View Full Version : Alltrax SPM vs AXE

14 April 2012, 1957
I searched here and couldn't find a thread on the differences between the 'new' SPM and the AXE controllers. In particular, the seemingly common choice of the AXE 7245 as opposed to the SPM 72400 (or 72500 even). The USB programming ability on the SPM seems nice and the price is ~$560 vs a new 7245 at ~$636. I have looked through the documents here for the SPM (http://www.alltraxinc.com/Products_SPM.html) and here for the AXE (http://www.alltraxinc.com/Products_AXE.html), but can't make any noticeable difference other than the obvious amp ratings and the 72500 being on a 14 inch vs a 10 inch base. I hope that the discussion to follow will help more than just me make sense of this! As always, if this is a repeat thread that I couldn't find, by all means feel free to delete the post, mods.


14 April 2012, 2210
I don't know all the details, but prices on the 7245 are more like $560-590 (on EVdrives and Thunderstruck). They're popular because they're simple and reliable. I have one...it's just a solid, no frills controller.

I don't think the SPM are sealed, since they're fan cooled. The SPM 72400 is pretty equivalent to a 7245 on amp rating, and it's about the same size (10" long). The longer SPM's have higher current ratings.

SPM use new software, which has some interesting settings for speed and torque curves (although I don't think it's true speed or torque control since there's no feedback loop, ASFAIK).

Moon has an SPM...maybe he can weigh in?

14 April 2012, 2313
I was down at the Alltrax shop in Or 2 years ago while he was still working on the design. At the time he had everything in a potting material so my guess is that they are still fairly water tolerant. He had talked about letting me try one....might have to ask for the sample again. (maybe put it on my GSXR)

15 April 2012, 0447
I have run both Alltrax AXE and SPM units on the Cafe racer and have had the SPM 400 amp unit on it for a while now.

The SPM is potted with the fan and USB port exposed.
The main connections are easier to work with since there is no "nut and Bolt" setup, just a bolt. Do not over tighten.
I have not had any issue with this, but I can see someone torque wrenching a tab and bending it.

I have had only one heavy rain event and no issues. The unit is in the Tank so it should not get too wet either way.

The programming is straight forward and very adjustable. It is easy to program since it is a USB "plug and play" deal,
even on a notebook. The best thing is that you do not have to turn on the unit to program it.

I have a fried 450 AXE on the shelf. I was going to get it repaired but switched over to the SPM instead.
The SPM seems more robust and so far has run flawlessly.

I have been abusing it a lot lately. :)

16 April 2012, 0452
Thank you for the feedback everyone... the insight from someone who has run both was very nice, EVCycle! It seems that they have relatively equal specs with the major differences being the SPMs programming interface and perhaps more open to the environment. If I send an email to Alltrax I'll post their reply here. Thanks again!

16 April 2012, 1309
Although I don't have any experience with the 7245 nor any actual road usage from my SPM, my initial experience would match what Ed said.
To add something to the discussion here are some pictures of the extent of the potting in the SPM. I would say, if moisture is going to be enough of an issue to casue problems here, maybe riding in a monsoon wasn't a good idea. ;)


16 April 2012, 1310
Note: there is a supplied little plug that goes into the USB port when not in use. (apparently, it's also easy to lose.)

16 April 2012, 1344
I was concerned about water because I wanted to mount my SPM with a slight angle and water could pool on top of the potting at the case edges. It isn't hiding in the tank, its' located under the seat sideways. I spoke with Damon at Alltrax and he said no problem.


16 April 2012, 1450
Note: there is a supplied little plug that goes into the USB port when not in use. (apparently, it's also easy to lose.)

A small piece of electrical tape work great!

25 March 2014, 1532
So from what I can tell is the only difference is that the AXE is more sealed, and more expensive, but other than that, they are the same?

25 March 2014, 1620
Axe is the old style... Spm is new and uses USB and has some more features.

25 March 2014, 1723
Everything that was said above, plus...

The SPM has fan cooling and an "integrated" heatsink. AXE is sealed, but it's advisable to add an external heatsink.

AXE is quite a bit smaller compared to SPM with the same power rating. But with a heatsink on the AXE size difference might be less. I think the AXE is still smaller even with a 1" heatsink installed - just looking at the AXE 4834 vs SPM 48300. I haven't compared other models.

25 March 2014, 2258
Aside from the throttle curves, most of the programming is fairly similar. You can get an RS232 serial to USB cable to program the AXE for about 2 bucks on fleaBay, that's what I did. Works great. You can get a custom throttle curve programmed for the AXE for about $20 from some guys in Germany (I saw on another thread, can't remember where.)

05 January 2015, 1225
how does alltrax spm react with bldc motor...

05 January 2015, 1329
No, that won't work. These controllers are for DC motors. The BLDC motors require a different type of controller - you'll notice that they have three wires to the motor instead of two.

10 January 2015, 1029
Just a note about SPM, not that it may matter a big deal, but the fan pulls air through and out the fan end, so mounting probably would be best with fan end mounted rearward, if you want to duct cool oncoming air into the opposite end.
I'll be testing the strength of the "adjustable feet" mounts because I plan on mounting it upside down in my build so its easier to access the usb port