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Aero-Nuts (Tower Pro) 30 Amp Generation 2 ESC...How To Set It?

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Aero-Nuts (Tower Pro) 30 Amp Generation 2 ESC...How To Set It?

Old 09-25-2006, 09:31 AM
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Default Aero-Nuts (Tower Pro) 30 Amp Generation 2 ESC...How To Set It?

Just picked up a few of these 30 amp Tower Pro brushless speed controls and a few 2409-12T brushless motors. Anyway, I printed out these "instructions" for the ESC off the net but this stuff is very sparse and written in Ching-lish. The ESC beeps more than a Devo record being played at high speed and I just can't figure out how to program it. Well, I thought I had it figured out when I noticed is said it will sound off each option three times. But, either my counting was off or this thing has one or two more options on it then what is listed in the instructions. I only see cell count, shutoff voltage, motor timing, and brake settings in the instruction sheet. Either way, if somebody could walk God's less gifted through the setup procedure step by step that would be great. Also, once set does this ESC have a report mode or something when turned on so I can confirm for myself that the settings are proper. I'm worried that is timing is off I'll cook the motor or if cell count or shutoff voltage is wrong I'll burn up my lipo.
Old 09-27-2006, 02:19 PM
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Default RE: Aero-Nuts (Tower Pro) 30 Amp Generation 2 ESC...How To Set It?

I've been doing some deep digging on the net and have finally turned up some reading material on the generation two Tower Pro 30 amp brushless ESC. First, I just want to say that I'm very surprised at the lousy instructions that the company has put out for this ESC. After sifting through some obscure threads in various dark corners of the web I've found no less than three more instruction sheets for setting up this ESC. The poor English has been cleaned up from the original to make things a *little* clearer. Great, but after reading on and trying to now make sense of the endless trumpet of beeps this controller puts out with the better instructions I see yet another problem that may confirm my suspicions that there is more than one version of this generation two controller on the market. One instruction sheet lists cell type, brake, timing, and cutoff voltage settings while the other lists cell type, brake, timing, and a pulse width modulation setting. To make matters worse I can find little on the proper settings for the PWM so it looks like I'll have to dig more to find out more on how it works (I do have a basic knowledge of it) and what variables require you to change it to a specific setting. It also brings up the question of what happened to the cutoff voltage setting in this version. Is it now automatic or does the PWM setting have some bearing on it? To further muddy the waters I've seen references to there being yet another option or two on this ESC that may allow you to customize the voltage cutoff point in a different fashion...but further references to the fact that this function doesn't work. Great, more digging. If anybody with experience and expertise on this ESC can walk us through the functions, how to figure out which ones exist on our version of it, and the proper way to set things up that would be great. At this point I'm thinking that regardless of how correct I think I am in the menu options setup I will be using the brake arming feature as a reference point to see if the other options are in the correct order and that an extra option or two doesn't exist in the list (If you know what I mean, a way to reference exactly where you are at in the sea of beeps that this unit emits and then repeats, since it appears not to have a report mode when powered up to confirm your settings are what you want them to be). I'm starting to wish this ESC was the old generation one version which I've had zero problems with and only had a simple brake on/off arming function as well as a jumper to set it for 2 or 3 cell lipos. If motor timing, cell count, cutoff voltage, or perhaps some other crazy new setting this thing has and I don't know about is set wrong then you risk cooking the battery, burning up the motor, or worse.

(Venting is good)
Old 10-02-2006, 09:22 AM
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Default RE: Aero-Nuts (Tower Pro) 30 Amp Generation 2 ESC...How To Set It?

Well, I did more digging and also played with the ESC setup to try to figure things out. While this answered some questions it opens others. First, I'll do a quick overview of how to set the ESC up because all the instructions I found were a little less than clear.

Turn the transmitter on and move the throttle to full.
Connect the battery to the plane.

Where I have a "_" this means a "long" beep. Well, really it's more like "Da De Da".
Where I have a "." this means a short beep.

The plane will now offer you a list of programming options as follows. It will repeat each option three times before moving onto the next. For example, "_.","_.","_." for cell type, and then move onto brake as "_.." and repeat that option three times before moving to the next.

_. Cell Type And Number
_.. Brake
_... Timing Mode
_.... Cut Off Voltage

It will repeat this menu over and over until you move the stick to mid throttle to select the option you desire to change.

Say you want to change cell type. While "_." is sounding off it's three times move the stick to mid throttle. It will then list the options for cell type. Again, it will repeat each option three times and then once it's gone through the list of options for cell type it will repeat them over and over. The "_" sound in this menu is different from the above menu. It's easy enough to tell the difference between it and the "." as it sounds off.

"_." will repeat three times, then onto the second setting, etc. Once you hear the setting you want simply move the stick to full throttle. The ESC will make a sound to indicate that that option has been set and then begin listing the first menu once again. Say this time you want to set brake. When that option "_.." is being sounded off once again move the stick to mid range. This time the "_" sound will sound off twice before the "." sound. This tells you that you are programming the second option in the above menu. Three "_" sounds for the third option "Timing", and of course four "_" sounds to indicate you've selected the cut off voltage option. Again, move the stick to the full position when the setting you want is being sounded off for that menu item. The menu options always start at the cell type and go through the others. In other words, it doesn't start where you left out when you go to full throttle and return to the menu options. Once you are done setting the unit up simply go from full stick to the full off position and the unit will make a few noises to indicate it is done and ready to engage the motor when you move the stick now.

This sounds easy enough. However, several questions have popped up. I have found no less than three instruction sheets for this unit and they differ in the programming options listed. One instruction sheet lists the cell type settings as follows...By the way, the "_" I'm using in this list is just the "." in the above information. I'm just using it in this list to make it easier to read.

_ N/A
_ _ 2 cell lipo
_ _ _ 3 cell lipo
_ _ _ _ 4 cell lipo
_ _ _ _ _ N/A

Two other instruction sheets list them as follows:

_ Auto Select For Nimh/Nicad (.8V) Per Cell
_ _ Force 3 cell lipo (2.75V) Per Cell
_ _ _ Force 4 cell lipo (2.75V) Per Cell
_ _ _ _ Force 5 cell lipo (2.75V) Per Cell

Brake is listed the same on all three instruction sheets as follows:

_ No Brake
_ _ Soft
_ _ _ Mid
_ _ _ _ Hard

The setting for timing is listed the same in all three instructions as follows:

_ 2 Degrees (2 to 4 pole motors)
_ _ 7 Degrees (6 to 8 pole motors)
_ _ _ 25 Degrees (10 to 14 pole motors)
_ _ _ _ 30 Degrees (10 to 14 pole motors)

For the cut off voltage per cell options two instructions list them as follows:

_ 2.8V/cell
_ _ 2.9V/cell
_ _ _ 3V/cell

Yet another instruction sheet lists this menu item as the Pulse Width Modulation setting (PWM) as follows:

_ 8khz
_ _ 16 Khz
_ _ _ 32Khz

As if the above differences in instructions don't make things confusing enough, I have also found that the ESC has more options in each menu item's setup by listing to the full list of sounds it offers in that menu item's setup menu. Cell Type has a SIX "_" beep menu item at the end. Brake has a FIVE "_" beep menu item at it's end. Timing has a FIVE "_" beep item. Cut Off Voltage (Or PWM, depending on which you believe) has a FOUR "_" beep option.l

What are the right menu options for the ESC and what are the extra unlisted settings? You've got me. At this point in time I won't maiden my latest build until I know what this thing is doing. I can figure off it the proper lipo shutoff voltage has been selected by hitching the battery up to a voltmeter and seeing how far the voltage level drops before the ESC shuts the motor down. Easy enough. Brake isn't critical and you can just easily see what the prop does when you turn the motor off. Timing mode is harder to determin and could cook your motor if it isn't set properly. Cut off voltage (Or PWM) is also critical but far less clear to it's impact should the option be PWM and not voltage cut off.

As you can see I'm confused and HIGHLY disappointed in Tower Pro for releasing such unclear and diverse instructions for this generation two speed control. I very much like their brushless motors and speed controls for both quality and price but this latest snag has really caused me some problems. What are the mystery options not listed and exactly what are the proper menu items as listed? I'm starting to think it's going to take an expert in electronics to go into the code of the ESC and decipher what each item is.
Old 10-08-2006, 03:41 PM
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Default RE: Aero-Nuts (Tower Pro) 30 Amp Generation 2 ESC...How To Set It?

There are indeed two versions of this speed controller on the market. Most sold since spring or early summer are the newer version. Any with a lipo cell number jumper are the generation one type and only have a brake on/off setting, but without the jumper you have some version of generation two. Tower Pro just updated their website with newer instructions for the latest version of it. I'd also look on rcgroups.com in the power sources forum for a thread that starts with the word "Caution" only it's spelled wrong as "Coution" concerning this 30 amp Tower Pro ESC. You'll find that somebody has also updated the instructions to make them more clear and explain how to tell what version you have. Version type WILL effect your shutoff voltage depending on which instructions you follow to set it so I highly recommend everybody go there and read the thread to be sure you are setting yours properly.

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