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Old Jul 08, 2012, 05:00 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
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Question
Ice 80HV only counts 11 of 12 cells? Am I missing something?

I received an Ice 80HV with my T-Rex 600e Pro heli. This is a 12s heli and I'm using 2 x 6s 3300 mAh packs. I programmed the ESC with no issue. Today was the first time I powered it up in the heli. I hear the ESC count 11 cells, then stops. No additional beeps. I have a Futaba 10CHG radio and I did remember to reverse the throttle. I checked the battery voltages and they both read 23.0V as I was worried that I had a faulty battery. I tried setting the throttle to normal in the radio and the ESC still counts only 11 cells then I get a single beep, which I assume is telling me that the throttle isn't at zero. I set the throttle back to reversed and now I'm back where I started. Am I missing something and/or have something set wrong? Thank you!
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Old Jul 08, 2012, 06:32 PM
A man with too many toys
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Joined Feb 2001
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As the cell count gets higher the difference in voltage gets very small and the ESC has a very hard time getting an accurate cell count. For anything 6s and higher I always manually set the exact cutoff voltage using the Castle Link. That way it doesn’t go through the count and always has the correct cutoff voltage.

.
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Old Jul 08, 2012, 06:40 PM
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United States, VA, Springfield
Joined Oct 2004
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Your ESC is fine. Your batteries aren't charged. 23V x 2 is 46V which is slightly less than a fully charged 11S pack. Your 12S pack should be 50.4V when charged. Do like RC Man said and manually set the ESC to 12S so that if you take off with half charged packs the cutoff will work correctly.
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Old Jul 08, 2012, 09:34 PM
I hate waiting for parts
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Ah okay, I was wondering if it was because the batteries weren't fully charged. I'll charge 'em full and test it again. I really just wanted to check motor rotation which is why I didn't charge them. The reason why I doubted myself was because, if the ESC thinks it's an 11s pack, wouldn't it arm itself after counting 11 cells?
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 09:23 AM
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The ESC isn't counting cells. It is just measuring the voltage and comparing it to what it thinks a fully charged lipo should be.

Clearly when you get up to 12 cells, any one cell is adding only about 8% to the total voltage. If you put on a partially charged lipo, as pointed out by Irb75, then the measured voltage is falling into the range of an 11s lipo pack.

The ESC isn't clairvoyant. It is depending on you to set it up right. I think RC Man has the right idea---setup the ESC so that you are telling it the LVC, rather than letting the ESC try to figure it out.

Maybe this is too complicated for most people without adding more information in the User's Guide.
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 01:20 PM
I hate waiting for parts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Hahn View Post
The ESC isn't counting cells. It is just measuring the voltage and comparing it to what it thinks a fully charged lipo should be.

Clearly when you get up to 12 cells, any one cell is adding only about 8% to the total voltage. If you put on a partially charged lipo, as pointed out by Irb75, then the measured voltage is falling into the range of an 11s lipo pack.

The ESC isn't clairvoyant. It is depending on you to set it up right. I think RC Man has the right idea---setup the ESC so that you are telling it the LVC, rather than letting the ESC try to figure it out.

Maybe this is too complicated for most people without adding more information in the User's Guide.
Thanks for the help, but I'm trying to figure out if I should be offended or not? This isn't my first Castle ESC but it is the first time I have had this issue. Maybe I should have plugged in a 3s pack since I just wanted to see if the rotor turned in the proper direction. I was under the assumption that the ESC counts the cells upon power up. And since it was determined that the voltage was too low, the ESC "thinks" it's a 11s pack based on voltage. I got that part. What I want to know is, if the ESC thinks it's an 11s pack, why didn't it arm? Is it because the cutoff voltage is higher than the detected voltage, and the ESC said, "Wait a sec, something doesn't add up here so I'm not going to arm"? I'm trying to find out why it did what it did. When I make mistakes, I like to know the "why" as it helps me understand and learn from them.

I'll charge the packs fully and try it again. Once everything is operating as it should, I'll plug up my CastleLink again and double-check the settings.
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Mike,
Please don't get offended! There are subtleties in these things, and I was just trying to say that the only way most people could "get it" would be for the manual to be a bit more specific sometimes.

But getting to your problem.

So you get 11 beeps and then you are stuck.
I am wondering if you have done the endpoint calibration, where you get your transmitter and the CC ESC to agree where zero throttle is.

On the other hand, have you (with the throttle channel reversed) tried moving your throttle trim all the way down (or better yet, adjust the lower throttle endpoint to larger (or more negative--not too sure how your transmitter does this) values.

I just think the ESC isn't recognizing your bottom stick as being the "arming" zero level. When it does see that level, it plays the extra arming "tune".
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 09:19 PM
I hate waiting for parts
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No worries Alan; it's the Internet after all and tone can be very difficult to convey.

So I figured out the problem... I know the "what" but I still need to know the "why". I fully charged both batteries and plugged it up. The controller beeped 12 times for 12 cells but still no arming tone. Baffled, I connected the controller to the CastleLink and combed through the settings. Everything was correct. I have it set for governor mode for a fixed head speed and verified it was set for 12 cells. I even looked at the Phoenix manual (gasp!) and still couldn't figure it out.

I called up my other two helis in my radio - both with Castle ESCs - and compared throttle curves and everything else that has to do with Channel 3 and everything was the same. The only thing I didn't try was reducing the throttle trim. I reduced the throttle trim and just before it got to the bottom, I got my arming tones. Powered the ESC off and back on, and got my arming tones again. Blipped the throttle and the rotors started to turn.

**note** I did that with a 6-cell battery, just because I left my series connector in my shop.

My other two hellis with Castle ESCs both have the throttle trim in the middle. But on this heli, I had to move the throttle trim to the bottom. So the question is: Why?
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 08:56 AM
I hate waiting for parts
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After reading the Throttle Calibration sticky, I realized that setting the low and high endpoints when using governor mode seems to be common. I've got the problem solved so it's no big deal, but I'm just wondering why I had to do that on the Ice 80HV and not the other two controllers (Ice 75 and Ice 100). Like I said, I like to know the "why" when I run into problems...
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Old Jul 10, 2012, 10:06 AM
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The controller in the ESC has to decode the width of the throttle signal (which goes from 1ms to 2ms) and from that get the throttle setting. It's a little more complicated because I think 1ms would be the minimum width, including endpoints and trim--likewise 2ms is the max. So what the transmitter is giving for centered trim, with the endpoints at 100% is anyones guess (unless you have an oscillosope!).

I don't know how precise the time base is in the controller, but small differences there can affect what the decoded throttle settings will be.

Maybe it is something like that.

I don't pay too much attention to differences between different ESC's, because of possible tolerances. As long as it works in the end!
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Old Jul 11, 2012, 06:46 AM
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Sounds like you got this...

I always recalibrate when I change firmware as it is very easy to do a quick check... I also turn off all throttle trim so I can make sure nothing changes...

I changed from a standard RX to an S-Bus the other day and I had to recalibrate the same model... I did a quick check and it was off 4 points on each end...

That is another reason I recommend checking it... Using set RPM GOV mode I normally just max out the top and set the bottom and the auto rotation calibration...

I feel it is easier to check than have a problem... I have seen some TXs change slightly as they heat up also...
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Old Jul 11, 2012, 10:07 AM
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Thanks again guys. I put a few test-hovers on the heli yesterday and all was well. It switched between the three flight modes in governor mode (1700, 1800, 1900 RPM) with no issue at all. Just have to do some final tweaking on the pitch curves.
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Old Mar 26, 2015, 11:00 AM
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Just had this myself and found this thread. The reason the motor won't start is because it defaults to airplane mode and you have to go full stick and back down to arm it. Would be handy if it mentioned this in the quick start guide!
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