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HomeScale✈️AircraftScale HeliScale Helicopter Main Discussion Docs  HU-1N 600 size from RC Aerodyne
03-31-2015 06:49 PM  6 years ago
Captain Dan

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Freeport, New York

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Hey, something worth bringing up here, when I was setting up the Spirit controller I tried to do it using the BEC that was built into the Castle ESC. I never intended to fly with it but I thought it would be fine for going through the set-up on the bench. I am using Align low voltage servos, DS615's and a DS655 on the tail, and a couple of Spektrum remote receivers are plugged into the Spirit controller. That is the entire system. I thought the 5 amps that the built in BEC supplied would do the trick and I programmed the Castle BEC to supply 6 volts. It was not enough power and as soon as I finished the binding process the receivers started dropping off and requiring signal which was easy to see with all of the servos glitching and the receiver lights going on and off.

I used a Castle 10 amp BEC to do the programming and for the test flight on Sunday. I've now ordered the 20 amp Castle BEC Pro to install in the body because not only do I want to be safe but I'm also adding a fan to the Dog House that it will power. I thought I'd bring it up because I'd hate to see someone loose a helicopter because of an amp problem.
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03-31-2015 06:56 PM  6 years ago
don s

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I think 5A should be plenty, especially during setup.E820, Raptor G4N, X50F/E, E620, Forza 450, and some planks.
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03-31-2015 07:02 PM  6 years ago
Captain Dan

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So did I. And I've set-up a lot of helicopter and flown them with only the 5 amp BEC. I think the Spirit controller just needs more power. I only had the problem once before when setting up a 550 helicopter with a Mini V bar. In that case I needed to wire in a 10 BEC in order to make it work right. I guess some of these flybarless controllers eat up more power than I'm used to.
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03-31-2015 07:42 PM  6 years ago
getsuyoubi

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But where does that power go if it's the FBL controller and not the servos? The spirit would have to get noticeably warm one would think. Does it?
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03-31-2015 08:03 PM  6 years ago
Captain Dan

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Good question, I'm scanning the net now trying to find out what the power requirements are for both the servos and the controller. The last time I had this problem I was using the same servos so the draw on the new DS615 and DS655 may be very high. They are high torque digital coreless servos. Unfortunately the data sheet they post on the sites that sell them don't spec the amps required to drive them.

I would guess that the servos are drawing most of the power but so far I can't find a spec for either the servos or the Spirit. The Spirit can run on 3 volts and as you suggest, I can't see where it would need many amps to function.
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03-31-2015 08:11 PM  6 years ago
getsuyoubi

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Even for the servos I find it hard to believe that they draw that much current while just sitting there on the bench. Okay, they're digital, so they always buzz away. But 5 amps??? With your voltage set to 6 volts that's 30 watts for nothing! A 25 watt light bulb very quickly gets too hot to touch, and it has similar size and weight as a FBL controller or a servo, so you would notice if all that power got converted into heat at either the FBL or the servos.
I shouldn't even ask this, because you have so much more experience than me, but - are you sure you selected the correct servo frequency? As you know very well, servos get hot when the frequency is too high. That would explain where the power goes...
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03-31-2015 08:43 PM  6 years ago
Captain Dan

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Good question and observation. I am sure that the frame rate and HZ are correct at this time. I did drop the HZ from the specified 200 and 333 all the way down to 65 in order to see if that was the problem. It didn't make any difference. The frame is 1520 and clearly listed everywhere on the documents.

I'm hoping to find a power requirement and that when I do it will solve the mystery.
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03-31-2015 08:49 PM  6 years ago
don s

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Chesapeake, VA

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You need an in-line servo tester to look at current draw. You could even put it between the FBL and BEC.

http://www.hangar-9.com/Products/De...x?ProdID=HAN172

Then you will know for sure.
E820, Raptor G4N, X50F/E, E620, Forza 450, and some planks.
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03-31-2015 09:20 PM  6 years ago
hrc37

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Derry, PA

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BEC Issue
I'm having the same problem using KDS servos. I'm using a Castle Creation 10amp BEC and soon as I connect the power to the receiver, I get a "Low Voltage" message on my transmitter. Then if it just sits there without me moving any of the sticks it's ok for a while and then the servos may jitter and I again get a low voltage message. As soon as I move either stick I again get a low voltage message and the servos jitter and intermittently move. And this is "without" any FBL unit installed yet. So I disconnected the 10amp Castle Creations BEC and installed the KDS BEC that came in my kit which is marked "8A" & "MAC 15A" and everything is OK. So I too find it hard to believe that I'm drawing more then 10 amps by just sitting there or even just by moving one or two servos but this does seem to be what's happening. I'm going to put an AMP meter inline tonight and see just what it shows. Mark
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03-31-2015 09:24 PM  6 years ago
getsuyoubi

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Almost sounds like your ESC is defective. On the bench your servos draw more than 5 amps, but while flying, when the servos really have to work, it's less than 10. Something is fishy...
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03-31-2015 09:29 PM  6 years ago
hrc37

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By the way, the 10 AMP Castle Creations BEC isn't getting hot...just a little warm which I would think if it was running at max, it would get hot or at least very warm but I'm thinking that maybe it's actually shutting down when something trys to draw too much and this may be why it's not getting hot and the servos keep jittering.
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03-31-2015 09:31 PM  6 years ago
hrc37

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I thought that too but I tried it with 2 different Castle Creations 10 AMP BEC's....one is used and one was NIB.....same exact results.....
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04-01-2015 02:11 AM  6 years ago
getsuyoubi

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I can sort of understand that the Castle BEC cannot keep up when you move the sticks around (though I'm still wondering where those 10amps*6volts=60watts went), but in Captain Dan's case he doesn't even have to move the sticks! Since energy is conserved and nothing moves, something would have to get very warm, or light up, or whatever.
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04-01-2015 02:27 AM  6 years ago
Captain Dan

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I couldn't locate my meter tonight in order to get some readings but I was on the phone with my friend Chuck tonight who is a real engineer and he had a good explanation. The stall amperage on the Align DS615 is about 3 amps and on start up when the servos power up and center they can approach that maximum draw. The problem is you have 3 servos trying to do it at the same time to center the swash plate so the receiver browns out and goes for a restart which tries to center the servos which causes a brown out in the receiver and repeat.

So a 5 amp BEC won't cut it with some high torque digital servos and a 10 amp unit is covering it with very little to spare.
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04-01-2015 02:44 AM  6 years ago
Captain Dan

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I only had the problem when using the 5 amp BEC built into the ESC. My system worked great with the 10 Castle BEC and that is what I was using during the test flight.
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04-01-2015 03:21 AM  6 years ago
getsuyoubi

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Good to hear you figured it out! I'm surprised that those servos draw 3 amps each when trying to center. But if Chuck says so, I bet it's right. That also explains why nothing gets hot, because that power gets drawn only over a very short period of time.
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04-01-2015 04:13 AM  6 years ago
hrc37

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Derry, PA

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I just figured out tonight what was causing my problem and it was a bad connector on my switch harness. I was only using the switch harness with the Castle BEC but wasn't using it with the KDS BEC because of the mismatch of connectors. So I was bypassing the switch harness with the KDS. I also checked the current draw (that's how I found the bad connector) and what I found was that static current draw was around 150ma and if I would try and manually move one of the servos the current draw would go up around 400ma. Then if I would move all 5 servos at the same time the max current draw was only around 3 amps. Of course this isn't the same as under real flight condition but I'm sure I will still be well under 10amps for just sport/scale flying. Mark
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04-01-2015 08:17 AM  6 years ago
Captain Dan

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Funny how a bad connector can can look like something entirely different. And figuring it out is what makes the hobby fun.

To be clear the servos only draw the big amps when trying to center during power up. Not every time they center. Kind of like the power a refrigerator draws when the compressor starts. Once it's running a refrigerator draws very little power. Once the servos are on and centered they draw very little just moving until under load while flying.
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04-01-2015 11:04 PM  6 years ago
getsuyoubi

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Fantastic - it's all sorted out, and we all learned something in the process! Couldn't be better...
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04-06-2015 06:59 PM  6 years ago
Captain Dan

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Freeport, New York

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I finished installing the mechanics. The ESC and 20 amp BEC are mounted inside the dog house to the side of the mechanical frames where they won't get much air so I also installed a fan to keep them cool. I was able to get the clearance necessary for the bellcrank under the raised boom gear box by sanding the floor of the boom and cutting the extra length off the studs on the bellcrank ball links.

So now I need to add a pound of weight to the noise in order to balance the machine. I was thinking of making a sand mold with the nose of the helicopter and melting the lead fishing weights I used for the test flight so that I'll have a weight that will fit inside the nose all the forward. It would be invisible and have a lot of contact surface so I can epoxy it in. It would also allow me to add the least amont of weight by being as forward as possible.

Has anyone out there ever done this before?

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