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Old Jun 05, 2011, 07:31 AM
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Australia, QLD, Bundaberg
Joined Jun 2006
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Ice120HV exploded in flight

Hey folks. I've just had the dreaded 120HV mid-air cremation on a Faifa heli today. Some pix for your viewing pleasure......
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Old Jun 05, 2011, 08:42 AM
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Australia, QLD, Bundaberg
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Video of the aftermath

.....and a video of the aftermath......

Ice120HV speed controller failure (2 min 31 sec)
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Old Jun 05, 2011, 10:52 AM
A man with too many toys
United States
Joined Feb 2001
18,052 Posts
That looks like one of the new design with the bolted case. I thought the new ones were suppose to be fixed. Looks like CC has some serious re-engineering to do on the large HV ESCs.

I have three 100’s with hundreds of flights and no problems. I have one 120HV with only 1 flight and I am afraid to fly it. I would sell it but I’m not sure what to replace it with.

I sure hope CC comes out with a new design SOON.



.
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Old Jun 05, 2011, 12:32 PM
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mrbonk

can you provide some of your current spec at the time of this mishap.

it be interesting and important for those like myself who current use the same model esc to decipher and troubleshoot what went wrong.
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Old Jun 05, 2011, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by heiFX View Post
mrbonk

can you provide some of your current spec at the time of this mishap.

it be interesting and important for those like myself who current use the same model esc to decipher and troubleshoot what went wrong.
ESC was installed in a Kasama Faifa.
Scorpion 4035-500 motor.
12S Thunder Power 65C batts.

ESC was running the most recent firmware and was in fixed headspeed gov mode.

Helicopter had been test hovered prior and found to be working ok. This was to be the first 'hard' flight, but I didn't even get that far. In 1950HS, I climbed out briefly, rolled over, climbed out inverted briefly, then was in the process of flipping back to upright when it popped. Entire flight lasted maybe 20 seconds.
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Old Jun 05, 2011, 05:50 PM
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was your "Current Limiting"
set to "disable" or "insensitive" ?

if disable was on my understanding is if a power surge was to occur it will not shut -off but basically burn instead.

I know its difficult after the fact but do you notice any unusually wear around your connectors. Any chance the heatshrink on connector had a chance of contact +/- because tear or opening.

clearly some intense surge of power had occurred.

I'm using the most current firmware and castle link and not notice any adverse data logs or strange peaks of power.

during your test hover any chance you uploaded the data log to verify pre-determine RPM and current draw was what you where expecting based on your setting ?
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Old Jun 06, 2011, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heiFX View Post
was your "Current Limiting"
set to "disable" or "insensitive" ?

if disable was on my understanding is if a power surge was to occur it will not shut -off but basically burn instead.

I know its difficult after the fact but do you notice any unusually wear around your connectors. Any chance the heatshrink on connector had a chance of contact +/- because tear or opening.

clearly some intense surge of power had occurred.

I'm using the most current firmware and castle link and not notice any adverse data logs or strange peaks of power.

during your test hover any chance you uploaded the data log to verify pre-determine RPM and current draw was what you where expecting based on your setting ?
The test hover/flight showed very low current.....average of 21.4A, including some full pitch climbs and rolls/flips. There was a peak of 72A, during the full pitch climbs.

The other Faifa I have here is set up identically and hasn't popped yet. It's been flown half a dozen times now, with way harder flights than this one had.
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Last edited by mrbonk; Jun 06, 2011 at 05:09 AM. Reason: Got the figures wrong....looking at the wrong log....
Old Jun 06, 2011, 06:29 PM
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interesting thing is after reading your post I've stumbled on different forums and found several posting regarding 120HV blowing up.
Same deal proper setup mid flight and pop esc goes.
there must of been a fault cap.

I have the same one which is supposedly with the improved casing so the bloody adhesive doesn't break down and fall apart.

perhaps quality control is not high priority at CC and just had a bad batch.

Regardless I would be pissed.

It's one thing esc burning out its another if has chain reaction and destroy $$$ components.

worst is not knowing the reason and cause.

any chance sending back to CC and have them analyze the esc ?
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Old Jun 07, 2011, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by heiFX View Post
interesting thing is after reading your post I've stumbled on different forums and found several posting regarding 120HV blowing up.
Same deal proper setup mid flight and pop esc goes.
there must of been a fault cap.

I have the same one which is supposedly with the improved casing so the bloody adhesive doesn't break down and fall apart.

perhaps quality control is not high priority at CC and just had a bad batch.

Regardless I would be pissed.

It's one thing esc burning out its another if has chain reaction and destroy $$$ components.

worst is not knowing the reason and cause.

any chance sending back to CC and have them analyze the esc ?
Neither is their customer service from what I can gather. I emailed them immediately after I purchased these 2 ESCs and asked whether I should fly them or not, based on the high number of failures that seemed to be occurring. No answer.

The blown up one is going back to the dealer here in Aus where I got them. He will be returning it (along with a bunch of other blown up ones) to CC.

The other 120HV here has already been removed from the helicopter and put in the cupboard. The guy who owns the heli just isn't prepared to risk $4K worth of gear by using it. I can't say I blame him! Both of these helicopters will be having Kontronik Heli Jive ESCs fitted to them in due course.

Having seen how many of these have gone up in flames and for CC to have done nothing about it, I can safely say I'll be avoiding their controllers from now on. A truly responsible company would have issued a product recall long before now.
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Old Jun 07, 2011, 04:05 PM
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What kind of battery connectors were you using?

How long were the battery wires (in total -- distance between the battery and ESC.)

What else was inline with the ESC?

Thanx!

Patrick del Castillo
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Old Jun 07, 2011, 04:43 PM
A man with too many toys
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Originally Posted by Patrick del Castillo View Post
What kind of battery connectors were you using?

How long were the battery wires (in total -- distance between the battery and ESC.)

What else was inline with the ESC?

Thanx!

Patrick del Castillo
Have you considered installing larger capacitors at the factory? If itís a ripple problem that should help Ė donít you think?

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Last edited by RC Man; Jun 07, 2011 at 04:52 PM.
Old Jun 07, 2011, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RC Man View Post
Have you considered installing larger capacitors at the factory? If itís a ripple problem that should help Ė donít you think?

There just isn't more physical room in the ICE controllers to add more capacitance. However, we are releasing an add-on cap pack to help with

What we've seen though, is that many people are running 4.0mm or 3.5mm connectors on kilowatt systems. Even with a ton more capacitance, those connectors overheat and get soft, raising the resistance to unacceptable levels. Also, many of the "banana" style connectors are just really really bad - - the compression springs are made of steel, and add a huge amount of resistance to the line. For comparison, the 5mm "banana" style connector that is very popular now has almost five times the resistance of a Castle style 5.5mm connector.

We suggest the Castle 5.5mm or 6.5mm bullets -- or similar style connectors.
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Old Jun 07, 2011, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Patrick del Castillo View Post
What kind of battery connectors were you using?

How long were the battery wires (in total -- distance between the battery and ESC.)

What else was inline with the ESC?

Thanx!

Patrick del Castillo
6mm bullets from a short Y adaptor to the ESC. Deans connectors from the batteries to the Y harness.

Wire length was ~10" from the battery to the ESC.

There was nothing else in line with the ESC. There was a spark arrestor on the positive lead, but that's it.

Max ripple voltage measured on the other Faifa I have set up identically here is 2.1V, and that's during the hardest 3D flight I can manage. The one that exploded was at 3/4 pitch and simply climbing out.

EDIT: I believe the bullets I have fitted to both of these Faifas are, in fact, Castle bullets, so they must be 5.5 or 6.5. I no longer have the packaging, so I can't check immediately, but I can take a close up photo to verify.
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Old Jun 07, 2011, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbonk View Post
6mm bullets from a short Y adaptor to the ESC. Deans connectors from the batteries to the Y harness.

Wire length was ~10" from the battery to the ESC.

There was nothing else in line with the ESC. There was a spark arrestor on the positive lead, but that's it.

Max ripple voltage measured on the other Faifa I have set up identically here is 2.1V, and that's during the hardest 3D flight I can manage. The one that exploded was at 3/4 pitch and simply climbing out.
6.0mm bullet should have been sufficient. 2.1V ripple is a little high, but not bad.

We've investigated a LOT of these issues in the past few months, and many of them were attributable to high resistance between the batteries and ESC. When the power levels get very high, it's very very important to have a low resistance connection between the batteries and the ESC.

We've instituted several changes to the ICE line in the past two months to increase the robustness of the controllers, and are continuing to improve the robustness of the ICE controllers.

Right now, the ICE-HV line is very good -- we get a very low return and incidence rate on the ICE-HV. The return and incidence rate on the ICE-HV controllers is significantly lower (percentage-wise) than the older Phoenix-HV line. But we build so many ICE-HV controllers that even a small percentage of incident rate can look bad.

The 80HV and 160HV have undergone several revisions, and the 120HV has undergone several more revisions. We are collecting good data, and keep making minor tweaks to improve the reliability.
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Old Jun 07, 2011, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Patrick del Castillo View Post
We've investigated a LOT of these issues in the past few months, and many of them were attributable to high resistance between the batteries and ESC. When the power levels get very high, it's very very important to have a low resistance connection between the batteries and the ESC.
Maybe so, but that still doesn't explain why people are having your controllers explode in installations where other controllers work faultlessly. You have to admit Patrick, it doesn't look good when someone can replace your blown controller with a sub $200 HobbyKing ESC and it manages to keep the magic smoke in
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