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Power Systems Talk about motors, ESC speed controllers, gear drives, propellers, power system simulators and all power system related topics

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Old 07-08-2014, 03:56 AM   #1
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Default SBEC Noise??

I have a problem that exceeds my level of experience so I am hoping for some help. Last year I installed a NTM 42-58 500kv motor and Turnigy Thrust 70A SBEC speed controller in my newly completed Sig 4 Star model.

On my maiden flight I had a transmitter(of course!) issue and the flight was about 30 feet with a dinged wing tip and broken motor mount. Recently I completed my repairs and took the plane to the field for maiden flight II. A very nice and smooth flight with no issues UNTIL I was on final and then landing. I, and several others, heard a noise coming from the plane. After clearing the runway I checked the plane out for something loose or ? I then did a static run up and as I got near full power a loud "ratcheting" noise came from the plane.

At home I installed a brand new identical motor and tried again but without a prop. The shaft barely turned over and a noise came from the SBEC!!! Any idea what could be causing this? Both the SBEC and original motor only had a 5 second flight last year and a 5 minute flight this year since new. With a similar noise coming from another new motor and me being able to actually pin point the source of the noise, this should be easier to solve.

Additionally, can I try reprogramming the SBEC? Do you use the Programming Cards that can be bought with BECs? I have a hard time listening to the chimes/tones that come from the BEC and making heads or tails of them.

Thanks in advance for your help. FF
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:01 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Flysfloats View Post
I have a problem that exceeds my level of experience so I am hoping for some help. Last year I installed a NTM 42-58 500kv motor and Turnigy Thrust 70A SBEC speed controller in my newly completed Sig 4 Star model.

On my maiden flight I had a transmitter(of course!) issue and the flight was about 30 feet with a dinged wing tip and broken motor mount. Recently I completed my repairs and took the plane to the field for maiden flight II. A very nice and smooth flight with no issues UNTIL I was on final and then landing. I, and several others, heard a noise coming from the plane. After clearing the runway I checked the plane out for something loose or ? I then did a static run up and as I got near full power a loud "ratcheting" noise came from the plane.

At home I installed a brand new identical motor and tried again but without a prop. The shaft barely turned over and a noise came from the SBEC!!! Any idea what could be causing this? Both the SBEC and original motor only had a 5 second flight last year and a 5 minute flight this year since new. With a similar noise coming from another new motor and me being able to actually pin point the source of the noise, this should be easier to solve.

Additionally, can I try reprogramming the SBEC? Do you use the Programming Cards that can be bought with BECs? I have a hard time listening to the chimes/tones that come from the BEC and making heads or tails of them.

Thanks in advance for your help. FF
Are you certain the noise came from the SBEC? FYI, the SBEC is a Switching type Battery Elimination Circuit that generally operate at 50 or 100 Kilohertz, far above normal hearing range. These SBEC's provide the five volts DC to operate the receiver and servos. Even if that SBEC went nuts, I don't think you'd be able to hear it. And, if it did, it might fry your receiver and servos.

IMHO, that noise more likely originated from the ESC (Electronic Speed Control) that directly drives the motor. The ESC drives the motor, and the noise you hear would be from the motor itself. In fact, my feeble memory recalls that someone in wattflyer found a bad solder joint on one of the three motor wires inside the shrink wrap of the speed control itself. Resoldering fixed it.

Many other people in Wattflyer have indicated that this sort of thing often is caused by poor or intermittent connections between the three wires between the ESC and motor.

Double check them, and make certain they are solid connections. If they are, the next item would be to swap out the ESC, if possible.

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Old 07-08-2014, 11:53 PM   #3
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Ok, I got my wife, who has much better hearing than I do, come down and listen while I operated the throttle. It appears that you are correct in that the noise does come from the motor. You refer to both the SBEC and ESC, I assume that these are just 2 parts to the same unit, is this correct??

What is curious is that for the 5 second maiden flight and the next 5 minute flight all worked fine with these new components and the problem only manifested itself upon landing short final approach and then static runup. I need to solder connectors onto a new speed controller(sbec/esc?) and see if that cures the problem.

Thanks for the reply, I "may" try and examine the suspected unit and see what I find. Later, FF
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Flysfloats View Post
Ok, I got my wife, who has much better hearing than I do, come down and listen while I operated the throttle. It appears that you are correct in that the noise does come from the motor. You refer to both the SBEC and ESC, I assume that these are just 2 parts to the same unit, is this correct??

What is curious is that for the 5 second maiden flight and the next 5 minute flight all worked fine with these new components and the problem only manifested itself upon landing short final approach and then static runup. I need to solder connectors onto a new speed controller(sbec/esc?) and see if that cures the problem.

Thanks for the reply, I "may" try and examine the suspected unit and see what I find. Later, FF
Yup
Most "Lower Voltage" ESC's have a built in BEC (Battery Elimination Circuit). That BEC uses the motors battery supply to power both the receiver and its servos. There are two types of BEC's. One is a linear type, that IMHO should not be used on any model with three or more cells in its LiPo battery, and more than two servos. To much risk of that BEC getting hot, shutting down power to your receiver, and crashing your model.

The SBEC (Switching BEC) also called an uBEC, uses more expensive switching type power supplies to run the receiver/servos. As a general rule, those uBEC's can provide far more power to the receiver/servos.

There is also an external type uBEC, made by a variety of mfg's including Castle Creations. I use those units on all of my models up to about 1500 Watts. Over 1500 Watts, a backup A123 battery pack is also installed on both of my giant scale models.

One example of an external uBEC.
http://www.castlecreations.com/products/ccbec.html

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Old 07-09-2014, 12:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the rapid reply. As you can tell I struggle a bit with the terminology of elect flight stuff. I will try and only order SBEC controllers. This is the largest plane I have on e-power and doubt I will go larger.

Would you comment on Programming Card useage, do you use them or just listen to the musical chimes?

For economic reasons I pretty much buy my equipment from Hobby King, especially batteries, controllers, and motors. I have bought some receivers from Aloft Hobbies as well. Ok, got to get repairing my Marston 52" Pterodactyl that I broke the head off of this am, sniff, sniff. Later, FF
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:48 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Flysfloats View Post
Thanks for the rapid reply. As you can tell I struggle a bit with the terminology of elect flight stuff. I will try and only order SBEC controllers. This is the largest plane I have on e-power and doubt I will go larger.

Would you comment on Programming Card useage, do you use them or just listen to the musical chimes?

For economic reasons I pretty much buy my equipment from Hobby King, especially batteries, controllers, and motors. I have bought some receivers from Aloft Hobbies as well. Ok, got to get repairing my Marston 52" Pterodactyl that I broke the head off of this am, sniff, sniff. Later, FF
Nope, can't comment on programming card use, all of my ESC's are made by Castle Creations. These units use a USB dongle between your computer and the ESC for programming.

All of the programming is done on your computer, fairly simple. Along with that, the CC ESC's (And a few other mfgs nowdays) also have the ability to record everything during your flights. That information can be downloaded from the ESC to the computer.

The CC ESC's record battery volts, battery amps, watts, RPM, ESC temperature, and a few other items, and displays that information on a graph.

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Old 07-09-2014, 11:10 AM   #7
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If you are going to use a separate UBEC, Make sure to Disconnect the normally red wire from the ESC plug where it goes into the receiver, normally you can use a pin, and lift up on the lock on the plug, and remove the wire and connector, tape it up so it does not short on to something, Hope that helps, Chellie


http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...highlight=ubec

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Old 07-09-2014, 09:28 PM   #8
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ARGHHH! It is this kind of information that causes me to drink!!! ESC, SBEC, UBEC, and so on and so forth. All I know is that I need a speed controller that utilizes the battery that provides power to the motor to also provide power to the receiver, period!

The 70Amp SBEC is rated at 5.5 v and 3amps, the next one is 80Amp SBEC and is rated at 5.5 v and 4amps.

I have now tried both controllers with the original(read new) motor and now the new motor(read never used before) and BOTH of them exhibit similar problems. That being a very slow and jerky rotation of the motor shaft and and occasional noise from the controller.

The only thing left to try is to eliminate the 3 wires that I made as extensions between the actual motor wiring AND the SBEC wiring. Maybe there is something wrong with them. I will next hook up the SBEC directly to the motor and see what happens. And the Saga Continues, sadly. Maybe glow engines aren't so bad after all.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:34 PM   #9
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Yea, Check the wiring for sure, Most of the time, the problem is something the Modeller has unknowing caused themselves,

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Old 07-10-2014, 01:41 AM   #10
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The 70Amp SBEC is rated at 5.5 v and 3amps, the next one is 80Amp SBEC and is rated at 5.5 v and 4amps. [quote]

The way that you are writing this may be causing some confusion. It should read the 70 amp ESC with a SBEC rated at 5.5 V at 3 amps and the next one is a 80 Amp ESC with a SBEC rated at 5.5 V at 4 amps.

To make the motor work you need an ESC (speed control). To power the radio without a receiver battery you need a BEC (battery eliminator Circuit). A SBEC (Switching BEC) is a type of BEC that is usually rated to higher amp draw and can be included in the ESC. When a SBEC is separate from the ESC it can be called a UBEC (Universal BEC?).

So two basic types of ESC's are ones with BECs and ones without (Opto). Since ESCs can get hot some pilots like to keep the BEC separate.
When this all started (Brushless) more cells and more servos needed a BEC that was not in the ESC.
I hope this helps. I like to buy quality ESCs like Denny and believe they are cheaper in the long run.

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Old 07-10-2014, 01:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Flysfloats View Post
ARGHHH! It is this kind of information that causes me to drink!!! ESC, SBEC, UBEC, and so on and so forth. All I know is that I need a speed controller that utilizes the battery that provides power to the motor to also provide power to the receiver, period!

The 70Amp SBEC is rated at 5.5 v and 3amps, the next one is 80Amp SBEC and is rated at 5.5 v and 4amps.

I have now tried both controllers with the original(read new) motor and now the new motor(read never used before) and BOTH of them exhibit similar problems. That being a very slow and jerky rotation of the motor shaft and and occasional noise from the controller.

The only thing left to try is to eliminate the 3 wires that I made as extensions between the actual motor wiring AND the SBEC wiring. Maybe there is something wrong with them. I will next hook up the SBEC directly to the motor and see what happens. And the Saga Continues, sadly. Maybe glow engines aren't so bad after all.

Just a clarification on terminology.

ESC is Electronic Speed control. It has two wires, red and black that connect to the battery. It has three wires that connect to the motors three wires.

uBEC (SBEC) is a switching type voltage regulator that takes the battery input voltage from the battery feeding the ESC, and reduces it to power your receiver and its servos. The 3 Amp rating, 5 Amp rating gives an idea of how much current that uBEC can provide to your receiver and it's servos. Generally, a three or five Ampere rating will handle models powered by a 3 or 4 cell LiPo battery.

As far as complex goes, once you've got your electric power system going, assuming you don't fly until your LiPo batteries go flat, it's plug in the battery and go fly. No worries about the engine not starting, quitting in flight, fuel gunk all over the model, vibration shaking the model apart.

And, a quality electric power system can easily match the power of a similar sized glow engine. It's just that the electric power systems can't fly as long as a glow engine can. Typical electric flight times are on the order of 6 to 8 minutes, depending on your setup.

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Old 07-10-2014, 01:45 AM   #12
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So two new motors and two new ESCs do not work and the only common item is a set of wires you have constructed? I think you have found your problem.

I have soldered so many connectors and sometimes still get a bad connection, I just re-solder and move on.

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Old 07-11-2014, 02:41 PM   #13
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Guys, thank you for you help on this. I think I have a handle on the ESC/SBEC issue, pretty much what I knew but my terminology was poor. This is really a puzzling situation.


I removed the "jumper/extension" wires and to my chagrin, found that I had put different size bullet connectors on each end!! Motor end had 4mm and SBEC end had 3.5mm, go figure. Of course I am out of 4mm connectors now that I have changed out the connectors on the new SBEC.

While troubleshooting I some how managed to short a wire on the new motor! It was not running smoothly, jerking around, when a puff of smoke came out of it. I could see bare wire just where the wire enters the motor. I sent it back to Hobby King for replacement. Picture shows the bare wire where the red wire enters the motor.

Now for the good news. I am now able to get the old motor to run smoothly with both of the SBECs. All I have to do is replace the motor shaft that got bent when the fuselage flew out of my truck while driving to a friend's place to show him the plane. We don't need to visit this little bump in the road, I KNOW what I should have done. Ok, another day or so and I should have all systems ready to go. I will report and thanks again. FF


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