Chroma quad - maintenance question/motors


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I suppose this question applies to most drones in this class - but how do you know in advance that a motor needs to be replaced and what is the life expectancy of a motor?  I know very little about electric motors but have to think they don't just run forever - what are the clues I need to replace on while it's on the ground and not have it just stop in the air? I'm "guessing" that if you lose a motor while flying the chances of landing without crashing aren't very good. 

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Great question, @vortmaxx. Hoping others chime in here, but I was always under the impression that brushless motors have a (theoretical) unlimited lifespan. It's the bearings you need to worry about.

A good reminder to conduct regular maintenance and to be asking questions like this, particularly if you're operating commercially.

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I have the Blade Chroma 1080p with the ST10+controller. Before each flight, I go on the GUI for the chroma where you can calibrate the camera and accelerometer. You can test the motors. set the Geo-fence and height limits, and view other on board telemetry. I make sure the ST10+ is on, to record what I am doing.

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Thanks George - so you are plugging the Chroma into your PC or the ST10+ ?? I have windows 10 so I'll have to look for an laptop with an older OS and try the motor test...I probably have only 5 hours on my motors but would like to understand more GUI and what it can show....which I haven't done anything with yet, but will. 

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On 5/17/2016 at 7:33 AM, vortmaxx said:

Thanks George - so you are plugging the Chroma into your PC or the ST10+ ?? I have windows 10 so I'll have to look for an laptop with an older OS and try the motor test...I probably have only 5 hours on my motors but would like to understand more GUI and what it can show....which I haven't done anything with yet, but will. 

RCDronecamps has a very good tutorial on the Blade Chroma GUI. Several people including myself couldn't get the windows side to work, we used the MAC side on our PC. Basically, you will need to go on horizon. com, click on manuals, click on the chroma 1080p. You will need the RAR extractor ( Free ) to extract the files. Drone Camps explains it a lot better then I. Make sure you put chroma Icon in your tool bar, so you can easily access your chroma for the GUI. There is a new Version 1.2, the old one was 1.1.you will see in the GUI where you can do that. I also always check my ST10+. Tape on system settings, next screen click OK, next screen Go into about flight mode control, click that next screen tape quickly on Android Version, if you do it to fast just hit the back button, next click controller test next click controller test again next click next Fromm there to can calibrate all the controls on the ST10+ 

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Great advice, thanks George - I took your information, and that you cited on RCDronecamps and saved it on a word document for later use. I'm going to leave the geofence where it is at for now until I gain more experience. I have a rather large yard that backs up to a natural area, so I have a nice place to continue to learn and improve my piloting skills. There isn't a scenario at this time that I can see where I'd need to go outside the geofence, and certainly not one where I'd have to fly above 400 ft, which is prohibited anyway. I appreciate the information you have provided will definitely refer to it when I'm ready to adjust things a bit...Thanks again! 

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  • 4 months later...

I know I am late to the Party here but totally agree with George! I have the same Chroma as him and before almost every flight (everytime I turn my Chroma on) I re-calibrate it! Sometimes when I do not it is like the controls are all backwards and when you don't realize that until you are 100 feet up in the air, it gets a bit tricky. Luckily I learned this little trick early. I am not sure why you have to do it everytime but it is definitely worth your time. I am a huge Chroma fan and even though other drones you might not have to take the time to do this, I still feel the most comfortable with a chroma. 

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This is a really good question and I must have missed it was it was initially posted. I've seen it recommended somewhere (may have been on Alan's course) to hover about 10 feet for a short while as part of a preflight checklist checking for any abnormal sound coming from the motors. Of course this is still no guarantee that a motor failure won't occur during the flight which is why having 6 or more motors is an advantage as those UAVs can still fly with one failed motor. For a quad then I guess a parachute mechanism could help although changing the motors after a certain number of flights would certanly be more of a proactive solution and not that expensive (DJI P4 motors $18 each) but I don't know how often you would need to change them. I'll try to do some more research as this is an interesting topic.

Edited by Spitfire76
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I figured that Tiger Motors would have information about motor longevity and as an example their recommendation for their 2216 motor is to change the bearings every 60 hours.

http://www.rctigermotor.com/html/2013/Professional_0912/45.html

Tiger motors sell replacement bearings but of course not all companies do so a motor replacement would be needed but maybe change them with equivelent Tiger Motors so only the bearings need changing from then on. 

 

Edited by Spitfire76
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Thanks Spitfire and everyone else.....I'm probably at about 30 hours on my motors, but will definitely try the hover/listening method just to make sure everything is cool...and Jblaeser15, I like my chroma a lot....no flight problems with it at all. When I fly and it's very humid, the camera seems to "stick" at an angle, but that's only happened a couple of times in extremely humid conditions.. 

Edited by vortmaxx
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  • 1 year later...
On 5/18/2016 at 1:50 PM, George Fitzgerald said:

RCDronecamps has a very good tutorial on the Blade Chroma GUI. Several people including myself couldn't get the windows side to work, we used the MAC side on our PC. Basically, you will need to go on horizon. com, click on manuals, click on the chroma 1080p. You will need the RAR extractor ( Free ) to extract the files. Drone Camps explains it a lot better then I. Make sure you put chroma Icon in your tool bar, so you can easily access your chroma for the GUI. There is a new Version 1.2, the old one was 1.1.you will see in the GUI where you can do that. I also always check my ST10+. Tape on system settings, next screen click OK, next screen Go into about flight mode control, click that next screen tape quickly on Android Version, if you do it to fast just hit the back button, next click controller test next click controller test again next click next Fromm there to can calibrate all the controls on the ST10+ 

Hey George you don’t have to buy a new laptop download a virtual box then download the win 7 iso image and run it in  there your main os will never know it’s there

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