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Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

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Old 10-03-2003, 12:02 AM
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zxcv11
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Default Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

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Old 10-03-2003, 07:36 AM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

Thanks for the info, Brian!

I'd be interested in seeing what kind of flight times he's getting from this combo.

I have a similar .40 trainer conversion:
Mine started out with a Tower Trainer .40 for the airframe. To that I added a Kyosho Endoplasma ($20), a Great Planes GD600 gearbox ($13), MEC 10 tooth pinion ($5), Great Planes C-50 ESC ($50), 10-cell stick pack (~$45), and APC 12x8 Thin-E prop ($5). Charger is a Hitec CG340 ($40). Motor mount is a carefully-crafted plywood "yoke" that was epoxied to the cowl cheeks (free, used scrap wood from the shop).

Total power system cost: $178, plus shipping. I wouldn't consider it adequate for a beginner, though, because the flight times are too short. Mine gets only about 8 minutes, if I fly at minimum throttle, go until the motor cuts out, and make an emergency landing. In my experience, a newbie's knees don't stop knocking until about 5 minutes into the flight. With this setup, we have to land just about the time he/she gets calmed down

Throw a couple-hundred dollars worth of LiPolys at it, and you have a lighter plane that the student can actually fly long enough to learn something. Unfortunately, that pushes the total cost up over $400, just for the power system. Then you have a cheap brushed motor being pushed to its limits for extended periods of time. It won't hold up very long, maybe . Replace the Endoplasma 3 times, and you could've bought an AXi 2820/10 that would last virtually forever.
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Old 10-03-2003, 11:14 AM
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

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Old 10-03-2003, 12:41 PM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

Took me a few seconds, but I finally realzied that you're talking about the Sig Bristol Scout. They classify it as a Park Flyer, so that's probably where you should put it.

10 minutes, eh? He must be able to run at a much lower current due to his choice of gearing and 12-cell setup. Admittedly, I probably don't have the most efficient prop in the world on this bird; the 12x8 is really for 3D flying. I could probably fly a 12x6 or an 11x7 on the same throttle settings and get 10 minutes. The plane's awful draggy and slow for such a high-pitch prop.

As you can probably tell, I'm really hot on finding The Budget Power System(tm) for .40-size trainers. It would bring the two "worlds" together.
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Old 10-03-2003, 03:17 PM
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

done.
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Old 10-08-2003, 09:35 PM
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

I'd just like to make a small correction to Brian's original start-up calculations.

You do not need a $40 field charger when flying glow, the starter battery and glow igniter battery will last for a full day of flying, so the wall warts you have at home are sufficient. If you're going to include a $10 box for the glow stuff, you need to include it for the E stuff as well. (Charger, prop wrench, props, extra pack(s), misc. tools....)

And that $10 for the misc. (tubing filters, etc.); how much was the solder to build that $50 pack? The wire and connectors? (You are using Dean's or Sermos aren't you?)

Realistically, if your planning on flying more than once in each hour or so, you'll also need more than one "$50 to $60" pack.

Keep in mind we're talking about newbies and trainers here. How many of these guys are set up with the tools or knowledge to "build" their own battery packs? So the pack costs are likely to be 25 to 30% higher.

I agree that we're getting real close to an E powered trainer that will be comparable to a 40 size glow, both in performance and price, but I really wish that people attempting to make comparisons would try to keep them apples to apples.

By the way, I fly both glow and "E", and have introduced many club members to "E" power, so please, don't bash me as the 'typical' glow flyer. Okay?
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Old 10-09-2003, 06:48 AM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

OK, so lets look at a common nitro set-up. Engine comparable at $55-$65 for a typical OS-.40 trainer type. 4 Gallons fuel-$55, Misc gas system odds/ends(tubing, filters,ect)$15, Tank-$4, Cheap Fuel Pump-$10, Cheap Starter-$15, Avg. Glow Plug Starter w/charger-$18, 12v. Starter/charger Batt-$17. Some type of small field charge unit-$40. $10 for a cheap box to throw all this stuff in to go to the field. Right around $250 for propulsion.
I gotta agree with Dennis. Looking at this now, I can see where there are a lot of extraneous items that appear to have been added just to bring the price up. No offense, Brian, but you do have to compare apples to apples...

1. You don't need 4 gallons of fuel to get started. For a typical newbie, three of those gallons will go to waste. A single $12-$15 gallon of 10% is all that's necessary. We are talking about the bare necessities to get started, as we both did with our .40-size trainer conversions.
2. You can pick up a complete RTF glow trainer for $250-$300 at most hobby shops. That includes the engine and all the little fuel doodads you itemize. It's quite rare to find a new student that assembles his/her own ARF these days. I'd say at least 9 out of 10 come with one of the many RTF rigs that are on the market.
3. You don't need a starter, field charger, or field battery. A $15 glow ignitor and a $5 chicken stick is what most newbies come to the field with.
4. Most newbies just throw their stuff in a cardboard box, plastic tote tray, or Rubbermaid container they had lying around the house.

So... You can easily get started in glow for less than $350 if you shop around and stick to the bare necessities.
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:36 AM
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Jason Beach
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

This topic seems to pop up fairly regularly, and usually with the same result.
It has gotten cheaper to fly electric, but it is still much more expensive to power a .40 size trainer with electric.
As Dennis said "Apples to Apples". A comparable electric trainer would need to be able to fly for 15-20 minutes, and I believe this is where the major $ difference is. To get that kind of time you'd need a whole stack of Li-poly's, and that kills the price.
The gap between electric and glow/gas is narrowing very quickly, but $ still seems to be the biggest hurdle.

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Old 10-10-2003, 09:30 PM
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

OK guys.
The main purpose for This thread was meant to be info for a conversion.
Read the title. It says: ELECTRIC/.40 TRAINER CONVERSION
NOT 'Your gasser sux....get a cheaper electric"!!!!!!!!!!!!
Matt--you're argeing with me no (oh---'now that I go back over it'....whatever!!!)You ASKED for this info.....OK????!!!!!!
The price comparison was only to show that they were CLOSE.....CLOSE people...NOT cheaper....or the same price.
I'm not going to address every issue because I DID NOT start this thread to argue. You're all RIGHT...ELECTRIC IS MORE EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!! I agree!!
Dennis, you showed your true colors with your last statement. Obviously you have a chip on your shoulder. Fine, leave me out of it. I never bashed you, and if you fly/turn people on to e-flight, then why in the world would you say 'I;m not your every-day' glow-flier'. Obviously You're not. I never said you were!!!!! Just because someone isn't into RC, doesn't have anything to do with whether the can solder or not. If you want to nit-pick my info, FINE. No one EVER said this was the say all, know all of RC electric-flight, obviously. Excuse me. . I was simply posting info on a conversion Matt (a MOD who has helped me) was interested in.....not trying to offend you. My price comp. left the electrics higher for a reason, and was simply something I threw together in about 2 min. as a thought.

See...this is what I hate about this posting on RCU. You try to do someone a favor by posting some info......and people have to show how smart they are, and jump down your THROAT!!!!
Whatever
I'm taking the info off cuz it seems I'm WRONG, as you've all so nicely pointed out.
And who says all newbies are poor??!!??!!

The main point was to give some ppl. who were interested some info on switching a wet trainer to an electric one. Period.

Oh-well.
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Old 10-13-2003, 07:17 AM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

Sheesh, Brian. I don't see ANYONE jumping down your throat here, telling you that you're wrong, or anything like that...

I was just trying to make this a FAIR comparison, so people reading it don't get the wrong idea that electric is going to be similar in price to glow for the same plane. You added several optional accessories that brought the price up for glow, and we pointed that out. Big deal. Nothing there to fly off the handle about.

The point of this thread was to DISCUSS the possibility of a viable, inexpensive .40-size trainer conversion. This means that people will have different, possibly conflicting, viewpoints on the subject. Nobody that posted to this thread was attacking you or your information. Nobody thought your information was bad or wrong. I'm sorry you think that was the case, because you posted some really useful information.
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Old 10-16-2003, 07:12 PM
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

boy for an electric forum moderator you sure are down on electric!
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Old 10-17-2003, 06:35 AM
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Matt Kirsch
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Default RE: Electric/.40 Trainer Conversion

o... kay?

Don't misinterpret what I said as anti-electric. I just believe in FAIR comparisons, what a person absolutely, positively needs to get started in electric vs. what a person absolutely, positively needs to get started with glow. Apples to apples. No offense to Brian, I really meant none, but he included about $100 worth of glow accessories that are simply not necessary to get started, while including only the bare necessities for the electric setup. That's not a fair comparison in my book, and would have given people the wrong idea.

I'm not going to embellish the facts to make electric look better. Too often that comes back to bite you, "Hey you !@##$%! jerk! You told me electric would be cheaper. I could'a got a glow plane for $100 less!"
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