Best power source for Zagi? - RC Groups
Thread Tools
Jan 01, 2002, 10:17 AM
Registered User

Best power source for Zagi?

My flying buddy and I are experienced RC Fliers but are new to the electric stuff. We are considering a Zagi 400 or 400X.

Trick RC offers a cobalt motor and a brushless motor as upgrades. Which would give the best aerobatic performance and duration performance.

I guess the question is, If cost is not a factor, which motor/battery como do we want?
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jan 01, 2002, 11:48 AM
Motors beat engines!
Its not the most expensive but is one of the best:

Mag mayhem
7x5 apc
8 cp2400's
30 amp esc.

Can you say zoom?
Jan 01, 2002, 12:42 PM
small electrics r BIG FUN

400 X

Although I just have the 400 model, it seems the X version is made for larger 8 cell packs (1400ae and 800ar or others) and includes carbon spar(s). The spar(s) will help improve rigidity when speed increases from power improvements, and you WILL need the extra stiffness.

Dean's MM would be great to try after the stock set. Then you can decide if spending 200 dollars for a brushless set is necessary . Several brushed motors are capable of the power in question, brushless motors shine the most in regards to higher efficiency and virtually no maintenance.

Best Regards

Jan 01, 2002, 02:17 PM
Registered User

Zagi power vs weight

Be carefull about the additional weight you add as it really degregades the performance and flying characteristics of these wonderful foamies.

Zagi 400X with stock motor and 8x1700 AE Nicads or 10x1200 NiMh are excellent, as both battery pack weight about the same. All the loops, rolls, cuban-8's you can stand, 10-14 minutes with some throttle management.

With 10x1500 AE Nicads, lots of zip but that extra couple of ounces really hinders the usually snappy flight performance. Starts to fall out of manuevers even though motor is revving well.
Probably prop flex limiting power output.

A fellow out here has the Aveox 1010 setup, and we flew together. Mine is a stock setup. Same voltage, his sounded faster but mine stayed right up there and did much better climbing in the thermals. Maybe he needed a better prop, but not worth the extra $200 to me.

About a 100 flights now on the original motor, and still very strong. $10 motor replacements sound pretty good....A well engineered, complete package that is hard to beat....

Jan 01, 2002, 06:07 PM
Registered User
What motor/batteries/prop/esc is the best for the zagi's is, in large part, a matter of personal opinion and flying style. Obviously the makers of the zagi like the stock setup and many people seem to be very pleased with the performance as such, but there are many of us who are um.. speed freaks who want to see just how fast we can go. I just started with a 400x a little over a month ago and since that time i have also purchased a viper twin, and a zagi razor... I have some expierience flying gas trainers and needed something easy and hard to break to get back into rc flying. The 400x was great for that as is witht he stock setup speed 400 motor and kr1700au packs... but i have always been one who wants more and more performance and after about 1 week I was looking to make this thing faster, so I went to the LHS and found a graupner speed 480 BB race 7.2v and thru it in the plane... it did go a good bit faster but the stock batteries were getting way to hot pulling the extra amps so I had to order sanyo cp 1300scr and cp 1700scr cells and made 8cell packs that could handle extreme amp draw and all worked well for about 15 or so flight when the brushes on the 480 finally wore out to nothing.

That is when I decided to try the MM and I can tell you I am not much of a model building person at this time and I just made the thing fit in the stock tray and thru it in the air with a 6x5 prop and it took off... it was very fast but didn't go vertical very much because its basically a flying tank, but still a fun fast flyer.

That is when I decided to try a brushless setup.. my friend uses a astro 010 in a razor and uses AAA ni-mh batteries and has good results so i figured i would try the astro 020 brushless .. which i did and i ordered a razor at the same time... the zagi 400x with the astro 020 is comparable to the MM but a little lighter and better run time, but when you throw the astro 020 into a razor then you have some fun.. the 020 instuctions said not to run over about 15 or 16 amps which i promptly ignore and put a 6x3 prop on that drew about 29amps ... later i cut off the shrink wrap to find that the esc on the 020 is a jeti 20 3p ... anyways i flew with the 6x3 prop over 20 times with no problems and had awsome performance with the cp 1300scr's and almost as good with the cp 1700scr's but i wanted more vertical and decied to try a 6x5 prop and my amps went up around 35 now in flight they must drop to nearly half that or i don't think i would have run as good as i did for as long as i did but i just couldn't resist the vertical and last weekend i went straight up in the air with the cp1700scr 8 cell pack and the 6x5 prop on the 020 and it was um badass there were about 6 ppl watching some of which have stock zagi's and they were like omg that is amazing... it went so far straight over our heads that it was a dot in the sky... then i came roaring down at an ungodly speed until i got chicken about 100ft up and pulled out slowly as to not snap this poor thing in half or shoot the battery thru the foam.... i did use a try spar in the razor though and the only flap i see is the elevons make a fluttering sound sometimes

Unfortunately the speed controller was not made for that much abuse and it must have melted some solder on that run because i let it all cool off and when i plugged my next battery in for the next flight some smoke came out of the esc and it is pretty much fried it still moves the controls but you can see one of the mosfets is charred and it won't turn the motor much at all.... so i have ordered a jeti 70 3p to replace it and now that i know what that speed controllor can take looks like now i can see what the motor can take... it looks to me that the 020 can maybe handle about 40 amps with a different esc of course and i ordered the 70amp so that i can use another motor with it later if i burn up the 020 I am currently considering an astro 050 brushless.....

but from what I can tell I really love the brushless motors, they are light weight, need no break in etc.. pull less amps then brushed motors, and over time your going to get more bang for your buck as the brushless motors supposedly last forever if not abused....

My next project maybe a Zagi- 3c with an astro 050 brushless ... my main concerns about it are figuring out how to get at least 5 minutes flight time without making it very heavy as I estimate I will be pulling somewhere around 50 amps or so maybe 30 or less at speed though... who knows its alot of trial and error though.
Jan 01, 2002, 06:42 PM
small electrics r BIG FUN

Don't shoot me


That was a very interesting and informative post. I could read about other peoples' trial and error flying experiences for hours. I get tired of my own ! First-hand experiences of what things will withstand is priceless. Also very interesting about the Jeti ESC .

Wings are great and I like flying them too, but there are some pylon-type planes, like a Twister, that would go like crazy on your 020 and 8 cells. And if you happen to purchase an 050 and later want something larger but sleek, the Vortex would be a good bet. There is also a multitude of F5D ships . I don't know anything about them except they look like big pylon racers and could go straight to the moon if it were closer.

Best Regards

Jan 01, 2002, 08:22 PM
Registered User
pilon racers sound very fast but i really love the durability of the zagi's especially the all epp faom razor .. i don't use the canopy and just make it so that my battery flies out when i smack the ground.. and i don't know of another plane that can nose dive into the ground around 80+ mph pick it up plug the battery back in and throw it back in the air... i think that is one of the main things that has me hooked on this hobby ... i should have my 020 flying again with the jeti 70amp 3p next week sometime and if i can find the money i will probably order the astro 050 sensorless astro item number 806 its a 2t racing motor and i will try it in the razor first since i haven't ordered a zagi 3c yet... the thing i miss about the 48" wing is how stable it is and you can see it alot farther away especially when flying at night....
Jan 01, 2002, 09:01 PM
Registered User

You have convinced me that the Astro 020 with a 1300scr is the place to start.

As I understand it, the 400 and 400X are the same except there is more "cabin" space on the X as well as a carbon spare. That being the case, the X seems to be the best choice for the air frame (The Razor will come later). What do you think?

Also, what covering technique are you using?

Also, What is the deal with the 3C you mention is your last post? I've seen it mentioned elsewhere.

Jan 01, 2002, 10:57 PM
small electrics r BIG FUN

Very Good Points

Yes, there is nothing quite like it for durability.
The original 6v 400 and N500A pack were great for starting out. It went plenty fast when you are learning. Then when you can go a while without crashing, you feel the need for more zip. I think it was 8x800ar pack first, with the idea I would need them for a motor upgrade later. They did improve rpm and top speed, but I felt the extra weight required a motor upgrade. I installed a Graupner 6304 480 and 6x4 pusher prop and it was off to the races again. By now the airframe had endured many returns to earth that could not be called landings by any stretch of the imagination. The nose had started to turn up and the middle got thicker. Long dives resulted in the wing tips trying to touch each other like the way a pidgeon flies. Bad news. Then I got the be-loved Pico Jet, but that is another story. So the P-Jet eventually stole the Graupner and the Zagi went back to 6v 400 power again. No problem. By this time, our youngest son had his own Zagi and we discovered chasing each other around in the air and the occasoinal knock down. What a blast! Soon, it was impossible to fly full throttle with the speed 400 without flapping, but I couldn't throw it away. I thought of cutting out the middle and re-gluing the wings, but never did it til some other folks here did and with good results. I cut 12" out of the middle and glued the halves back together. If I did it over again, I would cut so the v angle of the wing was lesser so it was easier to balance.

After narrowing my 48" Zagi I have been flying it on the 6v 400 with 8 600ae or 500ar cells. Much snappier than the 48 inch version, but also more sensitive to CG position. Before I narrowed it, when it first began the evil flapping business, I had installed my brushless Kontronik 400/22 and 6x6 prop. Top speed was never realized with the brushless because of the dreadful flapping. Mostly I would cruise around for up to 20 minutes on a Radio Shack 1000 Nicad pack, and if it was a bit breezy, I would point it into the breeze and open the throttle, give some up elevons, and it would go up like an elevator. I really liked watching that . Now with the stiffer, narrower airframe, I think it may be time for brushless testing , Chapter Two. I'll have to use 8x1400ae way out front for any hope of getting it to balance. As someone else mentioned, 1400ae are almost as good as 800ar, and fly way longer.

Happy Flying

Jan 02, 2002, 11:30 AM
Clu's Avatar
I gotta say, after putting a Mag Mayhem in mine, I keep asking myself "Who needs brushless?"

My Setup:
Mag Mayhem Reversed
6x5 Aeronaut prop
Jeti 350 controller

Great setup!
Jan 03, 2002, 07:31 PM
Registered User



Man do you have alot of spare time on your hands. I've never seen such a long post! So you can get 20+ flights out of a brushless setup before the speed controler melts? Is that normal? I don't understand the advantage of a brushless if that is the case. My Zagi doesn't flap. Is it a good think to make your zagi flap? I thought it just needed the motor to propell it? I guest flapping wings could make it go faster. I"ll have to add another servo to make it flap it's wings. But i don't know how to hook up the servo to do that. Could you post a picture or a diagram on how to make a Zagi flap it's wings. I'm very interested in doing that mod to mine.

Thanks for any info
AeoX DEVILLE of Baja
Jan 03, 2002, 07:48 PM
Crashez-vous sans stress!
Dan H.'s Avatar
If you were kidding please ignore this post.
Zagi speed=good
Zagi flap=bad

If you really want to see a Zagi flap (which scrubs off speed, by the way), it helps to start with a well-used Zagi 400 (no spar) that has been put through a lot of high-G maneuvers. Then add a bigger battery and motor (for weight and higher speed). Get to altitude and make some steep dives at full throttle. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Or you could just look at this:
Jan 03, 2002, 10:24 PM
Registered User
Not trying to pull too far away from the topic but there is another way to increase performance.

I recently converted my lightly taped thl glider over electric. My entire flying setup weighs under 15 oz. The thing easily out climbs a friends twin 400 powered zagi and does tricks that he can never dream of.

Yes he does have more speed....expecially in dives......but, I can go from inverted 3 feet off the ground and exit by way of outside loop.

I am just runnin the standard 8x500 battery. I do avoid the high speed monster loops (no spar included) but other than that I can do most else.

Just a thought......
Jan 03, 2002, 11:14 PM
Crashez-vous sans stress!
Dan H.'s Avatar
hmm, that's a coincidence. I'm converting my old THL, using the stock Zagi 400 setup (only came with a 7-cell 500A though) that came with my 2-year-old 400 kit. The 400, which I'm finally building, is getting three spars and a Mayhem. Also, I took a leftover piece of carbon rod and ProBonded it into the THL, so now it's a little heavier (about .8 oz. for the rod and glue) and one cell underpowered compared to yours. AUW will probably be the same as a stock 400 (my old THL came with coro winglets, for example).
Jan 03, 2002, 11:22 PM
Registered User

Zagi weight

There is no substitute for lightness. I think the stock 400X with light gear and taping really works great. I also found that the balance point can be moved quite far back, making it fly much more responsively and slowly for thermaling. Speed is excellent. The line is fine when larger batteries are used, as Zagi performance and handling degrade proportionally to the extra weight.

The foam airframe is a large compromise, as it's durability is outstanding but is not really suited for excess speed and weight. It IS fun to explore limits and to hear how far others push the envelope before it rips...


Thread Tools