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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: PHOENIX

Look here for answers to frequently asked questions about Phoenix Brushless Controllers. If you can't find an answer to your question here, please e-mail us at support@castlecreations.com or give us a call at (913) 390-6939.

Phoenix Brushless Controllers

1. Why is it the more batteries I use, the less servos the BEC can handle?

2. When I get to full throttle, my ESC cuts power to the motor. I have to throttle off then back on to get the motor to start, but it cuts off again at full throttle. Why is that?

3. What does PWM frequency mean?

4. I’ve heard the Phoenix-25’s are/were having problems with high wind, low kv outrunner motors. Is this true, and what is the definition of a “high wind, low kv outrunner”?

5. How can I tell if my Phoenix-25 is an older 1.5A BEC version or the new 3A BEC version?

6. Is it possible for me to send in my 1.5A BEC version Phoenix-25 in to be upgraded to the new 3A BEC version?

7. Will my Phoenix work with A123 batteries?

PHOENIX BRUSHLESS CONTROLLERS
1. Why is it the more batteries I use, the less servos the BEC can handle?

The BEC converts the excess voltage from the power battery down to 5 volts by turning the excess voltage into heat. The higher the power battery voltage is, the more heat the BEC needs to dissipate. Making sure there is airflow over the BEC, which is on the LED side of the controller, helps with BEC heat dissipation and is important to BEC operation. The BEC is thermally protected and will shut down, then immediately come back on without being damaged, if the servo load is too much.

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2. When I get to full throttle, my ESC cuts power to the motor. I have to throttle off then back on to get the motor to start, but it cuts off again at full throttle. Why is that?

The most likely cause of this problem is a lithium polymer battery pack that is not capable of providing the current the motor, gear ratio, and propeller are asking for. Normally the voltage curve for lipo batteries is almost flat, but when overdrawn their voltage will fall below the cut off point before the battery is discharged completely. The solution for this situation is either a higher gear ratio or a smaller prop, which lowers the current draw of the system. Or, if the performance is not wished to be lost, a higher Mah, or more capable brand of lipo pack can be used.

Another less likely cause for premature LVCO is too small or too high a resistance plug between the battery and the ESC. Also make sure the wires on the battery pack are at least the same size as on the ESC.

If the battery pack is up to the task, and the wires and plugs are sized correctly, it is possible that a sudden motor cut off, with the ability to restart by going to the off throttle position, could be caused by the over current protection on that particular controller being too sensitive.

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3. What does PWM frequency mean?

PWM stands for Pulse Width Modulation. The speed controller uses PWM to control the power going to the motor. The controller breaks the current going to the motor into separate pulses that occur about 13,000 times per second. The percentage of the pulse that is on power compared to the part of the pulse that is off power determines how much power the motor sees. An oversimplified example is that if 50% of the pulse is on and 50% is off, the motor sees 50% power. It is important to note that each on phase of the pulse is equal to the full current draw of the motor and prop at full throttle. Thus, the importance of all components in the system be fully capable of extended periods at full throttle.

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4. I’ve heard the Phoenix 25’s are/were having problems with high wind, low kv outrunner motors. Is this true, and what is the definition of a “high wind, low kv outrunner”?

It is true that the old 1.5A BEC Phoenix-25’s started to have issues with high wind, low kv outrunners. This is the reason we redesigned the controller. This issue only affects 1.5A BEC Phoenix-25s. It does not affect any of our other controllers. A high wind, low kv outrunner is one that has a kv (rpm/volt) of approximately 1000 or less. If you have any questions regarding this issue contact tech support at support@castlecreations.com or give us a call at (913) 390-6939. We will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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5. How can I tell if my Phoenix-25 is an older 1.5A BEC version or the new 3A BEC version?

Most of the new 3A BEC Phoenix-25s have an orange product label on them. Those with no sticker you’ll have to visually ID. Look on the LED side of the controller in line with the negative battery input wire. There will be a rectangular black component with 3 thin legs coming off one side and one wide leg coming off the other. That’s a BEC. If you have another one in line with the positive battery input wire you’ve got a 3A BEC version. If not, you have a 1.5A BEC version.

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6. Is it possible for me to send in my 1.5A BEC version Phoenix-25 in to be upgraded to the new 3A BEC version?

Yes. Cost is dependent upon the circumstances though. For those who are still in warranty (1 year from date of purchase) and are having problems with high wind, low kv outrunners there is no charge. For those out of warranty and experiencing problems with high wind, low kv outrunners the cost is $15 ($10 less than our standard flat rate repair fee). For those not having issues with high wind, low kv outrunners, regardless of warranty status, the cost is the standard $25 flat rate repair fee.

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7. Will my Phoenix work with A123 batteries?

Yes, it will. However, A123 batteries require a 2v/cell cutoff. For some battery configurations you will need to have the Castle Link USB Programmer in order to set the proper cutoff voltage. For example, a 4 cell A123 needs to be cut off at 8v. With the Castle Link select a custom cutoff voltage, and set it for 8v, then hit "update".

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