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View Full Version : Castle 80HV Explodes in Fire on the Bench!


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Wildcards
05-23-2011, 01:01 PM
I got a buddy who flies a 700e with a CC 160hv, he is on flight 98 and his 700mx just burned up, the ESC is still going...

tribe3
05-23-2011, 01:09 PM
Just to add a perspective...I've seen 3 kontroniks burn as well...so it is not CC exclusive..
;) :thumbup:

just saying...

Could you post a link? I was searching "Kontronik Fire" in google and couldn't find any. I think kontroniks can fail of course but fire?

flypilot
05-23-2011, 01:17 PM
sorry, none has posted this on the internett..One was a recent episode with a 120Hv and the two other, that I have seen, have been in planes.

tptompkins
05-23-2011, 01:18 PM
Occasionally, people will mention that Kontroniks also catch fire but I have yet to see one documented case in any forum online. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but if I can't even find a single documented case online then I would assume that it can't be anywhere near the failure rate as a CC ICE.

Tommy

Wildcards
05-23-2011, 01:37 PM
Occasionally, people will mention that Kontroniks also catch fire but I have yet to see one documented case in any forum online. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but if I can't even find a single documented case online then I would assume that it can't be anywhere near the failure rate as a CC ICE.

Tommy

Let's not forget how many more CC's are out there compared to Kontronic

BaconRaygun
05-23-2011, 02:02 PM
Just from experience with the RC car circuit... I have witnessed people blow multiple ESC's, then get a top of the line model and blow it but keep their mouth shut from sheer embarrassment because they were so convinced they were doing everything right and it was just the ESC...

Not saying that’s the case, I am sure that many of you guys had defective products… But I would not be surprised if a few people did blow their Kontroniks and kept their mouth shut cuz they spent $500 after blowing a few cheaper ones and blaming the product.

As for numbers, I would not be the least bit surprised to find out that the numbers of ESC's out in the field are something like 20 CC to 1 Kontronik... and the noob to expert ratio is completely upside down as most noobs will not spend more money on the ESC then the airframe.

So, lots of noobs on CC ESC’s, a few advanced users on Kontronik and it makes perfect sense to me…

tptompkins
05-23-2011, 02:37 PM
Let's not forget how many more CC's are out there compared to Kontronic

There's no doubt that CC has more escs out there. It doesn't change the fact that I haven't been able to find a single documented case of a Kontronik going up in flames.

Tommy

im4711
05-23-2011, 02:53 PM
Unfortunate but I had a CC Ice 100 light go up in smoke on me. I was lucky since it happened while I spooled up the heli. That one did have at least about 300 flights before that happened.
Friend of mine also had an Ice 100 go up in smoke - right on first spool up.
Overall the series before Ice (110HV and 80HV) I did run without issues for more than a year. Thought the Ice series would be need since it has data logger ...

I still believe that the included BEC is simply underpowered and therefore garbage on the Ice series. Not sure that with all complaints that has not been targeted.

After the last incident I did switch all heli's to Kontronik since trust was gone.

I did have one issue with a brand new Kontronik 80LV. Could not arm the Kontronik ESC. However Kontronik took care of it and replaced the ESC and the replacement works great. Also received a 75Euro gift certificate from them that I used a month ago.

Still Kontronik is on the high cost where there might be other options working good for less cost.

BaconRaygun
05-23-2011, 03:14 PM
Unfortunate but I had a CC Ice 100 light go up in smoke on me. I was lucky since it happened while I spooled up the heli. That one did have at least about 300 flights before that happened.
Friend of mine also had an Ice 100 go up in smoke - right on first spool up.
Overall the series before Ice (110HV and 80HV) I did run without issues for more than a year. Thought the Ice series would be need since it has data logger ...

I still believe that the included BEC is simply underpowered and therefore garbage on the Ice series. Not sure that with all complaints that has not been targeted.

After the last incident I did switch all heli's to Kontronik since trust was gone.

I did have one issue with a brand new Kontronik 80LV. Could not arm the Kontronik ESC. However Kontronik took care of it and replaced the ESC and the replacement works great. Also received a 75Euro gift certificate from them that I used a month ago.

Still Kontronik is on the high cost where there might be other options working good for less cost.

For large helis it is... for a small heli it is not. My 450 Pro uses the built in BEC with no issues... But even the manual states that you should not use the BEC for a setup that draws a lot of current, especially on 12S powering 4 standard servos... For a plank that BEC may be enough to power certain components... remember, these ESC's are not made specifically for helis, but for any flying model. They recommend using an external BEC for high powered helis.

Tisondm
05-23-2011, 03:35 PM
I sent them off an email, so we'll see what they say. I know what I am doing so I'd go ballistic if they ever said it was user error. The esc had already been calibrated and set up for autorotation, and it was just a matter to stepping through the vbar set up. I hope they dont ask me to send it in either, its a stinking cinder. I have a couple fans running in the windows. Thanks for the support guys.

I'm really sorry to hear about your luck and I can sympatize as my HV 110 blew the first time I connected it. :wow2:

I'm curious though: Were you using the built in BEC to prog your Vbar? IMO anythng 50 and up needs a seperated pack and bec for the electronics. Even CC recommends this.

Santini
05-23-2011, 03:41 PM
Thanks for the kind words. It has no internal bec, I have a separate Herc Super Bec. No response from CC yet.

snjbird
05-23-2011, 03:48 PM
Just out of curiosity, was the ESC armed when it burst or just powered up and not armed?

Mike2112
05-23-2011, 04:04 PM
Man, it seems like almost everyone has had a CC ignite.

Helico-pteron
05-23-2011, 04:22 PM
it's been posted ..NOT to run Scorpion motors with the CC outrunner mode
Correct, Scorpions should be run in the 8khz mode.

watdazit
05-23-2011, 05:12 PM
CC did reply to my post on this topic over at rc groups. This is what they said:

We have not been able to determine any particular cause for the failures that we have studied. The common thread amongst them appears to be increased stress on the controllers’ capacitors. Unfortunately, this can result from any number of reasons including:
.......
• length and type of wire between the ESC and the batteries
...........

We are always working to improve our controllers, and we are looking at a number of measures that may assist the 120HV’s ability to operate even with the worst of conditions described above.

In the interim we suggest that users:
................
• keep the wiring harness as short as possible
............
-Scott

Thanks Scott for that post.

I had a CC ESC go up in smoke on its third plug in on a Trex 700E. It is very hard to keep wire lengths down on a 700 due to the battery configuration and position. Interestingly I did discuss this last weekend with some of my fellow 700 owners. If wire length is a problem then perhaps in future heli manufacturers need to take this into consideration in design.

nightflyr
05-23-2011, 05:36 PM
Thanks Scott for that post.

I had a CC ESC go up in smoke on its third plug in on a Trex 700E. It is very hard to keep wire lengths down on a 700 due to the battery configuration and position. Interestingly I did discuss this last weekend with some of my fellow 700 owners. If wire length is a problem then perhaps in future heli manufacturers need to take this into consideration in design.
Hey watdazit,
Might consider these for a solution:thumbup:.... no need to add any wire :clap

http://www.helifreak.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=229010&stc=1&d=1306007886


http://www.helifreak.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=229011&stc=1&d=1306008000

http://www.helifreak.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=229015&stc=1&d=1306008591

watdazit
05-23-2011, 06:00 PM
Hey watdazit,
Might consider these for a solution:thumbup:.... no need to add any wire :clap
......................

Thanks nightflyr. I have looked at those batteries and they seem to be a good idea. I think HK are the only people doing them. Are they made up in 6s packs laid flat. If so they have internal wiring to achieve this and hence does this wiring have to be taken into consideration in the wiring length or is there is some reason why it does not count?

As a side, CC also recommend only the use of "quality" batteries whatever that means. HK are not known for their quality.

peterdk
05-23-2011, 06:21 PM
If you ask me, (& you didn't, but I'll say it anyway) all this talk of harness lengths & "quality" batteries is just trying to get around the issue that there is a design fault. These are made to go on rc heli's and promoted as being for that purpose. Therefore they need to be able to work on all the usual configurations and standard batteries out there. Especially now they are being supplied as standard equipment on new align combo's they need to be up to the task, otherwise there is going to be a lot more events reported over the coming year. I am looking forward to getting a 600 pro in the next 12 months, however I am a bit concerned about the inclusion of the cc esc. I think I will wait a bit to see how many more problems arise 1st. Hope they do get it sorted out as we all hate to see a heli grounded in such a manner.
Peter

nightflyr
05-23-2011, 07:22 PM
Thanks nightflyr. I have looked at those batteries and they seem to be a good idea. I think HK are the only people doing them. Are they made up in 6s packs laid flat. If so they have internal wiring to achieve this and hence does this wiring have to be taken into consideration in the wiring length or is there is some reason why it does not count?

As a side, CC also recommend only the use of "quality" batteries whatever that means. HK are not known for their quality.
All I can tell you is that I have been flying them in the WereWolf800, 800AP and now the 700E and I haven't had an issue yet....so for whatever it's worth...

gothicbunny
05-23-2011, 08:33 PM
The common thread amongst them appears to be increased stress on the controllers’ capacitors.
So why not put on better capacitors or go to 4 like some other HV ESC's? I think that initial charge when plugging in the ESC would be harder on them than anything so how about building in a spark suppressor (although most users would likely leave it plugged in)? Would it be worth adding our own caps across the input to take the load off of theirs? If simple mods like these could prevent a burn out then why are they not included in the ESC or at least described in the manual as recommended?

praetorious
05-23-2011, 11:32 PM
So why not put on better capacitors ...


I have used castle products and enjoyed them, and they have treated me very well with CS issues but this is a problem:

When specifying capacitors you derate the working voltage by at least half(70% avg me thinks). Its the rules. Now I have an Ice 50 a 6S or 25.2V esc, it has two 330uF capacitors but they are rated at 35V when they should be at least 55V working. I don't even know what the esr of these caps are, but if they are using 35v working I don't expect much...

Yes, this is a serious issue, a few years back a computer company thought it would be a good idea to save some money by skimping on the power capacitors used on their mother boards. They chose to go with caps having a working voltage within a few volts of the operating voltage. Needless to say, the majority of those boards had the same problem and the whole thing was a mess.

Anyways, I hope that this decision had a good reason(most likely money or weight or space...I would rather have good components at with a larger footprint or weight),however I cannot come up with one and it makes me question the quality of components and compromises that they make in their designs. I am not saying that all the HV issues are due to capacitor failures, just pointing something out which may bite you in the tail in the long run.
I would put into my ESCs power harness caps with a higher working voltage, known nice esr value and higher capacitance.

When I get new components, especially ESCs, I bench test them all off of the heli, that way if something goes up, it takes itself out and not my machine.

B.R.
Amit

vteknical
05-24-2011, 12:07 AM
How can one simulate real world loads on the bench?

scm6079
05-24-2011, 03:31 AM
How can one simulate real world loads on the bench?

Many many years ago I used to have an electric engine dyno for my rc cars. I don't see why one of those wouldn't work for the Heli crowd. I haven't looked for one recently... It was basically just another rc motor hooked up to a meter which provided resistance and various load simulations. A gearbox connected them with a limited slip gear on it if I remember correctly.

extrapilot
05-24-2011, 05:05 AM
Praetorious-

You cannot assume that lower ESR caps are a benefit- in fact, it could be (and often IS) the case that the ESR is designed in to limit current as a unified R/C filter. Working voltage is very unlikely to be a contributor here. If the caps are getting overheated, it is due to ripple (or just thermal conduction from some very warm parts in the area). That is why CC is concerned about cables; to whatever degree the motor is backfeeding, additional resistance in the power leads = more ripple at the filter caps = heat.

Even with those caps dead, it is hard to understand how that leads to fratricide. 330uF is not all that much capacity when you are flowing 50 amps… If it was as simple as throwing 100V 500uF caps on these things, their designer would have done that long ago. They are running very decent FETs- Infinions etc, so spending $.30 more for better caps is not a game changer in their cost structure.

And forgetting all that, people are reporting fires on bench plugin- which implies (generally) an initial config- low wear on the caps, little or no drain on the FETs, etc. Short of user error on an overvoltage, or some bad ESD thing where an event blows a hole in a couple of FET gates, it just seems bizarre. Perhaps an assumption that the CC controllers are tested at the factory is a bad one…

And guys- while Im sure a spark suppressor can extend the life of your caps a few %, electrolytic caps die from heat. Single events like that on initial charge do not generate much heat. Touch them right after the init- it they have warmed 1F I would be amazed.... If anything, the advantage is in limiting pitting on the connectors.

SCM- there are eddy current brakes for our motors that are used for bench dynos. You might use another brushless motor, where you can control the load via current to a lead- might make for a fun project… Then we could get real data on torque vs rpm vs current- put some of these ‘my brother can beat up your brother’ arguments to rest regarding packs/motors/escs… But then, what would people argue about!

watdazit
05-24-2011, 05:54 AM
Thanks Extrapilot.