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LiPo Pack for Sullivan Dynatron Starter

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LiPo Pack for Sullivan Dynatron Starter

Old 03-26-2020, 09:54 AM
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Question LiPo Pack for Sullivan Dynatron Starter

Up to now I've been using old motorcycle batteries for my Sullivan high torque starter. Looking for a LiPo solution, 14V (4S?). Starter says 12/24V, 100A. Probably two 2S packs in series. Not into electrics at all so not sure where to start. However, I suspect it will be a lot cheaper to buy a new motorcycle battery!
Old 03-26-2020, 10:18 AM
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DGrant
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Get rid of the motorcycle battery and get with the times!!.. You can even use a single 3s pack unless your cranking over larger engines. I have the same starter and I strapped on an old 3s LiPo on it probably 3-4yrs ago, and it will easily start a 1.20 4-stroke. It didn't cost me a thing, and it's now cordless and easy/light... and it will work a few months on a charge.

If two 2s batteries making it 14.8v is your thing then go for it, but an 11.1v 3s worked fine in my experience, and surprisingly well I must say. I have heard of some using two 3s batteries in series also, making it a 22.2v for huge starters, but for these Sullivans most are using 11.1v 3s packs, and are very pleased.

I fabricated a holder/plate/base for the starter, and it captures the battery, so its out of the way, but there's several ways to do it. Google it, or search here and other sites and you'll get some examples. That little upgrade made using my starter a real piece of cake.

I did cut my cord on my starter, to about pig-tail length if that, then soldered on a Deans connector that matched the one of the old LiPo battery(that was still in good shape), and never looked back.
You can do it, just take your time and study it a bit. It's very possible and you'll love it. Good luck with it.

Last edited by DGrant; 03-26-2020 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:55 AM
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Thanks. My concern is pulling too much current from the Lipo pack and having it blow up either then and there or in the back of my car on the way home. From a rather dim understanding of LiPo batteries, a battery pack rated 30C would need to be a 3300mAh capacity to take the 100A drain from the starter. From an ill fated foray into electrics, I have two ElectriFly 2200mAh, 30C 3S(11.1V) packs.Since I'm only starting back into the hobby, initially I will be starting mostly OS 46's and maybe a Saito 100; would one of these be adequate or do I need to parallel them?. (The OS Max120's will come once I relearn how to fly. ) The 46's have been flown a lot and usually started flipping the spinner (or a back whack from a chicken stick.

Murray
Old 03-26-2020, 01:31 PM
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Oh yeah.. should be fine. I use a very old 15C 3s 2100mah in my set-up. Of course follow the charging protocols, and don't leave it unattended while charging... that kind of stuff.

That 3s 2200mah pack you have should be charged at 2.2amps... for about a 1hr charge time, and it should start the .46's with ease, as well as that Saito. It probably won't need charging very often at all. I went a whole summer one year and never charged mine... My engines start very easy, in literally a few seconds. Really it only takes a bump of the starter, so nothing is running for more then maybe 5 or 10 seconds and your engine should fire up. That LiPo probably won't ever get even warm. Mine never does, and I do check it.. moreso when I first converted it of course.

The battery stands more chance of spontaneous combustion when it's put into, and used in a plane. When their used in a plane, a LiPo is putting out energy for several minutes, and much longer durations and draws then just running your starter.

I do like the easy starting engines that run with just a flip of a stick... Either way though give it a try, there's many of us that have converted starters like this, then say "I should have done this long ago".

Last edited by DGrant; 03-26-2020 at 01:33 PM.
Old 03-26-2020, 03:39 PM
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I run a 4S 5000 mah battery on my starter. I personally would not use anything smaller then 3000 mah, we really have no idea how much current a starter pulls. Over drain a Lipo and that is when you have issues.
Old 03-26-2020, 06:47 PM
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I bought a 6S LiFe for mine a couple of years ago. LiFe is MUCH safer. And in this case, I didn't really care about the slightly less volts than a LiPo provides. I crafted together a tray to hold the battery just under the starter, with access to allow using a standard electric plane plug, for charging. I was teaching weekly with a glow plane at my club, and usually did 10 flights a day, starting a .40 glow engine. The 20v spun that (and every othe when I loaned it out, including 50cc engines) with ease. Two charges lasted the entire summer.
Old 03-26-2020, 07:39 PM
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I have a Sullivan HI-TORQUE (yellow plastic) starter, and my son has a DYNATRON. Both are on LiPo's. Can't remember what battery he has, but mine is a 4S 2700mah. They will start all our .40 size racing engines, which are tight. I've loaned mine out several times, and it's never failed to spin any of the gas engines it's been used on. The date on my battery says it's been on my starter for 3 years, and it's a battery I retired from EF-1 racing. I usually charge it 3 or 4 times a year. OK enough about my experience. The "meat" of this post is to inform that Sullivan has a starter battery box with brackets that fits their starters. The red plastic battery box appears to have been designed for Ni-cads, but might work with a pair of 2S packs. They will sell the bracket separately, and that's what I did. I've just bolted mine to a 4" X 6" board with the starter on the right, and the battery on the left. (I'm right handed) My son's is a similar arrangement, but getting to the switch on the DYNATRON is tighter then getting to the switch on the HI-TORQUE.
Old 03-27-2020, 03:19 AM
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I went the A123 battery route. Made a holder, 2 3S packs in series. Saved the original battery cord and made a balance cord extension. Getting 19 volts which works for me.





Old 03-27-2020, 04:55 AM
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I am currently getting a 20V cordless drill LiFe battery ready. I think it is 2600 mah, and measures 16 1/2 V. That makes me think it is a 5 cell 3.3V A123 battery. They are fairly safe compared to LiPo. I have had much better luck with LiFe for shelf life and not puffing up. I do have a 3 cell 2200 LiPo but only tested it at home, it seemed weak so I just kept using the corded one from the toolbox. I think if you are worried about over discharging LiPos, it would help to ram the starter on the spinner rather than pushing it on, and then hitting the switch. The car guys recommend that, and in fact normally the motors will not even turn over unless it is rammed on.
Old 03-27-2020, 08:42 AM
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RC Fanatic... See, there's many ways to go about it. Old batteries, new batteries, small batteries, big batteries, small starters, big starters, etc... All seem to work just fine. If they didn't I'm sure we'd hear about that too. I know if my set-up didn't work I surely wouldn't be sharing that it works fine... and if anyone else's set-up didn't work good they wouldn't share either.

Use what you feel best about. If you're worried or concerned about using a smaller battery you should use a bigger battery, if you're worried about using an older battery get a new battery.

It's really easy... and regardless, you'll like the results.. being untethered lets you start your plane where you want it, and not be bound to a larger box or battery.
Old 03-27-2020, 10:01 AM
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How do you post a picture fer crying out loud? Attaching one it only loads to 90% then stalls out.
Old 03-27-2020, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by aspeed View Post
I am currently getting a 20V cordless drill LiFe battery ready. I think it is 2600 mah, and measures 16 1/2 V. That makes me think it is a 5 cell 3.3V A123 battery. They are fairly safe compared to LiPo. I have had much better luck with LiFe for shelf life and not puffing up. I do have a 3 cell 2200 LiPo but only tested it at home, it seemed weak so I just kept using the corded one from the toolbox. I think if you are worried about over discharging LiPos, it would help to ram the starter on the spinner rather than pushing it on, and then hitting the switch. The car guys recommend that, and in fact normally the motors will not even turn over unless it is rammed on.


I suppose that would work with some situations. Currently I have only one airplane that I use a starter on. You will not see me slamming my starter onto a $75 spinner and $100 prop combination. My helicopter uses a hex cup on the clutch shaft so the spin and slam method wouldn't work there either.


Old 03-27-2020, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Propworn View Post
How do you post a picture fer crying out loud? Attaching one it only loads to 90% then stalls out.

I had problems like that. The problem appears to be too large a file. My iPad OS does not let me know the file size. Or I donít know how to find it. So I check file size by attaching it to an email. The email lets me know the file size, then I delete email window. I then use an app to reduce file size if too large. Then it works.

Also, be aware of where your cursor is when attaching the picture. The picture is inserted where your cursor is located. If you want it at the end of the text, place your cursor a line or two below the text. Then go about attaching pictures. Hope this helps.
Old 03-30-2020, 04:58 PM
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Gentlemen, let me whine for a moment. Haven't flown for a couple of years (some medical issues) so I took the two week self-isolation as a chance to fix and prep a couple of planes. Well, the stay at home has been extended to the end of April and the club has closed the field until further notice. :-( There, now I feel better.

The question now is do I use the next few weeks to get the Venus II ready to fly (and maybe the Aquila) or do I take the time to do some house interior remodeling? Tough choice.;-)

Murray
Old 04-04-2020, 08:31 AM
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I've been using a cheap Rhino 4s 2700 on my Sullivan starter for about 5 years. It started puffing about 3 years ago. Performance doesn't seem to be affected. I'll keep using it until the IR goes so high it won't turn over my engines.
Slamming the starter into the nose cone is never necessary. It's a great way to scratch up a spinner, crack a firewall, or damage the con rod in your engine though (if that's your thing). All that's required is to roll the engine backward until it hits compression and start it.Unless the engine is flooded, the starter shouldn't have any trouble turning it over.
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Old 04-04-2020, 10:43 AM
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"All that's required is to roll the engine backward until it hits compression and start it.Unless the engine is flooded, the starter shouldn't have any trouble turning it over."

Interesting how few seem to know this.

Murray
Old 04-04-2020, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by RC_Fanatic View Post
"All that's required is to roll the engine backward until it hits compression and start it.Unless the engine is flooded, the starter shouldn't have any trouble turning it over."

Interesting how few seem to know this.

Murray
Maybe all 4 of my starters are no good? Couple are Sullivans. Even when I turn them back. Yes I knew that trick many moons ago. I am presently using a 5 amp gel cell. Maybe not enough C rating. even the .40s are hard to turn over, and the .91 won't even think about turning over. I normally hand flip up to 20 times, and then use the starter if there is no luck. The car starters say right on the instructions to jam it on so the motor won't burn out. They use sub C packs. (I have not run them yet but they will not turn over at all by pushing on like a plane.)

Last edited by aspeed; 04-04-2020 at 02:55 PM.
Old 04-04-2020, 04:13 PM
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Not your starters, you battery is the culprit. A gell cell just can't deliver the cranking amps. I use the technique that Murray suggests with a YS 1.40. My sullivan starter with a 4cell Lipo cranks it over just fine.
Old 04-04-2020, 05:17 PM
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I have to get the drill pack lithium 20v pack going. Just need to make up some wires for hooking up and charging. I have another starter with a 2,000 mah lipo that seems weakish. I think the 20v is the way to go. (16.5v really) Lots of minor projects to do, and it may be an iffy year. Can't cross the border to compete, all the swap meets, shows and contests here are cancelled for a couple months.......
Old 04-04-2020, 05:50 PM
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Yep, I'm in the same boat. 2 grand into a new pattern airplane build that won't be used in a contest until next year.
Old 05-27-2020, 09:38 AM
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I converted my old Hobbico 12v starter to LiPo. It’s a 2100mAh 25C and it fits right in the box where the old gel battery was.
It starts most things I have, YS-120 FS, DLE 30. I don't use it on my DA50 though. I charge the battery about it once a season.

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