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Have I Damaged The ESC's/Motors?

Discussion in 'Phantom 1 Help' started by PTCX, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. PTCX

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    Apologies for the epic post length.
    Last week I was flying at the beach filming some shacks when the wind picked up and became much stronger through the flight.This depleted the battery faster than I was expecting.
    When the 5 minute alarm went off I had already turned for home but the Phantom started to lose altitude fast,dropped behind a sand dune and the signal was lost,TX and FPV together.
    It took me about 12 minutes to find it and all that time,or most of it,the Phantom kept running.As far as I can tell it went into failsafe mode shortly after touchdown.The front props where dug into the sand and the rear motors were spinning for nearly 10 minutes,the Arris gimbal was having spasms all the time as well until the battery died just before I spotted the Phantom.
    I had not flown again until today and the first flight ended in a sudden forced landing no more than four minutes into the flight.
    When I found it all was well,motors off,no damage.
    I changed the battery and went up again and at about 4 minutes the Phantom started losing altitude as I was heading sort of back towards me but it dropped bellow the horizon behind some low trees and behind a drop off in the hill and landed/crashed into long grass and flipped upside down.When I found the Phantom (5 minutes later) this time the motors were still running,or trying to.
    Two were trimming grass,one was tangled in grass and one was tangled in the FPV antenna.When I picked it up and removed the obstructions all motors were spinning.
    When I put another battery in the Arris gimbal went berzerk and would not settle so I shut it off.
    After that I went home and connected to Naza (eventually,another story) and checked all the settings and all looked ok.I removed the gimbal and tried another flight,only three minutes to self landing.
    I had altered the battery voltage settings when I installed the gimbal to get more flight time with the gimbal and FPV running on the main battery and it has been flying well and I've been getting 5:30 to 6:30 each flight after settling on a compromise between not enough air time and too hot batteries.
    So I am perplexed as to why the flight times even with the gimbal removed and FPV switched off I was only getting three minutes.
    I reset the voltage settings to the defaults,the same as the stock Phantom,and still only got 4 minutes to self landing.

    I have read that if something like these incidents happens it can damage the ESC's,is that correct?
    Could this be the reason the flight times have suddenly dropped?
    Is there anything else that could have been damaged by this in a way that will cause faster battery drain?

    I have tested the batteries in my stock Phantom and I get 9 to 10 minutes flight time easy.
     
  2. martcerv

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    I thought maybe the battery could be no good after getting over discharged, coming down then running motors for another 10 min or so would have got the voltage down real low but.

    So this seems the batteries are ok.

    Possibly you may have sand inside the motors, this could be creating friction and so less flight time also bearings may have already been damaged. Are they getting very hot after use? If you spin them by hand are they feeling rougher or more restrictive then normal? You can take out the motors and first just blow an air compressor through it to clean it up or also replace the bearings.

    Not sure about the ESC's as they would more likely just fail completely or work wouldn't expect them to be somewhere in the middle though possibly Id suspect sand in the motors before anything else.
     
  3. PTCX

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    Thanks for the suggestions Marty,but I already thought of that after the beach incident and made sure there was no sand in anything.Actually I just found some in the gimbal and cleaned it out.Only a little stuck to the 3M tape holding the Giro in place.

    There is some up/down movement in one of the motors so I will look at replacing it or the bearings but they all run cool.
    Oddly the motor that has some movement has always made a little bit of noise like it's bearing's not running smooth but my other Phantom does the same thing on the same motor but no up/down movement,front left,looking from behind.

    I might take the top off tomorrow and check that everything inside is in order.
    I can't be sure how hard it came down in the grass today as the Phantom had dropped out of site and FPV dropped out before impact both times.At least one of the impacts has broken the arm on the gimbal (again,whoops),only spotted that when cleaning it tonight.It's also gone totally berzerk by the way,and won't connect to software.

    I have reviewed the video from today and the crash into the grass was quite hard.
    I was flying in ATTI mode when I noticed the Phantom was dropping so I stopped and got my bearings and could see I had to get higher to get to home point so I throttled up,full throttle,and moved forward.Even though at full throttle the Phantom still lost altitude and crashed into the side of the hill.
    Definitely something weird going on so I will try to update firmware to see if it makes a difference.
     
  4. phantomflyer

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    I herd that loose wires can cause voltage loss not sure if that's right but since your opening your phantom tomorrow then look around for that just to be sure!
     
  5. phantomflyer

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    Oh I notice you said you use FPV when your flying, Are you using a screen or googles and when you let it get far from you do you have a way to tell you when the battery is running low?
     
  6. PTCX

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    Other than going by the timer on my phone,no. :oops:
    I've been thinking of a TX upgrade and some I've looked at have battery monitors,so it must be time to make the leap.
    I wear goggles for fpv.Not sure if there is a telemetry kit for them,there are head tilt sensors for them so maybe.
    I want to get a screen too but I'm not made of money, :( ,but all good things in time.

    With the battery time issue,I updated the firmware today and played with the voltage settings some more and got some extra flight time out of it but still not what it should be stripped of all weight and battery drainers.5 to 6 minutes to second stage red LED's,about what I was getting before with the weight of the camera,gimbal and fpv running.
    Also getting red flashes of LED on acceleration but that was somewhat less on the last flight I could get in.

    Good flying weather here this week so plenty of time to experiment.
     
  7. PTCX

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    Just to update the situation,I have found a good battery level setting and with no gimbal fitted and FPV turned off the flight times are a little over 9 minutes to self landing and the battery is not too hot.
    I have finally got around to fixing the gimbal yesterday evening so went out for a few flights today and all went pretty well.The Phantom is flying well and the flight times are not too bad.With the gimbal and FPV running I'm getting 5 minutes to the first battery warning,second level and constant flashing red LED at around 5:30 and self landing starts at 6 minutes.The batteries are not too hot after a flight.Good considering the ambient temperature at the time was 45c.

    Another issue I've been having with the IOC has been improved since updating to FW 4.02.
    For a while now the IOC has been screwed up in as much as in the Course Lock mode all the directional controls were flipped.As in,press stick forward,Phantom should move away,but it has been moving toward me,pull stick back it should move toward me but it has been moving away,left stick moves right,right stick moves left.
    At least now the directional controls are as they should be so if I need to I can use that mode safely.
    Home Lock mode is still not right as it just does exactly the same things as Course Lock does.
    Not to worry,I'm only likely to use course lock on rare occasions.

    Also tested Return To Home/Fail Safe and it's working properly too.The last time I used it before updating to 4.02 it just landed,did not come home first as it was set to do.

    So all is well again and I'm a happy flyer. :D
     
  8. PTCX

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    Now I can put my problems down to batteries.
    In four flight sessions all 5 of my Carbon Bird batteries have,as we say here in Oz,died in the arse.
    So four or five sessions ago they were all giving flight times of 5 to 6 minutes.Then a couple of flights ended suddenly as outlined above.
    I used the stock batteries to adjust battery levels in Naza and test flight times and I thought I had the problem beat until yesterday when I went out and flew every battery and got much less flight time from the carbon birds and today all 5 performed very badly.
    The oldest was showing fast flashing red LED in 30 seconds,the newest was self landing in 3 minutes.All flash red under throttle right from the start of a flight.
    They are Carbon Bird 3s 2250mAh.
    The oldest one was purchased in May and the newest was purchased in late August.
    Is that all I should expect these batteries to last? Or did I just choose poorly in buying Carbon Bird batteries?

    I have three of the stock 2200mAh batteries that come with the Phantom and they have been used and charged the same amount as the others but all three still get 6 minute flight times.

    Open to suggestions of brands that will last longer if possible.

    Will a 4s battery last better with the Phantom running heavy?,1250 grams.