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NEED SOME "ESC WARNING" ADVICE

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by wordsmith, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. wordsmith

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    A few weeks back my P3A had a run in with a hawk and crashed from about 30 meters up. It landed in some fairly dense underbrush, but came out of it in fairly good shape. No camera or gimbal breaks, but the motor arm that took the brunt of the impact was bent and there were numerous shell cracks. When I got it home, I took off the props and tested it. Everything worked, no on screen warnings, and the motors fired up so I decided to get a new shell and swap the parts over.
    After moving everything over to the new shell, and updating to the new firmware and Go app, I now get the dreaded "ESC error" warning when trying to start the motors. Did a forum search on ESC error and the conventional wisdom seems to indicate that because the ESC's are now integrated into the mainboard I'd have to replace the entire board.
    Given the cost of a new MC unit, I decided to order a new body from DJI, which should be here Friday (it's already been shipped).
    In the meantime, does anyone have any DIY tests that I could do on my old P3's board to determine whether it is salvageable or not, or am I better off just parting it out? (ie: motors, light-bridge antenna's, VPS sensor, etc.)
    As I said, everything was working fine before the transfer to the new shell, and the board and motors were not mis-handled during the transfer, so I'm not sure what went wrong. I'm not worried about voiding the warrenty, so if there's a way to fix it without having to send it in for service, I'd love to hear it. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. wordsmith

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    Just an update. I popped the top off and visually inspected all the motor wires, and the top of the entire board. No scorch marks indicating short circuits, or broken pins. Board looks like new, and everything functions as it should when powered on (IMU, gimbal, and compass calibration all work). Just keep getting the ESC error so the motors won't start. This was previously a problem with some Inspires, according to threads on the DJI forum, but beyond sending it back to DJI, there's no information as to what caused it. Does anybody here have any information on the ESC's beyond "it's located on the main circuit board"? Would really appreciate it.:)
     
  3. Oso

    Oso

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    Did you need to splice any of the wires to the motors? I seem to recall someone saying a while back that the motor wires had some sort of coating on the wire itself. That coating needed to be lightly sanded off to make contact. Just a shot in the dark.
     
  4. bobmyers

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    Yes, the wires need to be cut and spliced IMO. I wouldn't chance trying to solder those wires to the circuit board. I had to replace one motor a week after I got my Phantom in May. the wires coming out of the Phantom to the original motors have two strands and are coated with something that will not allow the solder to bond. I used a the very fine sand black sandpaper and sanded the coating off, so I could tin those wires before soldering them. Tin the new motor wires also, twist them together to enforce the joint and then solder. Use a heat sink clamp on each side of the solder joint. Be sure to put on your shrink wrap before you solder.
     
  5. wordsmith

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    No. After the crash, my only problems were the numerous cracks and bent arm of the body shell. When I set it up at home to test, minus the props, everything worked and the motors started fine.
    That's why I decided to just replace the shell. When I moved everything over to the new shell, I kept the control board, motors and LEDs all connected so I wouldn't have to re-wire anything. Got it all put back together, updated the firmware and app (the new 1.3 and Go version had come out while my P3 was out of commission), and that's when I started to get the ESC error message. So somewhere in between, one or more of the speed controllers has failed. (and no, it would be really cliché of me to blame the firmware. I don't believe for a moment that that's the problem.) However, since DJI chose to include the ESC's on the control board, and not separate, like on the P2, there should be some means of testing them. I just can't seem to find that info anywhere.
    Thanks Oso and Bobmeyers for your suggestions. :)
     
  6. Domenic

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    I am in the same / similar boat. I had a crash but everything was OK except my Strongarms got a little scuffed. I did multiple test flights over several days with no issues after the crash. Since I wanted to switch the Strongarms from white to black anyway to go with a skin / stickers I had on order I had a perfect opportunity to replace the Strongarms and place my new stickers at the same time.

    I simply removed the old Strongarms (just removed the motor screws except one to keep it from falling out), put the stickers on, and screwed on the new Storngarms. Was it possible the motors "flopped around" slightly during the process - yes but noting significant.

    I went outside with my new awesome skin and BAM - WARNING ESC Error! I read up and did everything mentioned above but no luck. I then pulled off (trashing in the process) my new $33 stickers and then opened the P3 looking for any damage. Nothing, perfectly clean...

    So now I have nothing except a faint hope that through a new future firmware update this error may simply "reset" somehow. Very frustrating that we have no way to run any diags to tell which ESC is complaining at least.