Monday, April 14, 2014

PSA: Blade 180 Motors are Mabuchi FK180SH-3240

The title says it all. But what does it mean?

Cheaper motors.

Keep reading.

Most everyone in the stock class world who does anything remotely related to flywheel guns knows about this above motor, a popular flywheel upgrade, by some name or another:
  • Blades
  • helicopter motors 
  • "180 motors"
  • By the E-Flite/Blade part numbers:
    • EFLH1210
    • EFLH1211
    • EFLH1210B
    • EFLH1211B
  • "The stock motors for the Blade CX2 and similar small coaxial RC helicopters"
  • "RC motors"
And the like - you know what THOSE are on the left and right in this image. Particularly that newer style right package.

You might have ordered them from an RC supplier, or walked into a local hobby shop and bought them. As a flywheel motor, they are a very practical, peppy, high-torque option with a hell of a reputation - not the top dog necessarily, but a go-to workhorse, and a popular recommendation.

What these motors are not, however, is proprietary to, or manufactured by or for, Blade/E-Flite. Rather, they are an off the shelf Mabuchi FK180SH-3240. That means going through Blade is not the only source. And certainly not the cheapest.

Blade simply fits them with pinions, suppression caps, an optional PTC, and a wire pigtail with connector and sells them at a markup as those familiar part numbers. I have known that since the first time I saw one, but I didn't think to search around until recently. Of course, we need none of that heli stuff, and in fact removing it is a bit of a chore especially for noobs - so next time you are looking for a set of "Blades", punch that Mabuchi model number into Google and see if any are up on eBay or the like.

I scored the above set of 3 (perfect for a full Rapidstrike swap) for $15.00 shipped.

Happy motor hunting!

A hint is that 12900RPM @ 3.0V also identifies a 3240 if the seller doesn't mention which wind their motors are. And stay away from the various other winds of these, the FF metal brush versions, and all the gazillions of FK130SH-xxxx listings. They are NOT what you want.

Quick info:
Voltage range: 11.1V and under (flywheel use)
Critical voltage (Nerf flywheel system): <7.2V
Stall current: ~40A per pair at 7.4V, ~65A per pair at 11.1V
Kv: 4300
Datasheet: Link (specs listed for 3.0V; even the stock helicopters are overvolting these more than 2 times that under a heavy load with good durability so no worries).



    Found this link. Fairly certain they are the same motors.

    1. Those appear to be a no-brand clone version. Being that the only motor tested in the nerf (and RC helicopter) applications (which run the motors harder than datasheet spec) is the genuine Mabuchi, I would not want to take the risk.

      Even if they are OK, genuine Mabuchi makes me worry less, just like genuine Deans.

      Perhaps a sample could be obtained from Kysan to determine if they are Mabuchi and/or suitable, before any bulk orders are made...

    2. Been following the site for a few months now, seem to be completely out of stock, as are most links I've used previously for the legitimate Mabuchis. Browsing data sheets appears to yield no real results on the Kysan site, because whatever I can find that seems useful, happens to also conveniently be out of stock.

  2. I'm researching these motors to upgrade my flywheel guns. but the one thing I can't seem to find is the specific type of battery I'm supposed to use. Are they some variant of AA's, AAA's, C's, D's etc.? Or am I supposed to look at something like an 8.4v stick like for an airsoft AEG and if so, where/how to get the connectors for it?

    1. Your latter guess is the correct one. Trays/holders and any kind of consumer cell do not belong on these at all. These have a stall (startup inrush) current of 45 amps per pair on 7.4V and need 10+ amps to hold up full auto on many setups.

      You can get the connectors for battery packs at any hobby shop or online. Use a quality connector like Deans or XT60, not cheap unreliable Tamiya.

  3. I see that at 12 volts, the ultimate speed of this motor is 51,400 rpm or so, but how fast do they actually spin the flywheels?

    1. Tell ya when I finally fix my dead Monarch tachometer.