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Setting up Castle Creations ESC's

Old 07-19-2011, 06:39 PM
  #1  
JetPlaneFlyer
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Default Setting up Castle Creations ESC's

OK, just got myself a nice new CC ICE 50 ESC

I've actually got it installed and have a few flights under it's belt and all seems to be ok.. what is puzzling me though is the programming function for setting the throttle endpoints.

here's what castle link says about the two programming options applicable to fixed wing:

Auto-Calibrate Endpoints

Auto-Calibrate mode will 'learn' your transmitter's end-points automatically, so you should always have the highest resolution possible for your throttle stick.  After arming the controller, you must go to full-throttle on the ground so the ESC can learn this value before take-off.

Fixed-Endpoints
Fixed-Endpoints will set zero-throttle and full-throttle points to fixed values so that the ESC does not have to learn from your transmitter. If you are using this mode, you will most likely want to change the EPA settings on your transmitter to allow full throttle resolution with the throttle stick.  To do this, turn on your TX and set normal mode in the transmitter for a linear throttle curve (0,25,50,75,100). Bring your high side and low side endpoints on your throttle channel down to 25%, plug in the battery pack with the throttle stick at full (it won't start up), then bring your high endpoint back out towards (and sometimes past) 100% until you hear a single tone. Next, bring your throttle stick down to the bottom position and bring the endpoint out from 25% out towards (and possibly past) 100% until you hear the ESC arm. Unplug the battery pack, wait a few seconds, then plug back in and verify that the throttle is working properly.
I've underlined the bits that I'm concerned about...

I don't like the sound of having to go to full throttle on the ground before every flight as is required for the Auto-calibrate' option. Elsewhere in the instructions it says you have to hold full throttle for 4 seconds which seems nuts to have to do before every flight. I've never had another ESC that requires this.

So it looks like the 'Fixed Endpoints' is the one i want. Trouble is the programming seems to only refer to heli throttle setting (liner curve-blah blah) it gives not even a clue on how to set fixed endpoints for a fixed wing plane.

Can anyone enlighten me.. How do i set up the throttle for fixed endpoints and do you really have to go to full throttle for four seconds on auto mode?

Tx is a Dx7 if that helps.

Steve
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:00 PM
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ok, i know how to do it now....For the sake of anyone looking for an answer to this question here's how it works:
  1. Go into the Tx programming and select the servo travel adjust screen.
  2. Decrease the throttle high and low values to 50% (possibly lower on some Tx's) and put the throttle stick in the middle
  3. Connect the battery to the ESC (it wont start)
  4. Move throttle stick to full throttle (it still wont start)
  5. Increase the travel adjust high value upward toward 100%.. at some point you will get a single beep indication that the ESC has reached WOT (75% on my Dx7)
  6. Close the throttle
  7. Increase the travel adjust low value toward 100%, at some point you will get the arming tone from the ESC indicating that the throttle is fully closed (55% on my Dx7)
  8. ESC is now armed and calibrated and will power up if you open the throttle.
That's it, the and points are now set and don't need to be re-set prior to each flight.

Steve
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:19 PM
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Old Fart
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With the exception of my twin engine airplanes, I've used the auto-calibrate method on every CC ESC I have (maybe 40?) - no issues.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:15 PM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Old Fart View Post
With the exception of my twin engine airplanes, I've used the auto-calibrate method on every CC ESC I have (maybe 40?) - no issues.
yeah.. I'm sure it works ok but i didn't much like the idea of having to set the throttle wide open for 4 seconds prior to each and every flight to set the auto calibrate end point.. i know I'd end up forgetting.

Manual setting end points once you know how actually takes only a few seconds longer than auto calibrating. But once done manually it's done for ever, you never need to re-calibrate unless you change your Tx, no more stick at full throttle for 4 seconds prior to every flight, and no more forgetting to do so... No contest in my book but it's a personal thing.

Steve
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:25 PM
  #5  
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Not an issue - just a matter of what procedure you're comfortable with. I turn the TX on, go to full throttle, then plug in the Deans. Drop the throttle to arm

Works for me.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:30 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Old Fart View Post
Not an issue - just a matter of what procedure you're comfortable with. I turn the TX on, go to full throttle, then plug in the Deans. Drop the throttle to arm

Works for me.
The instructions in the Castle link software say you have to go to full throttle AFTER arming.. which would obviously mean actually powering the motor up to WOT...

Here's a direct copy and paste from the software help screen:

After arming the controller, you must go to full-throttle on the ground so the ESC can learn this value before take-off
Possibly a mistake, or maybe not

Steve
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:33 PM
  #7  
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Here's a screen shot of the help screen from the latest version of castle Link software.. note the auto calibrate instructions.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:38 PM
  #8  
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Sounds right. Been a while since I've built anything new (electric) - that's probably what I was/am doing.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:08 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
I don't like the sound of having to go to full throttle on the ground before every flight as is required for the Auto-calibrate' option. Elsewhere in the instructions it says you have to hold full throttle for 4 seconds which seems nuts to have to do before every flight. I've never had another ESC that requires this.

Tx is a Dx7 if that helps.

Steve
I've got all six of my CC ESC's set for automatic throttle calibration. And, these are powered up with the transmitter set to low throttle.

The CC ESC simply responds with normal operation, completely transparent to the modeler.
************************************************** ************************************************** ***********
FYI I found this throttle kill switch setup in the internet for your DX7.
(The original file location)
http://www.whitehillseaglesrc.org/me...ttlesafety.pdf

Throttle Kill Switch setup Process For the Spektrum DX7 Transmitter:
From your selected plane setup menu (pressing scroll and select simultaneously) move to one of the mixing channels (I used Mix 3, for mixing with the gear switch).

Select source and destination for the mix to be THRO (short for throttle), the display should show:
THRO -> THRO

Now move to the rate section and set both sections to -100% (you will be able to set one of them with the throttle stick down and the other with it up).

Move to the SW: section and set it to MIX
Move to the OFFSET section and set it to -100%.
If you toggle the gear switch you should see the text to the right of the THRO -> THRO change from OFF to ON, when this reads ON the throttle is disabled.

Below is how your DX7 screen should look:

[PROG.MIX1]
THRO->THRO ON
RATE: -100%
-100%
>SW:MIX
OFFSET:-100

Change the DX7 screens to show servo travel, and check out the throttle with the gear switch on, and off. I've found it is best to move the transmitter throttle trim to zero. Otherwise the transmitter "throttle off" gear switch won't go to zero throttle.

Next, carefully try this out with your model turned on, with the switch toward you it should not be possible to start the motor at all. Be certain to move the throttle to low throttle before throwing the kill switch. If not, your model could take off if the transmitter throttle is at full power.

And, as always, check all remaining transmitter functions for both direction and unexpected operations. In case something else got changed by accident.
All that remains now is to cultivate the habit of ensuring the switch is in the disabled position whenever you pick up the aircraft and whenever it is not on the flying field.

All my models have been programmed with this throttle kill function. Works very well.

(The throttle kill switch can be programmed to use the top right transmitter Mix switch, by using "Mix1" rather than "Mix3")

Last edited by kyleservicetech; 07-20-2011 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:37 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
I've never had another ESC that requires this.

Steve
Great Planes ESC's all do this - and I actually LIKE it. You have to arm it (calibrate it) or it won't run. It is a bit unnerving however.

And Auto calibrate on on my CC controllers (including ICE) works well and gives good throttle response.

Mike
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:42 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
And Auto calibrate on on my CC controllers (including ICE) works well and gives good throttle response.

Mike
And like most if not all ESC's, the Castle Creations ESCs beeps the motor letting you know when the ESC is armed. And these CC ESC's also beep the motor every 20 seconds or so with the motor off, warning you the model is still hot. (Or if you put the model away hot, you've got to disconnect the battery, so as not to kill your battery)

Last edited by kyleservicetech; 07-20-2011 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:00 AM
  #12  
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*grrrr* I typed a looooong detailed reply and lost it!

So this one will be shorter

If you are using auto calibrate and you DONT go to full throttle for 4 seconds, then the esc will wait untill its sees 4 seconds of any throttle setting and decide THAT is full throttle.

So, if you skip the 4 second thing and say you take off at 3/4 throttle and hold it there for 4 seconds.

The esc now decides that the 3/4 stick position is full throttle

There is no huge problem with this except that you are loosing 25% of your throttle resolution. Its sort of like using reverse expo on the throttle channel.

However, you may wonder why your model seems to respond to throttle differently at different times. its because the esc is setting different full throttle stick positions on different flights.

This is why I always use fixed end points. I like fine control of throttle AND I like consistency.

I use a somewhat different setup technique than Steve posted. I like to have it so the motor does not start until about 2 clicks of UP stick. This gives me a tiny bit of safety reserve in the OFF position.

I also like to hit full throttle about 1 click before full UP stick. Again to be sure I get full throttle even if Im not pushing hard up on the stick or using a lot of rudder at the same time.

I make a point of setting this up on each new model.

By the way - the exact end points you need will vary slightly from one esc to the next, so you need to do it separately for each esc.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:40 AM
  #13  
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Larry,

Yep i found a thread in RCgroups and they said the same thing.. you have to actully run the motor up to full power AFTER arming but BEFORE take off in order to set the WOT endpoint. failure to follow the drill gives you different throttle endpoints on every flight which could be at best irritating, at worst could cause a crash.

Here is a quote from that thread from Castle Creations tech support:
Hi
As the instructions state that I saw a photo of posted for Auto Calibrate - plug in the battery, controller arms. Then you must run up the motor for 4 seconds to set the endpoint on the esc.

Hope this helps
So unless you are happy to run the motor at WOT for 4 seconds on the ground prior to EVERY flight then you should be using fixed endpoints... as instructed by Castle themselves.

Steve
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:43 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by rcers View Post
Great Planes ESC's all do this - and I actually LIKE it. You have to arm it (calibrate it) or it won't run. It is a bit unnerving however.

And Auto calibrate on on my CC controllers (including ICE) works well and gives good throttle response.

Mike
really?.. you have to run at WOT on the ground for 4 seconds each and every flight with Great Planes ESC's too?

But as Larry said.. if you don't go to full throttle it will still run but it wont have WOT properly calibrated... as advised by CC themselves and as stated in their software.

Steve
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:54 AM
  #15  
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For most people its probably not a problem. Throttle still works and you still get full throttle, you just loose some fine control.

I use fixed end points for a long time - until I started flying 3D. Thats when I noticed my throttle response wasnt consistent from flight to flight. Makes it tough to learn to hover if you dont have fine throttle control!

About the same time I was first learning to fly heli's andf really looked at fixed end points.

never went back
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:58 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
I've got all six of my CC ESC's set for automatic throttle calibration. And, these are powered up with the transmitter set to low throttle.

The CC ESC simply responds with normal operation, completely transparent to the modeler.
This won't result in proper calibration of the hi endpoint.. The ESC wont respond to normal throttle operation properly unless you have previously held WOT for four seconds to fix the endpoint.. This is not not my opinion; it's Castle's instructions.

Steve
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:04 AM
  #17  
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I too am going to be trying to figure this out in the coming months. I looked at those other threads. Can you explain what ATV means. Thanks
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:35 AM
  #18  
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ATV means the servo travel adjustment in your tx. Its where you adjust the end point travel for each channel.

Your tx should default to 100% travel in each direction for each channel. However you can adjust that travel up or down so that the servo will turn farther or less at its max point.

The same applies to the throttle channel. You can adjust the low and hi points up or down as needed.

By the way - its called different things depending on if you have a Futaba, JR or Spektrum, Hitec etc. They all work the same way though
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:20 AM
  #19  
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Okay, thanks. I've found the travel adjust screen on my DX7. Haven't ever used that yet. I've saved all this for later when I get my plane built. I'm sure it will all make sense when I have everything connected and go through it all.

Thanks JetPlaneFlyer and everyone who contributed here. Threads like this where people help another work through something like this is a great help to many who follow along the same path. Thanks to all.
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
really?.. you have to run at WOT on the ground for 4 seconds each and every flight with Great Planes ESC's too?

But as Larry said.. if you don't go to full throttle it will still run but it wont have WOT properly calibrated... as advised by CC themselves and as stated in their software.

Steve
No they are a bit different. You power it up with the stick at off throttle. Then you go to full. It does not "run" the motor but does three fast beeps then you drop the stick to off throttle position. It beeps again and at this point is armed and has the throttle range.

So it is for safety and endpoints all in one.

You don't have to then run-up the motor for 4 seconds. Didn't know CC recommended that. Again I have great results on Auto and use that with them.

Mike
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:24 PM
  #21  
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FWIW, Clint (castle tech support) posted the following over on RC groups:

Auto Calibrate Throttle is very Easy but I prefer fixed endpoint throttle on all my planes... There is no need for the 4 second full throttle and the throttle is always linear.... you can also add throttle curves to the radio that will remain the same if you want them.
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:01 AM
  #22  
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I just asked Clint to clarify his comments.

All he did was confuse me
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:41 AM
  #23  
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the way i read the comment (backed up by previous comments from Castle support personnel and their own literature). Is 'Clint prefers fixed end points because that way there is no need to go to full throttle for 4 seconds and that way throttle is always linear....

but i see how it could be read another way..

Steve
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Old 07-22-2011, 07:03 PM
  #24  
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That could be. Its easy to type something fast and have it come out sideways - or to read something perfectly clear and have it turn sideways in your head
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:28 AM
  #25  
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Just something about the wording, "Auto" Calibration, yet you have to do it manually, oh and by the way you have to do it every time you fly. As mentioned the fixed method is basically the same procedure, just set it and forget it.
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