Avroto LIFT Series 3520 - 400KV Heavy lift Brushless Motor Review - RC Groups

Avroto LIFT Series 3520 - 400KV Heavy lift Brushless Motor Review

Looking for a reliable, professional, industrial grade motor solution for your heavy lift AV/Ap rig? The Avroto LIFT series could be the perfect answer.

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Introduction

A professional motor for pro AV/AP
A professional motor for pro AV/AP
Avroto LIFT Series 3520 - 400Kv
Weight:228.4 grams
External Dimensions:42.5mm D x 43mm L
Stator Dimensions:.2mm NdFeB sheet
Internal Shaft diameter:5mm
No-load speed:400 rpm / V
Ri (Internal Resistance):58 mΩ
Io (no load current):0.3A
Voltage for Io measurement:10V
Current capacity:39A/180s
Max continuos Watts:1150
Lipo cell:5s-6s
Wire length:700mm
magnets/Stator Arms:14 magnets 12 stator arms 12N 14P
Price:$137.97 ea.
Available Through:Monto RC

Flying almost daily is something that many people who do aerial photography must do. Having the proper equipment to outfit your rig is key to making sure you can complete a job and do it well. To be successful all the equipment must perform in a consistent manner in varying conditions. Your flight control, ESC's and motors are all key components to that success. And Avroto has just raised the bar with the LIFT series motors. Every aspect of these motors design was geared towards long term professional use. Another cool feature about the Avroto motors is that they are designed by Jim from Monto RC. Yes that's right, you can literally call and speak to the man who designed these motors. Jim is unbelievably knowledgeable when it comes to brushless motors and can give reasons behind each of the features of the motors he designs and sells. Personally I think it's kind of re-assuring to buy a high end motor from the actual designer, a person who has a direct link to the product and is not just a reseller. Ok, let's take a look at these beautiful motors.

Out of the Box

I was sent the Avroto LIFT Series 3520 400Kv motors. Opening the box, the motor was bagged in a protective wrap with the prop hub and miscellaneous bolts that were all nicely bagged. (I was sent a pre-production box so it is not pictured) As I removed the motor from the wrap I could tell I had a serious motor in hand. The motor feels solid, the large 5mm internal shaft stands out as being industrial and just the overall look of the motor screams high quality. I know the theory behind the white motor is for helping keep the sun from warming up the motors in hot climates, but I can't help loving the white color on an aesthetic level. They look awesome. Another feature that jumped out at me was the lack of a "C" clip on the bottom of the motor shaft. instead a nice hex bolt is in it's place, which should make dissembling the motor very easy if you ever have the need to do so.

The LIFT Series motors come packaged with the following:

  • White colored motor housing (Said to reflect the suns heat)
  • 6mm 4 bolt standard prop adaptor with locking nut and spinner
  • Bolts and prop washer for the 3 hole carbon fiber propellers
  • 700mm long motor wires with Bullet connectors already soldiered on
  • Large German made ABEC 5 Bearings
  • Every Avroto LIFT series is motor hand inspected in Ohio, United States before being approved for sale.

Installation

The Avroto LIFT series motors come with a wide 25mm mounting hole measurement that will fit most of heavy lift multi-rotor frames. Installation is straight forward. Mount the motors to your frame with M3 bolts. make sure the bolts do not go too deep into the motor. I would suggest 4mm length or less, but make sure you have several threads of the bolt solidly into the motor base. Also, i would suggest adding a few drops of blue Loctite to the motor retaining bolts to help ensure they stay put. I also undid the shaft retaining bolt and added just a tiny dot of blue Loctite to that as well. One thing I have learned over the years is that a little precaution is worth a lot more than a few saved seconds during the build.

Prop Hub Selection

Since Avroto gives you a few options, you have to decide what will work best for your particular application. What I have found in my own personal AV/AP adventure is that the less 'stuff' you have spinning the less chance you have for vibration. So anytime I can take a long prop shaft out of the equation I do. I am sure the included prop hubs are very true and will spin great, I just like the "no prop hub" approach and I planned on using a nice new set of the T-Motor 15/5 carbon Fiber flat style props, so I used the included 3 hole mount.

Equipment Used

The hex used in the review has the following equipment installed:

  • Hexacrafter HC-800 Hexacopter
  • Avroto 3520 LIFT Series KV:400 brushless motors
  • T-Motor 15 / 5 Carbon Fiber Props
  • Maytech 60 Amp Opto ESC's (Simon K) Cont.Current 60A Burst Current(10sec) 80A
  • Xaircraft SuperX 'Standard' Flight Controller
  • Turnigy 3-in-1 Heli UBEC with LV LED
  • Hitec Optima9 nine channel receiver
  • Hitec Aurora 9 Radio
  • (2) Nano tech 6S 6000mah Lipo batteries
  • XT60 connectors

The Motor - ESC - Prop combination is excellent. It provides a ton of thrust and is still very, very efficient.

Flying

The Avroto motors that were sent to me for this review needed a good home. And kind of by chance I found them one. I had sent several emails out to a few multi rotor companies asking for press releases so I could keep the multi rotor articles flowing here on RCG. One of the replies I received was from Hexacrafter, a smaller, almost custom multi rotor frame manufacturer that sells two different sizes of high end hexacopter frames. After a few emails back and forth it was revealed that Hexacrafter is based here in Ohio! Literally 25 minutes from my home. After a few more emails and a phone call Andrew, the owner of Hexacrafter and I were hanging out, flying and having a great time discussing multi rotors. After seeing one of Andrews rigs in person and then having him explain the reasoning behind his design I knew right then and there I wanted one. And i told Andrew when the situation as right I'd be purchasing a frame. When the Avroto motors came in, I instantly thought back to the Hexacrafter HC-800 Andrew had showed me and knew that that would be the frame for this build and home to the Avroto 3520's. I placed the order immediately, the frame shipped and I was on my way to heavy lift town.

Interesting fact:

The Hexacrafter frame, the Avroto motors and me (SleepyC) are all Ohio based! And that fact made this rig basically an Ohioan! So as an Ohioan born and raised, I salute you. The rig from this point on is known as Sleepy's Buckeye Hex!

I chose the Xaircraft SuperX to be the flight controller for this rig. After my review of the SuperX I am sold and have purchased two more units. I fell very comfortable flying the SuperX and I knew it would be a great addition to the frame and motors. Jim at Monto RC also distributes T-Motor products, so he recommended a set of the 15/5 T-motor props for the rig I was building. The props come truly pre-balenced and are a great solution for vibration free AV/AP work. Like the motors, they are not cheap, but they are a professional solution that simply work. And like the motors they are so awesome looking! I mean look! Each prop comes with it's own sleeping bag!

After making sure everything was where it should be, triple checking my radio settings the time finally came to maiden the Ohio hexachamp. The very first time I spun up the motors I got chills. there was just a smooth whooshing noise, no buzzing, no strange noises, just what can only be described as smooth. The oversized bearings were doing their job. I popped the rig off the ground and brought it into a nice hover. i took a minute to adjust the micro gain setting on the SuperX and in just a few minutes the rig was tuned and flying perfectly. For this first flight I flew the rig unloaded, the only cargo was the (2) 6000mah batteries and I could tell the rig was very underworked. If I punched the throttle the result was an almost instantaneous fifty otto one hundred foot climb. It was seriously what I would call rocket power. The craft was hovering at around 25 - 30% of the throttle. When I kicked the FC into GPS hold, the rig sat there at five feet smoothly just hovering away.You could hear and see that the Avroto 3520's were just smoothly spinning. I honestly can not describe it in any other words. The Avroto 3520's are SMOOTH.

Knowing that these motors are called the "LIFT Series" and that they are for the heavy life market it was time for the real test. I needed to see how they handled with some cargo loaded on to the airframe. I weighed several of my gimbals and I weighed a few of my cameras. Together most of the combinations of camera and gimbal were between four and six pounds. So at first I grabbed my wife's five pound weight and was going to put that on the rig. But then I thought, we need to really test these motors, see what kind of power these motors really have. My friend Adam who helps me film my review videos had some gallon water jugs laying in his garage. We weighed them and the heaviest one we found was nine pounds. This would be perfect. This would be well above any of my gimbal and camera combinations and would let me know how good these motors were going to be.

We figured out a way to attach the gallon jug right under the landing gear that helped maintain the CG of the craft and kept the weight where most people would be carrying their gimbals. After we installed the gallon of water we weighed the rig and it showed 21 lbs all up weight. A fairly respectable weight for a 800mm hexacopter.

You will see in the video, I was a little nervous when I was about to take off with the gallon of water strapped to the rig. I was having one of those "pucker" moments thinking about flipping the rig and killing my nice T-motor props, or smashing the frame, or who knows. I put all of that out of my mind took a breath and popped the throttle. The Avrotos 3520's spooled right up, the rig smoothly and with authority rose off the ground and the rig popped into a stable hover. I threw on the GPS hold and the rig sat there, hovering at what I assume was about 50% throttle. I let it hang there for a minute making sure there were no problems. After i was sure that everything was working properly I gently flew the rig around and the Hexacrafter and Avroto's acted like they were on a Sunday walk. The rig was smooth, solid and had tons of power. After a few more minutes my friend Adam suggested that I try and punch out and see if the Avroto's had any more power available. To both of our amazement the rig shot into the sky with such authority that we both stood there with our mouths hanging wide open. To say that the Avroto 3520's are heavy life motors is seriously being gentle. THESE MOTORS ARE MONSTERS! And the Avroto 9520's are efficient as well. With the 9 lb payload, the T-motor 15/5 propellers and 12,000mah of 6S power available I flew for twelve minutes and only burned through 9,420mah. That is impressive!

After I landed I grabbed the Avroto 3520 motors and the Maytech ESC's and unbelievably they were ambient temp. Seriously not even warm. I should have had a temperature measuring device, but I did not. I will remember that for the next review. But honestly you don't need a thermometer to tell your hand that something is basically cold. You will see it on the video, I am holding the motors and they are cold.

Video and Pictures

Numbers,stats, theories and thrust ratings are great and all, but actually seeing what a motor/ESC/prop combo can do in a video means a lot more to me. So without further ado... Let's fly!

RCGroups.com Reviews the Avroto 3520 KV:400 LIFT Series Brushless Motor (7 min 35 sec)

Conclusion

The Avroto LIFT series motors are the real deal. They are professional grade motors for professionals. If the $139 price throws you, then the truth is you probably do not need these motors.But if you are hanging $2000 - $60,000 cameras from your rig on a regular basis and you want a reliable motor to help that 'pucker' factor diminish, these ARE for you. I have flown at least ten more flights since the video was shot and the performance is the same each flight. The Avroto LIFT series motors are proving to be a completely dependable motor. Jim from Monto RC did a great job looking into the needs of professional AV/AP pilots and succeeded in meeting the demands and in my eyes surpassing any expectations. I personally will be happy to fly these motors for a long time. If you are looking for one for the best options when it comes to hauling heavy cameras into the air, I think you should defiantly check out the Avroto LIFT series available from Monto RC.

I give these motors 12 Thumbs up!

Last edited by Angela H; Oct 14, 2013 at 05:24 AM..
Thread Tools
Oct 14, 2013, 06:31 AM
:)
Another great review mate!

Thanks for the tour of the new Avroto's, I've been looking at them a while, and its good to see them tested and presented well. They seem like monsters indeed

Nice combo all up, just having a look at Hexacrafter now too
Oct 14, 2013, 06:07 PM
Registered User
Benjamin Rowland's Avatar
Thanks for the review! These look like some great motors.
Oct 14, 2013, 06:26 PM
Registered User
Chad2323's Avatar
Love your reviews
Oct 15, 2013, 02:01 AM
Registered User
"And the Avroto 9520's are efficient as well. With the 9 lb payload, the T-motor 15/5 propellers and 12,000mah of 6S power available I flew for twelve minutes and only burned through 9,420mah. That is impressive!"

Some number crunching for others better understanding.
21 lbs = 9.5kg
9.42Ah for 12 minutes means 47Amps consumption, from 6s = 1045W
1045 / 9.5 = 110W/kg, indeed a nice figure at this size and thrust.
Last edited by renatoa; Oct 15, 2013 at 05:42 AM.
Oct 15, 2013, 11:26 AM
Registered User
so with 2-3 kg payload on this hexa you well get 20 min flight times, even if you just add exra batteries. Great news, thanks for the review
Oct 15, 2013, 06:11 PM
Registered User
Cool motors, this are much less than the T-motor U8 that have had me ready to open my wallet for weeks
Oct 16, 2013, 02:50 AM
Registered User
If you aren't so payload hungry, there are some HL models at half weight and price matching them as performance, using simpler to accommodate 12-13" props.
Oct 16, 2013, 10:41 AM
Closed Account
Quote:
Originally Posted by renatoa
If you aren't so payload hungry, there are some HL models at half weight and price matching them as performance, using simpler to accommodate 12-13" props.
You are correct, there are defiantly many, many options that can get the job done. But for a commercial venture, how reliable are they? Especially over long periods of time. The old Avrotos proved they were dependable, and these have better components in them.
But, lLike I said in the review, these motors have their place. They are designed to be a workhorse motor. Day in day out performance that remains the same. if that's not a priority for you, then yea, a ton of other options would fit the bill, work fine and be way cheaper!
Oct 17, 2013, 09:44 AM
Registered User
DorianJ's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepyc
You are correct, there are defiantly many, many options that can get the job done. But for a commercial venture, how reliable are they? Especially over long periods of time. The old Avrotos proved they were dependable, and these have better components in them.
But, lLike I said in the review, these motors have their place. They are designed to be a workhorse motor. Day in day out performance that remains the same. if that's not a priority for you, then yea, a ton of other options would fit the bill, work fine and be way cheaper!
Sleepy, thank you for the review. I'm seriously considering this motor for my upgrade build. How would you say they compare to the T-Motor 4014 400kv: http://quadcopters.co.uk/tiger-t-mot...otor-670-p.asp

Would you say they are built more solidly similar to Axis? Thanks for any input.
Last edited by DorianJ; Oct 17, 2013 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Spelling!
Oct 17, 2013, 11:54 AM
MontoRC's Avatar
Hi DorianJ, Jim here from MontoRC/Avroto

MN4014 400Kv is an excellent motor. It is one of the most popular sellers on our website. http://montorc.com/MN4014kv400.aspx It is from the MN motor series, which is upgraded in build quality, materials, and features over Tiger’s MT series. (The even newer Avroto LIFT series bumps things up with additional upgrades over MN.) The 4014 stator wound for 400Kv with 18N/24P configuration provides a good balance efficiency and adequate thrust for most applications. 3515 & 3520 with 12N/14P configuration from Avroto or any other brand provide a performance with a different emphasis. The emphasis is thrust. With 6s and 15” props 3515 delivers max thrust very close to but just under that of 4014 400Kv. 3520 will deliver roughly 13% to 15% more thrust than the 4014 400Kv. We of course don’t all fly around at max thrust. So in cases with a mid-weight load and gentle flying 4014 400Kv will display its strength in efficiency.

The biggest differences aren’t always apparent from data on a chart. Trends become more apparent from real world use. As we at Monto are not in the photography or film business we don’t fly these rigs with big cameras all over the world on a daily basis. Being in the motor business we do talk to those of you who are filming throughout the world. We seek out feedback and ask lots of questions regarding performance, and what you’d like to see improved. We start to hear the same stories and identify trends. Here is what we’ve learned:

4014 is great for long flight and decent payload capacity. When you bump things up, max out the cargo weight, and fly the biggest cameras, this is where the 3515 & 3520 motors really shine.

Our clients who max out the lift capacity of theirs rigs while flying the biggest cameras (RED etc.) have repeated the same story. Generally it goes like this:

My 4014 motors work really hard and get too hot when we fly the big camera on the octo. We don’t trust flying this $20,000 camera on rig with motors that might overheat. We get similar flight time with 3515 and they aren’t hot. Can you find a 3515 with as good a quality as my MN4014?

We're told that with the smaller camera these guys do get more flight time from 4014 and they love it. It’s at those heavy cargo weights where 4014 and 3515 octos get similar flight times but the 3515 is able to handle the load with less strain. 3520 can often handle similar loads with only six motors.

Up until the release of Avroto LIFT series there has not been an upgraded or top shelf 3515 or 3520 available on the market.

The long and short...There are jobs where MN4014 400Kv is the appropriate tool, and there are jobs where AVL3515 400Kv & AVL3520 400Kv are appropriate. In some areas these motors will overlap but each has its specialty.



Regarding AXI: I’ve always liked them. Unfortunately they seem slow to cater to the multirotor market. They do not offer a popular substitute size in their catalog with the performance & weight characteristics of a 3515 or 3520 400Kv. Their closest motor the smaller 2826 is $119 plus another $16 for the prop adapter making it more expensive than Avroto LIFT 3515. For quality they’ve (axi) always had a good reputation. Avroto LIFT is made from the best parts we can get from China, Japan, and Germany. It is Chinese assembled, but with the highest level of precision and quality assurance we can order. Most crucially every LIFT series motor receives a final look over and QA check here in Ohio USA before being approved for sale and packaged. Yes solidly built. Very high quality.

I don’t have the opportunity to reply to posts as often as I like but I can always be directly reached by emailing jim@montorc.com

Thank you DorianJ, and to all others who’ve shown interest in or have already purchased our new motors.
Last edited by MontoRC; Oct 17, 2013 at 12:03 PM. Reason: gramar
Oct 17, 2013, 12:36 PM
Registered User
DorianJ's Avatar
Jim, THANK YOU for your very well detailed and honest reply....it's truly appreciated! I will be placing an order from you for the 3520s soon.

Regards,
Dorian
Oct 17, 2013, 03:41 PM
Closed Account
For the record, I have never encounter a more honest and knowledgeable person in the hobby than Jim from Monto RC. He is seriously a nice guy and someone who I would always go to with motor and /or esc questions.
Oct 17, 2013, 11:15 PM
Registered User
Awesome review. I will eventually work my way up to such a professional rig, but just getting my feet wet slowly.

I'm looking to build higher lift and higher power and had questions about your power distribution and connections:

You listed XT60 connectors in your parts list. It's my understanding that the connector is only rated to 60-80 Amps max? Where are you using the XT60 connectors?

Most high capacity from HK come with 5.5 mm bullet connectors to handle the load. I didn't see what you had hanging off of your 6s monster batteries. What connector do you use there?

How do you wire up the two 6s batteries? Are they in series/parallel supplying power to the whole system? Or do you use one batter each for 1/2 of the motors?

Sorry if these are very basic questions, as stated, I'm just working my way up to larger lift copters at this point.

Thanks!
Oct 17, 2013, 11:40 PM
Closed Account
XT60 connectors never gave me any issues at this power range, but I have thought about going a bit bigger. I may want to, but have not had issues. But... you are probably right, I may want to slap the XT-90's on there.

The batteries are connected in parallel, so just (2) 6S 6000 mah packs equalling 12,000 mah total at 6S. Both batteries run into the main power distro board. And the system naturally pulls equally from each battery.

Also, no questions are dumb. Asking questions saves countless hours and potentially lots of $$$.


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