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How to troubleshoot an electric problem?

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Old 08-09-2006, 10:05 AM
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K01S
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Default How to troubleshoot an electric problem?

I've got the Great Planes Super Sportster EP and I'm getting it ready for it's maiden flight. On Sunday night/Monday I trickle charged the battery for 21 hours (battery is 2100 mah and trickle charge is at 100 mah per hour). On Monday night I followed the motor break-in by running it (Speed 550) without a prop for 15 minutes (actually it was 3 runs of 5 minutes each with a cool down period after each 5 minute run). It all went well. I put the battery back on the charger to fully discharge it and then set it up for another trickle charge until last night.

Last night the plan was to run the motor again with a propellor until the battery ran out and the motor shut off. I re-installed the prop and battery but I could not get the motor to run. I rechecked all connections and it all looked good. I disconnected the battery and measured the voltage and it read 10 VDC. The battery pack is a 7 cell NiCad. It says 8.4 VDC and 2100 mah on the battery pack. The battery should have been 8.4 (1.2 V times 7 cells) but I measured 10 V???

I'm new to electric flight and I'm not really sure what to do next? Does anyone have any suggestions? Is there some sort troubleshooting checklist to follow to figure out what's wrong?

Any suggestions would be very much apprecaited.

Best Regards, -ko1s []
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:15 AM
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Default RE: How to troubleshoot an electric problem?

First DON"T PANIC!

the 8.4 Volt rating is the NOMINAL voltage for the pack The voltage above this rating is what you are flying on. At 8.4 volts the pack will appear to be depleated.

Since you have charged voltage, sounds like a speed controller or motor problem. Does this system have an arming sequence you have to go through to start the motor?

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Old 08-09-2006, 05:43 PM
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Default RE: How to troubleshoot an electric problem?

ahh yes i have the same plane when i first tried it wouldnt start either this is what i found out turn it on the full throttle it for about 15 seconds or until the red light on the esc starts flashing and then kill it then the throttle should work do this everytime when you turn it on oh and a tip of advice ... i am a vetran and i realized that this plane is UNDERPOWERED! it will fly good still just try not to do anything to big such as climb above 15 degrees. But good luck oh and if your taking off from the gras get rid of the tire cowlings. things get cought in them and you will nose dive it and unless you are taking off from concrete have somone hand launch it for you good luck
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:48 AM
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Default RE: How to troubleshoot an electric problem?

One more suggestion is to turn your TX on first then plug in your RX/ESC battery. On shut down, RX first THEN TX.

Just the opposite of what you would do with glows. With glows, RX first THEN TX, then on shut down RX first THEN TX.

With mine, I find that if I don't follow that, sometimes the ESC goes into fail-safe and will not start. I have to shut down then go RX first then TX. Most TX's have "TX-HI" to prevent it from acutally coming on until the throttle is actually at idle so the prop should not turn.

Good luck.
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Old 08-14-2006, 03:19 PM
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Default RE: How to troubleshoot an electric problem?

10V on a full charged 8.4V pack is normal.

Determine if the motor is getting power but turning on the tx, then rx, arming the esc, hook your miltimeter up to the motor poles and see if you get any reading.

If yes your motor is most likely bad.

If No, power to motor. Determine if the esc is arming properly. Turn on tx with throttle completly off, then turn on rx, on my GP esc it has a red led on solid to show standby, run throttle up to full, it blinks in confirmation, run thottle down closed, light goes out, esc is armed. As you run the throttle up, the led gets brighter to coincide with power delivery to motor.

If it runs through that process and still doesn't give power to motor, your esc is probably bad.

if it doesn't get through that process, it isn't getting the signal it wants. Try that stuff first then post back for more advice.

BTW... reguardless of using glow or electric I would NEVER suggest turning on a rx before the tx, Sometiems the servos get a weird signal when plugged in and will push themselves past their extremes and it might strip the servo or damage your control linkages/surfaces.
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