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Old Jun 30, 2012, 01:15 AM
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Problems with new HK Red Brick 30a esc, wrong part?

Hey all.

I got this Red Brick ESC in the mail today with a new motor and prop for my skysurfer. It is obviously different from what is on the product page but the part # on the packaging was right so I thought I would try it out. Not great results. It seems to power up ok but the throttle is intermittant. Sometimes the motor will power up as normal and sometimes it will stop after a fraction of a second and won't respond again until the throttle is fully closed.

I thought maybe at first I had a bad connection so I re did all of my soldering and that wasn't the issue (i've been soldering for many years, so I wasn't worried but it was worth a try.

here are some details:

This is a clear image of what I got. The hobbyking product page is http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=18004
it's substantially different


As you can see it's got different specs for NIMH, makes no mention of LiPo, and has a different form factor.


Notice that it is much thinner and only has a heatsink on the back where the one on the product page has heatsinks on both front and back.


I've made a little video to illustrate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faSv-PpZRXc

I've created a ticket at hobby king support for this problem with the same descriptions and pictures, as one must do within 48 hours of getting a product when there is a problem, to protect my options to exchange, return, or whatever other solutions are available.

I wanted to check with you all to make sure I'm not just doing it wrong before I bother getting an RMA and sending this back.
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Old Jun 30, 2012, 03:17 AM
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Bruce Abbott's Avatar
Hastings, New Zealand
Joined Jan 2001
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The most likely reasons for cutting out are battery voltage going below cutoff, or a bad connection between the motor and ESC.

AFAIK this ESC has auto battery voltage detection, so I doubt that it is going into cutoff (unless you a very poor battery). Also, as the battery discharged it would get worse (though it's hard to tell from your video, because you didn't keep the motor at full throttle for very long).

You appear to have removed the bullet plugs from the motor, and connected the wires directly to the ESC. Did you unsolder the plugs, or did you cut them off? Are you sure that all the connections are solid?

If it turns out that the 'Red Brick' is actually faulty then you might want to consider upgrading to a better quality ESC, such as the TURNIGY Plush 30A.
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Old Jun 30, 2012, 03:26 AM
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The battery is fully charged. The bullet plugs are still on the motor, they are down in the air intake so you cant see them very well, but I didn't touch them. I soldered extensions to the esc to motor wires on the esc side and the female plugs to them, and also soldered extensions and an xt60 plug to the esc battery side. The extensions are needed as the distance from the motor to the battery compartment is rather long. The stock esc had extended leads as well. I thought a bad connection might be the problem at first as well. I resoldered all of the connections and had the same problem. I've been soldering electronics for many years so I'm pretty confident I got that right! lol.

probing about with the multimeter i found that when the motor is responding properly to the throttle control, i have voltage at both the esc/extension solder point and the esc/motor plugs. the voltage rises with throttle as expected.

when the throttle is applied and the motor cuts off, I do not see voltage at either of those points.

I am getting 12.10v at the xt60 connector and at the esc/extension solder point on the battery side.

this leads me to believe that the problem is with the esc and not with the motor or my solder joints or connectors.
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Old Jun 30, 2012, 03:43 AM
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Sorry no suggestiions on the fault side ... that's something that will need you to find out ... but on the description and photo side - that's not unusual for an online seller.

Many sellers and HK is not alone in this, have old photos or descriptions of items. They fail to update these when products change. Excuses of so many products through them means they take time to revise web pages etc... for example.
There also is the cop-out clause all retailers use - The right to amend or change item .....

So sadly - I think your only real issue is the work or not factor of the item and it appears from your description it's a faulty ESC ... Having modified the leads from its original ? no idea how your claim may stand now. I accept that when I cut of the XT60 and solder on T's ... I effectively void any claim ...

Nigel
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Old Jun 30, 2012, 03:55 AM
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I didn't modify the leads, the esc came completely without any connectors (save for the bec to rx connector), just stripped and tinned leads. I soldered on my own extensions with plugs for the motor end, and xt60 for the battery end. as there is no way to tell if a part is faulty without testing it, and needing connectors to do so, there should be no problem with that.
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Old Jun 30, 2012, 05:22 AM
222 km/hr Parkjet flyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwohl View Post
I didn't modify the leads, the esc came completely without any connectors (save for the bec to rx connector), just stripped and tinned leads. I soldered on my own extensions with plugs for the motor end, and xt60 for the battery end. as there is no way to tell if a part is faulty without testing it, and needing connectors to do so, there should be no problem with that.
Sorry ... hopefully your 'ticket' should sort you.

FWIW ... I use Red Brick ESC's and really like them ... unlike other budget ESC's - I've found they tolerate a lot higher ampage than they state on the label. I've run a 35A one at over 50A on my speed record Parkjet .. it only failed when the motor decided to short out after a crash into hard field at over 200kph !
I don't recc'd running such overload ... but so far all Red Bricks I've had have proven to work well and be good buys. Just a pity they sell so well and often on back-order !

Nigel
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I use Red Brick ESC's and really like them ... unlike other budget ESC's
Problem is that when you buy a Hobbyking product, you don't really know what you're getting.

The label on johnwohl's 'Red Brick' doesn't make sense. There's no mention of Lipo's - why not? The word "UBEC" suggests a switching BEC (rated for either 3A or 12A, depending on which part of the label you read!) but I bet it's actually a linear BEC.

Obviously the name 'Red Brick' is something that Hobbyking dreamed up, and we don't know the name of the actual manufacturer. Is it even the same one that makes the other 'Red Bricks'? We don't know that either, but several users have reported that the programming instructions for their 'Red Brick' didn't match the actual ESC supplied.

Quote:
also is the cop-out clause all retailers use - The right to amend or change item .....
This isn't just a minor change or update of a product. If this was a US product the vendor could be (quite rightly) sued for false advertising.
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Old Jul 01, 2012, 11:04 AM
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Well Bruce .............. I can see you are a HK fan ...

As to buying from HK - I know what I'm buying. I am buying budget gear gear re-labeled or produced by a general factory for HK along with other brands. So far all I've bought except for 1 servo out of lots has been DOA.

I don't have the luxury of LHS ... and the only 2 retailers 3hrs drive up the road are way too expensive for same chinese gear ! One in fact doesn't carry stock - he orders in based on order he wants me to place ! So HK it is ...... The retailer I used in UK was taken over recently and prices went up, service went down.

Nigel
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Old Jul 03, 2012, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
As to buying from HK - I know what I'm buying.
Apparently I didn't know what I was buying as what I was told I was buying and what I actually received are two markedly different things

Quote:
So far all I've bought except for 1 servo out of lots has been DOA.
I've honestly never had a problem with HK stuff before this, but cripes man, that's one hell of a bad track record. Maybe it's what you are buying, but if it were me and 9 out of 10 things I ordered were DOA, I'd search high and low for ANYWHERE else to buy from.

Maybe try some of HKs better gear for a few bucks more?

I think that's where I went wrong this time. I had a bad feeling about ordering the bottom of the line. I should have just gone with the better HK or Turnigy ESC.

Quote:
I don't have the luxury of LHS ... and the only 2 retailers 3hrs drive up the road are way too expensive for same chinese gear !
I do have an LHS, but they only carry name brand stuff and want full retail for everything, which is fine for a lot of stuff like hardware, but for the pieces of foam I fly, I don't really need Hitec servos or JR leads. HXT900s and generic extensions will do me just fine.

In any case, this is being taken care of (hopefully) by the fine folks at the warranty team, as apparently it is the right item (despite being the wrong item), and what they are selling as the RB30-ESC right now (without updating the product page).

I guess it's just a faulty ESC. Hopefully they will replace it without any hassle, or if it's on backorder maybe I can pay the difference of a couple dollars for a better one?
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Old Jul 09, 2012, 12:30 AM
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Some updates to this situation.

This was supposed to have been sent to the warranty team on 6/2 (with no response until now I might add), and I got this response today:

"We have checked with our warehouse regarding the ESC, they informed us that the components on the ESC is the one you ordered. There was an error with the label when they put the sticker on. We have asked our product specialist to inspect the video to make sure the ESC is at no fault. We will contact you again as soon as there are some news from them."

To which I replied:

"That's fine. The ESC still looks nothing like the one on the product page.

In any case, even if it is the correct ESC, it doesn't work properly. The battery I am using (Zippy 2200mah) works fine in my other models. The motor is new and was shipped in the same order as the ESC. If the motor were at fault, the esc would still be outputting proper voltage, which it is not. There is likely a problem with the output stage of the ESC.

I thought this had already gone to the warranty support team for review as of 6/2.

Also I would like to note that even though the warehouse team says that "the components" are the same, that isn't the same thing as being the one I ordered. The product I ordered was described as "featuring twin heat sinks (one for the MCU and one for the FETs)" and "Size: 47mm x 10mm 26mm".

This one is clearly not the same size and does not feature dual heatsinks. In fact, it looks exactly like the 20a heat sink here: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...k_20A_ESC.html

You guys aren't relabeling 20a heatsinks as 30a are you? Would that explain the "error with the label"?"

I love HK, I really do. They seem to be trying pretty hard whereas a few other chinese companies are more than happy to take your money and tell you to piss off if you have a problem.

At least HK has some support and warranty service. It might not be all that and a bag of chips, but its there at least. Technically I don't think they are legally required to offer it since they aren't subject to US consumer protection laws.

That being said, I paid my money for what was described on the product page to arrive in working order and so far, they haven't provided that.

Luckily I used paypal. We'll see if I need to make use of the buyer protection. I'd really rather not have to as this is the only problem I've ever had with HK.
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Old Jul 11, 2012, 11:04 AM
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different problem, same ESC

Hi, I'm having a similar problem with my 30A Red Brick ESC. I ordered a complete pack for a RC starter from Hobbyking (Bixler + 2batts + TX/RX + ESC + batt charger ...) The thing is that I connected the ESC and the beahaviour was like this:

At mid-throttle positions the motor oscillates a bit but if i bring throttle to max, it gets stuck there!!! and I had to disconnect the battery with the plane pushing forward!!!

The ESC is the same as yours, labeled exactly the same, so yesterday when a friend told me about an ESC he received that came with a "full" manual I thought... "maybe it's programmed to NI-MH batteries by default?" so I plan to test the configuration later today or tomorrow.

HK support story: HK chat support gave me an email address, mailed them the problem, and they told me to make a video and send a link. So I did on monday, still waiting for reply.

Anyway a friend lend me a spare ESC he got and I was able to maiden the bixler and fly it while I wait for a "mystery esc" that cames from UK (so i don't have to wait the 32 days i had to wait for the bixler and the rest of the parts)

If I make any progress with the tests or a reply from HK support I'll let you know
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Old Jul 11, 2012, 11:53 AM
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$7.68 for a 30 amp esc, you can not expect great 1) reliability, 2) performance, and 3) customer service. I guess buy 3 of them and hope one or two are decent?
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Old Jul 11, 2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwohl View Post
The battery is fully charged. The bullet plugs are still on the motor, they are down in the air intake so you cant see them very well, but I didn't touch them. I soldered extensions to the esc to motor wires on the esc side and the female plugs to them, and also soldered extensions and an xt60 plug to the esc battery side. The extensions are needed as the distance from the motor to the battery compartment is rather long. The stock esc had extended leads as well. I thought a bad connection might be the problem at first as well. I resoldered all of the connections and had the same problem. I've been soldering electronics for many years so I'm pretty confident I got that right! lol.

probing about with the multimeter i found that when the motor is responding properly to the throttle control, i have voltage at both the esc/extension solder point and the esc/motor plugs. the voltage rises with throttle as expected.

when the throttle is applied and the motor cuts off, I do not see voltage at either of those points.

I am getting 12.10v at the xt60 connector and at the esc/extension solder point on the battery side.

this leads me to believe that the problem is with the esc and not with the motor or my solder joints or connectors.
Extending the battery leads was quite possibly where you went wrong. This generates voltage in the battery line that a cheapo (and sometimes more expensive!) esc can not handle. If you need to make anything longer, only the motor wires should be extended.
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Old Jul 11, 2012, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Deadstick 8409 View Post
Extending the battery leads was quite possibly where you went wrong. This generates voltage in the battery line that a cheapo (and sometimes more expensive!) esc can not handle. If you need to make anything longer, only the motor wires should be extended.
The extension on the battery side was only 2" for more battery placement leeway but I can solder the connector direct to the esc and report back.
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Old Jul 11, 2012, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theremin View Post
Hi, I'm having a similar problem with my 30A Red Brick ESC. I ordered a complete pack for a RC starter from Hobbyking (Bixler + 2batts + TX/RX + ESC + batt charger ...) The thing is that I connected the ESC and the beahaviour was like this:

At mid-throttle positions the motor oscillates a bit but if i bring throttle to max, it gets stuck there!!! and I had to disconnect the battery with the plane pushing forward!!!

The ESC is the same as yours, labeled exactly the same, so yesterday when a friend told me about an ESC he received that came with a "full" manual I thought... "maybe it's programmed to NI-MH batteries by default?" so I plan to test the configuration later today or tomorrow.

HK support story: HK chat support gave me an email address, mailed them the problem, and they told me to make a video and send a link. So I did on monday, still waiting for reply.

Anyway a friend lend me a spare ESC he got and I was able to maiden the bixler and fly it while I wait for a "mystery esc" that cames from UK (so i don't have to wait the 32 days i had to wait for the bixler and the rest of the parts)

If I make any progress with the tests or a reply from HK support I'll let you know
This is the actual manual: http://propeleris.lt/failai/red_brick_2.pdf

There is no input voltage setting for NiMH or Lipo, only cutoff voltage.
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