Belt Drive vs. Gear Drive - RC Groups
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Nov 20, 2002, 02:05 PM
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Matt Chester's Avatar

Belt Drive vs. Gear Drive

A question came to mind yesterday when I was reading the new Hobby Lobby catalog.

They have a belt drive system for speed 600 size motors and it claims that it is more powerful and effecient for the speed 600 size motors because you are able to run the motor in std direction.

My question is:

Which would be more powerful/efficient?

A Magnetic Mayhem reverse with a gear drive reduction or a Magnetic Mayhem standard with a belt drive reduction?
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Nov 20, 2002, 02:09 PM
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Matt Chester's Avatar
here is a picture and the info directly from their website.

Fly a 5 lb. airplane with a cheap SPEED 600 and this super efficient belt drive!

The Olympus Belt Drive gets the most out of SPEED 600 motors with its ball bearings and the fact that you donít have to reverse the motor and lose efficiency.
Itís a 2.3:1 reduction. Has VERY easy mounting ears. Offset from motor shaft to prop shaft is only 1". It has a 6mm threaded prop shaft for regular airplane props.

I was eyeballing this setup for my Sig Kadet Seniorita. Would this pull the Seniorita around with authority or would it be limping?

Average Seniorita weight is 64oz or 4lb.
Nov 20, 2002, 02:46 PM
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planekrazy's Avatar
I think generally Belt Drives have a great quiet smooth sound over many gearboxes. Of course, some of the nicer planetary gearboxes sound really nice too but cost a lot more.

Anyways, most belt drives i've seen have an input RPM limit/recommendation of 20,000.

Personally, i used that Olympus 2.3:1 belt drive with a Trinity car motor, the Speed Gem Sapphire 17T motor, in a slimer-converted Goldberg Eaglet 50. The AUW was 3.4 pounds after electrification The KV on the Sapphire 17T is about 3600 so i was running the Belt Drive way over 20,000. Never had a problem with the gearbox although i would usually fly around at half throttle most of the flight. Anyways, i recall that at full throttle the setup would draw about 25 amps with eight CP-2400s and an APC 8x6 prop. Anyways, never had a problem with the belt drive and the motor really liked it too

I think a Kyosho MM as a KV of about 2500, so with 8 cells i don't think you'll even hit the 20,000 number. Personally, i think you'll be happy with the belt drive MM for the Kadet, with an APC E 10x7 you'll be around 20amps full throttle, so there will be room to larger/more pitch props or more cells if you want more spirited performance.
Nov 20, 2002, 02:54 PM
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Matt Chester's Avatar
Excellent. I thought it might make a good power system for the Seniorita.

So which would be more powerful/effecient?

The MM std. with the belt or the MMR with gear?
Nov 20, 2002, 04:09 PM
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planekrazy's Avatar
I really come down to the quality of the gearbox and belt drives being compared. The MMR (when run reverse) and the MM (when run forward) should operate at the same efficiency, power, etc.

I don't know the efficiency rating of various gearboxes/belt drives, however do know that a good planetary gearbox will be more efficient (than a belt drive, pinion/spur gearbox, and inter-driven gearboxes) since no side load will be exerted to the motor shaft. So if you're running the plastic Speed 500 gearbox from graupner versus this Olympus belt drive, i really don't know which transmission system would be more efficient as they may be close....

I always believe Model-airTech (Tom Hunt) makes some awesome belt drives, and know many people swear by them....and their website has some great info too (

Nov 21, 2002, 01:04 PM
Sean in YVR (Vancouver)
YVR's Avatar

This topic has been covered before (although I notice the search function isn't working right now). I've owned both the Olympus and the Modelairtech belt drives, and for your Seniorita I would STRONGLY recommend you go with the latter. The Olympus is fine, but for higher wattage applications the Modelairtech is better - its far more robust. No comparison, really.

Nov 21, 2002, 02:44 PM
EFlight=Fun,Big-T=BIG FUN
Model Air-Tech.

I use a MAT H500 (500 watt max) 3:1 belted gb with a phasor 15-4, 40A OPTO controller on 12xRC2400 (12x3000 NiMH zapped) using a APC 14x7E. 30A @ 400W hauls 7lb of Big-T around, loops from level flight, etc. Throttle back and get 16+ minutes fly time.

And it's TOUGH! My son stalled, inverted at 20 ft, went to full throttle and pulled up - almost made it. Whacked into the hard ground - smashed the glass fiber mount beams, sheared the nylon shear bolts, hammered the 1/4" firewall backwards 1/4" at top and split the firewall in half. The MAT gb had the main gear moved forward less than 1/16" - no other damage.

Did something similar once to Master Air-Screw gb - totalled it (bent shaft, shattered case).

So do check out the Model Air-Tech brushless combo's and gearbox's. Talk to Tom Hunt, he has good advice and good service.
Bernard "Crash" Siegel
P.S. Not affilaited with MAT except as a very satisified customer.

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