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600R No Start

Old 10-14-2005, 01:22 PM
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Default 600R No Start

Tried to light my 600R for the first time ... no joy. All indications on the are TCU normal but I was not seeing any indication of gas flow to/thru the solenoid valve. If I disconnect/remove the valve, during a start-up sequence, what turn-on voltage should I expect to see at the end of the connector coming from the ECU?

Otherwise, I'm gonna scrounge thru my stuff and hook up my trusty Ram propane bottle thru a 1-way valve on the input gas line. I'm pretty sure I'll get a non issue start up to ramp with that setup but meanwhile ...

Thanks for any help.

Mike
Old 10-14-2005, 01:37 PM
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Default RE: 600R No Start

Have had this problem before. Check your RPM sensor and make sure it is plugged in correctly. On mine the plug was faulty and one of the pins pushed out and there was no connection.. Check and watch the screen when you start up. You may not be seeing any or erroneous RPMS, this will casue the propane selnoid not to open.
The second thing, if this is not the case, to check and make sure you have not frozen up the propane selenoid. Empty you tank and then refill it, let it sit for a few mintues. Try again.
The biggest problem I have is knocking my temp probe out and getting a failed start.
These engines run great and put out a trmendous amount of power. They require a little more attention during the startup, but I love mine (both of 'em).
Good luck
Tommy
Old 10-14-2005, 01:46 PM
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Default RE: 600R No Start

Thanks for the tally-back, Tommy.

I *do* see what I would regard as normal indication of a spool-up RPM. Ribbon cable connectors were double-checked for proper seating and the pins are all going to the right place(s). I "cheated" and used semi opaque tubing for my gas so I can see "bubble" flow when the valve opens and, not seeing any, assume for some reason gas is not flowing. The EGT probe depth was double-checked before the start attempt.

I'll just check the presence (or not) of a control voltage (which might be 3.3V or 5V) at the goesoutta side of the gas valve lead coming from the ECU. That will give me further insight.

Mike
Old 10-14-2005, 01:51 PM
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Default RE: 600R No Start

When mine did this it was the failure of the ECU to see any revs, therefore there was no gas release. It took me forever (only about 2 hours, but seemed like it) to figure out what was going on. Amazing what you learn thru trial and error on this things. Good luck, if you continue to have probelms call John at FTE, he is really good with them and will be able to help you out.
Tommy
Old 10-14-2005, 01:55 PM
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Default RE: 600R No Start

rgr tnx

Mike
Old 10-14-2005, 05:43 PM
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Default RE: 600R No Start

Mr. Mike,
Is the red LED on top of the solenoid lighting up at all during the start cycle? If not, you are not getting a turn on voltage from the ECU or the solenoid itself has gone bad. I would also recommend Kelly Williams with PST in Canada he is the man with turbine problems. He has been with them longer than anyone else and is a bulldog with a problem.

BTW the straight in through a one way valve works fine. Just be sure you don't get liquid propane directly into the turbine, It will cause a very hot start.
Old 10-14-2005, 05:54 PM
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Default RE: 600R No Start

Mike,

Do you have the propane solonoid that has a little red LED on the top of it? If so, are you seeing the red light when you initiate the start sequence? You might want to reverse the lines on your solonoid to see if you can unstick it. There might be something stuck in it that is preventing it from opening? I had one that stuck part way open so even with the system powered off, i could hear start gas leaking into the engine. If you are not getting the red light at all, then i would check the connection between the solonoid and the ECU like you already mentioned. Just another thought.

Old 10-15-2005, 10:35 PM
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Default RE: 600R No Start

Hi Mike,

First, my apologies for not getting into this thread right away. My PC got nailed with a nasty virus and I had to spend a few days trying to figure out how to kill it... Had to stay off the net for fears of my credit card info and logins going who knows were...[>:]

Anyway, down to business now.

The suggestion of watching the small red LED on top of the valve is the correct action for diagnosing the source of the problem. Here are a few scenarios to consider...

- If the LED doesn't go on and you have a volt meter handy, I'd recommend checking the output as mentioned earlier. When disconnected from the valve and hooked up to my volt meter, the output from the solenoid drive lead is around 8V, dropping to around 6V when the starter motor is engaged and drawing current. I'm running a Duralite Plus 7.4V Li-Ion pack so the #'s may be slightly more or less depending on your pack's specifications and charge status. The solenoid is rated for a nominal voltage of 6V, but +/- a bit won't hurt it in the limited use they get with micro turbines. If the lead is supplying voltage and the LED stays off, either you've got a bad contact somewhere in the lead/valve or the valve itself is toast.

- If the light goes on and the engine still doesn't start, disconnect the exhaust side of the valve and initiate a start sequence with the canister charged or an off-board fuel source plugged into the check valve. The engine should spin up and the glow should activate but nothing else will happen since there's no start fuel getting to the combustion chamber. (please do this is a well ventilated area) You should be able to hear and feel the start fuel exiting the valve. If you can't detect any flow, either the valve is faulty or there is a blockage/kink in the line prior to the valve.

- If the red LED turns on and the above test proves the solenoid is functioning, check further down stream of the valve to see if you can find a blockage, kink, or a leak in the line. You may even want to pull the front cover off the engine to check those lines also; just be careful not to disturb the RPM sensor. (Warning: taking off the cover will not void your warrantee, but damage to the sensor will not be covered)

- If start fuel is definitely getting to the engine and failing to ignite, it may be a propane pressure problem or a lack of glow voltage / glow element exposure.

Hopefully one of these will shed light on the problem. Please let us know what you find out.


Now the workaround... If you're at a jet rally and you are in a pinch, the engine can still be started. I'd disconnect the solenoid valve all together and remove it from the aircraft. The ECU does not detect the presence of the solenoid... Use a check or ball valve in place of the solenoid and plug your off-board start fuel source into the inlet. If using a trigger valve, initiate flow, start the run sequence with the TX or data terminal, then watch the EGT throughout the start-up sequence. Try to limit the start fuel flow such that you observe and EGT in the range of 110C to 160C until kerosene is flowing. That range should be rather easy to maintain. The ECU needs to see at least 100C before it allows the fuel pump to start ramping up. Keep the start fuel flowing until the engine hits 30K, then gradually turn it off (before the 35K mark if possible) The solenoid normally shuts off the flow between 30K and 32K. (turn off the ball valve off if that's what you've used in place of the solenoid) Disconnect the start fuel source and go fly. The check/ball valve should stay onboard and prevent any back flow. One warning though: as mentioned earlier, make sure the off board source only provides gaseous start fuel. Powermax cans will need to be inverted to achieve this.

Hope this helps!
Kelly

PS: John S, thanks for the kind words of encouragement!
Old 10-16-2005, 08:36 AM
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Default RE: 600R No Start

Kelly, et al ...
Many thanks for the suggestions (and I'd forgotten about that tricky little LED on the valve - in my installation it's buried fairly deep ...). If time permits this afternoon, I'll troubleshoot some more and report back.

Cheers.

Mike
Old 11-06-2005, 09:26 AM
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Default RE: 600R No Start

The turbine starts/runs great when I "hose it" with direct propane and light it with my BBQ "stick" lighter. [sm=bananahead.gif] There are other residual issues - e.g., ECU start functionality and gas start - and I didn't want to deal with a science project on a brand new turbine ... so I boxed it all up and sent it back to John at FTE. According to UPS, it's been in John's hands since early last week (31 Oct). Haven't heard a word but a suppose they were all getting ready for FJIR. I'll bug 'em next week.

Thanks for all the suggestions and encouragement - no more updates from me unless the story has a less than optimum ending.

Cheers.

Mike
Old 11-07-2005, 12:54 AM
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Default RE: 600R No Start

Hi Mike,

From the descriptions in your posting as the email's we've had back an forth, I'm pretty sure an ECU swap will fix this. Since you don't see any voltage out of the solenoid driver lead, its quite likely there's a break in the cable itself or the connection inside the ECU. I'm sure John will diagnose it properly and get back to you.

With regards to the plug not lighting off the start fuel, its hard to say exactly what that could be due to. Normally there are a few factors that could increase/decrease this aside from plug voltage, coil exposure, engine orientation, start fuel pressure, etc. I'm assuming the lost functionality in the ECU is restricted to the solenoid driver, but it could be a more complex failure mode that somehow is causing havoc in the glow circuit... If it still act up after you get it back, please contact John or myself again.

Either way, this appears to be a warrantee issue by the looks of it, so hopefully John / FTE will have it back to you and running properly as soon as possible.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Kelly W

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