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  1. #1
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    Need help diagnosing my spartan.

    OK so I purchased a spartan yesterday. Im not new to traxxas but am new to rc boats. I bought a house on the water and figured one would be fun.

    Had it working great yesterday until I hit a wake from a boat and it flipped and I had to go out on my jet ski and rescue it. IT was completely under water except for the foam piece in the hull keeping it afloat. Brought it in, rinsed it with fresh and dried it out, then took it out again, Worked fine for about 5 min then just stopped but this time was beeping. So I figured that was the low voltage for the Lipo batteries. and Did the same as before rinsed and let it dry, charged the lipos and today went to run it and no life from it at all. The transmitter comes on with its red light but theres no light or beeping otherwise. Any help is appreciated. All wires are solid nothing has come undone, I get the little "spark" when hooking up the batteries so I know its getting power. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Take the top of your Rx box off to expose your Rx. Unplug your ESC from your RX #2 channel. Turn on your Tx, and plug in a 6vdc supply to your Rx receptacle marked BAT. Take your Tx, and move your steering. Your rudder servo should work. If so, use your rudder servo, and plug it into your Rx receptacle marked #2 channel. Move your Tx throttle trigger, and you should see your Rudder servo work. If your RX #1 and #2 channels work...good Tx and good RX, but bad ESC. If one of your Rx channels don't work, bad RX. If both RX channels don't work, could be a bad RX or a bad Tx. If you have this condition, take your Spartan Tx and bind it to another (new or known good) Traxxas Rx. Test your Spartan Tx with your non-Spartan Rx the same way you tested your original Spartan Rx. If every thing is okay, you have a bad Spartan Rx. If not okay, (your Spartan Tx doesn't work with this different Rx) you have a bad Spartan Tx.

  3. #3
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    Looks like bad ESC, can't believe one dunk in the tank was enough to do it in. Just curious how do I get the ESC removed from the chassis? Theres no screws holding it down. Thanks!

  4. #4
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    It's been awhile since I removed a stock ESC, but if I recall it is held in with a couple of tabs, and double sided sticky tape.
    Release the tabs, and it takes a good pull to free it from the tape.

    If you submerge your electronics you should give them a day or two dry out before powering up again. Open the Rx box and leave the hatch off with the boat in a warm dry area usually works. Or, remove the component tray, open up the Rx box, and put it in a bag of rice to help absorb the moisture.

    Powering up wet electronics is high risk on shorting them out. Whether they call them water proof or water resistant there is no guarantee they will resist complete immersion.

    There has been some issues with the Spartan ESC, so talk to Traxxas customer service, they have been excellent with warranty coverage on the components.

    Hog

  5. #5
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    The ESC is easily removable by just giving it a pull and it should pop right out of the power module. IMO it sounds like a RX/TX issue. If you have another vehicle you should use the RX/TX to test the ESC and see if its burned out. JMO
    Powered by Castle.....

  6. #6
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    OK new findings today. Got new batteries for it, Charged them up and got more life out of it. The transmitter and servos are confirmed to be working, but I never had trouble with them. The ESC now went from just a faint blinking red light to now it beeping constantly and flashing red and green. Not sure what that means, any help ?
    Last edited by awp317; 05-28-2014 at 07:14 PM.

  7. #7
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    I've never run the stock electrics, so really not familiar with them to be of any specific help.

    My guess though is the ESC is faulted, try calling Traxxas customer care.

    hog
    Last edited by hog; 05-28-2014 at 11:12 PM.

  8. #8
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    looks like I need a new ESC. Whats the recommended replacement?

  9. #9
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    Many of us have gone with the sea king 180 amp marine esc.
    Reasonably priced, rated for higher amps than the stock esc, and it fits the component tray with some relatively easy mods.
    Most of us have also found it reliable as long as you stay reasonable with motor and prop upgrades.

    Hog

  10. #10
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    i too ran my spartan with 6s for the first time for maybe 30 seconds and it just quit, dis/reconnect battery turned on went again 20 seconds very fast and again it just stopped responding . now i plug batts in and it does nothing dead….i'm assuming its the esc i'd like to also upgrade but i'm reading peoples reviews on the sea king 180 and some say theres only lasted minutes with 6s. so whats a good reliable upgrade???? thanks chris

  11. #11
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    I think if you do so more searches and research you'll find there are more successes with the SK180 than failures.

    Any electronic component can fail due to defect, and, without knowing what motor/prop combo is being used, it is hard to comment on why the failures happened.

    I have run 180 ESC's in both my Spartans since new (three seasons) and they have been solid.

    I did fry one, but I was pushing it beyond it's limitations, so the failure was on me, not the ESC.

    There are other ESC's that can be used, but my first recommendation stays with the 180, for the reasons indicated in my post above.

    hog

  12. #12
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    i run completely stock front to back i even had traxxas lipo's in it, couldn't of ran more then 12 seconds before just stopping. a quick disconnect reconnect got it going again for another 20 seconds then again died..now does nothing at all no beep no lights nothing…..

  13. #13
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    is the sk180 something i can find online???? having problems finding it where it doesn't ship from china.

  14. #14
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    Yes, should be available on line.
    Sea King is Hobby Wing's Marine line of ESC.
    Off Shore Electrics, Kintec Racing, are a couple places to try.
    I'm surprised a search for Sea King 180 doesn't bring up multiple resellers
    Hog

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hog View Post
    Many of us have gone with the sea king 180 amp marine esc.
    Reasonably priced, rated for higher amps than the stock esc, and it fits the component tray with some relatively easy mods.
    Most of us have also found it reliable as long as you stay reasonable with motor and prop upgrades.

    Hog
    Whats a good ESC for someone not on a budget? Also seems like I better change out the radio transmitter too, any recommendation on that front? I just want it to be reliable. Im not one for modifying beyond stock so I would be sticking with stock motor and stock prop. Thanks!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by awp317 View Post
    Whats a good ESC for someone not on a budget? Also seems like I better change out the radio transmitter too, any recommendation on that front? I just want it to be reliable. Im not one for modifying beyond stock so I would be sticking with stock motor and stock prop. Thanks!
    If you are not on a budget I would suggest a SwordFish 240 or a Castle Creations Hyrda Ice 240. But if you are sticking with stock prop and stock motor I think you would only need the 180 esc.
    Powered by Castle.....

  17. #17
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    PowerDemon has made the same recommendations I would have.

    For Tx Rx depends on what you want to do.

    If changing out both Tx and Rx I had good success with my Spektrum DX3S transmitter, it is designed for surface and marine use, and they make marine specific receivers as well. It also supports Telemetry

    I believe the DX3S has been replaced with an updated model, DX3R

    I'm not really familiar with what Traxxas offers in upscale transmitters, but if you want to stay with the Traxxas Rx, you will have to investigate the product line up of Traxxas Tx. I'm sure their TQi line has something that would suit your needs.

    hog

  18. #18
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    i visited the local hobby store today with the entire tray motor esc and they hooked up the usb to the computer and it didn't read no lights no nothing..couldn't tell me whats wrong told me to send it back to traxxas. so my dilemma is do i send it in see whats what or just hope its the esc and order a sea king 180????

  19. #19
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    HOG, my luck kintec racing says the sea king 180 has been discontinued. but i went to off shore eletrics and i see i can buy the leopard motor and esc for $239. i think i just might go that route. what do you think???

  20. #20
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    Not sure which Leopard motor they are packaging with the 180, but I ran a Leopard 4086 1600kv with SK180 on 6S in my daughters Spartan for about 2 1/2 seasons with zero problems. Others here have run the same setup with great success.

    I eventually upgraded the flex cable to a .187 after twisting up a couple .150 cables running a Prather P220 prop. After the drive upgrade it was solid all the way through.

    So, I have no problem recommending the SK180/Leopard combo, the question is whether or not you want to spend $239 bucks when the chances are good your motor is fine.

    I'm not familiar with the stock electrics, you say in your post above they hooked up to the USB to try and diagnose the problem. Is there a USB on the stock electrics? I don't recall ever seeing it mentioned in the owners manual.

    Hog

  21. #21
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    Hog: the motor is Leopard 4082 Motor 1600kv with the 180 paired up to it.. and yes the hobby store opened up the black box that the esc wires go into and he unplugged one of them and plugged it into a wire that had a usb on the other end and plugged it right into the computer on traxxas software to diagnosis but mine wouldn't read..he said he's never seen one not read before so my esc is probably shot!

    i'm sending mine back to traxxas they said they would look at it and most likely honor it since its so new. so i'll give the stock setup another chance then jump to the leopard/180 setup after if any problems…..Question is the new motor and sk180 need a lot of modifications to mount or do they fit in the stock tray? thanks Chris
    Last edited by Double G; 06-05-2014 at 08:02 PM. Reason: merge

  22. #22
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    Are you referring to the Castle link as the usb device that they pluged the esc into?
    If so, sometimes the usb does not put out enough power to fire up the esc. When this is the case you will need to hook up your lipos or your nimh batteries.

    In most cases the usb will have enough juice but not always. I run a few Castle esc's and sometimes they power up with the usb alone and sometimes they dont.
    Last edited by ttypedan; 06-05-2014 at 09:48 PM.

  23. #23
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    Chris,

    The SK180 will fit the component tray with minor modifications. (primarily, build up a base for it to sit on)

    Motor is basic bolt in, you will just need the correct size cooling jacket to fit the larger motor (I assume included in the upgrade kit)

    There was a couple good "mod" threads at one time showing how to do it. (including one I did) but the photo links got messed up and they are hard to follow now.

    hog

  24. #24
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    ok, sent back the whole tray with everything on it to traxxax they tested it and determined the esc was shot and replaced it at no charge. Even though the boat was a year old, so thumbs up to traxxas for standing behind there products……very impressed. Chris

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