Is there an easy way to test whether ESC or motor is burned out? - RC Groups
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Feb 28, 2012, 10:24 AM
Intermediate boob
demuddy's Avatar

Is there an easy way to test whether ESC or motor is burned out?

I had been keeping my burned out motors and some problematic ESC separately from my new or usable ESCs and motors. One day recently, I mixed the batch cleaning out my work space.

I now have the prospect of putting together different combination of ESCs and motors to see which work or not. There are many combinations possible.

Currently, both my Multiplex Merlin and PZ T-28 had their ESCs and motors replaced (the former since I had burned out the ESC with a bad connection which has since been fixed, and the T-28 upgrading it to a Eflite power 10 and an 40 Amp ESC from another set up I had had). Even with the Merlin having a new ESC, either the motor burned out too during the ESC burning out or something else is wrong. I think either the T-28 ESC or motor had gone into the water before on a water crash-landing.

Please, help. I do have a watt meter I have recently got and had not soldered on the connectors yet, if that helps separate the batch.

(I just couldn't bring myself to chuck the ESCs and motors when I think they might still be ok some day--probably not but still).
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Feb 28, 2012, 11:51 AM
Lysdexic I'm
HeeBeeGeeBee's Avatar
The easiest way that I know of is to bind your tx to an rx and start plugging them in to the rx on your bench/worktable and see if they work. That way, you'll know in real-life situations whether or not they will work. I don't know of any shortcuts. Good luck!
Feb 28, 2012, 12:25 PM
Lost but making good time

I would check for three things on the motor:

1. Does the rotor turn easily...are the bearings OK.
2. Are all of the magnets in place on the rotor? Lose a magnet or have one come loose and wedge the rotor and it's all over.
3. Check the windings for "continuity" with an Ohm meter...You do not want continuity to exist i.e. a short between a winding and another wire or the stator.

Escs are way beyond my skill level. Good luck!



Watch the video...
Motor winding #2 (5 min 24 sec)
Last edited by hankg; Feb 28, 2012 at 04:08 PM. Reason: spelling
Feb 29, 2012, 12:00 AM
Intermediate boob
demuddy's Avatar
Hmm, ok, if I can at least narrow down the fried from the unfried motors, I guess I can have enough narrowing in combination to reduce the testing I have to do.

Hmm, thought there was a way to stick a voltmeter on some two ends of an ESC and basically know the thing Biblically.

I was willing to stick that volt meter anywhere someone had suggested, for example, to know what I need to do what I can.
Feb 29, 2012, 03:52 AM
Registered User
In addition to what hankg has suggested, you mustn't forget visual inspection. Burned windings on a motor can usually be seen, especially if there's some unburned bits to compare them with -- the unburned ones will be a shiny copper colour whereas the burned ones will be dull dark brown or black.

Visual inspection may also eliminate some ESCs. Look for blistering in the shrink-wrap and/or discolouration or distortion of components.

Then it's really a matter of testing various pairs to find something that works. I always use less voltage than normal (usually a 3S A123 instead of 6S LiPo) if I'm testing. If something works at low voltage, you'll then eventually have to take it up to full voltage and amps to be sure of it.

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