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


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Santini
05-21-2011, 11:52 PM
Tonight I was programming the Vbar on my new Logo600 and out of nowhere PPOOOOFF! :wow2:

Fire starts splilling out of it like a nuking lipo. Here I was blowing on it like crazy while unhooking everything, because the way it was shooting flames, I was sure the only smart thing was to get it outdoors. Before leaving the bench, I managed to yank it away from the frame such that the Logo is singed. I dont know if my vbar is intact. Holy cow, I dont know whether to ask for a refund or get another or get kontr. Totally sucks!! If this happened in the air, it would have been a total loss because it surely would have destroyed the canopy, frame and so forth. It went nuclear. I haven't even maidened this..

CyberPlainsDrifter
05-21-2011, 11:55 PM
Bad luck man.. but at least you still have your house...!

The frame looks a little singed too... what where you doing when it popped?

BTB
05-22-2011, 12:01 AM
Dang that sucks ass Santini.. I would ask for a refund screw a replacement.. This Castle HV esc fire list is getting longer and longer. Order a kontronik 80hv and call it a day, like you said at least it didnt happen during flight. Hope you get back in the air soon. :thumbup:

Slyster
05-22-2011, 12:05 AM
Kontronik pays itself off eventually

Inverse
05-22-2011, 12:18 AM
Kontronic = VERY cheap insurance and piece of mind.
How many of you CC users have second thoughts every time you power up your heli?

Cirkus
05-22-2011, 12:19 AM
Holy hell this HV fire issue is out of control. I'm not flying my heli again until I get a Jive. I can't risk what I have invested knowing my ESC might burst into flames at any moment. I have seen enough threads in enough forums to know there is a serious issue, I don't care if Castle thinks it is end-user-error or not.

Santini
05-22-2011, 12:28 AM
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.

CyberPlainsDrifter
05-22-2011, 12:37 AM
If I had a million dollars.. If I haaaad a million dollars.. I'd buy you a Kcar. ( a nice reliable automobile! );)

vteknical
05-22-2011, 12:46 AM
These ESC's need to be Re-called by cpsc.gov. This is ridiculous, what's it going to take, decapitation for CC to acknowledge this is going on?

peterdk
05-22-2011, 12:50 AM
That sucks!
I'm thinking my next heli will be the new align 600e pro, however I noticed it ships with the cc ice 80hv as standard. Also had a look at the price for the Kontronik Jive 80+ HV and see thats its around $360! I'm not sure what to do when the time comes around to buy my kit. An extra $300-plus just makes the decision to buy this heli about out of reach, but if I stay with the suplied esc will I always worry about the possible issue of bursting into flames?
Maybe by next year when i will be looking seriously at this heli there will be a solution.

Good luck getting in the air soon.
Peter

Elios000
05-22-2011, 12:53 AM
same thing happend to my ICE75 was in a hover few feet up and BOOM fire and tons of smoke

CC sent me a 100 will see how it goes if it goes up ill just get a hobbywing

Bob O
05-22-2011, 12:59 AM
Wow, good job limiting the damage to the ESC.

Cirkus
05-22-2011, 01:00 AM
That sucks!
I'm thinking my next heli will be the new align 600e pro, however I noticed it ships with the cc ice 80hv as standard. Also had a look at the price for the Kontronik Jive 80+ HV and see thats its around $360! I'm not sure what to do when the time comes around to buy my kit. An extra $300-plus just makes the decision to buy this heli about out of reach, but if I stay with the suplied esc will I always worry about the possible issue of bursting into flames?
Maybe by next year when i will be looking seriously at this heli there will be a solution.

Good luck getting in the air soon.
Peter

I feel your pain about the ESC, but the extra money on the Jive would be well spent. Even with the bad press, you can still find someone who will buy the ICE from you.

On the bright side, I put my grubby paws on the new 600e today and it's a thing of beauty.

peterdk
05-22-2011, 01:21 AM
On the bright side, I put my grubby paws on the new 600e today and it's a thing of beauty.

I have a serious case of 100% pure jealousy! You changing out the esc I presume?

Peter

gothicbunny
05-22-2011, 01:58 AM
I know somebody is going to mention that the reason we see so many CC fires is because there are so many of them out there. The only way they will be recalled is if it becomes cheaper than replacing the bad ones, simple business rule. Until the problem is taken care of I won't be buying one even if I think the logging would be a nice feature. That also means I won't buy any helis that include them either.

I'm guessing no lawyers fly helis or they would have started a class action suit by now with all these cases being reported.

nightflyr
05-22-2011, 02:07 AM
I too hope that the damage was minimal :hug:

I had purchased 2 ICE 160HV units..programmed and installed the first with no issues the second one did the same as yours half way through the programming..
Thankfully it wasn't even mounted to the helicopter or even plugged into the Rx or motor..
I also had an ICE80HV flame out during flight, though I did manage to get her down with only smoke damage.

The response I received when I spoke to CC tech support...." just the luck of the draw...."

Frightening to say the least, but I do have 6 other CC ESC's that have been trouble free and another that is sitting in the spares bin, but has be flown without issue.
So 2 failures out of 9 units.

gothicbunny
05-22-2011, 02:18 AM
2 failures out of 9 units.
To paraphrase a comedian who had been referring to divorce rate, if you saw 9 people crossing the road and 2 of them didn't make it, how excited would you be for your chance?

We don't see near that kind of failure rate with lipo's and look how far people go to protect themselves there? I think the people that defend CC are rationalizing because they can't justify swapping out all of their ESC's until there is an incident to them personally.

kouasupra
05-22-2011, 02:25 AM
Sorry to hear about that. Kontronik Jive is the way to go!

Ah Clem
05-22-2011, 02:35 AM
Wow!

Glad you are OK-and your house as well sir.

Looks like the helicopter did not get too much damage, so that is good too.

Although I have not had a problem with a Castle ESC, the number of reports has concerned me.

I put a HobbyWing 70 amp on my Logo 600 (same type as has been on my 6HV for the last year). I am much more comfortable with that than I would be with an HV CC, at the moment.

WBFAir
05-22-2011, 05:56 AM
It almost seems to me that Castle Creations ESC were just flawless for so long and just about everyone was using them for a good amount of time too, so I kinda don't buy into this, there's more now so it just seems like that normal one percent failure thing is a lot more theory.

But for all that time they were fine, including many of the 120HV's and then all of a sudden, so many reports of fire.

So this is just a total theory on my part but I bet this has something to do with either a internal part change, or a firmware/software thing.

For the first, often times certain solid state parts will be made my some manufacturer an for what ever reason, either they stop making them, and or change them. And if someone is building a product from them, then they have very little control over this.

So they either the builder has to deal with the new parts changes, or find a equivalent.

I think often this really isn't seen by the public much as its not like most complicated electronic devices we have today are things that keep getting manufactured for years.

In other words, they aren't still "manufacturing" that TV set you got three years ago.

So again, this is just pure speculation, but it almost seems to me that at some point, Castle may have had to deal with parts that were getting made crappy, and or, not at all and had to switch to crappy ones, and now that's why this is happening.

Then for the second theory I have is that will all these firmware/software revisions that have been putting out, that at some point they may have done something for some reason that they can't really go back on as it just to needed, that is now putting more stress on certain parts on there ESC's then before.

Heck it may even be something that they don't even realize yet is doing this as its just something that you just can't tell.

At any rate, something must have changed as these ESC were just the greatest thing up to what it seems like was late last fall, then all of a sudden, many reports of failures.

Azlum
05-22-2011, 06:03 AM
I think the fires started very shortly after the ICE line was released. I doubt it was just a part change.

Anyways I'm 1 for 3 on working ICE controllers and I'm SO done with them. I have a 120hv at Castle for replacement right now and when it comes back it's getting sold.

I'll be making payments on the Jive 120HV I ordered for my Aurora, but at least I'll know that it wont fall out of the sky or burn to the ground.

WBFAir
05-22-2011, 06:12 AM
Yeah you could be right, but I think the ICE controllers were out for about a year or so and a lot of people started using them and at least for a good summer or so, "I" at least never remember seeing a single report of a fire, but again, they kept coming out with firmware/software upgrades too.

At any rate, the funny part is that for every one of theses types of posts, you also see a lot of them that state that they have been using the Castle Controllers for 50-100 flights or more and have not a single issue (which would include me), so it must have some thing to do with a change somewhere.

I wonder if it would be a interesting poll post to make to see if we could get some idea of the age of the ESC's that have been flaming, as again, for me, mine's been just fine, but I got mine early last spring.

Also btw, as I haven't update my firmware/software since early last summer too, so perhaps which versions of that should also be a part of it.

Superbike1
05-22-2011, 06:57 AM
Crash your Creations!!!:wow2:

Cirkus
05-22-2011, 07:29 AM
Castle Cremations

Azlum
05-22-2011, 07:37 AM
Yeah you could be right, but I think the ICE controllers were out for about a year or so and a lot of people started using them and at least for a good summer or so, "I" at least never remember seeing a single report of a fire, but again, they kept coming out with firmware/software upgrades too.

At any rate, the funny part is that for every one of theses types of posts, you also see a lot of them that state that they have been using the Castle Controllers for 50-100 flights or more and have not a single issue (which would include me), so it must have some thing to do with a change somewhere.

I wonder if it would be a interesting poll post to make to see if we could get some idea of the age of the ESC's that have been flaming, as again, for me, mine's been just fine, but I got mine early last spring.

Also btw, as I haven't update my firmware/software since early last summer too, so perhaps which versions of that should also be a part of it.

My personal opinion, based solely on forum reading and my own failures, is that they don't (commonly) fail after 50-100 flights.

The more common scenario is that they fail within the first 10 flights of owning one, suggesting to me that it's a matter of getting a "good one" or a "bad one" right out of the package. What I'd like to know is the actual odds of getting a good one.