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Electric Ducted Fan Jets Discuss electric ducted fan jets here including setup tips, power systems, flying techniques, etc.

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Old 10-24-2012, 01:00 AM   #1
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Default Finally, some performance!!!

After 5 years of complaing about the total inefficiency of my EDF's, and always on the edge of just giving up on them and sticking to pusher prop planes, it finally came together. There are currently six EDF planes in my hangar, with another 12 or so EDf units and motors and spares etc gracing boxes and test stands. My very first EPP scatchbuild was an EDF as well, but I never got the performance( read bang for buck) that I was after, that is, until now. The difference has been in the battery. After killing a number of 4s lipo's of all brands, I decided to gamble $20.00 on a Turnigy nano- tech 2200 4s with a supposed 40-90 "C" rating. I am always sceptical of HK advertising, but gave it a shot anyway. Two of my planes in particular were used as crash test dummies, and the difference is remarkable. After spending a good sum on HET 6904 units, HET Typhoon motors, proven quality ESC's, and balancing and tuning, performance was still well below that of even my cheapest pusher. My Guanli "Harrier" is a great example....
With the OE eqipment, this plane barely made it into the sky, and had to be flown on full thottle, with the resulting wear and tear. The HET uprade made a noticeable improvement, but by no means convincing. The slightest breeze made it almost stop in a head wind, and flight times were about 3 minutes. My 13 y.o son flew it once, said it was a "piece of junk", and went back to his Spitfire The battery was so hot and puffed, I actually left it outside for a while, thinking it would start smoking. The Harrier was getting close to being shelved when I put the nano tech battery in. Straight away, it gained a turbo type boost, and flew out of my hand like a prop plane. Steep climb, shreiking exhaust note, amazing dive and climbs, rolls etc. Totally transformed. Thinking this was a fluke, I put the battery in my F22 starmax "Raptor", and the world of EDF changed forever. She climbed almost vertical, and screamed around the sky at speeds my Me 262 pusher would be pleased with. Low level passes and power dives were nerve wracking fast, and high speed snap rolls were unbelievable. No longer are my EDF's reserved for calm days, or referred to as "old mans planes" by my teenage sons. They used to delight in running rings around them with their pusher combat planes, now they ask if they fly the F22 "if I'm not using it today". Before this, I had barely been able to get the hot swollen battery out of the compartment, but this one was barely warm after a hard run, and no sign of puffing at all. Time will tell if these nano techs last the distance, but I doubt I'll go back to the old lipo's. Wonder what the 130 "C" rated one would do
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Old 10-24-2012, 01:17 AM   #2
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Yes, A Good powerful Battery is really needed on the EDFs, they gobble up a lot of Juice and if the battery cant supply it, then you will get poor performance, go for the 130C battery

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Old 10-24-2012, 03:57 AM   #3
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You're up against physics - a pusher prop setup will always be more efficient and produce more thrust than a ducted fan of similar power

Its a size issue. Bigger is just plain better when it comes to prop (or duct) diameter.

I think I need a signature.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:06 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Larry3215 View Post
You're up against physics - a pusher prop setup will always be more efficient and produce more thrust than a ducted fan of similar power

Its a size issue. Bigger is just plain better when it comes to prop (or duct) diameter.
No argument there Larry; that is why i always opted for my pusher prop planes, hands down. It's just really good to have an EDF that actually competes now. I spent countless hours setting and experimenting with EDF's, and nearly gave up on them. I know I am over simplifying things, but the battery really is the difference this time. I'm actually motivated to build something really fast now
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by pattern14 View Post
After 5 years of complaing about the total inefficiency of my EDF's, and always on the edge of just giving up on them and sticking to pusher prop planes, it finally came together. There are currently six EDF planes in my hangar, with another 12 or so EDf units and motors and spares etc gracing boxes and test stands. My very first EPP scatchbuild was an EDF as well, but I never got the performance( read bang for buck) that I was after, that is, until now. The difference has been in the battery. After killing a number of 4s lipo's of all brands, I decided to gamble $20.00 on a Turnigy nano- tech 2200 4s with a supposed 40-90 "C" rating. I am always sceptical of HK advertising, but gave it a shot anyway. Two of my planes in particular were used as crash test dummies, and the difference is remarkable. After spending a good sum on HET 6904 units, HET Typhoon motors, proven quality ESC's, and balancing and tuning, performance was still well below that of even my cheapest pusher. My Guanli "Harrier" is a great example....
With the OE eqipment, this plane barely made it into the sky, and had to be flown on full thottle, with the resulting wear and tear. The HET uprade made a noticeable improvement, but by no means convincing. The slightest breeze made it almost stop in a head wind, and flight times were about 3 minutes. My 13 y.o son flew it once, said it was a "piece of junk", and went back to his Spitfire The battery was so hot and puffed, I actually left it outside for a while, thinking it would start smoking. The Harrier was getting close to being shelved when I put the nano tech battery in. Straight away, it gained a turbo type boost, and flew out of my hand like a prop plane. Steep climb, shreiking exhaust note, amazing dive and climbs, rolls etc. Totally transformed. Thinking this was a fluke, I put the battery in my F22 starmax "Raptor", and the world of EDF changed forever. She climbed almost vertical, and screamed around the sky at speeds my Me 262 pusher would be pleased with. Low level passes and power dives were nerve wracking fast, and high speed snap rolls were unbelievable. No longer are my EDF's reserved for calm days, or referred to as "old mans planes" by my teenage sons. They used to delight in running rings around them with their pusher combat planes, now they ask if they fly the F22 "if I'm not using it today". Before this, I had barely been able to get the hot swollen battery out of the compartment, but this one was barely warm after a hard run, and no sign of puffing at all. Time will tell if these nano techs last the distance, but I doubt I'll go back to the old lipo's. Wonder what the 130 "C" rated one would do
This is where one of those wattmeters would be worth its weight in gold (or batteries)

These wattmeters will quickly show if your LiPo battery voltage is sagging under the high currents, and how much difference there is between your original LiPos, and your new higher performance Lipos.

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Old 10-24-2012, 07:47 AM   #6
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Great news Michael. Now you can really enjoy those jets
Thanks for the heads up on the Turnigy batteries. I haven't considered them as a choice before but I'll certainly look at them now as HK have opened a UK warehouse and shipping batteries is no longer so expensive.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:09 PM   #7
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I have used the Nano 45-90C and Yes they are better than many other cheap brands. Unfortunately they may not give you as many cycles as you like. Especially if you tend to fly them close to empty. This summer I switched to the Gens Ace 25C and they are better than any 45-90C nano I have owned. The HK battery C ratings are greatly exaggerated whereas the GA 25C is accurate, and is enough for applications around 90-100A.
Perhaps even cheaper thanks to their low shipping, and regular sales.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:39 PM   #8
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I had a similar boost in power, with a simple 3D foamie. I had 3 batteries that flew the plane nicely putting out about 180 watts.
Those batteries went bad from old age, so I bought a 35C Hyperion from the LHS. With the same prop and motor/ ESC system, I suddenly got 280 watts and nearly destroyed the plane.
The internal resistance of my old batteries, brought down the output power, just like yours. But the new higher C rated battery had very low internal resistance and delivered more output voltage under load, which allowed the motor to produce much more power.

I have almost standardized on the Nano tech batteries, many of our club members fly them also.

Supernice is that HK's USA warehouse is only 20 miles north from my home, and now we can pick up at the warehouse, after China clears them to release the purchase. That saves a lot of money, and time.

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Old 10-24-2012, 04:40 PM   #9
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I hope you have better luck than myself and all others I fly with ... initial use of nanos was good - but within a short space of time the performance went seriously down - such that none of us use them anymore. We all reverted to standard or compact LiPo's ...

With EDF's - I don't understand why factorys and vendors always quote small low C rate LiPo's for them .... first thing you do is to up both the size and C rate to as high as you can get in them ...

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Old 10-24-2012, 06:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I hope you have better luck than myself and all others I fly with ... initial use of nanos was good - but within a short space of time the performance went seriously down
That was my experience too, they were good when new but didn't last. Hopefully Hobbyking's supplier has done something to improve their longevity. It's also worth taking extra care to treat them 'right' and not ever over discharging and not storing them fully charged, higher 'c' rating batteries seem especially sensitive to this type of miss-treatment.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:34 PM   #11
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Default Time will tell

I never seem to get a huge lifespan from lipo's anyway, for many reasons i.e combat losses, planes lost in bushland, or in trees for weeks, or just plain losing power from constant use. I get to fly most days, so they are getting used a lot, and different brands seem to die fairly early. For the great price and extra grunt, I'm no worse off. I'll start counting the flights to see how they do....
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by pattern14 View Post
I'll start counting the flights to see how they do....
I've been doing that with my fleet of models powered by those A123 cells. All of my models have my electronic flight counter on them. After many many flights on them, they don't seem to loose any power, even after hundreds of flights.

But, on the other hand, these A123 cells are about 35% more weight, 35% more volume, and about 30% less voltage under load compared to a good Lipo. IMHO, they just won't work well in a foamie or similar model.

Take a look at my 0.06 ounce flight counter, and my 1.2 ounce flight recorder that also records total flights, total flight time in hours, minutes, seconds, and total ampere hours. Plus, it shows either amps or ampere hours for the current flight. (That little microcontroller IS busy!)


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Old 10-25-2012, 01:57 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by kyleservicetech View Post
I've been doing that with my fleet of models powered by those A123 cells. All of my models have my electronic flight counter on them. After many many flights on them, they don't seem to loose any power, even after hundreds of flights.

But, on the other hand, these A123 cells are about 35% more weight, 35% more volume, and about 30% less voltage under load compared to a good Lipo. IMHO, they just won't work well in a foamie or similar model.

Take a look at my 0.06 ounce flight counter, and my 1.2 ounce flight recorder that also records total flights, total flight time in hours, minutes, seconds, and total ampere hours. Plus, it shows either amps or ampere hours for the current flight. (That little microcontroller IS busy!)
Thanks for the info Dennis; Looks like I'll have take a leap into technology if I really want some hard evidence about how my batteries are faring. Any hints/tips/suggestions for a reasonable wattmeter and flight recorder? I don't want to take the whole thing so seriously that the fun goes out of it, but a bit more insight never hurts I suppose.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by pattern14 View Post
I never seem to get a huge lifespan from lipo's anyway, for many reasons i.e combat losses, planes lost in bushland, or in trees for weeks, or just plain losing power from constant use. I get to fly most days, so they are getting used a lot, and different brands seem to die fairly early. For the great price and extra grunt, I'm no worse off. I'll start counting the flights to see how they do....
I'm a terrible abuser of LiPo's .... in my conventional prop tractor models - I am nice to my LiPo's ... they come down cool and still with 30 - 40% still in them.

With my pushers and EDF's ... they come down hot, some puffed, with maybe 15 - 25% left in them

I don't storage charge ... I charge them back up once I get home ready for next session which I try to have each day. But when I go of on assignment like now and I'm away for 2 - 3 weeks - they sit charged waiting my return.

I have LiPo's over 2 yrs old still performing alongside newer and new. In my mind ... a LiPo is going to go down in performance more than most other forms purely due to it's high power and construction. The price for a 2200 3S is not really a ball-crusher ... so it I can get a year out of it ... that's not bad pennys per flight. Even abused spent LiPo's can be turned to other use ... bench servo testing ... model set-up ... etc.

I reckon I get a good run out of my LiPo's ... even though I treat them badly !!

Nano's ... given above ... they just couldn't survive ... and I'm not about to revise my whole LiPo system to cater for a LiPo that evident by others is still going to fail sooner than my others ... so I've stopped using them.

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Old 10-25-2012, 02:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by pattern14 View Post
Thanks for the info Dennis; Looks like I'll have take a leap into technology if I really want some hard evidence about how my batteries are faring. Any hints/tips/suggestions for a reasonable wattmeter and flight recorder? I don't want to take the whole thing so seriously that the fun goes out of it, but a bit more insight never hurts I suppose.
If you are flying somewhat larger models, the Castle Creations ICE series of ESC's (and similar ESCs with this feature) provide access to flight logs that show a lot of information on your flights.

A number of wattmeters are available, some are quite reasonable in price. As for me, I've been using my Astroflight wattmeter now for some 4-5 years, and am quite happy with it. Also have a Craftsman #82369 AC/DC clamp on ammeter that can also measure both AC and DC currents, something most clamp on ammeters can not do.

Both are used on a regular basis.

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Old 10-26-2012, 02:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I'm a terrible abuser of LiPo's .... in my conventional prop tractor models - I am nice to my LiPo's ... they come down cool and still with 30 - 40% still in them.

With my pushers and EDF's ... they come down hot, some puffed, with maybe 15 - 25% left in them

I don't storage charge ... I charge them back up once I get home ready for next session which I try to have each day. But when I go of on assignment like now and I'm away for 2 - 3 weeks - they sit charged waiting my return.

I have LiPo's over 2 yrs old still performing alongside newer and new. In my mind ... a LiPo is going to go down in performance more than most other forms purely due to it's high power and construction. The price for a 2200 3S is not really a ball-crusher ... so it I can get a year out of it ... that's not bad pennys per flight. Even abused spent LiPo's can be turned to other use ... bench servo testing ... model set-up ... etc.

I reckon I get a good run out of my LiPo's ... even though I treat them badly !!

Nano's ... given above ... they just couldn't survive ... and I'm not about to revise my whole LiPo system to cater for a LiPo that evident by others is still going to fail sooner than my others ... so I've stopped using them.

Nigel
They could not have a shorter life than the any of the brand name or budget ones that I have used. I have gotten only 25-30 flights on my EDF's from some batteries that cost twice the price, so I'm not overly concerned. The low price and quantum leap in performance is more than compensating for any drawbacks. My own experience will be the best indicator of how it all goes. When I remember paying $70.00 aud for a 4s lipo 5 years ago, that died with less than 50 flights on it ( read 1 1/2 hours actual flying time) I feel a lot better paying a fraction of that for something that gives twice the power. Then again, my 2200 mah NIMH batteries that I bought at the same time still work fine, but at a quarter of the output. My guess is that someone will bring out something else that leaves nano's in the dust, like lipo's left nicads some years back. Whatever happens, we electric flyers all benefit from tech advances..cheers
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:07 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by pattern14 View Post
They could not have a shorter life than the any of the brand name or budget ones that I have used. I have gotten only 25-30 flights on my EDF's from some batteries that cost twice the price, so I'm not overly concerned. The low price and quantum leap in performance is more than compensating for any drawbacks. My own experience will be the best indicator of how it all goes. When I remember paying $70.00 aud for a 4s lipo 5 years ago, that died with less than 50 flights on it ( read 1 1/2 hours actual flying time) I feel a lot better paying a fraction of that for something that gives twice the power. Then again, my 2200 mah NIMH batteries that I bought at the same time still work fine, but at a quarter of the output. My guess is that someone will bring out something else that leaves nano's in the dust, like lipo's left nicads some years back. Whatever happens, we electric flyers all benefit from tech advances..cheers
The new technology exists, those A123 2300 Mah batteries. They last a LONG time. They have zero fire hazard, cannot "puff", can be recharged in 15 minutes repeatedly. With my Cellpro Powerlab 8 charger, the charging rate has been increased to 7.5 Amps per cell. That is 30 Amps charging current on my Giant Big Sticks 12S2P A123 pack, charged as a 6S4P pack. I've actually had these cells far outlast four or five brand new 120 ampere hour deep cycle batteries used to charge them.

But, they are about 35% more weight for the same performance as a 3 cell 2200 Mah LiPo at 2.5 ounces per cell. And they have about 30% more volume. It takes a 4 cell A123 pack to slightly outperform a 3 cell 2200 Mah Lipo. That makes them really not suitable for the foamie models.

Take a look at the thread below. This year I've added about 100 flights to the total flight count. Still with absolutely no loss of performance.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65583

For those interested, one very good USA source for those A123 cells is www.voltmanbatteries.com.

Take a look:
http://www.voltmanbatteries.com/serv...1-dsh-A/Detail

Between myself and other club members, we've purchased over 100 cells from this company, with zero issues or complaints.

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