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550 Class Electric Helicopters 550 Class Electric Helicopters manufactured by Align, Tarot, SYMA, Airhog, Chaos, HK and similar.


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Old 03-06-2012, 12:22 PM   #1
GasNerd
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Default CC BEC Pro fire

Took my brand new 550 out for what I consider its 3 or 4th maiden ( never really got off of the ground yet due to various reasons that I posted about with servo arms and stripped gears).

I had just put the canopy on and I heard a pop and saw a flash. I disconnected the battery immediately and saw smoke coming from the BEC's area. The wires feeding the BEC must have short-circuited or overloaded as they melted in the middle of the run of 16 gauge wire that feeds the BEC from the battery. The wires that go back to the Skookum powerbus seem to be a little stiff, like they burnt a bit.
I am only hoping that my servos and SK-720 didn't fry, because if they did, I am done with all of this

Any ideas on the cause and if I should contact Castle for a replacement? Since I will probably need to order a new BEC for the short-term, and I already have a CC ICE 100, any suggestions on a replacement? Stick with Castle Pro or is that crazy?

Thanks!
-GN
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:52 PM   #2
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Did your wires get caught between the canopy and the CF frame? When I look at the pics it almost looks like they were pinched and shorted....

Let me know


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Originally Posted by GasNerd View Post
Took my brand new 550 out for what I consider its 3 or 4th maiden ( never really got off of the ground yet due to various reasons that I posted about with servo arms and stripped gears).

I had just put the canopy on and I heard a pop and saw a flash. I disconnected the battery immediately and saw smoke coming from the BEC's area. The wires feeding the BEC must have short-circuited or overloaded as they melted in the middle of the run of 16 gauge wire that feeds the BEC from the battery. The wires that go back to the Skookum powerbus seem to be a little stiff, like they burnt a bit.
I am only hoping that my servos and SK-720 didn't fry, because if they did, I am done with all of this

Any ideas on the cause and if I should contact Castle for a replacement? Since I will probably need to order a new BEC for the short-term, and I already have a CC ICE 100, any suggestions on a replacement? Stick with Castle Pro or is that crazy?

Thanks!
-GN
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:08 PM   #3
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I guess that is possible as I just finished putting the canopy on. I stuck the loose wires inside of the canopy and put it on - it didn't feel like there is much resistance while attaching it. I will inspect it closer tonight. thanks for the input.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
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Looks like the carbon base plate wore through the wire insulation. You can see where the electrical short took place from the missing carbon, exploding black soot residue. Both the red and wires seem to be burned through at the same locations, too.

I'd call this one a direct short due to the carbon base plate. No fault to the bec from what I see.

Have you determined if the bec is ruined or did it just puff the plastic and carbon during the short? Hope you make out ok.
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:15 PM   #5
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+1 on the canopy. that canopy clip locks pretty quickly when it finally locks and i know my stock canopy overlaps the carbon so much it notches the fiberglass so if they got between it i could def see it cutting through, not much too that wire or covering.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:34 PM   #6
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You need to zip tie the wires out of the way not against any sharp edges. They shouldn't be so loose you need to tuck them in to the canopy.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:04 PM   #7
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i would think the BEC is fine, repair the wires and power it up again and check the output.

As mentioned and from what I saw in your pix the wires shorted on the CF frame, should be no damage to the electronics, not sure about your pack though
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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+1 on wires shorting while putting your canopy on.
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Old 03-06-2012, 08:08 PM   #9
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Yep the second pic says it all.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:30 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the input. I have just finished my repairs and everything looks to be in order. I hooked it up to the Castle Link and didn't see any errors. The SK-720 looks to be functional. I connected my battery up to the charger and the voltage seems correct and the cells all seem to be present and balanced - I am a bit paranoid about electric and fires, so is there anything else I should do to make sure that the battery is safe?

I am going to go over everything once more and make sure that the wires are all secure. I still went ahead and ordered a new Western Robotics Hercules Super HBEC Mini G2 just in case ( the LHS and the few online stores that I order from were out of the CC BEC Pro anyways ... even though it looks like I was actually the one to blame )

The weather looks to be really nice tomorrow - 60 degrees, so I hope to get this thing off of the ground and back down safely at some point in my life!

Thanks again,
GN
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:22 PM   #11
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Looks like a sensible conclusion would tend to agree about the canopy and wires, must say I played around wih mine until I could get the canopy on without a lot of faffing about and took great care with the cable runs.
Got to respect these power systems guys, with a 30C battery You have over 3.5kw available, the average electric fire element is 800watts to 1kw, the battery can supply the equivelent of a 3-4 bar electric fire for quite a few mins! Enough to cause a raging electrical fire. Scary stuff.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:25 PM   #12
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Another lesson is that carbon fiber can conduct electricity - I didn't really think much about that fact when building, was more concerned with just damaging the wires on contact with a sharp edge.
Maybe plastic frames have a slight advantage since there is so much power involved and the multiple wires contacting the frame?

-GN
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GasNerd View Post
Another lesson is that carbon fiber can conduct electricity - I didn't really think much about that fact when building, was more concerned with just damaging the wires on contact with a sharp edge.
Maybe plastic frames have a slight advantage since there is so much power involved and the multiple wires contacting the frame?

-GN
Carbon is superior. You just have to use care when routing wires.
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Old 03-08-2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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your BEC is probably fine, just repair the wires and re-route them away from that area, out the side perhaps
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