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Old 12-13-2014, 01:44 AM   #1
mikeweber3
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Smile Telemaster Senior Electric conversion

Hello,

I have a 25 year old Telemaster Senior that I want to convert to electric. I have not flown for 20 years and have a lot of catching up to do
My most immediate question is can I use my old radio transmitter, receiver, or servos. My radio is a Futaba FG series digital proportional.

My plastic coating is 25 year old Hobby Lobby Super cote. Does it get brittle? Will it hold up?

What engine, battery, radio, .......???

If anyone has successfully done this recently, I would love your advice.

Thanks
Mike
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Old 12-13-2014, 04:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by mikeweber3 View Post
Hello,

I have a 20 year old Telemaster Senior that I want to convert to electric. I have not flown for 20 years and have a lot of catching up to do
My most immediate question is can I use my old radio transmitter, receiver, or servos. My radio is a Futaba FG series digital proportional.

My plastic coating is 25 year old Hobby Lobby Super cote. Does it get brittle? Will it hold up?

What engine, battery, radio, .......???

If anyone has successfully done this recently, I would love your advice.

Thanks
Mike
This is a giant scale model with a wing span of 92 inches and 1300 Square inches of Wing. The model will weigh around 10 pounds. With the modern brushless motors, it is very easy to match or exceed the power capability of a glow engine on the order of a 4 stroke 70 or so.

Using the rule of thumb of around 100 Watts per pound of airplane, you're looking at around 1000 Watts of motor power up front. Depending on how fast you want to have your model climb out, you could go up to perhaps 130 Watts per pound, and have an overpowered model.

If you want to compare electric power to a glow or gas powered model, this will provide some information:
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73275

Assuming you'd want to fly for around 6 minutes with a 3 minute reserve, you will need a 5 cell LiPo pack of around 5000 Mah or so.

Here is a bit of information on this subject:
"C" and what it is
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65869

There are a LOT of very good high powered motors out there. I'm familiar with the Hacker line, but Hacker has just closed one of their main distribution centers in the USA.

As far as the ESC goes, one good one is the Castle Creations Talon 90 ESC. This ESC also has a very powerful BEC (Battery Elimination Circuit) that will run your receiver and servos without issue.

For the radio, again there are a LOT of good radios out there. About 50% of the market is the Spektrum brand. Spektrum has transmitter/receivers starting at around $100 for bare minimum entry units. The Spektrum DX6 is a very good mid range transmitter that will serve you well.

Going to the high dollar radios, I've got the Spektrum DX8 unit that can easily handle everything I've got, with a lot more to spare.

Here is more info on power systems running around 1000 watts or so.

There are a LOT of people reading wattflyer. If you have ANY questions, be sure to raise them. Every one of us was an inexperienced electric modeler at one time or another.

AEAJR's Site on Electric Power
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18521

Thread on 70 size glow engine conversion to electric
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=45222

Hacker 6S2P A123 powered Models
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44686

Hangar 9 Kantana Model
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68844

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Old 12-13-2014, 04:43 AM   #3
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The coverings can get brittle with age and sun exposure. Some just age will do it stored in the factory box. "Real Monokote" requires heat and/or sun exposure to get brittle.

Give it a reasonable thump with the eraser end of a pencil It should dent slightly before it shatters. If it shatters it was ready to fail in flight anyway.

Hobby Lobby (changed its name to Hobby Express...) has been advertising how to electric power every airplane in the Telemaster series for several years. Generally easy to do.
Knowing what power systems they recommend would give you some motor and ESC sizes to compare for shopping.

http://www.hobbyexpress.com/telemaster12.htm
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:00 AM   #4
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Further that if your radio gear still works - then why not use ? There are some who advocate older FM systems are actually better of today as you do not have so many all wanting to fly on same freq !! Most people have changed to 2.4Ghz .. leaving airwaves open for the FM boys.

If my FM gear still worked - I would have no concern to use. We have two guys in our small group that still use 35Mhz FM ..

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Old 12-13-2014, 01:21 PM   #5
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FG is getting a bit extreme on the old stuff list...

That series dates back to when we changed over from wide band to narrow band. If it has the old style servo plugs with exposed pins on the servo lead on a plug that makes a 90 deg bend I'd be worried. It can be illegal to operate those if they have not been converted to narrow band and a currently legal frequency. I had one of those on brown & white (forgot the frequency number) and that frequency is guaranteed to be illegal for RC flying in the US now.

All of the FM transmitters in FG series were easy to make narrow band. Usually it was just a matter of getting the more modern RX, legal frequency crystals and having the tuning checked. Not true for the AM FG series.

If it has an RCMA/AMA gold sticker its been upgraded or was manufactured to meet the standards required to be legal now. If not you should look it up on the Futabarc website.

Note that other countries went through some of the same changeovers from wide band to narrow band but without making the frequencies themselves illegal. Still need to verify if equipment that old meets legal requirements regardless of where you are.
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:13 AM   #6
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You guys are awesome. Thanks for your help. I will probably have more questions.

I'm actually a bit afraid of crashing, not having had a radio in my hands for 20 years

Mike
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Old 12-14-2014, 12:44 AM   #7
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Hi Mike If your going to use 72 MHZ, use a BERG Receiver and a BERG Crystal, Reason being is that the older 72Mhz Receivers dont like E Power, to much RFI for them, and they will glitch, the Berg Receivers have the best filters built into them, I fly 72Mhz With Berg Receivers and my planes have been Rock Solid,

Here is a Very Good Quality 1000 to 1300 Watt Motor and Esc Combo that wont break the bank.

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/...0gsvvd2jcstir4


lipo, buy 2 - 5500mah 3 cell lipos and hook them in series for a 6 cell lipo, 2 seperate 3 cell lipos will run cooler and last longer, and if a cell goes bad, you will be glad you did not buy a 6 cell lipo

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/...0gsvvd2jcstir4


you will need a UBEC

get a Castle Creation 10 amp UBEC

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/...0gsvvd2jcstir4

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Old 12-14-2014, 04:07 AM   #8
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Keep in mind, I'm a rookie. Do the new radios show how much time you have left in your battery? If I use my old radio, how will I Know? If I want to just buy a whole new radio what should I get? Can I keep my old servos?

Thanks
Mike
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:25 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mikeweber3 View Post
Keep in mind, I'm a rookie. Do the new radios show how much time you have left in your battery? If I use my old radio, how will I Know? If I want to just buy a whole new radio what should I get? Can I keep my old servos?

Thanks
Mike
The newer radios such as most of the Spektrum line shows a battery voltage indication in its LCD display. As for radio brands, over 90% of my club members are flying with Spektrum brand. Spektrum has something called "Model Match", where if you select a Foamie model in your transmitter when you are ready to take off with your Telemaster, the models receiver and servos will be dead. Can't take off with the wrong model in your transmitter.

I've seen way to many modelers take off with the wrong model in the transmitter, and crash because of reversed ailerons, or similar.

As for your servos, if they're 25 years old, for me, I'd replace them. Hate to have a model crash because of an old servo gave up the ghost.

Now days, quality servos, such as the Hitec line go for under $20 each or so.
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXXCZ9&P=ML

As far as Spektrum goes, Horizon Hobbies has a wide variety of radios from $90 to around $800. The Spektrum DX6i is a nice entry level radio that will serve you for a while. The DX6 or DX8 are a bit of a step up from the DX6i.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/free-spektrum-receiver
http://www.horizonhobby.com/dx6i-6-c...eiver-spmr6630

The DX5 system is a bare minimum set. It does include two receivers though.
http://www.horizonhobby.com/dx5e-dsm...ceiver-spm5520

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Old 12-14-2014, 07:16 AM   #10
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Denny just turned you onto a great deal for a DX6i Transmitter and Full range receiver for $129.99, Jump on it

http://www.horizonhobby.com/dx6i-6-c...eiver-spmr6630

  • Home
  • DX6i 6-Channel DSMX® Transmitter with FREE AR610 Receiver

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Old 12-14-2014, 04:37 PM   #11
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Default servos

You guys are great.

Next Question, are all servos compatible with all radios? Do they use the same technology and the same plugs?

What is the signal is it variable voltage DC or microamps or ???

Thanks
Mike
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Old 12-14-2014, 05:55 PM   #12
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Servos... yes and no.

Old version Airtronics used negative in center pin and just about everyone else since Futaba changed to the J plug (exposed male pins on the servo lead) has used + in center. Mixing the + in center with - in center will guarantee something burns up.

We also now have a range of servo voltages and RX voltages.

Spektrum RXs (except micros) will operate on 3.85V to 9.0V. Note that the 3.85 is where the Spektrum RX will go into reboot so going below 5.0v WITH SERVOS UNDER LOAD is discouraged.

Some servos have useable max of 5.5 v and will burn out on a 5 cell NiCd as source.... some are now rated for using 2 cell LiPo direct as the R supply.

Most of the 72 mhz RXs clear back to the Kraft KP5 could handle 4 cell (4.8v nominal, up to 5.6 v peak) to 5 cell (6 volt nominal, up to 7 v peak) NiCd as supply.

The signal line on the servo is either digital or analog pulsed current, usually peaking about 0.5 v below the RX supply voltage.
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Old 12-14-2014, 06:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by fhhuber View Post
Servos... yes and no.

Old version Airtronics used negative in center pin and just about everyone else since Futaba changed to the J plug (exposed male pins on the servo lead) has used + in center. Mixing the + in center with - in center will guarantee something burns up.

We also now have a range of servo voltages and RX voltages.

Spektrum RXs (except micros) will operate on 3.85V to 9.0V. Note that the 3.85 is where the Spektrum RX will go into reboot so going below 5.0v WITH SERVOS UNDER LOAD is discouraged.

Some servos have useable max of 5.5 v and will burn out on a 5 cell NiCd as source... some are now rated for using 2 cell LiPo direct as the R supply.

Most of the 72 mhz RXs clear back to the Kraft KP5 could handle 4 cell (4.8v nominal, up to 5.6 v peak) to 5 cell (6 volt nominal, up to 7 v peak) NiCd as supply.

The signal line on the servo is either digital or analog pulsed current, usually peaking about 0.5 v below the RX supply voltage.

IMHO, another good reason to buy new servos.

The new 2.4 Ghz receivers demand a solid DC power source for reliable operation. I've checked my Spektrum receivers, they all drop out at 3.2 Volts DC plus or minus a bit. If your receiver power source drops below that 3.2 Volts DC even briefly, the receiver will reboot, something that takes place in a half second or so.

Using a 4 cell 600 Milliampere Hour Nicad worked very well for many years in the 72 Mhz radio systems. With lower power servos, those Nicad batteries even worked OK with the 2.4 Ghz receivers. Then there is my giant scale Big Stick electric model with seven Hitec 645MG servos. The peak current pulled by that models receiver/servos has been measured at 14 Amps, just moving the transmitter sticks round and round. That magnitude of current pulled by the servos when used with a common 4 cell Nih battery pack is high enough to cause a voltage sag sufficient to result in the Spektrum RX rebooting.

Now we have 2700 Mah Nickel Hydride receiver packs, where they stuffed 5 times more Milliampere Hours into the same size battery. So, their ability to handle high current type servos has really dropped off. One solution is to go to a 5 cell Nih pack, but as fhhuber points out, that can burn up some of those older servos.

The Castle Creations 90 Ampere Talon series of ESC's come with a very powerful switching type of Battery Elimination Circuit that can handle just about any receiver/servo out there.

So, IMHO, now is not the time to go cheap on your servos. The new Hitec and similar type servos are capable of operating with either a 5 cell Nih battery or the switching type BEC of a quality ESC.

If your ESC does not have a decent switching BEC, an excellent alternative is one of those LiFe or A123 two cell 2200 Mah receiver pack. These LiFe or A123's are a direct drop in replacement for a 5 cell Nih battery pack. They can handle the peak currents of just about any RC receiver/servo system out there.

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Old 12-16-2014, 02:05 AM   #14
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Default Air over batteries?

Thank you all. I ordered my stuff today.

I went with 2 3 cell 5500 mAh batteries
I'm going to try and reuse my Futaba servos
I got the screaming good deal on the DX6i


I have 2 more questions

1. How much air do I need to move over the batteries and motor controller?

2. What is the best way to convert my motor mount? Currently the plane has 2 horizontal wood rails that the old gas engine was mounted to.


Thanks

Mike
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Old 12-16-2014, 02:34 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by mikeweber3 View Post
Thank you all. I ordered my stuff today.

I went with 2 3 cell 5500 mAh batteries
I'm going to try and reuse my Futaba servos
I got the screaming good deal on the DX6i


I have 2 more questions

1. How much air do I need to move over the batteries and motor controller?

2. What is the best way to convert my motor mount? Currently the plane has 2 horizontal wood rails that the old gas engine was mounted to.


Thanks

Mike
FYI the servo connectors on your old servos won't fit into the Spektrum receiver. You will need to pick up some Futaba to Hitec servo extensions to make everything fit.

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Old 12-16-2014, 04:02 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by mikeweber3 View Post
Thank you all. I ordered my stuff today.

I went with 2 3 cell 5500 mAh batteries
I'm going to try and reuse my Futaba servos
I got the screaming good deal on the DX6i


I have 2 more questions

1. How much air do I need to move over the batteries and motor controller?

2. What is the best way to convert my motor mount? Currently the plane has 2 horizontal wood rails that the old gas engine was mounted to.


Thanks

Mike
Here is a pic of my Senior plus, not the best though. My Axi motor is outside, as is my speed control. I went with a larger sized esc (100) just to be on the safe side. I've flown 4 5 and 6 cell packs, and even in the middle of summer I've never had the packs come down with any heat on them. If you're concerned, I suppose you could drill a few holes in the motor mount area, but I don't think it's needed. I've had 3 of these all together, really want the giant one but just can't justify it


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Old 12-16-2014, 04:05 AM   #17
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AXI Gold 4120/18 Outrunner Motor
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:11 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Porcia83 View Post
Note, recheck your link. It doesn't work on my computer.

Try this one:
http://www.hobbyexpress.com/axi_gold..._3039_prd1.htm

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Old 12-16-2014, 09:09 AM   #19
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Futaba servo plugs can easily be altered to fit Spektrum (and everything else). Clip the alignment tab off and shave 2 corners a bit.

Plugging backward -/signal won't damage anything. Its just the servo won't respond and if Y'd to a single channel one backward will disable (but not harm) both servos on the Y. So the risk is only that you fail to notice the non-operational servo before flight.

*************

Airflow over ESC is needed for cooling. It doesn't take a lot. Generally 1/2 inch dia air inlet and about 1 inch dia air outlet will be fie to cool both the ESC and the batteries if the openings are lined up to promote good airflow.

This little is enough for cooling the batteries even in the 12S 5000 watt system in my big EDF model. (though even with excellent cooling they will exhibit increasing surface temp after end of flight so they need to be removed and placed where they can cool for 5 to 10 more minutes)
With extreme load you need to pay careful attention to pack cooling...

As long as the packs don't exceed 140F you have adequate pack cooling. The packs should be under 100F when placed on charge and can be as warm as 120F at start of the flight.

The ESC should never be too hot to hold in your hand. (very conservative)
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Old 12-16-2014, 12:10 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by mikeweber3 View Post
Thank you all. I ordered my stuff today.

I went with 2 3 cell 5500 mAh batteries
I'm going to try and reuse my Futaba servos
I got the screaming good deal on the DX6i


I have 2 more questions

1. How much air do I need to move over the batteries and motor controller?

2. What is the best way to convert my motor mount? Currently the plane has 2 horizontal wood rails that the old gas engine was mounted to.


Thanks

Mike
Hi Here are some Ideas for your motor mount. you may have to cut out the wood rails.

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39483

and defiantly use a 10 amp UBEC its cheap insurance

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/show...highlight=ubec

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Old 12-16-2014, 12:25 PM   #21
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This is a Welgard 60 to 90 size 1000 to 1300 Watt motor and esc for $99.99 this is a Killer motor Deal, . The Welgard 5330 series has been has been used in F3A competition aerobatics world wide with great success.

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/...0gsvvd2jcstir4




the axi motor is a 60 size motor and is $170.00 with out the ESC, the esc is another $70.00, so total for motor and ESC will be about $240.00 for the axi motor and esc, about $140.00 More than the motor from Grayson Hobbies,

http://www.hobbyexpress.com/axi_gold..._3039_prd1.htm

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Old 12-16-2014, 02:00 PM   #22
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http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id...7&pid=B2171401

Ratings, size and weight (near identical) very close to the Wellgard

http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id...3&pid=B2049177
Limits advancement to higher cell count. No BEC in the ESC but as others say you would probably be safr going with separate UBEC or RX battery. (I like going with a 2 cell LiFe pack and no regulator for the RX on models using 6 cell or more for the motor system)

Just another potential source.
I've had good results from the Cheetah motor series.
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Old 12-16-2014, 10:38 PM   #23
Porcia83
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Another thought, my smaller (70" plus size) TM has a Suppo Motor in it, along with a Suppo ESC. That set up is fantastic, never had a problem with it for the past 3 years. If I recall, it was 40-50 for the motor, and a tad less for the ESC. Altitude Hobbies out of CO sells that, Garret is a great guy to deal with.
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  WattFlyer RC Electric Flight Forums - Discuss radio control eflight > Electric R/C Airplanes > General Electric Discussions

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electric conversion , old servos , old supercoat , telemaster senior

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