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Making an electric glider's propeller fold more positively

The thing keeps free-wheeling even with ESC braking

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FilmBuff31/05/2019 10:38:01
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Really enjoying my Staufenbiel Vegas glider at the moment - but for small niggle.

Despite quite fierce ESC braking, the 14 inch prop does not readily fold. I often have to pull a big half loop to get it to fold, or practically stall it into wind, which slows the model and hence the prop, until it folds.

Any ideas? I don't want to go down the route of trying to use small rubber bands around the hub and spinner. It's not a big problem and I'm sure I can live with it.

Martin Harris - Moderator31/05/2019 11:07:36
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It's difficult to imagine why, unless there is excessive stiffness in the pivots, which should allow free movement. A stopped prop (I'm assuming it does actually stop?) presents quite a side area to the airflow and should fold with alacrity - the large props on a friend's F5b model make a very audible slap when they fold.

Edit - just saw your subtitle...your braking doesn't seem to be working!  What ESC are you using?  I had trouble with a YEP one (YGE clone) which wouldn't stop the prop using the normal programming card method - but I'm struggling to recall the solution!

Edited By Martin Harris on 31/05/2019 11:12:46

Capt Kremen31/05/2019 11:21:54
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I sympathise with your plight 'Filmbuff'.

Down the years I've tried various permutations. 'Aeronaut' & similar quality 'folding prop' hubs, bolts & spinner are usually pretty reliable for folding.

If the hub bolt is too free, the prop blade sometimes flops down during slower phases of flight. You say you would prefer not to go down the rubber band route, which is a rough 'n ready fix that generally works. You could try another hub/pivot bolt assembly but the quality ones are usually not cheap. Try 'Gliders' in the UK for their stock or 'Hollein Modelbau' & 'Lindinger Modelbau' in Germany. The latter two give superb service and are very often cheaper than UK even after p&p has been factored in.

FilmBuff31/05/2019 11:34:56
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Thanks for the replies guys. The prob hub pivot with the blades is very free.

When on the ground - the ESC brake does appear to work okay. It stops the motor well. In the air, it seems the big prop still has the latent power to rotate the motor.

Using a Dymond 60A ESC.

Reading some forums - they suggest extending the end rate on low throttle - I'll give that a try.

 

Edited By FilmBuff on 31/05/2019 11:41:13

Piers Bowlan31/05/2019 16:40:50
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Trying another 60A ESC if you have one, is where I would start. If it really is working on the ground, it should stop the prop windmilling in the air. Do you have a programming card for the Dymond ESC? Use that to check that 'Brake on' really is selected. Good luck.

FilmBuff31/05/2019 17:12:39
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Posted by Piers Bowlan on 31/05/2019 16:40:50:

Trying another 60A ESC if you have one, is where I would start. If it really is working on the ground, it should stop the prop windmilling in the air. Do you have a programming card for the Dymond ESC? Use that to check that 'Brake on' really is selected. Good luck.

Yes Piers, I have used a programming card - but no harm in checking again!

Frank Skilbeck31/05/2019 22:03:37
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I've got the same model, can't remember the ESC, but no issues with the blades folding.

Martin Harris - Moderator31/05/2019 22:20:03
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Posted by FilmBuff on 31/05/2019 11:34:56:

Reading some forums - they suggest extending the end rate on low throttle - I'll give that a try.

That was the problem with my YEP

PatMc31/05/2019 23:18:29
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Posted by FilmBuff on 31/05/2019 11:34:56:

Thanks for the replies guys. The prob hub pivot with the blades is very free.

When on the ground - the ESC brake does appear to work okay. It stops the motor well. In the air, it seems the big prop still has the latent power to rotate the motor.

Using a Dymond 60A ESC.

Reading some forums - they suggest extending the end rate on low throttle - I'll give that a try.

Edited By FilmBuff on 31/05/2019 11:41:13

The brake function is "dynamic", it's strongest function is from full throttle closed quickly to zero.
Restrain the model safely, apply full throttle for a couple of secs then cut power. If the prop continues freewheeling then the brake is simply not programmed "on".

JulianJ31/05/2019 23:58:49
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ArtHobby manufacture a spinner that allows small elastic bands to be fitted to fold the prop. You have to drill and fix a very small hook into the base of the prop blade.

blade hook_01.jpg31mm_06.jpg31mm_04.jpg31mm_03.jpg31mm_01.jpg

FilmBuff02/06/2019 10:58:23
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@JulianJ that looks interesting - I'll investigate

Took the Vegas out again this morning. On the ground, motor does brake and the blades fold okay.

In flight, I can hear the motor braking, but the large prop still freewheels say 50% of the time.

I can live with it by climbing vertically, slamming the throttle shut and the plane does a flop over loop which always seems to folds the prop. It's then in a good position to start the dive towards earth that provides energy for fun and games aeros with the speed.

Maybe the Dymond ESC is just not providing enough brake.

Martin Harris - Moderator02/06/2019 11:11:03
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Do you have a programming card or are you setting by the beep method? I think there's a possibility that some Dymond ESCs only provide braking off/medium by the latter and you need a programing card to set hard braking.

FilmBuff02/06/2019 12:24:14
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Posted by Martin Harris on 02/06/2019 11:11:03:

Do you have a programming card or are you setting by the beep method? I think there's a possibility that some Dymond ESCs only provide braking off/medium by the latter and you need a programing card to set hard braking.

Hi Martin - I have a card and I will double check.

Simon Chaddock02/06/2019 15:14:00
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FilmBuff

I know this is not a folding prop but does your motor brake do something like this. It should be pretty violent from full power.

You should also be able to feel the motor resistance even rotating it by hand (watch you fingers!) with the battery connected and the brake on compared to when the battery is disconnected.

.

FilmBuff02/06/2019 16:57:15
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@Simon It's not quite as fierce as that.

I'll double check the programming,

I'm a bit wary to rotate by hand as there is 650 Watts available... frown

Edited By FilmBuff on 02/06/2019 16:58:13

Koen Smits02/06/2019 18:29:02
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@ FilmBuff,

Hello, please look at this link

**LINK**

They have spinners, centerpieces and rubber rings for foldingprops.

the site is in german and englisch.

Martin Harris - Moderator03/06/2019 11:30:38
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Posted by FilmBuff on 02/06/2019 16:57:15:

@Simon It's not quite as fierce as that.

I'll double check the programming,

I'm a bit wary to rotate by hand as there is 650 Watts available... frown

Edited By FilmBuff on 02/06/2019 16:58:13

Use a chicken stick...see an IC flyer for details!

FilmBuff03/06/2019 16:12:06
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Posted by Koen Smits on 02/06/2019 18:29:02:

@ FilmBuff,

Hello, please look at this link

**LINK**

They have spinners, centerpieces and rubber rings for foldingprops.

the site is in german and englisch.

Good spot. They are on holiday until 4th July. Postage for 6 euros of rubber is 12 euros. Ouch!

John Roberts 905/06/2019 11:44:08
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I have found that on some ESC's the brake function doesn't work unless you have the throttle trim on the Tx reduced to almost nothing.

I suspect that with the throttle trim 'centred' (which is the normal default setting) the ESC will assume that the throttle is still slightly open (even though the motor isn't actually turning) and, therefore, will not engage the brake function.

YEP speed controllers seem more likely to exhibit this issue but I am pretty sure the same principle will apply to other makes. This fix has cured an apparently non-operative brake on three of my models (two gliders and one flying wing).

Certainly worth a try...……...takes a few seconds and costs nothing!

FilmBuff05/06/2019 12:09:36
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269 forum posts
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Posted by John Roberts 9 on 05/06/2019 11:44:08:

I have found that on some ESC's the brake function doesn't work unless you have the throttle trim on the Tx reduced to almost nothing.

I suspect that with the throttle trim 'centred' (which is the normal default setting) the ESC will assume that the throttle is still slightly open (even though the motor isn't actually turning) and, therefore, will not engage the brake function.

YEP speed controllers seem more likely to exhibit this issue but I am pretty sure the same principle will apply to other makes. This fix has cured an apparently non-operative brake on three of my models (two gliders and one flying wing).

Certainly worth a try...……...takes a few seconds and costs nothing!

John, when you say throttle trim reduced to nothing - do you mean pulled all the way back? ie use the maximum allowable trim?

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