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Assessing Electronics after a Crash

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Old 08-15-2013, 04:42 AM
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aircraftbuilder67
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Default Assessing Electronics after a Crash

I'll start out by saying..... I don't always crash, but when I do, I buy the whole farm! Which leads to a question as to how to assess the condition of the servos and receiver after piling one up. The easiest assessment would be if the receiver or servo is visibly damaged. But I was wondering how to assess receivers and servos where there is no visible damage. I also realize their are many factors in a crash especially speed, attitude, what hits and where, what you crash into (asphalt, grass, dirt, corn field, etc). But again, the fundamental question is can crashed equipment be trusted? I suspect a lot of folks will either repair the airframe and use the same equipment or re-use whatever is salvageable and put that equipment into a new airframe.

So, the questions are:
  1. How do you assess equipment after a crash?
  2. Do you re-use equipment from a crashed airframe?
  3. Have you ever paid the price (again) due to a failure of a compenent that was re-used from a crashed plane?
  4. Any other tips, techniques or thoughts on the subject re-using equipment?

Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2013, 06:21 AM
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All very good questions. I have used many components over after a crash and I just look for obvious physical damage as well as where it was located in relation to the crash( nose, tail, etc..) I had a mid air with my biplane around 75 feet up and landed in a grass field and re-used everything over except the plane If servo wires were ripped out of the receiver or an extention then I would just use them for parts. Sending a receiver in for testing would be a good thing to do if you doubt it at all. My flying buddy crashed a plane into the woods and did not find it for 4 months. It was sitting upright mostly intact so he reused all the gear in the next one and is still flying it several years later.Would I risk a $1,000 plane on crashed equipment? NOT! A cheap ARF maybe.
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:23 PM
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raptureboy your last sentence summed up what I was thinking. I have nothing with less than $1500 invested. But I did learn the hard way last year with the Ultimate, it went in after a somewhat old and used servo shorted on the throttle. After that, nothing goes into my planes unless I take it out of the package. And on that Ultimate, I tossed all electronics. Just not worth the risk.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:56 PM
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I wouldn't have any problems reusing servos or batteries. I can bench test them well enough to know if they are going to work right. I will not use a crashed receiver, though. We had a guy at my old club that crashed his bipe right into the pits. His receiver stopped taking inputs when he was turning to fly over the runway. He told us later that the receiver in that plane was from once he had crashed before. I just wouldn't trust it. I've crashed two planes possibly due to receiver malfunctions, and neither of those receivers had crashed before. You could send the receivers back to the manufacturer, but I think I would just replace them. Why take the chance.
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Old 08-20-2013, 02:28 PM
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All the above is good info, and would not argue any of the points it is up to YOU,

After a crash I have set up the system on the bench worked all componets, servo's I test by holding them in a vice and using a hook and line with weights, operated them but if I have any doughts I just replace them. never used a crashed 72mhs reciver, but with the new 2.4's I will have to waite and see.

One additional thing servs do ware out, not only the gears but the moters can get week, so you have to be the final judge

cheers Bob t
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:30 PM
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Earlier after a hard crash, I always applied the hammer method. Placed the Rx on an anvil and gave it a quick blow with a heavy hammer. That way I was never tempted to use what might have been a faulty Rx.
As for servos, all the gears were checked, and the servos never reused for elevators.
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:46 PM
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As with most items, It all adds up to what you can afford. If I could afford a $1500 or more plane, then reusing crashed parts would not happen. All of my planes are kits or arfs that are 40 to 60 size. That being said, I have reused servos, and receivers more than once if there were no physical damage obvious, and they were bench tested properly. I am still using 72 mhz, as I love the equipment I use (hitec). Thats for another forum. Do what you can afford to keep flying and no, what crashes I have had were from dumb thumbs, not equipment failure after a crash.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:21 PM
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I think that some repair centers might put the body of an etching pencil (NOT the tip) on to the rx to vibrate it while they test out the controls. This is pretty harsh treatment for a receiver and should turn up any problems like a fractured crystal.

Just my $.02

Bob
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N1EDM View Post
I think that some repair centers might put the body of an etching pencil (NOT the tip) on to the rx to vibrate it while they test out the controls. This is pretty harsh treatment for a receiver and should turn up any problems like a fractured crystal.

Just my $.02

Bob
That's a great idea! Thanks
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