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Storm Launcher!

Old 09-04-2007, 04:16 PM
  #551  
ahaacobbler
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

Me too. Even if it lasted longer than mine did, the thing just doesn't fly all that well for $100. I got mine on clearance for under $30 with 5 batteries. I think that was a good deal, but I would not buy one again for anywhere near $100.

Old 09-04-2007, 04:43 PM
  #552  
trinogt
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

The Stormlauncher can be a very tricky unit to fly. Because it doesn't utilize traditional control surfaces like an aircraft, trying to steer it is quite an art. Inputs must be gradual when turning left or right. There is definately not much room for error, as some crashes can be totally devastating to the craft.
What I did (after a few attemtps to be a hot shot and just ending up crashing) was to finally learn that I needed some positive elevator trim. That allowed the thing to fly without me pulling back on the stick (Mistake #1)
Then, once I got it up and flying using the proper trim, I was able to learn through trial and error that using too much turn input caused it to dive (Mistake #2). Using less input, I was finally able to steer it around quite efficiently. The wind conditions must be just right, however. Too much is no good, and even too little is not helpful.
The thing will give hours of enjoyment, but learning to fly will take up many of those hours. Many people have posted in several forums their disappointment with this product. However, I myself knew what I was getting into. It is hard to buy something that does what this thing does for the price it does it. And yes, there are duds out there, like some machines got no response through the transmitter, and some reported motors that didn't run. (likely a wire came loose).
My children were to be the 'flyers' of our Stormlauncher, but after seeing Dad crash a few times in the beginning, they were less inclined to try it, and instead had a blast playing with their 'X-Twins'. (these are quite cool to fly! Hard to break unless you aren't careful how you store them)
I used the SL as a flyer, as I love flying machines. I did try it on water, and it was cool as heck, and on land it was great too. I think my next flyer will be an airplane. The SL gave me a confidence to try it!
Old 09-27-2007, 10:18 PM
  #553  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

here's a little something for my spare MSL gear, a burt rutan pond racer. i've always liked the lines of this plane, did a couple of them before for the AA gear, and figured it would be a perfect home for the MSL guts. i used Cellfoam 88, epoxy, and 1mm x 3mm CF strip for construction, running the CF down the tail booms and fuselage for supports, i'll need some more on the wing tips though, they flex a bit too much.

empty weight was 11 grams, after the MSL gear was in, she went up over 40 grams! the wingspan is 16" and it only has 28 square inches of wing area, but despite the high wingloading, its actually pretty slow (comparitively!). the reason being is the horizontal stab, its got too much negative deflection, which is causing a lot of drag and makes for a funny CG placement, it also causes the tail to bob up and down at a pretty good frequency at full throttle speeds. looks kind funny, but doesnt seem to be hurting its stability any. i'll have to reposition that tail!

i only got a short flight in, as the prop flew off into a grassy oblivion but i've got a spare, so tomarrow i'll give her a few more runs and see how she really does. looks pretty nice though, then again, its a burt rutan design, so its hard for it to do anything BUT look good - and fast!

nick
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Old 09-27-2007, 11:22 PM
  #554  
trinogt
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

Hey, that looks pretty cool! If I can't find a cheap replacement SL soon, I just might try my hand at something like that..
Where do you get the foam material from? I might do doped balsa wood and see how that works instead... I just hope the weaker motor doesn't affect flying...
Speaking of which:
Has anyone found a replacement motor yet for the SL?
Old 09-28-2007, 11:23 AM
  #555  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

Micro, that is a sweet plane. Very nice as always. I have been trying to decide what to build out of my MSL guts. The MSL is still in great shape, but I never have been terribly thrilled with with it as a flyer.

I still have not found a replacement motor for the SL. I am just about to concede one of the 2 that I have as a donor so I can end up with one that will fly straight - hopefully.

Cobbler
Old 09-28-2007, 12:30 PM
  #556  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

I thought I had 2 replacement possible motors again, but they die under high voltage load.

DAMN SPINMASTERS ! [sm=punching.gif]

I crashed mine hard lastweek, and am going to send it in for warn'tee work. Gotta Love Toys -R - Us for the Buyer Protection plans
Old 09-28-2007, 01:33 PM
  #557  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

thaks guys if you're lookin for something to put the MSL gear in, just take a gander through the AA mod thread, or the AA Toolbox. any plane thats been done for AA gear will work for the MSL gear too, you'll just have to scale it up (doubling the size is probably a good start!). the MSL gear alone weighs more than a complete AA plane!

for replacement motors, i would try the N20ULV motors. they've got some nice strong cogging like the stock MSL motors, and they're only 1ohm in resistance so they're pretty hot and give nice power. they dont have the fancy suppression cap PCBs on the motor cans, but those might be able to be transfered to the new motor.

you can find the motors here: http://www.bsdmicrorc.com/productDet...68&catID=10005

and thrust data on them here: http://home.comcast.net/~gordon-johnson/n20.htm

the N20ULV, with the yellow 2.25" BP prop, gives 20+ grams of thrust at less than 1.5A and is right in between its max power and max efficiency RPMs. i havent had one of the yellow BP props in about a year so i dont remember how much pitch they have to compare to the stock MSL props, but i'd imagine the MSL props will work just fine.

hey Dave, you mentioned your motors dieing under high load, do you know what motors these were? how much voltage were you running through them? also, i noticed your signature saying giant scale is the biggest money pit - i bet pound for pound (or gram for gram perhaps!) that micro RC is just as bad heck, i spent 60+ dollars to buy a 3 channel RX/ESC combo that only weighs .375 grams!! it does have an excellent grin factor too though, so i guess it all evens out

nick

edit:
here's a few short clips from earlier today. the wind was beating it up pretty well, and it needs some trimming in still, but not too bad so far.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=749301
Old 09-28-2007, 06:21 PM
  #558  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

Micro Builder, I know the Micro game also I have a few K worth of gear and batteries and planes also

I tried the Graupner Speed 250 and the 180's aswell as some motors from a Scientific supply place that said they were an exact match by the ratings and current and capasity, but guess what.... not even close.

Ohwell.
Old 09-28-2007, 07:23 PM
  #559  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*


ORIGINAL: micro_builder

for replacement motors, i would try the N20ULV motors.

you can find the motors here: http://www.bsdmicrorc.com/productDet...68&catID=10005
I was starting to get excited, but you are talking about these for replacement of the MSL, not the regular SL motors, right?

Cobbler.
Old 09-28-2007, 11:38 PM
  #560  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

Dave,
its always good to hear theres others out there who've spent far too much in micro the hobby. it just adds up faster than i seem to realize, then whamo, i'm broke! then usually its whamo again, and my planes end up broke too!

cobbler,
sorry to get your hopes up, but yeah, those are for the MSL. in fact, up untill right now, i didnt realize i had posted this in the storm launcher thread - i thought it was the mini storm launcher thread. man its just been one of those weeks!

nick
Old 10-01-2007, 12:24 PM
  #561  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

I have a question for those of you who have a good electronics understanding.

I decided to check the votages coming into the motors on both sides of my SL. I was fairly convinced that the broblem with one motor being slower than the other was in the motors and not in the electronics, but customer service at spinmaster told me the oposite. So I attached my multimeter set to read DC voltage onto the leads of one of the motors and started reving it up. As I got up a little more than half way on the throttle, there were some sparks and the motor reved up to full speed. I immediately dropped the throttle, but the motor still ran at full speed. I pulled out the Lipo and of course it stopped, but when I plugged the lipo back in the motor started spinning again. This was without pushing the saftey start button. I removed and repplaced the lipo again with the same result. As the motor ran it started to wind down its speed slowly over about a minute until it finally stopped. Now, the motor will not run at all. The other motor will run after I push the saftey start button, but no response from the tested motor.

Does anybody have anyideas about what might have happened? Did I fry a mosfet perhaps? This type of internal electronics is way beyond, my knowledge, so any ideas from those of you who have a clue about electronics are appreciated.

Thanks,
Cobbler
Old 10-01-2007, 12:40 PM
  #562  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

yeah, sounds like a burnt out FET. much like the AA when it burns out a transistor, the one bad channel will opperate on its own, much like yours is doing.

if you can do SMD type soldering, you may be able to replace the burnt out FET if you can find the appropriate replacement. otherwise i'd see if spinmaster/airhogs can do somethin for ya.

nick
Old 10-01-2007, 12:48 PM
  #563  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*


ORIGINAL: micro_builder

yeah, sounds like a burnt out FET. much like the AA when it burns out a transistor, the one bad channel will opperate on its own, much like yours is doing.

if you can do SMD type soldering, you may be able to replace the burnt out FET if you can find the appropriate replacement. otherwise i'd see if spinmaster/airhogs can do somethin for ya.

nick

Thanks. How do I tell which FET is burned? I can usually do some pretty small soldering. It is mostly about patience. What does a FET even look like?

Spinmaster told me when I called about the motor problem that they could give me a discount on a new SL ploat only - no t/x. I will may take them up on that, but I'm not totally sure I want to invest any more money on the SL.

Cobbler
Old 10-01-2007, 12:57 PM
  #564  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

usually, the bad FET will have a small dark brown burn mark on the top of it. if it got fried bad enough, you can usually even scrape a bit of the burnt plastic away.

i never saw the RX of the SL, so i'm not sure how big the FETs are, but they're usually a small black rectangle with 3 legs. two legs on one side, and one leg on the other side. they're usually located close to where the motor wires solder onto the board (you may be able to follow the trace on the board from the motor wire solder point to the leg of the FET).

if possible, snap a picture of the RX and post it up, should be easy to identify.

nick
Old 10-01-2007, 11:14 PM
  #565  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*


ORIGINAL: micro_builder

usually, the bad FET will have a small dark brown burn mark on the top of it. if it got fried bad enough, you can usually even scrape a bit of the burnt plastic away.

i never saw the RX of the SL, so i'm not sure how big the FETs are, but they're usually a small black rectangle with 3 legs. two legs on one side, and one leg on the other side. they're usually located close to where the motor wires solder onto the board (you may be able to follow the trace on the board from the motor wire solder point to the leg of the FET).

if possible, snap a picture of the RX and post it up, should be easy to identify.

nick
Well, That was easy. When the FET burned, it burned a hole in the heat shrink that covers the electronics, so it was easy to find it. The FET is not quite as you discribed, it has 8 legs. However, the legs are gouped into 3 goups. All of the legs on one side are soldered together and 3 on the other side are soldered together. I wonder whether I need the same 3 legged FET to replace it.

The burned FET is marked A2708. Does that mean anything to anyone? Any ideas where I find one of those?
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Old 10-02-2007, 09:16 AM
  #566  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

Does anyone know how many amps the motors and the system draw off the Lipos. They are haveing a discount sale on the power-packs here and I bought a pair for 12$ apiece. Just like to know how much they are able to put out. Will be useing them in small indoor type foamies. Real good deal for cheap power. Pulled them out of the case and flew a GWS Picos Moth for a little bit and worked great, but was just wondering what the discharge C os of the Batteries?????

Thanks
Bob
Old 10-02-2007, 03:02 PM
  #567  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

For that type of thing you wont have a problem, i've cleanly ran a pair of edf 64s off it ( about 4.5-5A each plus an elevator sevo with a load ) but by calculating that i get about 5 min of run time for 740mah i get about 15A average..thats pretty good
Old 10-02-2007, 03:58 PM
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

I took the good motor off the r/x with the burned FET and put it on my other SL. Now at least I have one SL that after a short test seems to drive straight on the carpet.

I would still like to use the r/x witht he burned FET for something. Anybody have any ideas on what I could use as a replacement FET? If I replaced both, it seems like I could use any general FET that can handle the load. Thoughts?

Thanks,
Cobbler
Old 12-07-2007, 07:42 PM
  #569  
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Default RE: Storm Launcher!

Wehalp, I love the SL's, but my fourth SL died a really bizzare way. I really was frustrated with this one, so I called the TRU hotline for the protection plan that I bought, and I mailed in the SL for repairs. Today I got a letter from TRU card for a 90.00 store credit in the mail

Best 8.00 insurance policy that I ever spent

I can give a BIG thumbs up to Toys R Us for this one
Old 12-08-2007, 07:48 AM
  #570  
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Default RE: Storm Launcher!

You payed for a warranty? Spinmaster does it for free! If you didn't want it you could of had them give you a bunch of aas or hovocs!
Old 12-08-2007, 11:49 AM
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

SPinmaster is only 90 days, and has to be within specific guidelines. THe TRU Buyer Replacement Program is one free instore replacement, and a year extened w'ntee. SO I got THREE Stormlaunchers for the price of destroying one if you really boil it down.

I think I'll wait till silverlit releases the Xplane at tru in the spring and then get one of them

Just wish the lipos from the SL's were compatable with other units.. I have 3 bats and 2 chargers now listed int eh RCU buyers section with some spare guts from a SL
Old 12-08-2007, 12:01 PM
  #572  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

Haha! I have 9 batteries with chargers now, and 6 of them are still in the package! LOL
I'm gonna have to build something to make use of them. Or if someone finds a replacement motor for the SL for us?
Old 12-08-2007, 12:04 PM
  #573  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

I've been converting storm launcher batteries for over a year now. They usually work great! They are rated for 15C constant and 20C burst. I've been wiring 2S and 3S cells and most work great. I'm still using the packs I built last year. I've made about 15 packs and have only lost one cell. It started leaking a dark gray goo. Pitched that cell and put its pair into a new 3 cell. I've even been wiring balance taps to keep everything nice and safe.
Noticed you're from Omaha, I usually fly down at The Center on Wednesdays at noon.
Old 12-08-2007, 12:12 PM
  #574  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

What do you mean, 'converting'? Making your own battery packs, or using SL batteries to power other stuff?
Old 12-08-2007, 12:23 PM
  #575  
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Default RE: *!STORM LAUNCHER!*

I make my own packs for flying all sorts of stuff. Carefully crack the case open and pull out the two cells. Solder battery leads onto the 1" leads off of the packs and away you go! You can also put on a balance tap if you want to get all fancy (and safe).

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