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Old Aug 01, 2009, 04:07 PM
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feefo's Avatar
Staffs, UK
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Why do Esc's burn out?

Decided to check the amp draw/wattage on one of my planes this afternoon after changing the prop. Connected watt meter to esc, and then battery to watt meter, and then .....crackle crackle fizz pop, puff of smoke and another burnt out esc! . WHY OH WHY OH WHY? The motor wasn't running, everything was fine a couple of days ago when I flew it, so why do esc's 'pop' this way? off!! Help me avoid this problem pls.
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Old Aug 01, 2009, 04:09 PM
homo ludens modellisticus
Ron van Sommeren's Avatar
The Netherlands, GE, Nijmegen
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Wrong polarity, battery reversed. Will kill ALL electronics.

Current too high.
Battery voltage too high.
Not enough cooling.
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Old Aug 01, 2009, 04:16 PM
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feefo's Avatar
Staffs, UK
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Battery had been balanced when charged (current and voltage ok), I'm using deans connectors (can't connect wrong way round) and the motor wasn't running. Sorry, still baffled.
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Old Aug 01, 2009, 04:20 PM
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Ron van Sommeren's Avatar
The Netherlands, GE, Nijmegen
Joined Feb 2001
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Can you draw and post a picture of how you hooked up watt-meter etc? What type was it?
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 10:42 AM
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rich smith's Avatar
New Hampshire (not the old one)
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#1 reason controllers blow is prop too big for the battery voltage. In your case looks like a wiring error.
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 01:12 PM
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I can do a drawing but not on the p.c. VERY computer dumb!! It went motor, esc, watt meter, battery. Hope this helps Ron. Think the watt meter is E-power, not sure, it's a mates and he's had it back.

I agree that too big a prop will kill an esc, and the one I put on MIGHT have overpropped the esc....but it never ran, the esc blew up BEFORE I applied any power, SO...HOW DID THE ESC KNOW I WAS OVERPROPPING IT THEN? Do they now produce esc's that just blow up if you put too big a prop on...scary!! Maybe a warning L.E.D. to say you're about to overprop this esc would be a better idea than little puffs of smoke, LOL.
I just don't expect escs to burn out when nothing other than the receiver and servo's are drawing small amounts of current.
STILL BAFFLED (and )
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Challenger 413's Avatar
Dickinson, Tx.
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What ESC were you using? Maybe you had over amped a bit, and it just happened to quit when you were going to check it?

Challenger413
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 02:01 PM
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whitecrest's Avatar
Orleans, MA
Joined Feb 2007
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Perhaps there is a short across the BEC. That's a pretty stressed circuit in the ESC and would probably not tolerate a severe overload for very long. I'd also check for a short from the motor casing to the motor wires to be sure you're OK after the ESC meltdown. Whatever it is should be very noticeable.
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 04:41 PM
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I had a CC ESC blow up simply because it got wet from contact with dew-covered grass. Motor never got a chance to run.
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Newport, NC
Joined Jan 2002
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Static discharge can also damage something. Need to be very careful if you live in a dry area.
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 06:49 PM
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Staffs, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidB.
Static discharge can also damage something. Need to be very careful if you live in a dry area.

I live in England...dry weather...you're havin' a laugh. Last MONTH it's been either chuckin' it down or blowin' a gale. But point taken.
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 07:13 PM
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Newport, NC
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Indoors, static can also be a problem if you have a good AC unit and a well sealed home.
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Old Aug 03, 2009, 08:33 PM
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reacher10's Avatar
LI, NY,
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What is your lat/lon...near Stone Henge perhaps? I saw several shows on the TV and very strange things happen near there....those crop circles freak me out!

Were did you get that prop? Was it an ancient prop....Prop Circles...I gotta go, I got the willys.
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Old Aug 04, 2009, 04:33 AM
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rich smith's Avatar
New Hampshire (not the old one)
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Static damage is not an issue with modern semiconductors.
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Old Aug 04, 2009, 05:12 AM
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vintage1's Avatar
East Anglia, UK
Joined Sep 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feefo
Decided to check the amp draw/wattage on one of my planes this afternoon after changing the prop. Connected watt meter to esc, and then battery to watt meter, and then .....crackle crackle fizz pop, puff of smoke and another burnt out esc! . WHY OH WHY OH WHY? The motor wasn't running, everything was fine a couple of days ago when I flew it, so why do esc's 'pop' this way? off!! Help me avoid this problem pls.
Instability due to long leads and the impedance of the whattmeter maybe. Nothing like a nice bit of RF instability to destroy power circuitry..now how many prototype PA amps have I blown up that way?..must be a dozen at least..and the one that I managed to catch as the needles hit the end stops..beyond number.

Try a decent capacitor across the Whattmeter output, or a better designed ESC.

Or it may be that unbeknownst (That's the first time I have ever typed that word!) to you, the itty bitty capacitor on the ESC had long ago fractured off and the Whattmeter was the 'last straw'
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