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Old Jan 29, 2008, 09:50 PM
mondo1948
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Rocky Hill, Connecticut
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Does Cold Weather Affect Electronics?

Hi Guys,
Yesterday, I finished assembling my Parkzone T-28 Trojan and everything seemed fine. I charged the battery and trimmed the rudder, elevator and ailerons. Then, I started up the prop and was amazed at the thrust.

This morning, I took the plane out to the field for a maiden flight. However, when I turned on the transmitter and tried to field check the controls, none of the servos moved (except there was some "twitching" in the ailerons). The prop would not turn. And, yes, I did have the throttle stick all the way down as well as the throttle trim lever (I realize they have to be off for the motor to "arm").

I should tell you that it was 24 degrees F at the field and my plane had been in my cold garage overnight. The lipo battery was kept in my house at room temperature until I went to the field.

So, my question is....could the cold have messed up the ESC or receiver?

The reason I think it was the cold is that when I got home and brought the plane, battery and transmitter back to room temperature in the house, an hour later, everything worked fine. The only variable that changed was the temperature.

I'd appreciate knowing whether anyone else has had a problem with cold weather. I've been flying my Super Cub day after day in cold weather with no problem. Of course, it doesn't use a lipo battery, if that matters.

Thank you in advance,
Mondo
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 10:01 PM
Doing it in the Lateral Axis
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yes..extreme cold affects electronics unless there designed in russia. Don't leave the plane in the garage..this is bad for the circuit boards as the contraction and expansion can cause circuit faults.
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 10:06 PM
mondo1948
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Rocky Hill, Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modfly
yes..extreme cold affects electronics unless there designed in russia. Don't leave the plane in the garage..this is bad for the circuit boards as the contraction and expansion can cause circuit faults.
Thank you for the reply! What I don't understand is that I've left my Super Cub in the garage overnight and never had a problem with it, even when flying at 21 degrees F. However, I do realize the T-28 is a little more sophisticated in that it beeps 3 times to indicate I've installed a 3-cell lipo battery and the Super Cub uses a "combined" receiver/ESC and a NIMH battery. Maybe that's the difference?

Thank you,
Mondo
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 10:22 PM
Doing it in the Lateral Axis
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nevermind.
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Old Jan 29, 2008, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mondo1948
Thank you for the reply! What I don't understand is that I've left my Super Cub in the garage overnight and never had a problem with it, even when flying at 21 degrees F. However, I do realize the T-28 is a little more sophisticated in that it beeps 3 times to indicate I've installed a 3-cell lipo battery and the Super Cub uses a "combined" receiver/ESC and a NIMH battery. Maybe that's the difference?

Thank you,
Mondo


The T-28 has beeping when you first plug in battery simply because it comes with a brushless motor and brushless controller. A brushless controller can easily make a brushless motor make all kinds of sounds even play music (no kidding, really can sing songs). Most brushed controllers do not cause motor to make any beeping. The Cub uses brushed motor and controller.

The most fragile component under extreme temperature is probablly LiPo battery. You can easily cause permanent damage either overheat or overcool them. The performance of LiPo battery is greatly effected by temperature. If you have a very cold battery you will get much less power out of it or even hit cut-off immediately after flight begins. Many receivers also go crazy or even completely dead either too cold or too hot.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 06:48 AM
uhhh....this thing on?
skyking1231's Avatar
Long Island, NY USA
Joined May 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modfly
No..the difference is more than likely the servos...they are very sensitive to cold..some circuits are designed better than others..Apparently the SC is designed to be more robust. This is called temperature stable design and is built in to some and not even considered in others. Temperature cold or Hot can and does cause drift in the operation of all electronics..its just that in some designs, there are temperature compensation methods used to offset this drift..you can bet the russian planes have this compensation offset built into there electronic systems as russian planes are known to be very robust with respect to the weather conditions..

I'm referring to real russian planes not r\c and I'm using them as an example of temperature offset compensated electronics design.

wouldn't all planes not just Russian planes have the same tolerances to temp ? I don't see what makes them so special. Besides...US, Russian, Europe.....ALL made in Tawain ! Sound familiar...he he
I don't see any problem with my plane when flying in -60F, and it's not russian.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 07:13 AM
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stuart warne's Avatar
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Ii think he meant full size A/C...
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 08:47 AM
uhhh....this thing on?
skyking1231's Avatar
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so was I. I just want to know why he says Russian electronics are better suited for cold. I just find it an odd thing to say.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 08:52 AM
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Actually, I would think that cold temperatures would improve the electronics function due to better heat dissipation.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 09:01 AM
buy a lot, fly a little!
stuart warne's Avatar
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Well, from my experience of hot and cold flying I have recently noticed this, and I'm still not sure why I experienced this:

I test flew my Alfa Mig 15 on a cool spring morning last year then flew it again a few months later at a very hot model fly-in during the summer. The differences I noticed when compared to the winter flying are as follows:

It seemed to have a much greater level speed in the colder air,
Controls seemed more responsive in the cooler temp, compared to sluggish in the heat.

These may just be down to the actually temp having a direct effect on the model its self rather than the electronics, but then in contrast to this I was always under the impression that lipo's worked better on a warmer day than a colder one?

just my observations.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Did you leave your battery plugged in all night? : )

- K
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 09:33 AM
mondo1948
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Rocky Hill, Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khatsalano
Did you leave your battery plugged in all night? : )

- K
No, and I topped off the battery after I experienced problems.

Thanks,
Mondo
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 12:07 PM
Doing it in the Lateral Axis
modfly's Avatar
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Ah nevermind..

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking1231
so was I. I just want to know why he says Russian electronics are better suited for cold. I just find it an odd thing to say.

yea.I can see I'm being misunderstood here. In the future I will think twice before responding to a post like this. I have been a Professional Electronic Tech for about 25 years or so. I think what we have here is a failure to communicate.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 12:17 PM
Doing it in the Lateral Axis
modfly's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking1231
wouldn't all planes not just Russian planes have the same tolerances to temp ? I don't see what makes them so special. Besides...US, Russian, Europe.....ALL made in Tawain ! Sound familiar...he he
I don't see any problem with my plane when flying in -60F, and it's not russian.

Do the words "reading comprehension" mean anything to you?


I'm referring to Full size russian planes not r\c and I'm using them as an example of temperature offset compensated electronics design.
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 12:28 PM
Doing it in the Lateral Axis
modfly's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mondo1948
Thank you for the reply! What I don't understand is that I've left my Super Cub in the garage overnight and never had a problem with it, even when flying at 21 degrees F. However, I do realize the T-28 is a little more sophisticated in that it beeps 3 times to indicate I've installed a 3-cell lipo battery and the Super Cub uses a "combined" receiver/ESC and a NIMH battery. Maybe that's the difference?

Thank you,
Mondo
Maybe you should read my post again...Garage storage of the cub in freezing temps is not good for the electronics.
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