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System hook ups

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John Read 211/09/2019 12:40:49
3 forum posts

I have just returned to aeromodelling after an absence of 40 years and so much has changed! Although I accumulated a small collection of IC engines ( which I need to dispose of ) I have decided to go down the " electric route ". Can anyone recommend any literature that explains how all the components fit together and what means to use in connecting the various parts. I know the general opinion seems to be to consult local experienced aeromodellers but I prefer diagrammatic references and/or photographs. I purchased a copy of " Small Electric Flying Models " and " R/C Aeroplanes-A guide for beginners " but I still can't seem to find the info I need.

Andy4811/09/2019 17:41:50
1493 forum posts
8 photos

I don't think there is a simple guide to this where it is all written down. Electric models can be quite complicated as each component needs to be specified alongside the others. For instance propellers on electric models can vary considerably in size and pitch and need to be carefully specified.

Quite frankly the best bet is to join a club, if you haven't already, and find someone within the club with solid experience of electric flight. There are many now flying electric, but for most there is not a depth of understanding to be able to guide you successfully.

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator11/09/2019 18:08:52
6754 forum posts
197 photos

You could do worse than check the Electric Flight For Beginners section on this very Forum.....there are lots of guides to the various components.

The best way is to read a bit...ask some more...ask more really will start to come together for you.

Welcome back to the hobby & to the RCM&E Forum...thumbs up

Denis Watkins11/09/2019 18:36:52
4319 forum posts
104 photos

Look on this list of set ups on 4max John


kc11/09/2019 20:14:30
6414 forum posts
173 photos

Remember that your 40 year old engines might now be fairly valuable as Vintage engines!

John Read 212/09/2019 12:54:31
3 forum posts

Thank you all for your input. I actually have a set up with a motor, esc and Lipo but I wasn't sure how best to connect them together and what connectors to use. Also, should there be an on-off switch in the system? It was a lot different in my last foray into RC which involved a McGregor Single Channel " bang bang " and escapement system ( which I still have ! ). Soldered joints seemed to be the norm but now there is a whole array of bullet connectors ( in different sizes ) and other plug and socket arrangements. All I want is some idea of which format is best so that I can standardize it for all my uses. My area will be predominantly slow park flyers that involves models that used to use the 0.75 to 1.5 cc IC motor range. Probably more what could be described as " radio assist ".

Bruce Collinson12/09/2019 13:40:52
509 forum posts


You're where I was 3 years ago. Lessons:

4 Max, excellent site and advice

Any EC connector is easier to solder than a Deans

LiPo discharge rates (C numbers) seem to be exaggerated, though not likely to trouble you with park fliers

switches; forget it, there does not seem to be anything weighing less than too much but Hobbyking have a harness for you to build an isolator which utilises a Deans plug to isolate the motor from the esc. Lots of references on this forum. Most of us rely on the basic safety parameters, plug the battery in on the strip not in the pits, treat any armed plane as though the engine is flat out. Disconnect before returning to pits. A bit of a pain.

Hope this helps. Good luck!


Cuban812/09/2019 13:47:56
2904 forum posts
1 photos

Have a search through YouTube, there's plenty of basic electric flight tutorials.

Bob Cotsford12/09/2019 13:54:10
8381 forum posts
463 photos

The standard as such seems to be to use bullet connectors between the motor and esc (Electronic Speed Controller), indeed many units are supplied with bullets fitted. For smaller models I would use 3mm with male on the motor leads and female on the esc. Dont forget to cover the exposed portions of the connectors with heat shrink tubing though.

For the battery to esc connection it's less clear cut, many of us standardise on whichever connector cames on our favourite brand of battery when we started this lark. You are looking at models running sub-200W setups so any connectors rated for 20A or more will suffice - 3, 3.5 or 4mm bullets, 'Deans' style also known as T plugs, EC3 (shrouded 3.5 bullets in polarised housings), XT30 (again shrouded bullets in polarised housing) and no doubt there are other options. My current favourites are the XT style but that's just personal choice, EC3 would be just as good for a polarised connector at this size.

Switches are not usually fitted, plugging in the battery turns the system on but just remember to remove the prop when testing anything and keep clear of the prop whenever the system is connected. If the battery is connected just treat the motor as you would a running engine, even if the prop isn't turning.

kc12/09/2019 14:07:29
6414 forum posts
173 photos

Some Lipo batteries come with XT60 connectors already fitted so this would be a good thing to standardise on ( XT60 are yellow) Motors often come with bullet connectors already 3.5mm I think- so again a standard thing so just buy the matching 3.5 female parts to solder to the ESC, same with XT60 just buy the matching half -they are marked + and minus. Correct polarity is essential!

The 3 wires from ESC to motor can be inserted any way round - if the motor rotates the wrong way just swop any 2 wires round.

For safety it is essential to get everything done BEFORE fitting prop - far too easy to have an accident otherwise. Even just going into the TX memory to see what settings had been done caused the motor to start up inadvertantly on my workbench - fortunately I was standing behind! You won't believe the instant power of even a small brushless motor until you experience it.....

John Read 216/09/2019 19:21:40
3 forum posts

I would like to thank all those who replied to my original post - they certainly have made things clearer with their advice. I also went on YouTube ( I don't know why I didn't think of it before ! ) and found an excellent series of instruction videos under the Maker Hanger heading. I would certainly recommend these to anyone else who wants to explore the world of electric powered models that are radio controlled.

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