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Motor setup on House of Balsa Decathlon

Old 06-29-2008, 03:19 AM
  #1  
kargo
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Default Motor setup on House of Balsa Decathlon

Hello!

Has anyone here built the House of Balsa Super Decathlon? Does anyone have any suggestions on motor size? I'm thinking the gp 35-30-950 but have been told I might be able to use a smaller one and that if I use a higher kv I can lower the prop size (a sticking point witht the 35-30-950).

Here is a link to the kits specs

http://www.houseofbalsa.com/store/st...wCgcZE4xg9K3x2

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:01 PM
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Default Decathlon Power?

Hello Kargo, Welcome to Wattflyer!
I have the same kit (unbuilt) and would say the advice you received is correct. The Great Planes 35-30-950 is about one size too big for this model.
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...XLWT9&P=M#tech
In addition to being heavy (nearly 2-1/2 ounces), the low Kv means a larger prop and 296 watts of power for a 1-1/2 lb model is pretty extreme. Yes, some flyers are successful with 150 W/Lb, but I'd suggest going down one size, and a higher Kv, like the GP 28-30-1250.
Lighter, smaller, uses a smaller prop and still has about 200 Watts (constant) output.
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXLWT7&P=M
Unless you're looking for true 3D and vertical performance. In that case, the 28-30-1450 at 255 W might be a better choice.
http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...?&I=LXLWT8&P=M
All of this depends on your building and flying experience, also. If you're starting out in kit-building, typically the models come out heavier than they will later. This means it will require more power. And if you're very experienced in 3D flying, you might find the "28's" too mild for your taste.
Perhaps you'll get some other, more experienced recommendations here, but I'd say 200-250 Watts should be plenty for a lightly-built model.
Good Luck!
Ron
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:43 PM
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Default thanks

Thanks for the input Ron, the 35-30-950 would have been a little more than I could handle. This will be the second kit I've had my hands into, so hopefully I won't get too glue happy question; What range are you using for watts/lb messurements of performance? 75=trainer 100=aerobatic 130+=3D? Or is this more of a brushed motor/heavy model kind of scale?

Good luck with your kit!

Thanks
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Old 06-29-2008, 08:57 PM
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Default Power Scale

Hello Kargo,
Your W/Lb figures are exactly what I use, and have found to be fairly reliable for brushless/LiPo, also.
Another thing to consider is the overall "drag" of the model. A WWI bipe, with flying wires, struts, undercambered wing, big round "radial" cowl, etc, is going to gobble up watts a lot faster than a sleek pattern model or WWII fighter. Yes, the bipe has a low wing loading (mainly because it has two wings) but the aerodynamic efficiency is low and it takes power to overcome all that drag.
I believe the Decathlon is pretty efficient; Cowled motor, wheel pants, generally streamlined airframe. I'd guess 200 watts will haul it around pretty well.
Good Luck with the build, let us know how it works out!
I'll get around to building mine eventually, got a few kits in line ahead of it right now.
Ron
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Old 07-12-2008, 07:57 PM
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Default hob decathlon motor

Thanks again for the help Sky Sharkster

Upon further research I've found the 28-30-1450kv version of the motor you suggested (28-30-1250) would let me go down to a 7*4SF prop pulling 17amps. The plans show a 6" diameter prop and I am very happy with a seven. This would allow 188.7 watts or 75 to 94watts per lb depending on what my model winds up being. I got this info off the Great Planes electrify brochure. Comments?

http://www.electrifly.com/motors/motors-rimfire-28-30.html

I'd combine this with a 3cell 3200mah LiPo from GP and a SS25 ESC, or am I being excessive again?

Model is coming along. I just need the motor to continue with construction.

Happy flying
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:28 PM
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Default Motor Size, Kv Rating

Hello Kargo,
Nice work on the build, it's coming along great!
I see you've done your research, but there's one other factor to consider; Prop speed. This is basically prop pitch times RPM= Prop speed, or in a perfect world, airspeed.
The Kv you selected is the highest, which means it will swing a small prop very fast. This is great for pylon racers, smaller Warbirds and the like.
At the other end, the lowest Kv would swing a much larger (diameter) prop slowly, perfect for hovering, low-speed thrust and slow flight speeds.
What an sport/aerobatic model needs is more towards the low Kv end. I know you want a smaller diameter prop and prop clearence is important. But the 1450 Kv will try to move the model fast, high RPM and will eat up quite a bit of airspace turning and maneuvering. It also won't have enough prop "bite" to fly well slowly.
So, my suggestion is to move down one notch (in Kv) to the 28-30-1250. This uses a prop only 1 inch larger (or, 1/2 inch on each side) which shouldn't hurt the clearence much. But it has less RPM = less airspeed, better thrust at lower speed and still produces 200 watts constant. Amp draw is lower, too.
The 25 amp ESC is perfect, plenty of "head room" as a safety margin.
Personally, I'd go for a lower mAh battery, the 3200 at 17 amps (draw) will fly for nearly 20 minutes, much longer than most folks normally do. There's nothing wrong with a higher mAh battery, but it's extra weight for no real gain. A 2100 mAh 3S will fly about 15 minutes and weigh less.
But, that's just my view on it, either battery will be fine.
Good luck and keep up the good work!
Ron
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Old 07-13-2008, 05:14 AM
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Default motor, battery, amps and thanks

Thanks again Ron for steering me in the right direction. It's going to go a long ways towards making the maiden flight a success.

I'll definately use the 1250kv motor. Its the right fit for prop size and lower speed thrust.

The 2100mah 3S battery sounds great too, and a lot less expensive.

Question; How do determine the constant watts a setup will produce? I know volts * amps = watts, but how do you tell how many amps a prop will pull? What prop size do you suggest? Does wood vs plastic make a difference?

Thanks

I've got a build thread going on rcuniverse;

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_7705600/tm.htm
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Old 07-13-2008, 12:57 PM
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Default Power Output?

Hi Kargo,
I'm glad my suggestions are useful. I am no expert on power systems, but just knowing the basics is enough to get most models flying successfully.
The single best tool for determining power system output and efficiency is a Wattmeter. Everything else is second best or worse.
Mfg. recommendations can be wildly inaccurate (with a few notable exceptions), suggestions from other modelers are helpful, but there are many variables. Even the altitude or temperature can change the result.
"Moto-Calcs" can be useful, but still will only get you in the ballpark, they're not perfect, either.
A wattmeter is a one-time investment that will serve you well for as long as you fly electric. The cost will be repayed many times over by not melting ESCs, burning motors, or cooking batteries. All of which usually results in crashed airplanes, more cost.
Mine is an Astro Flight 101D Super Whattmeter
http://www.astroflight.com/index.php...products_id=16
But there are several brands that will do the job.
Amp draw (and, ulimately, watts output) is a function of how efficiently the motor is using the power available. The quality of the wire used on the motor windings, the type of wind, heat build-up, whether the prop size is optimized or not, Kv, and even the type of bearings, connector wire thickness/type or prop balance will affect how much power it takes from the battery. Generally, any inefficiency requires more amp draw.
Here again, only a wattmeter can provide real answers to a specific application.
For props, I only use "Electric" props, these are plastic or composite material, thinner in blade cross-section with (usually) wider blades (front view) than props designed for glow motors. I start with the manufacturer recommendation for the specific voltage input. From there I vary the pitch or diameter one "step" (depending on the sizes available) while taking meter readings. If, for example, prop "A" results in 200 watts output with a draw of 17 amps and prop "B" draws 22 amps to achieve 200 watts output (both at full throttle, same battery), it's pretty obvious which prop is more efficient for that application. This is a bit of simplification, of course, but you get the idea.
There are two general types of electric props, "Slow" "Slow Flyer"(or "S", "SF") props which have wide, somewhat flexible blades, and "Thin Electric" or racing-style props, which have a more narrow blade shape and are made from harder material. They each have RPM limits for usage, check the prop manufacturer website for exact figures. Offhand, I belive you will be using the "S" series, for 3 cell LiPo the size recommended is 8 x 3.8SF.
Here are some links to Battery Chargers, Wattmeters, Prop Manufacturers, etc.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14117
Hope this helps!
Ron
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:20 PM
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Default amp draw watt output variables

Its all helpful Ron!

To recap your post;

Get a wattmeter and avoid frying the elctronics and rekitting my model.

Manufacturer recomdendations can be wildly inaccurate. Good to know... surprises at the flying field are generally not good.

Amps draw/watts output is a function of motor/equipment quality and construction, heat build up, kv, prop size and balance. The most controlable parts being heat, kv selection, prop size and balance. I plan on putting in two cowl vents through a piece of ply, similar to the real decathlon's cowl, and maybe an oilcooler vent with an exit. see pic below. I'll use the motor you suggested for the kv.

I'll start with the prop you suggested, 8*3.5S I'll experiment with prop sizes, electric props for slow flyers and one size at a time with a wattmeter. I'll be sure to check the rpm limits.

I'll post my results, although it'll be a while, the budget is a bit tight at the moment.

Thanks agian!
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:46 PM
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Default credit unfound

My apologies to the builder of the HOB Decathlon in my previous post. I saved the picture of that great looking decathlon a while ago and have not been able to locate where I found it to give you due credit.
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:23 PM
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Default Sounds Good!

Hi Kargo,
I must admit you threw me with the photo, it looked like you were done building and ready to fly! That is a nice job, whoever built it deserves credit.
Your summary of my (lengthy) explanation is perfect. You will find, as you build different types of models, that different factors become more critical with different models and flying styles. An aerobatic model with low, constant flight speeds may need more cooling than a "Hotliner" that uses full-power bursts for a few seconds, then glides for several minutes.
I suggest you build as large an air exit (cooling) vent as possible without weakening the fuselage. Generally exit vents are twice as large as intakes. This also depends on how clear the airflow is through the fuselage. What you don't want is air being pulled into the nose, heated by the motor, then having nowhere to go. I don't believe there is such a thing as "Too Large" an exit area, but of course structural integrity must be maintained.
Remember, the kit was designed for glow power. It is common on electric conversions, to reduce wood sizes, cut lightening holes where possible and use smaller electronics, covering, etc. Every gram counts!
Ron
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:27 PM
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Default cooling vents/exits

Thanks for the info. I'll keep in mind the exit being twice as large. My only worry is that the exit won't be inline with the intake vents. There (hopefully) will be an intake in the form of an oil cooler, plus two more either side of the spinner. The exit will be behind the oil cooler intake. It will simply be a rectangular hole at the bottom of the fuse and infront of the firewall. The main (oilcooler) intake and exit won't be inline with the motor, but its probably the best I can hope for. I'll give it some thought and see what else I come up with.

good flying
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Old 07-19-2008, 12:55 AM
  #13  
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Default HOB Decathlon build

Hey all,
The great planes 28-30-1250 arrived a few days ago. I purchased it from advantage hobby for $44. If you buy $50 worth of stuff you get free shipping via UPS. It took two days to arrive.

It came with a bolt on prop mount and prop saver mount (and attaching rubber bands). What it didn't come with is the prop adapter I think I'll need to mount the prop through a cowl.

Any opinions on prop adapters vs collet type prop adapters? Is one more secure than the other? Thread lock goo issues?

Below are pictures of what came with the motor, the bolt on adapter and the front of another HOB decathlon to give an idea of what I'd like to do.
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:16 AM
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Default Prop Adaptors?

Hello Kargo,
Good to see you've got your motor!
I may get roasted for this, but "Prop Savers" are my least favorite prop mounts. The idea of a rubber band holding the prop on gives me the chills.
My favorite type is the Graupner (or similar brands) that have one or preferably two Allen screws that lock onto the sides of the shaft. The third photo down, here;
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/propadap.htm
The collet type at the top are my next favorite and since most folding props use the collet type I've used them quite a bit on powered Sailplanes, with good results.
But if you're facing a certain cowl/motor mount situation, or sometimes using a spinner requires you to use a different type, just get the best one available.
Good Luck with the build!
Ron
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:01 AM
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Default HOB Decathlon motor mount

Issues number two and three, mounting the motor.

The HOB Decathlon has a very healthy angle set in the firewall to counteract engine forces. The front of the cowl matches this. The plans position the glow engine mount off to the side so the prop shaft winds up in the middle. I used a clear plastic template and T pins to mark the positions for the motor mount screws. I wound up having to turn the template as the holes were too close to the edge.

The rimfire motor is not long enough to reach to the front of the cowl, so I have to make a mount that will position it far enough forward. Here is where the issues came in.

1 The ply piece that the motor will mount to is no-where near the thickness of the firewall... How sturdy/thick should this piece be? The ply is an 1/8th inch thick.

2 The screws attaching the mounting plate to the motor stick out from the plates surface. Do I need to drill holes in the ply/hardwood to fit the plate flush, or can I just have the screws butting up against the ply/hardwood mount?

Also, should I use bolts for this?
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:52 AM
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Default the prop is held by what?

Thanks for the input Ron. I'm with you on the prop saver mounts. It makes me imagine the prop slinging off and either impaling someone during a hand launch or turning my model into a glider at the wrong moment. The mounts from Graupner look like the thing to use. The motor shaft is 3mm, they make a 3.2mm... I'll have to do some more digging. I like the dual setscrews.

Builds coming along. Now that I have the firewall epoxied in I can continue construction elsewhere.

I'd better get to bed, you never know when Miss Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed will be ready to go...
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:06 PM
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Default Moving The Motor Forward?

Hi Kargo,
That's a beautiful baby girl! I'll bet she's a big help when you're building your plane. Well, maybe in a few years.
The 1/8" ply is plenty thick enough for a motor mount, I use 3/32" ply for my motors in this size range.
You may not need a separate mount, you could use a "Stand-off" or extension to bring the motor forward. These are used quite a bit on glow/electric conversions. Here's a link to plastic and metal extensions;
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/motor-mount.htm
And a couple of photos of a mount that held an AXI 2208. As you can see, the mount broke out of the fuselage but didn't loosen the extensions. They are 5/16" square birch (I think, it's a hardwood, anyway) from the Hobby shop. I used slow-drying CA to attach them to the firewall. They are slightly different lengths to provide down + right thrust, then long wood screws to mount the motor; but bolts and blind nuts (say, 2-56) would work, also.
Do you have a Dremel Moto Tool? If so, I'd suggest hogging away anything on the original firewall that doesn't support the motor. It's only dead weight.
Electrics just don't have the vibrating mass of glow motors. The glow kits are way overbuilt for this conversion.
And, I'd much rather re-glue the motor mount than replace a shaft!
Good Luck!
Ron
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Old 07-19-2008, 06:21 PM
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Default HOB Decathlon Build

Thanks Ron!

I think I'll use one of the standoff extensions.

I was thinking about putting some holes in the firewall so I could put a vent exit out the bottom of the fuse somewhere behind the battery. I don't know if this is a problem with the air having a lot of other room to move to in the fuse or not. That might be reading into it a bit deep

When you say "hog most of it away" do you mean using routing or sanding attachments to remove most of it, like in the pic below?
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Old 07-19-2008, 07:07 PM
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Default That's It!

Hi Kargo,
Yep, that's the idea! Just leave enough to securely mount your extensions and the firewall itself to the fuselage sides.
I use the grinder or router attachment after marking the "Don't Touch" areas on the firewall. Like a fire sale, "Everything else must go!".
Also, some triangular stock along the sides of the firewall will increase the gluing surface.
That's a pretty extreme amount of sidethrust, does it call for that much on the plans?
Ron
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:19 PM
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Default HOB Decathlon Build

All right let the ply dust fly! The Kadet my stepson and I built used the trianglular stock behind the firewall too. So, a trip to the LHS or online... The "firesale" will certainly make it easier to vent/cool the model.

The side thrust is very extreem. I did some research on it. Those that used it had good results flying. In an email I recieved the builder took it out and had severe pitch problems. I wondered about the cg as it was pitch stability and HOB tech support highlighted the importance of balancing it with an eye screw at plan balance point and root rib, not the finger tip method. Famous last words, but "I was very careful to follow the plans exactly." The ply fuse doubler sticks out about an 1/8th inch and the supports that set the angle go to the edge of that ply. So hopefully its set correctly. I did use epoxy on the firewall so I should be able to get it out if necessary. Only one way to find out if its "right"...
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:33 PM
  #21  
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Default Well, They Must Know!

Hi Kargo,
If the HOB Tech support say that's the correct amount of sidethrust, that's what I'd use. It just seems like a lot.
I'm sure the model has a pitching problem under full power, it has a lifting airfoil and a pretty big wing. So, downthrust will be necessary also.
If you have some square balsa in 1/4" or 5/16" sizes, you can make your own triangle stock. Even a scrap of Leading edge wood will do. Just carefully split it to make two triangles. The split doesn't have to be exact, you're going to be gluing the 90 degree sides, the "Long" side (the side you've cut) is facing away from the joint and doesn't get glued.
Ron
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Old 07-19-2008, 09:53 PM
  #22  
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Default Home-Made Triangle Stock

Hi Kargo,
My last post may not have explained it clearly, photos are better;
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Old 07-19-2008, 10:37 PM
  #23  
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Default HOB Decathlon Build

A picture is worth a 1000 words, thanks.

I'll have to sand one of the sides a bit so it'll fit with the sidethrust angle, but it'll work. I have some rectangular stock from a spar that didn't workout so well, I'll try using that.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:25 AM
  #24  
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Default HOB Decathlon Build

Hey Gang, here is a link to my build thread on rcuniverse.com. I promise I'll do my electric buuild thread on wattflyer next time, honest!


http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_77..._2/key_/tm.htm
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:29 AM
  #25  
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Default Build Thread

Hi Kargo,
That's an extensive build thread! Hopefully it will help others who try this kit.
Are you going to stick the iron-on pieces together over the glass? I've read about this technique but never tried it. That way it won't be double-covered, save weight. I'd avoid the press-on trim material, it's very heavy.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...=711624&page=2 (Chapter 12, Post 18)
Thanks for the kind words on your thread!
Ron
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