Welcome to DroneRacingPilots!
Join our free drone racing community today!
Sign up

Motor won't run...need some help

spiderpig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
58
Age
45
So I bought a RTF X-250B a couple weeks ago. I only did about 6 flights with it total before a odd landing (no real damage) made a motor stop working. So I took it home, cleaned up the dirt around the motor and tried it again. It started running a little better, but then the ESC caught fire.

I've since learned that it was most likely caused by a collision with the prop and the ECS...but didn't think about it back then since I was mostly trying to keep my house from burning down. But in my attempt to troubleshoot the issue, I did what I normally do with computers when they aren't working - take them apart. So I took it all apart.

In testing the power control board afterwards, seems that power isn't getting to half the board now, so I assume the burning did a bit more damage then just to the ESC. Figuring I still have most of the components, and three good motors and ECS, why not learn how to build a quad and use this as a learning tool.

So I hooked up the battery connector to the power board using XT60 connector. Plugged a battery in, and checked with voltmeter. All 12 v connections were still good. So started easy and connected my video camera and transmitter. Powered it up, and checked to see if it was getting video feed - and it was. Did a little happy dance.

So then I figured I'd check the Flight Controller. Well since the 5v power from the board wasn't working, I figured I would use a working motor with a ESC to provide it. I got the Flight controller up and running, got the transmitter up and running, and the radio detects it and can arm it ok. Only issue is when I apply power, the one connected motor won't spin.

So being and engineer, I hooked up the Flight Controller to check flight and looked at what was going on. check flight shows that it does detect the FC nicely and can tell when it's moving. It sees the voltage from the VBAT. IT shows movement on the radio when I move things. So I went to the motors page and tried to activate the motor from the software - nothing moved. I unplugged everything and re-plugged, but same results. When the battery is plugged you can see the motor switch like it does when its booting up, so I suspect the ESC is ok.

Here's a video of this little project so far:

So at this point I'm trying to figure out the following:
1) Am I doing something wrong? What am I missing to get this one motor to work.
2) Is there a way to test the ECS and motor to see if they actually work, I have two more sets I could try if they don't.
3) What further steps can I take to troubleshoot this?

I see this as a learning opportunity from a drone I never really go to fly in acro. I have ordered a new frame and power control board to start building my first drone. I'm about to order motors and ECSs for it, but I'm hesitant since I don't know if there is something wrong with the FC or my building skills yet. So figured I'd reach out to you guys and ask for help.

The frame I ordered and PCB is this:
Amazon.com: Readytosky ZMR180 Carbon Fiber Frame Kit With 5V / 12V PCB for FPV Racing Drone Quadcopter gift: Toys & Games

I was thinking of ordering these motors and ESC:
Amazon.com: HOBBYMATE Quadcopter Kit Motor ESC Combo, 2 Pairs CW CCW 2204 2300KV Plus 4 PCS Upgrade BLHeli 15A ESC for For 180 210 250 RC Quadcopter Drone Multirotor: Toys & Games

figured the first drone build would be on the cheaper side and work my way up as I got better at building.

So any thoughts or directions of help?
 

theGreenOrange

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
2,456
Reaction score
1,749
Location
New Orleans, LA, USA
You might try to calibrate the ESC.

For the new ones, 15A is a bit low, I would get 30A (or at least 20A) ones, they don't cost a lot more.
 

spiderpig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
58
Age
45
It seems like the ESC should be making two additional long beeps at boot. Probably needs calibrating.
How would I do that? From what I"ve seen I have to set the throttle to max in clear flight and then restart it....but doing so didn't do anything. it's almost like the FC isn't sending out a signal to that motor.

I just tried connecting the cables directly to the transmitter and powering it on. Sort of like a RC sailplane deal. I plugged into channel one. Initially nothing happen as I was moving all the channels back and forth. But about 10 second later, the motor started spinning. Didn't seem to have any control over it so I turned off the power. So I know the motor and ESC work. just seems like they don't work with the FC at the moment.
 

theGreenOrange

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
2,456
Reaction score
1,749
Location
New Orleans, LA, USA
Calibrate the ESC by:

1. Plug in USB without battery connected
2. On motors tab, link motors and set to max throttle
3. Plug in battery
4. After beeps, lower throttle to min
5. Unplug battery
 

spiderpig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
58
Age
45
Calibrate the ESC by:

1. Plug in USB without battery connected
2. On motors tab, link motors and set to max throttle
3. Plug in battery
4. After beeps, lower throttle to min
5. Unplug battery
So I did that, but there wasn't any beeps that I didn't hear before. Although I did notice that after doing it, it did show the throttle inputs on clear flight where before it showed nothing. But still no motor spinning.

Is there a way to use a voltmeter to determine if any signal is coming from the motor one flight controller?

Is there any failsafes on the FC that would prevent it from only having one motor attached? Does it do a check to see if all four motors are attached before it allows them to spin? I only have three working ones, so wouldn't really be able to test it until I got a new set of four.
 

spiderpig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
58
Age
45
Spider,

Calibrate like this:

Yeah did the exact same way....not extra beeps when I lowered the throttle to lowest. I did test the motor and esc by plugging into transmitter directly and it did spin up. Although it seems to only work for a little bit and then seems to stop (I suspect it's over heating).

So not sure anymore....I've learned quite a bit from this experiment. Not 100% confident yet that I can handle a full field yet. Would guys suggest a different FC? I'm still looking at motors and escs for a 180 quad if you could recommend any. Trying to keep the cost of both under 100.
 

Jtrjr

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
1,528
Reaction score
1,220
Location
Texas
Website
www.youtube.com
Spider,

The SP Racing F3 FC you have is actually a pretty decent FC. It's in a lot of birds. I'm actually going to use the new Betaflight F3 in my new Frankenstein rebuild to get rid of that Arris PDB. It's getting great reviews and is an All in one with the PDB and OSD built into in. I'm a bit nervous using it because of all the soldering but I'm going to give it a go.

Jerry

*Pre-order* BetaflightF3 Flight Controller:Mini-Quad HQ,Flight Controllers - FPVModel USA: FPV Model, FPV, Quadcopter, Multicopter, FPV goggles, FPV system

Here's Josh Bardwells quick review of it:

 

spiderpig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
58
Age
45
Spider,

The SP Racing F3 FC you have is actually a pretty decent FC. It's in a lot of birds. I'm actually going to use the new Betaflight F3 in my new Frankenstein rebuild to get rid of that Arris PDB. It's getting great reviews and is an All in one with the PDB and OSD built into in. I'm a bit nervous using it because of all the soldering but I'm going to give it a go.

Jerry

*Pre-order* BetaflightF3 Flight Controller:Mini-Quad HQ,Flight Controllers - FPVModel USA: FPV Model, FPV, Quadcopter, Multicopter, FPV goggles, FPV system

Here's Josh Bardwells quick review of it:

Well it seems like a great one. Just would like to make sure it's fully functional. Not sure if the ESC fire did anything to it to prevent it from running motors again.

@theGreenOrange Thanks for all the links. Are the 4 in 1 ESC's good? My main concern is that if it burns you loose ESC for four motors, compared with losing one ESC for one motor in a normal ESC burn scenario. But it does provide for less room...so I like that idea.
 

theGreenOrange

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
2,456
Reaction score
1,749
Location
New Orleans, LA, USA
Well it seems like a great one. Just would like to make sure it's fully functional. Not sure if the ESC fire did anything to it to prevent it from running motors again.

@theGreenOrange Thanks for all the links. Are the 4 in 1 ESC's good? My main concern is that if it burns you loose ESC for four motors, compared with losing one ESC for one motor in a normal ESC burn scenario. But it does provide for less room...so I like that idea.
The risk of losing all 4 at once is offset by having them off the arms, inside the protection of the frame. Also, i doubt if a 30A ESC will burn up too often. To me, it seems like a good trade off.
 

spiderpig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
58
Age
45
The risk of losing all 4 at once is offset by having them off the arms, inside the protection of the frame. Also, i doubt if a 30A ESC will burn up too often. To me, it seems like a good trade off.
Makes sense. I haven't been building and flying long enough to have a general feel for them yet. But will look into it. Figured the first build will be one on the cheaper side. Then build a more expensive one after, with a third being a racing quad. Thats the goal at least.

The good part of all of this is the learning experience, which I value greatly. As an engineer I find that when I don't know how something works it bothers me. I build computers for fun and enjoy the process quite a bit. I know what all the parts do and how they work together. This past week with the experiments I've done, I feel I have a better understanding of PFV drones and how they work. I got better with my soldering skills, troubleshooting skills, and clear flight. So overall, good learning week.

My 180 frame and power board comes today so I'll start working on that and seeing what parts I can use from this gear I have now. That way once I decide on motors and ESC's I can add them. Since Bandgood is in China, might have to put in order sooner...maybe this weekend.
 

theGreenOrange

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
2,456
Reaction score
1,749
Location
New Orleans, LA, USA
With banggood, the 5-8 day shipping is usually worth the cost. Did you get the frame that uses 220x motors or 180x motors? Just curious, I noticed there are two versions. Maybe 15A is plenty for 1804 motors...

As far as building, I am like you. I like to build computers and had basic soldering skills. I decided to build my first FPV drone and it worked out great. I didn't know anything about cleanflight going in, just had to figure it out from videos and forums. My soldering skills are much better now after building it.
 

spiderpig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
58
Age
45
Here's the description from amazon on it. It recommended 1806 so that's what I was looking at (
although not sure what is the difference between M2 and M3 it talks about):

Description
- The ZMR180 is a micro quad designed with "fun" in mind. Agile, quick, and small all fit together with this kit and its a blast to fly. Keeping simplicty in mind this frame has high quality 3mm bottom plate and a 1.5 mm top plate. Using the same carbon fiber that you find in FPVMODELs ZMR250 V2, you can rest assured that this is NOT the run of the mill cheap eBay Carbon Fiber that most others sell. This CF is backed with FPVMODELs name so you can trust that it is top of the line.

- The ZMR180 is an awesome time to be had and you will find the smaller size can zoom through gaps that were previously not even considered with a 250 sized quad.
- The ZMR weighs in at 72g including the given mounting hardware and spacers allowing for an ultra-light weight build yet leaving plenty of build room for adding all necessary FPV gear. If you wanna add more muscle, pick the ZMR180 with the larger mounts for 22xx motors.

Recommended Parts (not included):
Motor: 1806 /2204 /2206 (1806 for M2, 2204/2206 for M3)
Props: 4045 Props
ESCs: 12A -20A

Package Include: 1 x ZMR180 Carbon Fiber Frame Kit
1 x PDB Board
 

spiderpig

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Messages
167
Reaction score
58
Age
45
Looks like you got the M2 version which uses 180x motors?
Yeah not sure which version I got looking at he Amazon description...the title doesn't help either. Will when it arrives today and then will start looking at motors and ESCs.
 

Latest threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
3,440
Messages
29,544
Members
2,918
Latest member
durango77