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Professional ESC error - erratic but getting worse...

Discussion in 'Phantom 3 Help' started by Mike_p3p, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Mike_p3p

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    Recently got a P3P. Flown 70+ flights and > 82km.
    Had a strange "compass error" 3 days ago and had to recalibrate compass several times to get it to go away.
    Next flight, aircraft was "unstable", similar to what happened when I flew it close by a vehicle some time back.
    On landing, it tilted fwd and clipped the front left black prop.
    No visible damage at all to prop or arm, motor etc, was at low speed.
    Had several other flights, no problem.
    Then started to get ESC error message.
    Sometimes, taking battery out and re-inserting, resolved issue. Other times not!
    Tried several times other night indoors with no props on, no luck....
    Next ,morning, started up just fine and did several flights, no issue!!
    Today, several good flights, then error started again.
    If the ESC is damaged, surely it would be permanent?
    All latest firmware updates have been done....
    Any ideas?
    Hoping bobmyers or alokbhargava can comment as they seem to contribute to numerous posts on this topic.
     
  2. alokbhargava

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    You get ESC errors when you overload your P3 and ESC is unable to control it. Reasons could be many including problems with ESC electronics itself. Check smooth working of motors and use on DJI props.
     
  3. BudWalker

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    ESC errors also get reported when there is bad solder joint, or more generally, some problem with delivering current to the motor. You could check out this thread P3 went spinning out of control and crashed! | Page 2 | DJI Phantom Forum starting at post 27. If this seems relevant then you could post the .DAT and either @Luap, or I will take a look.

    I'm assuming that the ESC error occurs on startup. Does the A/C go through it's 2 burst motor start routine and then report the ESC error?

    Regarding having to recalibrate the compass until a good one was obtained please this post Lost mine today, RTH failed. | Page 5 | DJI Phantom Forum
     
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  4. Mike_p3p

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    Thank Alok.
    The motors are all spinning freely and blades are perfect, no visible issue on either.
    Have not been able to fly last 2 days as the motors wont even spin when starting from the Controller, controller just gives the ESC error agin and again.
    What I cannot fathom is why for days it worked, then didn't, then worked again.
    Sounds like hardware failure of some sort but could/would this happen gradually to a point the ESC is then non functional?
     
  5. Mike_p3p

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    Hi Bud, thanks for the reply.
    The ESC error occurs at startup, if it comes up on the controller (ipad), the motors don't even try and spin, completely dead.... If it does not come up, the drone motors spin and flies no issue.
    As indicated however, it would come and go, one day dead, next day drone flies just fine!!
    I haven't before used the .DAT files but will lookup how I get these. Must I do this for last flight or all flights?
    Thanks
    Mike
     
  6. BudWalker

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    Mike,
    If I were you I wouldn't fly it until this is resolved. If you have an in flight incident and send it to DJI for repair they will look at the .DAT files and see that you've been having ESC errors. That could be a justification for rejecting any warranty claims.

    In the thread I referenced the P3 would beep then stop after 30 secs, then motor start would fail, followed by an ESC error. Could you try waiting a minute to see if the ESC error goes away, and, if it does, then try a motor start. Without props, of course

    Could you retrieve 2 .DAT files. One for a normal flight and one for a "flight" where the ESC error is preventing startup. If the experiment in the paragraph is successful then we need the .DAT for that flight also. To see how to retrieve the .DAT files go to FLYXXX.DAT and push the "Retrieve .DAT file" button at the top. They can be large, can you DropBox, or Google Drive them? If not, upload them to FLYXXX.DAT and I can retrieve them and make them available.

    @Luap, @AlexSP
     
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  7. AlexSP

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    +1 on this.

    ESC is the brain that keeps the AC stable. If it goes kaput for whatever reason, then it's bye-bye. Big chances a crash is in the lineup if it's failing, and this intermittent warning is IMO a sure sign something is wrong with the electronics. These things do give warning beforehand most times, just like any a car's electronic system (injection, ABS, etc.) for instance. I'd listen, better safe than sorry.

    We can check on .DAT files to get an insight on where and when of things, but it's hard to point the why exactly just by analyzing files (and guys please correct me here if I'm wrong). And that's where warranty issues kick in.

    If it's my P3 I'd get DJI or any technician to check on the electronic boards and circuits of the ESC because that's probably where the failure is. Could be a bad solder, a crack in the PCB, a damaged (not necessarily by a crash) chip, a loose component or cable, anything. It's an easy and quite cheap fix, even if you need to change the ESC.
     
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  8. Mike_p3p

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    Thanks Bud & Alex, busy downloading the .DAT files, they are huge and a lot of them!!
    I agree with risk of flying with a failing ESC, but that has kinda been resolved in that it just wont fly anymore!
    I have thankfully found an accredited DJI service agent in South Africa and chatted to them today. Apparently the latest p3 has a failsafe ESC system that shuts down ALL ESC's if even one is "faulty".
    I have downloaded the Flight data and gone back to look for errors and I think have identified when this happened and what happened.
    See link:
    HealthyDrones.com - Innovative flight data analysis that matters
    The drone went from GPS Atti to just Atti right at landing (WHY?? GPS signal also dropped dramatically at this time, so can only think I was too close to the house....).
    I now remember this incident as on landing the AC was very unstable (unusual), the AC did tilt FWD on landing and the front blades touched the grass.
    I did not think anything of it at the time as did not think it was major at all, as kept flying later!! Obviously I was wrong.........
    Will see if the .DAT's will provide more insight......
    Such a pity that the ESC's on p3 are built into the main board as it looks like I will have to get this replaced - IT IS EXPENSIVE!! Unlike the ESC's on P1's & P2's.....
     
  9. Mike_p3p

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    Hi Bud, have all the recent .DAT files, does it over right the older ones? Mine started at FLY048.DAT... In total 2.8GB of data in 86 files.
    Tried uploading even the smallest (6mb) to FLYXXX.DAT and kept bombing out??
    If this coverts the file to .csv, what do you do with it then ito understanding all the lines of data?
     
  10. BudWalker

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    Yes, the older ones start getting overwritten when the SD card gets to about 2.5 GB. I see that someone, probably you, tried to upload FLY052, 059, and 064. Don't know why it keeps quitting on you. That's the first time I've seen that. Maybe your internet connection has problems? The other end is hosted by Amazon and hasn't had any problems. Can you DropBox them?

    I just need 2, or possibly 3, .DAT files as I described in the previous post. One would be the most recent where the P3 actually flew. And, the other would be the most recent where it couldn't fly because of the ESC error. You'll have to look at the dates on the .DAT files to figure that out.

    There are a couple ways to look at the data. Initially, I use Excel to create plots. Then Dashware can be quite useful. It gives a more complete picture

    @Luap has provided a Dashware profile that understands the .csv produced by DatConverter. This profile can be obtained by going to
    P3A/P Dashware profile for for Dat Files | DJI Phantom Forum