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Power pods and battery location...inside or on bottom?

basslord1124

Well-known member
#1
I have a feeling this has been tackled before...

So while doing some of the builds and some of the standard size power pods, this got me wondering about battery location. And I was curious to see what other folks do and prefer. For the most part and on some designs, it seems like the obvious place for the battery would be velcroed to the bottom of the power pod. To me, I just kinda feel like that's a bad location as on some models it may stick out from the bottom which could possibly damage your battery if you have a hard landing. Then there is always inside the power pod which to me would work good for ones like the FT Simple Cub and the FT Simple Storch. Although for some things, removing the power pod can be pain b/c of wiring or for other reasons.

I started thinking that for some of those designs where the battery is exposed on the bottom (like the FT Bloody Baron is one I am finishing up), I'm thinking of cutting the actual power pod. Basically use a small portion of the pod for the motor and ESC, and then possibly take the other larger section of it and flipping it upside down inside the fuse. So the exposed part would be facing down and I can attach my velcro/battery there. Then this part of the pod I can BBQ skewer to lock in or even glue it. That way, the battery is easily accessible from the bottom but it is not as much exposed on the bottom as it'll sit higher up inside the fuse and not be prone as much to hitting the ground. Hopefully that makes sense.

I suppose sometimes it just depends on the model and what works best. And I am trying to explore ways to make it to where damage will less likely occur AND make the battery easy to install/remove. Thoughts/suggestions?
 

mrjdstewart

Well-known member
#2
i put my battery in the pod for my Bloody Baron. most the others though it is on the outside stuck to the bottom. removing and stuffing the pod can be a real pain. plus every time you remove those bbq skewers you run the chance of missing the hole, or widening the existing. doesn't take long before the pod is now wiggling around. i know people use credit cards and other things to help prevent this but i just hate pulling pods and will do everything i can to avoid once in.

my $.02,

me :cool:
 
#4
Cant stand the skewers, I try to eliminate them s much as possible, using nylon bolts to hold the power pods in. The 2 skewers that go through the firewall is ok though.
I've also been eliminating the self adhesive velcro, seems to always let go when it gets cold outside. I've been using velcro straps instead.
have you thought about making a protective case for your battery? I haven't done it but Have seen some 3D printed ones.
 
#5
I am new to the hobby, but have been wondering about this as well. Currently my battery is in the pod in my simple cub. Would another benefit of mounting battery on underside of pod be that it lowers the CG? Or does that even matter?
 

evranch

Active member
#7
I put my batteries inside my airplanes, I don't like the idea of landing on them. Your Baron idea is pretty good and if you are going to combat fly it, you definitely want your RX and ESC contained so they will not be ejected on impact. Make sure you don't block airflow past your ESC as well, since the standard power pod is open at the back.

I put fiber tape over my BBQ skewer holes and it seems to do fine at keeping them from tearing. Self-adhesive velcro always comes unstuck in Canadian winters, even hot gluing it often the stiff velcro grips more firmly than the paper on the foamboard. I have been trying rubber bands to hold my packs down.

@mattadata There is no real concern with "high/low" CG on aircraft as far as stability is concerned.
 
#8
While I like the power pod idea, I find that I don't swap them out between models as is the intent. On my newer models, I've generally shortened the pod to hold just the motor firewall and ESC, or eliminated them completely in favor of another firewall design. The extra foam greatly reduces the size battery you can put in some planes and on others makes it difficult to access the battery as many have already experienced.
 

buzzbomb

I know nothing!
#9
I am actually way outside of the consensus on this one. To me the PowerPod is not swappable. It's sacrificial. It takes the hits and gets destroyed so the plane may live on.

It serves it's purpose. It gets destroyed, that my plane (and all the expensive other stuff) will live. The balance of crash-forces was beautifully mastered to accomplish that. To then put that PowerPod into another plane and fly it as well? Not frackin' likely! Not for me anyway. Did I mention that I crash a lot? No? I probably should have. ;)
 

basslord1124

Well-known member
#10
Cant stand the skewers, I try to eliminate them s much as possible, using nylon bolts to hold the power pods in. The 2 skewers that go through the firewall is ok though.
I've also been eliminating the self adhesive velcro, seems to always let go when it gets cold outside. I've been using velcro straps instead.
have you thought about making a protective case for your battery? I haven't done it but Have seen some 3D printed ones.
I'm ok with skewers as long as I don't have to constantly remove the pod. I did do some balsa wood sheet reinforcements on my Storch's power pod. BUT, I'm starting to lean towards making a hatch for it so I don't have to remove the pod and placing the battery inside.

I still use velcro in the traditional sense, BUT I've always added a velcro strap too. Even though I've never had issues with the normal velcro application, I still add a strap for that sort of "better safe than sorry" approach. I don't want that battery to move while in flight. On my Mini Scout, I am actually using rubber bands wrapped around the power pod skewers to act as my "velcro strap" in that case. It seems to work fine too. I'm unsure if I will leave it this way though. My micro Horizon planes are the only ones that don't use a strap...but they use 1 cell lipos anyways.

@mattadata ... yeah it really shouldn't affect your CG that much if you put it on the bottom. I tried on the bottom with my Cub but it just made it really awkward and hard for removal. So I'm moving mine inside the pod.

@tamuct01 ...same here. I originally went in thinking of utilizing the power pod design like it was intended (even the wife thought it was a great idea), but it hasn't panned out like that. Each plane I would check out next would be a completely different power/motor setup plus I just wanted each plane to basically be ready...just bind and go.

I love your approach @buzzbomb . I crash a lot too. lol.
 

mayan

Well-known member
#11
I think it really depends on the model not all models have enough real estate for the battery to go in them. I personally prefer them inside to avoid them getting damaged. Had a case with the TT where I landed on something that punctured one of the battery cells and I assume that battery was worth nothing afterwards. If I have to put the battery outside I'll either hold it down with a piece velcro on the power pod and one on the battery and a add more security using a velcro strap too or I'll use remaining push rod pieces in the front ant two points on the bottom of the battery, and that makes it not move at all.
 
#12
I also do not think it is worth the trouble to swap power pods. Velcro never works good for me. I have the simple cub and simple scout. I added a top hatch to the cub and a removable top cover for the scout. The batteries are inside and stay with the plane in the case of a non-controlled end to the flight
 

sprzout

Knower of useless information
Mentor
#13
Ok, honestly, it depends on the plane. My Versa Wing, I cut a hole in the top of the wing for the battery to sit in, put a velcro strip across the bottom AND put velcro tabs through the wing and around a paint stick that was glued to the inside bottom of the wing, for structural integrity. It also added a small bit of weight to get it balanced properly, and strengthened it for combat purposes.

I built a Nutball and put the battery on TOP of the plane, rather than inside the power pod, like they originally said to do so; part of it is that the dimensions of my battery (3S 2200mAh) were VERY tight, allowing no airflow inside the power pod. Also, it meant the ESC had to be pushed to almost immediately behind the motor, and it was not conducive to proper airflow. Best thing I found about doing that, though, is that the plane actually balanced a lot better, and with the battery on, I got about a 15' glide on a glide test, from something that, per the president of our club said, "They fly like $#!&!" (He's an old guy and per his words, "I lack a profanity filter." LOL)

I'd honestly say that it depends on the plane. Sea Duck, I definitely leave it inside the plane, although it doesn't go into a power pod...MiG-3? I put it into the power pod because that was the easiest place to put it. It honestly, really depends on the plane, and I have to think about how to get airflow on/around it, if I can...