Beginner Slow Stick AP brushed or brushless?
Photography has been a hobby of mine for some time, but I am new to flying. I got the idea a few months back about doing aerial photography. Initially I did not have any idea what was the best way to get the camera up in the air. My initial thoughts, helium balloons, kites, blimps, just did not look very promising. After doing some internet searches. I finally found rcgoups.com. After only reading a little bit I realized that you guys not only have a wealth of information on this subject. But you also have years of practical experience. Not only that, you are constantly coming up with new ideas and new gadgets to use with AP. I already bought the infrared switch from MX for the Optio s4i.
Once I realized that I needed to fly RC I got a couple of RC simulators to practice on. Then I found a really good buy on an Aerobird Challenger. I got it just to get some air time (also, as I found out it is fun to fly). I have been flying it now about 5 weeks. These last 5 weeks I have been reading the forums to prepare myself to buy and build an AP setup. I am just about ready to purchase everything. Here is what I am looking at:
Camera: Pentax Optio s4i
Radio: Hitec Flash 5x w/ 3 HS81 and Micro 555
Plane: Slow Stick w/ EPS400C-DS/BB motor
ESC: Pixie 20
Battery: KAN-1050 9.6V 8-cell
Charger: Wattage pf-12 AC/DC
And of course I am planning on most of the standard SS mods.
My question is: Would I be better off starting with a brushless motor and just getting the SS slope glider? From what I have read, the SS with EPS400C is plenty capable with the KAN-1050 to get the Optio s4i up for decent photos. However, it also appears that most of the people who have been doing this for a while are using brushless motors. Would the extra power of the brushless motor be a help or a hindrance to someone just starting out? And is power the only advantage to going brushless?
You are going to get lots of replies to this...
As I see it (and others will no doubt differ on this) the brushed/brushless debate comes down to this:
- brushless setups produce more power for the same weight, or for less weight you get the same or slightly better power. (Eg. the AXI2212/26 on 8 cells delivers more power than the EPS400C-D and weighs about 60%, so you can carry about 40gms more payload without increasing AUW, and that's without considering the inceased power that is available)
- brushless motors are more efficient so if you use a brushless delivering about the same power it will fly longer, or you can use more power for the same time
- brushless motors are significantly more reliable than brushed motors - how important this is depends on where you do the AP flying, and how many $$$ you have attached to the motor (ie. plane) - how much more reliable can also be debated
- outrunner brushless motors (ie. no gearbox) are very quiet, again it depends on where you fly, but my experience is that a SS producing no noise is not seen as any kind of threat
- brushless motors (and their controllers) are significantly more expensive than brushed motors
I seems pretty clear to me that if it wasn't for the last factor there wouldn't be much of a debate.
The 'power' advantage translates into lots of things:
- ability to carry heavier payloads
- ability to fly forward in higher winds (this translates also into an ability to get higher)
- ability to fly in more restricted spaces (once you get appropriate skills)
Is a brushless motor a help or a hindrance to a beginner? I don't think I have enough experience to comment. My limited experience would suggest that a 'moderate' brushless (such as the AXI 2212/26) makes the SS easier to fly. I switched to brushless mainly to improve reliability and reduce noise.
However, the EPS400C-D works really well with the 8 x KAN 1050 on the SS and my suggestion would be to get in some flying time with this power system on the SS before purchasing a brushless system.
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