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Power Systems Talk about motors, ESC speed controllers, gear drives, propellers, power system simulators and all power system related topics

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Old 03-18-2014, 08:12 PM   #1
Misa Rakic
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Default Motor Master 5000 - rpm, thrust, power, etc. meter and tester

OK, so I finally got sick of testing my motors/esc/props on make-shift test stands. I decided to make something that will be as close to finished product as possible and hopefully, if there is any interest I could make it into an official product.

Without further ado, I present Motor Master 5000 (as in 5000g max thrust). Here are the specs:

1) Max voltage - 28V (0.1V resolution)
2) Max current - 50A (0.01A resolution)
3) Max load - 5000g (1g resolution, ~175oz)
4) Max RPM - 30000 (for measuring performance without the prop)
5) Size - 50 x 35 x 10 cm (LxHxW ~ 20"x14"x4")
6) Weight - 2kg (~ 4lbs)

Right now It's a standalone product and it displays data on the color LCD and also sends data via serial connection to the computer where you can further analyze it.

It sends data in ASCII or binary format (to be interpreted in the client application e.g. Processing which I will post soon too). Here is the sample ASCII output that can be pasted in Excel and then you can do with it as you please.

MotorMaster 5000 ver 1.0.1
VCC[mV] 4935 Cell K 0.186423 Offset 2083.6311 RAM 972
Servo RPM Vb[mV] I[mA] Thr[g] Cell Eff[g/W]
1000 0 11229 0 2.49 2097 0
1000 0 11229 0 2.49 2097 0
1050 382 11200 114 4.17 2106 3.43
1050 410 11200 105 3.98 2105 3.68
1100 804 11200 168 24.49 2215 13.56
1100 813 11200 168 25.42 2220 14.11
1150 1081 11200 265 45.93 2330 15.81
1150 1082 11200 259 46.12 2331 15.91
1200 1362 11168 441 70.16 2460 14.30
1200 1369 11170 413 71.10 2465 15.45
...


I would like it to (eventually) become an open source project but for now I will keep polishing it until it is ready for "public scrutiny"

Here are some pictures (sorry for the lighting) and I will soon be posting more and some videos too.

Oh and yeah, good news is it's also an Arduino! (Pro Mini which was even cheaper than the ATMega328p chip and you can easily replace it or use elsewhere in a dire need)

I'm open for suggestions and comments so please feel free to write.

Cheers,
Misa


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Old 03-19-2014, 11:10 AM   #2
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Very Very Nice Piece of Test Equipment, problem is that most RCrs Are Very Very Tight with their money, I find it hard to Convince people to Buy a Simple Watt meter thats a must have to protect Their Power System investment, Good luck to you, try to keep the price down so you will sell more units, Take care and have fun, Chellie

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Old 03-19-2014, 11:21 AM   #3
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Also, Do a market Survey on these Forums to see if there is a Good market for your product at a price that you will be selling them at.

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Old 03-19-2014, 12:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Very Very Nice Piece of Test Equipment, problem is that most RCrs Are Very Very Tight with their money, I find it hard to Convince people to Buy a Simple Watt meter thats a must have to protect Their Power System investment, Good luck to you, try to keep the price down so you will sell more units, Take care and have fun, Chellie
Chellie, thank you for your post. I agree 100% with you. That is why I would like to get the price down to $99. Currently it is closer to $200 to build but I believe with the right volume (500+) that I can get there.

What do you think about that price?
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Old 03-19-2014, 01:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CHELLIE View Post
Also, Do a market Survey on these Forums to see if there is a Good market for your product at a price that you will be selling them at.
Sorry I'm new to this forum, how do I do that? The survey I mean.
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Old 03-21-2014, 01:18 PM   #6
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Chellie, thank you for the PM but I can't send them yet I will do what you suggested, thank you
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:32 PM   #7
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I think you need a higher amp limit. I have a few 3 cells pushing 49 amps.

Honestly, I already have a scale and everything I would need to build one. I'm not trying to dog on your tester at all. but im really cheap. for that price I could buy two complete motor and esc's and a scale using my watt meter to get the exact same effects.

slow stock prop reversal. it flies! easily! 543 watt dual motor bipe slow stick. push-me-pull-you. 242 watt 3 channel slow stick. 365 watt mini ultra stick. 415 watt mini contender. 810 watt ultra stick .25e. 220 watt alpha 450 sport (retired).
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Old 03-21-2014, 09:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Misa Rakic View Post
Chellie, thank you for your post. I agree 100% with you. That is why I would like to get the price down to $99. Currently it is closer to $200 to build but I believe with the right volume (500+) that I can get there.

What do you think about that price?
It might be a good item for a club purchase.

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Old 03-21-2014, 09:55 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Marketing and Production

Misa

Chellie makes a very good point....!

A marketing survey could go a long way towards finding your "target" audience.......which in turn, will provide you with more "vitals" related to who and where you should focus your efforts.

Most decent RC forums have the ability to contribute to a survey through their user tools found in the posting a thread aspects of the forum.....it's a good place to start-up a conversation and gain feed back.

Curious about the production aspect.....?.........many of the parts (equipment) needed to supply and build this device will most likely be purchased from other sources (at some cost bundeled/packaged/distributed)....and without a bulk rate discount, will keep your investment costs higher.
Also, if you intend to "outsource" the manufacturing and distribution, particularly within the U.S., Canada, Mexico.......costs associated with tarrifs/taxes of such come into play....as well as the cost required to provide warranty/customer service and repairs that will come up from customers "screwing" it up or not satisfied.......who/where/how will those "fixes" be handled and by what method guaranteed....?

Just a few considerations one may consider if the investment bank role is on a budget that is a little thin during start-up....

Great to see an entrapanuer like yourself giving this a try!

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Old 03-22-2014, 01:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by hayofstacks View Post
I think you need a higher amp limit. I have a few 3 cells pushing 49 amps.

Honestly, I already have a scale and everything I would need to build one. I'm not trying to dog on your tester at all. but im really cheap. for that price I could buy two complete motor and esc's and a scale using my watt meter to get the exact same effects.
Well, if you have all the measurement tools than you don't have that cost. However, that cost is real. It is easily $60 (for very cheap) to $100+ (more accurate) just for the measuring equipment. And then you need a test stand... That costs something too, and design mistakes are even more costly (that is when I really start throwing money on it to make it work )

Finally, reading values is everything but simple and if you want to make graphs (I know I do ) you really have to work.

Quick question: how do you measure power; two (super cheap) voltmeters and a shunt or a power meter? I personally purchased multiple power-meters just to avoid dealing with reading current and it is *definitely* cheaper to build it (and not very hard either).
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Old 03-22-2014, 01:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
Misa

Chellie makes a very good point....!

A marketing survey could go a long way towards finding your "target" audience.......which in turn, will provide you with more "vitals" related to who and where you should focus your efforts.

Most decent RC forums have the ability to contribute to a survey through their user tools found in the posting a thread aspects of the forum.....it's a good place to start-up a conversation and gain feed back.

Curious about the production aspect.....?.........many of the parts (equipment) needed to supply and build this device will most likely be purchased from other sources (at some cost bundeled/packaged/distributed)....and without a bulk rate discount, will keep your investment costs higher.
Also, if you intend to "outsource" the manufacturing and distribution, particularly within the U.S., Canada, Mexico.......costs associated with tarrifs/taxes of such come into play....as well as the cost required to provide warranty/customer service and repairs that will come up from customers "screwing" it up or not satisfied.......who/where/how will those "fixes" be handled and by what method guaranteed....?

Just a few considerations one may consider if the investment bank role is on a budget that is a little thin during start-up....

Great to see an entrapanuer like yourself giving this a try!
Thank you pizzano, you are absolutely right and it is obvious you have experience with startups/production (personally I am involved in medical device design/development/production) and Chellie is spot on regarding marketing survey (thank you Chellie) which is why I took her advice Already there are interesting points arising from these discussions.

As for the manufacturing, 500+ volume would provide exactly that: volume discounts and rates which would make $99 price tag possible. Eventually I will make all the software (both PC side and firmware, it is an Arduino based microcontroller inside after all) open and people could improve the system themselves. Just imagine having many people improving on the same platform, it would make for some fabulous results that everyone will benefit from.

The main idea was to remove the difficult task of manufacturing the hardware (which is always most time/effort consuming) and then hopefully there would be some people smarter than me that would improve the experience (be it software, firmware, algorithms...). For that you always need volume...
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:08 PM   #12
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People who would be interested in a motor test stand are likely to want to be able to test some much higher power motors... and probably will have made their own.

I use motors up to 12S LiPo (50.4 volts full charge) at up to 105 amps currently and expect to go to 18S LiPo relatively soon.
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Old 03-22-2014, 03:52 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
People who would be interested in a motor test stand are likely to want to be able to test some much higher power motors... and probably will have made their own.

I use motors up to 6S LiPo (50.4 volts full charge) at up to 105 amps currently and expect to go to 18S LiPo relatively soon.
Hi fhhuber, I believe you meant 16S. The voltage limitation is not a problem and neither is the current.

Right now I put 50A and 28V but could easily go to 100A (even 200A) with 50 - 60V. It does increase expenses b/c of thicker wires and more expensive shunts, bit more considerations about reducing the voltage for voltage regulator (or none at all if you use the power from the ESC).

However, it would require stronger load cell (10 - 20Kg) which reduces sensitivity for smaller loads. Possibly bit stronger construction although it is pretty over-engineered as is.

So, for someone like you that would probably mean MM10K/20K (as in Motor Master 10000 or 20000g). I can also see the need for smaller one as well, up to say 1000/2000g (~35 - 70 oz) which would be more compact and accurate in that range.

What size prop do you use for such setup? That is also a factor in determining the size of the arm, although it does not need to be 1:1 arm:length ratio.
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:33 PM   #14
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When I say 18S (75.6 volts full charge) I mean it.

22 inch prop turning 8000 rpm on 12S. Burned up my wattmeter...
No testing done on 18S yet. I'm shopping for the motor and ESC for the "conventional" prop. I'll also be using it for an EDF which just needs an ESC upgrade.
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:53 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
When I say 18S (75.6 volts full charge) I mean it.

22 inch prop turning 8000 rpm on 12S. Burned up my wattmeter...
No testing done on 18S yet. I'm shopping for the motor and ESC for the "conventional" prop. I'll also be using it for an EDF which just needs an ESC upgrade.
Below you said "I use motors up to 6S LiPo (50.4 volts full charge)..." My guess was you meant 16S but you actually meant 12S.

I understand 18S. Again that should not be a problem at all, just a matter of finding the right voltage regulator to produce 5V for electronics (which is what you probably burned in your wattmeter if it is rated for 100A) and even that is not the big issue, just a matter of price (something like $5 for VR versus $1).

As for the prop, the setup on the picture can support that.

What is the max thrust you measured?
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Old 03-22-2014, 04:55 PM   #16
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Yes.. I typoe saying the wrong cell count (6S) but correct voltage meaning 12S.

12 X 4.2 = 50.4

Max thrust measurements I have are not accurate... using a fish scale tied to the tail of the aircraft. Over-ranged it on the 22 inch prop. 18 to 22 lbs on the 12S EDF.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Yes.. I typoe saying the wrong cell count (6S) but correct voltage meaning 12S.

12 X 4.2 = 50.4

Max thrust measurements I have are not accurate... using a fish scale tied to the tail of the aircraft. Over-ranged it on the 22 inch prop. 18 to 22 lbs on the 12S EDF.
All clear now

OK, how does this look to you:

Max. Thrust Max. Prop. Max. Current Max. Voltage
[g] [oz] [in] [A] [V]
1,000g 35 oz. 14 20/50/100 24/30
2,000g 71 oz. 17 20/50/100 24/35/50/75
5,000g 176 oz. 20 50/100/150 24/35/50/75
10,000g 353 oz. 23 50/100/150 24/35/50/75
20,000g 705 oz. 26 50/100/150/200 35/50/75/100
30,000g 1,058 oz. 29 100/200/300 35/50/75/100


Max. Current and Max. Voltage are configurable and selectable options and price may vary depending on the configuration, but you can choose your desired parameters depending on what you need/can afford.
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Old 03-22-2014, 05:26 PM   #18
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Misa.......

"it is obvious you have experience with startups/production....."

Yes, in the Civil Enginering QA/QC application and constructability aspects. Just finished my Master's thesis on Technical Application Project Management.......and have heen involved in several small business aquarium (reef tank) production/distribution start-ups......a niche environment (market) much like your pursuit.

I really appreciate your intent to consider the "open intervention (innovation)" method for commercialization of the testing unit.......more minds involved, better concentration of "realized" application.....one thought though, the loss of "intellectual" property can be a hazard not easily overcome if to many hands are involved in the development and distribution aspects.....(based on personal and academic) experience......

The use of the "social media" and internet contribution is most certainly (today) the way to go for data collection, marketing and resource swapping......seems you are on the right track and have considered more than just the "technical" aspects of delivery......wish you the best of luck and success.......$99.00 in today's competitive and open source market place looks like a reasonable assumption.....like you said, if the volume can be maintained......and the first 3 to 5 years of production are good to you.....

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