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Old 03-08-2016, 01:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What zapped my Vortex?

I was setting up my VX1E last night for E-gov. I was powering the Spartan using one 6s going through my WR BEC to the FBL. I finished setting up the Spartan and was going to do some bench tests to make sure the E-gov was doing its job. I plugged in the other 6s into my YGE 160HV to arm the motor and poof, I smelled something. I pulled all battery connections, tried to power up the vortex with a recover pack. Nothing. The Vortex is toast.

The only thing different from the last 4 months is I updated the Vortex and reprogrammed the YGE for External GOV and placed a harness for RPM.

It looks to me like everything works except the Vortex. I checked all my power leads and voltage is OK. There is no voltage coming off of my RPM harness. Not sure what could have happened.

So I'm called out for help! I don't want to plug a new Vortex in just to zap another one. I'm not sure what to even look at. Any ideas would help.

Equipment

Bk servos
Opti power gaurd
WR super BEC
YGE 160HV
JR radio stuff X-bus.

Thanks
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Just a guess from me as I haven't had time to think about this properly, but do you have the power leads connected on the RPM cable?

The Vortex outputs 3.6V regulated through the middle pin of the RPM sensor ports:
https://www.helifreak.com/showpost.p...9&postcount=21

That's designed for powering standalone RPM sensors, but if your ESC was feeding power into that port it may have damaged something.

I'm sure I've seen instructions on disconnecting a lead on some ESCs, just don't have time right now to actually dig that out.
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have no wire in the middle pin on the RPM port. The only wires that are connected to the RPM port is a ground on the innermost pin and a signal wire on the outside pin.

I wonder if there was some other issue and connecting a ground with a possible different potential to the RPM port caused a quick current flow.

Thanks for putting in effort for me. I'm truly having a hard time thinking about having to replacing a Vortex and possibly an ESC.
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So is there a BEC from the YGE on throttle?
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Old 03-08-2016, 04:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Angelos may be able to do something, even if its actually dead put in a ticket on SpartanRC.com and see if he can do anything.

He's out at Rotor Live all this weekend (and driving to it this week), but he's usually pretty good at replying to tickets.
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Old 03-08-2016, 06:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sutty View Post
So is there a BEC from the YGE on throttle?
No. It has no built in BEC.
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myxiplx View Post
Angelos may be able to do something, even if its actually dead put in a ticket on SpartanRC.com and see if he can do anything.

He's out at Rotor Live all this weekend (and driving to it this week), but he's usually pretty good at replying to tickets.
I have no doubt that Angleos would treat me right. My biggest concern is trashing another good Vortex by plugging it in to a faulty ESC. Im not sure how to verify if the ESC is OK.
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If the Vortex smoked/smelled chances are that it has been over-voltaged. If your ESC/BEC has two power leads it also creates the possibility that if you plug them could you could short them out though the Vortex power bus. If you send the unit back I may be able to narrow it if I can easily see or otherwise identify the damaged part.

Before you connect another Vortex you need to measure the Vortex coming out from the ESC/BEC and confirm it is what you expect. Also I suggest that first power it on without servos, then plug the servos one at a time. If the light on the Vortex goes out switch if off immediately; the servo may have a short.
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Old 03-10-2016, 02:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, as a first test a multimeter on the outputs of both your BEC and ESC would definitely be a good idea. You shouldn't be seeing any voltage from that ESC, and the BEC should show the voltage you have it set to.
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Update. I tested voltages out of my BEC, they are perfect.

I looked at both leads coming off of the ESC, there is no voltage. I have a cheap digital multimeter that takes its good old time giving me readings so I can't verify that I get a surge from the RPM lead, when I plug in the 12s battery.

With that testing done, I took a vortex off of another helicopter and started to plug in everything one at a time as Angelos suggested. I stopped at the RPM harness, because everything else works. Before this happened I flew this setup with no trouble until I plugged the RPM harness in. I have a funny suspicion that my ESC is defective in some way.

I also noticed that my battery terminals have some good scorching on the 6s battery I plug in last to make a 12s system. I assume this means whatever this RPM wire does when plugged into the vortex swaps polarity going to the second battery plug for the 12s? It doesn't make sense because I've run this setup for months with no issues.

I would rather not buy a new ESC, but I can't think of a way to test it to rule it out as the issue. It works great with 12s and no RPM lead.

Thanks for the help folks!
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Can you show a photo or diagram of your wiring? I'm assuming this is a 12S system, how do you have those connected to the ESC and BEC normally, and was anything connected differently last time?
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think you mentioned there was a ground lead for the RPM lead. I don't understand why there would be. If your ESC has no BEC, then don't risk taking any differential grounds to the RPM port. Take only the signal lead, that's all I take.

Is this a 12S set-up with the BEC tapped off from the first 6S pack? I ask because if it were incorrectly off the second 6S, i.e. between 6 and 12, which is risky practice, you would have your explanation there, because those two grounds would be out by 6S.
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yup, that's what I'm wondering Sutty. I thought from the original post that it was two separate 6S batteries that had been used for testing, but I'm wondering if it's a mis-wired 12S pack.
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:34 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well just in case it isn't known, here is the correct common ground way to make sure that won't happen. In this case if it only ever happens with the RPM port in use, and the ground isn't needed there, take it out.

Needs to be right though,if it applies.

http://www.castlecreations.com/suppo...ring_guide.pdf

Cheers

Sutty
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Old 03-10-2016, 05:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wow!

I can't believe my ignorance!


You guys have discovered the real issue. I've been flying this heli with the BEC wired incorrectly! The negative lead of the BEC was not connected to the negative lead to the ESC! I hope I haven't compromised any other electronics! I guess the basics of electricity are important. Now it makes sense!

I am glad this resource is here! A big thanks to Sutty and myxiplx.


Now, I have to put this goofy looking hat on and go sit quietly in the corner.


THANKS A TON!
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:12 PM   #16 (permalink)
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@ Ross. Talk about spooky. Simul posts. I was writing as you posted. Takes me a lot longer than three minutes to come up with even a short post like that, so I had no idea what you meant when you said, yeah that's what I was thinking. I thought, I didn't think you'd been thinking anything, you never said, lol. I only just saw your post just now.

@ Hopester, Awesome, well awesome in that you have your answer, not so good in that your Vortex is still stuffed, but at least you know what caused it, in that you brought a mid pack voltage to your Vortex ground, giving you a full 6S voltage across the Vortex ground, so no wonder it smoked.

If it had been signal wire only you'd have been okay, but then it might have come home to bite you with some other electronics in the future, who knows. Good that you are now armed with this useful piece of info about the common ground.

Cheers

Sutty
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