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Sport Planes (Formerly I/C & Gas Conversion) Discuss I/C or Gas Conversions, Aerobatic Planes and Sport Aircraft

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Old 04-22-2008, 02:13 AM   #1
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Default Hanger 9 Showtime 50 Hacker Outrunner Flight Tests 6S2P A123 cell performance

06-01-2011
Update - After several years of flying with this model, the 6S2P A123 pack was upgraded to a 7S2P A123 pack. The Hacker motor handles this extra power with zero problems. The model will now fly straight up out of sight, and is obviously higher performance than a fellow club members Showtime 50 with a 4 stroke 70 glow engine. The motor gained about 700 RPM on the 16X12 prop with the extra cells. Note that a Castle Creations 60 Amp ESC has been installed in this model.

04-16-09
Update - After a season of flying with this model, I've increased my flight time per charge to 8 1/3minutes, taking 2/3 capacity out of the battery, and leaving 1/3 for go arounds and such. And, after putting 7 flights on the two models, my 120 Amp Hour deep cycle battery required 54 Amp Hours to recharge it.

12-13-08
Update - Both my models running 6S2P A123 cells now have over 200 AmpHours pulled from the battery pack during the 2008 flying season. The performance of both Hacker motors has not changed in RPM or flying time from the beginning of the season. In fact, the AmpHour and voltage under load is within measuring accuracy of 2% as tested with my discharge test set.

I've just conducted the first 10 flights on the above combination. The set up is the Hacker A50-16S motor, APC-E 16/12 Prop, 6S2P A123 2.3 AmpHr (Dewalt) cells, Castle Creations HV 45 Amp ESC. This combo pulls a measured 44 Amps full throttle at 18 VDC out of the batteries, and spins the 16/12 Prop at about 5800 RPM. The Showtime 50 weighs in at 8 pounds ready to go.

5-13-08 This model now has 25 flights on it. The Showtime 50 is off the ground in about 25 feet under no wind conditions. It climbs out at 45 degrees, and keeps going. After a flight, the motor and batteries are only about 10 degrees above ambient. It won't do 3D, but I didn't want a helicopter anyhow.

6-22-08
The Showtime 50 model how has 75 flights on it. Both the Showtime 50 and 150% Electrostreak have been checked out with the Winged Shadow "How Fast" device. The Showtime 50 checked out at 71 MPH level flight, the 150% Electrostreak at 81 MPH level flight. The Electrostreak peaked out at 96 MPH in a steep dive.

7-23-08
The Electrostreak now has a total of 102 AmpHours pulled from the 6S2P A123 cells. That represents four hours 10 minutes of actual flying time on this model. The performance of the A123 cells and the Hacker A50-12S motor is identical to measurements made at the beginning of this flying season!

By the way, if you take the number of minutes you flew the model, divide it into 60 (minutes) and multiply by the amp hours you put back into the battery after a flight, this approximates the average current pulled by the motor during your flight! (Recharging a battery is not 100% efficient, the A123's are about 80-90% efficient during a recharge.)

By the way, the shrink wrapping on the A123 cells was made from a 1.5 liter plastic bottle from the grocery store that contained tea. This stuff will shrink about 20% or so, and is far more sturdy than the film type shrink wraps.

I was somewhat worried about the slow RPM on the motor, but after flight tests, this thing takes off in 20-25 feet. MotoCalc suggests it will fly at about 60 miles per hour and climb at 2100 feet per minute at 50 degrees upward, those numbers appear to be realistic.

What is surprising, this set up will fly 9-10 minutes with reserve on a full charge with acrobatics. (I go back to the 40 size geared brush motors with Nicads, that had 3 minute flights with far less performance. My first motors 28 years ago were hand wound brush motors!)

Charging the batteries is with my own design A123 charger that puts out a regulated 21.6 VDC with current limiting of 10 Amps off of a 12 VDC 120 AmpHour lead acid battery. (No, I won't be making drawings available, its microcontroller controlled, and is rather complex.)

Currently I've got 12 electrics, from 10 ounces, to a scratch built 8 pound Electrostreak expanded to 150% larger than the original Streak, also running a Hacker A50-12S. It flies like a pattern ship. This model has been flying continuously for 6 years.

Go Electric!! (I last flew glow in 1969)


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Old 04-22-2008, 02:18 AM   #2
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Welcome to Wattflyer! Boy have you found the right spot!

Glad to have you aboard. Sounds like a real nice setup you have there!

2012 SEFF Night Bowling Champion!
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Old 05-03-2008, 02:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the review. I also use the A123 batteries and I believe they should be charged to 3.6V each. This will produce a voltage of 21.6 volts instead of only 18 volts.
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Old 05-03-2008, 04:52 PM   #4
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Hi
Thats 18 VDC under load, I do charge to 21.6 VDC at 10 Amps (5 Amps each cell)
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:40 PM   #5
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Have you tried a 6S lipo on your plane? I like the A123s, but I'm having a hard time locating the Dewalt 36V battery packs. Everybody wants them now so I have started using Zippy and TureRC lipos. They are cheaper and lighter, but require a longer charge time than the A123s. My plane is a Fliton Inspire 60 powered with the Hacker A50-S16 pulling a APCE 16X8 prop. At 6 pounds (w/batt), this plane will fly for 10 minutes (3D) and 13 minutes for slow pattern flying. I have not checked the load voltage, but the max. (peak) current draw is 52A and the motor is puling 24A @ 60% throttle. I'm considering using this motor on a 8 pound warbird. Are you happy with the power range of your setup or would the Hacker A50-L series be a better choice?
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:59 PM   #6
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SWEET!! Welcome to Wattflyer friend! You wouldn't happen to have any pics would ya? Sounds like a pretty fun fly friend.

Mike
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:21 PM   #7
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Not on this computer. I'll search for them and post them later.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:36 PM   #8
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Default Reply to Indsolutions

Originally Posted by indsolutions View Post
Have you tried a 6S lipo on your plane? I like the A123s, but I'm having a hard time locating the Dewalt 36V battery packs. Everybody wants them now so I have started using Zippy and TureRC lipos. They are cheaper and lighter, but require a longer charge time than the A123s. My plane is a Fliton Inspire 60 powered with the Hacker A50-S16 pulling a APCE 16X8 prop. At 6 pounds (w/batt), this plane will fly for 10 minutes (3D) and 13 minutes for slow pattern flying. I have not checked the load voltage, but the max. (peak) current draw is 52A and the motor is puling 24A @ 60% throttle. I'm considering using this motor on a 8 pound warbird. Are you happy with the power range of your setup or would the Hacker A50-L series be a better choice?
I bought my Dewalt batteries on Ebay. Yes the price is going up. Their is a place in Washington state, I believe that they will build A123 packs to your specs. Its web page is http://www.battlepack.com/LiFEPO4.asp. (I've not ordered from them or had any contact with them, only what's on the Internet. But after re-wiring four Dewalt battery packs in the past year, battlepacks prices are getting more reasonable, considering the work involved in the Dewalt packs.
No, I've not tried ANY Lipo batteries. Personal opinion, they many issues including long recharge time, at least as compared to the A123's. I recharge my 6S2P A123's at 10 Amps in 15-20 minutes with a home made charger. (This charger is quite complex, using microcontrollers, switching power supplies and the like. It would be cheaper to buy one, but I had access to parts from work.) The A123's do weigh more, have slightly more internal resistance, but from what I can find on the Internet, they have a longer lifespan. One of my models has 4S1P A123's on a Hacker A40-12S motor pulling 38 Amps on the ground. Absolutely no change in battery performance from the beginning of last year to this year, after about 75 flights.

I've got a Hacker A50-12S motor, APC-E 14-10 prop, (7950 RPM) 6S2P A123's on a scratch built 150% version of the familiar Electrostreak. This 65 inch model has 850 Square inches, weighs in at 8 pounds even. This might be in the same area as your 8 pound war plane. The Hacker is pulling about 50 Amps on the ground, average during a flight is about 22 Amps. On landing, the Hacker motor and batteries are only lukewarm as measured by an infrared thermometer. The model flies with authority, and other club members have indicated it flies like a pattern plane. It won't do 3D, but if I wanted a helicopter, I'd buy one.

Not tried any of the Hacker A50-XXL long motors, have not needed to yet. So far I've used the Hacker A30, A40 and A50-12S, plus A50-16S. All work very well, all are only lukewarm after landing. I do provide full air cooling on the motors.

Good luck on your war bird, let me know how it works out.
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:07 PM   #9
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Found the A123 source at http://www.battlepack.com/LiFEPO4.asp.

I only found this on the internet, have not purchased from them or had any business with them. You need the A123 2300 MaHr part 26650 for some $19.00. The other A123 is cheaper, but its specs show internal resistance. (Might be OK for receiver packs)

Check them out and see what you find.
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:42 PM   #10
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You said you have a Hacker A40-12S outrunner. What prop and cell count do you use? I have one and I'm not happy with it. It's noisy, sounds like an electrical arc, but it doesn't over-heat. I've tried to take it apart, but have not been able to remove the shaft. I don't want to force it. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-29-2008, 05:46 AM   #11
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Default Hacker A40-12S

After buying this motor, and running it with an APC-E 13X6.5 prop with 4S1P A123 cells and Castle Creations 45 Amp ESC, I couldn't figure out why they did not include the prop hub.

Several phone calls to Hacker led me to find I've been shipped a Helicopter Motor! Hacker offered to exchange the motor for the proper unit, but the motor I've got runs just fine. Its installed in a Limbo Dancer from the late 1990's. The model weighs in at 4 1/4 pounds, and turns the 13X6.5 prop at 7700 RPM, pulling about 38 Amps. This thing will fly vertically out of sight. I've got two years flying on this motor and A123 battery setup. Absolutely no loss of performance from new with either the motor or the A123 cells!

These 40-50-60 series Hackers motor has three ball bearings. Two to support the motor shaft, the third to support the "Bell End" of the rotating magnet structure. Unless you severely overheated the motor and damaged one of the magnets, its hard to see how the motor could run ragged. Perhaps your ESC is causing problems?

I've only used CC ESC controls, and have no experience with other units. I have read on the Internet that some of the other brand ESC units can not keep up with the switching speed of these outrunners, and can cause problems with running properly.

Let me know what you find.
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Old 05-29-2008, 04:30 PM   #12
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More thoughts on these outrunner motors. Electrically, they are not really complex, and can easily be checked out for problems. All that is required is a variable speed battery operated drill, and a AC volt meter. All of these brushless motors are in fact three phase motors, or perhaps a syncronous three phase motor with a variable speed drive, the ESC units we are familiar with.

For what it's worth, this is how I've checked out various motors and automotive alternators that I've wound up or rewound. (Some years ago, I rewound an automotive alternator to put out 70 Volts. It was used along with a 3.5 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine as my design peak charger for the 38 Nicad Cells used in a 1/4 scale Piper Cub model airplane.)

First:
Disconnect the motor from the ESC, chuck it into the drill, and wind it up while holding the stationary part with the three lead wires. The rotation should be very smooth, with no rattling, virtually no noise. Also, their should be very little drag.

Second:
Run the motor with the drill for a minute or two. Nothing inside the motor should get warm or hot. If so, you've got a shorted winding or two, you've got a real problem. Or, a magnet has come loose, dragging against the stator inside the motor.

Third:
Short circuit all three wires together directly at the ends of the motor windings. Then SLOWLY wind up the variable speed drill while holding the stationary part. Be careful, you will have considerable drag where the motor will try to twist out of your hands. This drag will be very even, with little variation, and no "Chugging". As a comparison, only short two wires, and try again. This test will be very obviously much less smooth than when all three wires are shorted. Don't run the motor more than 5 or 10 seconds, as the windings will get warm doing this. (Don't use jumper wires, we are generating 20-30 Amperes of current at very low voltage, jumper wires won't work.)

Forth:
Isolate all three motor wires, and label them #1, #2 and #3. Connect your voltmeter to an AC range, and connect to terminals #1 and #2. Wind up your drill to full speed, and write down the AC voltage. Then repeat this test on terminals #2 and #3. And again on terminals #3 and #1. All three voltage readings should be near identical, providing your drill is running at the same speed on all tests.

If all looks good, I suspect problems with your ESC. Or even your receiver, if during the ragged motor running other servo's are jittery.

I've got one Hacker 30, one Hacker 40, and two Hacker 50 motors. All run like fine sewing machines at all RPM's and load conditions. The two Hacker 50 motors have no problem turning over at about 150 RPM!
Good Luck!
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