. You can find the Cicada 30A on 65drones, readytoflyquads and RC-Terminal for Europeans. Will check again with Sunrise Model for other official dealers and update the info.