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-   -   Getting started in electric F3A (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/electric-pattern-aircraft-385/11247282-getting-started-electric-f3a.html)

highfly3D 10-01-2012 10:39 AM

Getting started in electric F3A
Hi all,

After thinking a lot... i have finally decided to get started in electric F3A, the main reason behind this is synthetic fuel with 30% nitro. I think electric will be quite n clean. I need suggestions what Motor n ESC & batteries will be the cheapest to get started. I am flying masters sequence.


jetmech43 10-01-2012 11:35 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
possiabilities are endless ,go to F3A unlimited and start looking from there will be a good start for you

jetmech43 10-01-2012 11:36 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
of course there alot of opinions im sure people will chime in

bem 10-02-2012 05:10 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A

Are You converting an existing glow powered F3A machine to electric? If Yes - what model?
Or is it a new full 2 x 2M F3A electric powered machine You want?

Or could a plane like Sebart MythoS 125E work also?

There is also a full 2 x 2M MythosS Pro avaliable here in Europe now but I do not know when it will arrive in US.
For example from this company http://www.f3alorenz.de/index-home-f3a.htm

ExtremeFlight 2M Vanquish is a rather popular F3A machine that is not so expensive.

Just check threads on above planes to see what motors, ESC and suitable LiPo is used.


nonstoprc 10-02-2012 05:38 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
I have one Neu f3a motor ($275) and one Jeti Advance Pro 90 ESC ($120) for sale on RCU. Both are very low usage and known competitive for all pattern classes.

sorry for the shameless advertisement.

Zeeb 10-02-2012 06:03 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
Electric F3A and cheapest????? lol.... sorry but that's a contradiction in terms.

I've recently decided to give it a try as well and do not have any F3A experience or equipment and virtually none of my IMAC GS gasser stuff is of any use. Of course you can start smaller than 2M and with less expensive equipment but one thing you need to consider is how you're going to charge batteries at the field? There's a reason you see a lot of Honda generators when that electric powered F3A crowd shows up at the field.

Long story short; I've dropped over $5,000.00 in the last couple of weeks and don't have all the model stuff yet, but I am reasonably close with some pretty nice equipment.

So if you'd care to share your idea of what you'd like to spend, it would be easier for these guys to offer suggestions?

serious power 10-02-2012 09:38 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
No need to spend anything like $5,000 to get started or even be competitive.
You can spend $10,000 also.
But there are good/very good models,motors,esc's, chargers, power supplies and batteries out thereat a very reasonable price.
Batteries ; http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...Lipo_Pack.html
Chargers ; www.revolectrix.com
Power supplies ; http://www.feathermerchantrc.com/
You can charge at home then from your car to get up and going - the no,, of batteries you get matters.
An Axi motor or Hacker outrunner and Castle Esc are great value and very competitive ; www.f3aunlimited.com
Model ; http://www.f3aunlimited.com/webstore...roducts_id=475

Total ; inc 4 packs less than $2,000 for a good set up.


highfly3D 10-03-2012 01:20 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
Many thanks to all for the details given on electric F3A plane, will post more details for which setup i will go for. I am in the process of building this plane, but earlier i had planned for glow power, but now since i am going electric i have to build the plane as light weight as possible :)

NeilRivera 10-03-2012 09:12 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
You can spend less than $5000 to try it out, look at the Sebart Wind S 50. Uses one 6 cell lipo, I have this as my practice plane. It is small enough to fit in most vehicles and won't cost an arm an a leg and it flies really well. If you are starting in Sportsman or Intermediate it is a perfect candidate. Use the recommended Hacker setup. As for a charger, well there are many options to choose from. And you might want to consider Vquick's charge box, it is custom made and has built in power supplies. I don't fly glow F3A anymore and really enjoy the electric scene....

NeilRivera 10-03-2012 09:17 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
I failed to mention that the Wind S 50 can do the Advanced and Masters routine quite well, I am currently practicing Advanced with it. A fellow flier at our field is flying the masters and does really well ...

Zeeb 10-04-2012 08:03 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
like I said above; it would help if the OP would indicate how much money he'd like to consider spending.

And we don't buy this stuff because we need it, we buy it because we WANT IT. Everything else is just rationalizing.... ;)

highfly3D 10-04-2012 10:02 PM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
A million thanks for all for giving me the inputs for electric F3A airplane

I have seen many chargers to charge lipo batteries... but i am confused which one to go for.... there are really so many out there i want a charger with which i can charge 3s to 10s pack with a reasonable price :D


bem 10-04-2012 10:52 PM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A

I do not know if you have thought about it but for 10 cell LiPo driven 2M F3A plane You usually have two 5 cell pack in series toget one 10 cell pack, so a charger capabale of charging 5 cell or more on two ports will work.
But You can go with two chargers also. Or one dual port charger to achive this.
If You have 110/240 volt at the flying field it may be enough with one single port charger if you get LiPo packs that can handle fast charging like 5C (current of 5 times capacity of the LiPo pack) and that way can charge rather quick each pack.
If You are going to charge from a 12 volt source like Pb (lead) supply battery (designed to handle deep discharges, not a car start battery) You perhaps would like a single charger with dual ports like ThunderPower TP820CD or Hyperion EOS 0720i Super DUO3. You need a Powersupply at home when charging at home since most chargers do not have that built in in them.
I use Hyperion EOS 0720i Super DUO3 myself and charge mostly 6 cell LiPo packs (two packs at the same time, one on each of the two charge outputs) and it works great at the field on a 80 Ah Pb marine dual purpuse (supply) 12 volt battery. I usually charge at 2C at the field. I actually bring two Pb batteries with me usually to the field if I'm going to fly all day. That is the downside when charging at the field on 12 volt source that You have to bring that with You, or have enough LiPo packs so You can fly as much You prefer and that can be expensive with 10 cell packs, I doubt that many have more then 2-3 maybe 4 such packs, the top flyers maybe have more since they probably are spnsored and can use the batteries for free. A third alternative is there also and that is to get a gas driven generator with you like the small portable one from Honda, Kipor, Yamaha.

So You have different options and many nice chargers out there for You, cheaper or more expensive that can suit different budgets.
As for 5 cell LiPo packs You have ThunderPower as one of the most expensive and HobbyKing various named LiPo on the other end of the price range.
There is 10 cell ready made packs out there also if you prefer that
Maybe You can squeeze out up to about 200 cycles out of a mid quality LiPo pack, maybe some more on higher quality, maybe less on cheaper packs.
I managed to get about 200 cycles out of my 6 cell DesirePower V8 35C 5200 mAh packs (I have 3) before they had not good enough performance for F3A flying (with my Sebart Wind S 50E plane).
Much depend of LiPo care also (like never drain it below 20% of capacity, storage charge them when not in use for example, balance charge etc).

When You tell what plane You are going to use You will get more help what motor, ESC etc that may be a good choice. If You have luck maybe someone else has converted a plane like Yours to electric and can give good advice.


Zeeb 10-05-2012 05:23 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
1 Attachment(s)

ORIGINAL: highfly3D

A million thanks for all for giving me the inputs for electric F3A airplane

I have seen many chargers to charge lipo batteries... but i am confused which one to go for.... there are really so many out there i want a charger with which i can charge 3s to 10s pack with a reasonable price :D

Bem gave you some good advice and options but if you want to charge either a 10 cell pack or two 5 cell packs wired in series which is probably the most common configuration for a 2 meter size, then there's only one charger that'll do 10S as far as I know and that's the CellPro 10S or newer 10XP. Hobbly King or one of those places puts out the same charger with different labeled cases for a bit less money and it's done under license from FMA.

This is where it gets trickier or should I say spendier????? Is that a word???? lol

The 10XP is a 600 watt charger IF you can feed it with 32 volts which most people cannot, however it's pretty happy with 24 volts and that voltage is becoming much more common with various power supply manufacturers. I elected to go with a system from Progressive RC which uses two CellPro 10XP chargers fed by a 24 volt Meanwell Power supply and that's fed by a Honda generator.

So as I've said, what you might do is really affected by how much you can spend and how big a priority certain options might be for you but recharging the batteries these 2 meter size models use is no small consideration.

Here are a few pics of what I set up with the components from Progress RC which is where the case came from as well. You can see the power supply in the bottom of the case and there is room there to store several different boards and you can see the power cord for the station which is setup on the outside like a computer so the cord can be removed.

jetmech43 10-06-2012 04:16 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
Ive got a 10s charger the I can make a deal on if some one wants it

nonstoprc 10-06-2012 06:23 AM

RE: Getting started in electric F3A
The other strategy is to buy 5-7 packs and bring the charged packs to field. No generator is needed.

DaveE61 12-04-2013 07:32 PM

I recently got the bug for F3A Elecric after watching a couple of guys at our field flying the 2M aircraft. I can't afford the $2,000 to 5,000 airframes so I got a Sebart Angel 50. There are a lot of other airframes in this price range, but the Sebart Angel appealed to me. I have a completed plane for about $750 and it is a really good flying plane. Makes me look like a good pilot. I may go for a full 2M plane in the future but now I can fly the routines with a less expensive plane and not worry about crashing the several thousand dollars of a 2M.
I have and currently fly gas but elecric is the future. Good luck with your project.


Doug Cronkhite 12-04-2013 11:08 PM

I prefer the multiple packs to charging at the field. I bought 12 of the Hobby People 5s-4500 packs at $65 each. They may not be Thunder Power but they have very good performance at a very nice price. I'm seeing internal resistance numbers on the CellPro 10XP of around 2.1-2.3 per cell. I'll take that. :)

So I have 6 flights before I need to charge. That's about all the practice my brain can handle before I find I start to lose focus.

cmoulder 12-05-2013 09:29 PM

I have 3 sets of the Hobby People 4500's and they are doing great thus far for AMA Masters. Less than a kilo (996g) for a pair, even though they are advertised as 530g each. IR's are similar to what you are seeing.

christeneagle 12-06-2013 08:07 AM


I too am considering electic F3A, but have little to no knowledge/experience. Last time I flew pattern was 20 some yrs agoon 25sized plane with a tuned pipe.

I am trying to figure out what I need to get started on the battery maintenance side. So far, thanks to threads like this one, I am figuring the following. Please help me understand better if I am mistaken and the questions below..

1. Batteries: whatever capcity and however many you can afford to have
2. Charger: whatever capacity suits your needs
3. Power supply: this is where I get a bit confused. If I get a charger that you can plug into a wall outlet, do I still need one? Also, in the field,,, if my charger takes 12V input, can't I just use my car battery without the power supply? I am seeing discussions on separate Pb batteries and even generators.... Is the capacities of typical F3A batteries so large that you need these things if you wanted to charge at the field?

Sorry if the question seems way too basic... Trying to get back into the hobby in 20 years, and things have changed way too much...

Thank you all in advance.

cmoulder 12-06-2013 09:09 AM

Quick and easy starter kit, for a 2-meter setup... CellPro 10xp with JST-XH balance board (and JST-HX extensions optional, but they make life a lot easier), 24-volt power supply from FeathermerchantRC, and 2 or 3 sets of the Hobby People 4500 5S lipo batteries. I also like the iCharge 3010B, but it is not forgiving if you mistakenly plug the balance taps in backwards.

It is not at all practical to recharge these fairly large packs on your car battery. Charge times will be slow and the car battery will be dead in a jiffy. Best to plug into an AC outlet at the field, if they're available, or into somebody's inverter generator, or eventually get your own Honda generator at Wise Sales. I have a generator and it's very handy, but my preferred solution is to have a bunch of battery sets and charge them at home the evening before going to the field.

jetmech43 12-06-2013 09:17 AM

Batteries is usually in the 4500 to 5000 mil 5s capacity most people use 2 5s packs or one 10s pack, that is if you go the 2 meter route, A good charger is a must I use the Power lab 8 I can charge 2 packs at a time in about 15 minutes, however it is not plug and play you will need a power supply to run it, I use the IOTA 55 amp power supply, you can get the power lab from FMA direct, they have another charger called the 10s which is also a good charger, 12 volt car battery probably wont cut it although some people go that way. Batteries you get from several places cheapest are probably from Hobby KIng many people including myself have some bad experiences with them. Its just a matter your budget, I would recommend a generator for the charger, doesnt have to be an expensive one. I would recommend F3A Unlimited for all your pattern needs.

Portlandflyer 12-06-2013 11:51 AM

Charging from a car battery is very doable, but it's has issues. I have charged off my Ford truck many times, but I have to leave the engine running. I drained the battery twice and couldn't get the truck started. I use jumper cables direct from the truck battery to my ICharger 306B. I think it would blow a fuse if I tried to plug into the 12 volt power outlet in the truck. I am able to get the 306B up to about 26 amps with the truck running, so I can charge almost as fast as I can at home. I don't know if a car alternator would be big enough to get the amps up. I don't charge at the field much, but it's nice when you need it.

christeneagle 12-08-2013 09:51 AM

Thank you Gentlemen. Starting to learn that power supply/generator deal is inevitable when I get to the full sized pattern ships and want to charge quickly at home/field. Thanks for al the suggestions above, will have to spend some time learning their pros and cons against what I might end up doing.

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