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PDSGB (Propulsion Dynamics Steel Gearbox and HL "Dual Current" Gearbox Discussion

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  • PDSGB (Propulsion Dynamics Steel Gearbox and HL "Dual Current" Gearbox Discussion

    Since we were hijacking the T34 thread I moved this discussion to this thread.

    Originally posted by Zippersnapper View Post

    Speaking of gearboxes-Whats up with those new gearboxes that are selling on eBay? Jesus they want as much for the gearbox as the Tank. What's so special about them?


    https://www.ebay.com/itm/23469587290...Bk9SR6Khmor-YA
    That is called the "Dual Current" gearbox in the 6.x and 7.x manual. They have been around for a few years now starting with DKLM offering them as the PDSGB (Propulsion Dynamics Gear Box), but the PDSGB version went unavailable for a time. Then HL started making them. HL started making several different variants at different price points. They make a plastic case with plastic gears version, a plastic case with metal gears, and a metal case with metal gears. Of course the price goes higher with the addition of more metal in the HL pricing schema.

    The one you posted is the top of the tree with metal case and metal gears hence the high price. I've seen the plastic case with metal gears for about $200 shipped and the plastic case with plastic gears are around $110 shipped. The gear box works by using the large 550 motor as the drive motor and the smaller motor controls changing direction. They are pretty quiet from what I've seen and pretty powerful. I have one going into my static to RC Trumpeter/HL T-72B1 build. I started that conversion way before HL made their version of the B1 with reactive armor.


    Originally posted by oldwolf View Post

    Functionally though, how do they actually work? Do any of the manufacturers provide an exploded or cut-away diagram explaining them? I can make a few guesses from what is stated here but I would like to have more specific details. They seem a bit pricey to consider buying on the basis of my guesses. Are all MFUs compatible with them?
    IBU 2/3, newer Clarks (TK40, 50, 60, and 80), HL 6.x, HL 7.x, Open Panzer TCB, DK Tank from DKLM RC, Beier SFR 1D, ASP2, and ELmod will run these gearboxes. All the boards need to have a setting changed to accommodate them. In the HL board each motor has to be connected to a specific motor connection to work right, but that is shown in the HL manual for the 6/7 MFUs.


    ​I can open mine up and show a pic of the internals when I get home.​


    Description from DKLM RC's website:

    Dimension : Approx W=95, L=110, H=45 (mm), not count the shaft length.

    Features:

    1. Straight running - as moving forward and backward are driving from 1 motor, both sides of the output shaft are rotated synchronously, there will be no speed difference and it will keep the tank running straight, and will not cause by the resistance of different gearbox, and track then made the tank cannot run straight in traditional dual mixing gearbox system.

    2. Good steering linearity, it will turn very smooth when driving at either low or high speed with this system.

    3. Super torque - Even in complex rugged terrain still able to maintain good steering performance.

    Available for some WWII and Modern tanks. Click the list to check the model available.

    # Gearbox Plate directly fit for HL tank hull, shaft dimension, speed, and torque designed to refer to the tank model.

    # Fit Taigen/asiatam/Torro tanks chassis too. but some sprockets need to use HL, please check with us before placing an order. :)

    # Tested Supported Tank board:

    * IBU2&3
    * ASP2
    * DK Tank
    * HL TK6.0 or up
    * Clark​

  • #2
    Good idea moving this, thanks.

    Comment


    • #3
      Forgot to mention, they make a fast version for modern tanks or fast tanks and a slow version for slow tanks.

      You had asked how it works. In a nutshell the big 550 motor in the back provides the forward and reverse motion in a straight line. The secondary motor engages via internal gearbox gearing to make the direction changes for the tank. The turning motor engages when the transmitter stick is moved left to right. The 550 drive motor engages when the transmitter stick is moved up and down. The control is proportional depending on how much stick input is given.

      Good video from Sollie on how it is installed:



      Another video showing a tank equipped with one running:

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the explanation and especially for posting the demonstration videos. Operation looks very good. I am tempted to try one out some time. Maybe on my challenger 2, except I currently mount the smoker between the current gearboxes (where it fits perfectly). A space that wont exist if I go to that dual current gearbox. Hmmmm….

        Comment


        • #5
          I moved the smoker to the front of the hull and ran a silicone hose back to a T fitting that I connected to the exhausts. I use one of the exhaust holes on the smoke unit to fill it up through the t34s drivers hatch. Would give you the space for the gearbox then

          Comment


          • #6
            The more I look at the dual current system, the more I'm intrigued... are there any downsides to this type of gearbox? From what I can tell, these are quieter, and have more torque with the big drive motor. I'm running big batteries anyway so I'm not concerned about runtime.

            I haven't changed the motors in my Abrams yet but this might be the direction I go with it. I was considering the red motors, I would like the ability for speed when needed but 90% of the time I'm running slow anyway.

            Clay

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ccarley View Post
              The more I look at the dual current system, the more I'm intrigued... are there any downsides to this type of gearbox? From what I can tell, these are quieter, and have more torque with the big drive motor. I'm running big batteries anyway so I'm not concerned about runtime.

              I haven't changed the motors in my Abrams yet but this might be the direction I go with it. I was considering the red motors, I would like the ability for speed when needed but 90% of the time I'm running slow anyway.

              Clay
              I have ordered one from DKLM RC. I was going to order from Toucan Hobby but DKLM RC was a tad cheaper and perhaps has been selling them longer. It is on its way from Hong Kong, so in a few weeks I hope to try it out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ccarley View Post
                The more I look at the dual current system, the more I'm intrigued... are there any downsides to this type of gearbox? From what I can tell, these are quieter, and have more torque with the big drive motor. I'm running big batteries anyway so I'm not concerned about runtime.

                I haven't changed the motors in my Abrams yet but this might be the direction I go with it. I was considering the red motors, I would like the ability for speed when needed but 90% of the time I'm running slow anyway.

                Clay
                They look cool but really are not any better then the stock steel transmission with upgraded 390 red motors. This is especially true if you are running 9.6v or higher battery outputs. The combined two 390 motors put out more torque vs the one forward/reverse drive 540 motor and the slightly smaller turning motor of the “dual current” drive packs.

                Bang for the buck you get more from simply adding 390 motors then with the “dual current” drives.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I would say the downside is cost and weight unless you buy one transmission swapping it between all your tanks. Also I haven't seen any spare parts for them readily for sale in case something breaks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK, I did end up ordering the metal geared dual current box this morning from Toucan for my Abrams. What I really do like about it (from what I can tell) is how quiet it is, and it appears that the pricing is getting more reasonable at this point. Now, on the other hand, I ordered the red motors for my daughter's Leopard. It has the steel gearboxes currently and they are loud; I doubt they will be quieter with the red motors of course but we do generally run full volume on the speakers. The Abrams has the plastic gearboxes currently.

                    The red motors will probably be here in a week or so, but the box from Toucan is coming from much further away; I cannot say when that will arrive but I'll be looking forward to it.

                    Clay

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ccarley View Post
                      OK, I did end up ordering the metal geared dual current box this morning from Toucan for my Abrams. What I really do like about it (from what I can tell) is how quiet it is, and it appears that the pricing is getting more reasonable at this point. Now, on the other hand, I ordered the red motors for my daughter's Leopard. It has the steel gearboxes currently and they are loud; I doubt they will be quieter with the red motors of course but we do generally run full volume on the speakers. The Abrams has the plastic gearboxes currently.

                      The red motors will probably be here in a week or so, but the box from Toucan is coming from much further away; I cannot say when that will arrive but I'll be looking forward to it.

                      Clay
                      The basic HL steel gearbox is quiet noise with the Red 390 or any motor because of its sleeve bearing which can induce excessive vibration. I know because I tried it. You can read what I did at the red and blue motor thread.

                      Heng Long makes 2 other steel gearboxes. One uses ball bearing and another ball bearing and thicker wall. I did not try them because I went to a ball bearing, totally enclosed Heng Xin gearbox. I use Heng Xin with a MxFans 390 and the combo is extremely quiet on the Leopard. The Red 390 will give the Leopard a top scale speed of over 40 mph which is almost the same as the real tank speed. You will be very happy with it. Toucan has this gearbox but is now only send from China.
                      HL59mm Bearing Steel Gearbox
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                      Two other equally quiet gearboxes are the HL steel CNC gearbox and the HL Dual Current gearbox. They are a lot more expensive.

                      I have a spare Heng Xin gearbox for the Leopard, but it is without motor. You can borrow it (no obligation, only return postage) to try it out. Due to its fully enclosed nature, mounting a motor to the Heng Xin gearbox is tricky. If you are not mechanically handy, send the motors to me that I can mount them for you. After the trial, you can make me an offer to keep this used gearbox if interested.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I got one of the propulsion dynamics. It would only fit if the battery box was removed. Fortunately I had already removed the battery box for more internal space, but anyone that hasnt done so should be aware. As far as performance, eh. Not bad but no real improvement. I got it because I was curious, so no complaints but I dont plan on getting another.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I use the HL steel CNC gearboxes and like them a lot. They use what looks to be the same gears as the standard gearboxes, but yes they are quiet. You will have to let us know how the PDSGB works out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tank_me View Post
                            I use the HL steel CNC gearboxes and like them a lot. They use what looks to be the same gears as the standard gearboxes, but yes they are quiet. You will have to let us know how the PDSGB works out.
                            Do you have any idea on how to compare the quietness of gearbox?

                            With the HL stock steel gearbox, the engine simulation is struggling to be heard. After I switch to the Heng Xin gearbox, I hear the simulated engine sound clearly and can turn it way down when playing the tank indoor. This is very subjective.

                            I am halfway through my Sherman metal conversion and start think of the next project. The HL CNC gearbox is one possibility. But I cannot find any information such as the voltage rating and rpm of the 550 motor used. I suppose that it is a brushed version. It would be nice to know the manufacturer and model number.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by keilau View Post

                              Do you have any idea on how to compare the quietness of gearbox?

                              With the HL stock steel gearbox, the engine simulation is struggling to be heard. After I switch to the Heng Xin gearbox, I hear the simulated engine sound clearly and can turn it way down when playing the tank indoor. This is very subjective.

                              I am halfway through my Sherman metal conversion and start think of the next project. The HL CNC gearbox is one possibility. But I cannot find any information such as the voltage rating and rpm of the 550 motor used. I suppose that it is a brushed version. It would be nice to know the manufacturer and model number.
                              You will not be able to fit the HL CNC gearboxes with 550 motors into your Sherman. 380 version yes, but nothing larger. Just saying this to help you save some money.

                              Measuing and comparing gearboxes volume is rather simple with the use of a smart phone decibel meter app.


                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Rubicon99 View Post

                                You will not be able to fit the HL CNC gearboxes with 550 motors into your Sherman. 380 version yes, but nothing larger. Just saying this to help you save some money.

                                Measuing and comparing gearboxes volume is rather simple with the use of a smart phone decibel meter app.
                                My next project is not for the Sherman which has settled with Tamiya 380SP and Heng Xin gearbox. They required no chassis mod to fit. My next project will be on the German Leopard 2A6 which has a lot of open space. The project is to evaluate what tangible benefit the CNC gearbox or the dual current gearbox may offer at 2x and 3x the cost of a steel gear and ball bearing gearbox using 390 motor.

                                Today, I received the Taigen version 2 gearbox with the black 380. I replaced the motors with red 390. The Taigen gearbox is an easy drop in to the 2005 Pershing chassis. I should finish wiring and testing tomorrow. The objective is to recover the top speed dash that I miss using the Tamiya 380. It will be interest if the Taigen is as quiet as the Heng Xin gearbox in the Pershing.

                                All these projects have no specific purpose except to have fun.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by keilau View Post
                                  My next project is not for the Sherman which has settled with Tamiya 380SP and Heng Xin gearbox. They required no chassis mod to fit. My next project will be on the German Leopard 2A6 which has a lot of open space. The project is to evaluate what tangible benefit the CNC gearbox or the dual current gearbox may offer at 2x and 3x the cost of a steel gear and ball bearing gearbox using 390 motor.

                                  Today, I received the Taigen version 2 gearbox with the black 380. I replaced the motors with red 390. The Taigen gearbox is an easy drop in to the 2005 Pershing chassis. I should finish wiring and testing tomorrow. The objective is to recover the top speed dash that I miss using the Tamiya 380. It will be interest if the Taigen is as quiet as the Heng Xin gearbox in the Pershing.

                                  All these projects have no specific purpose except to have fun.
                                  I have a good number of the “black” Taigen gearboxes. Even ran one in my “show and tell” HL Pershing for a few years. They are NOT quite, LOTS of bearing noise especially when run at high RPMs. But they are super strong!!!

                                  I also have a bit of experience with the HL dual current gearboxes. They IMO are not worth the money when compared to the typical 3:1 gearboxes paired with 390 motors. The gains just do not outweigh the additional cost.

                                  I have a video on my Instagram @ fsttanks of a race between one of my M41s running 3:1s, 390 motors with Abrams track and sprockets vs a Leopard 2 running the dual current drives. The Leopard is faster only because I was running on a nearly spent 8.4v battery vs his 11.1v Lipo battery. All the advantage of the Leopard in such a race should have made the Leopard 2 easily the winner but had I been at 100% battery power the Leopard would not have won.

                                  If you want to see the video look for this posting on my Instagram. Click image for larger version

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                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Rubicon99 View Post
                                    I have a good number of the “black” Taigen gearboxes. Even ran one in my “show and tell” HL Pershing for a few years. They are NOT quite, LOTS of bearing noise especially when run at high RPMs. But they are super strong!!!
                                    I will not be able to finish the Taigen gearbox until later. I did not realize that Taigen uses 3/16" sprocket mounting screw vs. the 1/8" screw used by HL and Mato. No big deal. I just drill out the old Mato sprocket hole to 3/16". It should be easy because Mato use very soft metal cast. I made the big mistake of NOT clamping down the sprocket on the drill press and just held it by hand. The sprocket flew away and chipped 2 teethes. I was very lucky that I did not get hurt. Lesson learned.

                                    The Pershing sprocket is sold out at Taigen. I ordered a pair of the HL sprockets from Toucan to be shipped from China. It should work fine as the track are rubber padded HL track. The hole just needs to be enlarged. Will hold the part down properly this time.

                                    I will drill out the HL plastic sprocket to test out the setup. The Toucan order probably won't be here until December.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by keilau View Post
                                      I will not be able to finish the Taigen gearbox until later. I did not realize that Taigen uses 3/16" sprocket mounting screw vs. the 1/8" screw used by HL and Mato. No big deal. I just drill out the old Mato sprocket hole to 3/16". It should be easy because Mato use very soft metal cast. I made the big mistake of NOT clamping down the sprocket on the drill press and just held it by hand. The sprocket flew away and chipped 2 teethes. I was very lucky that I did not get hurt. Lesson learned.

                                      The Pershing sprocket is sold out at Taigen. I ordered a pair of the HL sprockets from Toucan to be shipped from China. It should work fine as the track are rubber padded HL track. The hole just needs to be enlarged. Will hold the part down properly this time.

                                      I will drill out the HL plastic sprocket to test out the setup. The Toucan order probably won't be here until December.
                                      Another more simple way to fit HL sprockets to Taigen shafts is to file down the diameters of the shaft ends. This can be done by running the gearboxes and holding a file or “sandpaper” to the shafts as they turn to bring them down in diameter. Takes about 15 minutes start to finish.

                                      Only the section that fits inside the sprocket needs this to be done.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Rubicon99 View Post
                                        Another more simple way to fit HL sprockets to Taigen shafts is to file down the diameters of the shaft ends. This can be done by running the gearboxes and holding a file or “sandpaper” to the shafts as they turn to bring them down in diameter. Takes about 15 minutes start to finish.

                                        Only the section that fits inside the sprocket needs this to be done.
                                        I don't have the HL sprocket yet and do not understand the need to file down the gear shaft. The Mato sprocket had no problem with the Taigen gear shaft. The screw hole on the outer sprocket half is for the HL/Mato 1/8" machine screw. Taigen Tank gear shaft has 3/16" machine screw thread. It comes with the matching machine screws. But the 3/16" screw is too big to pass through the 1/8" hole on the sprocket making it necessary to drill it out to 3/16" inch.

                                        The HL, Heng Xin and Taigen gear shaft for Pershing all measured to 0.321". The HL sprocket should fit over the Taigen shaft just fine.

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