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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:44 PM
F3A Team Finland
Finnspeed's Avatar
Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
941 Posts
Idea
Ultra light BEC for F3P etc. - NEW version v. 1.1

New info:

I now have a new, slightly improved version available. The changes vs. v.1.0 are:
  • Lighter, now only 0.30 g on the average
  • Unnecessary (for most of us) signal connection deleted and more copper for cooling added
  • Professional grade circuit board with ENIG (Nickel/Gold) plating
  • Red color

I have also renamed the device as "RH Design picoBEC v. 1.1". Someone suggested changing the name since uBEC may potentially cause confusion as this is a linear BEC, not switching one.

I still build these by hand since it is impossible to know how popular this will be and production costs are prohibitive for this kind of things that sell a few tens of units during season. Since the new PCB is much more expensive than what was used in the first version, I have to increase the price slightly. The new price will be 26 Eur a piece and shipping will be still 2 Eur world wide.

Original post:

I'm writing this to ask if there would be any interest for this super light and small BEC board or microBEC = uBEC. It has been specifically designed to be used as a companion for the YGE4 and YGE7 ESCs that don't have an internal BEC. It was used in all four planes of the Finnish F3P team in the World Championships, Coburg 2013.

In addition to F3P the uBEC might be usable in small gliders such as DLG or F3K.

The output voltage is programmable with three settings:
- 5.2 V
- 5.5 V
- 5.8 V (default)

The voltages have been selected with the small digital servos in mind that do not tolerate 6 V or above voltages, such as the Hitec HS-5035HD. Since the BEC is aimed for F3P competition planes, it is very light. The prototype in the picture weighs 0.45 g but it is possible to reduce the weight further maybe down to 0.35 g.

Other technical features:

- Reverse battery protection
- Current limiting with foldback and thermal limiting (= practically indestructible and protects your RX and servos as well from reverse polarity)
- Max input voltage is 20 V but do remember that this is a linear regulator and the device heats up (way) faster when input-output differential increases. Thus it is recommended to use a 2S LiPo as a power supply.
- Max continuous current is 1.1 A (1.7 A max for a couple of seconds) provided that the input-output differential is small and there's some air flow around the bec.
- The voltage programming is carried out by soldering/desoldering two solder bridges.

If there's enough interest, it is possible to do a small production run so that everyone who need it would get one. The price would be somewhere between 29€ and 35€. Janne Lappi has already asked this on his Facebook page (and has received some initial orders) but we need more responses.

So, what do you think?

Edit: Please see message #3 for the final details. There was a slight change in the plans after posting this and the production units look exactly like the photos attached here. The latest instruction sheet can be found from message #4.
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Last edited by Finnspeed; Dec 16, 2014 at 02:28 AM. Reason: New version announced
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 05:33 PM
Professional idiot
Hampshire, UK
Joined Jun 2002
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I saw mention of this in one of the other threads and thought it sounded like a great idea.

I'll commit to a couple of them if price stays as suggested.

Dave K
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Old Jul 18, 2013, 03:10 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
941 Posts
These are now available for order. Mass producing them turned out to be too costly so I'm assembling these by hand for now, using the first version of the circuit board.

It works perfectly and the only downside using the original prototype board is that is 0.8 mm thick while a mass produced version could have used 0.6 mm board to minimize weight. Now the ones I have built weigh 0.42 g +-0.2 g and their size is 11 x 16 mm.

Attached is the first version of the instruction sheet. Note that the 1.1 A maximum current is only achievable with the voltage set to maximum (5.8 V) and under very good air flow. In any case, I'm sure the BEC will easily handle any F3P pattern flying application. I think this BEC could be used in F3K as well if a single cell is not sufficient.

Since the board is not the lightened version, I'm selling these for 25 € each. Email me at RH_design (at) outlook.com (remove spaces and use @ in the middle) for shipping and payment details.
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Old Aug 01, 2013, 12:38 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
941 Posts
Update

At the moment I'm running low of the ready built items (just now I still have 3 in stock) but have parts to build more as soon as my hand heals enough. I broke my wrist in a bicycle accident a couple of weeks ago...

I hope I can start building the next batch in a couple of weeks!

Meanwhile, I attached a slightly revised version of the instruction sheet here. No major changes, just added exact weight and dimensions etc.
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Old Aug 02, 2013, 04:03 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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Another Update

My stock is all gone for now.

I will update this thread as soon as I can start building the next batch. It should be possible in three weeks I hope. I also wait impatiently to be able to fly again...
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Old Aug 29, 2013, 03:24 PM
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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Next batch

OK, I tried this week and my hand works well enough to solder some SMD stuff already. It is healing well and I'm positive I can start building the next batch after I have returned from a little trip next week.

I will let you know when the uBECs are available to order.
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Old Sep 06, 2013, 01:26 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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The microBECs will be available soon

I started building the next small batch today. I expect to have the units ready for ordering by the end of next week.

See post #3 above or the instruction sheet for my email address.
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Old Sep 17, 2013, 04:48 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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New batch

I have now a new batch ready for shipping. Since I'm building these by hand, the stock is rather small though. See post #3 for contact and price info.

Since the uBEC is very light, the postage costs are very moderate for most parts of the world. Typically it is only 2€ per shipment.
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Old Sep 18, 2013, 09:34 AM
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I am glad you are producing these, but I think calling the product a UBEC (or even uBEC) is a bit misleading, as they are linear regulators, not switching ones.

Neil.
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Old Sep 18, 2013, 02:58 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Joined Nov 2005
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I have no intention to cause confusion by implying that this is a switching BEC. It clearly is not. The little "u" in the name is (or is supposed to be) actually the Greek my meaning "micro" but it is somewhat difficult to type quickly using standard PC keyboard.

Sorry if I have mislead someone.
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 05:42 AM
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Maybe you could call them nanoBECs or picoBECs? That doesn't have the switching connotation, and means even smaller than a uBEC!

Neil.
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Old Sep 19, 2013, 01:53 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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Neil, that is a good idea but there's a problem: The silk screen print on the PCB already says uBEC... However, if I ever create a next improved (lighter) version, that will definitely be a picoBEC!

If I have understood correctly, someone started using the name UBEC (as Über BEC or something like that - I don't know what else the capital letter U would mean) from their switching BEC. Most manufacturers use SBEC instead.
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Old Oct 21, 2013, 02:51 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
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Stock update

I just sold out the latest batch and have been too busy at work to start building the next one. However, things should calm down enough that I can build the next batch within a couple of weeks. I will post another update when I know more exact dates.
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 02:21 PM
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Joined Nov 2004
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Right now I am flying with this tiny unit in my new pattern plane, it can handle 4 x JR188, and works great whole flight. I can recommend this unit for everyone that try to save weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnspeed View Post
I'm writing this to ask if there would be any interest for this super light and small BEC board or microBEC = uBEC. It has been specifically designed to be used as a companion for the YGE4 and YGE7 ESCs that don't have an internal BEC. It was used in all four planes of the Finnish F3P team in the World Championships, Coburg this year.

In addition to F3P the uBEC might be usable in small gliders such as DLG or F3K.

The output voltage is programmable with three settings:
- 5.2 V (default)
- 5.5 V
- 5.8 V

The voltages have been selected with the small digital servos in mind that do not tolerate 6 V or above voltages, such as the Hitec HS-5035HD. Since the BEC is aimed for F3P competition planes, it is very light. The prototype in the picture weighs 0.45 g but it is possible to reduce the weight further maybe down to 0.35 g.

Other technical features:

- Reverse battery protection
- Current limiting with foldback and thermal limiting (= practically indestructible and protects your RX and servos as well from reverse polarity)
- Max input voltage is 20 V but do remember that this is a linear regulator and the device heats up (way) faster when input-output differential increases. Thus it is recommended to use a 2S LiPo as a power supply.
- Max continuous current is 1.1 A (1.7 A max for a couple of seconds) provided that the input-output differential is small and there's some air flow around the bec.
- The voltage programming is carried out by soldering/desoldering two solder bridges.

If there's enough interest, it is possible to do a small production run so that everyone who need it would get one. The price would be somewhere between 29€ and 35€. Janne Lappi has already asked this on his Facebook page (and has received some initial orders) but we need more responses.

So, what do you think?
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Old Oct 22, 2013, 05:09 PM
F3A Team Finland
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Järvenpää, Finland
Joined Nov 2005
941 Posts
Donatas, thanks for the kind words and testing the four servo case!

I hope there will be some flight videos soon...
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