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Author Topic: Attach Prop to Motor Output Shaft?? (maybe stupid Q)  (Read 523 times)
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dosco
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« on: April 06, 2022, 12:32:18 PM »


I'm considering building a small, simple, electric-powered aircraft to build my RC flying skills.

Not ever having built an electric RC plane (or car or boat) ... and recalling toying with electric motors when I was a kid (I'm 51 now).

How does one affix a prop to the motor's output shaft?

There aren't any key slots or flats, so I'm confused. Am hoping someone with experience will set me straight.

Best-
Dave
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ffkiwi
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2022, 04:28:26 PM »

There are a variety of adapters on the market allowing you to fit a propeller to an electric motor shaft-anything from about 2mm up to about 6mm motor shaft size. The very smallest motors-with 1mm dia shafts or slightly larger generally have props that simply push on, as a tight friction fit.

The purpose built prop adapters essentially come in two basic types-those which use a set screw to lock them on the motor shaft, and those which use a tapered collet along with a collar which screws down to tighten the collet-think of a drill chuck style of operation. These types in turn may have the prop itself retained by a prop screw, by a nut, or by a spinner nut-the first option obviously having a female thread  on the prop side of the adaptor, the latter two a male thread.

You might still have to obtain some prop bushings or alternatively drill out your chosen prop hub to get a good fit on the adaptor, depending on the prop end dimensions...

Do a search on 'prop adapter' on Ebay or elsewhere and you will throw up a range of options. If you have a lathe, the set screw retention types are easy enough to make-the collet types require significantly more work to make your own...

 ChrisM
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Starduster
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2022, 09:14:30 PM »

Hi Dosco - i've got a bunch of collets in my box. If you can let me know the diameter (and length) of the shaft, I might have one.
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dosco
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2022, 10:08:09 PM »

So here's what I bought (and arrived the other day) ... a 10g brushless outrunner motor 1811 2000KV. It arrived in a mailing pouch and no instructions or data sheets.

In addition to "how do I attach a prop" I'm also not clear on the supplied hardware. There is a little widget with gudgeon screws, and also a spinner. There is an o-ring that's sizeable, not sure what that's for. Finally, there is nothing about the wiring, and all are black colored. Yes, I need an ESC (will be ordering that soon).

Below is a pic from the Amazon page. I spent maybe 10 minutes on google trying to find tech data ... no joy.

Best-
Dave

Attach Prop to Motor Output Shaft?? (maybe stupid Q)
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VictorY
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2022, 11:05:58 PM »

The spinner looking thing is a prop adapter that clamps on to the motor shaft when you assemble it with a prop, slide the assembly down over the motor shaft and tighten the spinner/nut by sliding an allen wrench or piece of stiff wire through the hole drilled in it and twisting.

The other adapter is a soft mount prop adapter, or prop saver. Slide the adapter over the motor shaft, aligning one of the two bolts with the flat spot on the shaft and tightening it. Then tighten the other bolt to complete adapter installation. To mount the prop, you will probably have to ream the prop until it is a press fit on the adapter, then stretch the o-ring from one bolt to the other across the front of the prop hub to mount the prop. It seems like it would just come flying off but it is a very good design if the prop fits tightly on the adapter, and saves a lot of props on smaller planes that have no landing gear.
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Kevin M
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2022, 02:06:03 AM »

The ESC should come with sockets already fitted to its 3 leads that connect to the motor, and also there should be supplied 3 matching plugs for you to solder to your motor wires. Normally they supply some suitable heat-shrink tubing as well. Plug the three motor wires into the ESC sockets any way you like, then power up the motor. If it rotates in the wrong direction, unplug any two of the motor wires and swap them over.
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dosco
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« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2022, 11:14:31 AM »

VictorY:
Thank you for explaining that ... super helpful!

Kevin M:
Any tips on sizing the ESC? I haven't pulled the trigger on a purchase yet, as I'm not clear on which one to buy.

Best-
Dave
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VictorY
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2022, 03:00:34 PM »

To determine which ESC is best, you need to know what voltage you plan on running and about how many watts or amps you will be drawing with the prop you are using.
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Kevin M
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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2022, 03:17:55 PM »

Dosco,

It depends quite a lot on the prop you are going to use, if you could provide a few more details of the model, its size and projected mass, and what prop pitch & diameter you plan to use, it would give a clearer idea of what would be a suitable ESC amperage.
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dosco
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« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2022, 05:01:00 PM »

Dosco,

It depends quite a lot on the prop you are going to use, if you could provide a few more details of the model, its size and projected mass, and what prop pitch & diameter you plan to use, it would give a clearer idea of what would be a suitable ESC amperage.

Kevin:
That's a bit up in the air as I fumble through the "how to find a prop that fits" part first. Actually giving me a headache. PITA.

Idea would be something relatively large and floaty. I want a 2ch+throttle trainer thingus that I can make from Dollar Store foamboard (or even cardboard). Ideally using rechargeable AA cells (probably not realistic due to weight, and I assume I'll need to goto NiMH or LiPo).

Motor just needs enough oomph to get the bird up. I'd then throttle back, glide down (and practice maneuvering), then throttle up to altitude. Rinse and repeat.

Best-
Dave
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dosco
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« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2022, 05:05:41 PM »

VictorY:
I went to the LHS and bought a 4-pack of Rage RC RGR4406 Stinger 2.0 props. They're 5 and 9/16 inches outside diameter. Not sure about pitch, although it looks low.

The thru-hole of the prop appears to be sized for the motor shaft (of the motor I purchased).

Problem is the motor output (mounting?) shaft is not long enough to accommodate the prop saver as well as the prop (the prop "hub" is too tall). I did cut off part of the hub that had a larger counterbore ... prop hub is still too tall.

I suppose a press fit might do ... they're pretty tight.

I guess I need to dredge Amazon to get something thinner. Not sure I want to make one - balance would probably be iffy.

Best-
Dave
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VictorY
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« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2022, 06:46:51 PM »

The prop saver mount/adapter goes on first and the motor shaft only needs to be long enough for the saver/adapter to grasp onto. Pics might be helpful.

And your strategy is kinda backwards. Smiley You really need to build a plane first, weigh it, then start picking components that match the airframe and performance needs. But since you already have a motor, try to build a plane in the weight range of that motor by researching it's watt rating, deciding what kind of performance you want out of the plane, then building one in the watt/pound range necessary to reach the expected performance level. Then you can start thinking about esc's and props. As for batteries, you should be able to find cheap Lipo's and a charger for a reasonable price. AA's generally mean poor energy density and long charge times.
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« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 06:56:59 PM by VictorY » Logged
dosco
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« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2022, 10:25:05 PM »

The prop saver mount/adapter goes on first and the motor shaft only needs to be long enough for the saver/adapter to grasp onto. Pics might be helpful.

And your strategy is kinda backwards. Smiley You really need to build a plane first, weigh it, then start picking components that match the airframe and performance needs. But since you already have a motor, try to build a plane in the weight range of that motor by researching it's watt rating, deciding what kind of performance you want out of the plane, then building one in the watt/pound range necessary to reach the expected performance level. Then you can start thinking about esc's and props. As for batteries, you should be able to find cheap Lipo's and a charger for a reasonable price. AA's generally mean poor energy density and long charge times.

VictorY:
Pictures help. I had that in mind (good to know I'm not totally off my rocker). Issue(?) is the amount of shaft protruding after mounting the adapter is teeeeny. like 1/16th of an inch. I'll post pics tomorrow.

Yes, I realize I'm going in reverse. Really I should just drop $150 on a plane+motor and just get it over with ... although to some extent I like this because it forces me to understand things. Ugh.

Lipos. Don't they have that nasty random "might burn/explode" problem, or has that issue been overcome with time? I had to recently move into an apartment, and am a bit limited with "put the charger outside in case it assplodes" options.

Please. Educate me. And thanks for your patience, I appreciate it.

Best-
Dave
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VictorY
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« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2022, 11:06:20 PM »

You don't need any shaft protruding out of the adapter. It only needs to be long enough for the bolts in the adapter to grasp onto it.

I've been racing rc cars and flying model aircraft since Lipos first came out and have never had a battery fire. I've seen a few at a couple of the hundreds and hundreds of races I've been to. But the chances are more likely that the battery was previously damaged in a crash or mishandled with overcharging or running completely empty on a regular basis. If you follow the very simple rules about handling, charging and storage, you will have zero issues with them. You hear about laptops and phones blowing up all the time but are you afraid of those. Wink

Lipos, when cared for properly, will last many hundreds of cycles, especially if they aren't deep cycles where you drain the battery down to it's minimum voltage. Almost all esc's have programmable cutoffs so you can leave a little juice (10% or so) in your batteries when the flight is over. But don't leave the batteries at 10% when you go to store them. Your charger has a "Store Charge" setting for a reason. Lipos like to spend their time at around 60%. They grow damaging structures in the cells when at minimum and maximum voltage so wait to charge them until the day you use them, or maybe the night before. And NEVER charge a lipo to a voltage above what it's rated for. That's why your charger always asks if you are sure about the number of cells you are charging before it will allow you to start charging. Never drop a lipo or use one that shows any sign of damage or severe puffing. You might get a little puffing with cheaper cells or cells that just finished a hard and fast discharge cycle. Keep your lipos in a steel ammo can or approved battery storage bag when unsupervised just to be sure. I keep mine in the fireplace in my apartment. LOL It never get's used for a fire so may as well use it to store my potentially hazardous energy storage devices. Smiley

And to add one more thing, the batteries you are going to be using for the type of motor you posted a picture of are going to be pretty small. I use 2 cell 350mah batteries in my converted 60" hand launch. It climbs at 45 degrees or better to three or four hundred for at least half a dozen times before the voltage cutoff kicks in and if a battery that size went up in a full blown nuclear meltdown, it would be easily contained by simply having it on any material that doesn't catch on fire immediately. They are pretty safe even when they fail so long as you don't have a pile of clothes or curtains or a dead Christmas tree nearby. A 5 or 6 cell 5000mah pack is a different story.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2022, 11:32:42 PM by VictorY » Logged
Slowmatch
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« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2022, 05:04:14 AM »

Hi Dave,

The little 10g motor you have was sold under a few different names but it's a very well proven one with lots of data out there. It was sold under the 'Hextronik' name by Hobbyking: https://hobbyking.com/en_us/18-11-2000kv-micro-brushless-outrunner-10g.html?___store=en_us

And some static thrust test data here: https://www.flybrushless.com/motor/view/619
and here: http://www.flybrushless.com/motor/view/431

It's a good little workhorse paired up with:
- 6A ESC (eg Turnigy Plush)
- 6x4 prop (something like APC is ideal)
- 2S (two cells) 350-500mAh Lipo.

Don't be afraid of small lipo - get a good charger (IMAX B6 or similar) and learn the basics on how to look after them. Most of the horror stories are people flying BIIG models and bigger batteries: 4S and above.

My Twinkie 27" span depron trainer design flies on the above set up with a 2S 500mAh cell lipo except with a 5x3 prop. The model weighs 140g, has plenty of thrust available and I get cruisy flights of around 20 minutes per battery.

https://youtu.be/tU_ABZXGbQk

Jon


https://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/6/3/7/9/5/2/a9240074-98-WP_20160808_09_50_38_Pro.jpg
Attach Prop to Motor Output Shaft?? (maybe stupid Q)
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dosco
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2022, 03:38:47 PM »

VictorY, Jon:
Many thanks for the continued patience and suggestions.

Best-
Dave
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Starduster
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« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2022, 07:30:21 PM »

FWIW - I despise so-called "prop saver" hubs. I've had way too many just spin the prop off as soon as you go to max power. Especially with Free-flight where the spin-up to max is very short. Not to mention that I find it very difficult to get the prop to balance. IMO a terrible design
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dosco
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2022, 08:15:20 AM »

FWIW - I despise so-called "prop saver" hubs. I've had way too many just spin the prop off as soon as you go to max power. Especially with Free-flight where the spin-up to max is very short. Not to mention that I find it very difficult to get the prop to balance. IMO a terrible design

I have to say as a n00b, the approach seems "iffy" to me.

-Dave
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Slowmatch
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2022, 03:46:42 AM »

The prop saver method does work but you need substantial O-rings and a good fit on the hub. I agree that a collet is much better but be aware that these little motors are a bit vulnerable to bending the shaft if (when?) you pile it in. If you go with the collet make sure you have an undercarriage or use a folding prop.
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VictorY
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2022, 04:18:58 PM »

The prop saver method does work but you need substantial O-rings and a good fit on the hub. I agree that a collet is much better but be aware that these little motors are a bit vulnerable to bending the shaft if (when?) you pile it in. If you go with the collet make sure you have an undercarriage or use a folding prop.

Yep. If the prop won't stay on the adapter before you secure it with a tight fitting ring, you are going to have problems. I have had zero issues with balance or abrupt acceleration, and my E-36 setup is as hot as they come as far as I can tell.
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dosco
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« Reply #20 on: Today at 12:42:33 PM »

Let me continue to display my ignorance of electrical stuff ...

Per Jon's suggestion, I ordered a charger, ESC, and battery.

My current question is with regards to the battery.



There are 2 pigtails coming from the battery ...
     > A 2-pin connector with fat wires
     > A 3-pin connector with skinny wires

The ESC has a 3-pin connector.

What connects to what in this setup?

Sorry. I'll again kvetch about the lack of readily-available schematics. Without them I am lost (with them I might just be confused).

Best-
Dave



Attach Prop to Motor Output Shaft?? (maybe stupid Q)
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VictorY
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« Reply #21 on: Today at 05:28:47 PM »

The 3 pin connector on the ESC should be the radio/servo lead.

The ESC will also have two main power wires, usually red and black, coming out of one end, and three wires out the other. The three larger wires go to the motor and the two main power wires should have a connector soldered to them that match the big two wire plug on the battery.

The smaller 3 pin connector on the battery plugs into the balance port on your charger so the charger can monitor each cell of the battery individually and "balance" the battery while it's charging.

Most people choose a common plug type for the batt/esc connection so they have a better chance of borrowing a battery or charger at the field should they have a breakdown of equipment or a failure of memory when packing the car to go to the field.
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