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World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

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Old 04-14-2004, 03:07 PM
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Default World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Hello fellow electron consumers!

This is my first attempt at writing up my experiences with an electric conversion that I just completed and hope it will provide you with some interesting reading! I have been so impressed with the articles written by Greg Covey and others here that I wanted to add my own post from a relative beginner’s perspective. In this post I’ll try and document my efforts and hopefully encourage others who are thinking about converting a glow model to electric to take the plunge.

Background

The World Models Rambler 30 is a 30 size two stroke (52 4S) sport model (ARF) that I thought would make a great electric conversion and be a nice model to get comfortable with aileron flying and learn some basic aerobatics. I am impressed with the quality (vs price) of WM’s products and this one was no exception. For example, the painted fiberglass cowl matched the film covered structure perfectly.

I’ve been flying glow R/C for just over a year now and learned to fly on a Kadet Senior and then transitioned to a GP Spacewalker and GP Big Stick 60 for my first tail dragger birds. I also have been flying a Miss2, Slow Stick and other indoor and park flyers but wanted to begin converting my 40 and 60 size glow models to electric power as I can fly them conveniently where I work (USAF Academy). I am also a full scale glider and power pilot as well as a flight instructor, so I’m not new to the principles of aviation but I must say flying models airplanes is proving to be quite a different challenge!

Model Specs:

Wing Span: 56.0 in
Wing Area: 527 sq in
Flying Weight: 4.0-4.5 lbs
Fuselage Length :41.5 in
Engine: 2C 0.32 - 0.40 cu in (4C 0.4 - 0.52 cu in)

Power System
A call to Zb at Esprit models helped decide the system to use as I am still trying to learn the ropes in this department like so many others. Personally, I think there is a new book in all of this. Someone with lots of experience should write on glow to electric conversions! Just going through a few examples of various conversions would be very helpful to many of us.

Zb recommended an AXI 282012 brushless motor, Hacker Master 40-3P ESC, Thunder Power 4S3P 6000 LiPo pack, UBEC, an APC 11X7 prop, spinner, prop adapter and an aluminum motor mount.

This system proved to have more than adequate power during my first flight but the prop size appeared to be a bit too large, pulling too much current and burned the AXI motor out within four minutes of flight. From now on I will test the current draw with an Astro Flight Watt Meter! Luckily, the model did a perfect dead stick landing on its own and when I explained what had happened to Zb, he promptly upgraded the failed system to an AXI 412014 and a 13 x 8 prop. However, I had to change to a new motor mount as the original three arm radial mount wasn’t large enough in diameter for the new external rotating motor. Hopefully, the 40 amp ESC will continue to handle the demands of my sport flying.

With all of this as background, I’ll share what I did to get the model ready to fly initially and after the modifications were made for the new system.
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Old 04-14-2004, 03:24 PM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Fuselage Preparation

Photo 1: I removed the servo tray that was already glued in and began to modify the fuselage for the installation of the battery tray. I removed a portion of the fuselage former directly in front of the servo tray and also honed out a larger rectangular cavity for placement of the battery tray in the former located directly behind the firewall. I wanted to be able to slide the battery pack as far forward as possible to get the proper CG location and this proved to be necessary on the initial (2820) system along with adding a tad over 6 oz of nose weight!

Photo 2: I decided to make the servo tray removable due to the location of the battery tray and this has proved to be a good decision as it seems that the gear had to come out and go back in many times before I got it right. I glued a long Velcro strip along the battery tray (which I made of thin ply) and added two Velcro ties as added support.

Photo3: Trying to apply what I have learned by reading other posts on RCU and elsewhere on the net, I cut a hole (I really didn’t want to do this) directly behind the trailing edge former in the fuselage to allow cooling air to escape.

Photo 4: This is the original engine mount that I used with the 2820. I used my Dremel tool to open up a large area in the (very) thick firewall to allow cooling air from the cowl to flow over the ESC and battery.

Photo 5: This photo shows the fuselage, sans cowling, with the original motor mount. I took this just as I was beginning to modify the model for the new motor.

Photo 6: The tail wheel assembly is straightforward with a small, lightweight wheel attached to a mount which is directly mounted to the rudder. Not the strongest design but hopefully, the model won’t be on the tail wheel for much of the time!

Photo7: Again, I used my Dremel tool to hone out a semicircular cutout to invite cooling air into the model. I’ll have to find some sort of fairing for the entrance and exit that provides both a little more aerodynamic functionality as well as be slightly more aesthetic. I added 1/8 black trim tape between the red and white sections everywhere on the model.

Photo 8: Here is the cowl fitted to the fuselage front and you can see where I once again used my Dremel tool to route out two holes in the front former, directly behind the firewall.

Photo 9: Here is a close up (sorry for the fuzzy photo!) of the new motor mount installed temporarily on the model. The mount was too short (by half an inch), so I made two beam standoffs from square ply stock that I had. I then marked and drilled the holes for the mounting bolts and installed the blind nuts and 4-40 hardware. I was really pleased to discover that the original motor mount holes for the glow mount fit the e-mount just fine.

More later!

Curt
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Old 04-14-2004, 03:26 PM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Photos 5-8
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Old 04-14-2004, 03:27 PM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

#9
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:45 AM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Electronics Installation

Photo 1: Here is the AXI motor, ESC and UBEC all wired together ready for installation courtesy of Zb from Esprit models.

Photo 2: The AXI 4120 temporarily installed on the motor mount.

Photo 3: The TP 4S3P 6000 battery installed on the battery tray.

Photo 4: The servo tray and servos installed. The receiver is mounted on a patch of Velcro in the upper left is a dual conversion M-5 receiver from FMA. The cooling holes I bored out are visible as well.
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Old 04-15-2004, 09:49 AM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

WM Rambler 30 Conversion - Continued

Photo 1: The wiring from the ESC and UBEC will have to be cleaned up a bit after routing through the firewall and front former.

Wing

Photo 2: Here is a photo of the wing showing the black pinstriping I added between the red and white covering.

Photo 3: For the aileron servo I had to get a little creative as all that was provided was a hole in the wing center. The mount the servo I glued small ply pieces both in the wing center hole and the top to get a solid fit. I then placed small balsa shims on each side of the servo casing. These kept it from twisting from side to side as torque from the servo’s motion during operation imposed the force.

Photo 4: The wheel pants were a simple design but I don’t care for the outer straps that are just a simple flat piece of nylon. But I think they will work for the time being. My friend Jeff who has helped me through much of my Bohemia Monocoupe construction, painted the pants for me. We used Tamiya red which didn’t exactly match the color of the red plastic covering but I could care less!

All I have to do now is ream out the APC prop and spinner back plate and inspect all of the final installation and re-balance the plane to get the CG. Hopefully, with the added 5.5 oz of extra weight from the larger AXI that I can get the model to balance with very little added weight up front.
I’ll post photos of the model ready to fly in a few days and hopefully I can get some photos of the model flying.
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Old 04-18-2004, 09:14 PM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Well, I've finished getting the model back together and needed to add 1/2 oz more to the nose to balance her.
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Old 04-18-2004, 09:16 PM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Here is the AXI motor installed and ready to go. AUW for the model is 85.5 oz (5.34 lbs).
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Old 04-18-2004, 09:18 PM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Here are a few shots of the completed model ready to fly.

All I have to do now is wait for the wind to die down here and I can get back in the air!
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Old 04-18-2004, 09:19 PM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

One question for everyone... is my thread boring? I haven't had one post as a reply.
[&o]

Thanks for looking anyway!

Curt
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Old 04-18-2004, 10:43 PM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Maybe you did too good a job. I enjoyed your thread. At present, I have a Rambler with a Saito .45 ready for flight test. I am into electrics and enjoy most electric conversion articles. Great job! Now if the wind will cooperate.
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Old 04-19-2004, 11:43 AM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Very clean conversion! Now all you need is a pilot! Good luck with your maiden flight.
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Old 04-23-2004, 08:39 AM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

I liked your post. I too am interested in converting,(a little) to electric, as I see the writing on the wall for most gas/nitro flying sites. I fly mostly 50cc gas engines, or 27-30% airplanes, and think it would be most intesting to try one in electric. It's just learning what there is to know about it all......................
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Old 05-22-2004, 03:41 AM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

This thread is wonderful! My dad loves the looks of his Rambler 30 and would like to convert it to electric - this will be a great tutorial on how to do it!

Have you had a chance to test fly the Rambler yet with the new motor?

Let us know!

Jason
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Old 05-24-2004, 01:19 PM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Curt,

Great job and photos!

Let's hear a flight report when available to see how the power level plays out.

Good luck with the maiden!
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Old 06-24-2004, 04:59 AM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

...what happened, I just found the trhead, I want to use this power combo in a Nieuport 28. Was it successful?

Please let me know...
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Old 07-02-2004, 08:29 AM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

Hello fellas...

Well, after weeks of working late, windy weekends and rainy evenings I finally flew the Rambler last night after work. I am at the USAF Academy and we have some terrific atheletic fields to fly from. I used a road between two of our huge soccer fields as a runway.

The model flew with great authority and showed me just how much of a novice pilot I still am! It will rocket vertically for some nice rudder turn manueuvers and is very stable overall. The model flies well at slower speeds which is also nice for me. I did learn that wheel pants and grass don't like each other as one of my wheel pants cracked on landing as they grabbed the grass and the model wanted to twist. I wanted to land directly into the wind and the fields were nicely manicured, so I chose the grass into the wind rather than the road with a 90 degree crosswind.

I flew for a timed 10 minutes and still had plenty of juice left in the Thunder Power LiPo pack. I'm sure I could have completed a second flight but the light was beginning to become a problem as the sun got lower in the sky. The motor was pretty warm after the flight but the battery and ESC were barely warm to the touch. I'll have to invest in an infrared meter and also take some power readings with my new Whatt Meter to see what the system is doing. I think this model will give me the experience I need to be able to move on to my next project which (I think) will be a Kyosho Spacewalker (older, discontinued ARF) which I plan to use the same system in.

I did hear a strange vibration (buzzing) sound from the prop area when I would power up from a low power setting. It may be that the prop adapter isn't tightened enough. I heard the same noise on my Scorpio Super Miss, which I flew right before the Rambler and the prop came off just as I was making a landing approach! I couldn't get the set scews that came with the adapter to mesh with the threads in the adapter, so they were never very tight. But, no matter how hard I tried to pull that adapter off I never could get it to budge, even using pliers and without the set screws installed! I'm going to change it out to a collet type as I don't think I like the set screw variety as much. The collet style seems to hold much better against the motor shaft.

In the end, I'm already looking forward to my next flight with the Rambler and I highly recommend this model for those of you looking for a fun, relaxing, yet areobatic intermediate model. iIt isn't going to hover or do any 3-D manuevers for sure, but I honestly think this is a terrific low wing sport model. I've recently become the officer in charge of the cadet model R/C group here at the Academy and am looking forward to getting the cadets more involved in electric conversions and indoor flying at our field house track.

I also just purchased a new Kangke, 60 size Monocoupe that I am going to outfit with a MaxCim motor. I now have everything I need except batteries (I'm wondering if a TP 7800 5S4P would work?) and a dummy seven cylinder radial engine. I can't seem to find one anywhere, so I guess I'm going to have to try and make one somehow. Anyone know of some tips or fabricating tricks? Williams Brothers cylinders will work but their engine kits are all 9 cylinders and are too big to fit (5 3/4 in required).

Thanks again for all of the feedback on my project and happy flying!

Curt
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Old 01-27-2005, 05:14 AM
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Default RE: World Models Rambler 30 Elecrtic Conversion

curt - was wondering if you put the pinstriping and the pant designs on yourself... mine doesn't come like this... also, the wheel pants sit kinda strange just like yours... even with the fuse level with the ground, the pants are still tilting backward... odd really. nice conversion, though. I have mine on a O.S.52 forestroke to maiden hopefully saturday...
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