From the Bench – Lipo Batteries, C Rating, and Tips for Best Battery Performance

Old batteries available…free of charge… 😉

One of the questions I get quite often at events is what kind of batteries do I use in my aircraft.  I’ve been flying large EDFs and electric warbirds for a long time and good quality batteries are essential to performance.  There are tons of choices out there and so I thought I’d provide a little discussion on the batteries that I currently use and what I go for in terms of C rating.  There is most certainly a balance between efficiency and performance due to the extra weight of higher C rated packs and so this is worth discussing along with some of the general practices to use in maintaining battery performance because a well kept battery is a good performing battery.

As we get into this, I want to mention up front that this discussion is all based on personal experience and practical use in the field using all sorts of batteries over the last decade or more.  I don’t do any heavy side by side current testing or voltage testing or anything like that.  I’m simply relaying what has worked for me and the batteries I’m happy with.  At the end of the day, the best batteries and methods are the ones you’re happy with and work for you.

 

WHAT BATTERIES DO I USE?

First off to answer the question of what batteries I use, for the last 2 years or so I have been exclusively using click here Continue reading

Setting up a Multi-Engined Electric Aircraft (F7F Tigercat)

If 1 is good, then 2 or more is better…when setup right!

We as modelers are collectors.  We’re always collecting something related to our awesome hobby, be it RC gear, kits, or the like (you should see my hardware stash, when I go to the hobby store, I usually buy things in multiples).  And of course we always have those kits we’ve stashed away for a rainy day.  A couple years ago, I received an ASM F7F Tigercat ARF kit.  ASM was a line of ARFs distributed by Hobby People and they made some really awesome and unique airplanes (mostly twins).  Unfortunately the company no longer exists and the kits are no longer available.  But, if you find one at some point listed online, they’re definitely worth a look if the subject aircraft interests you.

As an airplane I love the F7F Tigercat (one of my favorite multi-engine warbirds) and so was absolutely stoked to receive the kit!  I promptly collected all of the gear for it but was busy finishing up some other projects and so put it in the que for a later date.  Well, that later date didn’t seem to come until a few months back when a friend staying with my folks, who’s always looking for an RC project during his stays, offered to help get the basic assembly done for me on the airplane.  The last couple weeks I’ve been finishing up getting it flyable (hence some delay in my articles and videos 😉 ) and I thought that order now Continue reading

AirHogs Star Wars Millennium Falcon — How to Replace the Battery

THE AIRHOGS MILLENNIUM FALCON BATTERY DIED, SO I MADE IT BETTER!

If your AirHogs Millennium Falcon Quadcopter battery died like mine, here’s a simple way of replacing the battery while at the same time reducing your charge times AND doubling the flight time!

I’ve been enjoying the AirHogs Millennium Falcon Quadcopter quite a bit since my review of it a couple months ago.  I’ve actually taken it with me to a few RC events for fun and it’s been quite a hit.  Who doesn’t love the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy!?  However, after a flight a few weeks ago, the battery just completely died.  I mean, died!  No power to the quad and no voltage from the battery at all!  So, I had a dilemma, do I dare cut into this machine?  I’d had it a while, so I’m sure it was past warranty and without a working battery, all I had was simply a foam desk model.  So I figured at the very least it was worth a shot!

I promptly purchased three 1 cell 750 mah lipo batteries ($3 at Hobby King), pulled out the Xacto and soldering iron, did a little surgery and we were back in business!  To top it all off, the quad now has a hatch where I’m now able to swap out batteries which means less down time between flights (more fun!) AND the flight times have more than doubled since I’m using a larger capacity battery.  So, here’s a quick article and video showing click here Continue reading

Hawker Sea Fury – 5-blade Electric Conversion

order now 5-blades of Sea Fury Heaven…but it Takes the Right Motor

sea fury - pics 548The Hawker Sea Fury is one of my favorite propeller warbirds.  I guess the simple yet elegant lines of it combined with the beastly (and exotic) radial engine and 5-bladed propeller just have a certain appeal to me.  Though it came 2 years too late to support WWII operations, it had a nice stint in Korea; not to mention was one of the fastest single piston engine airplanes ever produced.  So, it’s not surprising then that so many Sea Fury’s have adorned the course at the Reno Air Races.

sea fury - pics 367A few years back, Thunder Tiger offered a small line of 1/7 scale RC warbird ARFs that were quite nice.  The lines of the airplanes were good and they flew incredibly well.  The kits included the Sea Fury (military and September Fury racer schemes and the best looking Sea Fury ARF out there for some time) and an F8F Bearcat (military and Rare Bear racer schemes).  I was fortunate to acquire one of the Sea Fury kits when they first came available and of course it had to be electric with a 5-bladed prop!  So, I thought I’d use that to talk a little bit about designing an electric propulsion system for your propeller airplanes.  First off though, here’s a little video of my Sea Fury in action, 5-blade prop and all! 🙂  It sounds just as good in person, no sound system needed!

The power system for the Sea Fury is as follows:

  • Motor: NeuMotors 1515/2Y with 6.7:1 gearbox
  • ESC: Castle Creations Phoenix 110 HV
  • Battery: NeuEnergy 10s 5,000 mah Lithium Polymer
  • Prop: Zinger 16×14 prop (aluminum hub with wood replaceable blades)

In sizing an electric power system (we’re talking propeller airplanes here as opposed to EDFs), the first question to ask is “what do I want my power system to do for the airplane?”  What I mean is, Continue reading

Welcome to The RC Geek Blog

Featured

The RC Geek Blog is your place to learn about all aspects of the RC hobby.  Learn to build, design, drive or fly that RC project you’ve always wanted to build, but have been intimidated to try.  This blog is here to help you on your journey and provide tips and tricks as you go!  My hope is to inspire builders both experienced and new!  So, welcome, please look around, it’s an exciting beginning!  I’m currently documenting my latest competition scale RC jet build, a Mark Frankel F4D Skyray, along with some other fun tips and videos.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this front page, click on any of the categories to the right and it will show just posts related to those categories.  Please feel free to add comments and/or contact me directly if you have questions, I’m here to help!  And don’t forget to check out my YouTube Channel, I post new videos every week!

Chris Wolfe (The RC Geek)