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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Killing El Diablo And Other Fun Stuff

Those of you who made it all the way through the last article saw a lot of my red Yak in action. That airframe has had an especially difficult life, going through two canopies, three rudders, four landing gear legs and a motorbox. That and I knocked the stab out of it two or three times. The last time I got it back in a bit crooked but it did not seem to matter. This has been my primary Yak for about two years and the only reason I kept rebuilding it was because it kept flying great. The thing has just been teriffic.

This plane has simply been so mean that I have not been able to kill it. It has survived one merciless beatdown right after the other and every time I wreck it, the plane just flies better. This is one mean old dog, and it seemed fitting when I started referring to it is "El Diablo."

Of course, you can kill any of them, and eventually El Diablo's time ran out. I'm not even sure what happened other than I went to full power out of a low blender and then I simply had no control of it. It's quite possible I had a brain freeze or something, but I think the radio just gave up long enough for the Yak to go in full throttle straight down. If you had lined it up with a square it could not have gone in any straighter. The tail stuck up in the air like a tombstone marking the spot, and that was the end of El Diablo.

You can see the crash damage at the end of the video, but the only thing I took a picture of was the battery. That got accordioned when the motor was rammed backwards into it.  That was a brand new Thunder Power 4s 2700 70C Pro Power pack that was on it's third flight. 

Now's a good time to mention Thunder Power's half price crash replacement policy. Sure, it's only 50% off on a replacement, but that's 100% more than any other company in the industry will give you.

Generally I will not award one of my own planes the honor of a Viking Funeral, but this was a great plane that went out in a glorious blaze. So, a sad farewell to my beloved El Diablo.

Testing Thunder Power's New Lightning 55C Packs
I'm planning to do a lot more with the 60" planes this year, and I was just about due for some new battery packs. I am flying Thunder Power 6s 3300 70C Pro Force packs in my 60" planes, and those packs are so hot that I have more power than I can really use. When Advanced Energy released the new Thunder Power 6s 3300 55C Lightning Series Packs, it seemed like a good idea to try a pair of them. I could save money and a little weight, and I needed packs anyway.

For no particular reason other than I felt like it, I chose my 60" Laser to test the new packs. This is such a smooth flying and beautiful looking plane. I don't get to fly it as much as I would like because I also have the 60" Yak, Edge and Extra. There just isn't time to fly all of them enough, and that will only get worse when I get another 64" MXS, which will hopefully be soon.

I like this plane so much that I have been overly cautious with it, but I am starting to loosened up with it really well and enjoying it.

My reasoning for choosing the Lightning packs is that 15C is not that much difference in power, and the Lightning series has newer technology and chemistry than what I have been using. It should be a better battery than the Pro Force packs.

I flew three packs through my 60" Laser today to try them out and was very impressed. I could not tell the difference between those and what I have been using, so I saved a lot of money and didn't give anything up. Today is only the first day with these packs but so far I am really pleased with them. I'll be flying these all summer, plus some 3s Lightning packs for my secret project (later this week hopefully).

I've been running my 70C packs in this spot all along, so it seemed like a reasonable place to start with the 55C packs, and I left it there all day. If it changed the CG any I couldn't tell by flying it.

You can compare this video to any of my other 60" Laser videos and make up you own mind if the 15C of difference shows up as more power. I don't think it does, so I will probably switch over to these packs for all my planes eventually.

Charging And All
Below is a typical charging set up for me when I take two planes. The Thunder Power TP820CD can charge two packs at once, and is good for 20 amps per side. At 20 amps you can charge a 6s 3300 in about 12 to 16 minutes and a 4s 2700 in about 10 to 12 minutes. I can also cook a 3s 2250 pack in about six to eight minutes, and that will come in handy when the secret 3s project gets rolling.

I like the 820CD because I can charge different size packs at the same time. I usually charge one pack for my 48" plane and the other for my 60". This way I've always got plenty of charged packs for both planes.

I have my 820CD charger velcroed down on top of my Thunder Power TP1527PS power supply. I've also zip tied up the excess wiring so that now I have a neat little package that doesn't take up a lot of space on the workbench, which is really nice on a crowded Sunday at the field. I like this power supply because it is compact and has nice features. It also matches my charger and looks very professional, something you need to think about if you are the Thunder Power guy at your club.

Seen on top of my flight box is my Thunder Power 610C AC/DC charger. Usually it just sits in the top of the box unless I take just one 48" plane. I can charge a single 4s 2700 pack in about 25 minutes, which is fast enough unless you want to be an air pig and fly continuously. This charger will put out 8 amps on a 3s 2250 pack and 6 amps on a 4s 2700 pack. Like this, I am well below the rated charge rate for both the Pro force and Lightning packs, so this is very safe.  I also keep a spare 610c AC/DC under the seat of my car just in case I get behind on my charging.

I belong to two clubs, one which has 110 volt outlets at every table, and another club which has 12 volts. I can use the TP620 AC/DC at both places, or in a pinch I can hook it up to my car. It's small and light enough that it usually sits on my workbench at home until it's time to go flying, and then it's a perfect fit in the top of my flightbox.  I've been using this charger for five years and it's been flawless.

Finally, on top of the charger is my Bose Sound Link mini stero system that links to my phone by Bluetooth. It is compact enough to easily carry along and also to stay out of the way, but it certainly sounds big. It's nice to be able to take my music with me like this.

That's it for now. Hopefully we will get the secret project up and running soon.


1 comment:

  1. Diablo had a good, albeit hard, life! I'm looking forward to seeing how the 55C packs hold up to your flying style. I have some 65C packs which will need replacing later this season...