Jan 17, 2011, 05:23 AM
Joined Jul 2005
Version 3 is coming and it’s a big improvement.
If you have read this thread you will know that I've always thought one of the really useful things to have for eFlight would be a flying “gas gauge” (or “fuel gauge” if you aren’t in NA). Something that showed you exactly how much capacity you had left in your LiPo in flight. The advantages are obvious particularly for heli pilots who get really let down if their motor stops and for managing battery life for the 80% discharge school. Useful for anybody really though to know how much flight capacity they have left at any time.
That’s why I got a bit excited when Quanum introduced their self contained add-on telemetry system at fairly low cost. Nicely, it was totally independent of your existing radio system. V1 only broadcast the cell voltages (up to 6S) and early models had some issues with a couple of the cell accuracies. V2 was a big improvement with an add-on current and temperature sensor. At long last we had low cost, real-time on the ground monitoring of battery usage measured in the plane.
If you look back in post #4 you will see I had some suggestions for improvement and the good news is Quanum listened and V3 has solved the two most critical weaknesses without any change to the hardware. Obviously the Rx needs new firmware but Quanum have indicated they will be arranging an update if you ship an existing Rx back to the factory. I don’t know the details or anything about price or commercial arrangements so don’t ask. They have said planned delivery is after the Chinese New Year holiday (late Feb) so we will just have to wait for an announcement.
In the meantime however they were nice enough to send me a prototype to look at and here’s my take on it.
My chief complaint (and most other folks too) was the fixed 3.2V cell alarm which is useless for modern LiPos. Also people in the USA and other primitive countries still using the Fahrenheit scale wanted an option for that.
Well Quanum have excelled themselves within the constraints of the existing physical package. Limits on program memory mean they haven’t been able to improve the display in the way I suggested but the temperature display is now in C or F and the alarms are vastly improved.
If you look at Post#4 I suggested:
At minimum, change the silly second screen to show just current and mAh and temperature in BIG letters. That’s what you need to see at a glance when flying.
That hasn’t happened. But the configurable alarms just about make up for it.
Change the default LV alarm to a more useful 3.4V.
Add a user calibration feature for LV alarm and both cell voltages and current. A final option under this would be to change to a Fahrenheit option on the temperature readout.
YES! It’s now all there but even better.
There are TWO default cell alarms. Two beeps occur at 3.5 Volts and four at 3.3V but that’s not the point. ALL alarms are now settable. The capacity (in % or mAh – consumed or remaining), the total battery voltage and two separate cell voltage alarms are all configurable.
Set battery capacity: 100 to 32000mAh in 100mAh steps
For the alarms (all sound 4 beeps except Cell 1 alarm which is 2)
Consumed capacity: 1-100% (counts up in 1% steps when setting it - or equivalent value of mAh)
Remaining capacity: 100-1%% (counts down in 1% steps when setting it - or equivalent value of mAh)
Battery voltage: From 5 to 25.8V counts up in 0.1V steps when setting it
Cell voltage 1: From 2.5 to 4.2 counts up in 0.1V steps when setting it – sounds 2 beeps
Cell voltage 2: From 2.5 to 4.2 counts up in 0.1V steps when setting it
It’s all very logical and dead simple to do. The only change to V2 is that you can hold down BOTH buttons at any time for 3 secs and it drops into setting mode. There are 8 screens which you move through with the RH (Power) button. You increment or (or decrement in some cases) the value on each screen with the LH (Bind) button. Everything else works as before. When you have set your preferences, hold both buttons for 3 secs and you are back in operation mode. The Quanum remembers all your settings.
I have attached screens shots of the 8 screens – well actually 11 since there are 4 versions of screen 2 when you increment that screen.
If you select the default screen the Quanum uses 6000mAh, 80% capacity used, 19.8V, and Cell voltages of 3.5 and 3.3 as alarm settings.
I think this is a big improvement.
Again, I have nothing to do with Quanum so don’t ask about delivery price etc. I just don’t know. They will let us know when it’s available and how I am sure!