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Old Feb 15, 2014, 10:08 PM
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Careful!
Warning: Certain ESCs can destroy Sunnysky 2204 2300kv (and similar) motors

NOTE: See update at the bottom of this post for summary/insights from ongoing discussion.

Hey all,

I've just had an interesting issue with one of my sunnysky 2204 2300kv motors behaving really weirdly, then getting incredibly hot to the point where sparks/smoke came out (fun stuff).

They'd just been installed in my mini-quad - I'd done a few small hover tests/etc, then waited until the next morning to try in earnest.

The first time I fired it up, one of the motors didn't start spinning when arming the quad - after giving it a little bit of throttle, it stuttered backwards/forwards and started to smell very bad.

I quickly stopped it and had a look - there was no obvious issues with it (shorts, wiring, etc).

I noticed when running this motor it stutters when running (all other motors are fine on the same ESCs - HK F10A + SimonK)

Results pictured:



Note the burnt pole in the stator - it really looks fatter/like it's touching the others. All the other poles in the stator seem fine.

All the other motors behave normally. I've also tried this motor on an entirely different ESC and it behaves the same way.

Anyone else experienced this/have theories as to what could cause it? Faulty ESC? Manufacturing defect in the motor?

Cheers!

UPDATE #1: Further evidence points to ESCs & firmware versions (see later posts & below).

UPDATE #2:
Wow, this thread has really become a rich source of knowledge - quick summary of key points (to save everyone reading the whole thing):
  • Most ESCs cannot handle the high KV and will destroy these (and similar high-kv pancake) motors due to timing issues
  • Even on correct ESCs, most firmware versions will destroy these motors
  • The only reliably proven SimonK firmware version is the 2013-05-05 (attached to this post)
  • Alternately, recent versions of BLHeli (11+) have been proven to work when configured correctly (see below)
  • ESCs that have been known to work with the attached SimonK firmware include: Hobbyking 12A Blue Series, AfroESC 12A (programming tool)
  • Some people have experienced intermittent desync issues with AfroESCs on SimonK, which can be solved by adding a 100uF 16v capacitor across the input side of the ESC.
  • BLHeli
    • For suitable Silab based ESCs, you can use BLHeli to achieve reliable performance on these motors
    • Suitable BLHeli compatible ESCs include: Turnigy Plush 12A, BLHeli Sunrise 20A (+ programming tool for Silab ESCS)
    • BLHeli is now also available for Atmel based (ie: SimonK compatible) ESCs and is reported to be a great alternative
    • BLHeli must be configured as Motor timing: Medium-high, Demag compensation: off
    • Rotorgeeks are selling preconfigured 12A BLHeli ESCs that have been pre-flashed/setup suitably for these (and similar) motors.
  • SS x2204 on 4S
    • 4S is very problematic on 2300kv motors due to the very high RPM/timings. However, as of July 2014, the newly released KISS ESCs are known to work with this combination. They come in 12A and 18A versions.
    • It has also been reported that the newest BLHeli versions (12+) works on high quality ESCs on 4S, including the Rotorgeeks 12A.

Happy flying!
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Last edited by bickie; Feb 02, 2015 at 04:55 PM. Reason: 4S updates.
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Old Feb 15, 2014, 10:34 PM
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Got the same problem, an esc failed on me during a static test. It's like opening a flood gate, all the current will pour into the stator without control and will burn the winding... so your motor is dead, unless you are willing to rewind it. And throw away the esc, it may seem like it is working but you wouldnt want the risk to burn another motor.
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Old Feb 15, 2014, 10:41 PM
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I believe this is caused at the factory when they press the stator to the base. I have noticed that some of my SunnySky motors bought elsewhere have smashed windings. When the windings get smashed, The lamination is damaged and could cause the winding to short themselves out. I haven't had any issues with my SunnySky motors but I also didn't use the ones I noticed had smashed windings.

GG
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Old Feb 16, 2014, 02:22 AM
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Ok, this just got more interesting.

I had a spare motor, so thought I'd just move on and replace it.

New motor in - multiple static tests (without props), all working beautifully.

Added some props for a test hover and on the first attempt, the front right motor did the same thing (oscillating back and forward). I stopped it quickly enough and tested it - sure enough it felt quite warm.

The key is - this was a different motor on a different ESC exhibiting the exact symptoms.

Current operating theory is that certain ESCs with certain firmwares (I'm pretty sure I'm running Simon K BS.hex - 2013-09-20) can fry these motors.
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Old Feb 16, 2014, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bickie View Post
Ok, this just got more interesting.

I had a spare motor, so thought I'd just move on and replace it.

New motor in - multiple static tests (without props), all working beautifully.

Added some props for a test hover and on the first attempt, the front right motor did the same thing (oscillating back and forward). I stopped it quickly enough and tested it - sure enough it felt quite warm.

The key is - this was a different motor on a different ESC exhibiting the exact symptoms.

Current operating theory is that certain ESCs with certain firmwares (I'm pretty sure I'm running Simon K BS.hex - 2013-09-20) can fry these motors.
Your issue is the Firmware you are using not the motors, this is a common problem with pancake motors and SimonK (hundreds of users had the problems), use the 5-15-2013 firmware and you will be fine with the sunnyskys and Tigers. Anything with high pole counts you don't want to use simonK with at all, you need to go to a ESC specifically made for multirotors motors with high pole counts in mind such as the hobbywing platinum pro series (up to 40 poles).

In short DO NOT use SimonK with pancake motors with a pole count above 12 poles.
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Old Feb 17, 2014, 06:16 AM
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Had the same thing happen to one of my sunnysky motors after my mini crashed onto the road and the esc burst into flames. When I touched the motor it was burning hot. It was definitely the esc's fault.
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Old Feb 17, 2014, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redemptioner View Post
Your issue is the Firmware you are using not the motors, this is a common problem with pancake motors and SimonK

...

In short DO NOT use SimonK with pancake motors with a pole count above 12 poles.
Hey Redemptioner, that's really helpful, thanks.

You've ended up on the Blue Series 12A with the May-2013 SimonK, yeah?

I've seen on some of the OpenPilot threads that people are having more success with these (and other high kv/pole count pancakes) on the SiLabs based ESCs (ie: Plush) and Blheli. Any experience/thoughts?
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Old Feb 17, 2014, 11:14 PM
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Same thing happen to me. My HK 10amp with simonk burned one of my new s2204 motor. I just saw the smoke coming from the motor ans the esc. So be advice HK 10amp and certain simonk firmware with this motor could be a disaster. I lost two escs burned into flame.
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Old Feb 17, 2014, 11:42 PM
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So far that's all I have run with my Sunnys HK Blue 12a SK 5-15-13 for 2.5 months maybe..no problems yet, knock on wood. I also don't use bullets and run 3s 1300 on a metal head h.
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Old Feb 18, 2014, 12:34 AM
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I've always used 5-15-13 as well. Next mini I'm going to use the one before that as I've heard it runs even better for the sunnyskys.
Its 33c outside and just took my mini for a fly. One of the escs feels alot hotter than the others and its not even the one supplying bec to the fc. Hopefully that doesn't mean a failure is impending.
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Old Feb 18, 2014, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimdas View Post
I've always used 5-15-13 as well. Next mini I'm going to use the one before that as I've heard it runs even better for the sunnyskys.
Its 33c outside and just took my mini for a fly. One of the escs feels alot hotter than the others and its not even the one supplying bec to the fc. Hopefully that doesn't mean a failure is impending.
Usually an indicator of the the CG being out.
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Old Feb 18, 2014, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Redemptioner View Post
Usually an indicator of the the CG being out.
I was lifting a 200g battery on the rd230 so it was back heavy but wouldn't that cause both of the back escs to run hot?
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 05:07 AM
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Another vote for firmware being the cause of the issue.

Stick with SimonK 2013-05-15.

I recently tested even this firmware on 4S with the X2204 2300KV and the loss of sync caused huge currents to be sent to the motor.
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 06:03 AM
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I ordered the Luminier ESCs for my Sunny Skys. Do I dare even try it?
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Old Feb 26, 2014, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonmbiggs View Post
I ordered the Luminier ESCs for my Sunny Skys. Do I dare even try it?
I'd be interested to hear how they go ... but I'm dubious as they're tiny, and these little motors can pull some serious amps (as Soma has proven).
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