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SIG Wonder: First kit, first electric - advice?

Old 10-21-2008, 03:11 AM
  #1  
aramid
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Default SIG Wonder: First kit, first electric - advice?

I have quite a bit of experience flying RC airplanes, but I've been forced to take a break for the last five years thanks to work and education. However, life is settling down now and I'd like to get back into things. Conveniently, I have a SIG Wonder kit just sitting around, and it seems like a great way to get started again.

Since I stopped flying, I've spent some time with RC cars, both glow-fueled and electric, so I have a pretty decent understanding of how the two types compare, as well as the technologies in electric power. I've also come to the conclusion that electric power is far, far superior to internal combustion, and I want to build my Wonder as a brushless electric.

Here's where things get more difficult, though. I may have flown a lot in the past, but I've never built anything. My grandpa did all the building, and I watched and helped occasionally, but I've never built my own kit. I intend to start building soon, and get the whole airframe done before I invest in electronics. I don't expect any problems, as the Wonder is a fairly simple kit and seems to be of high quality, but I'm curious if there are any places I'll need to deviate from the plans to make things work.

I'd also like some suggestions on power systems. Before I stopped flying, I was running .60-size sport planes and doing basic aerobatics: loops, rolls, snap-rolls, inverted and knife-edge flight. When I originally got the Wonder, I was planning to build it with an .15 engine, although this might have been slightly faster than necessary. At any rate, I'd like some suggestions for a motor and prop. If the plane can fit car-sized packs, I'd like to use 2S lithium so I can share with my cars. If car-sized or 2S is unreasonable, then so be it.

I found one forum which led me to consider the Maxxprod Himax Combo 15A (I'd link, but this is my first post so I can't) but since I have no experience with this plane I'd like to hear what other people have to say.

I'd also like to know if anyone has built a Wonder and has general build advice or warnings for me. I know this is a long and convoluted post, but I'd really appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks!
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:26 AM
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Rabbitcreekok
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Hello Aramid and welcome to WattFlyer. Glad to hear your life is setting down and you can get back to this great hobby of ours.

I am not familiar with the Wonder kit, but I know Sig makes great kits with explicit and detailed instructions.

You will have to make provisions for battery access, usually around the fuel tank area. The firewall offsets should be the same for electric as glow.

I seem to remember having seen a thread or a magazine article recently about the Wonder. I will try to locate the source, if I am able.
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Old 10-21-2008, 05:56 AM
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CHELLIE
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Originally Posted by aramid View Post
I have quite a bit of experience flying RC airplanes, but I've been forced to take a break for the last five years thanks to work and education. However, life is settling down now and I'd like to get back into things. Conveniently, I have a SIG Wonder kit just sitting around, and it seems like a great way to get started again.

Since I stopped flying, I've spent some time with RC cars, both glow-fueled and electric, so I have a pretty decent understanding of how the two types compare, as well as the technologies in electric power. I've also come to the conclusion that electric power is far, far superior to internal combustion, and I want to build my Wonder as a brushless electric.

Here's where things get more difficult, though. I may have flown a lot in the past, but I've never built anything. My grandpa did all the building, and I watched and helped occasionally, but I've never built my own kit. I intend to start building soon, and get the whole airframe done before I invest in electronics. I don't expect any problems, as the Wonder is a fairly simple kit and seems to be of high quality, but I'm curious if there are any places I'll need to deviate from the plans to make things work.

I'd also like some suggestions on power systems. Before I stopped flying, I was running .60-size sport planes and doing basic aerobatics: loops, rolls, snap-rolls, inverted and knife-edge flight. When I originally got the Wonder, I was planning to build it with an .15 engine, although this might have been slightly faster than necessary. At any rate, I'd like some suggestions for a motor and prop. If the plane can fit car-sized packs, I'd like to use 2S lithium so I can share with my cars. If car-sized or 2S is unreasonable, then so be it.

I found one forum which led me to consider the Maxxprod Himax Combo 15A (I'd link, but this is my first post so I can't) but since I have no experience with this plane I'd like to hear what other people have to say.

I'd also like to know if anyone has built a Wonder and has general build advice or warnings for me. I know this is a long and convoluted post, but I'd really appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks!
Hi Here is a little info on the Sig Wonder, it has some info on what to watch out for,

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=238780

if i had it, this is what I would use

Motor
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s..._(Eq:_AXi_2814

ESC
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...eed_Controller

Lipo
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...00mAh_3S1P_20C

Servos
http://www.hobbycity.com/hobbycity/s...ec_Micro_Servo

Prop
9x5 apc to a 9x6 apc
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:06 PM
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Thanks for the quick responses! I'm pleased to see how cheaply some of this can be found, as I wasn't looking forward to paying several hundred dollars to get going. I'm curious, though, about that motor. How does it compare to the much more expensive AXI it so closely resembles?

I'm also interested in the power output and the glow-engine equivalents listed on the product page. The page says it's equivalent to a .25-.30 glow engine, but 400 watts puts it near the top of the power available from a .15 - not quite as high as the power available from those larger engines. Is this discrepancy because you're unlikely to run the nitro engine at a high enough RPM to get peak power, but you'll still be getting most of that 400 watts out of the electric? This is curiosity more than anything; I'm not terribly concerned if the motor is far more powerful than necessary, because the more powerful motors weigh nearly the same as the smaller ones of similar size, and it's easy enough to throttle back.

I'm also cautious about that servo. The Wonder may be small, but it's fast. I don't really know much about servo sizing, but is 22 oz-in enough torque for the controls? More importantly, is a $4 servo actually going to produce the published numbers?

Again, thanks for the quick help, both of you. I'm still looking through that Wonder thread, and suspect it'll be quite helpful as well.

Last edited by aramid; 10-22-2008 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:46 AM
  #5  
CHELLIE
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Originally Posted by aramid View Post
Thanks for the quick responses! I'm pleased to see how cheaply some of this can be found, as I wasn't looking forward to paying several hundred dollars to get going. I'm curious, though, about that motor. How does it compare to the much more expensive AXI it so closely resembles?

I'm also interested in the power output and the glow-engine equivalents listed on the product page. The page says it's equivalent to a .25-.30 glow engine, but 400 watts puts it near the top of the power available from a .15 - not quite as high as the power available from those larger engines. Is this discrepancy because you're unlikely to run the nitro engine at a high enough RPM to get peak power, but you'll still be getting most of that 400 watts out of the electric? This is curiosity more than anything; I'm not terribly concerned if the motor is far more powerful than necessary, because the more powerful motors weigh nearly the same as the smaller ones of similar size, and it's easy enough to throttle back.

I'm also cautious about that servo. The Wonder may be small, but it's fast. I don't really know much about servo sizing, but is 22 oz-in enough torque for the controls? More importantly, is a $4 servo actually going to produce the published numbers?

Again, thanks for the quick help, both of you. I'm still looking through that Wonder thread, and suspect it'll be quite helpful as well.
Hi The Turnigy motors are a very good motor for the money, a lot of users are saying that they are as good as the more expensive motors, I use them and my rc club uses them a lot, The 9 gram servors are very very strong, I have them on a FUNJET doing 103 mph, and a almost 40 size Funtana, they are used by the members in my rc club too, we have never had a problem with them, and they sell out fast, so hurry in getting some, I normally buy 8 at a time use 1 servo per aileron/elevon, Hope that helps, Chellie

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26852

NAME: CHELLIE
SPEED: 103.00 MPH
PLANE: Funjet
MOTOR: 2845 HXT 2700kv
ESC: 80 Amp Turnigy
BATTERY: 4 cell LoongMax 2500mah 30C
PROP: 5x5 APC
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Last edited by CHELLIE; 10-22-2008 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:50 AM
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CHELLIE
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always use the lowest equall info on the motor rating, that motor is about a 20 to 25 nitro equall, more than enough power, If you look real close, you can see the blue 9 Gram servos on the Funtanas, that should take away your doubts on the servos Take care, Chellie
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:10 AM
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the 35-36c motor is going in my 49" plane, with 4- 9 gram servos, the motor has not come in the mail yet, it should be here soon, here is my plane,

http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39692
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Old 12-28-2008, 05:47 AM
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Marc
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Default I'm building a Sig Wonder, too.

Chellie has pointed you to a good online supplier in Hobbycity.com. Delivery takes just 10 days from Hong Kong, but you need to make an order of $100 or more to justify the shipping costs. Don't even think about buying an ARF from them because the shipping cost will be as much as the model itself. The customer reviews, weight and dimensions of products are very helpful at this site.

Aramid, build a kit plane because you like building - not to save money. I promise you that you will spend much more money buying components and building a kit than you would just buying an RTF. There is no way you can compete with the little Chinese kids working in sweat shops for a bowl of rice.

I'm building the Sig Wonder's wing while I'm waiting for components from Hobbycity. This is my first R/C kit and I'm going with a Turnigy 35-30B motor that I think will be equivalent to a .15-.21 glo, Turnigy Plush 30A ESC, Rhino 2150 mAh 3-cell, and HXT900 9-gram servos. I don't know if I will move the firewall out a couple of inches or use the HXT adjustable firewall mount I ordered from Hobbycity. We'll see when it gets here. It only cost $4.80.

Here's a link to a video of a Sig Wonder converted to electric. Notice the extended cowl and underbelly battery hatch. You've probably already finished your Wonder, so please post any useful information here for me.
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Old 12-28-2008, 01:28 PM
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I was/am still thinking about building that kit. Looks like a fun plane.
Read thru this thread, lotsa good stuff!
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27102

Take your time, don't rush.

I saw a nitro one flying combat. That thing looked like it could almost touch it's own tail.
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Old 12-29-2008, 05:13 AM
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aramid
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Thanks for the responses! I got sidetracked after I started this thread, so I've only recently begun building the kit. I started with the wing, and it's been totally painless so far; I hope to get the wing finished and the fuselage started within a week or so.

I'm pretty much settled on the battery, motor, and ESC suggested earlier. I also ordered a few of those HXT900 servos for another project, but haven't yet decided whether to use a handful of those or a smaller number of stronger servos. The small servos are tempting, as weight will be a concern, but even using sub-micro servos and a micro receiver, I don't expect to save much weight over standard electronics. I've already got a full set of standard-sized servos and receiver, so it's going to be very tempting to build around those.

I do have a few questions about the ESC, though. Does the 5v/3A listed in the description mean it will step down the 11v from the battery to 5v for the radio? What about low-voltage cutoff? Does the ESC provide that function, or will I want an external LVC circuit? Finally, what happens when the LVC is triggered in flight? Will the radio still receive power, or would I be better off ignoring the BEC and using a second radio pack?

Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 12-29-2008, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by aramid View Post
Thanks for the responses! I got sidetracked after I started this thread, so I've only recently begun building the kit. I started with the wing, and it's been totally painless so far; I hope to get the wing finished and the fuselage started within a week or so.

I'm pretty much settled on the battery, motor, and ESC suggested earlier. I also ordered a few of those HXT900 servos for another project, but haven't yet decided whether to use a handful of those or a smaller number of stronger servos. The small servos are tempting, as weight will be a concern, but even using sub-micro servos and a micro receiver, I don't expect to save much weight over standard electronics. I've already got a full set of standard-sized servos and receiver, so it's going to be very tempting to build around those.

I do have a few questions about the ESC, though. Does the 5v/3A listed in the description mean it will step down the 11v from the battery to 5v for the radio? What about low-voltage cutoff? Does the ESC provide that function, or will I want an external LVC circuit? Finally, what happens when the LVC is triggered in flight? Will the radio still receive power, or would I be better off ignoring the BEC and using a second radio pack?

Thanks again for all the help.
yes, it will drop the 11.1v down to 5 volts to operate your servos and receiver, it has a low voltage cut off built into it, get the programing card too, its about $6.00, it makes life much nicer if the lvc is triggered in flight, the motor will stop working, but your servos and receiver will continue to work, sometimes you can, turn the throttle off, then back on to about 1/2 throttle, to get the plane back in, the motor will start working again, but only at part throttle, if you want to save weight, use the bec, its best to time your flights, as not to get the battery drained to much, if you want to use a extra battery pack, that will work, you will have to remove the red wire on the esc, where it plugs into the receicer, to eliminate the bec from working, I dont think using a extra battery pack will eliminate the lvc from working, as it will kick in at about 9 volts, and its the esc that detects that, hope that helps, Chellie
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:45 AM
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Default Finally maidened my Sig Wonder

At last I got some relief from the Texas wind so that I could maiden my Sig Wonder electric. It flew perfectly with only 2 clicks of down trim needed. Your Turnigy 35-36 motor is going to be just right for this plane although I would be tempted to go with the 1300 kV motor. My Turnigy 35-30, 1400kV motor performed admirably, but a little more motor would be better. I cruise at just over 1/2 throttle. Full throttle gives decent speed, but not unlimited vertical performance. My 30A Turnigy ESC gets hot to the touch after a hard run on a MAS 8x4 prop. I need to cut some holes in the firewall for ventilation.

My maiden launch was at full throttle with nose up at about 30 degrees. The plane curved straight up rather suddenly which caused me to scramble for a second or two to get control. My second launch at 3/4 throttle resulted in a much smoother fly away. After trimming for level flight at cruising speed, I noticed that the plane wanted to climb rather quickly at full throttle. I believe that this is caused by the down thrust built into the Wonder's firewall. Although the Wonder specs call for 4 degrees of down thrust for the motor, I would recommend little or no down thrust if you want to fly level at a different speeds.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:38 AM
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Hi Marc,glad to hear of your successful flight....
I'm not the smartest electrical person but I do know that your esc being hot to the touch is not a good sign.Sounds like you're pushing the limits of it.I hope you have a way of checking it out
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:20 AM
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Glad to hear your flight went well! I've already finished my build, so I won't be able to remove the down thrust, but it sounds like it won't be a huge issue the way I fly. I also decided to use the same motor you've picked, although I plan to run a 7x6 APC, which should give me a bit higher efficiency and hopefully give me respectable performance. I don't demand unlimited vertical from my planes, but if I decide I need more power I think I'll step up to a Turnigy SK 3530 so I can pull a bit more power without adding weight or changing spacing - I'm running the 40 amp ESC anyway, so switching to a more powerful motor won't be any trouble if it proves necessary.

I hope to have my plane covered and tested within a month, and I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
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