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Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

Old 01-04-2003, 06:57 AM
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Jderringer
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

I have been reading the posts- and I know that some of you have draganflyers, BUT, has anyone experimented w/ other batteries for longer flight times or more cargo capacity (NiMH or Lithium)? I just e-mailed the company that makes them and I will post their reply here. I would appreciate any experiences that any one would care to share! (Good or bad)
Old 01-07-2003, 04:46 AM
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jqxl
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

Hi,

I have a draganflyer 3 and I use the standard 10 cell sanyo 600ae battery packs. I bought 3 so that I can get a little more flying in before charging. Each batt pack takes about 40 min to charge.
I am maybe getting 5 minutes per run.
I called DF and they said a Li-Poly battery pack would be available in FEB. Zenon indicated the run time would be about 15 minutes.

It is a very cool flying machine. I am still a neophite and won't attempt to fly with the camera until I become more expert.

Jack
Old 01-08-2003, 12:41 PM
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Jderringer
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

as promised, here is the reply from the company that make the draganflyer:

The current battery is at 10 cell (1.2v/cell = 12volts), 600mAH NiCD battery. We have tried many forms of NiMH batteries, and none can provide the current that the Draganflyer III requires to be a fun machine like the NiCDs can. We have tested about 5 different varieties of the Lithium batteries and have found one that works awesome. Even more power, and 15 minute flight times. We are OEMing a charger, and it will be ready for February. We will be carrying this battery system in February for all interested customers.
Old 01-12-2003, 09:16 AM
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turbocivic
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Default kewl

Cool I cant wait for Febuary, even though my dragon 3 is at the repair shop cause i had some faulty electronics, but great customer service helps a lot. Thumbs up to Dragon Innovations for a fun machine. P.S my blade broke 14 feet in the air and had a ultimate crash landing and still only adjustments to the carbon rods and engines was needed. Glad to see others flying
Old 01-12-2003, 08:46 PM
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jqxl
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

What sort of faulty electronics problem did you experience? Did you send it back to Draganfly or somewhere else? Any charges to you?

The new battery pack should be great! Check out FMAdirect for alternative batteries. I am considering their 3000mA 3 cell.

So far I am OK in a hover with in a 10 foot circle. I still must keep it oriented away from me for control. Too chicken to try the camera yet in flight. Someday!

Jack
Old 01-13-2003, 03:53 AM
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gregw
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

I also had electronic problems with my Draganflyer III

Mine started as intermittent problems arming the motors, which became intermittent loss of power DURING flight, i.e. nicely hovering, and then suddenly, my DF3 would drop like a stone to the ground. The final stage before I sent it in for repairs was that I had to wriggle the battery connector to even get power to my DF3!

Called Draganfly and talked to Zenon Dragan, and it seems I'm not the only one that has this problem!! There seems to be a design weakness in one of the components on the board. When you insert/uninsert the battery connector, it flexes the circuit board and causes the connection to the L1 diode to fail.

Draganfly sent me an email and asked me to send it back to the manufacturer of the board, Spectrolutions Inc. in New York. It's been around 2 weeks now and I haven't heard anything from them yet..

On Lipoly batteries, I was about to order a 3s3p Kokam 1020 from Troy (www.b-p-p.com) for my DF3 before I had the problems. It measures 62mm x 34mm x approx 60mm (fits in a DF3 perfectly!), provides 3060mah and should weigh around 190grams (standard 10cell is 196grams). Based on LipoCal estimates (https://www.fmadirect.com/site/lipocalc.htm), flying time is 26 minutes at 100% throttle at 7 amps, or 32 minutes at 80% throttle at 5.6 amps!!

In the mean time, I've ordered a Corona instead.
Old 01-13-2003, 07:36 AM
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turbocivic
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Default hi

Hi what he just said is the Exact problem I ran into and I soldered a wire in place of the L1 connection and my motors then came haywire, I sent mines out saturday before last I hope spectrolutions got it already. Keep me informed on your board as im in the exact situation as you are!!
Old 01-13-2003, 06:28 PM
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mark1231
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

If you slightly increase the throttle on my Draganflyer it will climb to a new altitude and then descend all the way to the ground. I recently switched to a computer radio and set up a flatter throttle curve to help, however I still need to constantly alter the throttle to hold the model at any elevation that's above ground effect. Is this normal?
Old 01-13-2003, 07:49 PM
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turbocivic
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Default hey

Maybe its your batteries , some of my batteries are stronger then others? I got a Futaba 9c pcm/fm can i use this for my dragon3, wish i had my dragon 3 runnin though
Old 01-13-2003, 09:02 PM
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mark1231
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

I'm using the 10cell 600mah batteries, I cycle and peak charge them for each flight and only get about 4 minutes of actual hovering time, It does seem like increasing the throttle causes a temporary voltage reduction and it dips down until the battery recovers. I'd like to buy the Lithium pack as soon as it's available, hopefully the greater capacity will help stabilize the altitude. I'm sorry to hear about your board problem. I was thinking about adding a lead to the board connector to prevent the flexing, it would add some weight but might prevent the damage. Have you found any other useful computer mixes for the Draganflyer?
Old 01-14-2003, 12:02 AM
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jqxl
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

As long as were talking performance, has anyone considered new motors/props for increased efficiency? These Mabuchi motors feel very heavy to me being the brush type. I checked the Mabuchi web site ( www.mabuchi-motor.com) and I believe it is their model RK-370SD. They show them at 51 g each.

Check out a motor comparison test at www.rcmicroflight.com (NOV 2000) and see that the Faulhaber msys 1524 @6.3:1 puts out over 5 oz of thust at 1/2 the weight! Pretty spendy though.

Has anyone tried different motor/prop combos? I'm getting ready to order one of these motors myself and do some tests.

Jack
Old 01-14-2003, 12:11 AM
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turbocivic
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Default hey

I heard the new battery will cost well over a 100 ive been told by them. Let me know about those motors im interested to see how it works out for you.
Old 01-14-2003, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: hey

Originally posted by turbocivic
I heard the new battery will cost well over a 100 ive been told by them. Let me know about those motors im interested to see how it works out for you.
The Kokam Lipoly configuration I posted above costs only $80, and Troy will build the pack for you for an additional $9. Based on what I've read on the capabilities of the Kokam Lipoly batteries, this configuration will easily be able to sustain the required 7 amps current of the DF3 at under 3C which means that it will not degrade the batteries and it will still give 30 minutes of flying time.

My only problem with Draganfly Innovations are the prices that they are charging.. e.g. $29 for a set of rotors, $5 for a set of battery connectors, $40 for a battery pack that you can buy elsewhere for less than $30, etc.. BTW, I found a place in New York that sell rotors for the DF3 at $19. Go to http://airdyn.com/roswell/parts.htm for more info.

On the motor, I'm not sure if it's a standard Mabuchi motor or it's specifically made for Draganflyer because I remember reading somewhere that the motor was specially wound. I'd be interested to hear the results of the experiment though..

Mark1231, do you have "click" stops on your throttle? If so, you need to modify it so that it is smooth like a normal heli radio. If you have "clicks", your DF3 will Yo-Yo because of the sudden increase in throttle. It is normal to have to adjust the throttle to keep the heli at a constant height during hover.
Old 01-14-2003, 02:23 AM
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turbocivic
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Default hey

Hey Greg im interested in what your doing with the battery situation, will this damage the dragon cause it says to only use certain batteries but i tink its b.s i dont know. Did you get your dragon back yet and do you think you will make like some kind of a rig to extend the power line and have a serperate adapter so as not to flex the board? Will the charger we got that came with the dragon charge the Lipoly? Test the batteries then let me know so I can get the same one thats supposedly even better then dragons
Old 01-14-2003, 02:31 AM
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gregw
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Default Re: hey

Originally posted by turbocivic
Hey Greg im interested in what your doing with the battery situation, will this damage the dragon cause it says to only use certain batteries but i tink its b.s i dont know. Did you get your dragon back yet and do you think you will make like some kind of a rig to extend the power line and have a serperate adapter so as not to flex the board? Will the charger we got that came with the dragon charge the Lipoly? Test the batteries then let me know so I can get the same one thats supposedly even better then dragons
Actually, I WAS going to go to Lipoly, but I've kind of given up on my Draganflyer since I just bought myself an LMH Corona with a brushless motor setup. You need to buy a new charger to charge Lipoly batteries. The charger that came with the DF3 WILL NOT charge lipoly. You can buy the batteries and the charger from Troy at www.b-p-p.com

I included a tamiya connector with wires when I sent the circuit board to be repaired by Spectrolutions Inc. for them to replace the weird connector that came with the DF3. Don't know if they've done as I asked though..
Old 01-14-2003, 01:14 PM
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

I agree that the motors look unnecessarily heavy, has anyone seen the Tribelle at (www.braunmod.de), it's motors are coreless much smaller and have inline gears. I hope that future versions of the Draganflyer use something like this. Thanks to everyone for all the great information on this thread, it's nice to see some good discussion on the Draganflyer. Has anyone tried using the camera, I'm planning to attach the camera to my Zagi as soon as the weather here improves.
Old 01-15-2003, 01:58 AM
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gregw
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

Update on my DF3..

Just received my circuit board back from Spectrolutions yesterday evening. They've replaced the L1 diode. They've also replaced the battery connector with the tamiya connector I included in the package, meaning that I no longer have to buy those $5 battery connectors from Draganfly Innovations

Just had one quick flight last night and everything appears to work just fine.

one more thing.. Spectrolutions also included a free set of rotors in the package.
Old 01-15-2003, 02:24 AM
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turbocivic
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Default hey

Got my dragon today also and it runs good my battery cont is the same though what conector did you use post a pic,
Old 01-15-2003, 05:05 AM
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Jderringer
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Default Re: Lith battery

Hey guys,
I spoke to one of the nice people over at Draganfly, and they said the new lithium battery would retail for around $80, which seems to be the going price at the other websites mentioned in this thread.
Old 01-15-2003, 09:13 AM
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gregw
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Default Re: hey

Originally posted by turbocivic
Got my dragon today also and it runs good my battery cont is the same though what conector did you use post a pic,
I had them change it to a Tamiya connector.

Go to http://www.powerstream.com/c.htm and look at the 2nd row for what it looks like.

This connector is most popular for RC Cars, and is widely available versus the weird connector that comes on the DF3.
Old 01-17-2003, 02:36 AM
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jqxl
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Default Speaking of Batteries

Well it had to happen. There I was hovering over my neighbors house at about 50' pretending to be doing the spy thing when all of a sudden the right rotor dropped and down it when out of control. When it hit the driveway pieces went flying and my heart $ank.

Actually not too much damage. The circuit board appears OK and all that broke was two motor mounts , one riser leg, and three rotor blades. ($50 and I am back in the air)

Moral of the story: This time it was my transmitter battery! It was still showing 90% but I left it on after the crash and watched it die quickly. From now on I will charge it as soon as it comes off of the 100% mark.
Old 01-17-2003, 06:03 AM
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Default Draganflyer 3 battery Mods?

Oops!

I've had that happen once, but luckily, I was only 2 feet off the ground when it happened. No damage to my DF3
Old 01-17-2003, 06:15 AM
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turbocivic
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Default hey

Ive got the G2 sim and have been practicing all the while my dragonflyer was being fixed, and ive learned very well to hover my sim heli in all directions as well as control. Now that ive got my dragon back i still crash when i try do sideways etc. Is the dragon different in sideways and nose in control? I feel that the heli and the dragon uses the same controls but react in a different way, am i correct?
Old 01-27-2003, 08:48 AM
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turbocivic
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Default so

I can hover sideways now and a little nose in, will this help me to fly my raptor 30? Whens the new batteries coming out im tired of havin 4 minute flights i want POWER!!!!
Old 07-23-2003, 01:18 PM
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Ar300
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Default LI-poly batteries

I just got the li-poly batteries. they are 4 cell, 14.8 volts and 1950mA. I am using it on my draganflyer I, which has been upgraded to the DFIII frame.
The batteries seem to be too powerful. The reason I say this, is that even in a basic ground effect hover, there is terrible oscillation. the gyros react to slight motions, or vibrations, that are always present, even at a calm takeoff, and the frame starts to move back in the opposite direction of the slight, original motion. Next, the gyros react to the first reaction, and so on. It happens even if I am holding it in my hands, it oscillates side to side (all sides), all by itself.

I have seen this when I first got the 12v 600mA batteries, but that was very slight, barely noticable. It did not happen at all with the original battery, a 9.6v 600mA.

Its too bad, because the li-poly batteries really do last a very long time. But it might be better if their voltage was lower?

-------------------------------

update, as soon as DF heard about my troubles, they said that they would like to exchange it for the new 3 cell li-poly they have, which has more mA than the 4 cell one, and should last up to 20 minutes, I will keep posting on how those run, as soon as I get the new battery.

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