View Full Version : Advice on upgrading the power system on my EasyGlider Electric? (long)

Jeremy Z
03-28-2006, 06:27 PM
First thing: I wanted to try to do this for as little money as possible.

I have my stock EasyGlider Electric. As a refresher, it has a speed 400, geared 3:1, with a 9.5x6 folding prop/spinner. Since Multiplex pulled this drive unit out of the Space Scooter, the spinner's too small for the EGE, and the prop doesn't fold properly. Now, I'm using an 8 cell, 750 mAh AAA size pack and getting by with it for about 5 minutes' worth of climb. I haven't bought my final battery pack for it yet. So that is one motivation for upgrading.

The other motivation is that it doesn't offer very fast climbs. I'm not after hotliner or vertical type climbs. I don't need it, as this is a thermal sailplane. I would like to be able to climb out at about 30-40 though.

Option 1:

Get a "Long can" 400 motor from Hobby-Lobby, and do a direct replacement with the speed 400. It would use the same pinion gear, and I believe it has the same mounting holes.
Replace the stock prop/spinner with a 38mm one. However, the output shaft of this gearbox is 3.5mm; an odd size. Any spinner/yoke I bought would have to be a 3.2 mm unit drilled out to 9/64" or 3.5mm. I don't feel confident that this would be conducive to good balance or a good fit. I assume the Graupner folding props are a setscrew type fit?
Total: $35Option 2:

Buy this Master Airscrew 05 gearmotor (2.5:1) with 12x8 folding prop from Tower and use it. (make it fit if it isn't a drop-in replacement): http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&W=000782367&I=EB2022&P=K
My ESC is a 25A Jeti, so it will handle it. I also think that since it's a 7.2V, I would be able to get by with a 3S LiPo :D. I'd have faster climbs, but shorter runtime, as this is a big step up from a speed 400.
This is probably twice the climbing ability of the stock setup, and for only $32, but I'd have to maybe hog out some material in the nose and add some tail weight, as I'm sure that 05 motor is a lot heavier than my speed 400.
Also, they don't bother to tell me the size of the !#$% spinner, so I don't even know if it's right...
Total: $32Option 3:

Buy an inexpensive brushless outrunner that will turn a big prop. (something like this: http://www.maxxprod.com/pdf/HC2812-xxxx.pdf (http://Himax 2812-0650) ~$60
Cut off the nose of the EGE and fashion a firewall to work with this motor.
Hollow out the inside of the nose to give clearance for the rotating motor can
It should not be a problem to find a yoke/spinner to match the size of an outrunner's motor shaft. (~$20)
Bite the bullet and buy a brushless ESC (~$35)
This should climb about twice as well as the stock setup, especially if I go 3S LiPo, and is not too bad.
Total: $115 (ouch)Option 4:

REALLY bite the bullet.
Buy a brushless inrunner w/planetary gearbox (Such as this one: http://www.maxxprod.com/pdf/HB2815-xx33.pdf ($130)
Buy a brushless speed control ($35)
Have no problem getting a yoke/spinner to fit. ($25)
Add more tail weight to balance this beast? (the motor/gearbox weight 134 g (4.7 oz.)
I don't think I'll need this kind of weight, current draw, expense, or climb, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyhow.
Total: $190 (OUCH)I'm trying to keep in mind that this is a thermal sailplane and not a hotliner, but I'd like to be able to climb to a few hundred feet in less than a few minutes... :rolleyes:

Thanks for sticking with it until the end of the post! ;)

04-05-2006, 12:55 AM
Jeremy. Complicated dilemma here. How much do you like the plane and willing to put into it?
You seem to think option 4 a bit extravagant and there will be weight problems there too. If you can keep weight the same or close your way ahead of the game simply since you want it primarilly as a thermaling plane. I'd probably scratch the outrunner purely on the fact of ruining asthetics and increased drag so now effectivelly doing away with #3 & 4. 05 master airscrew may be a contender if the motormount can be solved. Me? I would shoot for the #1; Longcan 400 could be a viable option, less $$ involved. I wouldn't be concerned on cutting the spinner hub to fit 3.5mm from 3.2. That's only .15mm from each side of the hole and if your jumping up gradually by each bit increment. Even can get 3.5mm reamer from a machinist supply like MSC (ends are tapered enough for a starter), not bad about $6. Been a while since I used graupners since I was out of RC a while, 1999.,, but truly excellent product and if my senile mind recalls right it was a setscrew setup on a flat on the shaft. The Graupner prop, spinner was top shelf quality. I had it on a scratch built 2 meter, think it was a 280.
Have you thought about messing with timing on the 400 you have? Can increase performance if done right and believe you have the ability and knowhow.
I also have similar dilemmas tryint to fit motor and little weight. I wish to do a purely fun project and take a non powered glider maybe even the $30 50" dynaflite talon kit from Tower and make a poor man toy. I love V tails. Hermit

04-05-2006, 05:12 AM
Jeremy, Multiplex has a drop in brushless replacement that I believe fits the gearbox from the stock motor. Multiplex repackages Castle Creation ESC so you can just use one of those.


tim hooper
04-05-2006, 09:04 AM
.... I'm using an 8 cell, 750 mAh AAA size pack......

Hi Jeremy,

I'd try a better battery pack for a first measure. I may be hopelessly out of date but I don't think an AAA cell can deliver more than 6-7A on a sustained basis, whereas most S400 motors seem comfortable at around 9-12A current draw.

How about an 8-pack of GP1100 2/3AA NiMHs? Good for a sustained 20A pull (40A in bursts). You might find that your existing motor is able to operate at a higher level.

A further option might be to get hold of a Jamara HS 480 Pro motor. This is a known upgrade for an S400 installation, and is a ballraced motor - looks like a 'longcan 480' but is hotter wound. Not sure if the protruding front bearing would suit your gearbox though......



Jeremy Z
04-05-2006, 01:20 PM
Thanks for all the thoughtful responses, fellas. That is one thing I really like about this forum. I may not get as many replies, or as rapidly, but the ones I get are well thought-out. I posted this same question at RCGroups, and not many people wanted to spend more than a few seconds typing a reply.

HermitRiver: I have decided that I do like the plane well enough to put the money into it. More on that later.

falingtrea: I actually spoke directly with Mike Mayberry of Multiplex USA about this. He said that the MPX motors are not quite a direct change because they have different size output shafts, and would therefore require a new pinion. (or to drill out the old one) He said they sell a kit for this, but I didn't have any luck finding the kit. A "drop-in replacement" without the right screws & pinion is not really drop-in any more. If I have to deal with that, there's really no advantage of going with Multiplex any more. Plus, if I actually did do that, I still have to deal with the too-small spinner and finding a new spinner/prop to fit the 3.5mm shaft. So I decided against this option.

tim hooper: If I hadn't already ordered the brushless setup, I'd probably go this route. The battery upgrade, if it worked, might make me overlook the spinner problem for a while. But then again, with the increased ampacity comes increased weight, which may suck up any performance advantage I get with the bigger pack. It is also an interesting question of how long can the AAA pack maintain the 10-12A current draw? When you say it cannot sustain the current draw, what does 'sustained' mean? 20 seconds? 2 minutes? 5 minutes? If it can sustain it for 2 minutes, that is plenty. I may just take a measurement before yanking out the stock power system...

I wound up going with a Himax 2812-0650 outrunner, a 12x8 AeroNaut folding prop, a 40 mm Turbo spinner, and a PolyQuest narrow 3S 2100 mAh pack. (prop & spinner came from Hobby-Lobby, motor & battery came from ALL e RC)

The 150 W, 650 kv motor seems ideal for this application. Preliminary research with MotoCalc seems to agree. I didn't see any other low kv motors in this power range... I will lose the weight of the gearbox, as well as the weight differential of the speed 400 motor, and gain the weight of the bigger/heavier spinner/prop.

It should arrive at my dad's place some time either this week or next week. It's just as well, as I need to finish up that biplane. (she's almost done!)

I'll let you know how it goes.

Again, thanks for your replies. :)

04-05-2006, 02:51 PM
Jeremy. Glad you got it figured out to suit your tastes and sounds like it will be flying soon. Gliders are so neat to fly. My favorite was my sagitta 600 which I slope flew. Glassed the fuse, micro gear (micro as it got back in 86), spoilers. Needed spoilers. If you put a slight nose down attitude it didn't lose altitude, just went faster. Later did some electric gliders, once good motors came out.

What biplane you making? I'm going to do an electric biplane soon, not sure which one but hopefully balsa as I enjoy "the build". I love biplanes, my first ride in a real plane was a Stearman back in 1964. Standard yellow, fur lined leather helmets and all. I can still feel that ride, smells, sensations and all. I remember being slightly scared and grabbed some rods next to me, close to the fabric and then they moved when he checked control surfaces. Pilot must have got a chuckle, he did aerobatics at our airshows. Great guy, he'd give all the airport rugrats a ride. Hermit

Jeremy Z
04-05-2006, 04:15 PM
What biplane you making?

Ultrafly Ultimate. At this point in my RC career, I enjoy the flying much more than the building. All the time I'm building, I'm sitting there looking outside, wishing I was flying instead. It's probably just because I'm new. Once flying isn't so exciting any more, I'll probably start to enjoy the building more.

I haven't done a balsa build yet, but I've got a kit sitting on the shelf just waiting for me to get the nerve and set aside the time. Maybe after this summer (my first) and a couple hundred hours of flying under my belt... :cool:

That ride in the Stearman sounds really neat. It is hard to get that kind of exposure in this day and age. Lots of money & liability to cope with first. People don't do things like that just to be nice any more.:(

I had a ride in a Cessna (I think) when I was a little boy, and I still remember it. It was very exciting for me, everyone else in the plane was freaking out. I was in the back, and I couldn't even see out the windows. All I could see was the back of the seats in front of me, the yokes, and a lot of dials.

04-05-2006, 05:06 PM
Jeremy. I like all planes, arfs, rtfs and builds. Anything that flys is good in my perspective. Personally I like to build for a couple reasons. I'm old and don't know any better:D My Dad built me a balsa rubber Piper Cub when I was about 9 or 10. Not much after that I built a balsa/rubber spitfire. Didn't come out anywhere as nice as his but it did come out and it flew. Next I had a cox 049 PT19 trainer held with rubber bands and rubber spinner, about $7.99 complete except glow battery. Plastic (gee, guess that was a RTF!) The other kids had cool looking cox warbirds but they were not held with rubber and not trainers. We all crashed once and theirs were toast. Typical first flight was a ROG, wingover into the ground. Mine lived a long time, parts would fly on ahh "arrival" but rubberband it back together and fly again. Had it long enough to learn CL. I built a cesna 180 solid balsa with 049 and flew it till it got to heavy from repairs. Went to a lil'jumping bean which flew like mad. Eventually it needed recovering and being the ingenious kid I recovered it "quickly", woodgrain contact paper! Still flew and at least the woodgrain went with the airflow. Next I designed my own profile corsair, put a max .098bb on it (wonderful slimer). I was in 7 or 8th grade then and my homeroom teachers hubby gave me a 48" wingspan stunter with a fox .35. Man did that fly! Oh yea, and did that big old wood prop hurt, no chicken sticks for us. Had 70 foot 7 strand stainless lines. Built a yak next, elev and flaps both worked on belcrank so it would do a loop in 8 feet, put a McCoy redhead on that.
Then got my first RC for $25. Pulse control Tx. Push the button once for right, twice for left:rolleyes: Eventually grew up, well sorta, and got into slope gliders, electric gliders. Few years off, the present time, and got back in, built a Squirt because I am rusty, very rusty. Like riding a bicycycle? NO. I'm bad, fly almost like I never flew before. Nother reason I build? I live in Maine. Can't fly most of the year so I can still be involved by building, designing.
Yup, the Stearman was a lifetime memory of the best kind. The pilot was awesome. Had 3 planes in all, one a amfib, the Bipe and a V Bonanza. Maybe why I like V tails? That pilot was an awesome flyer and nice as could be. We used to ride our bicycles to the small airport and watch. Word was if no one was in the open pit, and you got his attention (deaf from radial engine) he would thumb up and you got in. Talk about a kids ultimate dream come true? He would take off, fly a bit, do the pattern then land and take another kid.
Cessna huh? I learned to fly in a Cessna 150, pre 152 model. I got several solos under my belt and scared myself almost as much as the people on the ground at the airport so eventually said, OK RC is safer.
Good luck with the Bipe, be sure to post pics:o Hermit

04-05-2006, 05:17 PM
Hey Jeremy, one of my links is for the pinion kit you mentioned. But it seems you have to locktite it to the motor somehow, so I am not sure if that will be the way I go. Will be keeping an eye on this topic to see what you do, since I also have a EGE that I am running on 3S Li poly pack, and expect the stock motor not to last too long. Also have a Graupner CAD folding prop to throw on when I upgrade the motor.

Jeremy Z
04-05-2006, 05:38 PM
Hey Jeremy, one of my links is for the pinion kit you mentioned. But it seems you have to locktite it to the motor somehow, so I am not sure if that will be the way I go.

Mike mentioned that too. He said it had to be a certain grade of Loctite. I don't remember if it is included with the kit.

So I assume it is a press fit, and the Loctite is to make sure it stays where you pressed it. Loctite isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you have ever used it for automotive or other hardware tasks, you will be a believer in it.

But there are many different grades. Originally, it was designed to keep screws & bolts from backing out when you don't want them to. I try to remember to use it for all my motor mounting tasks.

Jeremy Z
04-05-2006, 05:40 PM
Good luck with the Bipe, be sure to post pics:o Hermit

I'm jealous of your experiences!

Pix of the build are posted in this thread:

It is further along than that, but I probably won't take pix again until it's built, right before the maiden. ;) (Possibly today!)


04-05-2006, 08:37 PM
Jeremy. Thank you but don't be jealous, I'm sure you will have comparable and even better memories. I checked out the Ultimate and left a reply in that thread. You guys are going to be my financial ruin, think I "need" one of these too:rolleyes: Hermit

04-06-2006, 12:47 AM
Hi Jeremy,

I'd try a better battery pack for a first measure. I may be hopelessly out of date but I don't think an AAA cell can deliver more than 6-7A on a sustained basis, whereas most S400 motors seem comfortable at around 9-12A current draw.

How about an 8-pack of GP1100 2/3AA NiMHs? Good for a sustained 20A pull (40A in bursts). You might find that your existing motor is able to operate at a higher level.


Tim, I agreee with you. I think the motor is starved for power. 8 cell 2/3 or 4/5 A pack would deliver the power the motor wants to draw. I have run Speed 380s on AAA packs and they spin, but weakly. Put them on the right cells and the speed 400 gets a lot stronger.

05-09-2006, 11:01 AM

I purchased the up grade from Multplex, cost $140.00 (ouch). Found the climb performanced to improve tremendously. I had some difficulty keeping the smaller gear secured to the motor driver shaft. I have recently cleaned this shaft with acetone prior to securing, hope this will solve my problem. I'm using a 2100 mah 2 cell 7.4 volt Lipo for power. This battery is giving me approximately 15 minutes of flying power when needed. I like to climb in large circles.


05-09-2006, 10:51 PM
I am working on upgrading 400 can motor glider and although I am expecting to eventually go brushless, to start I went 2s1p 1250mah Lipo. Make sure it can handle your Amps. My 400 draws about 12amps at full throttle. This varies depending on prop dia and pitch. The weight savings is enough to improve the climb and the reduced weight makes a noticable reduction in power off sink rate. $20 battery (CommonSenseRC), $25 Li-saver (so I can use my old esc). Use connectors so I can move the Li-saver to other planes. Quick easy effective.

Heidelberg Germany Flyer
05-15-2006, 09:31 PM
Hi Jeremy!

I also have an "Easy Glider" that I renamed to "Electric Glider" because it offers more than just beginning flying (that the name implies) or just thermo gliding. I'm now using a Astro 20 geared system and doing light aerobatics with it. I'm also using spoilerons.

My advice is to keep it light if you're only going to glide. However, if you want to fly it in any wind, do light aerobatics, or just to buz around the field, also, then go brushless. Use a light lipo battery (2s) for gliding and a bigger one (3s) for other type of flying. You'll need to dig out some foam to fit in a bigger battery and to allow some air flow, though. Run the antenna out the side rather than using the internal tubing to give you more battery room. It also keeps the antenna away from other wires.

I really enjoy flying it now, in any conditions, when I want some relaxing air time.

Good luck and happy flying.