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Kavan starter repair question

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Old 04-16-2018, 09:15 PM
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quietflyer
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Default Kavan starter repair question

I have a Kavan starter that exhibited intermittent operation recently and then stopped working altogether. I suspect it has something to do with the switch or brushes. The starter has been used for a couple of seasons and a Kavan power pack holder was added last year to house a 4S lipo. I see that parts are being offered for the starter. Is the starter user serviceable or does it have to be shipped to Sig? If user serviceable, are there any instructions or exploded views available? I have searched the Sig and Kavan websites, and the various forums with no luck. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
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Old 04-20-2018, 05:16 AM
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This should get you in the ballpark. Kavan Starter Brushes

It depicts how to change out the brushes along with a link on a parts explosion. Hope this helps.

Mike

Note: I see your out of Surry. Come on down and fly at the field.
Here's our clubs website: www.bellaircflyers.com
Our spring clean up is this coming Saturday.
Were about 30 minutes south of the border.

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Old 04-22-2018, 05:05 AM
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The Kavan is a good little starter. I did the battery on mine a bit differently from the one in the linked How-To.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:40 PM
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I owned one of these many years ago. I liked the small diameter (easy to hold) but the rpm was limited compared to a Sullivan. And because I was using it with a belt to start boats, I found that the plastic bearing wore radially due to the side loads on the starter. I had no idea these were still available.
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:09 PM
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They are okay for what they are. I can see where side loading would be a problem but for prop spinning they do alright. I use Sullivan as well for the larger engines.
The Dynatron that I have used for the last 20 years has never yet broken down. I had a starter mounted NiCd pack that was replaced by LiPo about 5 years ago. I just picked up a new Megatron 24 volt and it too will get on board LiPo power.
The closer coupled system eliminates quite a bit of resistance and adds a surprising amount of power at the end of the shaft
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:31 PM
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Mike, thanks for the link. I did consider the idea of joining bellair but not sure if it is a hassle crossing the border with rc planes and the FAA registration.
Jesse, that is an excellent battery mount. Nice piece of machining! Is it commercially available? I am using the plastic Kavan holder for the Lipo but I disassemble it to charge the battery
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by quietflyer View Post
Mike, thanks for the link. I did consider the idea of joining bellair but not sure if it is a hassle crossing the border with rc planes and the FAA registration.
Jesse, that is an excellent battery mount. Nice piece of machining! Is it commercially available? I am using the plastic Kavan holder for the Lipo but I disassemble it to charge the battery
It's not a hassle on your r/c equipment crossing the border. We currently have 7 members from B.C. that travel down, in fact one fellow is from North Van. bout' a hour's plus travel time and he comes down allot during good weather. As for the UAS registration, you would need to make application for that. Come on down to the next meeting. It will be at the field now for spring and summer ops. Go to the website and scroll down all the way to bottom of page, we have a link on UAS information and how to apply. Give me a call, I am listed under officers link contacts, under president or you can all our Treasurer as he deals with the Canadian memberships all the time. Your MAAC card is good to fly here also. It's reciprocal between AMA and MAAC.
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by quietflyer View Post
Mike, thanks for the link. I did consider the idea of joining bellair but not sure if it is a hassle crossing the border with rc planes and the FAA registration.
Jesse, that is an excellent battery mount. Nice piece of machining! Is it commercially available? I am using the plastic Kavan holder for the Lipo but I disassemble it to charge the battery
Thanks quietflyer. It is a "one of" that I made about 5 years ago. The nice thing about the gear reduction type starter is that they draw less current .The single LiPo battery lasts for quite a while. Once you mount the battery to the starter it is hard to go back. This is a Sullivan that I originally converted to NiCds, then to LiPo. I moved the witreleads internally from the rear to the front. Also removed the factory grip switch. The switching now is done by the aluminum lever which activates a 70 amp relay. The battery is a pair of 2750 mah 3s LiPo witred in parallel.
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:30 AM
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That is a nice bit of machining. Somebody else with access to a machining center!
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Old 04-24-2018, 12:49 PM
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I stumbled on a Bridgeport mill for $100 about 15 years ago. Also bought a Clausing 10 inch latthe.
Total investment is less than most folks pay for a new 2.4 giggle hurts radio. Yep, they come in handy.

Donít have a 2.4 giggle hurts radio though
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jesse Open View Post
I stumbled on a Bridgeport mill for $100 about 15 years ago. Also bought a Clausing 10 inch latthe.
Total investment is less than most folks pay for a new 2.4 giggle hurts radio. Yep, they come in handy.

Donít have a 2.4 giggle hurts radio though
That just not right, you paying a hundred for a Bridgeport, tack on another zero, and you wouldn't be getting this note !
Yup, a mill and a lathe the sky is the limit on those industrious tools.
Mike
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:14 PM
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Mike, I will try to make it to one of the meetings and take it from there.
Jesse, another great lipo holder design for the Sullivan. I wish I had those machining skills and knowledge!

I opened up the Kavan starter, cleaned the brushes, the armature , and the "dust" inside the case. Upon reassembly, the starter worked for a few seconds, went intermittent and then stopped working altogether. Next step would be to actually take apart the brushes, wiring and check for any intermittent connection. The brush activated by the red switch lever seems a little shorter than the opposing one, but I could be wrong. I have attached some pictures for reference.
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:26 PM
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armature after cleaning


brush on left is activated by the switch lever
Sorry, pictures didn't come through,will try again.
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Old 04-25-2018, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by quietflyer View Post



armature after cleaning


brush on left is activated by the switch lever
Sorry, pictures didn't come through,will try again.
Seeing the bottom photo, and the brush on the 'left' tells me couple of things to consider.
1. The brush is well worn.
2. That that brush is so worn, that the spring tension holding the brush to the commutator is not strong enough to 'hold' the brush onto the surface firmly.
This would indicate that current flowing from the brush to the commutator is not enough/ or intermittent, thus the 'intermittent' working of the starter when engaged.
Suggestion, obtain a new set of brushes and springs, install. Most likely that will solve your problem.
Mike
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:26 AM
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The commutator looks to be in good condidtion. (Do not sand it!) Hard to tell about the brushes but they don't appear all that bad, especially to the point where they are not working. If you have a voltmeter or a 12 volt test light, check for power right at the brushes with the battery hooked up and the switch on.
I would almost bet on a broken wire or a bad switch. If there is not power I can give you some more trouble shooting tips. If there is power, then by all means try new brushes.
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Old 04-26-2018, 10:54 AM
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Took the brushes out last night,checked continuity in the wiring, checked Lipo wring, tried different Lipo pack, still no go. On reading the SPA website link and examining the pictures there, the worn out switch activated brush looks similar in length to the one in my starter, so I ordered a new set of brushes.
Thanks for all the help. I will post an update later.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:50 PM
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A quick update on the starter repair.....
The brushes came in yesterday from Radical RC and a quick switchover had the starter running again!
Thanks to all who pitched in with their help.
I am attaching a picture of the old and new set of brushes to give an idea of the wear.
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:55 PM
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New set of brushes on the left and old ones on the right. The bottom right brush was the one activated by the red switch lever and shows more wear.

Last edited by quietflyer; 04-29-2018 at 12:57 PM. Reason: picture too small
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Old 04-29-2018, 03:29 PM
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Excellent!
Thanks for the follow up. Looks like there is a very small margin for wear. Kavan does an admirable job of product support.
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Old 04-29-2018, 10:07 PM
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Jesse, actually that margin of wear took a while. On further reflection, I realised that I have been using it for more than a couple of seasons and not as I had initially stated. I had bought this starter from Hobby Lobby so it has been a while. Time flies when you are having fun! Kavan has a great product in this starter as it's light, compact and has lots of torque to even turn my Zenoah G26 and DLE 30.
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:26 AM
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I hope it didn't sound like I was slighting the starter. It is very well made and thought out. I like mine a lot and it is about 20 years old.
The "margin" issue is actually a very good design feature. The motor doesn't self destruct when the brushes wear as so many other brush type motors can. The motor got intermittent then stopped before the commutator was damaged. That is an excellent design.
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