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Old Aug 19, 2003, 01:30 PM
Long live the SHP!
thomer's Avatar
CA
Joined Mar 2003
2,487 Posts
This is what happens when you run too many amps through your ESC...

I was flying my Wattage Sukhoi on its 5th flight today, no problem. Now remember boys and girls, Wattage recommends using their 20 amp ESC which I didn't happen to have around, so I used the IC-5A which I did have and mounted it in the Sukhoi thinking I would use the throttle conservatively and *hopefully* not exceed 5 amps. Since it had flown 4 flights with no problems, I was confident the 5 amp ESC would continue working. The battery pack I was using was an E-Tec 3s 1200 pack. As I was coming out of inverted flight, I hit the lovely power lines from above and as I was trying to recover, I goosed the throttle a bit too much for my little Wattage IC-5A ESC. It tumbled in a downward spiral spin and crashed. As I went to inspect the carnage, I could see smoke pouring from the canopy and from under the wing. I also got an education as too what happens to your Li-Poly pack when your ESC and receiver are on fire. As it began to expand, it also made interesting crackling noises. My dad and I ran very fast in the opposite direction, and put our large rubbermaid plastic container that we use to transport wings in over the plane. It was very close to exploding, but did not. I wished I had used the camera on my phone to show everyone the smoke, but I was too engrossed with the sights and sounds, and thinking I had just made a $100 dollar mistake. Just wanted to share my humbling mistake and make sure my fellow Ezoners don't do the same. I think it's safe to say I need another Li-Poly pack. And a 20 amp ESC!!!

Here are some pics for your entertainment/heartbreak/regret/education. Pick which one suits you best.

thomer
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Last edited by thomer; Aug 19, 2003 at 01:38 PM.
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Old Aug 19, 2003, 01:31 PM
Long live the SHP!
thomer's Avatar
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Another close up
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Old Aug 19, 2003, 01:33 PM
Long live the SHP!
thomer's Avatar
CA
Joined Mar 2003
2,487 Posts
a 3-cell Li-Poly pack twice it's normal size. Li-Polys don't like it when ESC's catch on fire....
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Old Aug 19, 2003, 02:18 PM
Leave me alone!
Martin Hunter's Avatar
Kamloops, BC, Canada
Joined Feb 2002
15,106 Posts
This is exactly the reason I like to over-rate my ESC's with my power selection. I'm moving this to the power systems forum.

Martin
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Old Aug 19, 2003, 02:27 PM
closed
fly4fun's Avatar
Gilbert AZ
Joined Jun 2001
9,323 Posts
Yikes sorry for the Mishap.
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Old Aug 19, 2003, 04:01 PM
Registered User
Columbia, South Carolina, United States
Joined Feb 2000
2,560 Posts
Ouuchh! What maybe worse is when my GWS controller fried but rather than just going up in smoke, it put full power to the motor and locked me out! I was turned into a spectator while my plane went up and up,round and round until crashing in the tallest tree there was. The plane was untouched but I had to destroy it just to get it down.
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Old Aug 20, 2003, 01:25 AM
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icrashrc's Avatar
Indiana
Joined Jul 2003
1,064 Posts
Doesn't anyone use an inline fuse to protect both the battery and the onboard equipment?
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Old Aug 20, 2003, 07:13 AM
Registered User
England
Joined Apr 2002
240 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by icrashrc
Doesn't anyone use an inline fuse to protect both the battery and the onboard equipment?
The trouble with fuses is they have a habbit of popping at the wrong time i.e. power spike e.t.c then you lose the battery and all controll of the plane specially if your using BEC...
perhaps a high rated fuse might be ok as then it would only pop if there was a major short, might save the battery...
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Old Aug 21, 2003, 11:25 PM
It's the last plane honey
SlowRider's Avatar
Granite Bay, CA USA
Joined Jul 2003
2,133 Posts
Inline Fuse

I've installed a 10A automotive mini fuse on my Slowstick, using Sernos fuse holders. The fuse is mounted between the motor and the ESC. If the motor shorts out or draws to much current the fuse will protect my ESC and battery. My setup: EPS350C-D, 11x8 prop, CC Pixie 20P ESC, and ETech 1200 2s2p LiPo battery.

At WOT I draw 7 amps so the 10A fuse gives me a 3A buffer for any current spikes. My ESC can easily handle 10A and my LiPo's are rated 5C, about 10A continuous, 14-16A short bursts.

Since the fuse is between the motor and the ESC, if the fuse blows I'll still have control of the plane. If the the ESC shorts, and I lose the battery, then all bets are off .

I've never had an ESC short but I have lost three ESC's due to motors shorting, and/or drawing to much current (before installing the fuse ). My motor runs $17.00, the ESC $40, the battery $65.00. The fuse was two for .35 cents. Cheap insurance .
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Old Aug 22, 2003, 08:18 AM
no place like cloudbase
freeflight's Avatar
Columbus, Ohio
Joined Aug 2002
487 Posts
Slowrider,

Do you put the fuse inline with positive side of battery?

Leigh
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Old Aug 22, 2003, 08:26 AM
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Bill Glover's Avatar
United Kingdom, Bracknell
Joined Nov 2000
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Quote:
Originally posted by freeflight
Slowrider,

Do you put the fuse inline with positive side of battery?

Leigh
Doesn't matter which side, but as already mentioned ... not a good idea to put it between pack and ESC if you're using BEC.

BTW many (but not all!) modern ESCs provide over-current protection and will instantly shut down the power side if you get a motor short/stall (rather than burning out).
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Old Aug 22, 2003, 08:55 AM
no place like cloudbase
freeflight's Avatar
Columbus, Ohio
Joined Aug 2002
487 Posts
Jeez if it was any more apparent, it would have jumped up and bit me. next time I will read more carefully.

L
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Old Aug 22, 2003, 02:34 PM
Registered User
Oakdale, MN, USA
Joined Sep 2001
379 Posts
My Slowstick crashed last Saturday from about sixty feet when I circled downwind to land. I blipped the throttle to yield a little better rudder response and my GWS ICS-300 ESC shut down the radio. The plane gently nosed over (proving, I guess that my CG was wrong with that pack) and without power proceeded to dive right into some tall grass. Broke the gearbox and prop and left no other visible damage.

I couldn't figure out at first why it shut down. I suspect a bad battery pack. Then I noticed the heat shrink melted and found solder spattered on the back of the remaining prop blade. I quit using GWS receivers for anything I cared much about some time ago. Now I guess I be buying Pixie 20's.

Sorry for your loss, thomer.

Dale Case
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Old Aug 22, 2003, 02:55 PM
Long live the SHP!
thomer's Avatar
CA
Joined Mar 2003
2,487 Posts
Thanks, Dale. Yes, it was a hard and expensive lesson, but it was a very valuable lesson. I am going to follow Martin Hunder's lead and start leaning toward using over-rated ESC's. It's worth the extra cost! I don't think I'm going to go the fuse route, even though it's a good idea. I'm glad that this thread has had as many views as it's had so that others can learn from my mistake and not have this happen to them. It's amazing that the only damage the Sukhoi itself suffered was that the rudder tore from where it was glued to the fuselage. A little epoxy should do the trick. I'm just glad the ESC wasn't one of my Phoenix 25's! My most expensive loss was my 3-cell E-Tec 1200 pack which I promptly ordered another one. I'm ordering 2 Pixie 7s and taking advantage of their 2 for $56 to replace some of my 5 amp ESCs. As a practical joke, I should mail my burned up IC-5A ESC back to Wattage and tell them that something is wrong with my ESC and could they please fix it !

thomer
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Last edited by thomer; Aug 22, 2003 at 02:57 PM.
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Old Aug 24, 2003, 01:19 PM
Registered User
Oakdale, MN, USA
Joined Sep 2001
379 Posts
Ummm. . . thomer, I can't blame anyone else for a crash if it is my fault. I have dumb-thumbed more birds into the ground over the last three years I have been flying than most guys. But, I can't tolerate it when equipment fails at a point below its rating, like my speed control. I won't bad-mouth the GWS products for several reasons. One of those reasons is that I really began to learn to fly with the Cub FD, even flew it at night with Curtek lights. They bring some value at reasonable cost to the marketplace.

Here is the problem with speed controls in general. They are an electronic device that invites misuse. The kid next door went to the LHS to buy a new ICS100 for his airplane. I watched him take it out of the package and plug it into his receiver the first time. It DIDN'T WORK! It was defective from the start. I plugged in one of mine and all was well. The LHS wouldn't take his return because they thought he had burned it with too many cells. He is out his hard earned money and has a new bad feeling about the LHS and this hobby.

The Castle products have NEVER let me down. If I want any of my birds to fly reliably, I'll use the Castle products.

Best regards and good luck,

Dale Case
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