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Loss of power and overheating after two weeks of successful running

1-2-3-calum

Junior Member
#1
Hello all, this is my first post and I'm wondering if I can draw on some of your knowledge to solve a problem I have. I built my first aircraft, a "Versa Wing" from plans a fortnight ago with the following electronics in the power train bought from www.giantshark.co.uk.

8x4E Sport propeller
HobbyWing Flyfun Brushless Motor 30amp esc speed controller
E-Power 2210/25 1500KV 20A Brushless Outrunner Motor
Gens Ace 2200 30C 3S Lipo Battery

Everything has been going peachy with many successful high speed and energetic flights, I've even connected some LED's on the balance port and have been doing some awesome night flying. Today however, when I flew sans LEDs and with a freshly charged battery, I found that I was unable to produce the power which I have done in the past.

The wind was 20 knots and I was struggling to overcome it with full throttle set. I could hardly fly the aircraft back to me without losing height. When I landed I found the motor was hot to the touch and the speed controllers heat-sink, which I have exposed through the hole in the bottom of the model, was also slightly warm also. Outside air temperature was 10 degrees. My housemate also built a wing and we tried the battery in his and found it was producing full power.

Does anyone have any ideas what could have caused this sudden change in performance? I'm wondering if there is a problem with the speed controller but I don't understand why the motor would heat up also.

Many thanks for any assistance anyone can offer.

Calum
 
Last edited:

Foam Addict

Squirrel member
#2
I think that your motor or ESC have burned up. A loss of power caused by a partially burnt out ESC , or weak magnets from over heating the motor are your likely culprits. Test each piece of equipment separately, and figure out which one is causing the trouble. My guess is that cheap ESC could not handle the currents that it was rated for, and partially burnt out.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#3
Losing FET's will drop the performance without seeming to have anything wrong. Try a new ESC and see if that doesn't fix the problem.
 
#4
Thanks both of you for your input. I've learnt a lot. Luckily in my case things went back to normal on their own. I guess the power loss was my speed controllers self protection kicking in. I'm still not sure why the motor was warm but after doing nothing to it, all is back to normal. I think I will try not to cook it too often and check for heating at the end of each flight. Cheers!
 

Craftydan

Hostage Taker of Quads
Moderator
Mentor
#5
calum,

Those are pretty stiff winds for most of us -- still flyable, but something to struggle against.

Was this typical of your past flights?

If not, then there's a better than fair chance you were riding your throttle a lot harder than you normally do. A minute or so of that might cause some voltage sag on your battery, coupled with everything getting a bit warmer from heavier use. recharge the pack and let the winds die down and it all seems like it's back to normal. Best solution I know of would be to fly with nicer weather, but that's never stopped me either ;)
 
#6
It has been pretty typical over the past month with the constant Atlantic depressions hitting the UK.

I think it may have also had something to do with having made the switch from an APC to a TGS style propeller. The TGS, although claiming 8 inches, is just that little bit longer and I imagine produced a higher load. I eventually lost the TGS after it separated in flight and went back to the APC. Flying with max power in winds just as strong and sometimes stronger has not reproduced the problem.

I've bought some new propellers now to experiment with different sizes and pitches. I've also built a clean new wing and adjusted the winglets so hopefully this week will see how fast I can push it.
 

xuzme720

Dedicated foam bender
Mentor
#7
One thing I would recommend is a wattmeter. You will be able to see your draw instantly and will be able to fine tune to max safe load so you can get the most out of your equipment without killing it.
 
#8
That might be an idea. I'm using eCalc just now but I'm not fully there with the electrical side of things. I have a pretty good grasp of propeller aerodynamics but as I do more research on the motor side of things it looks like I'll need a higher rated motor and hence a new speed controller to carry the extra current if I'm to put a higher pitch prop on it. I'd like to know what is the fastest set up known for the Versa Wing? Josh didn't go into much detail in the Speed Challenge video about what he had put on it and why.