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KDE Direct Goblin Battery Tray System - Review

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Introduction


KDE Direct Battery Tray System
Material:Aluminum 6061-T6, AISI 1095 Blue-Tempered HC Spring Steel
Models:all SAB Heli Division Goblin 630, 700, and 770 series.
Finish:Clear anodize, mirror-polish CNC gloss Primary Base Clear hard-anodize (teflon-impregnation), mirror-polish CNC gloss Push Lock
Price:$98.95, $135.95 w/ Battery Tray Upgrade V2
Manufacturer:KDE Direct
Available From:KDE Direct

I enjoy flying my Goblin 700, but if I'm honest the o-rings that keep the batteries in place can be a little frustrating some times. The o-rings wear out and need to be replaced regularly, and I sometimes find myself fighting them when trying to secure the batteries in place. Once in place, they do an excellent job of keeping the batteries where they need to be, but wouldn't it be nice if there was an easier and quicker way to get your batteries in there?

That's what Patrick Koegler at KDE Direct thought, and he proceeded to design a quick release removable battery tray for the Goblin 630/700/770. Made from high quality aluminum, and with no modifications needed to your airframe, the KDE tray system simply replaces your existing battery tray, in either the upper or lower position on the airframe (depending on which batteries you use).

In The Box

The tray system arrives in a sealed zip lock style poly bag, with the removable tray in a separate bag. Extra trays are available separately. Conversely, the tray system is available without the actual tray (for those who already have the trays).

Included in the kit is the tray system itself with a single tray, all of the hardware (including bearings) for the latch mechanism, six KDE Direct labelled velcro straps, and the installation instruction sheet is available for download from KDE Direct's website.

Assembly

Assembly begins by assembling the latch mechanism on the new tray. The latch rides on two bearings, and the spring is actually a piece of spring steel. I carefully added some thread lock to the screws, and made sure that none of the thread lock got into the bearings.

It was then time to remove the original battery tray out of the helicopter. I found it easier to remove the tray after removing one of the rear landing strut screws. With the tray out of the helicopter, I then removed the lower carbon doubler, and reinstalled it on to the new aluminum battery tray.

The new tray was then slid into place in the helicopter, and bolted into the side frames. Once again I used a little thread lock to secure all of the screws. I used velcro on the batteries to hold them to the tray, and you could also use some double sided tape if clearance is an issue. Each battery on the tray is also held in place with two of the KDE velcro strap.

A Note About The ESC

In my particular helicopter I am using the Castle HV160 ESC. This ESC is right at the limit, size wise, to fit in the allocated area. In my existing setup, I had the battery tray in the upper location in order to accommodate the HV160. Because of the nature of the new tray, I had to install it into the lower position so that my batteries would still clear the motor (this with the carbon battery protector piece removed). With the new tray in the lower position, I was having a heck of a time getting my HV160 to fit, and after talking to Patrick I slightly modified the ESC tray as shown. Once this was done, everything else fit perfectly.

Luckily for me, I have a machinist friend, and he was able to mill out a small amount of material on the ESC tray, so that the HV160 would sit flat. Luckily for everyone else, KDE are working on an upgrade part that will replace the stock ESC tray, making this a none issue! (Sneak peek below!)

Batteries Tested

With the new tray installed, I test fitted three types of batteries. The first set were 6S 5000mah 40C Zippy packs. They fit in just fine with minimal clearance. The Zippy packs measure: Length (mm) 153, Height (mm) 51, Width (mm) 53.

The next set I tried were Sky Lipo 40C 5000mah packs. These are a little narrower than the Zippy packs, and a little taller. They also fit without any problems. Their dimensions are: Length (mm) 135.67, Width (mm) 41.65, Height (mm) 66.54.

The last set I tried were FlightPower 5000mah 6S 30C packs, which were the smallest of all the packs, and they fit with plenty of room to spare.

Photos & Video

This is a short video showing the installation of what I've come to call the battery "cartridge". Lock and load and ready to fly!

Conclusion

I'm not usually one to go for upgrades, but this battery tray system is definitely one of the more worthwhile upgrades. It's turned the chore of installing and removing the batteries from the airframe into something that I don't even think about anymore. With a few extensions on the balance plugs of the batteries, the lipos can be left installed on the trays when charging, eliminating the need to ever remove them from the tray. Anything that gets me back up in the air quicker can only be a good thing!

Pros: Cons:
Saves Time None Yet!
Easy Installation
Quality Finish and Parts

Last edited by CSpaced; Jul 02, 2013 at 03:12 PM..

Discussion

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Old Jul 11, 2013, 11:31 AM
Professional heli wrecker
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United States, WA, Spokane
Joined Oct 2010
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Thanks for the great review! I ordered my set earlier on the 4th of July sale over at HeliDirect before spotting this posting. And was worried frankly about my larger 5000ma packs fitting. I hated the o rings myself and had already tried the factory sliding tray battery mod. But it turned out to be pretty much just as much of a pain. So this looks promising. Again, thanks for the time you spent thoroughly explaining your results. LMH

Hey, can you post up a link for this in the RCG Goblin thread? This way the guys posting up there might not miss this?
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Old Jul 11, 2013, 11:36 AM
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Kde Goblin battery mod

double post
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Old Jul 13, 2013, 11:19 AM
I do this for fun!
Sunshine Coast, Australia
Joined Sep 2004
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Thanks Chris!

How many battery sets do you have for the Goblin?
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Old Jul 14, 2013, 09:53 AM
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Oak Ridge, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyboyken View Post
Thanks Chris!

How many battery sets do you have for the Goblin?
I have four sets right now.
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Old Jul 18, 2013, 11:40 PM
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Just so everyone knows. These trays allow a 57mm thick battery to fit. The actual space until you run into the lower pinion battery saver is just over 59.60mm, but 2mm is needed to clear the battery straps.

Mine showed up and it is impressive. The instructions also say the tray needs to be slammed into place. Not so. Mine slides easily in with the release lever clicking at the end. And with a firm push down on the release lever, it pops right out.
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Old Jul 19, 2013, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvmyhelis View Post
Just so everyone knows. These trays allow a 57mm thick battery to fit. The actual space until you run into the lower pinion battery saver is just over 59.60mm, but 2mm is needed to clear the battery straps.

Mine showed up and it is impressive. The instructions also say the tray needs to be slammed into place. Not so. Mine slides easily in with the release lever clicking at the end. And with a firm push down on the release lever, it pops right out.
You might want to double check the screws on the steel spring plate to make sure they are all the way in. Mine can't be pushed in easily, and definitely needs that "shotgun" load as seen in the video above. The one thing I know for sure is that there is no way that tray is coming out by itself!
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Old Jul 19, 2013, 10:14 AM
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United States, WA, Spokane
Joined Oct 2010
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Thanks! Yeah, all is assembled correctly. And I see the difference in my approach. I simply press down on the lever with a little pressure as I pop the tray in. Probably would need more force if I hadn't done it that way. I just queeb a little banging a heli part that hard is all. Lol..

These trays are amazing. I ordered a couple more sliders yesterday.
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Old Jul 19, 2013, 04:11 PM
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Yeah the trays are awesome, and there is something very satisfying about the sound when I slap that tray in there!
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Old Jul 19, 2013, 04:24 PM
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United States, WA, Spokane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSpaced View Post
Yeah the trays are awesome, and there is something very satisfying about the sound when I slap that tray in there!
Yeah, these put the factory sliding tray mod to shame. I have that and it truly sucked.
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