Lets look inside of a Hobby King "Birdie" ESC and do some preventive maintenance - RC Groups
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Nov 17, 2011, 07:52 PM
Registered User

Lets look inside of a Hobby King "Birdie" ESC and do some preventive maintenance

I bought a 200A earlier and it has worked great in my Spartan with a 1600kv motor, but I have yet to run in on 6S.

So for the price of $54 shipped, 7 business days later I got 2, 120A ESC this morning. Here is what I found. The same applies to the 200A model.

The ESC come with no instruction but you can download them on line. Very easy to program. After messing with the 200A model and figuring out that the instruction provided were not accurate, I uploaded a simplified instruction manual to HK's website herehttp://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...X121244X44.pdf

Lets go!.........

Fresh out the bag

Circuit board looks neatly soldered.

Pulled the cooling block. Oh, oh! FETs are not even and only a few are making contact with the cooling plate. Not good!! Lets fix this really quick with some sand paper.On the 200A model the cooling block was touching 2 of the 3 motor leads. This will cause motor cogging and possibly ESC death upon initial power up

I like to use the back side of the cooling block(side exposed when you cut off heat shrink) to used as a sanding block. I used 320 grit sand paper after removing the epoxy coating over them, carefully with a hobby knife.

Oh yeah! Not that's better. Don't go overboard here. We want the FETs as even as possible without exposing the inside. Now to install the cooling block. Install the cooling block with the side that was exposed, now facing the FETs. The side we pulled off has epoxy over it which will interfere with heat transfer

I used silicone based heat transfer paste rather than re using the transfer tape that came with the ESC. I dabbed each FET with a bit of paste, applied the cooling block PRESSING VERY LIGHTLY. We don't want to squeeze the paste out. We want it to spread and make contact so it can efficiently transfer heat. I pulled the block to show how well the block makes contact now. No real need to pull it off but better be safe than sorry.

Make sure cooling clock is not touching the motor leads. Heat transfer paste in non conductive so if there is a bit of paste between the cooling block and motor leads it won't harm anything. Juts make sure the cooling block does not slide over and contact the leads.

Last process, I like to use Plastic dip. It can be bought at Home Depot for about $8. I like the actual dip, not the spray. I put it on with a tooth pic or anything that diameter because the material thickens up. So using an applicator thin in diameter makes it easy to fill in every crevice of the ESC.

All done. Here you can see how I installed the cooling block with the epoxy side out. I left the back side of the block uncovered in hopes of having the heat dissipate better. Now it's ready to get leads soldered on and take it out for a spin. That wont happen till this weekend though, so I will report back then.

Thanks for looking
Last edited by LOSIFIEND; Nov 17, 2011 at 08:02 PM.
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Nov 17, 2011, 08:31 PM
10x8's Avatar
I was waiting for some birdie talk. Chirp, chirp...lol.

I couldn't resist $12 for the 50amp, size, weight, for my micro tunnel.

Standard program instructions for radio in files tab, sweet.

I'm chirpin' happy if it works as well as yours.
Nov 17, 2011, 08:41 PM
Registered User
I was surprised. This ESC actually has a larger footprint than the 200A because this one has 2 large caps, compared to the 200A which has 5 smaller ones.

Keep us posted on your experience with yours. Feel free to post in here if you can.
Nov 17, 2011, 08:55 PM
10x8's Avatar
Yep no worries. I just put my order into H/K 17/11, so it will probably be awhile. I usually don't order Oct-Feb, but could not resist my impulse needs, lol.

The 50amp bird and various 450 size outrunners are on the way for micro tunnel madness.
Nov 17, 2011, 09:06 PM
I feel the need for speed!
scorpion1's Avatar
Nice visual tutorial there Losi!

Is the plastic dip for waterproofing..................does it work?
Nov 17, 2011, 09:49 PM
10x8's Avatar
I bought one of these micro becs to try with the 50 bird. I think $4, lol.

Nov 17, 2011, 10:10 PM
10x8's Avatar
Have a go at the price of the Plasti dip in Orstraya, even on flea/maggot bay -

Nov 17, 2011, 10:23 PM
Registered User
Thanks Scorp. The plastic dip works great. Yes it is for waterproofing and I have done all the circuit boards in my servos and receivers. Works like a charm! Only thing to look out for is that it shrinks when it dries, when applied too thin. Most times you have to inspect and fill bubbles that leave pin holes or voids that may appear. But after a second coat they're golden. It starts to dry very quickly too. A good tip is to pour a bit out at a time in to a small cup or you will get a dry film over the material still inside the can if you leave it open while working with it.
Last edited by LOSIFIEND; Nov 17, 2011 at 10:31 PM.
Nov 17, 2011, 10:23 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by 10x8
Have a go at the price of the Plasti dip in Orstraya, even on flea/maggot bay -

This http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/BLACK-PER...item415d3cd517 is a $30 profit just off market value here in the US!! I need to start an export business to AU
Nov 17, 2011, 10:32 PM
10x8's Avatar
Originally Posted by LOSIFIEND
This http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/BLACK-PER...item415d3cd517 is a $30 profit just off market value here in the US!! I need to start an export business to AU
Get me a tub of that and I'll trade for something? After Christmas though???
Nov 18, 2011, 06:36 PM
Memento Mori
Diesel6401's Avatar
EXCELLENT how-to my friend!
Nov 19, 2011, 02:43 AM
Registered User
Thank you, Diesel. It means a lot coming from you. I've learned a lot in a year of FE boating with help from good people here and on OSE(typically the same people). Just trying to do my part to help others coming in to this section of the hobby world.
Nov 19, 2011, 07:55 AM
Zombie Apocalypse
Rusty Old Fart's Avatar
"preventive maintenance"

Couldn't have worded it better
Nov 19, 2011, 07:17 PM
Registered User
Good and bad news to report. I ran the 120A in my experimental Widowmaker with a 3300kv 3050 motor on 2S, 2P and not a flinch. ESC ran cool as could be. Also ran it in mt 26" Prince which has a PB 1500kv motor and was flinging a X445 line nothing, on 4S.

The bad, well I managed to flip my Spartan which the 200A Birdie was in and after only 12" of the boat pointed to the sky for more than 5 minutes I lost the ESC. The Plastic Coat does not seem to stick to the silicone insulation no the wires. But if were not for the coating the ESC would have taken the LiPos(4S, 2P) with it and possibly melted the plastic hull.

So as a fix for this I will now put some CA around where the wires and the Plastic Coat meet in hopes to completely seal the ESC. All in all, not a total loss. Could of been much worse. But for the money, you cant beat these ESCs!!!
Dec 18, 2011, 02:58 PM
Registered User
Thank you for the information.

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