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FrSky Neuron ESC

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Andy4816/05/2020 18:10:32
1550 forum posts
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Posted by Bob Cotsford on 14/03/2020 20:41:14:

Imagine setting up a model with 11 channels, redundant receivers and 1200W of electrickery 10 years ago! Not bad for 'cheap' Chinese gear eh? The datalogging and computer setup available using these Neuron ESCs really does make problem solving easy compared to working relatively blind as with older systems.

Watching a program about Mosquitos got me thinking about twin motor setups with Neurons. How close was the RPM of each motor for different throttle inputs? It should be possible to read the RPM telemetry from one motor, call is the master, and using logic to adjust the speed of the second "slave" motor to equalise it? Obviously not possible to experiment with the Companion. What would be the implications of this I wonder. Obviously one could use a switch to disable this. Would be interesting if using a separate battery for each motor. Might try a test rig sometime when I've nothing to do.

Chris Bott - Moderator16/05/2020 18:21:06
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Andy I did wonder about this well before Neurons appeared but never did try anything.

It shouldn't be too hard to, at least, alarm if the difference between RPMs is above a threshold. The pilot could then elect to take action. Maybe reduce throttle or even deadstick to landing.

Andy4816/05/2020 21:05:40
1550 forum posts
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I've got 2 Neurons sitting there, and two identical motors. Just need to get that trainer finished first, though obviously its not going to get any use this year. angry

 

 

Edited By Andy48 on 16/05/2020 21:06:56

Geoff S14/06/2020 22:00:26
3701 forum posts
29 photos

Just setting up to use my Neuron 80 in anger. The motor I'm using is an old one and doesn't seem to be drawing as much current (and hence power) as my records indicate it did when tested it several years ago. I wondered if perhaps the throttle calibration is out and I've connected to BLheli32 to see.

Minimum throttle is set to 1040 and seems to be OK (ie the motor stops when I shut the throttle) but maximum is at 1960 (presumably milliseconds pulse width) whih is less than the usual 2 mS. Just wondered what settings others have used as I think I may not be getting full throttle.

Geoff

Peter Christy14/06/2020 22:12:01
1831 forum posts

Geoff,

You can calibrate it against your transmitter the same as most other escs.

Set Tx to full throttle (probably best remove the prop first, just in case!), power up the esc. Wait for all the beeps to stop. Shut the throttle. Wait for all the beeps to stop. Disconnect and reconnect the power, and it should now be matched to your Tx.

When you connect it to BLheli32 it should read whatever it is now calibrated to.

--

Pete

Chris Bott - Moderator14/06/2020 22:26:01
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Posted by Geoff S on 14/06/2020 22:00:26:

Just setting up to use my Neuron 80 in anger. The motor I'm using is an old one and doesn't seem to be drawing as much current (and hence power) as my records indicate it did when tested it several years ago. I wondered if perhaps the throttle calibration is out and I've connected to BLheli32 to see.

Minimum throttle is set to 1040 and seems to be OK (ie the motor stops when I shut the throttle) but maximum is at 1960 (presumably milliseconds pulse width) whih is less than the usual 2 mS. Just wondered what settings others have used as I think I may not be getting full throttle.

Geoff

Geoff if your Tx is going to 2mS then it's going past 1960 (uS), so should be producing max power just before the stick gets to the top, anyway.

Bob Cotsford14/06/2020 22:26:54
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If it's calibrated to full throttle at 1960 and your setup takes full throttle to 2000us then doesn't it mean that you will get full power with stick movement remaining?

 

snap Chris!

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 14/06/2020 22:27:26

Geoff S14/06/2020 22:40:37
3701 forum posts
29 photos

I'm not sure. I was thinking it was limiting the throttle to 1960 with 40ms spare and so not getting full power but you may well be right. Anyway I tried it and I do seem to be drawing a bit more current with a (marginal) increase in rpm but it could be wishful thinking The Neuron 80 will be very under employed - it just didn't seem worth getting a lower current one.

One useful feature of the rpm telemetry measurement over an optical tacho (apart from working in artificial llight) is that off load measuremnts work ie without needing a prop. So I now know my motor has, as I thought, a kv =700 rpm/v. There's quite a lot of power so I think it'll fly the model, especially as the wing loading will be quite low with a pair of 60"x12" wings - not much over (if at all) 16 ozs/square ft.

Geoff

Mike Blandford14/06/2020 23:37:20
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646 forum posts
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Some settings to check, I had some interesting results with a 600 kV motor and 3S/4S cells:

What is the current limit?

Increase the "ramp up power", I had to do this to get 3 cells to give full power..

Turn rpm power protection off. This is significant more for low kV motors. The Neuron can decide the motor is too slow (e.g. stalled) so limit the current.

BTW, I reckon the full size pup flew on 40 to 50 watts per pound!

Mike

Edited By Mike Blandford on 14/06/2020 23:38:13

Peter Christy15/06/2020 08:26:05
1831 forum posts

Some good tips there, Mike! Thanks!

--

Pete

Geoff S16/06/2020 16:12:06
3701 forum posts
29 photos

Thanks for that, Mike, something else to check. I like all the telemetry data which offers useful information on the ground both before and after a flight - I only use voiced current data whilst actually flying. I seem to be culturally denied the the desire to look away from my model to refer to my transmitter's screen, especially when flying a model with many hours work represented

Interesting that full size Pups had so little power available. At least mine (as I pointed out to a 1/3rd scale modeller at the club) actually has a rotating engine!

Geoff

Peter Christy17/06/2020 10:37:27
1831 forum posts
Posted by Mike Blandford on 14/06/2020 23:37:20:

Some settings to check, I had some interesting results with a 600 kV motor and 3S/4S cells:

What is the current limit?

Increase the "ramp up power", I had to do this to get 3 cells to give full power..

Turn rpm power protection off. This is significant more for low kV motors. The Neuron can decide the motor is too slow (e.g. stalled) so limit the current.

BTW, I reckon the full size pup flew on 40 to 50 watts per pound!

Mike

Edited By Mike Blandford on 14/06/2020 23:38:13

Mike: What is your definition of "low kV"?

I see you mention 600kV. I'm using a 580kV on 6S in a vintage heli ( **LINK**

and I have been struggling to get the desired rpm (Neuron 80). When it stops raining (!), I intend to try your tips, but for future reference I would be interested to know your definition of "low kV".

Similarly the "ramp up power setting". I'm flying a modified Micro-Mold Lark on 4S using a 1300kV motor, and a Neuron 40S. Although its flying nicely, its not as spritely as I might have expected.

These parameters are poorly explained in the manual, and a bit of insight into what they actually do would be much appreciated!

--

Pete

Bob Cotsford17/06/2020 10:58:02
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Google came up with OscarLiang's site which has some useful info on BL_Heli and FrSky stuff in general.

From that site:

Rampup Power

Rampup Power is a setting designed to reduce current spikes due to the sudden increases in throttle by limiting the change of power.

If the motors are pushing close to the limit of your ESC’s, current spikes from punch-outs could inflict damage, reducing Rampup Power can lessen this risk.

Leave it at default if you are unsure, as setting it too low can lead to slow motor response.

Current Protection

Current protection limits the amperage passing through the ESC. The purpose is similar to Rampup Power, but the Current Protection setting is more specific on current limit.

I recommend leaving this setting to off (default), unless you know what you are doing.

Potentially this can be used to protect your ESC from “burning” due to current spikes, crashing and desyncs. But as long as the current rating of your ESC meets the requirement, you shouldn’t need to worry about it.

Peter Christy17/06/2020 12:02:57
1831 forum posts

Thanks Bob, that's a useful link!

He is mostly talking about quad setups, which I believe are generally low-inertia, high rpm set-ups. My requirement is almost exactly the opposite - very high inertia, low rpm! Nonetheless, some of the descriptions he gives are useful!

I get the impression that not a lot of people are attempting what I'm doing, so perhaps I'm pioneering a bit here! Most of the guidance on electric flight conversions applies to either fixed-wing, or high performance helicopters - both of which are pretty well understood.

Working on vintage stuff (typical headspeeds around 1000 rpm, maybe less) is a whole different ball-game. For example, my Schluter Cobra and DS-22 both use motors for which the recommended speed controller is 80A. However, most of the time they seem to be drawing around 20A on 6S. The little Lark flies on 4S and draws around 17A.

Unlike fixed wing, you can't adjust the "prop size" or gearing. You have to choose the motor to match the application. This is where the Neuron comes in very handy, as all the telemetry gives you a good idea as to how close a match you have achieved.

Actually, on the Lark, I did manage to adjust the gearing slightly, as it has a belt drive for the first stage reduction. The Schluters have an oil filled gearbox, and you cannot vary the ratios.

Just to give you an idea of what I'm playing with:

 
 
I need to make a new rotor shaft for the Schluter! There is a lot of play in the "Jesus bolt" that connects it to the gearbox, and the constant knocking is likely to shear the bolt, hence my caution for the moment!
 
--
Pete
 

Edited By Peter Christy on 17/06/2020 12:10:49

Devon Slopes11/07/2020 22:20:03
64 forum posts
42 photos

I'm using a neuron on an e-glider, but have a couple of questions. First I've set the brake to 50%, but that seems to have no effect (the prop still "windmills", have I missed something, should this not stop (or at least slow) the prop once the throttle is closed? Second, is it OK to program the ESC still connected to the motor? (I'll be good and take the prop off though.)

Thanks,

Devon

Bob Cotsford12/07/2020 12:16:36
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8646 forum posts
483 photos

It sounds like you need 100% brake if it's still windmilling Devon, just make sure you set Non-Damped mode to off. I have programmed these ESCs while connected and disconnected, it doesn't seem to matter. It's certainly easier to tweak with the motor connected unless you have easy access to the motor wiring, I just unplug it from the receiver and plug it into an extension lead from the USB adaptor with the red wire disconnected. Rather than getting ESC power from the 5S or 6S pack I prefer to use a small 2S or 3S while programming to save taking the prop/spinner off. An initialising kick on 6S really makes you jump!

Devon Slopes13/07/2020 21:28:02
64 forum posts
42 photos

Many thanks Bob for the prompt and useful answer. Increasing the brake to 100% certainly stops it faster when I run it on the ground than it did with 50% brake. So, now I need the time and weather to try it in the air.

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