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ESC Fire!~!

Old 10-05-2011, 01:30 PM
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RCFlyer44
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Exclamation ESC Fire!~!

Last night was a beautiful night for flying here and on my second flight with the Sportster I was going to do a touch and go but landed a little hard and it nosed over and walking over to pick up the plane smoke started coming out of the battery compartment, I thought I had a major LiPo fire going. I ran back to my tool box grabbed some needle nose and a pair of snips and snipped the battery lines (one at a time of course) and when all the smoke cleared it was the ESC that had caught fire, not the battery. With a watt meter it did run pretty close to 40amps if I ran full throttle during bench test. I think I will change it to a 60amp now. Rest of plane seems OK, batter still had 11.7 volts and cells checked out OK but not sure I will use just because the ESC was close enough to make burn marks on it.
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:54 PM
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firemanbill
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Bummer, what brand ESC?
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
Bummer, what brand ESC?
Hey Bill, it was a 40amp Turnigy Plush from HK. I have already ordered a 70amp Turnigy Trust ESC that they have in stock at their USA warehouse, a little more weight but I am sure it will run cooler. It came with a 45amp ESC from Electrifly but when I was having problems throttling up quickly I could not adjust the timing on that one so purchased the 40 amp programmable one from HK since I already have the programming card. I have over 100 flights on the plane now and since switching had not had that many problems but knew it was running at max amps if I bench tested at WOT. It was hot sometimes on flights where I was doing a lot of high speed passes or climbs but never thought it would catch on fire.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:15 PM
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constantCrash
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You didn't by chance accidentally leave the throttle open as you walked over to pick up the plane did you? A stalled prop will quickly spike the amperage and can cause the ESC to fry very quickly.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by constantCrash View Post
You didn't by chance accidentally leave the throttle open as you walked over to pick up the plane did you? A stalled prop will quickly spike the amperage and can cause the ESC to fry very quickly.
Sort of a possibility, because I was going to do a touch and go and throttled up in the high grass when it nosed over and may have taken me a second or two to kill the throttle but no longer than that.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:18 PM
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At least you didn't lose your plane! Could have been a lot worse huh?

I just saw a 40%er running on 12s go up in smoke a couple weekends ago. Castle ICE HV ESC burned up in flight and looked a lot like yours there. He was fortunate too to get the plane down in one piece. He was running separate receivers batteries fortunately so he was able to dead stick it in.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
At least you didn't lose your plane! Could have been a lot worse huh?
Absolutely!!

Originally Posted by firemanbill View Post
I just saw a 40%er running on 12s go up in smoke a couple weekends ago. Castle ICE HV ESC burned up in flight and looked a lot like yours there. He was fortunate too to get the plane down in one piece. He was running separate receivers batteries fortunately so he was able to dead stick it in.
Yikes...yeah my wife was surprised my reaction was only "well it happens" and it was probably like that because I saw a couple of planes much more expensive than my mine go down at eWeek.
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:50 PM
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Oh and I am working on the new Eflite Super Cub and using a separate battery pack for the servos on that one! Just in case!
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Old 10-05-2011, 04:56 PM
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firemanbill
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Thumbs up

I'm running dual receiver packs in my Piper now.

Good move on the Super Cub!

Oh, and I have video of the big 40%er, if I can ever get around to editing it I'll post it up.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:33 PM
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Glacier Girl
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SO hurry up Bill, you know we all love carnage photos/videos!

I'm with CC, I bet even with one click of throttle and the motor unable to turn, it spiked the esc and the magic leaked out. You are one lucky guy.
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:10 AM
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solentlife
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I've had two ESC's go up on me ... one a 35A in my 450 Heli - other was a 20A job in my Me109.
Both were well inside their operating ranges, but for some unexplained reason they went all smoky ! Isn't it an awful smell when electronics fries !
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Old 10-07-2011, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I've had two ESC's go up on me ... one a 35A in my 450 Heli - other was a 20A job in my Me109.
Both were well inside their operating ranges, but for some unexplained reason they went all smoky ! Isn't it an awful smell when electronics fries !
Yes the smell is rancid!! Wife complained about it all the way home.
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:49 PM
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Put in a Castle 45amp ESC that I forgot I had lying around, and a new prop. Everything bench tested just fine, hope to have her back in the air today!!
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