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About to give up on DIY! Fried a motor :( :(

#1
I'm trying to maintain my sanity, but I'm just barely making it. So, I got my new ESC in the mail from eBay, after having my last one not put out enough amps to power both the motor and the servos. So I got the ESC from the link below thinking a 30A 3A ESC would be better. Got everything soldered up and connected, it's all working great! Then I hooked up the motor, and that's when everything went to heck in a handbasket. Motor beeped as expected, tried to program ESC, but as soon as I moved the throttle stick from up to down, the motor twitched a couple of times, smoke started coming out and the internals got red hot before I could disconnect it. Now half of the coils in the motor are blackened. There was no prop on it, nothing to keep it from moving freely, I tested that before I connected it. I mean, thankfully I bought 4 of the sale motors from Hobbyking, so this one I guess I can write off. I just, this is so frustrating. I went from having an ESC that wouldn't do anything, to an ESC that was under powered, to now an ESC that fries my motor when powering up. Are people just throwing ESCs out there without actually testing them to make sure they work? Am I missing something HUGELY important when I'm buying these things? I get that I learned from the 1 amp helo ESCs that others had said worked. I do have some 5g servos coming in, so maybe I can make those ESCs work again. I just really don't understand how all this is so friggin complicated. Now I'm wondering if the ESC and battery are trash after all that too :/ Will probably trash the ESC anyway after that.....

ESC - https://www.ebay.com/itm/Simonk-30AMP-30A-SimonK-Firmware-Brushless-ESC-w-3A-5V-BEC-For-DJI-F450-US/222626315134?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Motor - https://www.ebay.com/itm/12N14P-EMAX-MT1806-2280KV-Brushless-Motor-CW-CCW-for-RC-250mm-Mini-Quadcopter/303007514308?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&var=601942887505&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Battery - https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Zippy-Compact-1000mAh-3S-11-1V-35C-45C-Lipo-Battery-Pack-RC-XT60-XT-60-USA/131390821208?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
 
#2
Here's some pictures of the burnt coils (so I only burnt up about 1/3 of the coils, not half like I had originally suspected. And just for reference, I tested my battery with my new battery checker before hooking it up, it was at 81% across all cells. After this fiasco, I tested it again and now it's at 76% on all 3 cells. So, somehow this dumped 5% of the battery into the motor all at once. Not sure if that's enough to fry the battery or not....
 

Attachments

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
Mentor
#3
Personally I refuse to buy anything on EBay unless I accept the risk that it will not be exactly as portrayed!

I use AliExpress, Hobbyking, or Bangood when obtaining motors and ESCs especially and I always ensure that the Motor and ESC are compatible and able to support the installation I have in mind!

If you reside in the US buy a motor/ESC combo from the FliteTest store as they stand behind what they sell!

Have fun!
 
#4
Personally I refuse to buy anything on EBay unless I accept the risk that it will not be exactly as portrayed!

I use AliExpress, Hobbyking, or Bangood when obtaining motors and ESCs especially and I always ensure that the Motor and ESC are compatible and able to support the installation I have in mind!

If you reside in the US buy a motor/ESC combo from the FliteTest store as they stand behind what they sell!

Have fun!
Yeah I suppose that's what I'm going to have to do. It's just hard for me to want to spend $60+ on a power pack for each airplane when I thought I could get the parts for 1/3 of that other places. At this point I've probably spent that in ESCs and motors that are all for nothing.....
 

CarolineTyler

Well-known member
#5
Yeah I suppose that's what I'm going to have to do. It's just hard for me to want to spend $60+ on a power pack for each airplane when I thought I could get the parts for 1/3 of that other places. At this point I've probably spent that in ESCs and motors that are all for nothing.....
What prop are you turning?
 
#6
What prop are you turning?
Well, that's the thing, I never even put a prop on it. I had a 5x2.5 I bought locally, and just got some 6x3s from eBay I just reamed out since hobbyking was sold out. But I wanted to make sure the motor was spinning the right way before I put a prop on it as I'd just soldered everything and hooked it up. I gave everything a good pull test after soldering and then made sure everything was heat shrinked properly to avoid any shorting out. So I know the connections were good, and that wasn't it. So it had to be there ESC since everything worked properly (as long as I didn't use the motor and servos at the same time as least) on my underpowered ESC.
 

Arcfyre

Well-known member
#8
I am genuinely sorry that you are having so many problems with your electronics. You and I are similar in that I also source my electronics from other sites, as I like to get the best deal possible. Most of the time I either shop Hobbyking for their selection, or Amazon for their speed of delivery.

Did you possibly use mounting screws that were a little too long on your motor? If the screws touch the coils they will cause a short.

https://hobbyking.com/en_us/hobby-king-20a-esc-3a-ubec.html

So, with the cheap $5 hobbyking motors, the battery listed above, will this ESC work?
I have 4 of these ESCs and havent had a problem yet.
 
#9
I am genuinely sorry that you are having so many problems with your electronics. You and I are similar in that I also source my electronics from other sites, as I like to get the best deal possible. Most of the time I either shop Hobbyking for their selection, or Amazon for their speed of delivery.

Did you possibly use mounting screws that were a little too long on your motor? If the screws touch the coils they will cause a short.



I have 4 of these ESCs and havent had a problem yet.
That's the thing, I had a 12A ESC with 1A BEC that would power the motor just fine, it would power the servos just fine, it just didn't power them both at the same time before it cut out. So I know the motor was working just fine mounted how it was. Just figured I needed a few more amps to power both together, which I thought this ESC would do. But man, was I ever wrong.....
 

sundown57

Well-known member
#10
I agree with the (too long screw theory ) remember just because the motor turns freely doesn't mean the screws are not biding. the part of the motor that the screw will hit stays still so rotating the motor doesn't tell you anything. you need to put a light behind the motor and look through the little slot and watch the screw as you turn it in. that's the only way to know. Also, I noticed that on some motors where the 3 wires come out, if you use that hole the screw can cut into a wire and short out there too. I never use that hole anymore.
 
#11
When a IGBT fails, they fail on, and you get full battery voltage on one set of coils. Mosfets fail open. If you know how to use a meter, DMM or otherwise, you can verify that or continuity to the positive battery lead across each one of the motor leads. Doesn't tell you anything except that the ESC is verified as bad. You CAN test it before you trash anything else.
 

Gazoo

Active member
#12
The amperage of the BEC in the ESC is what can cause the servos to brown out. That has nothing to do with the ESC amperage.

You want an ESC with the same max amps but with a larger BEC.

I'm guessing that the ESC was connected so that you were only getting connection on two phases. Not all three. This will cause twitching and the windings to heat up. If the motor is small and the ESC is big, it may happen very fast as there is lots of power available.

Motors are pretty cheap but it is possible to rewind them too. I've been successful a few times.

Check the solder connections on the ESC. If there are no bad connections, toss it.
 
#14
I agree with the (too long screw theory ) remember just because the motor turns freely doesn't mean the screws are not biding
This is ignoring the fact that I was able to actually run the mounted motor fine for several minutes on a previous ESC, which I have stated previously. If I hadn't been able to use the motor, I might agree with you. But, the motor did spin perfectly under it's own power, under both 2S and 3S batteries and nothing happened until I tried to use a servo, which overloaded the 1A BEC I didn't know was a problem. It also ran with a prop mounted after I got the direction spinning properly. The motor mount screws were not touched at all between the ESC changes, and under this ESC it didn't even attempt to turn. So no, it's not a screw problem.
 
#15
I've got one more I'm going to try. Not going to use the same burnt up motor though. Going to call that one a loss. Going to try one of the $5 hobbyking motors. You can see the specs (most of them anyway, enough to count I think lol) in the picture. I bought this before I thought I knew what I was doing. Now I realize I still don't know, but at least I realize the physical size differences. It may still fit with the mod I made to the power pod thanks to Hai-Lee, but I'm going to solder the ESC and motor all up and try it outside the plane with the servo wires from the plane sticking out before I go to that trouble. Then if all goes well I'll mount the motor to the pod and see if it'll move and if that works, then I'll put a prop on it and see what happens. Then if all that works, I'll put it in the plane and try again. Hopefully I'm not back here with more bad news. At this point I just want a win. I'm ready to fly my plane dang it! Lol
 

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kilroy07

Well-known member
#16
First off, Don't give up!

I too had a lot of trouble in the beginning because I was using some pretty cheap stuff...
https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/are-escs-consumable-items.53742/

Turns out I was doing a couple things wrong.

I don't recall a problem since I went to using separate BECs...
Or rather I don't use the internal one if it is a "linear" one and not a switching one.
The linear ones are just garbage... (I've even started purchasing quad ESCs now because they don't have a BEC (that I would just replace anyway.)

The other issue I was having that burnt up a couple motors and ESCs was the bullet connectors...
You should really have to cram them together (tight fit) if they just slide in then they are too loose and that's an intermittent short just waiting to happen.

You can certainly use the cheap stuff, but understand their limitations, and only take them to about 60-80% of their rated capacity.
 
#17
$5 40A ESC for the win! (So far at least lol) Got everything soldered up and hooked up to the battery, and even at the highest speed of the motor the servos still work :D now of course, this is me holding it in my hand with no prop, but I had the servos from the plane connected and so they had a load on them. Now as long as I can make this sucker fit, I'll have a working plane I think :). Haven't uninstalled the burnt out motor from the firewall yet as it was a giant pain the in tukus to get it in there, but, if all goes well, hopefully my next post on here will be a maiden flight :)
 
#18
First off, Don't give up!

I too had a lot of trouble in the beginning because I was using some pretty cheap stuff...
https://forum.flitetest.com/index.php?threads/are-escs-consumable-items.53742/

Turns out I was doing a couple things wrong.

I don't recall a problem since I went to using separate BECs...
Or rather I don't use the internal one if it is a "linear" one and not a switching one.
The linear ones are just garbage... (I've even started purchasing quad ESCs now because they don't have a BEC (that I would just replace anyway.)

The other issue I was having that burnt up a couple motors and ESCs was the bullet connectors...
You should really have to cram them together (tight fit) if they just slide in then they are too loose and that's an intermittent short just waiting to happen.

You can certainly use the cheap stuff, but understand their limitations, and only take them to about 60-80% of their rated capacity.
I had to cut off the 2mm bullet plugs that came on the hobbyking motor as I had previously soldered on 3.5mm ones from my first ESC. I didn't have any extra plugs at the time so I had just cut the plug wires from the old ESC and soldered those onto the 40a ESC. Took a lot of solder to fill the cavity in the 3.5mm plugs because those tiny motor wires don't take up much room, even folded over and tinned. But I think the 3.5mm plugs make a much more solid connection than the 2mm plugs do. Kind of a pain to get them apart, but at least that means it's a solid connection. Thanks for the advice though! :)
 

cranialrectosis

Faster than a speeding faceplant!
Mentor
#19
Like @makattack mentioned, you cannot underestimate the value of the smokestopper.

I also concur with @Gazoo. From your description, you have connection on two of three phazes. This is totally common and often indicates a broken or loose solder joint where the motor leads are connected to the solder pads on the ESC. It could also be an ESC timing issue, but IMO the solder joints are more common.

If your motor had drawn too many amps through the ESC, I think the ESC would have fried.

I torched several ESCs a few years back as well as a few motors and even a flight controller or two. Now I don't. I use a smokestopper whenever I first connect power to anything I just soldered. It is one of the most valuable tools in my kit and use of this could very likely have saved your motor.

Lastly, NEVER push a twitchy motor. Always cut throttle and inspect the solder joints at the ESC pads and check that any bullet connectors are not touching and shorting out the phazes. :)

 
#20
I have plans all put together now and ready to fly, just charging up my 2s battery for it. I've got my 3s that's at 70% that I need to discharge I may try and use for a maiden to just to make sure it flies. Not sure I need to maiden it with that kinda power though. But anyway, with this one hooked up, the motor does twitch a little when powered on until it links with the transmitter. Every time it beeps the motor twitches. So I'm guessing that's normal. I think that's what the other motor was doing until it fried. So ignore that description of it being twitchy, it was apparently acting like it was supposed to, until power was applied.

So yeah, plane all put together, prop is turning the right way, I have power to servos and motor. Everything is working like it's supposed to :) I put the rudder on channel 4 of the receiver so it runs off the left stick, since that's how it would fly as a 4 channel. Was a suggestion of the old man at the local hobby shop saying I might as well get used to it now instead of having to teach myself how to fly again when I move up to 4 channel. Anyway, all is going well with this big ESC for now. Maiden will hopefully be my next new post :)