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Minicopter
Other › Actronic overheated!
06-06-2004 07:25 AM  13 years agoPost 1
gpyros

rrKey Veteran

On a beach in Mexico

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Wow, that was close! We put a friend's 10s4p LiPo pack into the CX and flew it with the video camera for about 10 minutes and landed it with no problems.

After removing the canopy, we noticed that the heat shrink had ripped straight down the side, and that the controller (measured with his RayTek thermometer) was over 200 degrees - this after we carried it off the field and took the canopy off! The motor was fine, as were the batteries.

I think the only thing that saved me from buying yet another controller was that I had used a zip-tie to hold the entire controller down, and that alone kept the heat sink from separating from the circuit board and starting another fire! Whew!

Thinking about this, I am trying to come up with a better way of attaching everything together. Here we have a heat sink, made to dissipate heat, that is covered with heavy shrink wrap so it can't. Hmmm...let me think about that some more. Doesn't make much sense to me!

What I did this time was to drill three holes in each of the two outer fins of the heat sink, then put a zip tie through the holes and around the controller's circuit board. Without the holes the heat sink could slide around a bit, (that's probably why they used the shrink wrap) but with the zip-ties going through them it is locked into place. I then installed a Venom thermometer on the heat sink so I could monitor the temperature better - this is the one that not only tells you the current temp but the maximum reached since it was turned on.

I also made a few more holes in the canopy directly above the speed controller so some more of the air from the blades will help cool it off, in addition to the little fan which is still at one end blowing air over the heat sink.

I haven't flown it yet, but that's the theory. I'm trying to allow the heat sink to do it's job by not covering it up, and having more air blow over it from the blades besides.

What do you think? Aside from switching brands?

Greg

Maxi-Joker helicam
Joker-CX helicam
Graupner Jet Ranger (elec)
Raptor-50
Logo-10
9CH

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06-07-2004 05:21 PM  13 years agoPost 2
Notar

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Taxachussetts

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I have started to use two fans on the heat sink now, and wire them together. Seems to help alot since the fans cover almost the entire heat sink.
Joe

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06-07-2004 06:07 PM  13 years agoPost 3
jeffscholl

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Whitefish, MT

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Greg,

Do you have a fan installed on the heat sink?

cheers,
jeff

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06-07-2004 06:29 PM  13 years agoPost 4
gpyros

rrKey Veteran

On a beach in Mexico

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Albig:

Yes, very new, version A-18. Maybe 10 flights on it. Seemed OK with NiMh packs, but I didn't have the video camera mount completed until we got the LiPo packs, so I wasn't stressing it as much, either.

Not sure what you mean here:
The nonsense about the "Fets loosing intimate contact with the heatsink" is just that nonsense.
That is exactly what happened to me last time and it started a fire when the 'tech' from HobbyClub put it back together without the heat transfer tape. Then HobbyClub wouldn't even give me a new one, saying they weren't responsible! Never deal with them!!!!

No, it will not go to Germany - when either of them die they will be replaced by something from a different company. The Schulze is expensive, but from what I've seen will never fail like this. The Hackers they are using in the IONs look better, and hopefully Castle Creations will come out with the one they have promised quickly. Any others that you know of?

Joe:

How do you have them configured? Two holes in the shrink wrap and aimed straight down on the heat sink? So you basically have most of the shrink wrap removed, also.

Jeff:
...in addition to the little fan which is still at one end blowing air over the heat sink.
Yup!

Thanks for the input, everyone!
Greg

Maxi-Joker helicam
Joker-CX helicam
Graupner Jet Ranger (elec)
Raptor-50
Logo-10
9CH

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06-07-2004 07:11 PM  13 years agoPost 5
jeffscholl

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Whitefish, MT

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Hi Greg,

I'm getting a little side tracked here, but.....

What motors are you using in the CX and Maxi?

Just curious, how much does your video platform weigh?
My still platform is getting close to 4.5lbs and the ESC is luke warm after a pack of 32 GP3300.

I have a pack of FlightPower 10s4p's on the way and will post temps
as soon as I get a chance to fly it.

Cheers,
Jeff

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06-07-2004 07:33 PM  13 years agoPost 6
gpyros

rrKey Veteran

On a beach in Mexico

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Jeff:

All stock - the Maxi has the 24-5, the CX has the 24-4. Both with stock gearing. I'm supposed to have two 10s4p packs in (actually, four 5s4p, same thing) in within a couple of days, a set for each, and can give a full report on both after that. The mount is the Airfoil M1 carbon with a Panasonic PV-DV953 and BWAV downlink.

The LiPo packs I had in it were borrowed for the CX for a test, haven't tried them in the Maxi yet. I don't expect any problems there, that thing is a lifting machine. If the CX still gives me grief, I'll just add the long boom and blades and turn it into a Maxi.

Don't you have an extra 24-5 motor kicking around somewhere?

Greg

Maxi-Joker helicam
Joker-CX helicam
Graupner Jet Ranger (elec)
Raptor-50
Logo-10
9CH

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06-07-2004 07:57 PM  13 years agoPost 7
rcman

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Logan, Utah

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Joe
So what is Gerd doing about all these ESC that people are having problems with
Is he going to be changing?
This has to be hurting business

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06-07-2004 08:22 PM  13 years agoPost 8
jeffscholl

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Whitefish, MT

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Greg,

"Don't you have an extra 24-5 motor kicking around somewhere?"

I still have the 24-5 (after deciding it didn't have enough poop for the JokerCX). However, I'm still convinced the Joker is the ticket for cam platforms and thus have dreams of getting a Maxi with the 24-5.

In the mean time I have to see how much John's new gyro weighs in with a 12v source on the video platform with LithPolys. (last word was 1-2 weeks out on shipping for the gyro...)

Cheers,
Jeff

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06-07-2004 09:36 PM  13 years agoPost 9
gpyros

rrKey Veteran

On a beach in Mexico

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Al:

That's why I think the idea of the shrink-wrap is so bogus - it directly contradicts the whole idea of cooling the heat sink!

I'm hoping that the zip-tie replacement (mine has the tape) will do a better job holding it together and also allow more air on it to cool it off.

I hope to get out today or tomorrow and fly it - if it works as well as I think it will, I'll take some pictures of the setup. If not, I'll get out the old credit card!

Jeff:

Just get the upgrade - since you already have the CX & motor, all you will need is the gearing, upgrade tail kit, and blades. Not too much of an investment, and if you don't like it you can always sell it as a Maxi crash kit!

Greg

Maxi-Joker helicam
Joker-CX helicam
Graupner Jet Ranger (elec)
Raptor-50
Logo-10
9CH

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06-08-2004 01:24 AM  13 years agoPost 10
md11plt

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Park City, UT

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How are you mounting your fans? I cut a circle about the size of a quarter out of the shrink wrap and put a small fan there. The fan plugs straight into the receiver so it comes on whenever the receiver is on. It blows air right onto the fins and then out the ends. Never had a heat problem.

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06-08-2004 01:59 AM  13 years agoPost 11
Notar

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Taxachussetts

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What i have been doing is measure up from the bottom of the heat sink 1/8 inch, and lay the fan flat on the heat sink. Mark the top and bottom of the fan, and score the heat sink and remove it in that area. I then do the same thing from the top of the heat sink for the second fan. Once the heat shrink is removed only from the top, i lay the fan down, and use alumimum tape on the sides of the fan overlapping down the side of the heat sink to hold the fan in place. This blows the air down on the heat sink, and with two fans you can really feel the air coming out the bottom and top area of the heat sink. So far so good. Gerd is as unhappy about the controller situation as we are, and has also looked at other alternatives, but like us, is waiting for a not so expensive replacement. I do have a couple of guys using the marine Schulze controller on their Jokers, and it takes all they can throw at it and does not even get warm. But at 550.00 for the controller, forget it. I am still playing with the Hacker, and they want this controller to work, and also want to know what to do to it to make it better suited for the joker as well. Plus, the service their stuff here in the US which is a real big plus instead of sending it half way around the world. I don't know what Castles problems are.
Joe

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06-08-2004 04:55 AM  13 years agoPost 12
gpyros

rrKey Veteran

On a beach in Mexico

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I flew the CX today with a 32 cell pack of NiMh 3300's. Nothing fancy, basic hovering and slow circuits, with a few rapid climbs.

Reading the Venom temp gauge, the heat sink was about 140 degrees F when I landed, with the hottest point recorded sometime during the flight of 170 degrees.

This was an 8-minute flight until the batteries just couldn't hold it in the air any more.

So - how hot do your speed controllers get?

Greg

Maxi-Joker helicam
Joker-CX helicam
Graupner Jet Ranger (elec)
Raptor-50
Logo-10
9CH

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06-09-2004 03:17 AM  13 years agoPost 13
jeffscholl

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Whitefish, MT

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I flew a couple 3300 packs today and the hotest temp I could get off the ESC heat sink was 110F and about 160F on the motor windings. Outside temp was only 65F. This was after lifting my still platform at 4lb 6oz. I hover it at the end until no more lift and then discharge with twin SuperNovas which usually squeeze out another ~275mah. I believe it goes down to .9V/cell on discharge.

In the past I've ran back to back packs on 90+F days for golf course work and never had a problem holding my finger on the heatsink.

cheers,
jeff

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06-09-2004 06:14 AM  13 years agoPost 14
gpyros

rrKey Veteran

On a beach in Mexico

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Jeff:

Thanks for the info! With my system overhauled - no heat shrink, fan directly above the hottest part of the heat sink (where the wires come out for the motor), four extra holes in the canopy above the ESC (about the size of quarters) I was getting about the same readings, without the camera attached, although it was quite a bit warmer here today. I'll test it with the camera tomorrow.

I feel much better getting the temp down that far with only minor changes to the system.

Although with the same type of flying, AND having the front-mounted camera attached, the Maxi didn't even break a sweat at 92 degrees.

Al suggested that the later versions of the controller get warmer than the earlier versions - the Maxi has version A-14, the CX has A-18. What is yours?

Thanks again,
Greg

Maxi-Joker helicam
Joker-CX helicam
Graupner Jet Ranger (elec)
Raptor-50
Logo-10
9CH

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06-09-2004 09:29 PM  13 years agoPost 15
ehx

rrApprentice

Northern Minnesota

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I don't think the controller version has much to do with how warm
they get - unless the heat sink separates which is more likely on the
older ones if you cut the heat shrink. Your Maxi will run cooler because
it is more efficient than the CX. It depends on how they are setup, but
the Maxi should run at least 5-10 amps continuous less than the CX when carrying the same weight.

What really heats up the controller is the "oven" that the canopy
creates. Obviously, if you are doing aerobatics/3D you need the
canopy for orientation, but for camera work or basic flying I just
use colored foam on the skids and forget the canopy. The controller
and motor run a lot cooler. In fact, I don't use a fan at all. It's not
needed. Note that I rarely fly in temps above 85F though.

I experimented with using a fan and cutting progressively bigger
holes in the canopy until there wasn't much canopy left. In short, in
temps between 40-80F, the controller was warmer with the stock
canopy and fan then without a fan and canopy and removing the
top half of the canopy didn't cool the controller nearly as much as
completely removing it.

I expect most people would never even consider flying without a
canopy, but for camera work you can use colored foam, painted
fins, etc. for orientation and forget about the hassles of a canopy.

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06-11-2004 05:42 PM  13 years agoPost 16
John Tz

rrApprentice

Chicago, IL

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How do you guys know what version of the controller you have? Is there some kind of mark or something?

thanks,
John

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06-11-2004 05:52 PM  13 years agoPost 17
gpyros

rrKey Veteran

On a beach in Mexico

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They write a number on the side of the heat sink with a magic marker by hand: A-14 or A-18 or whatever. Does yours have anything written on it?

Greg

Maxi-Joker helicam
Joker-CX helicam
Graupner Jet Ranger (elec)
Raptor-50
Logo-10
9CH

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06-11-2004 07:03 PM  13 years agoPost 18
John Tz

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Chicago, IL

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Greg, mine isn't marked in any way...maybe I have one of the earliest ones.

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06-11-2004 07:45 PM  13 years agoPost 19
gpyros

rrKey Veteran

On a beach in Mexico

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Any idea when you got it? Are you the original owner?

Some here have posted that the earlier ones worked better than the later ones and stayed cooler, it is not a bad thing to have an original!

Greg

Maxi-Joker helicam
Joker-CX helicam
Graupner Jet Ranger (elec)
Raptor-50
Logo-10
9CH

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06-11-2004 08:56 PM  13 years agoPost 20
John Tz

rrApprentice

Chicago, IL

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Greg, I am the original owner. I was one of the first people to have a Joker in this country. It most likely is one of the first ones...never had a problem. Have been flying it hard for two seasons. I have always had the start-up problem, but it really isn't a big deal, since I always spin up my blades to startup anyway, just to be easier on the gear train.

I have flown mine with 32-NiMh and also 10s4p of the gen1s. the controller has never gotten past 120 degrees, and that is after driving it very hard and letting the voltage on the batteries decay too much and therefore ramped up the current. I use a 24-4 with a 24 tooth pinion...fly at 1700 headspeed.

I am using the little fan. I have cut a piece of the heat shrink off the controller and put the fan on and used the metal tape to seal it all up. I am not as hard core as some of the other flyers here and the governor seems to work very well for me. I would describe my flying as mild/middle 3D.

I simply love this machine. It isn't as powerful as my 90s but it is way more fun and I simply enjoy it more. Every time this machine spins up, I get a smile on my face. Now if i can get my hands on those illusive g2 TP cells ;-)

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