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Old Oct 26, 2011, 05:00 PM
Oh no not another one
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire UK
Joined Jan 2011
275 Posts
Question
Strange Syma S107 battery life problem

I have an S107 which I bought at the beginning of the year and which was my first helicopter. I haven't flown it a lot (2 or 3 times a month) and it has been great - 7 or 8 minutes flight time from a 45-50 minute charge. Apart from an early crash requiring a new flybar everything is still as new and it is so stable it can be landed on a beermat.

Suddenly it started losing power after less than 2 minutes and would only hover just above the floor even on full throttle. I naturally thought that the battery was shot and replaced it with a 140mAh one which came out of a scrap helicopter. The original was slightly puffy but not bad for 8 months old. The replacement performed just the same so I then fitted a brand new 130mAh one while I waited for a 150mAh to arrive. This was just the same, as was the new 150mAh. Less than a minute after take off back to the floor hover. I then ordered a "genuine" Syma 150mAh battery - same results again. 45 mins to charge, less than a minute's flight and voltage down to less than 4 volts in less than a minute! All these batteries have recharged "normally" back to 4.2 volts.

Somehow it seems that the power consumption of my S107 has increased enormously and I am hoping someone may have experienced this and know the answer. The board is an R3 and each battery has been fitted by soldering to the original lead stubs without touching the board so I am stumped.

Grateful for any suggestions as I am reluctant to bin it!
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Old Oct 26, 2011, 05:20 PM
Always, against the wind
Thetis's Avatar
United States, IL
Joined Oct 2011
1,031 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyemdee View Post
I have an S107 which I bought at the beginning of the year and which was my first helicopter. I haven't flown it a lot (2 or 3 times a month) and it has been great - 7 or 8 minutes flight time from a 45-50 minute charge. Apart from an early crash requiring a new flybar everything is still as new and it is so stable it can be landed on a beermat.

Suddenly it started losing power after less than 2 minutes and would only hover just above the floor even on full throttle. I naturally thought that the battery was shot and replaced it with a 140mAh one which came out of a scrap helicopter. The original was slightly puffy but not bad for 8 months old. The replacement performed just the same so I then fitted a brand new 130mAh one while I waited for a 150mAh to arrive. This was just the same, as was the new 150mAh. Less than a minute after take off back to the floor hover. I then ordered a "genuine" Syma 150mAh battery - same results again. 45 mins to charge, less than a minute's flight and voltage down to less than 4 volts in less than a minute! All these batteries have recharged "normally" back to 4.2 volts.

Somehow it seems that the power consumption of my S107 has increased enormously and I am hoping someone may have experienced this and know the answer. The board is an R3 and each battery has been fitted by soldering to the original lead stubs without touching the board so I am stumped.

Grateful for any suggestions as I am reluctant to bin it!
I am not an expert, but did you check the motors? Sounds like a motor(s) problem.
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Old Oct 27, 2011, 11:25 AM
NotAnotherMomentLostToSei zures
Chap1012's Avatar
United States, MA, Malden
Joined Mar 2008
11,278 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyemdee View Post
I have an S107 which I bought at the beginning of the year and which was my first helicopter. I haven't flown it a lot (2 or 3 times a month) and it has been great - 7 or 8 minutes flight time from a 45-50 minute charge. Apart from an early crash requiring a new flybar everything is still as new and it is so stable it can be landed on a beermat.

Suddenly it started losing power after less than 2 minutes and would only hover just above the floor even on full throttle. I naturally thought that the battery was shot and replaced it with a 140mAh one which came out of a scrap helicopter. The original was slightly puffy but not bad for 8 months old. The replacement performed just the same so I then fitted a brand new 130mAh one while I waited for a 150mAh to arrive. This was just the same, as was the new 150mAh. Less than a minute after take off back to the floor hover. I then ordered a "genuine" Syma 150mAh battery - same results again. 45 mins to charge, less than a minute's flight and voltage down to less than 4 volts in less than a minute! All these batteries have recharged "normally" back to 4.2 volts.

Somehow it seems that the power consumption of my S107 has increased enormously and I am hoping someone may have experienced this and know the answer. The board is an R3 and each battery has been fitted by soldering to the original lead stubs without touching the board so I am stumped.

Grateful for any suggestions as I am reluctant to bin it!
First IMHO your flight time is too long. Second, have you been practicing good lipo protocol? There is a lipo "break in" period for "all" new lipos. Once broke in, after a charge, wait 10/15 minutes before flying. Wait 10/15 minutes after flying "before" a re-charge. Keep all your flights to 5 minutes "unless" it starts loosing power before the 5 minute mark, then you should land it. Never run it down until you get no spin from the blades. Take a look at this site and educate yourself on lipos and their care. A lipo is a lipo no matter what the size. BTW, I keep all my fly times to 5 minutes no matter what model I fly. From my S107 to my 120SR.
Check it out:
https://sites.google.com/site/tjingu...arging-how-tos

Follow the instructions and give it another go. You may just luck out.

Mike.
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Old Oct 27, 2011, 12:42 PM
Against Helicopter Cruelty
Heli Pad's Avatar
Joined Aug 2011
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Eyemdee, I've read your description of the problem several times, and yes, I would say that's a strange problem. With all the different batteries that you've tried, old and new, and they all recharged healthily, I really don't think it has anything to do with the batteries. Of course, if you want to be absolutely sure, you could put one of the said batteries on a different helicopter to see if it gives you a decent flight time.

Anyway, if we assume that the batteries are not the problem, then the problem lies elsewhere. Thetis proposed that the motors could be the problem. I thought about that, too. But I didn't notice anything obvious in your description. Because I don't suppose both main motors would go bad at the exact same rate. If one is burning out, you would have a huge trimming issue. Even if they are both bad, you would have a lift issue from a fresh battery, using a lot more than 50% throttle to hover. By it seems to me that it flies okay at first and then after a minute or two, boom.

So, just to verify, is the helicopter still trimmed? Could you hover using 50% throttle at the beginning of a flight cycle? How hot does the motors get after the flight? Your LED still working? Every time you swapped a battery, you swapped the over-charge protection PCB with it? (Never mind, you did say that they all charged to 4.2v). Have you tried disassembling the shafts and clean out any debris, pet hair, etc?

Well, a very long Email to tell you that I'm thinking about it, but I have no clue.
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Old Oct 27, 2011, 04:35 PM
Oh no not another one
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire UK
Joined Jan 2011
275 Posts
Thanks for your help and suggestions folks.

@Thetis - I did wonder about the motors but as Heli Pad said it would be very strange for both motors to go bad at the same moment.

@Chap1012 - Yes I do look after my lipos. I have a Blade MSR and Solo Pro that I regularly fly alternately to allow the tail rotors to cool. I use a timer set to 5 minutes and usually have them landed before it goes off. I also fly a Blade 120SR outdoors and do the same with that. The S107 always had bags of power left at the 5 minute mark so I used to let it go a little longer before this problem started but I always landed at the first sign of power loss. Once the problem started there was no chance of getting anywhere near 5 minutes as it would be down to the floor in the first minute with a fully charged fresh battery.

@Heli Pad - You are thinking the same as me although I haven't felt the motor temperature. Trim is fine and yes, initial power on take off is normal, hovering around half throttle. All the batteries already had overcharge boards fitted so I didn't bother changing them. I will have to try the disassembly route for debris but the rotors all feel and sound pretty friction free.

I am beginning to think that there is perhaps a board fault which is suddenly consuming massive amounts of power but I don't have enough electronic knowledge to find that!

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I am still hoping to hear from anyone who has experienced the same issue and sorted it.
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Old Oct 27, 2011, 05:02 PM
Fly Runaway Fans
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2009
9,382 Posts
Actually I DID have 2 motors (Lama V4) go bad so evenly that RUD trim was never an issue. And flight times got short. The motors also got very hot. I would have told that story earlier, but it didn't seem you had enough hours on it to have worn the motors out. I flew mine at least twice as much as you say about yours and they worked perfectly the whole time.

I think if you price the motors plus delivery you will find that it is possible to buy a whole new kit for only about $5 more then keep the old one for parts.
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Old Oct 29, 2011, 03:47 PM
Oh no not another one
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire UK
Joined Jan 2011
275 Posts
This gets weirder After I first posted this problem, just having fitted and test flown the third replacement battery, I put the S107 back on it's shelf without recharging the battery after the last floor level flight.

Tonight I just tried it, not expecting it to even lift off, and it flew perfectly for a couple of minutes before starting to lose power. I just whipped off the canopy and measured the battery voltage - 3.83v which is quite respectable after two flights. I'm going to try a recharge now and see if the gremlins have moved on!
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Old Oct 30, 2011, 06:34 AM
Oh no not another one
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire UK
Joined Jan 2011
275 Posts
^^^ OK I give up. Full charge last night on latest 150mAh battery and it just flew 3 consecutive 2 minute flights with controlled landings. Still got plenty of power but I am not pushing my luck. Voltage across the battery terminals after these flights is 3.75v which will do for me!
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Old Oct 30, 2011, 09:13 AM
Against Helicopter Cruelty
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Are you saying 3x 2 minutes, or 6 minutes total from a single charge? That sounds very decent to me.
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Old Oct 30, 2011, 09:32 AM
Oh no not another one
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire UK
Joined Jan 2011
275 Posts
^^^ 6 minutes total from a single charge last night. The gremlins have gone and it is back to its usual self!
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Old Oct 30, 2011, 09:45 AM
NotAnotherMomentLostToSei zures
Chap1012's Avatar
United States, MA, Malden
Joined Mar 2008
11,278 Posts
Glad you got it all sorted out eye. Did those batteries come from the same manufacturer? Or same vendor? I know they were different mah's. I'm thinking the others were duds, although, myself, have never heard of this but, there's always a first.

Mike.
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Old Oct 30, 2011, 09:47 AM
Against Helicopter Cruelty
Heli Pad's Avatar
Joined Aug 2011
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Eyemdee, Did you moved down from the mountains to closer to sea level? Just kidding. It's an inside joke if you've been monitoring the main S107 thread lately.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that your chopper is doing fine. Perhaps the new battery just needed to be broken in? I admit that is strange and I don't have any good explanation for it.

I was fixing my uncle's S107 (a gift from me) yesterday. It wouldn't fly, I was told. As I examine the chopper, turning the rotors with my fingers, I could find clear resistance coming from the gears. For the life of me, I couldn't see any obviously flaws. After taking it apart, slowly turning the gears, I could see the problem is local to one gear at one spot. I marked the location with a pencil mark and I still couldn't see any problem. I ran a tiny screw driver tip through the cogs of the gear in that area. Long and behind a tiny speck of whatever, so tiny that I could hardly see with my naked eye came off, and the wheels start turning again.

Moral of the story is: the tiniest imperfection or debris could throw a money wrench at these delicate toys. Even a pet hair caught in the right place could do a number to it. But imagine the satisfaction of finding a problem like that and fixing it? That's why it is a hobby.
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Old Oct 30, 2011, 10:22 AM
NotAnotherMomentLostToSei zures
Chap1012's Avatar
United States, MA, Malden
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Big KUDOS HP...Nice fix on Uncle's heli I will have to keep that one up my sleeve

Mike.
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Old Oct 30, 2011, 10:27 AM
Oh no not another one
Mansfield, Nottinghamshire UK
Joined Jan 2011
275 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chap1012 View Post
Glad you got it all sorted out eye. Did those batteries come from the same manufacturer? Or same vendor? I know they were different mah's. I'm thinking the others were duds, although, myself, have never heard of this but, there's always a first.

Mike.
No, three different sellers in HK/China. I have used the same 130mAh's in other helis and they have always been fine. The 150mAh battery that is in now came from a seller that sells a lot of other S107 stuff and always looks genuine. Even so, first time round it was the same as the others and flew less than 2 minutes. Now it seems to be charging and flying fine. Complete mystery to me
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Old Oct 30, 2011, 11:42 AM
NotAnotherMomentLostToSei zures
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United States, MA, Malden
Joined Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by eyemdee View Post
No, three different sellers in HK/China. I have used the same 130mAh's in other helis and they have always been fine. The 150mAh battery that is in now came from a seller that sells a lot of other S107 stuff and always looks genuine. Even so, first time round it was the same as the others and flew less than 2 minutes. Now it seems to be charging and flying fine. Complete mystery to me
When you get a chance, pop the canopy off and inspect the battery wire from the battery to the PCB. On my first S107 the red wire/solder joint was pinching up against the metal side frame. A little plastic thin film between the two solved the problem.

Mike.
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