30-3 Motor/ 40-3P Controller
45-3 Motor/ 40-3P Opto Controller
For quite a few years, electric flyers have recognized the efficiency and performance advantages possessed by brushless motors. From hot sport ships to sizzling F5B and F5D competition aircraft, brushless motors have been the only way to go if you wanted the ultimate in performance. As a further advantage, brushless motors provided almost carefree maintenance - there were no mechanical wear points, other than the bearings (and these will normally last beyond the life of the motor, if they aren't damaged). All this did not come without a price however - brushless motors (and their required controllers) were expensive, and the bulky size of the controllers often relegated the motors to larger and/or specialized aircraft. Plus, the maze of wiring provided its own complexity. All this is about to change, however. With the introduction of the Phasor brushless motors and sensorless controllers, Jeti has provided a package that competes very favorably with other brushless motors in size/weight/bulk, and aggressive pricing by Hobby Lobby International (www.hobby-lobby.com) gives these systems even standing with many rare-earth magnet brush motors/controllers. This is definitely a wonderful time to be an e-modeler!
In reviewing motor systems, I don't have the equipment to thoroughly analyze the motor/controller and provide all the technical specs (other than what the manufacturer provides), so I'll take a different approach: how does it perform in real life. When you get down to it, that's what matters most when we get to the field. With each of these two motor systems, I looked at a couple of typical installations to see how these relatively new motors compared with existing known setups.
I don't have a lot of details about the construction of the Jeti Phasor motors, but I was able to get a glimpse into the innards of one while I visited Hobby Lobby International this summer. Brushless motors are actually fairly simple - essentially, you have the windings on the case wall, while the magnets are attached to the shaft. From what I can tell, the Jeti motors appear to be well made. They are not really serviceable (and there really isn't much to service, anyway), so if you plant one hard enough to damage it, you'll probably need to send it back to Hobby Lobby. Rather than repairing motors, Hobby Lobby will replace your damaged motor at half price. Fortunately, these are pretty stout motors. You'll have to do a nice job of crashing to make repairs necessary.
Jeti Phasor 30-3 brushless motor and Jeti 40-3P sensorless controller
|The Jeti Phasor 30-3 motor and 40-3P controller||My Hobbico Viper with the Jeti motor system installed|
The 30-3 variant of the Phasor motors is intended to be a direct-drive motor spinning props in the 9 inch to 11-inch diameter range on 8 - 10 cells. Hobby Lobby makes the following recommendations: for electric powered sailplanes: 8 to 10 cells, 10x6 or 11x6 prop, 26 to 35 Amps; for electric sport aerobatic airplanes: 10 cells, 9x7 or 9.5x7 prop, 30 to 34 Amps. This was a perfect match for my Hobbico Viper Q-500 plane. I've been flying it with an Aveox 1409/3y on 10x 1700 mAh Sanyo cells and an APC 9x7 prop, making an excellent basis for comparison. Performance has been superb, so it would be interesting to see how this newcomer stacked up. A second item of interest would be to compare the sensorless Jeti system with the sensored Aveox system. What differences would I see? I've heard a number of things about sensorless motors, so I was anxious to try one.
|Jeti 30-3 motor and 40-3P controller shown with Aveox 1409/3Y motor and L160 controller... I added the Anderson Power Pole connectors to both assemblies.|
(Weight values include connectors)
Compared to my Aveox 1409/3y, the performance is identical. Both motors turn an APC 9x7 prop 11,100 rpm on 10 1700mAh cells (although the Jeti combination pulls about an amp more in the process). The Jeti controller is smaller (same length, but thinner and narrower) and lighter (1 oz) than my L160 controller (I should point out, however, that the L160 controller is designed to handle more current), and the sensorless controller offers the additional advantage of a very simple setup. Instead of the usual three motor wires and five hall-sensor wires, these controllers have only three motor wires, and gold-plated bullet connectors make connections easy and clean. Reversing the motor is simple - change the connection order of any two of the three motor wires (no motor retiming is required - that's all handled in the controller). I found that the Jeti controller has some of the smoothest throttling I've seen, but it does have a few quirks that are apparently common to sensorless controllers. When you first turn the switch on, the prop may jump slightly as the controller determines the motor position. I also found the "idle speed" a little high - the motor will only drop down to around 2300 rpm, compared to 1300 rpm for the Aveox controller. I can get both motors a little lower if I play with my throttle stick, but thatís pretty much where another click will stop the motor. Of course, most planes won't be flying at speeds that low, so it probably isn't an issue for most pilots (except possibly when using the prop as a speed brake on landing). Advancing the throttle is a little surprising at first - the motor will suddenly jump to life at the higher "minimum" speed, but then it's very smooth and linear throughout the rest of the throttle range.
Pat Mattes recently tried out a Jeti Phasor 30-3 motor in his 2.75 lb. Sig Wonder. He is using 8x1700-mAh cells and a 9x9 prop (9x6.5 folding prop with a twisted yoke for extra pitch). Pat was pleased with the way the plane flew previously, using the same setup and an Astro geared 035, but he says the Jeti motor was like adding afterburner. Loops are huge, it will nearly go vertical, and he actually was able to get the plane to make 3 turns in a torque roll! Pat also commented that he really likes the smooth Jeti 40-3P controller. It sets up to match your transmitter with only a beep, then gives you full transmitter range and a very nice feel. Just to see the other side of the performance spectrum, Pat decided to see now long he could fly the Wonder. By keeping at low level and using a minimum of power, Pat was able to pull 17 minutes out of his 1700's. Not bad! He did say the controller was getting kind of hot by that time, however.
Now it was time for me to try the 30-3 motor in my Jerry. The Jerry is a sleek, hotline-type sailplane, sporting an 83-inch wingspan and 510 sq. in. of wing area. With a typical weight of around 5 lb., it would take some power to haul it up really fast. I actually ended up trying the 30-3 by accident. I had the 45-3 on hand at this time (which I was intending to use in the Jerry, per Hobby Lobby recommendations), and the 30-3 was sitting idle as well, since I needed to go back to my Aveox 1409/3Y in the Viper to test out a new brushless controller. I guess I wasn't wearing my reading glasses and I pulled the wrong motor out of the box. Without realizing it, I installed the 30-3 into the Jerry instead of the 45-3! Even more interesting, I thought I was using the Opto version of the controller, which is rated for 6 - 16 cells, 40 amps, and does not have BEC. Instead, I was using the BEC version, also rated for 40 amps but only up to 12 cells. As a result, I ended up running 14 cells, up to 55 amps, and a separate receiver pack through this controller, exceeding every specification. Amazingly, it worked just fine! In addition to the Jeti Phasor 30-3 motor and 40-3P controller, my setup used an 11x6 Graupner CAM folding prop, 14 SR Max 2400 cells (http://www.srbatteries.com/banners/efpacks.htm), Multiplex IPD receiver, 350 mAh 4-cell receiver pack, and 3 Hitec HS-81 servos for an all-up weight of 82 oz.
|Installation of the Jeti Phasor 30-3 motor and Jeti 40-3P controller into the Jerry... The Jerry has plenty of room for the 14-cell battery pack.|
My tachometer really surprised me, showing the 30-3 motor turning the Graupner CAM 11x6 prop at 11,800 rpm on a full charge pulling 55 amps, and still turning the prop at 10,800 rpm near the end of the charge pulling 42 amps. That's somewhere in the glow .46 - .60 range! The effect? How about essentially vertical climbs?! The Jerry will climb over 500 ft in 5 - 10 seconds. It's not quite F5B, but it is close enough to give you a good feel of the thrill. It's fun to put on a show with this plane, rolling during steep climbs or rocketing up inverted. It is very attention getting! The plane itself is a joy anyway, easy to fly, capable of hotrod aerobatics, and soaring like it had an anti-gravity device, but this extreme power only makes it that much more fun. It seems to be very efficient power, too, allowing numerous climbs on one charge. I don't think I've ever flown anything this fun!
Jeti Phasor 45-3 Motor and Jeti 40-3 Opto Sensorless Controller
While I was testing the Jeti Phasor 30-3 motor, I also received a Jeti Phasor 45/3 motor and Jeti 40-3P Opto controller for testing. According to the Hobby Lobby catalog, they recommend the following setups for the 45-3 motor: for electric powered sailplanes: 12 to 14 cells, 11x6 or 11x7 prop, 28 to 33 Amps; for electric sport aerobatic airplanes: 14 to 16 cells, 10x7 or 10.5x7 prop, 30 to 38 Amps. My plans were to use this motor on 14 cells in my Jerry to see how it stacked up as glider hauler for the review, but while I was finishing up some work on the Jerry, I loaned it Ken Johnson to try with his Fun One .40 powered glow ship. Ken has been really enjoying electric flight, and he had wanted to convert his last glow plane to e-power. He wasn't sure it would have the performance he wanted - at least at a reasonable price. The Jeti 45/3 caught his interest, so we struck up a deal - he could try mine, and if he liked it he could buy me a replacement motor later on when I finished the Jerry. Otherwise, he could just turn it back to glow and return the motor to me. I thought the motor would fly the plane quite well, but the results surprised us both. Despite the extra weight of 16 2000 mAh cells, the e-powered version actually out-performs the glow version (O.S. .40 FP).
Here are the specs on the plane:
- Great Planes Fun One
- 53" wingspan
- 42" length
- 558 sq. in wing area
Originally, the Fun One was set up with an OS .40 FP engine and a 10x6 or 10x7 propeller. Gas weight was 79.35 oz. The current electric weight is now 106 oz. The wing loading difference is 20.6 oz/sq. ft. vs. 27.4 oz/sq. ft., making landings a little hotter (although they were pretty fast as it was). The replacement fuel consists of two, eight cell 2000mAh or 2400mAh Sanyo NiCad packs. The motor is mounted using an AERO-VEE motor mount, bolted to the firewall. Outside of the changes required to mount the motor and batteries, nothing else was changed on the plane. Ken measured the current at 33-35A, turning a 10x7 Master Airscrew Scimitar propeller approximately 11,500 rpm. Ken's Fun One rockets off the ground, is fully aerobatic, and pulls some very long vertical lines. One observer at our flying field was overheard saying "If I could get a d* *n electric to fly like that, I'd get one too. Look, that electric's going vertical!" What more can you say? With that kind of performance, Ken was well pleased and the motor stayed in his plane.
Jerry, Part II
Once I figured out my embarrassing, but very informative mistake of using the 30-3 in the Jerry while thinking it was a 45-3, it was time to try out the real 45-3. Knowing the high current draw potential, I decided to go with the 70-amp Jeti controller this time. A little playing around with one of the electric flight calculation programs told me that a CAM 13x7 prop should be a pretty good choice. Virtual modeling only goes so far, however, and I found that just as with the 30-3, my rpm results were better than predicted, while my current draw was lower. I can live with that! I'm getting a little ahead of myself at this point, however. First, I had to figure out how to supply the electrons that make this thing turn. Again, I used virtual modeling as a tool and opted to try out both 14 and 16 cell packs, both using 2400 mAh cells. The 14-cell pack (two 7-cell packs) was the same SR Batteries pack I used in the Jerry the first time, while I used a pair of Hobby Lobby 8-cell packs to make up the 16-cell pack.
|Before flying, I recorded some performance data.|
The extra weight of the 45-3 motor, a larger receiver pack (I switched to a 600 mAh pack instead of my older 350 mAh pack, which I was beginning to distrust), and (in the case of the 16 cell pack) the extra cells bumped the weight of the Jerry to 85 oz with 14 cells and 89 oz with 16 cells. Despite the weight increase, I didn't see any notable change in general flight characteristics or landing speed. Running on 14 cells, I found the Jerry to have a very strong climb, pretty much identical to the 30-3 equipped version - on the edge of straight vertical, but less speed (still pretty fast, though) and a lower current draw. Going to 16 cells pulled the speed back up equivalent to the 30-3 version, and really heated up the climb. Pure, straight vertical climbs as high as you care to go. Climb is actually faster at a lower angle, but it sure is spectacular to watch it go straight up. Although this setup pulled 50 amps, it was still less than the 55 amps of the 30-3. This is probably the setup I'll be keeping in my plane. Flying a ship like this is a real rush, and being able to fly at this performance level with the simplicity and low cost of the Jeti motors makes it that much more pleasurable.
I did find one sort of interesting thing about powering up the Phasor motors in my Jerry. If you just firewall the throttle, it seems to spool up in two stages - there's an initial medium speed for a moment, then it hits full bore and just rockets away. I'm sure there must be something to how the sensorless motors/controllers work in detecting position, timing, or some such thing. Whatever the case, it's something of an advantage - the startup torque is a little less, reducing the likelihood of torquing your plane over on launch.
With very competitive pricing and outstanding performance, the Jeti Phasor motors represent a tremendous value. They won't be for everyone - while I've heard of gearboxes being fitted to the Phasor motors, they are sold as direct-drive motors only. Also, the controllers limit the usable cell counts to a certain extent and they don't idle at the very low rpm's that some modelers like (such as for scale applications). However, if you have a plane that can make use of one of these systems, I think you'll be very pleased with their performance. I really like my Phasor motors, and I give them a high recommendation.
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