Moving Sale at Innov8tive Designs

Hello Everyone!

A lot has been happening here at Innov8tive Designs over the past few months, and a few big changes are on the horizon!  At the end of November this year, we will be relocating Innov8tive Designs to my home town of Monroe, Michigan.  We have been here in Southern California since the company started 10 years ago, back in October of 2006.  Since then we have grown to be the premier source of electric power systems in North America providing both Scorpion and Cobra motors and speed controllers, along with a wide variety of props and other power system accessories.

As part of our move, we will be having  HUGE inventory reduction sale at our current location in Vista, California on October 22nd and 23rd from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm both days. We will have thousands of items available for sale at discount and close-out prices including: Motors, Speed Controllers, Batteries, Propellers, Servo Extensions, Motor Connectors, Multirotor Kits, Tons of Multirotor Parts, Servos, Spinners and more!  There will also be free gifts for everyone that attends, and we will also have free bottled water and soft drinks for all of the shoppers.

Since Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year, in addition to the Clearance items, we will be having a special Halloween Spooktacular sale with 20% off all regular in-stock merchandise not already marked down for all of the people that attend this event.  You must visit our warehouse to take advantage of this special sale event. Be sure to set aside this weekend to head on down to Vista, California to take advantage of this once in a lifetime sales event! Everything MUST GO, so no reasonable offers will be refused!  We will be set up to take payment in Cash, PayPal or Credit Cards.

In addition to the items from Innov8tive Designs, I will also be selling a large number of my own personal items including: RC Airplane Kits, Built Aircraft, Helicopters, Multirotor Kits, Built Multirotors, Radios, Servos, Batteries, Chargers, Power Supplies, Computers, Printers, Tools, Balsa Wood, Bundles of Fan-Fold Foam, 4’x8′ sheets of 2-pound EPS foam in several thicknesses, foam cutting equipment, computers, monitors and much more!

The entire list of the items that will be available for sale, along with directions to our facility, is available for download in PDF format at the following link.

Innov8tive Designs Moving Sale Flyer

Our address here is:

Innov8tive Designs, Inc.
1495 Poinsettia Avenue, Suite 144
Vista, California  92081

I look forward to personally meeting many of you on October 22nd and 23rd for this huge event!

See you there,

Lucien

Electric Motor Numbers: What Do They Mean?

When you get started with Electric Power Systems, there is a lot you need to learn to fully understand how these systems work.  In addition to learning all the ins and outs of the components themselves, there is an entirely new language of numbers and terms that need to be learned and understood to be able to fully understand electric power systems.  In this post, I am going to explain everything you need to know about electric power systems, and what all of the numbers actually mean.

Motor Constants

There are specific motor constants that are used to describe various parameters regarding the motors.  Understanding these numbers will allow you to speak intelligently to other modelers about motors, without sounding like a complete noob!

Kv – Motor Velocity Constant

Kv does not stand for Kilovolts, as many people will commonly say!  It is the Velocity Constant of the motor, and is typically expressed in the units of RPM per Volt.  The Kv value of a motor tells you how fast the motor will spin as a function of the applied voltage, and nothing more.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the size of the motor or the power output of the motor.  Telling someone that you need a 1000 Kv motor means about as much as telling them you need a blue motor! Continue reading

What Size Motor Do I Need?

When you build a model that is designed to be powered by an electric motor, most of the time the kit manufacturer already gives recommended motor sizes.  This is especially true if the kit manufacturer is large company like Horizon or Great Planes, who also sells electric power systems.  For other kit manufacturers, or for models that were originally designed for glow engines, picking the right motor can be a bit challenging.  In today’s blog post, I am going to go through the steps of selecting the correct Motor, ESC, Battery and prop for an aircraft.

To begin this process, you need to know a few things about the model.  Most important are the weight of the model, the type of model, the desired flight speed and the desired flight duration.  With these specifications, a power system can easily be chosen which will provide the required power.

There are a few rules of thumb that I like to go by when selecting a power system for a model.  The first ones are for Glow to Electric conversions.  For a decent, ball-bearing ABC type 2-stroke glow engine, each cubic inch of displacement is roughly equal to 2000 watts of electrical input power.  To get the required wattage motor for a model, you simply multiply the engine displacement by 2000, and you get the required number of watts. Continue reading

Linear BEC’s versus Switching BEC’s

Quite often in emails from customers I get asked the question, “What is the difference between a Linear BEC and a Switching BEC?”  This is actually a pretty good questions, and knowing the difference between the two can really help in selecting the right speed controller for a model.

Well, the simple answer is that a Linear BEC throws away excess voltage by converting it to heat, while a Switching BEC does it by turning on and off really fast as needed to pass through the required voltage.  Unfortunately, that does not tell you very much!  Since I like to pass on educational information to fellow hobbyists whenever possible, the complete answer to this question is explained below.

In all BEC’s, the object is to step down the voltage level of the motor battery to a lower value, typically between 5 and 6 volts, so you can power the radio receiver and servos directly from the motor battery.  This eliminates the need to carry a separate 4-cell or 5-cell, Ni-Cad or Ni-MH, battery pack in the plane to run the receiver and servos.  This is where the BEC gets its name, since BEC stands for “Battery Eliminator Circuit”.  The BEC eliminates the need to have a separate battery on board to power the Receiver and Servos.

The batteries used to power RC aircraft are normally Li-Po type, and can be anywhere from 2 cells (7.4 volts) up to 12 cells (44.4 volts).  The receiver and servos are typically designed to be operated from 5 to 6 volts, so the battery voltage from the motor needs to be dropped down to a lower level, so it can safely be used to power the receiver and servos.  There are two different ways to drop down the voltage level from the battery pack to the correct level, Linear BEC circuits and Switching BEC circuits. Continue reading

Prop Selection and Care for FPV Quads

Unless you have been living under a rock, it is pretty hard not to notice that FPV Quad Racing  has become the biggest thing to hit RC this decade!  These tiny little craft, often weighing less than a pound, sport thrust to weight ratios in excess of 8 to 1, and can accelerate from 0 to 100 MPH faster than any exotic sports car, and turn faster than a cheetah trying to catch its next meal!

With props spinning in excess of 40,000 RPM on some of these craft, propeller selection, as well as proper maintenance of the props and power system, becomes more important than ever.  Unfortunately, many pilots have no idea what is happening in their power systems, and the demands that are being put on them often cause in-flight failures that can be easily avoided.

The typical power system for the smaller 200mm FPV quads consists of a set of four 2204 or 2205 motors, four matching ESC’s, four 5 inch props and a 4-cell Li-Po battery with a capacity of around 1300 to 1500 mah.  At full throttle, each motor can pull 20 amps of current, so a set of four motors is trying to pull 80 amps of current from a little 1500 mah battery pack.  This represents a discharge rate of 53C, and really pushes the poor little batteries to their breaking point.

The biggest problem that I see is that pilots slap props on their quads, without ever looking up how much current the prop actually pulls from the motor.  In most cases, the prop pulls more than the recommended full throttle current from the motor, which will cause the motor to fail eventually.  It may take 10 flights, 20 flights or even more, depending on how hard the motor is being pushed, and this gives the pilot a false sense of security.  Because the motor does not fail withing 20 seconds of the first flight, the pilot thinks that there is nothing wrong, and then is surprised when the “Magic smoke” comes pouring out of the motor 20 flights later. Continue reading