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Old Jul 05, 2007, 02:28 PM
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Joined Dec 2005
5 Posts
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ESC caught on fire!

I recently upgraded my Hobbico Superstar EP. I took out the stock motor, esc, and battery and put in brushless. Flight times have increased from 6 minutes to almost an hour! Anyway....

Last weekend, I had just arrived at the field. I had not even put the wings on the plane yet. I turned on the radio, then hooked up the battery. I held the plane and slid the throttle to full. Almost instantly, the speed of the motor reduced drastically for no apparent reason. Then I saw a spark in the esc and then it caught on fire with a flame several inches high. Luckly, I was able to blow out the fire.

The esc is a charred black mass. It originally was a Mystery brand 45 Amp. BTW, the motor pulls 25A at WOT.

Did the esc fail, or did something maybe short? I don't see what could have shorted. Did I get what I paid for with that cheap brand? I bought an Electrifly brand and so far so good with it, but now I'm leary to fly because I'm worried about this happening at any given moment.
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Old Jul 05, 2007, 02:46 PM
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M Ashmore's Avatar
Bakersfield, California
Joined Aug 2003
1,726 Posts
I had a cheapie "Mystery" brand burn up on the maiden flight of my Interstate Cadet. The inside of the fuse still smells like magic smoke. I never found the reason.
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Old Jul 05, 2007, 03:54 PM
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cjbucher's Avatar
Raleigh, NC
Joined Sep 2004
2,615 Posts
I guess it will remain a "Mystery"!
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Old Jul 06, 2007, 09:09 AM
Master of 1 point landing
Naperville, IL
Joined Jul 2005
2,841 Posts
Same thing happened to me, but never made it past 25% of WOT. I think it has to do with the cap not containing the inrush current. On mine, it burned the FETs.
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Old Jul 06, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Joined May 2006
849 Posts
Don't ever put faith in a mystery electronic component. Always get trustworthy components from reliable sources.
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Old Jul 06, 2007, 01:56 PM
Master of 1 point landing
Naperville, IL
Joined Jul 2005
2,841 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by dessertracer
Don't ever put faith in a mystery electronic component. Always get trustworthy components from reliable sources.
BAH! Yeah, they may have more problems, but in my case - Im not flying a $1000 model. If something dies - I deadstick/crash a foamey. I love my $15 tower pro ESCs and my $20 GWS RX! If I were to stick with CC ESCs or the more 'name-brand' electronics - I would easily have 4X more invested in the hobby. Now I can have 4X more planes! I have some namebrand stuff - I love my CC10s. I felt a profound loss when my CC25 gave up the ghost. Replaced it with an EFLITE that was 1/2 the cost.
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Old Jul 06, 2007, 02:01 PM
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Joined May 2006
849 Posts
I'm certainly not against inexpensive parts, as long as it's not an expensive high performance model (very bad idea). I think the main thing is that you know the brand and their history as well as knowing if particular models have caused other RCer's problems. There's nothing like a plane in the air (even a cheap foamie) that could catch fire or go out of control at any moment and do damage beyond just the plane (i.e. starting a forest fire, hurting person/property etc.)
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Old Jul 06, 2007, 03:43 PM
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Cmiller's Avatar
Las Vegas
Joined May 2002
259 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaBiggles
BAH! Yeah, they may have more problems, but in my case - Im not flying a $1000 model. If something dies - I deadstick/crash a foamey. I love my $15 tower pro ESCs and my $20 GWS RX! If I were to stick with CC ESCs or the more 'name-brand' electronics - I would easily have 4X more invested in the hobby. Now I can have 4X more planes! I have some namebrand stuff - I love my CC10s. I felt a profound loss when my CC25 gave up the ghost. Replaced it with an EFLITE that was 1/2 the cost.
It is not just about you. When you fly you have the ability to affect others with a malfunction or a fire.
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Old Jul 12, 2007, 09:16 PM
Master of 1 point landing
Naperville, IL
Joined Jul 2005
2,841 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmiller
It is not just about you. When you fly you have the ability to affect others with a malfunction or a fire.
Double BAH! Of course a malfunction can have very bad and expensive results. CC is widely recognized as being one of the best, even they had issues with the old CC25s. Bad things can happen with high end, or inexpensive components. I bet the 'catastrophic' failure rate of all of these components if very low and not significantly different. I will surely grant you the point that cheaper stuff tends to not work out of the box and breaks more often, but that doesnt lead to a catastrophic failure on a 12 oz foamy. Leads to rebuilding with $2 worth of foam.

I certainly wouldnt recommend using at $20 single conversion RX in a jet turbine RC model - but that is not what we are talking about.

BTW - Mystery - is brand name, not unknown. most folks think its a rebadged tower pro or similar.
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