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  1. #1
    RC Competitor
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    Motors or operator 'error'?

    There have been a lot of complaints about the durability of the motors posted in this forum. When two motors went out on my Alias within a short period of time, I jumped right on the bandwagon.

    However, after reading a LOT of posts here, I started to pick up some good advice: don't 'stall' the motors. In other words, if a rotor cannot freely spin, kill the throttle. Looking back, this makes sense.

    During my basic electronics training while in the AF, I learned that DC motors will pull more current if their rotational speed is less than it would be if its rotor was allowed to spin freely. Since the components in the motor are not perfect conductors of electricity, some of the current flow will be converted into heat, and the more current flow, the more heat.

    I've also seen a lot of references to the brushes. While I don't know the exact engineering considerations, I do understand that the brushes are necessary to provide a current path to and from the rotor. If they're fragile, well, that could be the 'Achilles Heel' where the motors are concerned - heat will damage them.

    Solutions? I have two suggestions - more robust brushes is obvious. The other has to do with the pilots - swallow your pride and kill that throttle when you crash, or even if you're about to crash. Don't power up again unless you know the rotors can spin freely.

  2. #2
    Marshal Double G's Avatar
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    A lot of times the problem may lie with the person holding the controller. We are typically used to powering through obstacles with our other land RCs, however, doing so with the Alias is not the right thing to do. I've had mine stuck in the tree and tried to power it out only to burn a motor.
    I've had much longer motor life when I power down as soon as the rotor is about to inherit some resistance.
    The Super Derecho

  3. #3
    RC Competitor
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    I agree with the previous posts. I have seen owner/operators prop walk their quads out of branches. I have seen O/O's run their aircraft with all kinds of debris in their gears and drive units without even thinking about cleaning out the debris. None of this helps motor longevity. I am an ubernewbee here, but I do not understand why there is/are no recommendations to letting these motors cool down after extended flight time periods. Overheating motors definitely does not extend their lifetimes. It deteriorates motor components much more quickly.
    Last edited by jbrumberg; 04-26-2014 at 08:53 AM.

  4. #4
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    IMO - definitely an early release, motor problem. Too many of us, lost motors early on - doing nothing more than flying. I understand what your'e poking at ... that maybe inexperienced quad fliers killed their motors by not cutting power when a motor couldn't turn, or due to a crash, or due to flying one battery after another, not letting motors cool off between flights. Certainly, there is a percentage of motor failures that are caused by those things. However -- in the case of the early Traxxas Alias release. I think it would be a disservice for anyone associated with Traxxas to imply that all (or even most) of the motor failures were due to operator error. In my case - I am quite certain my motor failures were not due to crashes, and not knowing to cut power to the Alias, or flying battery after battery, etc. I've been flying for years, and it wasn't those things.

    That said .. I was asked to send my Alias back to Traxxas support after my Alias went through > 4 motors. I packed things up - sent it back. Since receiving my Alias back.. I have had ZERO problems with motors.. and this, with the older style motors they put into my Alias. Since receiving it back from support, I have logged over 60 flights. I have no idea what was done or changed by Traxxas. Don't know if the four replacement motors are just more robust, or what. I DO know, that things are right for me. No Issues. However -- I stand by my stance, that my earlier motor failures had nothing to do with operator error. Those motor failures had nothing to do with my crashing, or not knowing to cut power if a motor was unable to turn, or flying battery after battery without cool down. - nothing -

  5. #5
    RC Qualifier
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    look at mine jdoo... first set of original motors and they went 59 flights before one gave up the ghost, and the second set is going strong still after 30 flights with no degredation in power or performance. and these... are all original first run motors and I have three more sets of them to go through. I also have to agree that putting blame on the operator is not behind a good number of these. I beat my first set to a pulp. collisions, crashes, crashes where the throttle didn't get cut in time, you name it, it happened to mine. look at the videos they put out of it being abused in ways that are now being said to cause these failures? not likely if they stand behind the claims they made in those videos? are there cases where operator error can be at fault? sure there are, nothing is completely indestructible, but that doesn't explain them all.
    I fly mine back to back batteries, no cool down period. never had an issue, and at this point, I doubt I ever will? I honestly feel that a certain number of defective motors got out and in to the market, it happens, and it seems to be dwindling down the more that time passes.
    I love mine, both of them, and I stand behind my interest in them. if the motors are all that ends up being an issue, so be it. the rest of the quad is amazing and well worth having, even if it means using alternative motors. this quad is great for beginners but it also is a great little sport flyer for those with experience. I cant put mine down
    "Yellow" really is the fastest color... seriously!

  6. #6
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    I bought my Alias after a lot of research despite all the reports of bad motors for a lot of reasons. Almost all new products have some glitches in the beginning of their production runs. It appeared to me that a lot of these failures in addition to just bad original motors were due to inexperienced pilots' inexperience and crashing, lack of motor cool down, the appearances to me that a lot of the volume of negative posting came from a limited number of posters at RCG (I may be wrong), Alias seems more consumer supportive than most manufacturers (already to my telephone inquiry as to part availability), and it appears that they have at least tried to respond to the problem of bad motors by changing motor design in the newest production run (I may be wrong).

    I am new to the Alias. If I am lucky and do not get arrested in the process I hope to maiden it tomorrow. It's too bad I only have one battery. Tuning will be a littler slower, but I have my own methodology in a quad set up. It will take a little time. We'll see. I look forward to this.
    Last edited by jbrumberg; 04-26-2014 at 12:46 PM.

  7. #7
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdoo View Post
    IMO - definitely an early release, motor problem. Too many of us, lost motors early on - doing nothing more than flying. I understand what your'e poking at ... that maybe inexperienced quad fliers killed their motors by not cutting power when a motor couldn't turn, or due to a crash, or due to flying one battery after another, not letting motors cool off between flights. Certainly, there is a percentage of motor failures that are caused by those things. However -- in the case of the early Traxxas Alias release. I think it would be a disservice for anyone associated with Traxxas to imply that all (or even most) of the motor failures were due to operator error. In my case - I am quite certain my motor failures were not due to crashes, and not knowing to cut power to the Alias, or flying battery after battery, etc. I've been flying for years, and it wasn't those things.

    That said .. I was asked to send my Alias back to Traxxas support after my Alias went through > 4 motors. I packed things up - sent it back. Since receiving my Alias back.. I have had ZERO problems with motors.. and this, with the older style motors they put into my Alias. Since receiving it back from support, I have logged over 60 flights. I have no idea what was done or changed by Traxxas. Don't know if the four replacement motors are just more robust, or what. I DO know, that things are right for me. No Issues. However -- I stand by my stance, that my earlier motor failures had nothing to do with operator error. Those motor failures had nothing to do with my crashing, or not knowing to cut power if a motor was unable to turn, or flying battery after battery without cool down. - nothing -
    Whether or not all or any of your motor failures were due to operational error, I'm going to disagree with your assertion that operators' actions were NOT the cause of most failures. Admittedly no product line is perfect, but to extrapolate your experience and claim it is the same as the majority of owners and then issue a challenge for anyone associated with Traxxas to disagree with your flawed logic, well that's just unreasonable. It makes me question how many other infallible and unarguable decrees you'll issue.

    Getting lost in the verbosity here and something that should be kept in the forefront of one's mind is that fact that one way or the other, Traxxas is doing right by their customers.
    Alt-248 on the number pad =

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksb51rl View Post
    Whether or not all or any of your motor failures were due to operational error, I'm going to disagree with your assertion that operators' actions were NOT the cause of most failures. Admittedly no product line is perfect, but to extrapolate your experience and claim it is the same as the majority of owners and then issue a challenge for anyone associated with Traxxas to disagree with your flawed logic, well that's just unreasonable. It makes me question how many other infallible and unarguable decrees you'll issue.

    Getting lost in the verbosity here and something that should be kept in the forefront of one's mind is that fact that one way or the other, Traxxas is doing right by their customers.
    Yeah - I probably should not have posted that i was having no problems with the Alias after it was returned with four new motors. I was trying to put a positive spin on an inarguable FAIL on the early Traxxas motors. I should not get lost in the verbosity of my own infallible and inarguable decrees. Really? You run a classy joint here..

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