First affordable USB thrust stand available now!

We are now shipping the RCbenchmark Series 1520. It measures overall efficiency, current, thrust, voltage, and motor speed. The device communicates with our open-source software, which displays and records data, and controls the motor manually or through a scripting system.

 

Whether you want to increase flight time for aerial photography, or performance for racing, the tool will help you obtain the data you need on your motors, propellers, ESCs, servos and batteries quickly and accurately.

 

A year ago, I posted here asking if people would be interested in a low cost, automated thrust stand. My colleague and I, both recent graduate from M.Sc. Mech. Eng., developed the Series 1580 dynamometer, and we obtained excellent feedback from a large number of businesses and universities. Many hobbyists asked us for a simpler, more affordable tool. We heard you, and we are now offering the Series 1520 for $165.

Get it at $149 if you order before March 1st! Additionally, for a limited time, we will refund an additional $40 if you post a video review about our tool, which will lower the product’s price to only $109. Check the product page to see if the offer is still valid.

Here are the specs:

  • Voltage (0-35 V)

  • Current (40A continuous, 50A burst)

  • Power (0-1400W)

  • Thrust (±5 kg)

  • Motor speed (100k RPM)

  • Overall efficiency (%)

  • USB interface

  • ESC manual control

  • Three servo control ports

  • Output data to CSV files

  • Real-time sensor plots

  • Automated tests and recording

  • Powerful scripting abilities

  • Safety cutoffs

 

We want to offer more than a test tool. You might also be interested in our ongoing video tutorial series on motor and propeller theory. For more more information, check out our website or the Series 1520 product page. I will be available here to answer questions on our tools and on motor and propeller testing.

 

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Developer
Comment by Randy on February 22, 2016 at 6:20pm

very nice.  good price too.

Comment by Max Patissier on February 22, 2016 at 6:36pm

joli produit, bravo !

Comment by Alex Maltais on February 22, 2016 at 7:34pm

Very nice, bravo les gars!

Comment by Darius Jack on February 22, 2016 at 7:38pm

@Charles,

my congratulations, but you need to remove metal shield to geet real thrust data,

since your metal shield generates turbulences affecting (lowering) the real thrust.

BTW

I have a number of electronic balances each coming with 4 sensors + electronic board + display.

I will try to turn one into thrust meter.

Thank you Charles.

Your projects and lectures are really excellent and highly professional.

Comment by Charles Blouin on February 22, 2016 at 7:50pm

Thanks everybody.

@Darius: You are right that the motor mount may affect readings. It is not  a problem for larger propeller (>6in) For small props, we recommend mounting the motor on a block to reduce ground effect. The prop on the first picture is quite small, it was chosen to show the device well, but it is not the best setup in the case. We should use another picture. I'd love to see your setup, you should post it here!

Comment by Marc Dornan on February 22, 2016 at 8:22pm

Great work here.

Check this out: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2337523

You have an 3 axis accelerometer in the 1520 model right? I wonder in what I linked to could be adapted to use your stand so you could use it as a dynamic balancer as well? 

Edit: I see it is the 1580 that has the accelerometer....

Comment by Charles Blouin on February 22, 2016 at 10:03pm

@ Marc It is the 1580 that has the accelerometer yes. This project is great! I have been thinking about dynamic balancing for years. During my undergrad, I got to use a really old, expensive analog balancing machine, and I was thinking that it would be possible to implement the same system with modern hardware. I even asked if such a thing existed in a thread on rcgroup. The feedback was that it is cool, but not really necessary as static balancing works well already.

We though about implementing dynamic balancing, but given our resources, it was not a priority. Analyzing motor and propeller performance, as well as developing the tools to help for the analysis seemed like a more urgent problem.

Comment by Marc Dornan on February 22, 2016 at 11:00pm

Charles, well it seems that you may be able to use your hardware with this project. Maybe you should ping the person doing it and and see if it can be adapted...

Comment by Tobias Witting on February 23, 2016 at 3:09am

nice work, but even with the large prop the mounting plate is in the way of the airflow. Also: what about coaxial arrangements?

Comment by Charles Blouin on February 23, 2016 at 7:45am

@Tobias For small motors and coaxial setup, you have the option of using your own motor mount (which could be your quadcopter arm or a piece of wood).

The motor mount will always have an effect, and it is important to quantify this effect. There will be a video in our tutorial series about propellers, but there are two things to consider. Most of the thrust comes from the area covered by the tip of the propeller. Secondly, the recommended configuration for testing is in pusher mode. The effective area from which the air pulled is larger than the area covered by the propeller upstream. Nevertheless, I will change the first picture, it is a tiny motor/prop setup that should not be installed this way...

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