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  1. #1
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Is my VXL-3S ESC dead ALREADY!?

    I have < 3 hours run time with my Slash 4x4 Platinum, and I fear the ESC is already kaput. I've read multiple posts with the same symptoms as mine, but none that describe exhaustive troubleshooting, so maybe I can get further than the others did. Everything on the body is still stock, I'm using a Traxxas TQi TX and RX with TSM, and I'm using a 2S lipo. Here's my situation:

    It was working just fine when I was running it slowly indoors for a few minutes yesterday. I powered it off and disconnected the battery. When I plugged it back in and powered on hours later, the steering worked, but the motor no longer did. Moreover, the ESC light never comes on - not with a short press, not after a long press (to enter calibration mode), nor does the ESC respond to the power button once turned on (i.e. it won't turn back off without disconnecting the battery).
    There is some noise/jitter in the steering when the wheel is released, which seems to increase when I pull the throttle. Maybe related, maybe not. The motor does not spin whatsoever, regardless.
    Here's a list of the things I've checked:

    The battery is fully charged, and reads a proper and consistent 8.whatever VDC on my meter when disconnected. I tried a different battery of the same type, and nothing changed. It's not the battery.

    The TX has brand new alkaline batteries that all read the expected 1.5 VDC on my meter.

    The 3 wires to the motor are firmly connected.

    Both the servo and ESC connectors are firmly plugged into the receiver. The servo is on CH1 (both ports tried), and ESC on CH2.

    I swapped the receiver with the [same model] RX from my brushless Stampede. Same symptoms when using the Stampede RX and TX. So it's not the receiver, the radio, or the pairing of the two.

    At the RX, the voltage between the black and red ESC wires on CH2 read 5.whatever VDC. Pulling the throttle does nothing to the voltage (though maybe it shouldn't; just thought I'd check). The wires must be OK at any rate.

    It's not overheated, or heated at all.

    The power button on the ESC isn't sticking down. It has the proper, soft click of a microswitch every time I press it, and pops back up on release.

    Holding the power button down with the battery disconnected to "empty its memory" (as suggested by a friend) then connecting the battery and trying to enter calibration mode doesn't work. The servo immediately centers, and that's all that happens. No light on the ESC ever.

    I don't hear or smell anything from the ESC, and the tops of the 3 capacitors seem undamaged.

    The 4 things I can think of but haven't tried:
    Checking continuity on the ESC signal wire.
    Connecting a known working motor.
    Connecting a known working ESC.
    Calling Traxxas tech support.

    Have I missed anything?

  2. #2
    RC Qualifier Iansprouse1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Asheville NC
    I think you should try out the questionable ESC in your stampede. That way if it doesnít work you know itís the ESC and not anything else. When doing serious troubleshooting like this, change only one variable at a time and often youíll reach a conclusion faster.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Slash 4x4, Stampede 4x4, SCX10, Bearded Dragon

  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. El Sob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Since it is now Monday morning, I highly recommend that you give Traxxas support a call! They are the most knowledgable people when it comes to the Velineon esc. Good luck
    Member of the 10,000 + posts club! Here to help!

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Squeegie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Southern California
    Welcome to the Traxxas forums!

    I am sorry you are having problems with your rig.

    Listen to El Sob and give Traxxas support a call. They will talk you through your problems.

    Good luck!
    Creativity is intelligence having fun. -Einstein

  5. #5
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Is the safety on?

  6. #6
    RC Champion RazorRC22's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Hmm, I have seen that before, I forget what the cause is. Only other thing I can think of is that it's in Nimh vs. Lipo mode, but I think that flashes green and red both.

    Definitely call Traxxas.

  7. #7
    RC Qualifier IanRose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Boston South Shore
    Dose the esc work normal with the steering servo unplugged?
    How to Rc: Send them high, watch them die.

  8. #8
    RC Qualifier
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Also make sure the button on the esc is not stuck. Gabe had that happen before. Hope you get it resolved and back up and running!!

  9. #9
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    I have the same exact issue. I have had Traxxas send me an RMA form so that I can send back the ESC so they can see if they can fix it. And if not they will give a discount to replace it. They said that it would cost around $55 for a new discounted ESC.

  10. #10
    RC poster
    Join Date
    May 2018
    $55 for a vxl3s... please don't throw your money away...

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