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Burn In

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Old 08-20-2003, 04:49 PM
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Shortman
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The newest RC Report magazine features an article that I couldn't stop but read over and over again. Its filled with information and very very helpful to all of us.

I am going to type it up word for word here so you can see it first hand.

BURN IN
by Richard F. Tax

"Burn In" is the term used to identify the process of aging electronic components and systems. This Burn In or aging process weeds out inferior components through their premature failure.
Due to the nature of semi conductor components such as transistors, diodes, and integrated circuits, good components can last in excess of 40 years while, on the other hand, faulty components usually fail soon after being put into operation. It is because of this early failure or infant mortality that a Burn In period can increase system reliability and probably save you an airplane.
The Burn In or practice of component aging is required by many agencies, including NASA, the military, and the FAA. Their Burn In periods can last in excess of 100 hours while operating under extreme temperatures and environmental conditions. Generally, the manufacturers of radio control equipment do little or no Burn In and rely on the reliability of the product and quality of the components they purchase for their R/C Systems performance; however, you can do the Burn In yourself and learn something about your equipment at the same time.
Burn In is also a very good practice especially when one purchases a used or pre-owned R/C System or after your system has crashed or spent a week lost in a tree or swamp and been subjected to the elements.
Burn In periods can vary; so let's cpnsider a minimum Burn In of 10 hours. This is equivalent to sixty {60} 10-minute flights, which isn't bad for three nights and very little effort.
Following is a simple procedure.
1. Charge your transmitter and flight batteries for a minimum of 16 hours. This charge period is for a typical charge rate of C/10. Following R/C manufacturer's directions if other charge times are specified.
2. Connect your R/C system as directed and turn it on. As a matter of fact, turn it on and off fifty times if you like. Many failures can turn up here due to transient current and voltage spikes generated during the turn-on and turn-off period.
3. Now, with the system turned on, observe it closely. While operating your sticks (transmitter controls), check to see if all servos are operating smoothly and at about the same speed. Observe the transmitter meter output and make a mental note of its position. For meters reading RF output always check the meter reading in the same way:
a. for RF meters hold the transmitter in the normal flying position with both hands if double stick or cradled in your arm in the normal flying position if a single stick transmitter
b. antenna fully extended. Please do this after dark if you are in close proximity to any R/C Flying area.
c. for meters reading TX battery voltage one can ignore steps a & b above.
If anything is questionable at this point, get help.
4. Record the time. Put the transmitter (TX) down and let the system operate for two hours. On the first Burn In period, check the system every 30 to 45 minutes for servo speed. If the servo speed it slower that in Step 3, turn off the system and recharge the batteries. Reduced servo speed of all servos is an indication of reduced flight pack battery voltage. The speed of the servos should not be preciate. Servos should operate smoothly, quickly, and precisely.
5. Turn off the system after the two hour inspection. Recharge the batteries overnight or until the next day, again, for a minimum of 16 hours.
6. Repeat the Burn In procedure on the second night. Interemediate hourly checks are not required, but more frequent checks are an asset.
Repeat this procedure for at least three evenings.
Here are the results of your Burn In efforts:
Reciever - Every component in the reciever has been excercised to its fullest capability.
Transmitter - All components excercised 100% except the control sticks and the control potentiometers.
NiCd Batteries - have been cycled a minimum of three or four times.
Servos - All servo components are aged with the exception of the servo motors, potentiometers, and the driver-stage of the IC (Integrated Circuit) or servo amplifier driver-stage. These components operate at maximum ratings, only when the transmitter controlls are moved and the servomotors are running. Still, a partial Burn In has been performed on these components. Operating the system controls for an hour will insure confidence in these few remaining components.
Here is what you've accomplished: You've learned how to check your system for normal and thus, abnormal operation. You've developed the bahit of appraising your systems performance. You'll be able to recognize any depreciation in servo speed. You'll recognize any transmitter meter output depreciation should it occur.
You've learned more about your RC equipment and increased your confidence in its operation and performance.
Hope this helps all you guys out as it did me. My hands are dead for now....
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Old 08-20-2003, 05:18 PM
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3D Joy
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Default Burn In

WOW, that is a good idea. Every new battery pack should be cycled 3 or 4 times before using so only for this, that is good.

That whole thing makes me thinking of a lot of things. Some people tend to say that Hitec uses lower quality electronics than other leading brands. That would explain why some people are experiencing early failures with their servos or receivers and some say that they are bullet proof. Maybe the lesser quality components lead to a higher failure rate during the burn in, which is often made in the air maybe causing some crashes.

Also, doing this will most likely be done under warranty since everything is new. If something happens, the manufacturer cannot say that the component broke due to a crash as the aircraft did not even took off.

That is a great idea and I will use it every new plane I will have

Thanks a lot !!
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Old 08-20-2003, 06:06 PM
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Shortman
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Im glad I was able to help, I wish I wrote that article because man its awesome.

Hitec servos though for me have been great, granted one Hitec 475HB servo shaft busted. That wasn't in the electronics but just a gear so other then that my servos have been awesome. Hitec 422, 425s, 605s, 645mg, 5645, 5945s...
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Old 08-20-2003, 06:55 PM
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DENNIS C
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That's Great Steve
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Old 08-20-2003, 06:58 PM
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Default Batteries

SR Batteries burns in all of their packs prior to shipment, have done so for years

Great practice, we did it in aerospace and do it in automotive products all the time.
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Old 08-20-2003, 07:22 PM
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3D Joy
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Sorry, I was not saying that I don't like Hitec equipment. I love their low cost stuff. I think that 33% less expensive on higher end servos comparing to other brands help me choosing which servo to buy and so far I have not had any problems with this stuff. the 59XX series digitals are really good stuff and this is what I will buy from now.

I was just wondering why some people have very strange stories with their lower cost equipment and attributed that to lower cost components used to manufacture the electronics.
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Old 08-21-2003, 12:02 AM
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Default Burn In

The most important point to make about "burning in" any electrical component is that if an electrical component is going to fail, it's usually going to do so early in it's life.

Once any electrical component gets beyond it's early life, it's pretty much going to last for years without problems. That goes for anything whether it be a TX, a servo, or a toaster oven.

That's why you don't want to trust anything too much for a while.

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Old 08-21-2003, 02:26 AM
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Default Burn In

We have been doing that with computers for years; burning in a group of 20 or so new cpu's at a time before they were configured and put out for use. We caught some bad ones that way and found very, very few going down after the burn-in. It also made sense for me to do it with radio gear; have found a couple of bad items that way....more years ago when more discrete components were used and fewer with the coming of integrated circuit chips.
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Old 08-21-2003, 03:40 AM
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Yeah, when I read it, it just made sense. I sorta already did a Burn In but I didn't know it was a practice with many people, I just did it to test the stuff out.
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Old 08-21-2003, 03:50 AM
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Lynx
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I bet that makes everyone who's first flighting a virgin helli feel much better
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Old 08-21-2003, 09:09 AM
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NathanGerhards
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Default We need more RC fellows like you

Like you that care and don't seem like they are only doing it forthemself is a true RC club member. Because of you I printed it out and shared it with my club members. Some knew somewhat of the comcept but this brings it in the clear. Thanks
Nathan
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Old 08-21-2003, 01:40 PM
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Never thought about it. Not a bad idea.
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Old 08-21-2003, 04:57 PM
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Thanks Nathan, glad I could help you guys.
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Old 08-21-2003, 06:49 PM
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Old news to me since I have been around the aerospace industry for years. Been doing it for years. On my JR PCM 10 which is almost 15 years old it has a menue called servo cycler (list 75)and when sellected it moves the servos back and forth continuiously at a slow rate. IF I need to burn the RX I use the TX with the antenna up and transmit the signal to the RX. If the RX is a good unit then I use the DSC to get more time on the cycle before the Batteries need to be charged. I will burn all servos for 2 hours or more I just use a timmer set at 15 minutes so I can monitor everything as it progresses along and don't run the battery down to flat line. It is interesting to see the servos reaction as the battery pack vortage is about to fall off the knee of the power curve. Putting a slight load on the servo will make the voltage go up and down the curve and you can see first hand what is going on in your radio as the power supply dies.
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Old 08-21-2003, 10:57 PM
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strato911
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Default Burn In

Equally old news for those of us in the computer industry. When I worked for a wholesaler who built their own systems, our minimum burn-in period was 24 hours (typically 36) while running intesive tests. The computer's equivilant to the Stress-Test a doctor gives his/her patients...
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Old 08-22-2003, 02:34 AM
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Most burn in on computer parts is done at the factor nowdays, using sophisticated monitoring. That's how a lot of chips and various other parts are speed graded. The ones that work glitch free at a higher frequency are sold as premium parts, while the ones that fail at lower speeds are sold as cheapies.
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Old 08-22-2003, 03:26 AM
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Maybe old news to some, but to us who are new at this game it isn't new. Correct me if I am wrong, you set up all the servos as you would in the plane, turn the transmitter and receiver on and just let them set there until the batteries die down. Then charge everything back up and do it over again three or four times?? Or am I missing something here?

Les
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Old 08-22-2003, 06:21 AM
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listed Maybe old news to some, but to us who are new at this game it isn't new. Correct me if I am wrong, you set up all the servos as you would in the plane, turn the transmitter and receiver on and just let them set there until the batteries die down. Then charge everything back up and do it over again three or four times?? Or am I missing something here?

Les
Thats about it, and if you have say the Futaba 9CAP you can take it a step further and do the servo testing mode where it test each servo by slooowly moving it back and forth, thus burning in the motor.
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Old 08-22-2003, 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by listed
Maybe old news to some, but to us who are new at this game it isn't new.
My comments were not meant to diminish the importance of Shortman's posting, but more to show my surprise this wasn't more commonly known.

I want to thank Shortman (and the original author Richard F. Tax) for bringing this procedure to light for those RC enthusiasts who were previously unfamiliar with the value of electronics burn-in procedures.

Thank You
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Old 08-22-2003, 01:28 PM
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Default Don't run your batteries flat

[QUOTE]Originally posted by listed
[B]Maybe old news to some, but to us who are new at this game it isn't new. Correct me if I am wrong, you set up all the servos as you would in the plane, turn the transmitter and receiver on and just let them set there until the batteries die down. Then charge everything back up and do it over again three or four times?? Or am I missing something here?

Les

Les,
You have essentially got the right picture. It is best if you can move the servos since this will burn in your servo motor and servo gear train as well as using more current and more closley replicating the inflight conditions the servo and radio will experience. If your TX has a servo cycle mode use it. Otherwise I would recomend setting everything up in front of ther TV and move the controls while you watch something on the Tube. If you go this route do it with the TX antenna up otherwise you could overheat your output circuts in your TX.
DO NOT RUN YOUR BATTERIES FLAT!!!!! You can run into reverse polairity on nicads and other problems with other types of cells.

I don't really think you are doing too much if you just turn your radio on and leave it sit. Also the servos sitting at idle like that has such a low current drain that your battery pack could last 3 or 4 hours.

Exercise everthing for a good burn in. Also this is for new/repaired equipment. If you have been flying the radio all year this is a waste of time. This is to detect early eq. failures.

Sparky
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Old 08-22-2003, 05:04 PM
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If you use a Futaba 9C you can take it a step further...

Go to the servo display and set TEST:ON. The tx will continually vary all channels from one side to the other. This will give the servos a little extra workout during the burnin time. With no load on the servos (servo arms not connected to anything), there will be very little wear on motors and such during the break-in.
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Old 08-23-2003, 03:06 AM
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I have talked to several others members of our club and they didn't know about this burn in proceeder. I know of at least one member who lost his model on the first flight with a new flight pack. If he would have known about this burn in he would have (maybe) found the poor part, what ever it was before the first flight. As it was we all watched his plane fly off into the mountain valley never to be found again.
I to would like to Thank Shortman for bring this item to RC and also to the rest of everyone for helping me understand it better.

THANKS YOU.

Les
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Old 08-23-2003, 05:48 AM
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Glad I could help, I would also like to thank the author who wrote this article because otherwise, we dummies would be screwed lol...
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