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Sidewinder Product Information 

Notice. The current Sidewinder has been discontinued. A new and better Sidewinder is in development but the current one is only available by special order. Please contact us if you have need service or a replacement or absolutely have to have this particular unit. Sorry for the inconvienience we are working to satisfy your Sidewinder needs as quickly as we can.

The Robot Power Sidewinder is a compact high-performance dual channel brushed motor speed control. Each of its output channels is capable of handling motors up to about 2kW (80A) at 24V. It is designed for sport combat (Battlebots®), research and hobby ground vehicles and robots.

I'd like to say thank you for your help in setting up the Sidewinder. I had the opportunity to test it last weekend in my 100 kg (220 lbs) heavyweight robot powering 2 motors on 36V (that are rated 800W @ 24V) and the Sidewinder performed perfectly. I've had several speed controllers before, (4QD NCC 70, OSMC 3.2, 4QD Pro 120) but none of them where so easy to install and calibrate. I'd like to encourage everyone that is looking for a cheap, small, and easy to use dual motor speed controller, to give the Sidewinder a try. It will be worth it. I'll probably buy another set or 2 in the foreseeable future...

Customer Leo M. from The Netherlands

Checked the Sidewinder out this evening. It's fully functional both sides forward and back... This [type of motor failure] is what toasted my RS80D. It was hot enough to smoke the windings in the motor (the flames and smoke) so I can't ask for better than that. Hats off!

Customer Bill B. from Seattle, WA USA

I thought you would like to know that my 100kg, 220lb, machine ran flawlessly (in fact far better than ever) this weekend with a single sidewinder replacing the original 4qd pro300's, and even survived a locked gearbox. People were stunned.

Customer James B. from the UK

The Sidewinder is designed to pack the highest power handling capability in the smallest package. Its tough extruded Aluminum case and lack of cooling fans make it suitable for many demanding industrial or outdoor applications.

The Robot Power Sidewinder front isometric view


  • Size: 108mm x 82mm x 28mm (4.25" x 3.23" x 1.1") without optional mounting brackets
  • Weight: 365 grams (13 oz.) as shown
  • Voltage: 14V to 48V Supply voltage (50V absolute max, down to 6V with external 12V supply)
  • Current: 80A continuous each channel (150A peak 5 seconds)
  • Current Limiting: Adjustable from 10A to 130A (sets the limit for both channels)
  • Over Temp Limiting: fixed at 200F or 93C each channel independently sensed
  • Four quadrant operation with regenerative braking
  • Thermal Control: MOSFETs mounted to 0.5" Aluminum bars bolted to case (see below). No fans required.
  • Indicator LEDs: Speed and direction of each motor channel and general signal status
  • Receiver battery eliminator circuit (BEC) standard � may be disabled. Provides up to 100 mA of current at 5V to the RC receiver and other attached electronic circuits
  • Command Format: R/C pulse standard, TTL serial optional
  • Calibrate button to match Sidewinder to radio or other R/C signal source
  • R/C Inputs: Left/Steer, Right/Throttle, Flip (inverts steering response when activated)
  • Drive Modes selected via jumpers:
    • Left/Right Mix (default - right input acts as steering and left as throttle)
    • Mixed Mirror Left (left mixed output command sent to both output channels)
    • Mixed Mirror Right
    • Left/Right independent (Tank)
    • Mirror (both outputs mirror a single input)
  • Failsafe shuts off motor if R/C signal is lost
  • Six high-current wires (2 battery, 2 each motor) may be soldered or attached via #8 bolt and ring terminals
  • Expansion header for planned on-board radio tranceiver and single axis gyro (future). May be used for other special add-ons
  • FLASH-based microcontroller with upgradeable software via in-circuit programming header. Software may be customized for unique applications. Contact us if you have special needs for your application.
Click here to order your Sidewinder in the Robot Power Web store or read on for more details on this exciting product.

Sidewinder showing front panel controls and LED indicators

The Sidewinder is constructed on a 4-layer circuit board with thick copper to handle high current. Extensive use of surface mount components insures reliability and long life in high-vibration situations. The power MOSFETs are secured to the large heatsink bars for both structural integrity and efficient heat dissipation. The large filter capacitors are secured with double-sided tape. They may be further secured by a silicone based glue such as "Shoe Goo®" (hot glue is not recommended.)

Sidewinder circuit board with heat sink bars

Solder pad locations are provided for a remote on/off switch which allows the Sidewinder to be switched on or off while the main battery wires are connected. This can either be a physical switch or electronic switch allowing for easy integration of the Sidewinder as an intelligent subsystem in a complex vehicle under the control of a master computer.

Additional solder pads allow direct connection to the 12V supply of the Sidewinder. This may be used when the battery voltage is lower than 14V by directly supplying 12V to the Sidewinder bypassing the internal regulator. Only a stable filtered 12V supply should be used here. Other uses of the 12V supply are for a power indicator light or to switch on a control solenoid. Current from this output is limited to 100mA.

Both of these solder pads are spaced to allow the installation of a standard 3.5mm screw terminal block at these locations.

Sidewinder circuit board showing remote on/off switch and auxiliary 12V supply locations.
Also shown are the locations for the operating mode setting jumpers and the calibrate button.

High current motor and battery connections are provided by large wire pads with holes sized to allow #8 (~4mm) bolts. Thus up to 8 AWG wires may be soldered to the pads or ring terminals may be used or a combination of both.

Mirror Mode is a special mode where both output channels are locked together. This allows the Sidewinder to control a single large motor with twice the capacity of each individual output. Two smaller motors that are slaved together may also be controlled by one of the mirror modes. Also, motors with four leads can make use of mirror mode to connect each brush lead to a solder pad on the Sidewinder. On-board mixing is supported in Mix Mirror mode by using a "Y" cabled to split the R/C input signals to two Sidewinders. Thus an external mixer will not be needed if running two Sidewinders in Mix Mirror Mode. Standard Mirror mode may be used with two Sidewinders with independent inputs and only requires a single input cable. These modes allow great flexibility in handling a variety of load sizes and configurations.

Sidewinder circuit board showing large power wirepads and a #8 bolt.

The Sidewinder enclosure is made of anodized Aluminum and features slots in the rear with rubber grommets to protect the power lead insulation from chafing. Shown here are 10 AWG (~5mm) wires for the two motors and 8 AWG (~6mm) for the battery leads.

Sidewinder rear showing power leads and grommets in the enclosure rear plate.

Optional mounting brackets may be ordered that slide into slots in the sides of the case . They may be permanently attached to the case via #4 sheet metal screws or they may be left loose to allow the Sidewinder to be removed from its mounting if needed. Solid mounting of the Sidewinder to the vehicle frame is not recommended for high shock or vibration applications. The recommended mounting method is to enclose the Sidewinder in foam rubber on all sides and secure that to the vehicle frame as needed. Since the Sidewinder does not normally need cooling air flow this works well to protect it from shock and vibration.

Sidewinder with optional mounting brackets installed.

Robot Power offers the Sidewinder fully assembled - ready to install and use. Check the Web store for details on prices and special offers.

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