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Electric conversion

Old 05-28-2007, 12:59 AM
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Default Electric conversion

OK I tried a search and nothing. Here goes. I currently have a .25 RC trainer and plan on getting a park flyer soon but I cant help but remember my roots back in the seventies with my Testors P40 in the church parking lot during the summer. Enough memory lane now my question. I just happen to have a nice new Red Hawk 380 size electric motor and 3 nice 9.6V 800m packs laying around doing nothing. Will it work to install these items on a nice 049 sized C/L Sig? (they have a nice biplane that appeals to me)Unless I am mistaken it would require only a motor mount,battery mount, switch and wires. Now would a resistor be a good idea to limit the power and allow for longer flights or would this combo only give a few minutes of good flight anyway? My money is tied up in RC stuff pretty bad and I am hoping to do this project on the super down low. By the Way,,,,This forum rocks!!!
Old 05-31-2007, 01:38 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

Perhaps I have insulted the Control Line Cult with my electric heresy. LOL.
Old 05-31-2007, 05:21 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

Nope, you've not insulted the gods. Nor me either.

The problem with electric for CL is getting the sucker to shut off. And that solution isn't simple. I'll get back to ya' after supper.
Old 05-31-2007, 06:41 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

OK, I'm back................

You have to have some sort of shutoff. I think the guys who've been flying electric stunters have used timers.

It's also quite possible to use the same design concept that's used in all forms of CL racing. A sharp, sudden, full down flick trips a spring loaded lever. In racing, the lever pinches off the fuel line. With electric, the lever flips off the on/off switch.

It would take some adjusting of the mechanism, but they're simple to make.
Old 05-31-2007, 10:19 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

There are two very good timers available for c/l electric, both sell for 30 bucks and are programmable. There is a forum on stunthanger.com for electric control line with a wealth of information on motors, batteries and speed controls that can be used to get a plane rigged up. Currently I am working on converting a T/F Nobler for electric stunt.
Old 05-31-2007, 10:30 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

What if you simply ran another line from the handle to a small switch, I believe the CL guys do something like this to control the throttle. I can think of some different designs. Do you feel given the weight an 049 size plane it will fly OK? I can see this plane being lighter than an RC plane given that it needs no receiver or servos. I am concerned about the battery putting out full power for the flight, should I install some kind of resistor? Or maybe this is moot. I am just looking for something to mess around will in my parents yard with my 11 year old. Since I already have most of the parts I only need the plane. Would it really be much of a problem shutting off the plane, I only say this because when I was a kid we just flew around until it ran out of gas. Thanks for your help I am having a lot of fun with this project. Jeffp
Old 06-01-2007, 05:28 AM
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Default RE: Electric conversion


ORIGINAL: jeffie8696
Would it really be much of a problem shutting off the plane, I only say this because when I was a kid we just flew around until it ran out of gas. Thanks for your help I am having a lot of fun with this project. Jeffp
Unfortunately, yes.

When an electric motor is working from batteries, it will run until the battery is "deep discharged". And rechargable batteries are usually ruined when discharged past some fairly high voltage.

However, there is a somewhat less expensive way to do this. Unfortunately, it'll probably run the motor a very long time. Let me illustrate with a story...

Long ago, my bunch of glider flyer buddies and I had just "discovered" slope flying. None of us had ever done it. We also discovered that long slope flights could be recognized for "reward". So a few of us tackled the problem of flying long flights with our existing equipment. All our TX/RXs back then ran on NiCd's that didn't have a lot of capacity. Most of our airplanes wouldn't fly longer than 3-4 hours and the transmitters wouldn't operate on their NiCds longer than a couple of hours. Everybody started looking for NiCds with lots greater capacity. All of them were huge and wouldn't fit where the original packs fit. It dawned on me that some of the cheaper TX/RX setups used AA flashlight batteries. And those suckers had lots more capacity than my AA size NiCds. On my first attempt, I flew about 3x's longer than the usual 3 hours. You're not going to want to fly a CL airplane until the flashlight batteries run down. Unless you're the Energizer Bunny.

When you run rechargable batteries until they're "out of gas", they're often ruined. There is a chance that the performance will have dropped enough that the airplane wasn't flying any more before the batteries are deep discharged, but are you willing to risk ruined batteries to find out?
Old 06-01-2007, 05:32 AM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

The third line could work but still might need some leverage at the airplane to flip a switch.

An .049 CL airplane doesn't have much pull on the lines. It might not do anything when you pull the on/off line other than come toward you. When it does that, not only will the switch stay switched, but the two control lines won't be controlling the airplane.

But if the third line went to a fairly light trigger that worked a spring loaded actuator...............
Old 06-01-2007, 11:01 AM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

Sounds like an interesting project to me, I was thinking about the switch being mounted so a slight tug on a third line would trip it open. I wont be too worried about the batteries, I have been running NiCds in my high end RC cars for years without too much trouble.
Old 06-01-2007, 12:40 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

I'm not sure if this helps, but...........the old Cox Bearcat that I have has electrical lines as the main lines, and in the handle there is a button on the top that completes the circuit and turns the engine on...........finally, the batteries are actually hooked up to the handle, so it saves weight in the airplane. The only drawback about this design is that there really is no throttle unless you fan the button..........but I'm sure somebody could come up with an original way to put one in the handle?
Old 06-01-2007, 04:02 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

I was thinking that the wires might be too heavy and prone to breakage but it would solve some problems.
Old 06-01-2007, 09:54 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

As far as electrifying the wires it has obviously been done but the wires have to be insulated to prevent shorting and either relatively short or large in diameter to keep the power loss to a minimum and still have enough to fly the model, lotsa drag or you spin around real quick . So far the use of LiPo batteries, speed controls and electronic timers have been successfull to the point where electric power has been used at the FAI world championships and done rather well. The big killer for small models seems to be battery weight but experiments have been done and a good useable power system for 1/2a size may not be far away. Brodak already has an electric ARF that fly's well and recently a ARF Flight Streak has been converted and flown with rumors that other manufacturers are either bringing to market or seriosly considering bringing out more electric C/L planes. It can only get better for us a prices will drop a bit and there will be more choices and data available for us to use to put together a successfull model.
Old 06-02-2007, 10:49 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

I think I need to get one coming and start wrenching on it. I betcha I can get it to work. Cheap motor $5.00 (already got), cheap NiCd packs free from nephews broken toy trucks (got em), Nice little Sig Bipe $13.99(need), control lines stolen from fishing tackle box, hand made custom wooden control line handle(probably pine LOL) Free, Electrical switch from dads junk box free. What else do I really need? LOL. Jeffie

PS. I went to the Davenport Iowa air show today, unimpressed. They really need some fresh ideas. But the Thunderbirds were there and it wasnt a total loss. Yea I know "Off topic" just venting cause it cost us $45.00 for just a rerun.
Old 06-09-2007, 11:24 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

I fly a Brodak Smoothie converted to electric in classic class stunt (and by consequences in modern advanced stunt 2 weeks ago...took second with an almost 60 year old design!). Anyway, one of the timers most frequency used is the Zigras timer. It costs $30. You can program in the flight duration the speed of the motor run. You will need to also have an electronic speed control. The timer works thru a connection to the esc. This method yields the most usable electric flights. Current thru the lines has been done but the lines will have to be insulated. They will be so heavy and create so much drag you will not be able to fly a half A model. A three line system like is used in control line carrier and scale can be used as an on off as well but you will not be able to do much aerobatics with a 3 line system. There have been a number of very sucessful half A size electric control line models and stunters. Dick Sarpolis has published plans for some and they fly very well. On one of the speacialty stunt forums yesterday I saw pics of Bob Hunt flying a nice half A electric stunter.

Electrics are being used very sucessfully in control line stunt competition. Bob Hunt qualified for the USA Stunt World team last year with an electric version of his Genesis and is currently doing a twin engine electric stunter for this season. There were several electrics at the worlds and a number of top level stunt fliers are exploring the technology.

The current most common power system utilizes an Axi 2826/10, a Zigras or the other, I think its a JPM timer, a Castle Creations Phoenix 45 speed control, and a 4 cell 4000 mah lipo. This yields the equivalent of a .40 to .46 glow power plant. Line tensions are excellent. Proper prop selection is the key. You need to limit your current draw to about 32 amps for a pattern, about 6 minutes in a competition stunter.

For half A models the keys are brushless motors and lipo batteries and of course light weight. The lipos let you have so much lighter batteries that the all up weights are not so high as to limit the flyability of the planes. As you said though, putting wrench to it and getting into it is the key step. Be aware though that lipo's will not tolerate over discharge like traditional batteries.

Well, hope I have helped and not discouraged. Electrics are a fun area to explore. Electric experience in RC has been a help for many of us who are doing it. The Brodak electric Clown is an excellent flier. John Paris won Old Time Stunt in the spring stunt contest at Flint, Michigan. An electric humongous flown by Rick Sawicki took 2nd and my electric smoothie took 3rd in Classic stunt and I took 2nd in modern advanced . Myself, i still prefer glo stunt power for my primary planes, but that could change. There is still alot of developement going on and at the top levels. Those fliers and their developement teams are sharring with the rest of us and its filtering down with only about 3 to 4 months delay so we are learning alot in a hurry. The "All Amped Up" electric forum on Stunthanger.com is probably the best place on the web I know of to find what's going on in electric control line. A good resource are the other forums on the site.

Bob Branch
Old 06-10-2007, 11:19 PM
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Default RE: Electric conversion

Wow thanks for the help. I see the electrics taking over the small plane market due to safety , noise and cleanliness concerns and I must admit they work well in my touring car. Jeffie
Old 06-11-2007, 08:03 AM
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ORIGINAL: jeffie8696

Wow thanks for the help. I see the electrics taking over the small plane market due to safety , noise and cleanliness concerns and I must admit they work well in my touring car. Jeffie

They are taking over in the big cities already.

But don't be too quick to label them as safer. They are not. Their props are as lethal as any that turn. And plugging in the batteries in most setups exposes the flyer in new ways that most aren't used to. I've seen a number of them start up unexpectedly. It usually happens with people who've not yet learned the safe ways to arm the systems. Sometimes it's done by people who have no understanding at all with the systems, but sometimes by people who just aren't used to doing things that way. They really aren't safer.

But by golley, they absolutely are cleaner. And very very quiet.
Old 06-11-2007, 08:20 AM
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A fellow member told me just last week about an accident he had with an electric that left him scarred . Yes any spinning prop had my respect especially after my little incident with my OS .46 last month. LOL.
Old 06-11-2007, 10:49 AM
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With the "influence"(good , bad, whaever) of one of our members to be unnamed joe , I have decided that the Bipe should work nicely with my new Cox reedy and some custom blended hi octane nitro. I shouldnt have any more in it than the electric components I aready own thanks to some bartering, begging, whining. LOL.

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