It would appear i have no luck with jDrones ESC.

They hate me.


First the faulty one that kept losing sync and hiccuping (A replacement from jDrones is on its way - BTW, i hereby commend them for a fast and fussless response! Thanks, guys!). Then other two tried their best (on two different occasions) to kill my motors in the weirdest possible way.


Before i describe what happened, a word of warning to everyone:

IF YOU'RE RUNNING CLI MODE, DO NOT, i repeat, DO NOT EVER CONNECT THE BATTERY FIRST, THEN THE USB. If you need the battery power, connect it AFTER you connect USB and the APM is fully booted. At least on APM 1.0.


Here's what happened. I had the battery connected. I rebooted into CLI mode. I've hooked up the USB cable. I started the Serial Monitor. The APM rebooted, as is its wont, ESCs rebooted and then all hell broke loose...


Three of the ESCs booted fine (1 jDrones, 2 Hobby Wings) and one started moving the motor in a very slow, jerky (1 degree per second, perhaps) fashion. About a second in, while i was still looking at it with a quizzicaly lifted eyebrow, the motor started belching smoke. Acrid, insulation-burning, "magic blue smoke meets rotten fish" smoke. I've killed the battery power as fast as i could and touched the motor, leaving a nice little fingerprint of burnt skin on it. It took about 5 minutes for it to cool enough to not be uncomfortable to touch.


Now, i would've thought it was all just a one-off electronic gremlin kinda thing, except it happened again the next day. Exact same conditions, jDrones ESC again (different one, hooked up to a different motor). Since then, whenever i'm in CLI mode, i don't plug the battery in unless i really need it and, if i do, i plug it in after plugging in USB, bringing up the serial monitor and waiting for the APM to boot completely.


I am now considering swapping out the remaining two jDrones ESCs for 30A Hobby Wings. And, perhaps, installing an easily accessible (but safe enough) high amp kill switch on the battery cable.


Oh, yeah, nearly forgot. Both motors survived the ordeal, but have some slight, visible smolder-scars on the windings. Tested them at full power for half a minute or so, seems there were no consequences.

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  • HI - i've had this issue too - cost me a couple of motors so far (everything soldered direct as well so certainly not the bullets) initially i swapped the ESC too but happened again on a new one. For me it was always the same motor - right.
  • I've got the standard setup and have had exactly this happen to me twice.

    I must admit I have always connect the battery before the USB connection which I'm sure I read somewhere was the correct sequence - seems intuitive.

    There seems to be something flakey somewhere in the connecting battery sequence / running CLI mode and it can't be blamed on bullet connectors.

    Are you saying that if you want to use CLI mode, then the correct sequence is to power the electronics from the USB port, wait for the boot to finish, THEN connect the battery before the motor ESC calibration etc?

  • did you remove/change those bullet connectors?
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