|Aug 26, 2008, 03:31 PM|
Extreme Flight Airboss Elite 60
WHY AIRBOSS ELITE?
Who needs complicated? One of the most important lessons I was given by the sea is how fast complicated things can unravel when the enviornment becomes extreme. This is a lesson I took with me into RC modelling, and indeed, when it gets extreme, such as in 3D flying, complicated things unravel pretty quickly, and most of the time with an expensive and deafening thud. Keeping things simple has certainly saved me a lot of RC headaches.
So, it is not a big surprise that I developed a special affection for the Extreme Flight Airboss Elite 45 , and later the Elite 80, electronic speed controllers (ESC). Look, I don't want my ESC to sing, and I don't want it to dance. I just want to plug it in and forget about it.....and this is what the Airboss lineup allows me to do.
First, I like the grunt I get by running 4 cell, 14.8 volt batteries. Most ESCs won't handle this unless you run a seperate battery eliminater circuit (BEC), along with the extra complication of wires and soldering joints that come along with it. The Airboss has it's own on-board BEC that allows you to run as many as five li-po cells, or up to 18.5 (21V fully charged) volts of electric power. We have very comfortably run 4 cells packs (14.8V) with our Airboss 45s for over a year now without a single problem, and we have done it without the extra complication of that seperate BEC threatening to unravel everything for us.
We have never run a seperate BEC because.........well, we don't need it. I can switch from 3 to 4 to 5 cells, and all I have to do is adjust my prop size to keep the amp draw below the rated 45 amps. All I have ever done with an Airboss ESC is plug it in, fly it, and forget about it.
It's not that complicated. The Airboss works because it is simple. It is sophisticated in the way it is built and performs, but it is simple to use, and that makes it easy to forget about it and concentrate instead on keeping the airplane out of the ground.
If you want to tinker, get something else. If you want to fly, get an Airboss.
AIRBOSS ELITE 60
Recently one of the team members scored a coup by acquiring one of the new Airboss 60 units previous to their release. This gave us a few days to check it out before they hit the streets, and they should be available from Extreme Flight and thier fine dealers by the time you read this.
This is not a replacement for the Airboss 45, but a compliment to it. With the previous generation of 47" planes now growing to 49" and 51" (and maybe even bigger), it's clear more power is going to be needed to haul those larger and heavier airframes through the air. Recently we have been running some motors as high as 50 amps, and the Airboss 45 is rated at.....uhhhh, 45 amps. Once we mistakenly flew a whole flight with a development motor pulling out 60 amps, and the little Airboss 45 didn't even come down warm. Certainly I don't suggest you try this, and I am also sure Extreme Flight doesn't warranty that kind of abuse. Because we were testing so many different power setups, we wanted to play it safe, and we have been running the Airboss 80 because that is the next step up.
Now comes the Airboss 60, and it is the same quality package in attractive blue anodized finish. The shape, however is a little different. It is still rectangular, but the whole unit is now thinner, presumably to dissapate heat faster, or to prevent heat saturation. It's simply a nice bonus that this makes it easier to shoehorn into some of the tighter cowlings.
One thing new for the whole Airboss lineup is that they are now auto detect, which means the ESC knows how many cells you are running and adjusts the low voltage cutoff (LVC) accordingly. Previously I was leaving the programming alone and this meant the LVC was set at the default of 3 cell 11.1V. Then, I was using a timer to tell me when to land so I didn't run the batteries down too low.
With this new auto detect I was a little skeptical because other units I have tried are not very exact, and it's too easy to ruin a battery like that. I also don't much care for LVCs because they usually come in with a bang and shut the motor down. This can be disasterous if you are hanging it on the prop and the LVC surprises you in an expensive and deafening thud.
But the new Airboss units take care of all of this. With the new auto detect on the Airboss 60, I ran two consecutive packs until the ESC powered down, and I landed with 14.78 and 14.70 respectively. That is very close to the 14.8 that I like to land with (and 14.5 being acceptable), and remember I had to use a little power to bring the plane in, so this unit is very exact. Still, it's a good idea to use a volt meter and keep track of what your batteries are doing.
And yes, that's right.......I did say the ESC powered down. When the LVC kicked in on the first flight all that happened was that I lost about 25% of my (guesstimate) power. I still had plenty of power to turn the plane around and land it with no trouble. She just lost her edge a little but, but enough that I noticed. So, instead of having a hard or a soft cutoff, the Airboss just throttles back a bit instead of conking out. I much prefer this to having the power system just stop when I am hovering low to the ground or otherwise crapping out when I just happen to be relying on it.
Now this power down.............this is a righteous upgrade, and I promise it is going to save more than just a few airplanes that would have otherwise gotten piled in with a surprise hard cut off.
Of course, you can adjust almost everything you would ever need to by following the set of beeps listed in the instructions, but why complicate things? The way the new Airboss lineup comes out of the package they are ready to rip on 3, 4, or 5 cells, and it will give you a gentle warning that your batteries are low instead of just refusing to run anymore.
So, I will continue to use a timer and compare that to my voltage readings after every flight. However, the new power down feature will probably save me from puffing at least one battery a summer by powering down on the times I forget to set my timer. There are also times I fly more aggressively, and as a result run the battery too low before the timer kicks in. The new power down will save my batteries then too, and without putting me in a precarious position without power when I need it.
Like with our previous Airboss Elite units, throttle mapping is just right. The response is just how I have come to expect it to be, and I know how much to move the stick without thinking about it because all of these units seem to perform the same. Also like previous Airboss units, the Airboss Elite 60, coupled with the Torque 2814 in our test plane, runs cool, quiet and smooth.
And all of this is simply by plugging it in and forgetting about it. Thank you, Extreme Flight.
So, again, Extreme Flight has looked at the market and seen what we (the modellers) are doing, and the Airboss 60 is the result. Since Extreme Flight doesn't currently have a motor bigger than the 2814 (45/50 amp peak), or smaller than the Revolution (80 amp), one has to wonder if they perhaps have a surprise in the works us. Whether this could be a new motor, plane, or even both..........well, no one tells me anything, but I can guess.
We have absolutely hammered on our Torque Motors and Airboss Elite ESCs for over a year now. Almost no one tortures their equipment like I do, and in spite of this, I get dead solid perfect reliability with Extreme Flight power systems. The Airboss 60 is surely the next great weapon in our 3D arsenal. All our planes are now equipped with Extreme Flight Torque Motors and Airboss Elite ESCs.
It's that simple.......... because it's not that complicated.
|Aug 26, 2008, 04:50 PM|
Hey Doc, what about the new Torque 2812-720?
|Aug 26, 2008, 07:44 PM|
Doc, Thank's for the report on the AB60E.
I need one for my SR.
On the Motrolfly 2820-950 using 3DHS 4s 2200 packs and an APC or Xoar 12/6 prop at WOT, I get over 60 amps and around/above 900 watts. Way too much for the AB45E that I have in it now.
Granted, I don't fly like you do but I want to keep my electronics safe.
Thank's again for the report.
(Ben, Their not on the website).
Now I have to call Ben and get one on the way here.
|Aug 27, 2008, 07:02 AM|
The Airboss 80 is big, and it's comparitively expensive, so the 60 is just right. I didn't weight the 60, but it is also extremely light. I don't think it weighs any more than the Airboss 45, but again, I didn't weigh it. With 4s, 2600 batteries and bigger motors, the 47s" are getting to be where we don't want them any heavier, and I think that a lot of thought went into keeping this ESC small and light.
I'm also pretty sure we don't want to run more than 1000 watts on these 47" planes. I think at 4s is about right.
|Aug 27, 2008, 07:10 AM|
Great report btw Doc.
|Aug 31, 2008, 11:36 PM|
I got to back up what Doc says, I ended up with one of these in my Velox after toasting a few 45 amp ESCs, and I have nothing but good things to say about the 60amp ESC.
The AB 45s and the AB 80s have been so reliable in other planes, I knew the 60 was going to be just as good. With the switching BEC, auto lipo detect, and programed for 3D out of the box, it's a perfect match for demanding RC models.
The huge heat sink keeps it cool, and ready for punishment. After four consecutive flights in the 55-60 amp range with 100 degree outdoor temps, and the ESC mounted in the fuse (not in direct airflow), the 60 amp was still cool enough to easily keep your fingers on.
I've been flying mine on a torque 2814, and plan to try it out on the new Reaper 45 in a few weeks.
Electric RC has taken off in a big way over the last few years, and for those that have been watching it grow, keeping up with all the little details might not be a problem. Putting an external BEC might not be a big deal to some, but to others, it's hassle, time, and just something else to go wrong.
Extreme flight has done great things by offering such a complete and "ready to fly" ESC option. These ESCs even come with 3mm bullets already soldered to the ESC, and a set of mates to go on the motors. If you buy a Torque motor, they already have the right bullets on them as well, leaving only the plug of choice to solder on. And for those that like to run 4, 5, or 6 cell packs... NO PROBLEM!!! NO EXTERNAL BEC REQUIRED!!!!
Solder on a plug, connect a motor, strap to a plane, choose a pack and GO FLY!!!!
It's really that simple!!
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