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ESC's compatibility - Hobby King/Aerostar

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  • ESC's compatibility - Hobby King/Aerostar

    THE THREAD TITLE SHOULD READ........ESC Programming Cards Compatibility - Hobby King/Aerostar

    I have a Durafly Tundra from Hobby King, a foamie for easy flying when I don't feel like firing up nitro engines, and I have two problems.

    The motor intermittently, and randomly, starts to run in reverse, not a problem before takeoff, or even after landing, but can create a difficult situation in the air. I've spoken with HK, and their fix is to buy a Programming Card, and change the direction of rotation. That may be OK, except it's not always running in reverse, only occasionally, possibly as much as half the times I put power on. If I reverse the direction of rotation, I think it will still be doing the same thing, i.e., reversing, so still running in both directions. Does anybody have any ideas?

    The second involves a programming card. I'm happy to buy one at a few $$ because I'll probably have the aircraft for some time, but the Aerostar card is out of stock at HK. They do, however, have the HobbyKing card, and they look identical, with programming wording also almost identical. They could, of course, be vastly different, even though they look alike.

    These are the links to both

    Does anybody have experience with these cards, or able to tell me if they are the same card, or compatible?

  • #2
    Those two links take you to what appears to be the same product ................ the HobbyKing card, so can't see the difference. I have the HobbyKing one and another one from HobbyKing but I can say if it's the same as the Aerostar one in the link you provided. I used both interchangeably on some models but on other models, only one will work.


    • #3
      That's really curious, both taking you to the HK product when one clearly says "Aerostar".

      Try these links

      Except for different colors, they look the same, same wording, but are they the same?


      • #4
        I have the one they call "Aerostar" but mine is by "ZTW". Same card. I believe the "HobbyKing" one is the same. I also have two identical ones that come with different names. One is called a "Sunrise models" Prog Card II" and the other is called "YGE Prog Card II". Do you have one or both of the ones you posted links for? Have you tried it? I doubt it matters. Of course, you could also set your ESC back to factory default by using the beep method when powered up in conjunction with the transmitter on high throttle. Have you tried that? Any method will work. Having a programming card won't make it work any better. If putting it back to default won't fix the intermittent reversing, then there's something wrong with the ESC or you might check the three motor wires to the ESC to make sure there isn't a possibility of a short.


        • #5
          Thanks xviper.

          I've had plenty of contact with Hobby King over this, and after suggesting a number of times that I program the ESC, and my protests that almost certainly won't fix it, they've said that it's probably a faulty ESC!! I agree with HK, and you, on that issue.

          I hadn't programmed it at all, so the factory settings are still in there, and if it's randomly running in reverse on factory settings, a logical conclusion is that the ESC is faulty.


          • #6
            If you have an ESC of similar size, throw it in there and see if that will work. That will show if the old one is bad.


            • #7
              Hobby King have a new ESC in the post, no charge!!


              • #8
                For as much as some people rant about them, they do come through when you really need them.


                • #9
                  I can't complain about the service, except perhaps that there must have been 20+ emails each way to get it resolved. There seemed to be a reluctance, initially, to do anything about the problem, but I explained as logically as I could make it, and they then asked for a video of the motor running erratically. I can't send attachments over 25 Mb, about 10 seconds, but that was enough for five brief runs, and the ESC performed on cue, three times clockwise, and twice anticlockwise. I included the transmitter in the frame so they could see the throttle movement.

                  I've had very good service from Tower over the years, although I haven't dealt with them for a couple of years. Hobby King are going the right way to be the dominant supplier to the hobby as I see it. I don't like the move to foam and electrics, away from building and nitro, but that's 'progress' I suppose, and whilst not all progress is good, it is inevitable.


                  • #10
                    Well I've fitted the new ESC, and though it's difficult to believe, the motor is still intermittently running in the opposite direction!! This has me beaten.

                    I can't imagine how it would be the motor, so that leaves the radio, Tx or Rx.

                    When I first set up this model, zero power to the motor occurred at about 50% throttle position. I increased the travel to 150%, the maximum (Spektrum DX-7 radio), and zero power to the motor now occurs at about 15-20% throttle position. If I close the throttle to about 20%, there is obviously still a tiny bit of power getting to the motor as it keeps turning. Less than about 20%, and it stops completely. Zero power to the motor should occur when the throttle is completely closed.

                    I think the problem may be a function of the Tx throttle position, but can't make the connection.

                    Any ideas anybody?


                    • #11
                      On the new ESC, what happens when you swap 2 of the 3 motor wires? What happens if you reverse the throttle in the servo menu? Your throttle trim on the front of the Tx is all the way down, right?


                      • #12
                        Thanks for coming along xviper. I'll answer your questions in order, and I had tried all, in desperation!!

                        No change, the motor still runs intermittently in both directions, and doesn't seem to favor one over the other.

                        Reverse the throttle in the servo menu and full throttle is zero power to the motor, closed throttle is full power to the motor.

                        No, the throttle trim is all the way up. If it's all the way down, there is no power to the motor when the throttle position is below about 40%.



                        • #13
                          Have you done a throttle calibration? IE, power up the TX and push throttle stick all the way to the top (with trim all the way to the bottom). Then, plug in the flight battery and at the first beeps of the ESC/motor, slam the throttle to the bottom. If you have throttle cut programmed, this must be deactivated so that the throttle is "live". This "should" tell the ESC where zero throttle is and where 100% throttle is. If this doesn't work, I would suggest that maybe there's a short in the motor wiring.
                          Also, throttle sub-trim in the servo menu should not have been changed from when the new model was set up. It should say "0".


                          • #14
                            I've done a throttle calibration xviper, numerous times!!

                            I've fiddled with 'throttle sub trim', and had it set at numerous different values. The closest I've come to having this motor run the right way every time is with the throttle sub trim set at H17, and zero on the main throttle trim. The motor is wanting to turn, occasionally moving, and when I advance the throttle, it does start in the correct direction.

                            I can put a meter on the three motor and test for shorts between windings, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for. I suppose an inconsistency between the different measurements would point to the problem?


                            • #15
                              A short in the motor wires will be hard to find unless it's something physical that you can see. Another suggestion: Try the ESC with a different known good motor.


                              • #16
                                I was about to try your last suggestion. Thanks for your help so far.


                                • #17
                                  Back from a few weeks in Bali and I'll be taking another look at the problem.

                                  xviper, how likely is it that there's a short between windings? If there is, wouldn't it always be evident?
                                  I have only one other motor, in my modified BoT, and it will be a pain to swap over.

                                  It will be easier, but less cost effective, to just order a replacement motor from HK, but that may be the ultimate fix anyway?


                                  • #18
                                    No, I wasn't talking about the "windings" in the motor. You are more likely to have a magnet come loose and rattle around before a winding comes apart. I was talking about the 3 power wires that goes from the ESC to the motor. If those get the insulation cracked or damaged or if the connection at the 3 plugs is not quite fully pushed together, some bare metal or wire could touch one in another wire or connector. Vibration in the plane as it operates can move those things around and they could touch.


                                    • #19
                                      Well I finally found the time to get back on this, and the outcome surprised me.

                                      I did have another motor I'd forgotten about, so plugged it into the Tundra's ESC, and on advancing the throttle, about 8 times out of ten, the motor ran in the right direction, but just occasionally it would reverse.

                                      That would seem to rule out the motor and ESC, and possibly indicate a Tx problem?

                                      I can work around it by trimming the throttle full up, and the prop continues turning, albeit at only 100-200 rpm, not enough to even move the aircraft on carpet, so that when the throttle is fully closed, the prop hasn't stopped, and therefore starts in the right direction. I'd prefer I didn't have to operate it this way, but if I can't overcome the problem, that's the way it will have to be.

                                      Any comments on the latest development??


                                      • #20
                                        Trimming the throttle full up is not good practice for an electric system. Do you use the throttle cut? If so, does this kill the motor completely?
                                        Something that hasn't been touched upon .............................. Is this ESC the original one? Or is it one of the newer Tundra ESCs that has a reversing feature? Such ESCs would have 2 leads coming from the ESC - one is the usual throttle lead and the other is one that goes to a 2 position switch (like gear) so that the motor can be reversed when operating on water.