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Hi-Performance and Sailplanes RC hotliners, electric pylon racers, F5B, F5D, sailplanes and gliders

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Old 04-09-2007, 02:38 PM   #1
Sky Sharkster
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Default Converting 2 meter Gliders To Electric Power

In an earlier thread I made some recommendations for 1-1/2 meter glider E-conversions; Now we'll move up to the most popular size gliders, 2 meter. Many folks have a bult-up balsa glider stashed away somewhere, not used because of the hassle of setting up, retrieving and untangling the "hi-Start", or the field space required to use one. This is not meant to be a "knock" on Thermal Duration Gliders, I still fly them myself, just another way to get your model in the air.
For a 2 meter glider, weighing 20 oz-30 oz (without power system, otherwise RTF), you will be looking for about 150-200 watts of power, as the addition of the motor, battery and ESC will more than outweigh the ballast removed. Generally, you can expect the complete power system to add about 3/4 lb to 1-1/4 lb for a brushed, NiMH system, less for a brushless motor and LiPoly battery.
If the wing is strong enough for a 2M Hi-Start, it will usually be more than strong enough to handle the addition of a power system. The exception might be a very high-powered brushless system, which could result in speeds high enough to flutter the wings.
The area that most likely need modification is the fuselage; First to make it large enough to accomodate the power system, second to withstand the stresses induced by the (additional) weight and power.
Unless the existing fuse is large enough to fit the entire power system and is in good shape, I strongly recommend building a new fuselage. Simply make it (either) wider or taller, using the motor and battery size for reference. A good rule of thumb is to have the fuselage maintain the same nose length, the prop/spinner just replaces the current nose. The tail moment arm, stab/rudder placement and wing/stab incidence should be as before. Reinforce the wing hold-downs (or convert to bolt-on), add a strong battery compartment and hatch, and replace the towhook with hard plastic glider skids. A skid at the front will save the nose from scrapes, also.
In this installment we'll start with the most basic (and inexpensive!) power system, the direct-drive (no gearbox) brushed, NiMH conversion. For the (former) "fuel" flyers, this is roughly equilivent to a .10-.15 glow power system.
Graupner GR1786 "Speed 600" 9.6V brushed motor, about $20.00
Graupner GPC08045 CAM Folding Prop, 3.2mm Shaft, 38mm Spinner, $16.00
8 Cell X 1100-1500mAH NiMH pack, $25.00-$40.00 each.
30 amp Brushed Speed Controller (ESC) with "Hard" brake function $30.00-$40.00
I'll save you the math, the "low" price is $91.00, upper price $116.00.
Of course, this doesn't include a charger, battery connectors and any other small items like motor mounting screws, motor mounts, etc.
Virtually everything listed can be purchased from Hobby-Lobby.com.
Another option is to used a geardrive (planetary gear) brushed system, this would allow the use of a smaller "speed 400" motor and slightly smaller ESC. However, planetary geardrives aren't cheap and the total price is about the same, or slightly more. Motor efficiency is higher, resulting in less amp draw and longer duration.
Next; Brushless, LiPoly systems, bring your checkbook!
Ron
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:26 PM   #2
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A timely thread Ron. I am just getting back into RC after a 15 year break. I started last fall with a few balsa park flyers and some foamies and have graduated to outrunners and lipos. I have had a 15 year old Great Planes Spectra 2 meter stored in the rafters I just got down yesterday. Weight without the motor, radio gear, servos and battery is 1lb. 8oz. It had an old 05 can motor swinging a direct 8 X 4.5 Graupner folder and used some 1500 mAh Nicd's that weighed 12 oz. I think I used to get 8 minutes of powered flight with decent climb and some 45 minute flights. I used a Futaba E-flight system that had a pretty heavy reciever with BEC with lots of wires, switches and arming button.

I would like to add an outrunner with a folder with maybe a 2500 - 4000 mAh 2s lipo. Haven't decided on an esc, prefer Castle stuff, and will use a Berg Microstamp 4. I am looking forward to more info. BTW I do have a Master Airscrew 05 can motor with a 3:1 gearbox swinging a 12 X 8 folder with spinner from years back I could possibly use 2000mAh Nimh. I think I would have a CG issue if I tried lipos.

Rick
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:54 PM   #3
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Default Welcome Back!

Hello Rick, Glad you're back into the hobby! The Spectra is a fine glider, and I believe there are powered ARF versions available now also.
I'm still compiling the "Brushless" list, got about a dozen motors so far, outrunners, (a couple)direct drive inrunners and geared inrunners. I'm working up the list by price, so far the least-expensive is the E-Flite 480BL 910K, about $65.00. Most motors are between $100.00 and $150.00.
Castle Creations are my favorite ESCs also, next I like the Jeti's. I know you can get less-expensive ESCs but none better, in my opinion.
You might consider getting a new can 500 or 600 for your gearbox, that would be an easy way to upgrade the power and use the motor efficiently.
I should be done with the motor list in a day or two, thanks for the interest!
Ron
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:43 AM   #4
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Default Brushless Options For 2 Meter Gliders

I finally got enough time to look up a few motors for this thread, some are from personal experience, others are based on "spec" and reputation. The prices aren't written in stone, just the first listing I could find. Most are between 140 and 200 watts output, I ran several through a "calc" and used both 9.6volts (8 cell 1500mAH NimH) and 11.1 Volts (3 cell 2100mAH LiPoly) as a baseline. As expected, the "best" props varied with the voltage input, so be sure to run a calc on your equipment to help find the best set-up.

Brushless Inrunners, Direct Drive
Multiplex BL-480/8D $65.00
Jeti Phasor 15/4 $94.00
Medusa Research MR 028-40-1200 $90.00

Brushless Inrunners, Geared (price includes geardrive)
Hacker B 20 18L w/4.4:1 Planetary $154.00
Himax HA2825-4443 w/4.28:1 Planetary $105.00
Mega 16/15/3 w/3:1 Planetary $145.00
Multiplex BL 480/6G w/4.4:1 Planetary $110.00
Medusa Research 028-032-2400 w/4.4:1 Planetary $145.00

Brushless Outrunners, Direct Drive
Hacker A30-16M $75.00
AXI 2808/24 $75.00 (Radial Mount $14.00)
MP JET Syncro AC 2810/10 $ $60.00 (Radial Mount $16.00)
HiMax 2816-0890Kv 1220 $70.00
E-Flite 480 BL 910Kv $65.00

It's a start! If you've used others like Aveox, Astro Flite, NEU, or whatever, please feel free to add them on. Share the knowledge!
Ron
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Old 04-11-2007, 07:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sky Sharkster View Post
Hello Rick, Glad you're back into the hobby!
Castle Creations are my favorite ESCs also, next I like the Jeti's. I know you can get less-expensive ESCs but none better, in my opinion.
I noticed that CC is going to have some TBird 36 & 54 available soon. I have the Castle Link also. That really makes programming a snap.
You might consider getting a new can 500 or 600 for your gearbox, that would be an easy way to upgrade the power and use the motor efficiently.
I have new 05 can motor with a Master Airscrew gearbox swinging a 12 X 8 folder I bought but never used. Is the old 05 can motor the same as a 500? I noticed it was fused at 25amps. It measures 56mm X 36mm diameter. Just found it on Tower's website - looks like it is a 550.
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Old 04-12-2007, 01:46 AM   #6
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Default 500, 550 or 600?

Hi Rick, good question on the motor size! My impression was, what we used to call a "550" is now a "600" but a check of my Hobby-Lobby.com catalog cleared up the mystery; They (the 500 and 600) use the same can! They're both 1-3/8" (36mm roughly) diameter and 2-1/4" (58mm) long. Both have a 1/8" shaft, also.
Big difference in weight, "500" is 6 oz., "600" is 8 ounces. Output ratings are different also, the 500 is described as being suitable for 50 oz to 65 oz planes, consume 100-200 watts and 7 to 20 amps.
The "600" is rated for 50-70 ounce planes, 130 to 300 watts at 15 to 30 amps. Heavier magnets? More wire? Anyway they should both fit.
I'm waiting for the larger CC T-Birds, got a spot all picked out for the 36A one!
Good Luck and Thermals!
Ron
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sky Sharkster View Post
I'm waiting for the larger CC T-Birds, got a spot all picked out for the 36A one!
Ron
I think they are supposed to be available in about 3 weeks.
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:08 AM   #8
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Ron,

Just a suggestion. I am very familiar with the Multiplex Permax Brushless motors. I have several and run them on my e-sailplanes. They are well sized and perform well with a gearbox. I think for a 2M plane, you might be better off with the Permax 400 sized brushless. They weight 2.5-3 oz less than their 480 counterparts, and when properly propped, they can put out well over 50 oz of thrust. Plus, they have lower amperage requirements than the 480, and so they can use smaller lipo cells.

Just my thoughts. I am currently running a 480 4.4:1 on my 2.5 meter, and it yanks it straight up. A 400 4.4:1 does the same for my 2 meter.

Matt
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:38 AM   #9
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Default MultiPlex Motors

Hi Matt, Thanks for the feedback! I'm hoping to get some real-life suggestions for this thread. I've seen the Multiplex motors used as direct-drive, but went by the specs and calc for the geared suggestion. Now we've got some hard info! Also I tried to put some "big" motors and smaller (output) motors in each section, since I don't know how heavy or "draggy" the application might be.
A question; Is your 2.5m more of a thermal glider or "warmliner"? I'm designing a new 2 meter, will be using either a Quabeck or RG section, hoping for a fast (but not ballistic) climb. It will be balsa D-tube, spruce spars and C/F reinforced L.E. + sub T.E. (spoilers and ailerons). So, do you think the 480 geared will be too much? I want good power but not stupid power. Projected weight 32-34 oz.
Thanks again,
Ron
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Old 04-17-2007, 11:58 AM   #10
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Ron,

I have two setups for my 2.5m. I can fly with a heavy prop and draw 350W to the motor for high climb rates in F5J, or I can prop down and draw ~150W for endurance flying. She climbs just fine on with the endurance setup, and you could fly that for F5J if you wanted, but it wouldn't be all that competitive. I use the endurance setup for trying really long TD flights for fun, or for flying cross country.

The AUW is around 40 oz.

The 2 meter (which runs the BL400-8D/4.4:1) is set up as a climbing machine for 10 minute flights.

At 32-34 oz, you are right in the middle of the two. The real drawback of the 480 to me is weight. It weighs a full 2.5 oz more than the 400. If you need weight in the nose for balance, then go with the 480, as it will provide much more thrust than 2 oz of lead.

Matt
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:14 PM   #11
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Hi Sharkster. I'm new to this thread, and tried to send a msg yesterday, but I apparently sent it into orbit! Maybe this will do better! I haven't built an electric in about 10 years, and still have an old direct drive Mole Technology setup, with field charger, and a ton weight nicad pack!! Boy!! What a difference in battery capacity and weight today! I have an Italian Salto sailplane, Fiberglass fuse and sheeted foam wings & tail, and thought I'd like to finish it up as an electric assist project. Has anybody in the thread heard of it, and I'm going to have to read everything here to educate myself on motors! The only real thing I know,is connect a battery & things spin!! I'm thinking of a pylon pod mounted system. Anybody expert on those?? Thanks for any help I can get! (There are some who say I'm beyond help! LIES, ALL LIES!!) Lee Robinson W. Palm Beach, FL.
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Old 05-17-2007, 01:21 AM   #12
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Default Back In to Modeling?

Hello Lee, Welcome to Wattflyer!
Yes, things have changed in the last decade, nearly everything that has been powered by glow can be powered by electric. There's also a whole new world of small "Parkflyers", indoor and micro models, electric ducted fans, helis and of course, powered gliders.
Basically all you'll need is a motor, speed controller, folding prop and battery pack; Assuming the model has an available "throttle" port in the RX, and is otherwise ready to fly.
There are several sites that recommend specific motors and entire power systems for the sailplanes they sell. If you take a look at their planes, you'll find some that are close to your model in size and weight.
http://www.espritmodel.com/index.asp...S&Category=551
http://www.nesail.com/categories.php...31965f76a12279
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/elsailb.htm
Also, if you would post the specs for your glider, I'm sure you'll get some recommendations here.
I've always prefered the nose-mounted motors over the pylon mounts, more streamlined and easier to use as ballast. However, if you want a pylon-mounted system, I believe Carl Goldberg still sells the assembly, it should fit most small electric motors.
Good Luck, any questions, fire away!
Ron
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Old 05-17-2007, 03:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Sky Sharkster View Post
However, if you want a pylon-mounted system, I believe Carl Goldberg still sells the assembly, it should fit most small electric motors.
Ron
Here's a link to the "Power Pod" that Carl Goldberg sells. You can purchase them at Tower Hobbies IIRC.
http://www.carlgoldbergproducts.com/electricacc.htm
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Old 05-17-2007, 06:22 PM   #14
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Great topic, Ron. I have some experience with one of your suggestions- the Jeti Phasor 15/4 direct with a Jeti 30Amp BL ESC and a 7 cell 1700ma Nicad pack on a converted Aspire 2 meter glider. A 10x6 Aeronaut folder is perfect for it, delivering 30 Amps at full throttle.

I had used a Phasor with a heavy alumiminum geardrive and a larger prop on a Goldberg Electra but it's not really needed- just adds a lot of weight!

I had a thermal dream flight on a magic day with it last season and have never regretted going E with it! Weight is a biggie in the performance of these guys and a light outrunner and a lipo pack would optimize it for soaring- but watching it climb as steeply and fast as anything else at the field is a joy! It gets far more airtime than it ever got as a high-start glider!

The one 30 minute soaring flight I got from a HS launch has been topped many times with the electric configuration!

I had tried a Speed 400 with a planetary geardrive as an experiment in minimum weight/power with this same 2 M glider and I can not recomend it! Barely climbed! I wanted to keep the weight to a minimum to preserve the amazing slow glide performance of this graceful plane- but if ya can't get wayyy up there- the whole world is made of trees!

Keep it strong and add lightness!
TW
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:19 AM   #15
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Default More Power?

To Ohiopete, Thanks for the link, I've seen the power pods on a Gentle Lady and other gliders, it's a quick conversion.
To TW, The Jeti Phasor is a great motor, I have a 15/3. Lots of power and only weighs as much as a "Speed 600", about 5-1/2 ounces. This is about the same as an alumininum planetary G/B and "Speed 400" set-up, but more power.
You're right about the flight times, some of it might be that you can climb higher than a typical hi-start and the thermals are stronger at altitude. Also the extra weight is handy for returning upwind.
Thanks for the replies!
Ron
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Old 05-18-2007, 10:48 PM   #16
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Electriced 2Ms....
http://www.angelfire.com/indie/aerostuff/eGLcg2.htm
http://www.angelfire.com/indie/aerostuff/GPeSpirit.htm
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:40 AM   #17
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Default Green Sleves

Hi guys

Recently i built a GP spectra ( got the kit but built a scratchy with ailerons 25% of the tips ) and powered it with a Monster truck motor 360 type Graupner 8x4.5 folding prop on 2s2200 LiPo cells. Excelent preformance ( not vertical by any means ) and some great flights till last week end, some nice thermals around and a clubmate or 2 were up at the same time ( very quiet flying ) and %^&* who will remain nameless decided to try to fly in the same piece of heaven as myself. Ahhh the joys of rebuilding :-)

Anyway the main reason for this post is im looking at the GREEN SLEVES 2M glider and was looking for some performance reviews/comments on the general construction/performance of it with the view of switching to an BL inrunner/outrunner and LiPo's. In australia its available for $149 complete with motor.

Cheers Bernd Steinmetz :o
Mornington peninsular
Victoria
Australia
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Old 05-03-2008, 07:11 PM   #18
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OK, I know I am going to get shot down for this, but I bought a Tower Hobbies Vista with speed 600 motor setup and was not happy at all with the performance of this glider in the least. Yes it climbed up and flew, but was heave and would fly right through anything but a strong thermal without even showing indications that I was in something. I changed the motor out for a KD A22-20L from Hobby City ($16.79) and replaced the battery with a 2200mah 3S1P and a new 30A ESC. I love the way it climbs now and it's light enough to tell me what is going on in the air and I am finding many more thermals now also. It's a 200W motor and running an 11X6 folding prop on it and the climb is about 70 deg. now instead of around 20 before and the weight reduction is great. I did this change over for around $105.00 total cost for everything and do not regret it one bit. Hope everyone gets a chance to fly powered sailplanes at least once in their lives if nothing more then to see how much fun it can be.
Ed
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:00 AM   #19
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I have a Vista Glider from Tower Hobbies. Use a histart for launching. Due to a medical problem walking has become difficult. I want to convert my Vista to EP..

Does anyone in the WattFlyyer family of glider pilots hava Vista EP? I emailed Tower asking for information on the motor, folding prop, motormount, batteries, speed control. etc. The answer I got was not the typical reply I have received in the past. Basically, they told me to look elseware for the info.

If anyone has a Vista EP I would like to know the Tower part numbers for the the above listed items.

Thanks in advance.

Ed Emmons

e-mail: bneemmons@aol.com
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ed Emmons View Post
I have a Vista Glider from Tower Hobbies. Use a histart for launching. Due to a medical problem walking has become difficult. I want to convert my Vista to EP..

Does anyone in the WattFlyyer family of glider pilots hava Vista EP? I emailed Tower asking for information on the motor, folding prop, motormount, batteries, speed control. etc. The answer I got was not the typical reply I have received in the past. Basically, they told me to look elseware for the info.

If anyone has a Vista EP I would like to know the Tower part numbers for the the above listed items.

Thanks in advance.

Ed Emmons

e-mail: bneemmons@aol.com
Here is the link from Tower under "Tech Notes" for the Vista EP.

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...MUY1&P=ML#tech
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:50 PM   #21
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Rickochet,

Manny thanks. Just the info I was looking for.

Ed
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:00 AM   #22
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If you want the stock set-up, that is fine, but it will fly MUCH better with a brushless set-up. I have the Vista and love it, but not the stock set-up. I didn't like the way it flew and it sure didn't do much in thermals. It did come down fast though. I changer to a brushless set-up and the climb is MUCH better, the glide is better and it will thermal pretty good now. Most of my thermaling problems are mine though, so I can't blame the glider for that. I can give you some information on installing a brushless set-up if you are interested, but that's up to you. All I can say is it flies MUCH better with a brushless then the brushed motor. Let me know if you are interested and I'll give you the details.
Ed
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:55 AM   #23
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mred,

Any info you would care to pass along will be appreciated. replacement motor, folding prop, esc,
CG location or any changs you made to improve performance.

Many thanks,

Ed Emmons
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:34 AM   #24
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OK, this is what I have in my Vista and it flies GREAT.
KD A22-20L motor
Turnigy Plush 25A ESC
2200mah LiPo battery
Alum Spinner for folding prop
11X6 Groupner folding blades from Esprit models.

I also use small servos instead of the large ones. Blue Bird 380 from BP Hobbies work great. I would say something around a 25oz torque servo would be fine. You don't need that much for the glide, but I like to make sure on the power part of the flight. The motor is a 200 Watt motor and you can get everything from Hobby City for $100.00 or so. It climbs at about 60 to 70 deg angle and flies around great compaired to the stock system. I climb up in about 10 or 15 seconds instead of over a min and maybe 3 climbs before the battery is to week to climb anymore. The more weight you save the better it flies. I can get 45 min flights or better out of it now and I never came close to that with the stock system. The motor pulls around 21 amps at first dropping to about 19 after a few seconds. With the 2200mah battery I get about 6 or 8 climbs and then land and change out batteries. I don't like to run them down to much, so I have 2 of them and charge one while I am flying the other. CG is the same for the glider no matter what you set it up for. Motor or no motor the CG is the same. I hand launch at 1/2 throttle and slowly go to full while giving it down elevator to keep it from looping and watch the airspeed, it will build up fast. The first few launches you can use about 1/2 throttle until you get used to it and go from there. The motor is a 28mmX29mm and 200 watts, so if you want to use a different motor you can. It has a 3mm shaft, so you will need to get a 3mm adapter for the spinner. You get that with the spinner when you buy it at Hobby City. The biggest with a 3mm is a 40mm, so you may need to buy a 45mm also if you want a bigger spinner. The adapter will fit either spinner. They are pretty cheap, so buying 2 is not that bad. That's about it. Hope this helps and I am sure you will enjoy it more with a brushless then the stock system. Nobody that I know flies with a brushed motor in this kind of glider, they are just to heavy, but they do fly. They just don't thermal very good and that is the point is it not? Take care and hope you enjoy it. If you have any more questions let me know.
Ed
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Old 05-08-2008, 04:10 PM   #25
Ed Emmons
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mred,

Thanks for the info. You have pointed me in the rightdirection.

Thanks,

Ed
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