Review: XRotor 20A ESC – F396 MCU

HobbyWing XRotor 20A ESC has been on the market for multirotor ESCs for a while. However its Silabs F396 MCU is now getting a trend among other ESC brands. It allows the ESC to run high KV motors without problems. This is why I decided to make a review of the XRotor 20A. Let’s start with some details:

  • Weight: 15.5g (13.6g without heatsink)
  • Size: 30 x 21 x 15.4mm
  • Silabs F396 MCU running at 50MHz
  • No BEC
  • 3-4S LiPo rated*

The XRotor 20A ESC is not as small as current ESCs, like the new LittleBee 20A Pro, and its weight is 9g more. However it has an additional 25V 470uF capacitor, which prevents current fluctuations from the battery and voltage spikes.

The core of the F396 runs at 50MHz and allows you to use motors with more than 2500kv even with a 6S battery without having sync problems. The F396 Silabs MCU allows you to flash the BLHeli firmware on the XRotor 20A. You will get better performance and the ability to configure the ESC settings. Check how to flash the BLHeli firmware.

On the picture you can see the same MP1907 gate drivers as those on the LittleBee 20A ESC.

F396

The MOSFETs are TPCA 8087 from Toshiba. They are rated for up to 30V and maximum current of 168A. Note that with rising the temperature the maximum safe current will decrease.

TPCA 8087 MOSFET

The XRotor 20A comes with soldered 3.5mm gold connectors. You can save some more grams if you remove these and solder the motor cables directly to the ESC pads. There is a lot of space, so soldering should be pretty easy.

Thrust tests

I have used three different kV motors for my thrust tests: T-Motor MN2006 2000kv, Cobra CM2204 2300kv and the T-Motor F40 2500kv.


T-Motor F40 2500kv – 4S 16.000mAh 10C – HQ5045

ESC (µs)

Thrust (gf)

Voltage (V)

Current (A)

Power (W)

Efficiency (gf/W)

1300

155

16,76

2,14

35,71

4,34

1500

365

16,68

6,53

108,40

3,37

1700

639

16,55

14,52

239,77

2,66

2000

945

16,29

27,62

448,97

2,10

On the same configuration I got 26g. less than the LittleBee 20A and 64g. less than the LittleBee 20A Pro. It could be because of the different firmware, so maybe I need to flash the same BLHeli firmware to the XRotor 20A and test again.

T-Motor F40 2500kv – 3S 3.300mAh 40C – KingKong 6040

ESC (µs)

Thrust (gf)

Voltage (V)

Current (A)

Power (W)

Efficiency (gf/W)

1500

280

12,26

5,35

65,37

4,28

1700

501

11,94

12,48

148,60

3,37

2000

867

11,36

25,43

288,58

3,00

Compared to the results with a XRotor 15A ESC, the big brother XRotor 20A performed slightly better – 15g. more.


Next motor will be the very popular Cobra CM2204 2300kv (4S and 5045HQ). I have tested this motor in the past and got 837g. thrust with the XRotor 15A and 851g. with the KISS24A ESC. So let’s see the results with the XRotor 20A:

ESC (µs)

Thrust (gf)

Voltage (V)

Current (A)

Power (W)

Efficiency (gf/W)

1300

58

16,77

1,67

27,92

2,08

1500

276

16,73

4,46

74,49

3,71

1700

503

16,64

10,18

169,23

2,97

2000

850

16,47

20,19

332,45

2,56

So pretty same result with the KISS24A and 13g. more than the XRotor 15A.


T-Motor MN2206 2000kv – 4S 16.000mAh 10C – KingKong 6040

ESC (µs)

Thrust (gf)

Voltage (V)

Current (A)

Power (W)

Efficiency (gf/W)

1500

334

16,73

4,66

77,83

4,29

1700

572

16,65

9,62

159,75

3,58

2000

1082

16,44

22,52

370,24

2,92

I cant make a real comparison here, because I have only have data for this motor with a XRotor 15A and 6045 propeller. Despite the less propeller pitch, the XRotor 20A produced 27g. more.

Last but not least the XRotor 20A is capable of running on 6S LiPo battery. It was not a surprise for me, because all of the components are rated for up to 30V. Here are the results with a HQ5045 propeller on the same MN2206 2000kv motor:

ESC (µs)

Thrust (gf)

Voltage (V)

Current (A)

Power (W)

Efficiency (gf/W)

1500

453

24,73

6,10

150,34

3,01

1700

699

24,20

12,63

306,74

2,28

1900

1069

23,32

23,15

539,36

1,98

Summary: The small LittleBee 20A Pro definitely outperformed the XRotor 20A regarding thrust. The KISS 24A is slightly smaller, but performed almost the same as the XRotor 20A ESC. What I like about the XRotor ESC:

  • Perfect manufacturing quality
  • Fast 50Mhz F396 MCU
  • 6S LiPo capable
  • Better performance than XRotor 15A
  • Possibility to flash BLHeli firmware
  • Reasonable price

If you like the HobbyWing XRotor 20A, you can get it here. I suggest then flashing the BLHeli firmware, so you can get better performance with OneShot125 and Damped Light.

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2 Comments

  1. david

    Do you know the weight if you unsolder those bullet connections?

    • Sergey

      Hey David, the weight without the bullet connectors is 13-13.1g (with heat sink). If you remove it too then it will be about 11.1-11.2g. Cheers, Sergey