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From fuel to Electric....Help Needed.

Old 07-14-2020, 10:54 PM
  #1  
prowler53
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Default From fuel to Electric....Help Needed.

Just joined WattFlyer because this is all new to me. It's been 16 years since I've even flown R/C, but I want to get back into it now. I have a few planes sitting here that I began building from kit's before my son was born and he will be 17 in a few months. I'm just about ready to cover them, and I decided to try electric. I want to place an order for whatever I need to get them finished. I'm all new to this electric r/c so I need a little help. My plan was to do one plane in electric to see how I like it before ordering items for the other planes. So........What I have is a Sig Somethin' Extra kit built which calls for a .40-.46 fuel engine. It states on the box that the flying weight would be around 4.7 Lbs. I was looking at the E-Flite Power 46 Outrunner 670kv 3.5 mm Bullet (whatever that means). It say's I also need a 4s-5s Li-po and a Brushless ESC. I'm totally lost with all this electric stuff so I need some guidance with what to buy. Is it possible to get flight times around 15 minutes or so? and if not....what do I need to do to get me in that zone. I know nothing about ESC's, or any of this battery power stuff, so any guidance will be appreciative. One other thing......I'm planning on starting out with my old Futaba T6xa Digital radio and receiver for now before upgrading. How will this all wire up to my Futaba Receiver? Do I need to order some type of adapters for Futaba J connections?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-15-2020, 04:12 AM
  #2  
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Welcome to Wattflyer, prowler53, You will have a lot to learn about electric flight but there is about the same with nitro.
The Power 46 motor is a good choice, however a electric motor usually swings a larger prop for the best efficiency. You may have to check you landing gear clearance.
The 3.5mm Bullet is simply the preinstalled connectors on the motor, you must use the same size on both the motor and the ESC.
A brushless electric motor is actually a 3 phase AC electric motor, there is an astonishing amount of fancy things going on inside the ESC that unless you are an electrical engineer you would not understand at this point.
The Something Extra is a great plane, and I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but please start with a trainer.
I was a very good RC pilot in 1985, I could fly anything with wings. Well everything in my life changed in early 1986 when my mom died and my flying buddy moved across the state.
Now I have been HEAVY into RC modeling for about 15 years doing everything except getting in a lot of flying. I don't say I am rusty, I am corroded. but I have at least 75 airplanes.

The Something Extra would probably fit about a 4000 to 4500 mah battery, that should give you 5-8 minutes flight depending on the power level. Some 3D pilots burn their batteries pretty quick but they are flying on the power of the motor and less on the wings.
Trying to put a battery large enough to fly 15 minutes, you run into 3 problems, size of the battery, weight of the battery and the overloaded wing forcing you to go full throttle to keep it in the air. Please just buy extra batteries, we all need landing practice anyway.
Your old Futaba should work fine but please do some careful range check with an old radio. Some parts like the capacitors in the radio can change with age and the radio may not be tuned properly to transmit as far as it did.
The Futaba J connectors are still in use, so they should not be a problem.
Again welcome, Please ask ANY questions you may have, this is the friendliest forum on the net, we all will try to help.

Last edited by Wildflyer; 07-18-2020 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 07-15-2020, 03:59 PM
  #3  
ron_van_sommeren
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Originally Posted by prowler53 View Post
... I'm all new to this electric rc ...
... I'm totally lost with all this electric stuff ...
... 3.5 mm Bullet (whatever that means) ...
This will get you up to speed.
Some well-structured reading for rainy/windy days, including two online books, and some handy e-tools as well.
Will save you, and us a lot of questions, and probably a crash or two. Notably the 'what went wrong?' kind of questions
Will also prevent you from burning up several controllers and/or motors and/or battery:
E-flight primer and tools - RCG

And pleasepleaseplease, do your RC equipment, wallet, ego, battery, controller, motor, house/garage/car a big favour ... get a watt-meter.
It will more than pay for itself, will save you at least one fried motor and one fried controller. Will also help you finding the best setup.
Keep battery-/-watt-/multi-meter wires short!
too long wires batteryside will kill ESC over time: precautions, solutions & workarounds - RCG



Originally Posted by prowler53 View Post
... which calls for a .40-.46 fuel engine. It states on the box that the flying weight would be around 4.7 Lbs. ...
Better don't do e-motor↔engine equivalencies. Plane type and mass are leading when choosing a power system. Engine power ratings vary much more than motor ratings, e-motors are more versatile/flexible, and e-motors deliver their power at lower rpm (more efficient prop).

Below an excellent quote, a step by step instruction for motor selection.
From
brushless motors Kv?.
Originally Posted by scirocco View Post
While an absolutely critical part of the system ...
... Kv is actually the item one should choose last.
  1. Decide your peak power requirement based on the weight of the model and how you want to fly it:
    Magic numbers for e-flight - WFF
  2. Pick a preferred cell count (voltage) and pack capacity for how to deliver the power.
  3. Pick a prop that will a) fit on the model and b) fly the model how you want - often as big as will fit is a good choice, but if high speed is the goal, a smaller diameter higher pitch prop will be more appropriate.
  4. Look for a size class of motors that will handle the peak power - a very conservative guide is to allow 1 gram motor weight for every 3 watts peak power.
  5. Then, look for a motor in that weight range that has the Kv to achieve the power desired with the props you can use - a calculator such as eCalc allows very quick trial and error zooming in on a decent choice. For a desired power and prop, you'd need higher Kv if using a 3 cell pack compared to a 4 cell pack. Or for a desired power and cell count, you'd need higher Kv if driving a smaller diameter high speed prop compared to a larger prop for a slow model.

The reason I suggest picking Kv last, is that prop choices have bounds - the diameter that will physically fit and the minimum size that can absorb the power you want. On the other hand, combinations of voltage and Kv are much less constrained - at least before you purchase the components.

So Kv is not a figure of merit, in that higher or lower is better, it is simply a motor characteristic that you exploit to make your power system do what you want, within the constraints you have, e.g. limited prop diameter, if it's a pusher configuration, or if you already have a bunch of 3S packs and don't want to buy more, and so on.

Minor lay-out changes by RvS
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Old 07-15-2020, 04:03 PM
  #4  
ron_van_sommeren
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I would/did solder new servo wires. Extra connectors are extra points of failure.






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Old 07-15-2020, 04:12 PM
  #5  
ron_van_sommeren
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Originally Posted by prowler53 View Post
... I was looking at the E-Flite Power 46 Outrunner Kv=670rpm/volt ...
I like to bang on about a common (expensive and risky) misconception about Kv.
Kv says very little about max.power or max. current a motor can handle, or about max. torque, or propsize. A 1:1 train motor and the motor in your toothbrush or in a bedroom appliance can have the same Kv of 670rpm/volt.

Kv is the velocity konstant, a physical property (like mass, length and speed), expressed in the unit rpm/volt (like kg, meter and m/s).

Kv is not a rating, not a figure of merit (explanation).
A Kv=670rpm/volt motor on 20volt and a Kv=1340rpm/volt on 10volt will give same (no_load)speed of 13.400rpm, provided the motors can handle the current and power.


It's all about what the motor wants to do versus what the motor can do.
Kv matches desired rpm and battery voltage, there's nothing more to it.
  1. Want
    Kv and voltage determine how fast motor wants/tries to run
    (rpm_noload = voltage ◊ Kv, or, in other words, Kv = rpm_noload / voltage.)
  2. Current
    RPM and prop determine torque, which in turn determines current
    (current = torque ◊ Kv, in SI units!, or proportional to Kv≥ ).
  3. Can
    Max.current and max.power determine whether that battery/motor/rpm/prop combo can run without going up in smoke.
An engine tries to keep a constant torque: as load goes up, rpm goes down.
An e-motor tries to keep a constant rpm, no matter the load: as load goes up, torque must go up, and therefore current goes up.

Last edited by ron_van_sommeren; 07-16-2020 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 07-15-2020, 11:18 PM
  #6  
prowler53
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Thanks for all the info......I need it Wildflyer...I do plan on getting a little practice with my gas powered Eagle 2 before making my first flight with the Sig SE. If I like how things go with my Sig SE I'll be setting up my unfinished Great Planes Super Skybolt for electric also.
Thanks for the other reply's and I do plan on doing some reading on the subject. This is just something I decided to try the other day, so I have not done any research at all. I started this hobby back in the early 80's and I was a self taught builder and flyer. Crashed my first flight
after takeoff with a clipped wing cub. Bought a Goldberg Anniversary J3 Cub kit and spent many hours building it. Crashed that into the treetops after 30 seconds......lol. Funny now, but not at the time. I went through 2 duraplanes after that before I started to get the hang of it.
Moved on to build the eagle 2 which I still have (Just got bored with it). Kit built Big Stik 40 (Sold after 5 years). Ultra Sport 40 ARF. (Sold after a couple flights) Kit built Super Chipmunk (Sold after a few years). Sig SE and the Super Skybolt kit's bought around the same but never finished them. Skybolt was set up for an O.S FS 1.20 Surpass with Smoke and only a little building left to do on that one before covering. I'm sure after doing some reading I'll still have some questions ron_van_sommeren so be prepared to answer when I need it.
I thought about the prop clearance on the SE, so I'm going to have to modify it when I figure out what size prop I should be running. At this point I don't need to worry to much about speed, and I'm not thinking about 3D flying. Thanks for the Help!
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Old 07-18-2020, 01:41 AM
  #7  
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Hi Prowler53 and Welcome to Wattflyers, I just wanted to let you know that Electric Power Aircraft put out a lot of RFI and that most of the older 72 MHZ Receivers are not able to filter out the RFI Noise, Only use a 72 Mhz Hitec or BERG reciever with E Power, or better yet get a Spectrum 2.4 radio DX6 or DX8 radio, dont use 2.4Park Flyer recievers only use full range receivers, Take care and have fun, Chellie
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:07 PM
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Thanks for that info Chellie. I think I'm going to look at a new system.
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Old 07-24-2020, 10:08 PM
  #9  
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Ron, I think I will take your advice and solder the connections. Thanks!
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Old 07-25-2020, 12:06 AM
  #10  
ron_van_sommeren
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Connector saudering videos, several types
www.innov8tivedesigns.com→ resources → video classroom → soldering videos

DIY connector soldering jig, also keeps pins straight when plastic housing softens up a bit due to heat
wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79119

Click to enlarge


Connector tests, plus pictures
translate...www.elektromodellflug.de/hochstrom-st.-bu..html
Older version of that page, contains some other connectors
translate...www.elektromodellflug.de/oldpage/hochstromst/hochstromstecker.htm
Excellent site, do have a look at the controller, motor, charger, power supply, battery etc. tests.

Last edited by ron_van_sommeren; 07-26-2020 at 02:29 AM.
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Old 07-26-2020, 12:37 AM
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I ended up ordering a new Spectrum Dx6 along with a receiver and some digital servo's. Looking at the new Hota d6+ charger, it seems to have pretty good reviews for the price. Anyone have any experience with it?
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Old 07-26-2020, 05:29 AM
  #12  
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I have the DX6 (Gen3) and love it. Very easy to program.
The last day I have been struggling programming my QX7 Taranis because I am so used to the DX6 now.
Trouble is I needed 8 channels so I couldn't use my DX6.

Have fun.
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Old 08-10-2020, 11:54 PM
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Well I received my DX6 and right out of the box I was having issues with the scroll menu wheel . Cursor is jumping all over the place when I'm trying to select something. Sometimes I'll make a selection and take my finger off the wheel and it continues to jump around. I was getting really frustrated trying to set it up.
Tried contacting horizon by phone with no luck due to covid and workers working from home. Sent an e-mail last week for service request and got an automated answer back. So far no contact from them.
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Old 08-11-2020, 03:21 AM
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Exactly the same thing happened to me. They replaced the TX straight away.
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Old 08-13-2020, 11:57 PM
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From what I'm reading online this is a known problem with Spektrum. It's a shame because otherwise it seems to be a nice transmitter. They finally contacted me via e-mail to send it in for repair.
Sometimes you buy something brand new and find out it's faulty....I understand and will be happy if it's corrected.
What would have been nice is a pre-paid shipping label to return the new transmitter that I just bought....But that didn't happen.
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