Range check - Electrics

Best practices and Useful tips and warnings that can save property, prevent injury and to keep our modelling safe.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
danie.e
Tree Tousand
Tree Tousand
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:13 pm
Closest Airfield: Henley
Location: Vereeniging
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 18 times

Range check - Electrics

Unread post by danie.e » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:30 pm

Ever seen what a 450 or parkflyer can do when the transmitter is accidentally switched off before the battery was unplugged????

I have observed some blokes doing a range check with a "40" size electric with the prop on the motor. Lucky someone saw this and shouted to the bloke with the TX. He turned back just in time.The guy holding the plane would have had his ear cut off if the TX went out of range and the RX lost signal.

Moral ? - please remove prop on electrics when doing repairs or range check.

Danie
Danie.e
Don't just stik it, Drastik it
S.A. Agent for ASP Engines, CY Models, King Max servos and Amass servo leads. Reseller of RCGF Petrol engines, Smartfly powerboxes, SkyRC Chargers and Power Supplies - http://www.aspaviation.co.za
User avatar
Roger
Seven Thousand
Seven Thousand
Posts: 7483
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2003 3:46 pm
Closest Airfield: FAPE
Location: Port Elizabeth
Has liked: 47 times
Been liked: 148 times

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by Roger » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:09 am

Thanks Danie. Some questions and comments.

I assume unlike the gasser counterparts - there are no dangers to damaging the motor without the prop (flywheel)?
If failsafe settings have been programmed - is there still a danger?
Lastly the human element especially with bolt on type props, are modellers disciplined enough to do a prop removal every time they go flying, assuming range check is part of every preflight?
Don’t take things for granted… Tomorrow is not promised.
User avatar
heisan
Fife Thousand feet
Fife Thousand feet
Posts: 5452
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 3:45 pm
Closest Airfield: Rhino Park
Location: Pretoria
Has liked: 27 times
Been liked: 103 times

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by heisan » Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:21 am

How good is a range check without the prop? Surely you should do the check at full power (lowest battery voltage + maximum electrical noise)?
Justin Schoeman

ZU-FSR (Raven)
User avatar
danie.e
Tree Tousand
Tree Tousand
Posts: 3536
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:13 pm
Closest Airfield: Henley
Location: Vereeniging
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 18 times

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by danie.e » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:40 am

Thanks for the feedback:

Skybound - Motor should not get damaged if range checker do short bursts on throttle
Failsafe correctly configured, I guess then it is OK - but how many people actually set failsafe or even know how to?
Human element - all I can say here is "Ya well no fine"

Heisan - Does electric motors generate more noise on full power than petrol or jet engines? I do not have an answer for that. Maybe this warrants a new topic.

In most instances where I have observed people doing range checks with petrol engines, the engines was not running. As for jet engines, I have not yet seen a range check with the turbine running. As for voltage drop under full power, surely one checks that with the correct meter under controlled conditions at close range. I for one will not fly a model not knowing if my batteries can handle the load. We learnt the "brown out" lessons at great expense.

At the end of the day as Skybound pointed out, because of the "Human element" I would rather walk another twenty paces without the prop than the required 30 with the prop.
Danie.e
Don't just stik it, Drastik it
S.A. Agent for ASP Engines, CY Models, King Max servos and Amass servo leads. Reseller of RCGF Petrol engines, Smartfly powerboxes, SkyRC Chargers and Power Supplies - http://www.aspaviation.co.za
User avatar
tanglefoot
Fower Tousand
Fower Tousand
Posts: 4800
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:05 am
Closest Airfield: FAGC
Location: Jhb
Has liked: 6 times
Been liked: 0

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by tanglefoot » Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:21 pm

A few of my thoughts, for what they are worth.

First check is for failsafe. Secure the model and run throttle up to half. Switch off TX. Throttle should reduce to idle or switch off completely. At our club we we have even made new pilots arriving on a saturday morning demonstrate their failsafe's to our satisfaction. One guy didn't have a clue what we were talking about but I think he was happy enough to learn.

We also started doing this as a check for everyone before the first flight at some of our aerobatic competitions. I don't know how many people quickly fixed their failsafe before the competition but at the comp itself there was nearly a flawless record of compliance. (Just one F3A pilot who shall remain nameless failed the simple test)

In the old 35MhZ days failsafe only protected you from 'loss of signal' and not from interference. With RX's now locking onto a specific TX you are now largely protected from interference as well. Still, never do a range check without the aircraft (no matter how small) being restrained. I do the range check with the motor just above idle while stirring the pots. As I understand it at very low revs you will get just as much noise as at high revs. The motor (or rather the ESC) is 'quietest' at mid throttle.

With 2.4 it is very difficult to discern "glitches" as the control surfaces do not flutter like they do with 35Mhz. It is a lot easier to listen for the throttle cut (Failsafe kicking in). The aircraft is then rotated through each 90deg quadrant and also checked with belly and canopy facing the pilot.

On our 2m planes (roughly 25%) we do not remove the props. One person can comfortably manage the airplane, even at full throttle, if held correctly.
Wings are for fairies. Runways are for models...........................................
Don't get caught by Business Directory Scams. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/55011156703/
Historical info on stopwbd.za.org
Jase
Too Tousand
Too Tousand
Posts: 2123
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:18 am
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 0

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by Jase » Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:38 pm

danie.e wrote:Ever seen what a 450 or parkflyer can do when the transmitter is accidentally switched off before the battery was unplugged????

I have observed some blokes doing a range check with a "40" size electric with the prop on the motor. Lucky someone saw this and shouted to the bloke with the TX. He turned back just in time.The guy holding the plane would have had his ear cut off if the TX went out of range and the RX lost signal.

Moral ? - please remove prop on electrics when doing repairs or range check.

Danie
Yeah I dont agree that you need to remove the prop. Never do a range check on a electric plane or a running nitro or gasser without someone holding it firmly. Not sure how the guy would have cut his ear off?
Shepherd
Straight and Level
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:27 am
Has liked: 2 times
Been liked: 0

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by Shepherd » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:53 pm

In Terms of a helicopter, How do you do a failsafe check with someone holding the heli down???

I must be honest that I have never done this with my 600 or 450 helis. Pretty keen to get this sorted out though!!!!!!

Thanks for the advise.

Kind Regards,
Shepherd
- Favorite A/C Bell 412
User avatar
tanglefoot
Fower Tousand
Fower Tousand
Posts: 4800
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:05 am
Closest Airfield: FAGC
Location: Jhb
Has liked: 6 times
Been liked: 0

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by tanglefoot » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:19 pm

Shepherd wrote:In Terms of a helicopter, How do you do a failsafe check with someone holding the heli down???
I must be honest that I have never done this with my 600 or 450 helis. Pretty keen to get this sorted out though!!!!!!
Thanks for the advise.
Kind Regards,
Shepherd
You need to disengage the motor pinion gear from the drive gear before testing. I admit that 'testing on the fly' would be rather difficult though.
Wings are for fairies. Runways are for models...........................................
Don't get caught by Business Directory Scams. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/55011156703/
Historical info on stopwbd.za.org
Shepherd
Straight and Level
Posts: 249
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:27 am
Has liked: 2 times
Been liked: 0

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by Shepherd » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:32 am

Thanks Tangle...

Such a logical idea!!! hahaha

I will do this this weekend, perhaps just take the head off and the main gear....

A bit easier to get to than the pinion gear.

Kind Regards,
Shep
- Favorite A/C Bell 412
User avatar
Trex600
Tree Tousand
Tree Tousand
Posts: 3815
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:57 pm
Location: Gauteng near HFR club
Has liked: 0
Been liked: 2 times

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by Trex600 » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:14 pm

Shepherd wrote: I will do this this weekend, perhaps just take the head off and the main gear....

A bit easier to get to than the pinion gear.

Kind Regards,
Shep
+++1 on that removing the head assembly is easier than the pinion gear :wink: :wink: . Nitro Helis are more of a problem than electrics as that nitro motor can over rev and be damaged :( :(

The new radios of today like the JR XG11 reboots very very quickly compared to my older Spektrum DSM2 set up. Fast boot up systems can also help in the recovery of signal loss and save your priceless models never mind the safety aspect involved here :wink: =D> =D>

All my crashes was due to "Pilot Error" ............ model put together by the Pilot, model flown by the Pilot, model crashed by the Pilot ..... therefore must be Pilot error :? :? :lol: :lol: :lol: =D> =D>

I agree that how many of us do a range check the correct way. We are always too hasty to want to fly and never take the time to do things properly. In the end we are the ones that mess it up and have to suffer the losses that come our way :( :( :( :(

Thanks to Avcom that we can learn a bit here on the forum. We all can learn to do the right thing but do we really take it to heart and actually do it ....... :? :? :(
Just my take here.
Cheers
Trex600. :D
Align Trex600's, Nitro, O.S.Max, Petrol Motor's Only DLE 30-55-111-120, Mintor38cc. Gold Wing 100cc Edge 540T, 100% JR XG11, No Contest,No Regrets. Build,Fly,Have fun.
User avatar
clivem
Fower Tousand
Fower Tousand
Posts: 4495
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:23 pm
Closest Airfield: howick
Location: Hilton, KZN midlands
Has liked: 5 times
Been liked: 2 times

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by clivem » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:55 pm

agree with mr TFoot - always have someone holding the aircraft while doing a range check, AND always set your failsafe, throttle to idle! and test it by turning off the tx =D>
also think leaving the prop on is fine, but plane must be restrained by someone who is not being distracted or talked to by a bunch of mates. oh and always do 2 range checks, first one engine not running, second one with engine running. (gas and nitro of course) especially important with gassers!
SA Agent for Flex Innovations, 3DHS , AJ Aircraft, Krill, Topmodel, GP Engines, Falcon Propellors, MTW Cannisters, Emcotec Electronics, Fromeco and Tech Aero Products


Save a plane - Fly FUTABA !!!
http://www.cmchobbies.co.za
Gary Lees
Hot start of aircraft
Posts: 450
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 12:10 pm
Closest Airfield: FAOR
Location: Benoni
Has liked: 3 times
Been liked: 0

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by Gary Lees » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:07 pm

If you do not have help then rather remove the prop. Yes, I know that this could lead to damaging the motor if it revs up, but, a damaged motor is a lot better that losing fingers, hand and even endangering your life.

When setting up an electric, I always check the controls, throttle direction without the prop, and only once I have set the failsafe (kills the electric motor with no signal) then I attach the prop.

We can never take too many precautions.

Safe flying everyone.
User avatar
mikestark
Frequent AvComer
Posts: 740
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:47 pm
Closest Airfield: FAVG
Location: Durban
Has liked: 21 times
Been liked: 2 times

Re: Range check - Electrics

Unread post by mikestark » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:19 pm

danie.e wrote:Thanks for the feedback:

Skybound - Motor should not get damaged if range checker do short bursts on throttle
Failsafe correctly configured, I guess then it is OK - but how many people actually set failsafe or even know how to?
Human element - all I can say here is "Ya well no fine"

Heisan - Does electric motors generate more noise on full power than petrol or jet engines? I do not have an answer for that. Maybe this warrants a new topic.

In most instances where I have observed people doing range checks with petrol engines, the engines was not running. As for jet engines, I have not yet seen a range check with the turbine running. As for voltage drop under full power, surely one checks that with the correct meter under controlled conditions at close range. I for one will not fly a model not knowing if my batteries can handle the load. We learnt the "brown out" lessons at great expense.

At the end of the day as Skybound pointed out, because of the "Human element" I would rather walk another twenty paces without the prop than the required 30 with the prop.
A range check without the engine or turbine running is just not good enough. The range check needs to be done in flight-ready configuration as that is how the plane will be flying after all. #-o #-o #-o

The airframe must be restrained at all times.

WRT removing the electric's prop before a range check - totally impractical. Remove spinner, prop etc, do range check, put it all back, and only then you are ready to fly. After all, you do (should do) a range check before each plane's first flight of the day. :roll:

If the prop (aka meat slicer) is assumed to be "live" at all times, no one will lose an ear. :lol: Why would the person holding the plane have it by his ear ??????????
Mike Stark (Planecrazy)
NEVER Forget - R.I.P. Michel Leusch
http://www.pocketdeal.co.za
http://www.xtremeaccounting.co.za

Return to “The Good and the Bad”