nitro plane starter question - RC Groups
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Sep 24, 2011, 12:25 PM
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crash74's Avatar

nitro plane starter question

I have a nitro starter and i hate the fact that i have to clip it to a big battery. So I'm looking for a more portable solution! any links or suggestions would be appreciated Thx
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Sep 24, 2011, 12:32 PM
Registered User
Nitro starter?????
Sep 24, 2011, 12:36 PM
Addicted to Twins
crash74's Avatar
i'm new to the hobby. it starts my nirto motor on my nitro plane. or gas however you want to call it
Sep 24, 2011, 03:22 PM
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brentg's Avatar
Most hobby shops have small 12v sealed batteries that fit in a field tote, you can buy a tote and or with a power panel, that will power your starter, glow plug , and fuel pump if wanted, or you could just make a tote with some power clips for what you want to homemade rc field box for ideas..
Last edited by brentg; Sep 24, 2011 at 07:57 PM.
Sep 24, 2011, 03:57 PM
Registered User
My field box has a pump panel like the one below, which tidies everything up nicely, and has outputs for the starter, a built in fuel pump, a glow starter charger, glow plug connections with variable current, all connected to a small 12v Gel battery inside the box.

Simply connect the panel to the battery and forget about it. You can even charge the 12V battery through the starter sockets, so the battery just stays inside the box out of the way.

The only caveat is that the pump isn't suitable for petrol, so if you wanted to get into petrol engines (as opposed to glow engines) then you'd need a different pump, but thats a ways down the road from where you are I suspect.
Sep 24, 2011, 04:42 PM
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Leadchucker's Avatar
I'm using a 2250 maH 35C 3S Lipo for my model engine starter. A watt meter check of my Sullivan starter at full locked rotor showed 36 amps, turming over a Saito 110 F/S it drew 12 amps, on a OS .61 T/S pulled 18 amps. All amperge ratings are well within the max for the battery.

Some guys just wire tie the Lipo to the starter and there is an addon bracket setup available for Lipo mounts for some starters.

Another option is a cordless drill battery adapter. One of the guys in our club has one however you'll have to Google it up as I don't know who makes it.
Sep 24, 2011, 06:34 PM
The most compact "Glow Plug Ignitors" are a self contained rechargeable battery wuth the plug fitting attached. Look at:

or if you want to get fancier

Then there are the self contained "Engine Starter Motors" which have a attachable self contained battery such as: But this puppy is heavy as hell since it takes the standard 12V wet cell.

Sullivan also makes a battery add-on for their starters, but it takes 12 Sub-C NiMh batteries which is also heavy.

My self, I use two 2 cell hard cased R/C Car Lipo batteries wired in series to the starter and a lot of electrical tape to hold them on. A much lighter arrangement. And much safer than un-cased Lipo batteries..
Last edited by jjkupinski; Sep 24, 2011 at 06:57 PM.
Sep 25, 2011, 12:32 PM
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turk1's Avatar
Use LiPo and wrap it on starter body.
Sep 25, 2011, 04:26 PM
Village Idiot!
ScooterInVegas's Avatar
Lipo or go to harbor freight and get a 18v battery for a drill and mount it to the starter.

Sep 25, 2011, 04:50 PM
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The PIPE's Avatar

A single 2.9 amp 12 volt lead-acid cell can do it, too...

Dear Crash74:

The PIPE Here - for many, MANY years I've used a starter setup that not only incorporates a 2.9 amp 12 volt lead-acid cell right underneath the starter, but also allows the whole setup to use a flightbox's 12 volt cell, should the onboard one get completely used up, and allows the starter's ROTATIONAL direction to be changed by the simple flip of a switch.

The 12 volt lead-acid battery that's used for my setup is available at , and when used with the standard "base-model" Sullivan S600 starter I've had since 1976, can turn up to a 90 sized four stroke mill over quite nicely. I've also included a datasheet for the PS-1229 battery, for a little bit more info about it.

My older, Windsor Propeller flightbox from the 1980s can take up to a big 10.5 amp 12 volt cell, orderable from TNR at , and would be the best choice for getting my flight support gear ready once again, whenever I can get back to work (unemployed for just over 3 years now!)

I've included one photo of my "startpak" unit with this post, please ask if you'd like to see more photos, so I can get those with my Pentax K100D DSLR digital camera if you're interested !!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!
Last edited by The PIPE; Sep 25, 2011 at 04:57 PM.
Sep 26, 2011, 11:47 AM
Methanol, The Cool Fuel !
Gary Cee's Avatar
Sullivan makes a battery box that mounts under the starter. As others have shown , you can hang most any suitable battery in any way that suits. I use a relay switched LiPo battery in a plastic housing presently. That is a bit lighter than comparable NiCd or Lead-Acid (Pb) type power sources.

BTW, most of us understand that "Nitro" is slang for what others may call "Glow" or Alcohol motors . Don't take the nit pickers to heart.
Sep 26, 2011, 05:47 PM
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The PIPE's Avatar

I'd NEVER use "electrochemical grenades" for ANYTHING in the hobby...

Dear Gary Cee:

The PIPE Here again - I've long been thinking how I'd like to power my "to-be-restored" 1936-designed Flying Aces Stick SAM Old-Timer with electric power, and from everything I've read and checked out on the subject, about the very BEST choice for re-powering the Flying Aces Stick (plans & article reprint for it are freely downloadable at ) would be the lithium cell technology purchaseable at ...

...and the A123 lithium iron phosphate cells are not only the very best choice I've yet found for lithium cell technology I can be the most comfortable with, but they are the most physically robust, durable and practical lithium power source design for ANYTHING I'd be using in the RC hobby (and I DO mean ANYTHING)... from all the quite believeable horror stories I've heard, AND continue to hear, from threads like the one at , I can quite comfortably state that I will NEVER use those COBALT-content, "electrochemical GRENADE" lithium POLYMER cells/batteries for anything in the RC hobby.

One of Dave Thacker's 4S1P LiFePO4 packs (at 13.3 volts in normal use) COULD spin up a starter with some authority, or a pair of them in parallel would be even better. One COULD go with five of the A123 2.3 amp/hr cells as a 5S1P pack (16.7 volts), and then not even need a pair of A123 packs in parallel for a 12 volt starter.

When I CAN get back to work, and can then afford to start the conversion of the "FA-Stick" to electric power, I'll definitely get a charger (or two!) like the Hitec X4 unit which CAN handle NiMH, Pb-acid AND LiFePO4 on different outputs, all at once, to get me started in using the A123 technology. My pair of Y2K-era FMA SuperNovas can do the NiMH and Pb-acid charging just fine, but the Hitec X4 adds the LiFePO4 charging capability that the A123 lithiums need.

For the present, though, I'm just keeping the info for the PowerSonic PS-1229 12 volt, 2.9 amp/hr lead-acid battery handy, as that IS what I'd order for refitting my veteran "startpak". I've already got a replacement switch for a worn-out one on the box that handles the switching the internal battery from the starter to the 1/4th inch phone jack for charging. I've still got a 25 year old -plus Ace RC CVC 12 volt charger that still works fine for that need, and a new plastic "starter guard" from Sullivan is already "in-house" to replace the original, chipped-up one in the photo.

Sorry, though, it's NEVER going to be "electrochemical grenade" LiPos for any of MY DC power storage needs in the RC hobby...I simply do NOT need their volatility ruining the hobby for me someday.

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE....!!
Last edited by The PIPE; Oct 13, 2016 at 11:00 AM.
Sep 26, 2011, 08:39 PM
Methanol, The Cool Fuel !
Gary Cee's Avatar
Got mine in a well protected hard housing. Note I did not suggest loosely strapping unprotected LiPo batts , exposed for abuse. Do whatever makes you feel safe but there are billions of LiPos in folks pockets and a set in this laptop. Yes the 123s are safer and on the other hand I saw quite a fire started by overcharged NiCd batts.

As always , pay attention to the proper applications and handling.
Sep 26, 2011, 09:19 PM
Village Idiot!
ScooterInVegas's Avatar
Originally Posted by The PIPE
The PIPE Here again -I'll definitely get a charger (or two!) like the Hitec X4 unit which CAN handle NiMH, Pb-acid AND LiFePO4 on different outputs, all at once, to get me started in using the A123 technology.
Same charger, $50 less than the Hitec.
Sep 26, 2011, 10:26 PM
Registered User
CustomPC's Avatar
The Align super started is a neat self-contained starter

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