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Old Apr 03, 2007, 02:19 AM
Registered User
Eugene, OR
Joined Dec 2006
99 Posts
Fire FIre

Interesting night tonight repairing the wild hawk. I figured out what was wrong with the plane, foam cracked around the elevator control horn. It held up fine to my initial check after the crash but obviously failed under operating conditions. So I got it all fixed up with some epoxy, and some fiberglass tape to the elevator to stiffen it all up a bit. Seemed rock solid and better than new. I plugged in all the electronics, and started trimming out the control surfaces, generally messing around and getting more familiar with the dx6 options, travel adjustment, exponential, etc. I must have done that for about half an hour. Then I decided to arm the motor and check it out again, I had already checked it once after the crash and it was working fine. The motor started right up, but shortly thereafter I smelled smoke. The esc was catching fire, awful smell of burning heat shrink. It burned right through before my mind switched from "oh crud" to "unplug the battery stupid". Which I did and the fire went out just as quickly as it had started. So, a few questions. Could running the control surfaces for a long time without running the motor have caused the esc to get so hot? Is my battery OK? What power systems should i look at purchasing? new esc, or maybe new esc and motor?
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Old Apr 03, 2007, 12:18 PM
Registered User
Chesapeake Beach Md.
Joined Mar 2007
87 Posts
doser, good point on the control horns. My last flight resulted in coming in to fast belly landing into grass, nose up and the tail hitting a clump of grass.
Result was the horn at the rudder sheered away, the elevator horn also dug into the grass, stressing the foam around it, rear wheel gone and the bracket holding the rear wheel pushed back, but not break thru the foam.
The tail assembly also broke loose from the fuselage with the double sided tape letting go.
I think if my tail assembly had been glued on, it might have broken something, but I'm not sure if I want to glue it on, or find a better tape.
I launch throwing and land the plane on its belly, in grass and feel that the horn at the elevator hangs down, snagging the grass. Perhaps a trim of the horn just below the turnbuckle would prevent this problem?
I have really learned a lot flying this plane, love to just cruise slow and low,getting used to the controls, then open her up on throttle every so often,
and if i get above 30-40ft, I really start getting nervous.
The more I fly her, the stronger she gets, tape and glue really stiffens her up.

Sorry to hear about the smoke.
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Old Apr 03, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Sacramento, CA
Joined Jan 2007
304 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by doser
... The motor started right up, but shortly thereafter I smelled smoke. The esc was catching fire, awful smell of burning heat shrink. It burned right through before my mind switched from "oh crud" to "unplug the battery stupid". Which I did and the fire went out just as quickly as it had started. So, a few questions. Could running the control surfaces for a long time without running the motor have caused the esc to get so hot? Is my battery OK? What power systems should i look at purchasing? new esc, or maybe new esc and motor?
I doubt it. Is this an ESC that you put in yourself with a brushless setup and your DX6? Sounds like it is the one that comes with the plane? Inspect the motor carefully to make sure windings are not burnt, spins ok, no shorts at the motor terminals or ESC leads, etc. If the motor has issues, you can potentially overload teh ESC and fry the MOSFETs on it.

dave mc
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Old Apr 03, 2007, 01:58 PM
Registered User
Eugene, OR
Joined Dec 2006
99 Posts
It was the stock esc. The motor looks ok but i don't doubt something may be loose or shorted after that violent crash (everything seemed fine until i started up the motor..). I think I will scrap the motor and put in a new esc and motor, rather than just fry another esc with the possibly bad motor. any suggestions?
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Old Apr 05, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Chesapeake Beach Md.
Joined Mar 2007
87 Posts
Got some good flight time in yestarday in 5-10 mph winds. I ran four batteries thru about 10-12 minutes of mostly 1/2 to 3/4 throttle flight and put them away. The night before I had cut my control horns down, reinforced the foam at the tail horns and installed new double stick carpet tape from lowes, cut away the rear wheel brackets, making the end of the plane snagg free. I must have practiced landing the plane 20 times in the grass, checking the tail for looseness, lifting of the tail ,etc., it seemed
bullit proof. No tweaking, twisting aligning needed, just a quick visual and relaunch.
It also seemed to slide much further on the grass, but the grass was wet from rain the night before, but I'm sure the removal of the rear wheel bracket helped for sure.
To windy to fly for the next couple of days, and was just tinkering with the plane, as Doser was doing when he toasted his esc. I cycled the four batteries down by running them down with throttle and servo movement plugged into the plane using the Tx.On two of the four batteries I would get COMPLETE shutdown of power for a second or two, come back on by itself, run for about another minute and shut down again with no power. When I say no power, the motor stops and the servo's stop, before the battery is fully discharged, This happened at8.28v. on one pack, and 8.3v on the other. Now, if I hit the red button, this would reset the power and the plane would continue to run and perform flawless to full cut-off of ecs with juice to still run the servo's to 7.8v on both packs. The other two packs did not have any cut-out of no power to the ecs and performed as should, but I'm not sure if its because the ecs was already warm, cold etc. I feel there have been to many remarks, instances that have reported plane just went dead, etc. for this to be a fluke, its happened to me twice, crash resulted from no power to esc, including after crash, took the plane back, could have been switch, maybe esc.
I will do the same next time out, run the packs, for 10-12 minutes and test again, maybe I got some interference, glitch, etc. inside while testing? I don't think its the batteries, they take a full charge.
Could it be a faulty start switch-red button? If it happens again, I will just cut the wires and short em closed. Or just replce the ecs
But I won't be running the packs longer than 12 minutes till I figure it out.
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Old Apr 05, 2007, 12:45 PM
Registered User
Sacramento, CA
Joined Jan 2007
304 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by doser
It was the stock esc. The motor looks ok but i don't doubt something may be loose or shorted after that violent crash (everything seemed fine until i started up the motor..). I think I will scrap the motor and put in a new esc and motor, rather than just fry another esc with the possibly bad motor. any suggestions?
Yes that is probably wise. Maybe run the existing motor straight from the battery full out with prop for a few minutes and see if it is smoking/burning. Since the existing ESC was burning, cut away the shrink wrap and have a look at it. Post some pics of it here. Maybe we can help.

dave mc
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Old Apr 05, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Sacramento, CA
Joined Jan 2007
304 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlestar
I will do the same next time out, run the packs, for 10-12 minutes and test again, maybe I got some interference, glitch, etc. inside while testing? I don't think its the batteries, they take a full charge.
Could it be a faulty start switch-red button? If it happens again, I will just cut the wires and short em closed. Or just replce the ecs
But I won't be running the packs longer than 12 minutes till I figure it out.
Try the experiments again and see if you can get repeatability of the symptoms. If you can, monitor the battery voltage with an analog meter and see if it is dipping at the shutoff point. You can also try forced cooling of the esc with an external fan to see if it eliminates the cutting out. If it does, then a good mod may be adding some cooling vents into the fuse to cool the battery and esc, similar to what some E* owners have done. It could also be that the BEC regulator on the esc is getting too hot and shutting down. A small heatsink added to that chip could solve the problem, but as I already suggested to douser, some nice pics of the ESC here would help.

dave mc
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Old May 03, 2007, 03:08 PM
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amory,ms
Joined Jan 2007
593 Posts
http://www.raidentech.com/rtfwiha54el3.html

same plane or a knock off
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Old May 03, 2007, 06:19 PM
"No" means "Know"!
USA, CA, Los Angeles
Joined Sep 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revjwb32
Yep, same plane. Same price I paid after the $60 coupon, too.
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Old May 04, 2007, 10:34 AM
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amory,ms
Joined Jan 2007
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an85 do you like yours?
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Old May 12, 2007, 12:24 PM
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Darth_Elevator's Avatar
The Beautiful Mountains of Utah
Joined Oct 2006
6,232 Posts
My local HF is putting the Wild Hawk on sale June 1, 2 and 3 for $59.99. I think I'll pick one up.
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 11:23 PM
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The Beautiful Mountains of Utah
Joined Oct 2006
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I picked up a Wild Hawk today and a coworker picked up two. Assembly was easy and straightforward. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's maiden flight.
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Old Jun 03, 2007, 01:23 PM
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United States, PA, Canonsburg
Joined Sep 2001
185 Posts
I bought one yesterday, for 59.99 I couldn't pass it up, plus I wanted the transmitter to use with my harbor cub's receiver. Flew it this morning in less than favorable wind conditions and it flew fine. The wild hawk is by far the best RC airplane Harbor Freight sells. I have a Harbor Cub, a Yellow Bee, and now the wild hawk.

My review of HF Airplanes
Harbor Cub
I hate the harbor cub, its way too under powered and tends to fall out of the sky like a brick plus the transmitter that comes with it is impossible to use. However it does have a nice airframe and is well constructed. It has much better moldings than any of the GWS stuff I've seen, just wish it had more power.

Yellow Bee
Onto the yellow bee, what can I say its cheap, easy to fly, and flys great. Only drawbacks I have found are that it is a little fragile and when the battery gets low, it will not turn. I have had mine in thermals and have flown for well past 20 mintues. I usually set the throttle trim all the way up letting the motors run at about 3/4 speed and then give it the extra burst from the stick when needed. Once I get some altitude I cut the trim so the motors shut off and just glide around.

Wild Hawk
Regular price of 129.99 is too much, but the sale price of 59.99 is a steal. Flies great, but looks a little goofy. The three channel transmitter is much better than the Harbor Cubs. Its the last day of the sale too. I think most harbor freight stores are open until four on sundays, two and a half more hours, you better hurry because it will be a while until they have it on sale at this low of a price again!
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Old Jun 03, 2007, 04:50 PM
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Darth_Elevator's Avatar
The Beautiful Mountains of Utah
Joined Oct 2006
6,232 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skysailor
My review of HF Airplanes
Yellow Bee
Onto the yellow bee, what can I say its cheap, easy to fly, and flys great. Only drawbacks I have found are that it is a little fragile and when the battery gets low, it will not turn. I have had mine in thermals and have flown for well past 20 mintues. I usually set the throttle trim all the way up letting the motors run at about 3/4 speed and then give it the extra burst from the stick when needed. Once I get some altitude I cut the trim so the motors shut off and just glide around.

Wild Hawk
Regular price of 129.99 is too much, but the sale price of 59.99 is a steal. Flies great, but looks a little goofy. The three channel transmitter is much better than the Harbor Cubs. Its the last day of the sale too. I think most harbor freight stores are open until four on sundays, two and a half more hours, you better hurry because it will be a while until they have it on sale at this low of a price again!
I agree with Skysailor's reviews of the Yellow Bee and Wild Hawk. I won't comment on the Cub since I've never owned that one. But the Yellow Bee was a great plane for the price. I bought it last summer for $30 bucks. It was about the sixth toy plane I had over the years and the only one I was able to get up in the air. I give the Yellow Bee credit for getting me addicted to RC flying. It directly led me to buy my first hobby grade trainer plane.

The Wild Hawk is a great deal for $60 bucks. If you've already missed the sale, do NOT play full price for it. Wait a month or two and it's bound to come on sale again, even if it's not as low as $60. It's been on sale for $70 at least twice this year and I'm sure it will come on sale again. I maidened my new Wild Hawk yesterday and was mostly pleased. I put the control throws on the lowest sensitivity setting (the one with the smallest amount of movement), but it was too little control. And for some reason the right rudder wasn't as responsive as left. When I put the control throws on the highest level, it flew much better. The rudder still seemed to be sticking to the right, so last night I modded both the rudder and elevator by cutting out the foam hinges and replacing with tape. I also noticed that on the highest throw setting, the clevis and control arm seemed to be rubbing a little on the end of the fuselage when I turned right. That might be why it was so sluggish in that direction. In retrospect, that seems to explain it perfectly. I would move the rudder stick a little to the right and nothing would happen. When I would jam the stick full right, it would paused a little and then suddenly bank hard right. So I shaved about 1/8 of an inch of foam off so it won't catch anymore. With that change and with the hinge mods, I expect this baby will fly like a whole new plane.

I have two friends who each picked up Wild Hawk and a third friend, who, after hearing about the deal yesterday, was headed over there yesterday afternoon to pick one up.
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Old Jun 03, 2007, 05:25 PM
"On the Wing"
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Ohio
Joined Jul 2006
757 Posts
...
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