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Old Sep 08, 2002, 05:03 PM
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Neil Morse's Avatar
San Francisco, CA, USA
Joined Jul 1999
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Anyone else have this problem with a Kontronik FUN400-23?

I've been enjoying a Pico Jet Combat powered by a FUN400-23 -- a very easy way to have a whole lot of fun.

However, about two months ago I landed the plane normally, put in a new pack, and found that the motor all of a sudden was pulsing and cutting out intermittently. I suspected the speed control, but when I borrowed another motor and esc from a friend I found that my motor did the same thing when connected to his esc, and that my esc worked fine with his motor.

I sent the motor back to NSP to be sent to Kontronik. A while ago, it came back from Germany with this note from Kontronik: "One wire of the coil is torn off where it comes out of the motor. The customer must have torn out the blue cable. It's impossible to repair this and this motor is not under warranty!" (The motor was "under warranty" in the sense that this happened during the warranty period -- what Kontronik meant was that the warranty wouldn't cover the problem because they felt it was due to abuse rather than normal use.) I examined the motor, and the only thing I noticed was that the insulation on the blue cable did not extend all the way into the case, i.e., there was about an eighth of an inch of exposed copper wire showing. The wire, however, was connected and did not appear to be damaged or worn. I had not noticed this before.

Needless to say, I was not happy with Kontronik's response since I had never abused this motor and had not done anything to it but use it for its intended purpose. I had flown about 30 flights without a crash at the time that the problem developed.

This morning a friend at the flying field told me that he had recently had the same symptoms with this FUN400-23, and found that the blue cable on his motor had become worn where it came out of the case and was only hanging on by a few strands. Examination revealed that the blue insulation on the cable did not extend into the case, and the rubbing of the bare copper wires on the case had worn the cable through.

I then looked at the replacement motor that I was using in my P-Jet and noticed the same thing: the blue insulation on the blue cable did not extend all the way into the case and a bit of the bare copper wire (enamelled for insulation) was exposed. The blue insulation could slide back and forth on the wire.

So I have now established that this problem exists in at least three motors. It seems to me that Kontronik has (or had) a quality control problem. My friend was able to resolder the wire on his. I'm planning on trying to see if I can fix mine (even though Kontronik says it's impossible).

In the meantime, it seems to me that Kontronik owes me a new motor. Has anyone else had this problem, and does anyone know who I could contact at Kontronik to talk to about this? Thanks in advance for your help.

Neil
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Last edited by Neil Morse; Sep 08, 2002 at 05:20 PM.
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Old Sep 08, 2002, 05:28 PM
I "plant" trees (balsa)
Gary Retterbush's Avatar
Eisenschmitt, Germany
Joined Jan 2002
777 Posts
You might try: mike@kontronik.com
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Old Sep 08, 2002, 08:42 PM
RIP Ric
Andy W's Avatar
Marietta, GA
Joined Jun 1999
43,312 Posts
Mike hangs around here.. I'm sure he can help. Do you have pictures of this problem on your other /23's? I'll check mine..
..a
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Old Sep 08, 2002, 09:29 PM
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Neil Morse's Avatar
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Thanks for the help. I'll try Mike. I'm one of the few people in the world who is still without a digital camera, so I can't post a photo of this until I borrow one.

Neil
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 01:29 AM
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Deutschland, Baden-Württemberg, Ebersbach an der Fils
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The Isolation is on the 3 wires of the motor. We have changed nothing since we use that on the motors. (since 4 Years)
The Isolation only comes off, when anyone is pulling at the isolation. They don't move itself. The isolation is to protect the motor and controller from shortcuts.
The copper wires breaks (with or without isolation) if they will move to often up or down, or will be damaged by a crash.
Warranty incl. all failures which happens without any reason from outside.

sorry for the bad english

Mike
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 06:19 AM
Turbines suck ;-)
Australia, QLD, Brisbane
Joined Mar 2000
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I was about to order a Kontronik geared set up plus speed controller - having read these posts, I am now having second thoughts. Any chance of having the pictures of the problem ?
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 06:26 AM
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Ben Diss's Avatar
USA, NY, Chestnut Ridge
Joined Jun 2000
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To better understand how Kontronik supports their customer, see this thread:

Kontronik fails to honor warrenty

-Ben
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 06:49 AM
small electrics r BIG FUN
Iowa
Joined Aug 2000
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Hi Neil

Your post has prompted me to inspect my 400/22's. It appears the 22 has a black insulation that extends out of the motor case and then blue shrink (or green or red) immediately over that. In spite of crashes with both motors,(in retrospect, one should learn aerobatics with can motors) all wires exiting the motors look very good, with insulation intact. It sounds like a different process or design of insulating in the 23.

Kontronik used to be one of the few choices in the brushless motor/controller market. However, competition is everywhere. They will have to be market-wise and customer-friendly to survive.

I hope you get your problem warrantied.

Al
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 07:15 AM
RIP Ric
Andy W's Avatar
Marietta, GA
Joined Jun 1999
43,312 Posts
Here's my 400/23:
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 09:10 AM
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Steve McBride's Avatar
Agra, Oklahoma
Joined Feb 2000
5,390 Posts
Looking at the pic of Andy's, I would suggest running a bead of silicone around the wire exit. This should help keep the insulation in place and also prevent the wires from chafing on the can.

Good luck and have fun guys!

Steve McBride
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 03:00 PM
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Neil Morse's Avatar
San Francisco, CA, USA
Joined Jul 1999
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Andy:

Thanks for posting the pic so people can see what we're talking about.

After examining the new 400-23 that I bought to replace the one that failed after 30 flights (I obviously still really like these motors!), here's what I've found:

The colored insulation on the three cables seems to be CA'd together (i.e., to each other) at the point where the cables exit the motor. However, the insulation is free to slide back and forth on the cables (which have enamel insulation on them anyway). Soo ... I think the problem can develop when just from the normal wear and tear of being plugged in and unplugged, the CA joint on the insulation breaks away and the insulation is free to slide on the copper cable. I assume the insulation on the blue cable is the shortest, i.e., extends the shortest distance into the case. The result is that the insulation on the blue cable can easily become loose and slide back, exposing the copper wire to the stress of rubbing against the case. Whether this is a defect or not can be debated, but I think that Steve's suggestion is an excellent one. I will be using silicone from now on to make sure that the insulation stays in place on these motors.

This explains how my friends motor failed where the cable became so frayed that it couldn't carry the current any more. However, it doesn't really explain how my motor failed. With mine (again sorry for not having a photo yet), the copper cable itself appears to have pulled out of the case to the point where there's about a quarter inch of copper exposed between the case and the insulation. All I know is that I never abused the motor. All I can think of is that the esc was not secured to anything in the P-Jet, and there may have been a slight tug on the wires when a battery was being disconnected that put some strain on the blue cable. This, however, certainly shouldn't have been enough to detach the cable somewhere inside the case. I will know more when I take the motor apart and look inside.

Although I'm unhappy because I'm convinced that the motor I got was defective, I still wouldn't hesitate to buy one of these since they work so well. I should also mention that although Carolyn at NSP protested at first and was going to go along with Kontronik that I had abused the motor, she ultimately agreed to sell me a new one for half price. This wasn't totally satisfactory to me, but I appreciated the gesture on behalf of NSP since they were sort of caught in the middle on this one.

Neil
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 07:35 PM
RIP Ric
Andy W's Avatar
Marietta, GA
Joined Jun 1999
43,312 Posts
My insulation is unable to move due to the way I have soldered the connectors in place. Not saying it's right or wrong, just that mine is securely locked in place. Not only that, but I had to open my motor as it was missing a spacer - when I assembled the motor, I used silicone to secure it, and I believe I did put some extra around that insulation there.
..a
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 08:33 PM
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Neil Morse's Avatar
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Andy:

I think you are more meticulous about these things than some others of us are likely to be. Of course it is "right" to be sure that you solder your connections on so that the insulation is locked in place, but unless you're aware of the potential problem of the insulation sliding back you can't take steps to prevent it. I think that if Kontronik sticks to this design that they should at least include a warning about it in the instructions.

Neil
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 08:51 PM
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Ben Diss's Avatar
USA, NY, Chestnut Ridge
Joined Jun 2000
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Neil,

Kontronik won't warn you of this problem because they deny it even exists.

Mike wrote:
Quote:
The Isolation only comes off, when anyone is pulling at the isolation. They don't move itself.
I guess we just shouldn't be pulling it so much, huh?

-Ben
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Old Sep 10, 2002, 09:33 PM
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Neil Morse's Avatar
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Joined Jul 1999
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Ben:

Yes, you might have noticed that I have ignored Mike's response as I consider it pretty pathetic. I only now read the thread that you posted a link to about your experience. The most stunning thing on it is the reponse from Sal. Wow! I don't know who Sabine is, but it sounds like she it the person that I should be dealing with on this.

Neil
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