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Old 10-12-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
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Default Can't Get My Outrunner to work

I have got an outrunner motor and a three-phase "Miracle ESC 18A", but I am unable to make it work continuously: it turns for 1 second and stops. If I lower the lever (third channel of a Futaba Skysport SS3) and raise it again, the comedy repeats but I am not laughing...
This is my first three-phase motor ever. The Miracle ESC has five wires, three terminated by a servo-like connector, and two (marked battery "-" and "+") which go to a two-poles red connector. My noob question to you is: do I need to supply the battery power separately to both the receiver AND the motor? (as opposed to the outrunner getting its juice through the Rx).
Please help me out. I can post a picture if you like.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:00 PM   #2
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I failed to mention, I am using a Ni-MH 9.6V 7A10 44AAA 650mAh P battery.
I read somewhere about a "minimum voltage setting" in these ESCs, something about it needing to be fixed so that the ESC will not erroneously "see" a dead battery when there actually is yet juice in it. If so, how do I do it?
Thanks guys.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:08 PM   #3
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Does the ESC have a built-in BEC?

What you are describing does sound like a built-in low-voltage cutoff. Is the ESC set up/programmed for the correct voltage? If it is set for, say, 4S and you are running it on 3S it would go right into LVC.


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Old 10-12-2011, 05:10 PM   #4
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The speed control should have three wires that go to the motor, these are sometimes color coded and sometimes not, two wires that go to the battery, + and -, and a wire that goes to the receiver, most likely the one you said had the servo termination on it. Assumiing the ESC has a BEC ( battery elimination circuit) built into it, one battery will supply power for both the motor and receiver.

I suspect that the ESC has been programmed to work with a lipo battery, and when you hook up the NiMH battery to it, the lower voltage puts you into the low voltage cutoff and the ESC switches off. You need to find out if the ESC will work with NiMH batteries and if so how to reprogram it for that function.
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Old 10-12-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
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just to reinforce what's been said previously..

Most Brushless ESC's will have a total of 8 wires coming out of them. Two thick wires go to the battery, three thick wires go to the motor, and three thin wires go to a servo type plug, which should be connected to the throttle channel of the Rx (noting carefully which way around the plug connects).

As already noted, almost all ESC's these days will by default be programmed for LiPo batteries, so you will need to access the programming function to re-set it for NiMh. Alternatively go and get yourself a 3 cell LiPo which will give you quite a performance boost, fly for longer and/or weigh less.

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Old 10-12-2011, 06:54 PM   #6
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Thank you so much, this foam/ outrunner thing is amazing. I'm 57, on-and-off control line and rc since I was 12 (or less), and it was a long time I did not feel the same enthusiasm (read: stupid grin) for a flying project.
So I'll go with the best alternative: get me a 3S lipo pack.
My next dumb question is to Damo01 is: I connect the NiMH pack to the ESC only, no need to attach it also somehow to the receiver, is that correct?
Happy Succot to you all!
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:30 PM   #7
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I connect the NiMH pack to the ESC only, no need to attach it also somehow to the receiver, is that correct?

Correct if the ESC has a built in BEC. Some do and some do not and there are a lot of people who do not put much faith in the BECs that are built into a number of the ESCs on the market. Several threads out on this topic that would be good to look at.
If your ESC does not have a BEC built into it, or if you elect not to use it, you will need to supply power seperately to the receiver, either via a seperate BEC (UBEC) or a receiver battery.
If your ESC has a built in BEC and you elect to use it, power is supplied to the receiver via the three small wires that plug into the throttle port of the receiver
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:02 PM   #8
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The vast majority of smaller ESC (such as your 18A one) have built in circuitry (called a BEC) that takes the voltage from the main battery, reduces it to receiver friendly voltage (5-6V) and supplies it the the receiver via the red wire on the servo type plug.

You would never want to connect a 9.6v battery direct to the ESC because the high voltage would cause the receiver and all the servos to release their 'magic smoke', after which they would no longer work
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:28 PM   #9
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"if the ESC has a built in BEC." That's the $21 question... which is what I paid for it.
I asked the guy "this is not some chinese no-brand that is only sold in Israel" and his answer was noncommittal, but encouraging (to close the deal, I guess...). Anyway the thing arrived without any instructions, and searching "miracle" + ESC only gives me "miracle-mart.com", which offers no "miracle brand" ESC. So... no way to know.
Well, I will ask for clarification when I order the LiPos... after Succot Holiday!
Meanwhile I will keep on making the plane: I chose a Cessna Crop Duster (because of the huge wing area, and because I live near an airbase, and everyday there is one training low passes near our factory. Stylish first e-plane!
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:51 PM   #10
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Air-on,

I think you can be pretty sure that it has a BEC. The reliability and capacity of integral BEC's varies but on an 18A ESC I don't think I've ever seen one without a BEC of some sort built in.

BEC'less (a.k.a. 'OPTO') ESC's are normally only found on high amp and especially high voltage ESC's

Steve
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Air-on,

I think you can be pretty sure that it has a BEC. The reliability and capacity of integral BEC's varies but on an 18A ESC I don't think I've ever seen one without a BEC of some sort built in.

BEC'less (a.k.a. 'OPTO') ESC's are normally only found on high amp and especially high voltage ESC's

Steve
It's not hard to check for the BEC on the ESC. Power up the ESC with your normal battery, then using a digital voltmeter, measure the voltage between the red and black wires on the servo connector. The normal BEC will measure around 5.0 volts DC, the proper value to run the receiver and its servos.

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Old 10-13-2011, 04:51 AM   #12
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I use Miracle ESC's as well as others ...

The Miracle ESC should in fact auto-detect what battery format is connected to it. There should be no need to program the NiMh ..

To Original Poster ....

have you tried google with : Mystery 18A ESC manual ?

The Mystery series of ESC's are actually rebranded from various factories and I have 3 instruction sheets for them. I have to listen to the beeps when starting up to determine which applies.
Most will not program via a card - despite posts on various forums that claim they do. It's only higher ampage Hobbywing rebrands that do.
You need to get the instruction sheet ... unfortunately I am travelling and not at my home computer that has the instruction sheets on ... and follow the beep sequence when powering up. It will mean using the throttle stick as your menu chooosing medium.

Plenty people will say the Mystery series are not good ... but I've had very good use out of mine.

Good luck.

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Old 10-13-2011, 07:14 AM   #13
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Solent, Yes, Mystery are generally good ESC's, many are in fact made by ZTW in Japan. This is the same manufacturer that makes Hacker and Hyperion ESC's.. they all appear to be physically identical

Only hitch here is that the OP says he has a 'Miracle' brand ESC, not a Mystery.. Are you saying that Miracle ESC's are the same as Mystery?

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Old 10-13-2011, 08:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Solent, Yes, Mystery are generally good ESC's, many are in fact made by ZTW in Japan. This is the same manufacturer that makes Hacker and Hyperion ESC's.. they all appear to be physically identical

Only hitch here is that the OP says he has a 'Miracle' brand ESC, not a Mystery.. Are you saying that Miracle ESC's are the same as Mystery?

Steve
Sorry .. even I've twisted myself in knots in my post !! Miracle ESC - never heard of them ... I for some reason after starting post - swapped to Mystery from Miracle !

Must be getting old ........ many a time I go to get something now and forget what it was I wanted !!

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Old 10-13-2011, 11:37 AM   #15
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Default Beeps DO mean something!

Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I use Miracle ESC's as well as others ...

The Miracle ESC should in fact auto-detect what battery format is connected to it. There should be no need to program the NiMh ..

To Original Poster ....

have you tried google with : Mystery 18A ESC manual ?

The Mystery series of ESC's are actually rebranded from various factories and I have 3 instruction sheets for them. I have to listen to the beeps when starting up to determine which applies.
Most will not program via a card - despite posts on various forums that claim they do. It's only higher ampage Hobbywing rebrands that do.
You need to get the instruction sheet ... unfortunately I am travelling and not at my home computer that has the instruction sheets on ... and follow the beep sequence when powering up. It will mean using the throttle stick as your menu chooosing medium.

Plenty people will say the Mystery series are not good ... but I've had very good use out of mine.

Good luck.
Thank you Solen, I went after those ESC manuals, and learned the very basic, which most probably applies to all in their range.
Yes, my "Miracle" ESC beeps once... once... so it actually detects NimH, but shunts it immediately. After the holidays I will order Lipos and end of story, start of fun!
The Cessna AgWagon preparation goes ahead!
Thank you all for your kindness and shared "protracted childhood"
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:31 PM   #16
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Lets try something :

Get all ready to connect up and as if to fly.

OK .. you should have 3 leads connected to your motor ( I assume it's brushless ? If brushed - then its only 2 leads)

You should have ESC servo plug in the throttle socket of your receiver.

Now have battery pack and battery connect leads from ESC ready but NOT connected.

First switch on TX and put throttle to FULL position.

Now read next bit BEFORE powering up model

When you connect battery to ESC - it will beep the recognition signal that it's detected NiMh pack .. then beep once again... as soon as that single beep is made ... you immedaitely bring throttle back to zero position. That sets the throttle range of the ESC to your Tx. Do NOT move the throttle or anything now until you get the music jingle ... which means all set to go.

Now power uip model by connecting battery to ESC ... do as the paragraph above.

You should now have a Tx and model set up and ready to go ... (i usually after setting any parameter such as throttle range de-power model and then power up again but this time with Throttle at zero position. Hang-over of computer install routines I suppose where many don't work unless you restart PC.

The above is pretty universal for most low to mid range ESC's ......

Getting LiPo .. is a good idea :

a) it's lighter for same capacity and means you can increase capacity up to weight of original pack.

but make sure you get a charger to charge LiPo ... do not use your old NiMh charger.

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Old 10-13-2011, 04:23 PM   #17
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Solentlife, with this clear step-by-step even a silly old noobie like me cannot miss!
I will post pictures of the completed cessna agwagon!
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Old 10-14-2011, 03:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Air-on View Post
Solentlife, with this clear step-by-step even a silly old noobie like me cannot miss!
I will post pictures of the completed cessna agwagon!
Aharon
So I assume you are all GO and things working ?

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Old 10-14-2011, 01:44 PM   #19
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Default not yet - but almost!

Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
So I assume you are all GO and things working ?
Not yet, Solen, but I am close.
I have a confession to make: before I asked for help, I made a mess and the ESC overheated, and both leads from the ESC battery connector snapped (before I had time to disconnect the battery).
The ESC survived, but I had to re-solder the battery leads to its red, two-pin connector.
I did it, but I am scared of any short in my clumsy (but not cold) soldering. When I measure with an ohm-meter set to the scale 100, I get conduction. It may be a short or simply the ESC circuit completing the loop. So this is where I need more help. would any of you guys have the patience to measure conductivity across your ESC's battery connector (without batts on, naturally) and tell me if the needle moves?
Thanks to you guys I am almost there!
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Old 10-14-2011, 06:30 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Air-on View Post
Not yet, Solen, but I am close.
I have a confession to make: before I asked for help, I made a mess and the ESC overheated, and both leads from the ESC battery connector snapped (before I had time to disconnect the battery).
The ESC survived, but I had to re-solder the battery leads to its red, two-pin connector.
I did it, but I am scared of any short in my clumsy (but not cold) soldering. When I measure with an ohm-meter set to the scale 100, I get conduction. It may be a short or simply the ESC circuit completing the loop. So this is where I need more help. would any of you guys have the patience to measure conductivity across your ESC's battery connector (without batts on, naturally) and tell me if the needle moves?
Thanks to you guys I am almost there!
Aharon
H'mmmm
What your meter reads depends a lot on the type of meter it is. Analog, digital, and what voltage that meter uses in its resistance checking circuitry.

I've just checked a Castle Creations ESC with about a 40 Amp rating, and my Fluke 87 meter showed about 60,000 ohms, (60K).

One good way to see if your ESC has catastropic damage, is to either connect it to a motor, or, just tape off all three motor leads. You do NOT want to have the three ESC motor leads touch each other when the unit is powered up. Instant smoke. Then take a run to the local electronics shop (Radio Shack) and look for a standard fast blow instrument fuse 1/4 inch diameter by 1 1/4 inches long with about 30% to 50% of the current rating of your ESC. A slow blow fuse will have an obvious "wound" fuse element inside.

So, for a 20 Amp ESC, you'd be looking for a fuse on the order of 5-10 amps, FAST BLOW. (Not an automotive bayonet fuse, they are usually slow blow)

Put that fuse in series with the red wire of your battery with jumper wires, also available at Radio Shack. And obviously, be danged careful about polarity!!!! (Red to fuse to red, black to black)

If that fuse blows, you've got problems with the ESC.

If the fuse does not blow, then try running the motor without a propeller by slowly advancing the throttle on the transmitter. Don't run the throttle up fast, the high current pulled by the motor could blow your fuse anyhow. If the ESC will run the motor at full throttle for half a minute or so, then remove the fuse, put on the prop, and try again.

If you have access to a wattmeter, such as Astroflights wattmeter, it would be a good idea to measure currents while doing all this stuff.

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Old 10-15-2011, 01:55 AM   #21
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To be honest ... if that happened to me ... I'd junk the ESC and buy another ... they are cheap enough and better insurance against faults than poor soldering.

But question ... why do you think your soldering is that bad ? is there overheated area around where you soldered ? Is there too much solder there that you think you may have a short ?

If you worry that a short may have occurred by means of too much solder - then a thin saw blade sorts that by cutting away solder between the two contacts. If it's burnt / overheated board - then it's suspect and shouldn't be used.

But in reality ... I'd buy a new ESC ... we are only talking small money in reality ... plenty of them online and cheaper than over counter. For sort of ESC you need ... I wqouldn't pay more than about a fiver including shipping ... possibly a tenner at most.

Kyleservice is right about fuses and all that .. but I get impression that you are unsure and nervous about that. Get a new one and put the old away until you have more knowledge / experience of this strange world to pick it up again and check it out.

Good luck.

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Old 10-15-2011, 01:59 AM   #22
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Oh ... I forgot to say ... be careful what yopou measure resistance on ... to do that means the meter passes a current through the item ... some sensitive gear does not like that and you can knacker it ... an ESC like this should be ok though.

I would expect to see a resistance but not total as the ESC will pass something ...

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Old 10-15-2011, 02:05 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
Oh ... I forgot to say ... be careful what yopou measure resistance on ... to do that means the meter passes a current through the item ... some sensitive gear does not like that and you can knacker it ... an ESC like this should be ok though.
That was true with some of those old analog meters such as the Triplett or Simpson type meters. (Yeah, I used many of those in the old days. Glad to see them gone.) They put out 5 or 10 volts on some resistance ranges, and half an amp on other resistance ranges. Not good for a LOT of electronic circuits. They could even fry an LED.

The modern digital multimeters put out perhaps 1.5 Volts DC at currents somewhere around one milliampere on the R200 ranges, and low microamperes on the higher resistance ranges. That won't hurt most electronic circuitry.

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Old 10-15-2011, 07:46 AM   #24
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Default Problem Solved!

Guys, thank you for the big smile!
You put words to my thoughts when you suggested "dump it", and by that I mean heck, if it smokes it'll be "just" 80 shekels and a couple days wait for the mail (to guess the value of 80 shekels, it is $21, or four hours working at minimum wage - not peanuts for minimum wagers, agree?).
So I said "" and did exactly as Solen said (worth a specific tutorial, although the "jingle" expectations came up kind of short: after the turn-throttle-down-don't-touch-a-darn-thing thing, it bleeped thrice in a row and that was that. When I repowered everything and throttled up... boy oh boy this plane can't get ready soon enough!
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Old 10-15-2011, 07:51 AM   #25
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Default Yes!

Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
So I assume you are all GO and things working ?
NOW I am, thank you all a lot.
I am working with improvised materials (foam board) as "rc foam" is not yet distributed in Israel, so not much control over final weight. Let's waight (this is a joke! Pun!) and see!
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