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HELP - IFO purchase anxiety

Old 03-03-2006, 01:59 AM
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Default HELP - IFO purchase anxiety

HELP. Sorry for the novel. I need some patient experienced flyers to help me out. Links to other pages/forums are welcome, if appropriate. I've litterally spent several days trying to research this in the forums without much success.

I am having anxiety about buying a new IFO, radio system, and battery system. I've listed the components below. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Everytime I go to make a purchase, another question comes up. I've fished through the threads extensively but it's hard to find concise summarized information. I hope to be in the hobby for a while and plan to do mostly backyard flying. I would like a overall system that is as robust as possible. I want to avoid equipment that will be touchy or high maintenance. If I have to spend too much time fussing over fritzy equipment, I'm affraid I won't have the time/energy for the hobby. I already have a hobby zone plane and have gotten quite good. I've also spent considerable time on the G2 simulator and can fly and land very safely and consistently.

Here's what I'm considering purchasing.

IFO MK3 Super Combo with BRUSHLESS motor
IFO MK3 kit, Outrunner Brushless 2410-12 motor, GWS Propeller (10”x4.7”) AND 15 amp Brushless Speed Controller

3-Cell 800 mAh Lithium Polymer Battery
Rating: 10C (8A) continuous, 15C (12A) 30 second bursts. 800 mAh, 3 cells (11.1V), JST & Balance connectors. Dimensions: 2.1"x1.2"x0.8" (2.1 Oz. w/ connectors)

Futaba 6EXAS 6-Channel Super Micro PCM/2 S3108 Servos**&P=0
Futaba 6EXAS 6-Channel Micro FM/3 S3108 Servos**&P=0
Tower Hobbies 6XM 6-Channel Computer FM/No Servos**&P=0

Hobbico Quick Field DC Charger MKII 12 Volt


So here are some specific questions about each item.

Is the brushless motor listed above (part of the IFO kit) a good general purpose motor? I would like to get one I can later attach to another plane like a Tiger Moth.
Is the a link somewhere that explains in summary how to tell what battery goes with what motor or if your in danger of burning out a motor with a certain power battery?

What's the difference between Outrunner and Inrunner? Are those brands or types of motors.

Is the ESC listed above (part of the IFO kit) a good ESC? I've read that some ESCs have features that will keep you from burning out the motor. I couldn't tell if this is one.

Same question for the battery as for the motor and esc. These are all parts sold on the ifo site. It seems they would be selling equipment that works well for the ifo. Is this all good equipment in general that is transferable to other planes?

I've read that LIPOs can be very dangerous. I don't anticipate crashing much but I'm sure I'll have my share as I first start flying the IFO. Do most crashes compromise LIPO batteries or just really bad ones. Are some LIPOS more robust than others? Do I need additional monitoring equipment for LIPOS? If so, what? Any links would be helpful.

How do I know what voltage is safe for a certain motor?

The first question is do I go with the Tower Hobbies or the Futaba. I've heard the guts are the same. The TH version seems much cheaper but when you add the servos in they are about the same. Are the included Futaba servos good? If I go with the TH transmitter, what servos are recommended?

With the Futaba, I'm assuming it's better to go with the PCM version as they are the same price. True?

Does it matter what frequency I choose. I have a list of frequencies that local flyers use. Other than that does it matter?

This is the one thing that seems like a no-brainer. It can charge all types of batteries two at a time and is only $50. Am I missing something?
Old 04-27-2006, 03:28 PM
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Default RE: HELP - IFO purchase anxiety

Wow, lots of questions...

Let me tell you how I fly my MK3 and what I think of it. First, I bought my kit for $47 at the LHS and it came with some instructions on how to equip the plane. I went by their instructions exactly. I used a $10 Graupner speed 280 can motor (not brushless), a 6 amp Jeti speed controller (lipo compatible, which means it won't discharge the battery below 9 volts---essential for lipo--$20, I think), a hitec feather receiver ($30), and two eflite s75 servos($15 each). The motor turns a 10 X 4.7 prop ($2) via a 5:1 gearbox (about $5?) (gws, maybe?) I use a Kokam 910 mah 3 cell lipo ($45) and charge it with a forty dollar e-flite celectra charger. With this inexpensive setup this plane has more than enough power to go vertical. With practice you can fly it at a snail's pace. You'll either need a radio that allows you to program elevon mixing or you'll need a separate elevon mixer that goes between the servos and the receiver (about fifteen dollars). I prefer the radio mixing option, since it's much more accurate and is adjustable.

This plane is a lot of fun to fly and is EXTREMELY durable as long as you built it according to instructions. It will take a hard hit on the concrete and the most that may break is the balsa battery mount. A simple super glue repair job and you'll be back in the air in minutes. This plane is no fun to fly in the wind, however.

I think that the components that you've listed are probably okay if you're interested in transferring them to another plane, but they are definitely overkill and you could save a TON of money by going with the speed 280 and a regular brushed speed controller. You could save even more money by going with Nimh or Nicad batteries, but at the expense of flight times and weight penalty. I happened to have a 3 cell lipo laying around and it works perfectly. I also upgraded the landing gear with carbon rods in lieu of the kevlar thread. This is great for durability but not so good for transporting as you are no longer able to pack the plane flat as building by the plans allows. Again, the parts you listed sound fine, except the charger ABSOLUTELY has to be a lipo charger that will charge three cells at .8amps (1 C). If you ignore this one point you could end up with a fire.

An even cheaper option is the IFO mini. That one uses even lower-cost components.

Good luck!

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