Disappointing first flights with Voyager - Advice? - RC Groups
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Jan 18, 2003, 02:46 PM
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Terkan's Avatar

Disappointing first flights with Voyager - Advice?

Got my Voyager E back into the air after waiting for parts and batteries. It is stock frames, ms blades, jr 3421 minis on ccpm, 9253 on tail, 401 gyro, r700 receiver, ubec, pec kit, hacker b40-9l, kontronik smile 40-6-12, 10 cell sanyo 4/5faup 1950.

Tried it first with an 18 tooth pinion. Was able to fly figure 8's with no power to spare. Landed at 6 minutes on my timer because my fingers were numb. Pack took 1875mah to charge again according to my charger.

Switched over to a 19 tooth pinion and got 4:30. Probably could have hovered a bit longer at the end but it had NO power. At the start of the pack it was only a little more powerful than the 18 tooth. Probably for 2 minutes.

Am I doing something wrong? I thought that with this battery being comparably really light that I would have shorter flight times than possible but it would at least be more nimble. I am running the esc at 95% in governor mode. I would really like to get 4 minutes of strong flight. -recommendations?
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Jan 18, 2003, 02:48 PM
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Anyone know a place that has Triton's and takes paypal?

Jan 18, 2003, 03:32 PM
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well I dont see why you would wont to put it in over drive like you did , you need to go down in tooth to have more power for lite Arobatic, which is all that motor will do , and thats real light flying . thats about like a motor in a full size truck , and the 9L motor is a 4 banger , and the 8L is the V 8 ,
Batteries , well dont know what you are running there , but what is the res. on those batteries , and about the best batteries out there now , is the 2600 nimh Tony
Jan 18, 2003, 03:34 PM
I think the problem lies in your cells...

With that same 9L motor, 18T pinion and 10 CP1700 cells, my friends Voyager E flew VERY well with power for aerobatics and aything else he wanted. It was not low on power, but the duration was only around 4-5 minutes.

I have not used these new 1950 cells, but can they handle 30+ amps well? I somehow doubt it from what Ive read. Your heli is pulling an average of over 25 amps with spikes up to 35 amps at times. My guess is, those cells just cant handle that load. Maybe you need to cycle them a dozen more times to improve performance, but I doubt it will get that much higher.

If you try the CP1700s or new LiPo packs that will be availble soon (Less weight than CP1700s with a tad more voltage and of cource 7800 mah!), you wont have such disappointing power.

By the way - I hate to say it - but your Voyager is a hefty little guy. 3421 minis and a 9253 on the tail are about 3 ounces more weight than you should be carrying. 3 ounces doesnt sound like a lot, but thats a good 6% the weight of the whole heli! If you added carbon frames and micro servos, you would save nearly 5-7 ounces total (About 10-15% the weight of the heli) and that would REALLY inscrease the powerformance. Dropping that much weight on mine made a huge difference!
Jan 18, 2003, 03:39 PM
What charger do you have now? The Triton isd a good charger, but may not be a lot better. With the new LiPo cells on the way out with performance better than most NiCad and NiMhs, you may want to wait on a new charger if you dont have to have one now.

The Triton can do LiPos, but it doesnt charge them all the way (Leaves about 17% power out), and it is a little slow (About 3-4 hours to charge a pack you would use on the Voyager).

Jan 18, 2003, 03:41 PM
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Ok the 9L maybe like a V6 instead of the 4 banger
Jan 18, 2003, 03:58 PM
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What are you using to charge those 1950 cells? As others have said sort of It's a bit hard to give specific advice since you are flying a different motor than most use (9L vs. 8L) and different cells (1950 vs. 1700's or 2400's or 2600's or 3000's).

However, I will say this. The Nimh's generally need a few cycles to come up to power. 1st charge at a low rate then fast charges after that. Also, they DO NOT like the cold! The pack needs to be fast charged before you fly and warm when you put it in the heli. If it was slow charged the night before, only has a cycle or two on it and you are flying outside in Cincinatti where I presume it is 30 degrees if not less then I would expect low performance.
Jan 18, 2003, 04:31 PM
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Terkan's Avatar
Thanks for all the replies.

I really don't understand the analogy on the 9l motor, it is one of the ones I have seen recommended for the VE. I wanted an 8l and thought that I was getting one but it was actually a 9l so I am going to make do.

I am currently using an Eflite pinnacle charger. When I bought this I was only using it for glow ignitors, receiver packs and a starter pack. It has migrated over to charge the Voyager. Is there one that is recommended for current needs and the new li-poly's?

The batteries have only been cycled twice now. They were originally charge for about 14 hours at .19 amp. I did use them warm off the charger for the flights I spoke of but it is somewhere around 10 degrees here. I bought these because they are lighter than the 1700's, more capacity and less IR. I tried a 10 cell pack of 2400's on the 18 tooth pinion and it would barely fly. Is there a place that I should keep an eye on for the Li-po's?

I plan on putting the ship on a diet to shave every possible ounce but I want to make sure it will fly ok before I dump too much more $$ into it.

I was told by several sources that these cells would do 35amps no problem and ran as well as the 1700's. thats why I decided to go with them. No one else is using these cells or the 9l motor?
Jan 18, 2003, 05:12 PM
Are you using your SMILE ESC in heli mode (4)?

If so, did you calibrate the ESC before you ran it the first time?

The manuals doesnt say anything about it, but there is a "calibration" we've used on the SMILE to make it work in the heli mode.

I do it every time I use different cell counts or pinions. You can not simply change the pinion without recalibrating. Thats one of the problems with the Kontronik ESCs. But, they are still easier to use.

If you have no idea what Im talking about, just let me know. I'll walk you through it.

I use the 8L motors in my 2 Voyagers, but my buddy used the 9L with excellent success.

The LiPo packs will be available through some distributors the middle of next month. I wouldnt buy a new charger like the Triton yet - the Pinnacle is more than adequate for your needs right now. The LiPos though would need their own charger. BPP sells a charger than could do 2 of the 3 cell packs a Voyager would require at once! The Voyager will use a 3 cell pack of LiPos that are 7800 mah. They weigh 2 ounces less than a 10 cell CP1700 pack, with a smidge more voltage and of course 7800 mah! The BPP charger can charge 1-3 cells on either port at up to 4.5 amps - so charge time is around 2 hours. BUT, your flight times would be around 20 amps!

I should be testing the LiPos in the next few weeks on the Voyager! We've already tested them on the Logo 20, Logo 10 and my RappE with EXCELLENT results (They still deliver up to 92% of capacity at 4C amp draws - unheared of for LiPos and these can do it!). They should REALLY make the Voyager shine!

For reference, when the packs come out, this would be the best charger for the cost:


Its the SC2. The best charger all around in the Ginzel Spectra. I t can do 1-32 NiCad/NiMh, up to 8 amps, and 1-12 cell LiPo packs at up to 6 amps! But at $250, its a bit steep, though it can charge the most LiPos of any charger currently are the fastest rates currently! I just got one this weekend to play with

Let me know if you ran through the SMILE calibration. If not, that could be the problem! Just entering Mode 4 on the ESC for heli is not all that is required. You must do a special motor run up so the ESC can "see" the performance the pack will provide. Sounds crazy, but it makes a world of difference!

Jan 18, 2003, 05:32 PM
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Terkan's Avatar
Thanks for the info Jason. Please keep us informed about these cells. One of the reasons I decided to give electrics a go again is because I have read that these packs will soon be reality. Do I understand you correctly that you would not need to put the packs in parallel for the Voyger? Just 3 cells in series?

About my smile, I don't think i have done what you speak of. I do recalibrate it each time I change anything per the manual. But that is it (the part where you set if for mode 4 by pushing the button and waiting for 4 beeps then pushing the throttle forward) I am most anxious to get a description of what you are talking about.

Thanks for the help
Jan 18, 2003, 06:07 PM
NiCd + Mabuchi 550 was da bomb
Hi Jason,

Can you check your PM. Thanks
Jan 18, 2003, 06:53 PM
Registered User
Hang in there with those cells. Give them a good 6-10 flights before you draw any conclusions. My HR2600's took a few cycles before the power and capacity were up to snuff.

BTW, what is your top end pitch? Maybe you aren't running enough. I'd have to review the instructions, isn't 12 or 14 degrees what is in the manual? If the batteries are handling the amps OK and it isn't climbing like you want more pitch should solve it if the pinion / motor wind is a good match. Of course then it isn't a full aerobatic setup but lets get it flying OK first right?
Jan 18, 2003, 07:30 PM
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Hey Terkan, I have the following setup:

- HackerB40-7L
- Smile 40-6-18
- 15 Tooth Pinion
- 8 Cell CP2400 mah packs

I did not have a smooth 5-6 min power until I did the following suggested runup after sellecting the Mode 4 program.

- After you have moved the throttle stick to full to confirm mode 4 and disconnect pack...
- Remove the blades, Set a throttle curve of 0 to 100 and reconnect a freshly charged pack and let the ESC beep saying its ready for flight. I put some broom stick in the skids to keep it from wiping around and advanced the throttle to full open. After a few seconds it changes in rpms and goes up some and them remains steady. At this point I lowered it to 0 and unplugged the pack. Put blades back on and go.

Thats what I was told to do. If someone has a better method please let us know

My Hacker runs hot after every flight. Case is hot to the touch, but not so hot it burns the finger. I am going to get a temp guage soon and see what the surface temp is after one of my flights. I usually only get about 1800-2000 mah out of my packs before the headspeed drops to the point it wobbles to death and I have to land. This is normally after 5:30 mins on my Tx timer then I get another 30-40 seconds more if I had some FF mixed in or had some transitional lift on a windy day.

All and all, I am very happy with my VE and look forward to going Lithium Poly this year after some more research is done on charging all the packs at once. I am waiting on another UBEC since my first attempt last week resulting in an meltdown and a return to the vendor...weird I soldered correctly...hummm
Jan 18, 2003, 07:51 PM
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Terkan's Avatar
Is this what Jason was talking about doing? Can anyone else verify this? (not that I disbelieve you but it does sound weird ) Seems like if this is accurate that we're tricking the esc into running a certain way by changing its test load.

Chris- I'm only running 10 degrees now, I'm gonna play with the pitch settings tonight. Hopefully you're correct on the cells and they will perform better after more cycles.

I keep seeing on these forums people mentioning carbon voyager frames for $40. I've not been able to find them anywhere for this price. Has the price gone up or am I looking in the wrong places?
Jan 18, 2003, 07:54 PM
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Terkan's Avatar


I've also noticed that I've had a few glitches since moving to a ubec. (didn't know at first that I couldn't use the smile bec on 10 cells) I had to mount the ubec all the way in the back above the tailboom to avoid interfering with my servos (continuous jitter when the ubec was up near the gyro/receiver). Is it normal to have to isolate it like that?