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Battery on bottom of power pod?

UKdanny

Junior Member
#1
How are people getting the wires from the top of the power pod to the underside so you can mount the battery close to the motor. ive just built the FT3D and its a stretch to get all the servos to the rx..its my 1st scratch built so im learning everything ... can any one post pics of the insides of there own FT3D?
 
#2
I usually cut a hole on bottom of the pod big enough to fit the power connector- but only on the ones I make with landing gear. I hate the thought of landing on my battery- even on grass. For that plane, I fit the battery inside the power pod, Makes it a little more difficult to fit together but it works.
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#3
I would love to post pictures of the inside of my FT3D for you. I spent a ton of time putting that thing together and making it look great. Then I tried to fly it with the alternative power system and that just didn't work at all! The plane was terribly under powered. I ended up damaging the plane a bit and that upset me so that I removed the electronics and set fire to the rest of the plane. I felt better when that was done. Now I'm waiting on the FT3D v2 that is said to be coming down the pipe.

As for the battery on the bottom of the plane I never thought too much of it. I planted a FT Delta on concrete once and damaged a battery but that was more my doing than a problem with the plane. Today however I was flying the Bloody Wonder and had an interesting problem. I started using the stronger 3M brand plastic velcro type thing. I can't remember what they call it. It is very strong and hasn't given me any problems. Today a 2200mAh battery came out of the rubber bands I wrapped around the battery and plane, and loose from the velcro and went through the prop! No damage done to the plane. I just had to replace the prop, but before I put anything back in the air I'll find a way to move that battery inside the plane or attach it much much better.

Interestingly enough the plane just flew level and straight until it more or less landed it's self. The motor of coarse stopped when the battery flew free from the plane so the frame just handled the landing. Find a good way to add landing gear to the Wonder and I'll use the thing as a great 2nd (maybe 3rd) plane for the next person I meet wanting to learn to fly.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#4
That 3M heavy duty velcro stuff is impressive. I had some laying around from some other projects and left a 4" piece in my pocket before putting my pants through the wash. Brand new with the backing still on the adhesive sides. Went through a full wash and dry...and the backing is still on. I cut a small piece off the other day curious to see if the adhesive still has any stick left to it...and it seems as good as new still. I was impressed!

I also had a similar situation with my BW today. Only it wasn't the battery I ejected. Was flying in about 15mph winds with even stronger gusts and was amazed at how well the BW was handling the winds in my novice hands. Was even having fun doing some acrobatics to show off for my wife and daughter. Then suddenly the plane appeared to just explode in mid-air. Pieces flying in every direction!

The power pod came down separate from the rest of the plane (leading me to assume the skewer had come loose) and hit the ground only about 5' away from where my girls were sitting. Scared my wife but delighted my daughter who loves recovering my wreckage and doesn't realize the potential danger. The plane itself just kept going. No electronics, no swappable pod - servo wires dangling out the bottom. Actually flew straighter than with me at the sticks I think. And with the wind I ended up on a good hike to go get it (wound up down in a ravine a couple hundred feet downwind) where it had landed better than it normally does when under my control :)

Oh and it turned out the skewer was still in the plane. What seems to have happened is the skewer just tore right through the foam of the power pod (and I had used board I covered in packing tape for this pod!) letting the pod come loose from the plane. The prop cut the servo wire to the ESC and the other two servo wires just got tugged loose. RX got tore off it's velcro and landed by itself, half of the prop landed by itself halfway between the pod and the plane, and the foam of the pod has lost all structural strength from the crash. The FT laser cut firewall is fine though despite the hard nose in hit! (Though this morning I cracked a FT firewall with a gentle nose over on my Old Fogey...I've noticed they either take a beating like nothing else or they crack straight across right above the top holes used to mount a 24g motor if you look at them funny.)

Most spectacular wreck I've had yet and barely a scratch on the plane itself since all the heavy bits landed separately :D
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#5
The power pod came off my FT Delta the day before yesterday. I too was flying in high wind. Gusts got up around 25mph. I put a 2200kv motor with a 6x4 prop on it. I made a low pass with the wind to look at the speed pulled around to the right and was making the trip back down the field for another pass when the pod just flew free from the rest of the plane. The battery went with the pod, the reciever stayed with the plane. I had control over nothing. Over all nothing was really damaged. The pin came out of the pod and that was really all that happened. I'm working on a way to lock the pin into the pod so I don't have that problem again. I don't think the pod was really designed for 80+ mph.

Back to the point of the OP, we do need to work on a mod to put the battery in the pod without too much trouble. Taking the pod off every time to work the battery in there is doable, but much more argravation than I would like. Lets all put our brains into it and see what we can get done.
 

Liemavick

Member
Mentor
#6
I started mounting my ESC on the bottom of the pods on the designs I can, which are most of them. That leaves more room in the pod for the battery. It also keeps the ESC out in the open where it can breath and stays cooler. As far as the skewers bailing in midair how about a small rubber O-ring, one slid onto each side of the skewer? I know they are out there we just need to find the perfect one thats sold by the 100, and not a buck a piece lol
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#7
I have had a skewer come loose on my nutball a few times - but I was using larger 1/4" dowels instead of bamboo skewers and the firewall fit very snugly on them so the pod didn't come off, just kind of dropped in the back and I was able to land and install a new dowel in the back.

Little O-rings would probably help if you're loosing skewers regularly. The foam just doesn't seem to stand up around the holes after a few insertions removals which is why I haven't been big on trying to put my battery inside the pod - I figure the fewer times I take the pod off/on the better the chance of the pod staying in place.

But I'm thinking my next pod for the 2826NTM I'll add some popsicle sticks over the holes to reinforce them and keep the foam from tearing like it did yesterday. That bigger motor, bigger ESC and 3 cell 2200mah battery are quite a bit heavier than the 24g motor and 3 cell 500mah battery I've been using on the smaller planes. Not only does that extra weight mean more damage when I crash but it also puts more stress on the foam around that rear skewer.
 

MrGravey

Senior Member
#8
I was thinking about getting a little bit larger rod to hold the pod on, drilling a small hole in the end of it and using the body pins from RC cars and trucks through those holes to keep the rod in. The 1/4" dowels mentioned about would make a better rod for this. I have used those in the past for just about everything as I like them over the recommended skewers. I planned to try this tonight when I repair the FT Delta anyway, so if it works out well I'll post some pictures. That should serve to make what I'm talking about clear to everyone.
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#9
FWIW the 1/4" dowels I used before switching to skewers I found at Walmart in the craft aisle. They were $.99 for a pack and while there aren't as many in the pack as you get in a pack of BBQ skewers they're MUCH stronger and you still get a lot of them. In fact they're stronger and straighter than the regular "hardwood" dowels I can get anywhere else in this town.

But that slightly larger rod also means a larger hole in the pod and that means an even greater chance of the failure I experienced. So I think I'll stick to using the BBQ skewers and just start adding a bit of popsicle stick to strengthen the area.

With the spitfire plans coming out this week I've got to get this high power pod rebuild ASAP :D
 

jhitesma

Some guy in the desert
Mentor
#10
Oh - and back on the original topic of batteries on the bottom. It does freak me out a bit to have my battery exposed if I don't have landing gear. Most of my flying is over desert and that means landing on rocks not nice soft grass. But honestly I've yet to have any problems with damaging my batteries by landing on them. I had a bigger problem with the battery in the Axon I built since being up front it took the brunt of any crashes and hard landings...still scared to do anything with the battery I last flew in that plane...it's REALLY smashed up...but still reads full voltage and hasn't puffed even though it sure looks like one of the pouches was damaged.
 
#11
When my skewers get a little loose (and a few hard landings will do it) I just wrap a smaller rubber band under the pod and around the exposed ends. I've used the small plastic washers you get with new propellers recessed and glued into the pod but even those will pull out with a hard hit. Now I use plastic hotel key cards (I travel a lot) with a hole drilled through. Old credit cards would work but I like the smoother hotel option.