Zagi 400 conversion to Lipo and Camera setup options?

I have spent alot of time researching a good camera setup for my Zagi.. not sure if this one is the right one or not (see below).
I believe the specs on my existing Zagi 400 are: 400 speed motor (that came with the system), possibly 7.2v, 15amp ESC, 1700mah Nicad 8cell packs (last about 9-12 minutes each, take 20 minutes to charge on my field charger, which i dont think will charge Lipos).
I'm trying to decide whether to go with a 900mhz or 2.4ghz (100mW) camera /receiver system from rangevideo.com. I think from what I read, the 900's are better than the 2.4ghz and that 100mW with stock antenna should get me at least 1000 feet range (aerial video only, no rpving yet). The camera is CCD, either 380 lines or 480 line resolution depending on which I get.
It appears that this type of system requires a Lipo battery pack (lighter than say a 9volt batter or other battery solution?).. I was thinking I definitely would power the motor seperate from the camera.
I was either going to get this camera setup (probably $300 with a Lipo battery? $204 without battery) or maybe this camera system http://www.boostervision.com/cart/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct , which is only a CMOS but may be good enough to start?
So I thought if i switch to Lipo I would save weight to add the camera setup and other Lipo battery?
But it appears I'd need possibly a new motor (or better one say the Mega 16/15/4 brushless ($85), an ESC capable of shutting off for Lipo safety? (say 30amp, $75), bigger prop, say 7-4 and the 3s2p 3200mah Lipo battery ($100) and this is only 1 battery (20 minutes fly time? and 1 hour to charge?), total here, if motor needed, about $250 or more? Hence, I thought maybe I'd be better off (if I dont want crazy power) to just go for a high wing electric plane.. say 48" to 63" for $150 to $300 and add the camera setup instead? Or are there cheaper ways to add Lipo to my existing setup?
I also would have to purchase a Lipo charger (since my field charger only does nicad and nimh)? Astro 109 charger http://cgi.ebay.com/Astro-Flight-109-Lithium-Charger-1-9-Cell-7-5-Amps_W0QQitemZ280092224577QQcmdZViewItem $109 as well?
All in all.. seems rather pricey to convert to the Lipo... let alone spend the $300 plus $100 for a charger just to add the camera setup (if I have my facts straight?).
Thanks for any advice
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| I was either going to get this camera setup (probably $300 with a Lipo | battery? $204 without battery) or maybe this camera system | http://www.boostervision.com/cart/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct , | which is only a CMOS but may be good enough to start? | | So I thought if i switch to Lipo I would save weight to add the camera | setup and other Lipo battery?
Yes, a LiPo could save weight, or give you more endurance -- your pick.
| But it appears I'd need possibly a new motor (or better one say the | Mega 16/15/4 brushless ($85), an ESC capable of shutting off for Lipo | safety? (say 30amp, $75)
The LiPo cutoff is nice, but not essential. You'll need a new ESC because you're going brushless, not because of the LiPo.
You could go LiPo with your current setup -- just throw in a 3s LiPo and make sure the CoG is still good -- but you'll have to stop the plane when power drops. At 3.0 volts/cell, you'll have half the power -- so it should be very noticeable. But a better motor would give you more power and/or better endurance.
A 3s LiPo will give you a bit more voltage than your 8 cell NiCd pack, so more power. It'll also burn your motor out faster, but you really need to treat speed 400 motors as disposable anyways. It should work, though you might want to not go full throttle for long and make sure the ESC and motor have plenty of cooling. A slightly smaller prop might be appropriate, but I haven't worked out the numbers.
2s would give you less power, so you might want a larger prop if there's room. It might also be less efficient -- you'd have to either try it, or calculate it with something like motocalc.
| Hence, I thought maybe I'd be better off (if I dont want crazy | power) to just go for a high wing electric plane.. say 48" to 63" | for $150 to $300 and add the camera setup instead?
Absolutely. A Slow Stick would make a much much better camera platform than a Zagi! Slower, more stable, easier to mount the camera, can carry more weight ...
It's hard to overemphasize how much better the Slow Stick would be than the Zagi for this.
| Or are there cheaper | ways to add Lipo to my existing setup?
Well, you could just do it, and not replace anything else. | I also would have to purchase a Lipo charger (since my field charger | only does nicad and nimh)? Astro 109 charger $109 as well?
There are cheaper alternatives. Many of them. You could pay as little as $25 for something like this --
http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXHNW5&P=0
--
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On Mar 14, 4:04 pm, "Doug McLaren" <dougmc

That was pretty much what I was wondering.
So the new ESC is only needed if going with Brushless type motors? I guess my current ESC would only be usuable with the 400 motor right now..
How big of a factor are these Lipos in ruining them (easily?) and exploding/fires etc?
Does that sound about right, that to charge one of the types I mentioned, would probably take about 1 hour and run for up to 20 minutes (ie: longer run time than the nicad packs).. I'm also assuming the Lipo Pack would fit in my current Zagi (I dont have the newer wide slots for batteries, just the narrow channel down the middle).
So i guess it does sound as if (cost wise), unless I try just adding a lipo battery to my existing setup and taking a chance with it, that the going with a slower flyer would be the same if not cheaper (unless there are cheaper Brushless motors than the one I mentioned previously, ie: the Mega ).
It would be cool to have video at high velocity too though.
Last question.. do you know how taking an existing Lipo and using it with the Zagi connections would work? IE: arent the connectors different, or would I pull the connector off the old Nicad pack and attach it to the new Lipo pack?
Thanks again, this has been really useful info.
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On Mar 14, 4:04 pm, "Doug McLaren" <dougmc

Here is what I have come up with so far in summary (thanks for the help).. the cheapest grand total with one Lipo battery pack is around $105 with shipping if I have the right parts (and all of them):
Battery:
TrueRC 10C 7.4V 2S1P 2100mAh Battery: http://home.comcast.net/~truerc/ready_pack/ready_packs.htm $25
Is this the correct battery. also.. do i need to add the Dean or JST connector (I forget what these are, or how the battery will connect to the ESC etc)
You had mentioned using 3S batteries, but I think alot of folks have mentioned using the 2S for reduction in weight? I guess I'll need a larger prop as you mentioned, but I'm not sure which one to get.. 5x7, carbon, ? etc
MOTOR: 400DH Outrunner Brushless Motor 3500 RPM, 15 amps max current or 220watts, 46g or 1.62 OZ weight): http://www.raidentech.com/40brmodeforr.html $29.95
Any idea how many volts this motor is.. Just looking at the specs (RPM) compared to a Mega 16 motor.. it appears this one should outperform it for less than half the cost?
18amp Speed controller by Dynam $24.99 http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=6&products_id4&osCsid |4f97dc712e9e053a69521617f34938 ^it appears this speed controller has the 9volt cutoff built in, so this is good.
Charger: http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXHNW5&P=0 $24.99
(Will this charger you mentioned be adequate and charge fast enough.. IE: I guess the typical rate is about 1hour to safely charge these batteries).
At this point it appears the total cost is about $105 plus shipping. This is only for 1 battery though, I'd probably need one or two more so at least $135 plus shipping.. I'm assuming most people charge up at least 2 batteries before going out.
Do these Lipos loose their charge like NIMH batteries do, over time, sitting idle?
Are there any other connectors I may have missed in these parts, or do I just solder the esc wires to the motor and somehow connect the esc to the battery and i'm done..
Thanks
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markm75 wrote:

Its a bit too high KV for my taste..you want a reliable 150W to loft a zagi and a camera I'd say.
Using something like a 5x4 or 6x4 prop. Probably you would be close on 3500KV,on 2s LIPO...But I'd probably reckon 2500 is more appropiate.

http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=6&products_id4&osCsid |4f97dc712e9e053a69521617f34938
No, they don't hardly at all. One pack I left for nearly a year and it had barely lost any.
They do not benefit from being 'hot off the charger' either.
Charge the night before and go fly.

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You said it was a bit too high of a KV.. i'm confused on what you meant by that.. were you referring to the rpms of my motor selection or the maH on the battery..
It sounds like you meant maybe I should get a 2S 2500 MAH battery instead of 2S 2100mah?
Thanks
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markm75 wrote:

yes..I thought it might end up trying to pull too current on a sensible sort of prop size.
And be more a sort of speed Zagi than a camera lifting one.
I'd have thought you would want a 6" prop at least ti get some pull..mostly those run with about 2500 KV motors on 2s LIPO, or 1100-1500 on 3s.

No..
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| > > Is this the correct battery. also.. do i need to add the Dean or JST | > > connector (I forget what these are, or how the battery will connect to | > > the ESC etc)
JST is too small. Deans are good, but you may have to do some soldering.
| > > You had mentioned using 3S batteries, but I think alot of folks have | > > mentioned using the 2S for reduction in weight? I guess I'll need a | > > larger prop as you mentioned, but I'm not sure which one to get.. 5x7, | > > carbon, ? etc
Well, I was talking 3s as a drop in replacement for your stock battery pack. You'd go up from 9.6 volts to 11.1 volts (nominal -- peak values woudl be 11.2 volts to 12.6 volts) which would give you more power, but I'd suggest not using it much -- keep it throttled back most of the time if you want your motor to last.
2s would give you a lot less power with the stock motor and prop.
If you go brushless, then you'll need to consider your battery, motor and prop as a complete system -- changing one may require a change in the other two. You can use 2s or 3s -- depends on the motor and prop.
| > > MOTOR: | > > 400DH Outrunner Brushless Motor 3500 RPM, 15 amps max current or | > > 220watts, 46g or 1.62 OZ weight):http://www.raidentech.com/40brmodeforr.html | > > $29.95 | > | > > Any idea how many volts this motor is.. Just looking at the specs | > > (RPM) compared to a Mega 16 motor.. it appears this one should | > > outperform it for less than half the cost?
Motor performance is a complicated subject.
As for volts, motors don't usually have a fixed voltage that they're designed for. Instead, they have a voltage range.
Also, you don't seem to know what Kv means. Kv means `RPM per volt'. So if you put a 3500 Kv motor on 10 volts, that's 35,000 RPM.
Of course, that assumes no load on the motor -- putting a prop on it slows it down, but it gives you an idea of how fast the motor `wants' to go. Higher Kv ratings are not nessesarily better than lower Kv ratings -- it depends on what you need.
| > Its a bit too high KV for my taste..you want a reliable 150W to loft a | > zagi and a camera I'd say.
I agree. 3500 Kv is awfully high for a direct drive prop for something like a Zagi. 2500 Kv would probably be better.
Also, being an outrunner (which means the case spins), it might be harder to mount.
| > Using something like a 5x4 or 6x4 prop. Probably you would be close on | > 3500KV,on 2s LIPO...But I'd probably reckon 2500 is more appropiate.
Yup, 2500 Kv on 3s would be better. Still a screamer at full throttle though. I'd need to do some math to work out the ideal prop, but it's probably around a 6x3 or 5x5 or so.
Motocalc (google for it) can do these calculations for you, but there's a learning curve.
| > >http://www.graysonhobby.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=6&products ... | > > ^it appears this speed controller has the 9volt cutoff built in, so | > > this is good.
Pretty much any brushless ESC that can handle at least 20 amps and has LiPo appropriate cutoffs would be fine. It's better to get an ESC that is rated too high than too low.
| > > Charger:http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXHNW5&P=0 | > | > > (Will this charger you mentioned be adequate and charge fast enough.. | > > IE: I guess the typical rate is about 1hour to safely charge these | > > batteries).
At it's 1 amp max, it'll change a 2000 mAh pack from empty to full in two hours, perhaps a little longer. This is fine, but you could go faster with a bigger charger.
| > > At this point it appears the total cost is about $105 plus shipping. | > > This is only for 1 battery though, I'd probably need one or two more | > > so at least $135 plus shipping.. I'm assuming most people charge up at | > > least 2 batteries before going out.
Yes.
| > > Are there any other connectors I may have missed in these parts, or do | > > I just solder the esc wires to the motor and somehow connect the esc | > > to the battery and i'm done..
Deans plugs work well for currents of these magnitudes. The charger has JST -- JST isn't big enough for what you need. You'll need to replace that.
| You said it was a bit too high of a KV.. i'm confused on what you | meant by that.. were you referring to the rpms of my motor selection | or the maH on the battery.. | | It sounds like you meant maybe I should get a 2S 2500 MAH battery | instead of 2S 2100mah?
2500 mAh vs 2100 mAh probably won't make much of a difference.
Still, I'd suggest ditching the Zagi entirely and going with a Slow Stick for aerial photography anyways. The same battery packs would work, and the same ESCs, but you'd want a motor with a lower Kv rating or the same motor with a gearbox for that.
But it would fly a lot more gently, stay up longer, carry a heavier camera, take better pictures and be less likely to damage your camera ...
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us
"Time is fun when you're having flies"...Kermit the Frog
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On Mar 26, 12:44 pm, "Doug McLaren" <dougmc

Thanks for the detailed explainations.. yeah I didnt really know what KV was referring to, till now.
I am leaning towards just doing that slow flyer idea for the camera system, however, I think I still want to convert my existing Zagi to Lipo and a much faster engine.
You said that with the Outrunner the case turns.. you mean its not just the part the prop attaches to that will spin... this would definitely be out..
Are there any models of motors with similar specs that would work in my configuration.. is there a term to look for to indicate whether its a non moving case variety? Also.. since this is a pusher type plane, dont I need an engine that spins in reverse for the Zagi?
Still not sure on the battery.. I guess it would depend on what the final motor I convert to would be? The original motor I was looking at was the Mega 16/15/4 with a 7-4 prop (ref from http://falconbatteries.com/CustomImages/ZagiXSLipoConversion.htm ) But this motor was much more expensive than that Outrunner.. they were recommending using 3s2p 3200-3s2p (3200 mah batteries).. but I think these batteries were $74 a piece, not around $25 or $30 like the other.
As far as slow flyers go.. I wasnt sure what was a hot item these days, though my preference is to get a RTF variety, as my time is real short on the build phase. Most RTFs that I see, already have a radio. It would be nice if they sold these without the radio (but still had the servos and everything else). I'm trying to get as close to 48" wingspan as I can.. I like the larger wingspan.
IE: This bird is $349, nice big wingspan though: http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0095p?FVSEARCH=TC2003&FVPROFIL=++&search3=Go
Some have said this one is good: http://www.hobby-lobby.com/busybee.htm Looks like I could just take the canopy off the front and stick a camera in there.
I found this one as well.. for only $189: http://www.historicaviation.com/historicaviation/product_info.po?ID 866&product=Models+and+Kits&category=civil&subcategory=Civil%2520Aircraft
Or this one http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0095p?FVSEARCH=TC2017&FVPROFIL=++&search3=Go $249, but again, came with a radio.
Thanks
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| I am leaning towards just doing that slow flyer idea for the camera | system, however, I think I still want to convert my existing Zagi to | Lipo and a much faster engine.
Not a bad idea.
| You said that with the Outrunner the case turns.. you mean its not | just the part the prop attaches to that will spin... this would | definitely be out..
Well, not automatically.
Looking at your sample --
http://www.raidentech.com/40brmodeforr.html
the part with the screw holes does not turn, and that's where you'll mount things. The shaft does turn, and the part that says `Model 400' does turn -- it's the latter that might surprise you.
A Zagi holds the motor down with a zip tie around the case, and that won't work. But if you get a motor mount and raise it up a bit, that would work.
This plane has an appropriate motor mount --
http://www.combatwings.com/catalog/instructions/XE2%20Picture%20Instructions.pdf
and you can just order the motor mount, or similar ones at other places.
| Are there any models of motors with similar specs that would work in | my configuration.. is there a term to look for to indicate whether its | a non moving case variety? Also.. since this is a pusher type plane, | dont I need an engine that spins in reverse for the Zagi?
Sensorless (all modern ones are) brushless motors are reversed by simply reversing any two of the three wires. That's all there is to it.
| Still not sure on the battery.. I guess it would depend on what the | final motor I convert to would be?
Not too much. A 3s 2000-2500 mAh 15C pack will probably work fine for many motor and prop combinations.
| The original motor I was looking at was the Mega 16/15/4 with a 7-4 | prop (ref from | http://falconbatteries.com/CustomImages/ZagiXSLipoConversion.htm ) | But this motor was much more expensive than that Outrunner.. they | were recommending using 3s2p 3200-3s2p (3200 mah batteries).. but I | think these batteries were $74 a piece, not around $25 or $30 like | the other.
$30 is definitely cheap. Pretty much any 2000-2500 kV motor will work, as long as it can handle around 25 amps.
| As far as slow flyers go.. I wasnt sure what was a hot item these | days, though my preference is to get a RTF variety, as my time is real | short on the build phase.
A Slow Stick is really easy to build. The RTFs you're looking at will fly a lot faster than the Slow Stick -- they're good planes, but won't be as good as a Slow Stick for taking airborne pictures.
Really, it'll be hard to beat the Slow Stick. And it'll go together in perhaps four hours?
And the wing span is 46" ... pretty close to 48".
It's only $32, and then you need two $12 servos ... cheap! You could probably even get away with the stock motor if your camera isn't heavy -- then all you'd need is a RX, brushed ESC and a battery.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us Great groups from little icons grow.

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On Mar 26, 2:28 pm, "Doug McLaren" <dougmc

I forgot to ask.. Charger wise.. the one I mentioned was a little slow and DC powered..
I'm looking around now for say a 2amp max current version, I'm assuming it should be rated at at least 15C if the battery is 15C or 20 if 20? Also.. this charger was originally geared for hooking up to the car while outside of the car at the flying site.. But from what I've read, Lipos generally dont lose their charge? So I guess ideally I would charge these overnight the night before? Would I then need some AC charging solution? Also.. how safe is this.. I've read that you really need a metal box or some other fireproof way to charge these batteries, especially if indoors? I also didnt seem many DC versions that were labeled as 20C and had a deans connector.. though I guess I could just cut the existing lead and attach a deans plug?
I'm also still a little confused on prop terminology, I cant seem to google it to find the exact definition... If a prop is 5x5.. is this 5" by ? For instance.. the prop I have on my existing Zagi is 5" in length, I'm not sure on the part that is after the "x", is this pitch?
My Zagi is actually a modified 400 (not 400x), which was converted into a 400x by increasing the depth of the main channel where the equipment sits, per Zagi official instructions/kit.. So I still have the standard plastic prop that came with this kit.
So in terms of motors where the case doesnt spin.. do I simply look for a motor that isnt labelled as "outrunner" and shoot for something like you metnioned 2000-2500 KV? (I'm speaking in terms of just upgrading to Lipo, no camera to be added, for now anyway).
I think the base final rpms at max for the 400x is around 14,000 RPMs.. so I would want a bit more oomph, though with lighter lipos, I guess I dont need that much more (I'm guessing the 3s weight to be 3.5 oz? Whereas the 1700nicads are around 9.5 oz).
I have downloaded the motocalc program, checking it out as we speak.. I'm not sure what my goal should be on rpms.. I guess 25k would be nice and be able to do some cool 3d verticals and other manuevers?
If a motor is rated at a max amp of 15.. does this imply I should go for an ESC of the same or higher (better yet) rating or does this depend on the exact battery spec combined with the motor (still unsure on this one, though I guess if i get my values correct, motocalc should figure it out)?
Is this the slow stick brand you mentioned: http://www.rchobbies.org/gws_slow-stick.htm Looks like it may not handle a breeze very well.. Would it really fly ok with an extra 3.5 oz added to it.. Not much of a fuselage to attach the equipment either, though I could see the camera being somewhere on the middle-top of the wing.
Cheers
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Slow Sticks are not breeze friendly. I have powered em with the stock can motor and using a brushless inrunner in a GWS geared system. We have attached cam units to the top of the wing but that means you have the prop in your field of view. I have also mounted a digital Aiptek camera looking downwards with mixed results mostly problems with the camera itself, not the mount setup. My best results with wireless video was using a Wingo with a geared can setup and Nimh packs. http://fubar1.net/movies/wireless/wingo2.wmv
http://fubar1.net/movies/wireless/Wingo%20Redux.wmv
Kind of fragile but with the pusher prop and the entire front of the plane just begging for something to be mounted in it, its great for video flying in a park or similar.
--
Dan
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On Mar 26, 3:37 pm, "Fubar of The HillPeople"

When you said Geared can.. with the wingo.. do you mean you changed the motor.. or just went with the stock motor?
Looks like a cool plane.
I also am thinking of maybe doing this guy http://www.horizonhobby.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdID=MPU214192 (Easy Star) with a the rangevideo setup.
I'll be converting it to Lipo/Brushless first though.
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Hobby Lobby had an "upgrade" to the Wingo which incl the stock motor, gearbox, big slow flyer prop and the 1100mAh NiMh pack. Sucker would fly forever on one pack. I actually flew it from the parking lot at the local Renaissance Faire out over the Faire with a downward looking camera mounted in the nose.
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That was cool. I can't believe you smacked that rock. mk (good work Fubar)
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[ You know, you should trim out what I said, or respond to it line by line and trim out the parts you aren't responding to. ]
| I forgot to ask.. Charger wise.. the one I mentioned was a little slow | and DC powered.. | | I'm looking around now for say a 2amp max current version, I'm | assuming it should be rated at at least 15C if the battery is 15C or | 20 if 20?
No. The 15C or 20C is the maximum discharge rate of your battery. 20C on a 2000 mAh pack is 20 * 2000 mA or 40 amps. Has nothing to do with the charger,
| Also.. this charger was originally geared for hooking up to | the car while outside of the car at the flying site.. But from what | I've read, Lipos generally dont lose their charge? So I guess ideally | I would charge these overnight the night before?
Yes.
| Would I then need some AC charging solution?
It might be convenient. You could buy a power supply, or convert a PC power supply, or charge from a small 12v Pb cell.
You could also charge in/from your car, but put the battery outside.
| Also.. how safe is this.. I've read that you really need a metal box | or some other fireproof way to charge these batteries, especially if | indoors?
There is a small chance of fire -- well, small as long as you don't make mistakes anyways. A fireproof box or container of some sort is a good idea if your battery is somewhere it could cause damage if it caught fire. (Outside on your driveway might be safe enough, but in your car or house, probably not.)
| though I guess I could just cut the existing lead | and attach a deans plug?
Yes. That's pretty common to have to do that, or buy an appropriate adapter. | | I'm also still a little confused on prop terminology, I cant seem to | google it to find the exact definition... If a prop is 5x5.. is this | 5" by ? For instance.. the prop I have on my existing Zagi is 5" in | length, I'm not sure on the part that is after the "x", is this | pitch?
Yes, it's pitch. 6x3 means 6" diameter, 3" `pitch' -- one revolution of the prop will `push' the plane forward 3" (if it were running in jello, anyways.)
| My Zagi is actually a modified 400 (not 400x), which was converted | into a 400x by increasing the depth of the main channel where the | equipment sits, per Zagi official instructions/kit.. So I still have | the standard plastic prop that came with this kit.
400x has the same prop. The prop is OK for the stock motor, but it won't work with any motor upgrades. | So in terms of motors where the case doesnt spin.. do I simply look | for a motor that isnt labelled as "outrunner" and shoot for something | like you metnioned 2000-2500 KV? (I'm speaking in terms of just | upgrading to Lipo, no camera to be added, for now anyway).
Yes. They're also called `inrunners'.
| I think the base final rpms at max for the 400x is around 14,000 | RPMs.. so I would want a bit more oomph, though with lighter lipos, I | guess I dont need that much more (I'm guessing the 3s weight to be 3.5 | oz? Whereas the 1700nicads are around 9.5 oz).
Well, if you throw enough money at it, you'll have a plane that will go straight up and keep going straight up, or hit over 100 mph ...
You might need to stiffen up the wing with carbon fiber to keep it from flapping. The 400x has one rod, and the stock 400 has none.
| I have downloaded the motocalc program, checking it out as we speak.. | I'm not sure what my goal should be on rpms.. I guess 25k would be | nice and be able to do some cool 3d verticals and other manuevers?
Zagis don't really do 3D. But you certainly can have a rocket that will go straight up ...
A specific RPM rating really isn't a good goal. Instead, you want good static thrust, climb rate, climb angle, top speed ...
| If a motor is rated at a max amp of 15.. does this imply I should go | for an ESC of the same or higher (better yet) rating
Not a bad idea.
| or does this depend on the exact battery spec combined with the | motor (still unsure on this one, though I guess if i get my values | correct, motocalc should figure it out)?
Yes, it depends. A 15 amp max motor may be using 5 amps max if you have a small battery/prop on it, and if so, a 5 amp ESC would be adequate. But since ESCs are expensive (and motors relatively cheap), and don't weigh much more as the ratings go up, I like to get a few sizes bigger just so I can use it on my next, bigger plane, and to give myself some wiggle room in case something draws more current than I planned for.
| Is this the slow stick brand you mentioned: http://www.rchobbies.org/gws_slow-stick.htm | Looks like it may not handle a breeze very well.. Would it really fly | ok with an extra 3.5 oz added to it.. Not much of a fuselage to attach | the equipment either, though I could see the camera being somewhere on | the middle-top of the wing.
Not really good for wind, you're right.
As for the camera, it usually dangles down under the wing. You might have to beef up the landing gear a bit.
I don't think 3.5 oz will be a problem, especially with a better than stock motor.
For a Slow Stick, this might be an appropriate motor --
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/brushless-skatty.htm
with no gearbox, and it's only $18. I know somebody makes an adapter that will make it fit on the Slow Stick ...
Heh, funny bit of trivia ... if you read the Ezone review on it, there's a Katana 30 picture in there. I own that plane now, complete with the 400XT. -- bought it at the Georgetown swap meet.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us
Don't try to outweird me - I get stranger things than you free with my
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I've spent more time reading on this.. I guess if attended, charging from an AC adapter or even a DC to AC converter with field charger at no more than 1C would be safe indoors, if monitored the whole time.. perhaps even charging in the firesafe box to be even safer? Some said they use a car battery and charge multiple batteries at once.. I'm assuming they'd attach multiple field chargers to the same battery somehow... Any ideas on examples of a vented firesafe box? (I've got a firesafe box for PC data storage, but its not vented).
Eitherway, I'm trying to figure out how to avoid having to wait at the field for the 1hour charge time (if it is).. by being able to charge before going (preferribly the day before)..
I guess I should also keep a bag of sand handy out in the field / car.. I'm guessing for transport in the car, I should store the batteries in a metal case, but not let them in a hot trunk for very long?
For storage (while not charging), in the house/garage, would it be be best to store them in a firesafe box, or is this overkill?

The kit to convert to the 1700mah packs came with 1 carbon fiber.. for the wing...

I think I misunderstand what 3D implies.. any quick definitions?
On the zagi conversion note.. I guess at this point I'll hunt down a motor, hopefully in the $45 range that is a max of about 2500KV and an inrunner..
Do I just take note of that motor's max voltage and amp.. then get the appropriate battery pack.. at least 3S (1P) say 2100 mah 15C.. with this configuration 15C * 2100 is 31.5 Amps? So this implies if I had a 31 amp max draw or less motor, this battery pack would do well...

are at least 5.5 Oz (compared to my current weight of 9.8 oz nicad)?
I've searched around looking at chargers.. I still dont know which is the most popular/best model.. I'd want a balancer to go with it, or some sort of combo model correct?
On the "slower" plane front...
I'm still seriously looking to get either the EasyStar (~25 oz weight) converting to Lipo or the Nimh TwinStarII (~46oz weight).. I think my Zagi is around 26Oz currently, it is an adventure to fly in say 15 mph winds, even with the heavier battery, I'm guessing for stronger wind flying I would want to invest in say the TwinStar, as its heavier or might the EasyStar do ok.. The TwinStar looks very cool though, but would probably cost 35% more and use NIMH (add 4oz for camera equipment eventually), it also has more wing area (I think).
Cheers (sorry for not editing the snips before, that was getting unwieldy to read back through) :)
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markm75 wrote:

All you need is a field charger, an ex CB 13v 10A PSU, and a flower pot or similar.
I plonk that lot in the corner of a room and charge away while watching TV or building the next model.
If you avoid to fast or too deep discharge, you don't need to worry about the lipos going bang..and they will hold full charge for weeks.

Hot trunk is very bad. I keep em in my pockets..when transporting. Right next to a sensitive thermometer called SKIN.
In the house they lie on top of my workbench..no espcial precautions when not charging needed apart from avoiding heat.

No one ever got killed from overcaution. Id use flower pots - ceramic ones - if you worry.

Models that fly without using the wing..helicopters effectively.

Astro 109 gets my vote.
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Thanks for those tips.. I feel much better now :)
Im now heading towards getting a Twinstar II and upgrading its engines to BP-21's with an 18amp esc..
In searching I found these batteries and chargers.. any thoughts on them.. Do I just mod the connectors on the batteries if they wont work with a given charger/balancer? I'm shooting for 20 minutes flight time (side note):
Batteries seem a bit pricey: I almost think maybe I'll just start off with the stock 400's and use the 8cell NIMH (heavy) for now, as it would cost $200 to go Lipo if these are right..
3s 3200mah 11.1v Venom 15C http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXMYP5&P=FR $99 3s 2200mah 11.1v Venom 15C http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXMYP4&P=FR $79
Venom Balancing charger: 2-5cell, 8-20.4v at 1.5A: http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/WTI0001P?&I=LXMYR6&P=V $87 Team Orion 2-5 cell, up to 6amP: http://www2.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXNNA5&P=7 $48
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| Im now heading towards getting a Twinstar II and upgrading its engines | to BP-21's with an 18amp esc..
You may already be aware of this, but you'll need two ESCs -- one for each motor. Brushless motors can't reliably share an ESC.
http://www.wattflyer.com/forums/showthread.php?tI04 has what looks like might be a nice deal. It's a year old, but maybe he still has these?
| In searching I found these batteries and chargers.. any thoughts on | them.. Do I just mod the connectors on the batteries if they wont work | with a given charger/balancer?
Yes.
| Batteries seem a bit pricey:
Hurts, don't it? :)
http://www.cheapbatterypacks.com/main.asp?sids3085&pgid=showlipos&sale=Y
seems to have some really nice prices. No idea about the quality of these cells, however. I've had PolyQuest batteries before, and they were good, but this seems too cheap. Probably because they're all 8-12C packs, and most people want higher current ratings than that. But for a slow plane, they might be fine.
--
Doug McLaren, snipped-for-privacy@frenzied.us Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes!

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