PDA

View Full Version : Spectra Select & e-Aspire - RTF problems


AEAJR
08-18-2005, 03:22 PM
Friends,

I want to make you aware of two planes which I can highly recommend in kit form and in ARF form, but must suggest you avoid in RTF form unless you are going to make changes. As sold these packages have issues, in my opinion, especially as they will typically be purchased by new glider pilots. I have seen and flown both in stock form and can not recommend the RTF set-ups as currently sold. :confused:

The Great Planes Spectra Select and the Hanger 9 e-Aspire are of a similar class. These are two meter built up e-gliders that are based on proven sailplanes, the Spirit and the Aspire respectively. Properly configured they fly very well and can deliver a great thermal soaring experience. However both manufacturers have recently cut some corners in the RTF packages that cause concern. :(

The issues are power and the choice of electronics.

POWER PROBLEM

Both planes come with direct drive speed 550-600 class motors and folding prop. I think they are both 8X4 props and recommend 7 cell sub C packs for power. On this combo the planes can be flown up to soaring height but the climb is a weak 10-20 degree climb in calmer air and almost unmanageable in wind or gusty air. You can get it there but it is work. Not a good experience for a new pilot.

Low cost solution:

Add a 2.5 to 3.1 gear box to the stock motor and a 11X 7 or 11X 8 folding prop. On the stock 7 cells the climb will be in the 30 degree neighborhood and will be much stronger with good climb in moderate winds. This is no hotliner, but it will take it up to height much better and much faster and you will likely get an extra climb in the bargain. Go to 8 cells and the climb can actually feel pretty strong. :)

Cost?

About 15-$20 for the gearbox and about $15-$20 for new blades for the folding prop. You may need to remount the motor to accommodate the gearbox and you will have to reverse the wires to change the rotation of the motor. There are more expensive gearboxes that will fit better and don't require reversing the motor. Or you can buy a packaged motor/gearbox that is all set to go.

I have given you the low cost solutions. If you are building the ARF or kit, these are easy additions that will make your new e-glider fly much better for a modest additional investment.

Here are examples:
http://www.electrifly.com/motors/speed600.html (http://www.electrifly.com/motors/speed600.html)
Geared systems - tower
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/WTI0095P?FVSEARCH=600gd&FVPROFIL (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/WTI0095P?FVSEARCH=600gd&FVPROFIL)=++

As a higher cost, higher performance alternative, you can go to a brushless motor/gearbox combo. Here is one example that looks like a good choice on 8-10 cells or 3 cell lithium that can handle 35 amps. On this set-up these planes should have strong, 45 degree or better climb angles and probably an extra climb or two.

MJ20152 MPJet AC 26/45-20 D Brushless Motor with 2.8:1 Gearbox ..... $ 68.90
An 11X8 prop should do fine with this combo.
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/brushless_mpjet.htm (http://www.hobby-lobby.com/brushless_mpjet.htm)
Advance PLUS 30 Amp Brushless Controller $ 90.00
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/jetiblue.htm (http://www.hobby-lobby.com/jetiblue.htm)


ELECTRONICS PROBLEM :mad:


E-Aspire

The e-Aspire comes with a folding prop, but the ESC that is packed with the plane does not have the required brake in order to fold the prop. In my opinion, this is a stupid packaging mistake on the part of the manufacturer. For the cost of $4-8 retail, they could have a speed control with a brake and the prop would fold as designed. This is like getting a radio in your car, but no antenna.

Replace the stock ESC with one of these, or similar and you should be OK. About $35

Here are some ideas:

Great Planes ElectriFly C-35 Mini
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXKBF5&P=ML (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXKBF5&P=ML)

30-Amp Mini ESC w/Brake
http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByCategory/Product/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFLA106 (http://www.horizonhobby.com/Shop/ByCategory/Product/Default.aspx?ProdID=EFLA106)


Spectra Select

Great Planes used to package this plane with a Hitec/Hobbico AM radio system with excellent range that worked well. They went to a Hitec FM system, which is fine, but they put in a different brand ESC/Receiver that has a range of under 1000 feet. For a 2 meter sailplane, that could be dangerous, in my opinion. It is very easy to get a 2 meter sailplane well over 1000 feet away from you. For a new flyer who knows little about such things this could lead to a flyaway of a 3 pound plane that is now an accident waiting to happen.

Remember I am not talking 1000 in height, but distance from the radio. Heck our flying field is 800'X1600', so the rated range of this receiver won't even allow me to safely fly it to the end of the field.

I would consider 3000 feet/1KM as a minimum range receiver for a 2M sailplane. My RTF Spirit Select was flown to spec height and distance many times on the AM 3000 foot range radio set-up included in that package. The current Spectra package is not right, and not safe for the plane, in my opinion.

Solution:

Replace the receiver with one with more appropriate range. Here are two examples that will work with that radio.

Hitec HFS-04MG - 4 channels and 1 mile range - About $42 with crystal
http://www.servocity.com/html/4-ch_hfs-04mg_fm_rx.html (http://www.servocity.com/html/4-ch_hfs-04mg_fm_rx.html)

Hitec Micro 555 - 5 channel with 1 mile+ range - about $62 with crystal
http://www.servocity.com/html/5-ch_555_fm_rx.html (http://www.servocity.com/html/5-ch_555_fm_rx.html)

I am not sure if the ESC/Receiver combo will allow you to deactivate the receiver part of the package and still use the ESC. If you replace the receiver you may have to replace the ESC as well. Read the instructions carefully! The ESC recommended for the e-Aspire above should work here too.


Summary

As kits or ARFs, these planes can be good choices and very satisfying to fly. But the RTF packages require too much modification, in my opinion, to be recommended for new flyers and an experienced modeler would be better off with the kit or ARF.

Most of the RTF planes I have tried have worked pretty well and some have been great. In this case, they cut too many corners.


Clear Skies and Safe Flying!

rcjunkie
08-18-2005, 04:20 PM
Very well written and I couldn't agree more. It's always been a big beef with me too. I can't believe they still produce models with equipment that will not work. It must be the lure of the almight buck. Those mabuchi motors cost about 10 to 15 cents apiece when you buy them by the 10,000 lots. Best use for them is a paper weight!

Ernie S.

weller
08-26-2005, 10:24 PM
I just got back from the field today after flying a new Spectra ARF. We spent part of the morning talking about a gear box and larger folding prop. I just signed up to this web site and read with interest your notes on the Spectra.

Do you have recommendations as to where to find the gear box you describe as well as a folding prop to match the 600 motor that is supplied by Great Planes for the Spectra? Also, are you saying the 11x7 for the 2.5 and an 11x8" folding for the 3.1 gearbox, respectfully or just genrally in that size range.

Thanks for bring up some good points for these models!

AEAJR
08-27-2005, 02:28 AM
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXSL79&P=M (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXSL79&P=M)
This is a GD-600 Electric Flight 2.5:1 ratio Gear Drive Unit for
Electric R/C Airplanes Applications.

Geared systems - tower
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/WTI0095P?FVSEARCH=600gd&FVPROFIL (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/WTI0095P?FVSEARCH=600gd&FVPROFIL)=++

Graupner
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/camfold.htm (http://www.hobby-lobby.com/camfold.htm)
Scimitar Props
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/scimitar.htm (http://www.hobby-lobby.com/scimitar.htm)
Master Airscrew
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXZ996&P=7 (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXZ996&P=7)
APC Folding Prp Hub + 11X8 and 12X8 blade
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXZL06&P=M (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXZL06&P=M)
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXZL04&P=7 (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXZL04&P=7)
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXHRC0&P=M (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXHRC0&P=M)

Forget the 11X7 note in the first post. 11X8 and 12X8 seem to be the primary recommendations. You buy the hub and add an extra set of blades for a few $$ then you can try them both.


Master Airscrew 3.1 gearbox with 05 motor and folding prop - $38 - Nice package
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXZ903&P=0 (http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXZ903&P=0)

Good photos of mounting MA gearbox and 05 motor in an Electra
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=400786&page=3&pp=15 (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=400786&page=3&pp=15)
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=408405#post4220959 (http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=408405#post4220959)

weller
08-30-2005, 09:21 PM
Ed thanks for taking the time to post the URL's for geared options for the Spectra. I checked them all with interest.

I would like to use a bolt-on direct drive gearbox for the motor included with the ARF (T601 motor) so that I don't have to make drastic changes to the firewall to accommodate an offset prop. I think I have found the planetary in-line gearbox and AeroNaut spinner, yoke, prop shaft and prop parts from Hobby-Lobby. This is a less expensive solution than switching to a brush less motor, which leads to a new BEC and maybe battery packs.

At this point I'm still learning to fly the Spectra and hate to tie up a lot of money in this airplane. Your posts helped. Mostly it got me to seriously consider changing to a geared system as some fellow club members have urged.

The Spectra is a nice plane! I just finished itís cousin, the Spirit sailplane last month. I got the Spectra to learn on because the electric lift is easier to deal with at the field where I'm learning to fly. My only complaint is that it reminds me of the 'little train that could', you know, going up the hill saying "I think I can, I think I can".:)

AEAJR
08-31-2005, 03:52 AM
Give it the gear box and the right prop, and the little train that could will make it to the top much faster.

You will love the Spirit. I love mine!!!

weller
09-02-2005, 03:43 PM
Hi Ed,

Everything has been ordered. I went with a Speed 600 BB motor (virtually the same motor as the T601 Electrifly, except ball bearing) and 2.8:1 inline gearbox along with a 13,10" folding prop and a same size as present (45mm) spinner from Hobby-Lobby. There are probably other gearboxes that would work but I'm tired of looking and summer sadly, is winding down. I believe this will bolt right up to the same holes existing for the T601. Hobby-Lobby's tech-rep, LA Johnston worked through a simple formula to determine the correct size (starting point) propeller and proper gearbox ratio to convert a direct drive motor.

If you are interested in this simple formula let me know and I will pass it along. Unfortunately, the out of stock motor that was due to be in stock August 25th has not yet arrived to Hobby-Lobby. When it is delivered I will bolt it up and give it a try. I may have to do some experimenting with propeller sizes but I should be close if his formula holds up. I will certainly post how the change effects the climb-out. Again, thanks for your help.

Larry Weller

AEAJR
09-02-2005, 06:46 PM
Your experience will be valuable to eveyone. And that formula may be too. Please pass it along.

Tat prop is larger than what I have seen used by others. 13X10 is pretty wide and deep. Most seem to be using 12X8 and 11X8 props on 3:1 boxes. Doesn't make yours wrong

Blades are cheap. I might suggest you add a 12X8 set of blades to your order. If nothing else, they will act as spares. If the price is right, add a 12X10 as well. Then you can try three sizes and see which works best. Remember the 13 X 10 will draw more than the 12X8. You might want to start with the smaller prop, then test going up and either measure the current draw for each combo, or just feel the motor/battery/ESC for heat.

In general, the bigger/deeper prop will likely draw more amps. Did he predict the current draw? Be sure you speed control and your battery pack can handle it.

weller
09-07-2005, 04:53 AM
The more I thought about this...because the motor mentioned above is back ordered, I decided to spend a bit more and go to a brushless 2.8:1. MPJet AC 26/45-20 D Brushless Motor with 2.8:1 Gearbox. I plan to start with a CAM 11,6.5 Classic folding prop.

Talking further with others clued me in on current draw and no we didn't talk about that when talking to Hobby-Lobby, it didn't occur to me at the time, but it certainly makes sense.
I'm sending the 13" prop back. When the motor arrives I will put a watt meter on it with the 11" prop and decide if I should try a 10" prop to lower the amp draw for the battery packs I'm using or maybe try another 11" with a different pitch. I will probably end up changing battery packs too…dang.

Having time to consider this upgrade I believe, unless this plane thermals (thermals is a verb, right) off to another state, I might want to put this motor in another sailplane sometime. It should be worthy of that. It just takes a bit of getting use to spending what I could buy two more Spectras for on a motor and controller for this one.

The formula! The idea as I understand it, to roughly determine how to estimate a prop size when converting a direct drive motor to a gearbox is this. I should preface, by letting you know that it is late at night and I’m tired. Hopefully I get this right. Assuming you have a recommended prop size before you add the gearbox and I will use the example of an 8,4” prop, take the square root of the intended gearbox ratio i.e. 2.8 (2.8:1) = 1.67 X 8” = 13.38 (rounded off to 13). Then take the same ratio of 2.8 X the pitch 4” = 11”. According to this formula the new starting point for a prop might be 13,11”.
I admit the more I thought this over it seems to be an ambitious size prop to swing on that Speed 600. On the other hand, I know pretty much jack about all this.

Larry Weller

AEAJR
09-07-2005, 09:07 AM
I would not automatically send back anything. 11X8 and 12X8 seem to be what most people are using on a 3:1 gearbox. That doesn't seem to make it otimal, just a good start.

Popjinx
09-16-2005, 02:59 PM
I am new to RC. I was attracted to the hobby when I found out there were planes that were electric powered. I wore out an Aerobird Challenger (OK, crashed one too many times is more like it).

I read up on brushless motors and li-poly batteries and became fascinated. I started buying parts to ulimately put a hotliner together.

I bought a used Aspire EP for practice, and replaced the speed 500 motor/battery combo with an AXI 282010 outrunner, TP 4200 mAh lipoly battery, CC Phoenix 60 ESC. I also replaced the servo's with Hitec HS85MG's and carbon/titanium pushrods. All up weight 43 ounces. This is overkill, but I had the parts so...

For the first launch, I throttled up to about 3/4 and gave the Aspire a little toss. As it began to climb, I pointed the nose up and up and gave it wide open throttle. It climbed straight up with a lot of authority and was way up to 300 ft within seconds. Needless to say, when I landed the other club members (all glow flyers) had a lot of questions and were impressed (maybe I planted some seeds for electric flight).

I have had to be very careful not to overspeed the plane and flutter the wing. It's a glider, not a hotliner. I have had flights of over one hour and landed because I wanted to watch others fly (not because the battery was drained). I caught my first thermal and became hooked.

I apologize for rambling. The upgrade was successful and a lot of fun. This is the second post I have found regarding the Aspire EP. I just wanted to weigh in.

In the future I plan to get a less powerful outrunner motor and a lighter battery (there's a little room left to move a battery forward for CG ballancing). We'll see.

Thanks,
Mike

AEAJR
11-02-2005, 07:33 AM
Hi Ed,

Everything has been ordered. Larry Weller


How are you doing with your new plane?

weller
11-02-2005, 05:03 PM
Thanks for asking AEAJR. Great!!! Except before the battery (1700 mAh NiMH light weight) arrived from Hobby-Lobby the fall winds set in here on the western shores of Lake Michigan. The temps are great but the brief calms do not coincide with my work schedule.

I replaced the T-600 brushed with the MJ20152 MPJet AC 26/45-20 D Brushless Motor with 2.8:1 Gearbox and Jeti 40 advance controller from Hobby-Lobby. I had to cut off the rear mounting lugs on the gearbox to fit the unit into the nose. The front mounting holes on the gearbox lined up perfectly!

It appears to be a planetary gearbox in the catalog but it has a slight offset of maybe 1/4", which is not enough to matter in the conversion between the old and new motor.

Several tests with an Astro Watt Meter on several different size folding AeroNaut props guided me to start with a 10.5x6. This initially provides appx. 180 watts at 23-24 amps. The battery is designed for around 35 amp bursts (for however long a burst is?). This is should give this Spectra the accent it should realistically achieve.

The new Hobby-Lobby catalog that came with my battery features the new 'Twenty' LiPo batteries. I can now get an 1800 mAh for a dollar less than the 1700 NiMH that I bought. And the 'Twenty' is a constant discharge of 36 amps! I almost sent back the 1700 but decided it would be interesting to compare it to the LiPo next spring.

There are a couple of things I would recommend to anyone making the conversion to this motor arrangement. The motor is lighter but longer than the stock motor. I made a half former cradle from 1/16" plywood for the back end of the motor to prevent wobbling...this is necessary for the other tip I want to give. The gearbox is some sort of composite and you mount it to the front firewall with small metal screws provided with the motor...not metal bolts like on the stock motor. I was afraid to crank down too much these screws that they might strip the gearbox threads.

This plane is going to climb. There is no doubt! The best thing is I have learned a TON from the research and testing. If I did it again I might chose a direct drive Phasor or some other direct drive motor but, I am not at all disapointed with my choice. The direct drive might be a bit easier to install. I sugest anyone seriously fussing with electrics use the Hobby-Lobby catalog as one source of information.

So, now I'm in the process of scratch building wings and v-tail for the plastic fuselage of an old Cox kit (Ridge Hawk or something like that) that has been hanging around for years. The original foam wings and tail never excited me enough to finish it. The nose will be clipped on this ridge glider and probably a speed 400 installed to fly its 20 oz. of weight to thermal height.

A friend just gave me a thirty-year-old kit he won at a glider contest years ago. I'm headed to the hobby shop in a few minutes to pick up a 450 Eflite out runner motor to convert it. Good by winch...good by high-start.

When I get a few minutes I will try to post a close up or two of the motor mount.

AEAJR
11-02-2005, 10:33 PM
Thanks for the report. We look forward to the photos and your actual flight reports.

If you have gone all Lipo, send back the 1700 for another lipo. No sense in mixing if you doin't have to.

AEAJR
02-11-2006, 03:30 PM
I received a report from another flyer that the GP Spectra is now being shipped with a receiver with a 650 range. This is a terrible combo.

Please, check before you buy. If the receiver has less than a 2000 foot range, don't buy the RTF package!

VOLUNTEER
02-17-2006, 01:13 AM
I got a Spectra about a week ago and it came with a Futaba SS3 T3FR -FM tx and a R114F receiver. There is a WARNING in the instruction book: "The R-114F receiver is designed to be used only for Park Flyers and Slow Fly models. Due to the special design of the R-114F we cannot recommend it's use in other types of models that are flown at longer distances."

What a joke but I am learning a lot since this is my first effort with RC planes. I do think that the "ARF" and "RTF" designations of these planes should be further refined as NNRTF (not nearly ready to fly) and ABNQRTY (almost but not quite ready to fly).

These forums are a great help to the newbies like myself who are dreading their first flight. Thanks a lot guys!

Sky Sharkster
02-17-2006, 02:25 AM
To Voluinteer, sorry to hear you ended up with the "short-range" RX. All is not lost, though; I think the least expensive way for you to get flying properly now is to invest about $ 40.00 in an FMA Direct RX, the newest ones are very small, light and the price has gone down a bit. Use that RX in the glider and any other high-performance models you may get later. In the meantime, you can still use the shorter-range RX in models that aren't going to be flown too far away. This would include "Park Flyers", 3D models, Sport Scale models and Indoor models. Some of these may not interest you now but one thing about model aviation, there's always something new to try! Don't give up, you still have the plane, transmitter and everything else except the proper RX for that model.
If the world gives you a lemon, make lemonade!
Good Luck
Ron

AEAJR
02-17-2006, 05:22 AM
I got a Spectra about a week ago and it came with a Futaba SS3 T3FR -FM tx and a R114F receiver. There is a WARNING in the instruction book: "The R-114F receiver is designed to be used only for Park Flyers and Slow Fly models. Due to the special design of the R-114F we cannot recommend it's use in other types of models that are flown at longer distances."

What a joke but I am learning a lot since this is my first effort with RC planes. I do think that the "ARF" and "RTF" designations of these planes should be further refined as NNRTF (not nearly ready to fly) and ABNQRTY (almost but not quite ready to fly).

These forums are a great help to the newbies like myself who are dreading their first flight. Thanks a lot guys!

I would call and complain immediately.

If you decide to keep it, then pick up a new receiver, as suggested above and use the Futaba receiver for a parkflyer.

These are good quality and low cost - All have 1 mile range

Hitec Micro 05 - Need SC crystal
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXGZT0&P=ML
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXPX96**&P=M

Supreme 8 - larger, but you should have room for it - Get DC crystal
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXN543&P=ML
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXN503**&P=7

04MG - Get SC crystal
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXCXN0&P=7
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXPX96**&P=M

f4you
02-17-2006, 05:28 AM
I've had good success with the stock system except I replaced the battery with a 2 cell 2400 MAH lipo. The weight savings alone allowed my Aspire to achieve a reasonable climb rate. It also helped with the overall flying personality as a result of the weight decrease! Much better thermal hunting!!

VOLUNTEER
02-17-2006, 11:22 AM
Great Planes will definately hear from me on this. As a newby I have an advantage as to which way I want to take my interests and who I want to do business with. The contacts that I make now will stay with me as long as I stay in the sport and the way Great Planes handles my complaint will determine how much business I do with them in the future and what type of referrals they get from me. Again, thanks for all the help.

AEAJR, "VOLUINTEER" is a typo - supposed to be "VOLUNTEER". Is there a way to change that?

AEAJR
02-17-2006, 12:59 PM
Not sure how to change a screen name except to create a new one. You only have 3 posts so, if you are going to do that, do it now. That is my recommendation.

However I will check on change.


Edit/update

Your typo has been fixed!!!

AEAJR
02-17-2006, 02:05 PM
I got a Spectra about a week ago and it came with a Futaba SS3 T3FR -FM tx and a R114F receiver. There is a WARNING in the instruction book: "The R-114F receiver is designed to be used only for Park Flyers and Slow Fly models. Due to the special design of the R-114F we cannot recommend it's use in other types of models that are flown at longer distances."

What a joke but I am learning a lot since this is my first effort with RC planes. I do think that the "ARF" and "RTF" designations of these planes should be further refined as NNRTF (not nearly ready to fly) and ABNQRTY (almost but not quite ready to fly).

These forums are a great help to the newbies like myself who are dreading their first flight. Thanks a lot guys!

Great Planes will definately hear from me on this. As a newby I have an advantage as to which way I want to take my interests and who I want to do business with. The contacts that I make now will stay with me as long as I stay in the sport and the way Great Planes handles my complaint will determine how much business I do with them in the future and what type of referrals they get from me. Again, thanks for all the help.


Here are the people I would suggest you notify about this unsafe packaging of this plane. Just take your post and put it into an e-mail.

I would also suggest you include a link to this thread to support the idea that this is NOT an isolated incident.

Contacts:

Great Planes - Feedback
http://www.greatplanes.com/feedback/aircraft-comments.html

Steve Kaluf - AMA Techical Director
mailto:skaluf@modelaircraft.org (skaluf@modelaircraft.org)

If we don't give feedback to Great Planes, then we deny them the opportunity to do the right thing. You should demand that the radio system be replaced with one appropropriate to use. As per the mfg documentation, this receiver is NOT appropriate for this plane. And advise them that you have posted this on the forums and have contacted the AMA technical director.


AMA is our advocte in the industry. Whether you are an AMA member or not, I encourage you to make AMA aware of this as a safety issue. We don't want planes falling out of the sky. This kind of unsafe packaging can not be tolerated. Uninformed new flyers don't realize they are at risk.

VOLUNTEER
02-21-2006, 01:21 AM
I wrote to Product Support at GP on the 17th and have not yet heard back from them. Interestingly, I noticed that on the original box the plane came in there is a picture of Dan Anderson, the Founder and President of GP, holding a Spectra and being quoted in part "A powerful motor lifts you from 0 to 500 feet in about a minute.....where you can leisurely ride thermals to your heart's content."

Wonder if he knows that the plane was shipped with a Park Flyer rx?

VOLUNTEER
02-22-2006, 01:50 PM
"Thank you for your recent e-mail.

The receiver is rated for 650 feet. However, I've used it in my
SuperStar EP and other 2M gliders, I have a Goldberg Gentle Lady, and
had no problem with the range or reception. I really don't believe you
will have a problem, but if you would like to have the receiver and
crystal switched we could do that. To get your receiver and crystal
exchanged for a R127DF and crystal under the warranty, please send those
items to:

Hobby Services
3002 N Apollo Dr, Suite #1
Champaign, IL 61822

with note describing the problem, copy of your receipt and your phone
number."

Although the R127DF seems like overkill because of it's size, weight and antenna lenght, at least, GP did offer to replace the R114F under warranty. This is a good response IMO and will keep me as a customer. I can see the necessity of a lighter battery pack coming up on the horizon.

Thanks for the help!


Oops, I just noticed that Great Planes asked me to send the R114F to Futaba to do the exchange. Since Futaba doesn't really have a dog in the fight, I'm not too sure that they would be interested in exchanging. I've written to GP for clarification.

AEAJR
02-22-2006, 08:12 PM
Hobby Services handles the service for a lot of different companies. Just include a copy of the e-mail with your note and be specific that you want the receiver exchanged.

Should be no problem.

VOLUNTEER
02-23-2006, 07:54 PM
Thanks

TeslaWinger
02-28-2006, 01:31 PM
As if the hobby wasn't already challenging enough- selling inapropriate RXs and heavy poor performing motors can only turn a lot of people off to this sport.

I did the Windstar and Electra packages and had to replace nearly everything to get any decent climb and performance out of it- even tho the plane itself is very capable of good flying.

Sure, they are cheap and a profit is assured with this junk included- but the chances of a newbie getting the promised performance of hundreds of feet of altitude in seconds- or even adequate control range is not very likely from my early experience with similar combos with those direct drive boat anchors. 500 feet per minute climb? Never ONCE, despite what the president promises with his big smile...

As long as today's profit overpowers tomorrows consequences of angry customers, they will continue until they go out of business from sheer bad word-of-mouth- which might not be so bad... They are among the worst aspects of this business.

Ed, you do a great service here to the community.
TW

VOLUNTEER
02-28-2006, 02:20 PM
"I did the Windstar and Electra packages and had to replace nearly everything to get any decent climb and performance out of it- even tho the plane itself is very capable of good flying."

I tried to fly my Spectra stock Saturday and it flew like a brick. Although I'm new to this, it's not hard to see the manufacturer's goal with this plane.

I stripped all the hardware out of it save the servos and will put some more appropriate gear back in the thing.

Yeah thanks Ed.

AEAJR
02-28-2006, 11:25 PM
Glad I could be helpful guys.

I just wish it was not around a poor proudct

TeslaWinger
03-01-2006, 01:30 AM
What is the advantage of buying it RTF if its loaded with stuff you can't use- and wouldn't choose anyway- like a short range rx- of all things- in a sailplane??? No ESC brake??? Direct drive???

This thing won't climb OR glide well with a windmilling prop- never had a chance- and everything needs to be bought again to get it right!

Some package deal! Welcome to the sport!

Blame the poor performance and crash on the newb-
"What's he gonna do- sue us? He admits his inexperience!"

I went thru this 7 yrs ago and learned a lot along the way- and, yes, as you might have hoped, it is possible to have a lot of fun- and tons of enjoyable airtime- with these gliders but this aint the hot setup, the 'president's' glowing endorsement notwithstanding!

A newb could pick far better components- why can't this company?
They get a BLACK STICKY in my source list till they fix this situation- it's too PREDATORY for my taste. A "Failed First Attempt" is practically a given in life.... Stacking the deck so badly against a beginner is a diservice to the sport.

My most recent 2-meter bird is an Aspire glider conversion. I had nearly a hundred histart flights on this sweet glider including a 30 minute thermal dream flight off a twang with the girlfriend on the buddybox! I got to know this glider well as a pure sailplane and didnt want to lose the birdlike qualities by adding a heavy power system.

When I settle on the right outrunner it will be powerful enough for a serious climb yet light enough to float in light air thermals. Of course it will be powered by lipos so I can stay up all afternoon if I choose.

Starting with the S600 you are gonna come up heavy even with lipos (which better be ROBUST to supply 25 amps peak- 50% of which is wasted in these ferrite brushed motors.)

That can is a liability unless you bolt a gearbox on it- at least you can cheaply get a decent climb without paying the big bucks for brushless just yet- after all, the guy just had a bad buying experience from an otherwise reputable mainstream business.

Its not like he was buying lipos on Ebay...

Caveat Emptor, y'all.

TW

VOLUNTEER
03-01-2006, 01:43 AM
... that the Monokote on the Spectra was apparently laid on by students from the Nanking Technical School for the Blind in a blackout induced by a wind storm?

TeslaWinger
03-01-2006, 04:06 AM
What??? You got Monokote? However wrinkled and mishappen it beats that other stuff I've tried to shrink touchup on some of these PDQ cloud punchers! Just name the plane Lumpy and fly it real high!

The Aspire (the pure glider version) is immaculately built, covered and trimmed, glad to report, but...They are ALL beautiful if you fly 'em high enough and squint a bit... :D

V, Come a good dustup ya can really get some sanding done. Don't lose the goggles and mask- helps keep production up! Do they import this stuff thru a stargate?

VOLUNTEER
03-01-2006, 11:13 AM
I was thinking about "Mugu Guymen" after the Nigerian 419 scammers. As of now without spending a couple hundred bucks distance will not be a factor in helping the looks of the Spectra since it is incapable of being flown (by me) more than a few feet of the ground.

I thought it was pretty cheeky too of the Great Planes Prez, Don Anderson, to put his smiling face and ringing testimony on the box. Maybe he knows something we don't.

AEAJR
05-01-2007, 03:04 AM
Thanks for asking AEAJR. Great!!! Except before the battery (1700 mAh NiMH light weight) arrived from Hobby-Lobby the fall winds set in here on the western shores of Lake Michigan. The temps are great but the brief calms do not coincide with my work schedule.

I replaced the T-600 brushed with the MJ20152 MPJet AC 26/45-20 D Brushless Motor with 2.8:1 Gearbox and Jeti 40 advance controller from Hobby-Lobby. I had to cut off the rear mounting lugs on the gearbox to fit the unit into the nose. The front mounting holes on the gearbox lined up perfectly!

It appears to be a planetary gearbox in the catalog but it has a slight offset of maybe 1/4", which is not enough to matter in the conversion between the old and new motor.

Several tests with an Astro Watt Meter on several different size folding AeroNaut props guided me to start with a 10.5x6. This initially provides appx. 180 watts at 23-24 amps. The battery is designed for around 35 amp bursts (for however long a burst is?). This is should give this Spectra the accent it should realistically achieve.

The new Hobby-Lobby catalog that came with my battery features the new 'Twenty' LiPo batteries. I can now get an 1800 mAh for a dollar less than the 1700 NiMH that I bought. And the 'Twenty' is a constant discharge of 36 amps! I almost sent back the 1700 but decided it would be interesting to compare it to the LiPo next spring.

There are a couple of things I would recommend to anyone making the conversion to this motor arrangement. The motor is lighter but longer than the stock motor. I made a half former cradle from 1/16" plywood for the back end of the motor to prevent wobbling...this is necessary for the other tip I want to give. The gearbox is some sort of composite and you mount it to the front firewall with small metal screws provided with the motor...not metal bolts like on the stock motor. I was afraid to crank down too much these screws that they might strip the gearbox threads.

This plane is going to climb. There is no doubt! The best thing is I have learned a TON from the research and testing. If I did it again I might chose a direct drive Phasor or some other direct drive motor but, I am not at all disapointed with my choice. The direct drive might be a bit easier to install. I sugest anyone seriously fussing with electrics use the Hobby-Lobby catalog as one source of information.



Weller,

This is an old thread but My friend is looking ot make the same mod. How did yours turnout?

weller
05-04-2007, 09:43 PM
Hi Ed,

The photos show my installation of the Hobby-Lobby MJ20152 MPJet AC 26/45-20 D Brushless Motor with 2.8:1 Gearbox ..... $ 69.90.

How does it work? Great!!! I had to snip off the lugs on the gearbox with wire cutters (very easy). The motor mounts right to same holes in the firewall that the brushed 600 attached. You will need to play with the offset gearbox so it fits in the nose cavity but this is no problem whatsoever. One note of caution: the gearbox is made of some type of plastic/resin material and therefore somewhat soft. Be careful not to dog down the mounting bolts too tight or it you may strip the holes!

The only other concern is because the motor is so long with the gearbox it could possibly wobble in the mount. I made a cradle to support the motor in back out of 1/16" ply. The ply is glued to the fuse and the motor just rests in the cradle.

You can see the 1700 mah metal nickle hidride battery next to the fuse in one of the pics. This is battery I have been flying with until this year. The propeller is an 11x6 Cam folding prop. The motor developes about 185-190 watts. The plane climbs as fast as I can hang onto...probably 20-35 seconds before I kill it.

This year, I just switched to a Cell Pro 2100 mah 2cell lipo (7.4 volts). It provides nearly the exact same watts but at 8 ounces less weight. I hope to fly it Sunday. I tried a 3 cell lipo with that motor but it pulled close to 300 watts. I was scared if I had to apply throttle in a panic I'd hit it full and not be able to hang onto it. Going to a smaller prop with that three cell wasn't practical either...I tried.

I read much of what you write about gliding on various forums and am envious that you have places to winch launch. Our club field is too small and that is why half my gliders are powered. Thankfully it is an option.

I must thank you Ed for what you contribute to RC pilot's education through the efforts of your easy to understand articles. It is nice of you to take the time to do that!

Regards,

Larry Weller

AEAJR
05-05-2007, 04:12 AM
Weller,

Thanks so much. He has ordered the same package. this will be a huge help!

weller
05-09-2007, 04:38 PM
Ed,

One other thought on that motor for the Spectra. The spinner/folding prop I used from Hobby-Lobby uses set screws to attach the prop adapter to the gear shaft. I couldn't find a proper nut drawn collet at the time that would match the right size spinner.

I had a jeweler friend of mine put a flat spot on each side of the shaft for me. He put the prop adapter in place on the shaft. Then after dipping a tooth pick into red paint he stuck it through the set screw holes to mark where to grind the shaft. Anyone with modeling skills can do this themselves.

Weller

windshadow
08-28-2007, 12:41 PM
Hi Ed,

The photos show my installation of the Hobby-Lobby MJ20152 MPJet AC 26/45-20 D Brushless Motor with 2.8:1 Gearbox ..... $ 69.90.

How does it work? Great!!! I had to snip off the lugs on the gearbox with wire cutters (very easy). The motor mounts right to same holes in the firewall that the brushed 600 attached. You will need to play with the offset gearbox so it fits in the nose cavity but this is no problem whatsoever. One note of caution: the gearbox is made of some type of plastic/resin material and therefore somewhat soft. Be careful not to dog down the mounting bolts too tight or it you may strip the holes!

The only other concern is because the motor is so long with the gearbox it could possibly wobble in the mount. I made a cradle to support the motor in back out of 1/16" ply. The ply is glued to the fuse and the motor just rests in the cradle.

You can see the 1700 mah metal nickle hidride battery next to the fuse in one of the pics. This is battery I have been flying with until this year. The propeller is an 11x6 Cam folding prop. The motor developes about 185-190 watts. The plane climbs as fast as I can hang onto...probably 20-35 seconds before I kill it.

This year, I just switched to a Cell Pro 2100 mah 2cell lipo (7.4 volts). It provides nearly the exact same watts but at 8 ounces less weight. I hope to fly it Sunday. I tried a 3 cell lipo with that motor but it pulled close to 300 watts. I was scared if I had to apply throttle in a panic I'd hit it full and not be able to hang onto it. Going to a smaller prop with that three cell wasn't practical either...I tried.

I read much of what you write about gliding on various forums and am envious that you have places to winch launch. Our club field is too small and that is why half my gliders are powered. Thankfully it is an option.

I must thank you Ed for what you contribute to RC pilot's education through the efforts of your easy to understand articles. It is nice of you to take the time to do that!

Regards,

Larry Wellerthanks for the pics I am going to this set up from the get go. thanks again