Review: HGLRC Forward 65A 4in1 ESC

Here is an overview of the Forward 65A 4in1 ESC HGLRC just sent me. I will go through the specs and features of this ESC, and look at it closely before putting it in a new build (happening in a week or two).

Learn more about ESC in this tutorial.

Where to Buy Forward 65A 4in1 ESC?

It comes with the following accessories, pretty standard stuff:

  • Forward 65A 4in1 ESC
  • 10cm 12AWG slicone wires
  • XT60 battery connector
  • 5cm ribbon cable
  • 1000uF 35V of unknown brand
  • Rubber grommets, nylon standoffs and nuts (M3)
  • Stickers

I’d love to see it comes with a better capacitor with 50V rating for 6S build. 35V might work just fine, 50V is safer because of voltage spikes.

The nylon standoffs are basically useless because the thread is too short for the rubber grommets. I recommend long steel bolts for your stack. (e.g. 15cm – 20cm long, going through your frame, 4in1 ESC as well as the FC)

Forward 65A ESC Specs

  • Input Voltage: 3S – 6S
  • Current: 65A Continuous, 75A Burst
  • BLHeli_32 Firmware
  • Built-in Current Sensor
  • Supports ESC Telemetry
  • ESC Protocol: Oneshot, Multishot, DShot1200
  • Dimension: 46x45x6mm
  • Weight: 23.3g 24.1g (a tiny bit heavier than advertised)
  • No 5V BEC

Build quality looks fine for the most part. Solder pads are wide with adequate separation, should be very easy to solder.

With this particular ESC design, you are meant to mount it with the power lead coming out of the rear. I like the fact that the power solder pads are not extruded – so many other 4in1 ESC’s have extruded power pads, they can make it hard to fit inside a compact frame sometimes.

Closer Look at the HGLRC Forward 65A 4in1 ESC

The HGLRC Forward 65A 4in1 ESC uses the STM32 L431 processor – a faster processor than the F0 typically used on BLHeli_32 ESC. The L431 is on par with the F3 and F4. Not that you are going to notice a major difference in performance, but it might benefit from future firmware development.

This ESC has a dual PCB design – one PCB contains the control circuit (MCU and gate drivers) while the other contains the power circuit (MOSFET). In order to deliver the current it’s designed to handle, the copper is so thick it takes up almost all the space in one PCB, I think that’s why they have to build the control circuit on a different PCB.

You can find a huge copper bar right in the centre of the ESC. This is the bus bar, which is becoming a common feature in high power ESC’s nowadays. It is used to reduce resistance in the ESC and improve efficiency.

However, be careful with it, because It’s connected to the power positive. Make sure no wires or anything conductive can touch it when the ESC is powered on. I’d probably cover it a small piece of electrical tape just in case.

On the same side, surrounding the bus bar, is the heatsink. I didn’t notice it until I removed the sticker – a big piece of metal covering all the MOSFET.

This heatsink is designed to cool down the MOSFET’s, protects them from physical damage as well as shielding electro-magnetic interference from reaching the flight controller. The only downside is it makes troubleshooting the ESC harder because you can’t access the MOSFET’s.

It’s soldered to the ground, shorting the heatshink and bus bar and you will get a fire. So it’s best to keep the sticker on as a form of insulation.

The exposed back side, where the control circuits are, is completely protected by a layer of water-proof coating. It also prevents electrical shorts in case of any wet leaves gets inside your FC stack.

It comes with rubber grommets (M3), not for soft-mounting, but for dampening shocks from crashes to avoid damaging the components onboard. This is going to be especially useful if you prefer mounting your FC stack with long steel bolts, these rubber grommets also act as electrical insulation.

Finally, apart from the plastic header connector, the connections are also broken out to these solder pads on the edge of the ESC, if you prefer soldering wires to the FC directly.

65A is seriously an overkill for nearly everything I fly with, either 4S or 6S. But I guess that’s reassuring to know that I won’t burn my ESC simply because of a excessively long punch out :)

My plan is to build a new 6S quad next week with this ESC. I also have a new FC coming for this build, which I will share info on in the next post :)

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