June 9, 2014

Acuvance Chevalier Capacitor Series – The Power Cap Slap!

Along with their buttery smooth ESCs and motors, Acuvance offers us a series of high quality capacitors called Chevaliers (which means knights in French), but what do they exactly do?

In this article I will be explaining what are their purpose and benefits.

So first of, what are capacitors?

Power Capacitors are used to store power within an electrostatic field for a device to use on demand. The capacitors supply the large amount of current needed so that the battery doesn’t sag during that time, potentially creating noise and possibly malfunction of the ESC (stall). Think of it as taking your bicycle on the highest gear; it would be really hard to push on take-off. Well the capacitor is pretty much like an extra pair of legs helping you on take off, or during a struggling moment.

Another use for the Capacitors is the reduction of noise in your signal. When the ESC draws high current, the signal is disrupted creating noise which can make your ESC act a bit wacky and inconsistent. Capacitors, because they store power but also continuously release it, help even out the signal giving you a smooth power output.

In RC, both of these features are used.

The Line-up:

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The Acuvance lineup consist of 4 units: The Chevalier DASH, Chevalier TURBO, Chevalier BOOST, and Chevalier MASTER.

Chevalier DASH:

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On Paper: Designed to be the entry level capacitor, its purpose is to give you a slight power increase in the overal behavior of the ESC.

Personal Impression: I definitely felt a small increase from the stock surge killer that came with the ESC. Each acceleration had a slightly quicker pick up fading into the regular acceleration behavior I felt out of the box. I also noticed the consistency of the ESC improve slightly just by listening to the motor noise. It was a pleasant feeling and I can definitely see myself using this capacitor for small courses.

Chevalier TURBO:

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On Paper: The Chevalier TURBO is somewhat the opposite of the DASH, giving you power increase when the ESC draws the most current (in the top end).

Personal Impression: It took me a while to realize what the difference was between the DASH and TURBO. The low end felt very similar which tells me that the TURBO must reduce noise as well as increase power slightly. I felt the difference once using high traction tires. The car felt like it had a nicer pull getting into higher ranges.

Chevalier BOOST:

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On Paper: The BOOST is suppose to be an overall current improvement with a higher current draw capability.

Personal Impression: Now we are talking! Right at the first punch of the throttle you can feel a major power kick in the complete span of the throttle. At this point it was very difficult for me to tell if the smoothness changed at all, but considering the power increase on punch, I believe it is proportional to the very same power increase, therefore making it consistent. .

Chevalier MASTER:

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On Paper: The MASTER is suppose to be just as powerful as the BOOST but with cleaner signal modulation, meaning smoother power.

Personal Impression: Just like the paper says, it has the same current kick as the BOOST but as I recently switched to RWD, I clearly noticed a difference in how I now had to use the throttle. With the BOOST, I still had a bit of trouble pulling the right amount of trigger; but with the MASTER, it was a lot easier to find the sweet spot to keep a nice line going. It is by far my favorite out of the 4.

Size Wise, how do they compare?

Good questions. As you would think, the bigger the improvement, the bigger the hardware. Well that’s not exactly the case in all instances but there is definitely some physical differences when it comes to packages. Here are a few shots of their sizes for you to plan on how much real estate you will need to save for them.

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Conclusion:

I never really believed capacitors were such a big deal being used to less advanced products from other manufacturers, but now I can see how these power capacitor could become essential on certain venues or chassis setup, especially when it comes to RWD setups. I was pleasantly surprised with the improvement of the power modulation and how smooth operation turned out to be once I switched to the MASTER.  I do not see myself going back to the ESC on its own after getting a taste of this last one.

If I can just give basic pointers for you to pick the most adequate one for you, here is what I suggest:

For drivers running on tight tracks or enjoying slow speed drifting, definitely check out the Chevalier DASH.

For drivers enjoying higher speed punch, like fast sweeper transitions and such, The Chevalier TURBO is the one for you.

If you would like an overall extra kick in the broad spectrum of your power use, go with the Chevalier BOOST.

And finally, if you are planning a RWD setup, the best option will definitely be the Chevalier MASTER.

As far as pricing, these capacitors are on the pricey side, but their benefits are well worth it. Entry price of the DASH and TURBO are around $35 while the higher end BOOST and MASTER are around $60.

Final Grade: A

Thanks for reading my review. Feel free to message me with questions about my experience with this product.

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