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Old 08-07-2007, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default Associated Factory Team TC5, Brushless, LiPo, Li-ion Nanophosphate, Tips and Tricks

Associated Factory Team TC5, Brushless, LiPo, Li-ion Nanophosphate, Tips and Tricks

This thread follows a long series of threads that I have had here on RCtech on touring cars and pan cars, and formerly on off-road trucks on Trinity’s web site which used to be the only RC forum around. I usually start a new thread with the acquisition of a new RC Car or Truck. This thread is not meant to replace the other TC5 thread on the forum. It is more to give you my perspective on the car and to give and receive expert technical advice. There are always guys with more experience than I, that teach me things, and in doing so, teach the other readers. I have had several touring cars, so I am not a complete rookie on this thread, like I was at the beginning of Pantoura Pan Car thread. I plan to continue my reporting of LiPo Batteries, possibly Lithium Ion NanoPhosphate batteries when we complete our indoor carpet track. This new Battery by 123 systems may actually be a great substitute for the 5 cell trend over in Europe.

Losi XXXS Tips and Tricks for Stock
This thread expired from age I guess

TC3 Assembly Tips, Factory Team Kit
http://www.rctech.net/forum/showthread.php?t=11192&highlight=Factory+Team+Tc3

Losi LCD's vs CVD's, JRXS, Novak GTB
http://www.rctech.net/forum/showthread.php?t=91463&highlight=Losi+LCD

Pantoura, 1/10 Pan Car, 2S LiPo, Brushless, Tips and Tricks.
http://www.rctech.net/forum/showthread.php?t=127484&page=1

I practice and race at Mikes-HobbyShop.com In Porter Texas very near Houston. (Note the Web store is new and has mostly train stuff at the moment; there is navigation on the left side.) Mike has already built a deluxe outdoor 1/8 scale size on-road track as well as a covered blue groove clay off-road Track. This On Road Track Web Page shows where I will be running the TC5 and then later I will run it indoors on carpet if the upstairs track ends up a sufficient size. The outdoor track will be newly resealed asphalt and will be high grip for more than a few months. Mike is hosting the On-Road Nitro Nationals this Year.
Now the first question loyal readers may ask is: am I abandoning the Pan Car and the Pan Car thread. Well the truth is: I am going to race against Nitros, most likely, until we get an electric class, and I will race the electric car that is faster on that day until I have an electric class to run in. This faster car is likely to be the Wide Pan car as the track is long. I will be testing both cars against each other. I will be making posts on the Pantoura thread for a while longer.
Since I ran the Losi JRXS, there have been few major developments in Touring Cars On Road. More just refinements of what was available. There was reduction in voltage to 5 cells in Europe to avoid excessive speed and possibly to reduce speed control fires.
One exception is a new speed control from LRP. The LRP sphere comp TC edition with the X11 3.5 motor, part number 6011. Although this package has been available overseas for a few months, only recently has it become available in the US as a package. This is the motor and Speed control I plan to run in the TC5. Maybe it will run for 5 minutes in the August heat or maybe not. I will see. The track temp was 140 F today. Novak is also hard at work developing new prototypes as well. I will be testing (but not reporting on) some of their new prototypes. Hopefully we will see an upgraded GTB that will withstand Touring car abuse in the Houston Heat.
I will try that 13 mm sintered rotor in the touring car that Syndrome suggested I try on the other thread. Punch is good on a 4 wheel drive.
Look forward to some nice pics of the car and equipment from myself and others as well as plenty of Tech. The car is supposed to be here Wednesday. A brushless servo is in hand. I might as well start this now.

Last edited by John Stranahan; 08-07-2007 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:08 AM   #2
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I'm delighted! Do you intend to do this testing with the car weighted down? I suppose with the TC5's layout, you almost have to for ballast. Either way, thank you in advance. I'm glad to hear Novak caught on and started sending you stuff to test. If it's because of your threads here, I think that speaks volumes about the power of the Internet in R/C, and its ability to push the limits of development.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:18 AM   #3
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syndrome-Thanks. I will be testing with Lipos first. I will do some work with the scales to see what I can come up with. I will post pics. One idea is two stacked max Amps 4000's to get 8,000 mA-h on board. I will limit runs to 5.5 minutes, though, on the sphere comp to keep from frying the speed control. The weight should be right then. The packs together weight about 14 ounces. Another option is to run the car light and move stuff around. I'll have to see what can realistically be done without cutting it up too much.
I tried to find a link for that brushless servo from Futaba. I could not. I'll get the part number tomorrow, the part is really at the shop and was in my hand. Might as well be all brushless.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:15 AM   #4
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Hello John:

The AE TC5 is a very light TC, compared to the others in the market. I drive the Schumacher MI3, and race against TC5's on the weekends. AE uses light plastic parts on their suspension to make the car lighter and its a rocket down the straights...steering: wow...w/ the 4 deg caster blocks in front, it turns on a dime...you'll see what I mean and you'll find your self tuning the car to take the steering away on the car and on your radio! The only issues right now is parts availability and toughness...the stock plastic diff outdrives will maybe last 4-5 runs w/ mod motors...so order a few extras, if you can. Also, make sure to get extra arms, caster blocks, and steering knuckles. Its the caster blocks that usually snap on a moderate crash...and ASAP, get the aluminum outdrives, and spool, the ITF chassis and upper deck if you'll be running outdoors, as it does help the car getting better flex and traction.

About the brushless system: the LRP Sphere TC is a fine choice! Their X11 series motors are only 158g, and their ESC is also very light, which helps a lot in balancing the car out if you're using Lipo. With that combo, you will be hitting 55mph easily down the straights every lap, if not more...you can bank on that. Cant wait for your speed tests- the beauty is that there's no fear of blowovers...today's TC's a re just stronger, lighter and faster with todays BL and lipo tech. Another nice BL system soon to be released and which I strongly suggest you test is the new Tekin BL system

right off the bat, you'll notice that as you hit the throttle, your TC will feel like a cement block, compared to the super-light weight pan car...it'll throw your acceleration and braking off a bit, since the car will react a bit slower than what we are used to compared to pan cars. It'll atke you a few laps to get used to again, and then you'll feel like you can put the car anywhere you want, and your driving will be smoother- thanks to the skills you picked up driving the pan cars.

This wednesday I'll be testing my wide pan car and running it against my buddy's Yokomo BD TC...he will run w/ lipo and 3.5 BL system, and we'll compete and see which car is faster overall what their strenght's and weaknesses are...it'll be fun.
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:18 AM   #5
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Does MaxAmps have these available? On their website they have A123 cells and packs for sale but I dont know if these are the phosphate cells you mentioned? they are 6.6V, and w/ a 3.5 motor should work close to 5 cell nimh packs...please share what you know about these A123 cells...have you tested them yet?
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Old 08-07-2007, 10:18 AM   #6
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John,
Good to see you blazing the way again.
Those nano-phosphate Li-ion cells. I'm assuming you are talking about A123? I've tested a bunch of those as well.
At a 20 amp discharge, each cell averages about 2.8V, so running 2 A123 cells is like running a 5 cell nimh.
The form factor is a headache to fit into a 1/10 scale touring car. It measures 26mm is diameter and 65mm long with only about 2.2Ah in capacity. They will also be releasing a "standard" size 18mm dia x 65mm long cell with an even lower capacity - probably around 1100 mAh. I can already see you making a custom chassis to make everything fit.
The can is aluminum so you need to stock up on Aluminum flux to solder these guys. The "Solder it" aluminum flux sucks. The best I found is something I ordered from McMaster Carr.
Cycle life on these guys is amazing and so is current capability.
I recently helped a guy build up a dragster with these cells. I built a 10 cell packs but ended up only using 6 cells for fear of blowing up the MM speedo.
Good luck.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:18 AM   #7
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Ling, Yhayyim-The 123 cells that caught my eye were picked up by Horizon part #AQR400063. It is a 4600 mA-h pack, 6.6 V. It looks like a stick pack and has Deans Connector already in place. The catalog does not list the weight or the size. I'll look these up and post it later.

YYhayyim-Thanks for the notes. I got as many crash parts as were available. I got rings for the oudrives. It looked like they might be a bit weak. I have the pin pillows in hand. 4 degree caster blocks were out of stock.

We are off to a good start. Thanks for the posts.

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Old 08-07-2007, 12:38 PM   #8
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Hi John,
Yup, it's the standard A123 26650 cell. Horizon is the biggest rip off though. They are selling 4 cells (2S2P) for $120 ($30/cell).
You can go out a buy a Dewalt 36V power tool battery, which uses the exact same cell, and get 10 cells for under $170 ($17/cell).
Of you can even order from Maxamps and get 4 bare cells for $90 ($22.50/cell)

A 2S2P A123 is HUGE for 1/10 scale applications. It will be ar least 52+mm wide and over 130 mm long.
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stranahan View Post
Linger Yhayyim-The 123 cells that caught my eye were picked up by Horizon part #AQR400063. It is a 4600 mA-h pack, 6.6 V. It looks like a stick pack and has Deans Connector already in place. The catalog does not list the weight or the size. I'll look these up and post it later.
That pack looks familiar...Xtreme RC Cars magazine did a column on this battery pack on their review about 5 months ago. I'll look it up. They liked everything exept the power...they claimed it lacked the punch and power of 6 cells and 7.4v Lipos...that's pretty much the only negative they described. The weight was around 335g, which is similar to 5 cell 3800mah nimh pack. I'll check the article out post more meaningful info from it here to give us a better idea as to what they found out...
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:19 PM   #10
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Thanks for the specs on that 123 battery. Here is a linkto the Horizon Pack. Here is a link to 123 systems (single cell). I noticed Horizon has single cells with solder tabs for $20. You should not expect it to perform like a 7.4 Volt battery as the voltage is lower. The question is: will it perform as good as a 5 cell NiMH. I will put the ruler to the chassis first. I don't relish soldering aluminum but I guess I could learn. I'll check out the McMaster Car product. There are a couple of advantages to using this 123 cell for 5 cell work. Firstly it does not catch fire or explode when abused. It may retain voltage better and be longer lived than other rechargeables. It should charge much faster. It can tolerate a little over charge and a little undercharge unlike a LiPo.
For 6 cell type of voltage I think the LiPo is still the way to go. I have had good luck recently with Thuderpower (Enerland Korea) cells and MaxAmp LiPo cells. Both have good voltage and don't deteriorate too fast at high amp draws. The thuderpower cell runs a little cooler at high amp draw. This is an advantage in Houston. It is a tad long but can be resized by putting on new shrink wrap to fit most cars. Expect double to tripple the amount of good raceworthy cycles from these Lipo's than from a NiMH cell pack in the same severe (high amp draw) duty. Expect about 50 good cycles inspite of what they advertize. After this the performance is off enough to really notice.

Here are a couple of pics of the Servo I plan to use on the TC5. I could not find a link on the Futaba site yet. Brushless! like the motors I plan to run. Will I see a performance advantage No. It may suck less battery power though. This is good.
Attached Thumbnails
Associated Factory Team TC5, Brushless, LiPo, Li-ion Nanophosphate, Tips and Tricks-futaba-bls-451-servo-cropped.jpg   Associated Factory Team TC5, Brushless, LiPo, Li-ion Nanophosphate, Tips and Tricks-futaba-bls-451-servo-specs.jpg  

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Old 08-08-2007, 12:40 AM   #11
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I made a dummy set of two cells 54 mm wide to simulate a 123 stick pack from Horizon. As expected they did not fit my TC4 or JRXS Battery tray. They did fit the right side of the TC4 chassis. It is not too outlandish an idea that they might fit on a TC5 that has removable side supports for the NiMH batteries. The edge of the battery may even slide into the front belt space. The length might be the limiting factor. On the TC4 there is room for 7 cells, so the length is not the problem. On the TC5 there is only room for 6 cells, but the end supports are removable. I have the manual but not the car yet. Weight balance may be a problem or maybe not.

Here is the size of the 123 pack at Horizon 135 x 28 x 53 mm. This length is more doable.
John
Attached Thumbnails
Associated Factory Team TC5, Brushless, LiPo, Li-ion Nanophosphate, Tips and Tricks-dummy-123-sized-cell-001-resized.jpg  

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Old 08-08-2007, 01:43 AM   #12
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You can also buy those 4600 6.6V A123 packs from A123 themselves at http://www.a123racing.com/html/hypersonic.html same price as Horizon.
I was actually looking at these last week and thought it looked like a reasonable equivalent to 5cell NiMH
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:23 AM   #13
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MEC has A123 cells @ $20. They also sell Solderless Power Tube kits for A123 cells & sub c cells- no soldering! Don
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Old 08-08-2007, 07:05 AM   #14
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Has anyone tried any other lithium phosphate cells? They are also known as LI-FE-PO4 or LIFEPO4 or saphion lithium cells. I am going to try these soon as well. You can find them at powerizer and tenergy, and they are offered in standard sizes and at a cheap price. Only problem is you need a LIFE compatible charger. The A123 charger will work as well as the FMA Direct Balancepro HD and the Bantam BCS 8.

I will be trying them in my offroad cars, BJ4WE, MF2, and B4.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 08-08-2007, 10:25 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattnin View Post
Has anyone tried any other lithium phosphate cells? They are also known as LI-FE-PO4 or LIFEPO4 or saphion lithium cells. I am going to try these soon as well. You can find them at powerizer and tenergy, and they are offered in standard sizes and at a cheap price. Only problem is you need a LIFE compatible charger. The A123 charger will work as well as the FMA Direct Balancepro HD and the Bantam BCS 8.

I will be trying them in my offroad cars, BJ4WE, MF2, and B4.
The Li phosphate cells are not ideal for RC. I've tested the standard 18650 size (18mm dia x 65mm long) from Sanyo (2 different types) and Sony. They are consisdered "high discharge rate" but they really can barely handle a 10C discharge rate - something like 5C is what they can really handle (about 8 amps). They also have worse cycle life at high discharge currents compared to a decent lipo. Another option is the E-One Moli which is a large 26650 size cell (same size as A123). That cell weighs a ton, but it has greater capacity than A123 (2.9 vs 2.3) - at a 20 amp discharge (~6.9C) it was getting hot enough to be dangerous (150+ deg F).
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