Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ninco NC1 vs. NC8 Motors

Through the generosity of Electric Dreams, a sample Ninco NC8 "Thruster" motor was obtained, in order to compare with an NC1 I had bought a few years ago. The NC8 is Ninco's currently produced motor for Ninco Classics, replacing the NC1. Although the NC1 is out of production, it is still available from some slot car suppliers, including Electric Deams. In the photo above, the NC8 is accompanied by the tattered, but healthy NC1 which had done a year's duty in a race car.

The NC8 is a short-can, or FK-130 type motor, of the same size and shape as the Plafit Fox, TSRF, and others. The case is crimped shut, preventing examination of the insides. Both ends of the shaft are accessible for oiling, but only one end is long enough to mount a pinion. Two black plastic end-mount adapters are supplied with the NC8, to permit convenient installation in motor mounts designed for the NC2, NC5, or NC6 (or any other long-can, FK-180 type motors).

Ninco's rating of the NC8 is 16,000 no-load RPM/14.8v, and 87 gcm stall torque/14.8v. This may be converted to 12 volt equivalency: 12,973 RPM/12v, and 71 gcm/12v.

Ninco's rating of the NC1 is only slightly less: 15,700 RPM/14.8v, and 74 gcm/14.8v. Conversion to 12v results in 12,730 RPM/12v, and 60 gcm/12v. I have tested approximately a dozen NC1's, with RPM measuring from 12,858 to 14,237 RPM/12v, slightly exceeding Ninco's rating.

Today's test of the new NC8 showed 13,370 RPM/12v, after a 45 minute break-in period on 6 volts, and a run of about 10 minutes on 12 volts. When the turquoise inductor (or choke) in the power lead was bypassed, RPM rose to 13,635. Some Ninco motors show the same RPM with or without the inductor, but not this motor. A full 265 RPM was lost in the inductor.

For comparison, the race-veteran NC1 was tested, with findings of 13,454 RPM/12v, probably an insignificant difference from the NC8.

Torque testing was next, using an arm-and-scale method. Nine readings were taken around a single revolution, each separated by 40 degrees, for an average of 75 gcm/12v for the NC8. When the inductor was bypassed, torque rose approximately 10 percent, with an average reading of 84 gcm. Follow-up testing of the NC1 revealed 77 gcm, showing the older motor at a slight disadvantage. Below, the nine-position torque arm (actually, a disc) is shown. The downward force on a scale is measured:

If the power output wattage is computed, following the method outlined on the Slot Car News Motor List, we find the sample NC8 is developing 2.86 Watts (without the inductor). The sample NC1 puts out 2.59 Watts. In a slot car, this may or may not make a difference you could measure in lap times. If you are contemplating up-motoring from an NC1 to an NC8, bear in mind that the NC1 weighs only 16 grams, while the NC8 tips the scales at 22 grams. What you gain in power with the NC8, you may lose due to the extra six grams of weight.

Nevertheless, the NC8 is a worthy successor to the NC1, filling a low-power performance niche favored by many vintage slot car racers. The RPM, torque, and power output of the NC8 are so close to the older NC1 that fair competition may be expected.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the motor update, Robert, and good luck in the International Proxy Race! Your slot car motor specification list sets the standard for the industry and is much appreciated by slot racers around the world.

dv said...

Great article, Robert! Thank-you.

Robert Livingston said...

Thsank you, gentlemen. I have to say, I was really curious about these motors.