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Crash- motor has a short- smoking

Jad

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I ran my Q500 into small tree today. I didn't see a dead limb that was lead over in my path of flight. The drone fell into the tree and broke three blades. The battery was shorted because it was swollen up. I tried my extra battery and immediately one the the motors started smoking. I am thinking about buying a new motor and put it in myself. I am wondering if I should just replace the bad one or all four motors. I am concerned that the control board under the motor may be damaged as well. Does anyone have experience with a shorted out motor and the recommended fix. The drone is no longer under warranty. Thanks, John
 

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The damage you described should not have occurred from the event. At least not normally. All motors should have stopped as soon as the props hit. It sounds like either emergency motor shutdown didn't happen, or the ESC shorted very quickly and the short was somehow self maintaining.
Another possibility is a fouled motor. I did see something similar once when a motor got fouled under power. It melted lots of stuff around it, and was in full "meltdown" mode until I got to it to turn off the switch. That one didn't damage the battery, but it was on the ground just a few seconds away from where I was standing. In a way, I suspect this more than a failure of the emergency shutdown feature.

Was the motor smoking, or still trying to run, when you reached the Q500 just after the crash?
Is there any evidence of melted plastic?
When you plugged in the new battery, did the smoke start BEFORE you tried to start motors?
Does the motor turn easily by hand when compared to the others? (It's normal to be a LITTLE bumpy as it passes the magnets)

Your actual question was "One or All". Normally, the answer would just be one, but this event took a different path. You could take the top shell off, de-solder the main power wires to that motor, unplug the ESC control wire to it, and see if you can test the other motors with the GUI. That may help understand if other motors were affected by the event.

Also, it is not a good idea to plug the battery in again until you have a handle on the issue. And certainly not while indoors.

Can you upload the telemetry file from the ST10? I would love to see this one.
 

Jad

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Thanks for your helpful info. I couldn't get to the drone right away because it was on the other side of a canal. Three of the blades broke off but the one that stayed intact is the one with the bad motor. I think the blade might have been lodged against the tree and was trying to rotate. I could see the lights flashing on the drone but it took me a good 30 minutes to get around the water to reach the drone. The lights were off at that point and the battery door open with a swollen battery jammed inside. I had to take the drone apart to remove the battery. The smoking started as soon as I turned on the drone without trying to start the motors. When I spin the motor there is a drag on the motor that the other motors don't have. I will try disconnecting the wire and trying the other motors. Is the ESC control the small electric canal below the motor? Do you think I should buy a new motor first and see if that fixes my problem? Thanks, John
 

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Yes, the ESC is the small black board under the motor (See Below). The chances of it surviving are pretty much zero. Smoke from the ESC itself means its gone. Smoke from the motor before you start motors also means it is gone. The motor sounds like 99% certain gone, but I guess maybe there is a slight chance that it just has debris in it. Still, I would not trust it even if you could get it to run again.

The ESC board is mounted on 4 small posts at the corners. Normally they are hard to get off the posts, and people often tear up the edges of the motor pod trying to pry them off.

There are two decent DIY ways :
1.) Slide a small rod (plastic is best) down past the motor. Fit the end of the rod at the corner of the ESC. Tap gently and repeatedly until the corner starts to come loose. Work your way around in two or three passes to avoid overstressing either the board or the posts.

OR

2.) Use a small metal rod, bent 90 degrees at the ends, to get under the tip of the corner from the ESC side. Again, bump up repeatedly without excess force, and work your way around the four corners a couple times.

Note the posts may have partially melted in your case. You might have to get pretty creative to get the ESC off.

ESC.jpg
 

Jad

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Thanks, I will take it apart this week end and see all of the damage. Do you have a suggestions as to the best place to buy parts for this model drone?
 

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eBay almost always has them, both new and used. I also look at Vertigo Drones, Carolina Dronz, Amazon, etc. Parts for the Q500 are generally pretty available, especially salvaged stuff.
 

Jad

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I took the drone apart and found the ESC burned up. I took it off along with the motor. I plan on ordering new parts today. I have never hooked up the drone to GUI. I use a Mac computer and not certain that Yuneec supports that platform. Is it possible to start up the drone with just the three motors to see if they are ok, or would that damage the other motors? It appears from looking at them they are not damaged. You are a great source of information and have helped me with my problem. Thanks, John
 

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Is it possible to start up the drone with just the three motors to see if they are ok, or would that damage the other motors?
The drone won't initialize with any of the ESCs removed, so you will have to use the GUI motor test feature to start them one at a time.

I don't have a MAC, so not familiar with using GUI on it, but yes, others have said it does work. It may require a different driver or maybe even a different version of the GUI? Try to start the GUI. Note it takes FOREVER for the GUI to start on the PC. It flashes a little icon right at first, indicating the program is starting to load, but then NO INDICATION anything is happening. Sometimes as long as a minute or two or three, and the GUI just pops up out of nowhere. Usually two or three copies of it, because I lost faith anything was happening, and punched the ICON two or three times.
Maybe someone else will help with the MAC/GUI question. If it doesn't start, we can look around and find out how.
 

Jad

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Great I will check it out. I have another problem that may be a bit more of a problem. The CGO3 lower gimbal mount is broken. I can't seem to find a part for replacement. Any suggestions?17295
 

Jad

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I received the parts today. Thanks. If I have any question I will contact you. Thanks again
 

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IMG_6562.jpg

I was changing the base plate for the camera and the wires came off the small board. Not sure I how to fix this
 

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. Not sure I how to fix this
This image shows the wire connections. The wires attach on the other side of the board from the way it is laying in your picture. Remove the silicon from the solder points, and then attach wires on that side of board. The images are both shown with the white connector laying with the pin latches facing you . Lay it the same way to ensure you don't get things reversed.
This board is one of the things that are specifically calibrated to your camera. You can't often just replace it, so take great care with it.

The drawn version has numbers to assist proper alignment.
Yaw Encoder Wires.jpg
 
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Jad

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That is what I needed/ The wires are as thin a s hair and broke without much movement. I have to copter all put back together and hoping to get the camera back on. I will let you know how things turn out. Thanks
 

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Wow! I got the CGO3 back together and that took a lot of holding my breath and sweating. I hooked it up to my Steady Grip and presto it worked. Never could have figured out which wire had to go back on the board without your diagram. I tested the drone and the back B motor ESC board started smoking. I should have taken a close look at it when I had it apart. I checked the other ones and they look good. i will have to order one and hopefully this will get my drone back in the air. You are amazing with your knowledge and without your help I never could have gotten this far.
 

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I wish I had another V5 ESC. but I don't. I have a couple V4 ESCs, but it really would be best to keep them all the same version.
Sounds like you are doing a great job with this. Fixing the drone yourself is not at all practical for someone who uses it professionally, but it is a GREAT second level for a hobby. (and it makes the "ouch" of a crash seem a lot less)

The bad news is you can't always tell an ESC is damaged by looking at it. And sometimes it doesn't show up until flight.
You should make the first battery length flight or two without the camera, and hovering just a few feet above ground. It could minimize the results if either of the remaining ESCs decides to go bad on you.
 
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Jad

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I was thinking about how I would test it out and your suggest sounds the best. I will have to order a couple of new batteries. It seems they bulge out after a few months. They are not cheap and this is will be the 2nd set of them in a year.
 

Jad

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I just completed the work on my drone and started it up. I got red flashing lights and an error message to enter five rotor mode. One motor must be bad motor. I did pinch the thin wires when closing the unit but there didn't appear to be any damage. They are the ones from the ESC to the main board. Any suggestions to tract it down? All motors spin easily.
 

Jad

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"Warning
Motor error! Enter five-rotor mode!
Please land immediately"

When I tested the drone I did not have the prop blades on. Would this cause the warning I got. I don't want to turn it back in fears of burning something up again.
 

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