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Old Jan 12, 2012, 10:09 PM
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Electric Safety Solutions

I am working on an article to describe the status of electric propulsion safety solutions.

Open propellers can be buzz saws. Powerful motors, composite knife edge blades and instant on controls all make these systems effective in their design intent of driving the plane, but also a dangerous saw blade if not managed properly. There are countless stories and images of our fellow flyers who have been caught by a propeller and maiming of hands and body can not only mean painful recovery but in this day...possible career ending handicap.

There are many parts and peices of safety solutions out there from throttle control switch on tx, failsafe on escs, arming pins...from equipment mfgrs and home grown. What are the standards or safety requirements on equipment manufacturer's?? There are also methods and safety best practices that experienced flyers use. I am trying to collect as many of these as possible to publish an article on the categories and best practices.

If you have a safety recommendation on equipment, systems or methods that works for you...list it here.

Thanks,
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Old Jan 12, 2012, 10:16 PM
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USA, WV, Moundsville
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The best safety standard is simply paying attention and using common sense
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Old Jan 12, 2012, 10:35 PM
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United States, TX, Killeen
Joined Jun 2011
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I use alot of common sense and for those occasions where that's not enough I set up all my planes with a throttle hold switch that functions in the opposite direction to all the others so I know it's armed by feel.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 05:14 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
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South Wales U.K.
Joined Mar 2003
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Having cut my fingers many times in the past starting glow and diesel engines by flicking the prop, or just taking the glow clip off, setting the fuel needle, I would say I have never done that with electric power.

If you considering safety, get electric cars banned, people can't hear them coming.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 05:42 AM
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Kingston, Canada
Joined Jun 2004
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This is for a 1/4 scale plane where the batts are permanently installed. I cut into the + batt line and made this jumper plug to power up. Sort of a poor mans heavy duty switch. Also has a resistor to stop the arcing/snap when you plug it in.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbored21 View Post
The best safety standard is simply paying attention and using common sense
Agreed. I preached that my guys do not get too comfortable with their power saws in my construction business but...all the defensive driving in the world doesn't save your life like a seat belt when you get into that crash from the other guy. Thank goodness for safety devices in autos.

What safety items/practices do we have in this hobby?? Would you trust these blades with your kids?

I have installed the ArmSafe product to test it's usefulness. My radio does not have a throttle cutoff switch. I can program it into a switch but i don't have an avail switch.

I use a rubber band to keep the throttle stick tied down.

Are there esc/s out there that you can program that you need to go thru a certain throttle pattern to arm?? etc.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 08:14 AM
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United States, NE, Kearney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeager1ab View Post
I am working on an article to describe the status of electric propulsion safety solutions.

Open propellers can be buzz saws. Powerful motors, composite knife edge blades and instant on controls all make these systems effective in their design intent of driving the plane, but also a dangerous saw blade if not managed properly. There are countless stories and images of our fellow flyers who have been caught by a propeller and maiming of hands and body can not only mean painful recovery but in this day...possible career ending handicap.

There are many parts and peices of safety solutions out there from throttle control switch on tx, failsafe on escs, arming pins...from equipment mfgrs and home grown. What are the standards or safety requirements on equipment manufacturer's?? There are also methods and safety best practices that experienced flyers use. I am trying to collect as many of these as possible to publish an article on the categories and best practices.

If you have a safety recommendation on equipment, systems or methods that works for you...list it here.

Thanks,
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye...

relax... take a cruise

We don' need no more stinkin' safety
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 08:40 AM
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Charlotte, NC
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I am usually very leary of people writting "safety" articles as they usually turn into a article on how unsafe an activity is more than a preventive thing. The first thing I did was to see how experienced you are Yeager but your number of posts don't really tell me. Are you aiming this at new modellers? Also your incident of brushing the throttle, how where you carrying the transmitter? One of the things I hate to see (there are many) is people carrying their plane (armed electric or running fuel) with both hands and their transmitter hanging from their neck on a neck strap swinging side to side as they walk.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 09:12 AM
Canadian Bacon
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Kingston, Canada
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With some ESCs you can set the throttle to about say half. Turn everything on and the motor won't arm until the throttle is pulled all the way to the bottom.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 09:39 AM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
South Wales U.K.
Joined Mar 2003
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Having seen the way some people fly, I am more worried about them endangering me, than having my model kitted out with safety devices.

In a sense the ESC is the safety device, it wont operate unless it receives the correct signal.

At some stage the model has to go 'live', and from there on it's a whole new safety ball game.

Also many times in posts to beginners we have mentioned, "for safety, remove the prop when doing and radio checks, setting up".

In just about any business there are employee/employer health and safety regulations laid down by government. The installation of safety guards on rotating machinery etc.
In most hobbies, it's down to individuals to use their own common sense, (that's the frightening bit), and to a few, rules and regulations do not apply to them.

Most model flying clubs will have a whole raft of rules/regulations regarding safety. Mostly they will be related to the flying side, with a few also related to using the pits area. But clubs also require someone to monitor if those regulations are being abused or ignored, and have some sort of penalty for those abusers. Always a difficult job.

Regarding car safety belts, I remember a police or paramedic saying, "Get rid of the safety belts and the air bags. Put some very sharp spikes in the center of the steering wheel, and people will drive a whole load safer."
Safety devices can lead to a false sense of security.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 10:02 AM
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ohio
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I have been flying for 6 years now, and have not been bit by a prop one time. best advice I have is never attach the propeller untill after you know the motor is not reversed, and always pay attention where you put you hands and make shure to stay out of the way of the propeller. If you follow those few simple steps you will never get sliced buy a prop.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 10:25 AM
jrb
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Edina, MN, USA
Joined Oct 1999
11,430 Posts
I use an Arming plug on all my .40 and larger conversion -- provides ultimate safety.

Also, allows for Whattmeter type data w/o breaking into the wiring.

As most of my planes use A123s I don't remove packs for charging -- even do it w/LiPos!

The video shows arming procedure; along with my use of throttle curve to have a reliable flight idle:
Flight Idle Via Throttle Curve & Mix Switch (1 min 46 sec)
.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 10:25 AM
The 6 P principle works for me
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Ventura CA
Joined Aug 2007
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[QUOTE=Yeager1ab;20407410]I am working on an article to describe the status of electric propulsion safety solutions.

There are many parts and peices of safety solutions out there from throttle control switch on tx, failsafe on escs, arming pins...from equipment mfgrs and home grown.

If you have a safety recommendation on equipment, systems or methods that works for you...list it here./QUOTE]

Well Mr. Yeager, you have responces from 9 different people and that about covers it! Some say this, some say that and some even question your motives. IMO sufficient safety is available now. IS everyone on the same page, no! Will everyone ever be on the same page, NO!

With an IC motor, it is either running or not! When an IC motor is running, most will notice that fact and be aware of the potential for harm. Many look at electric motors in the same way, either running or not! They do not question if the motor is armed! I understand that you are asking for suggestions to make our hobby more safe however, the two most important factors in safety are and will always be ATTITUDE and KNOWLEDGE. I do not know how to legislate those two factors! (should they even be legislated?, freedom of choice!)

All the above aside, there are 3 great options,

1. The old rubber band on the throttle stick trick!

2. An "arming" or "safety" plug on the aircraft.

3. "Arming" or "Safety" switch(s) on the transmitter.

Any of the above with proper attitude and knowledge are great! Any of the above withOUT proper attitude and knowledge are NOT enough!

Speaking of enough, that's enough!

Michael (if your not fryin, your not tryin!)

Speaking for myself, I have suffered a variety of self inflected wounds from elec and ic power. I try to live and learn and pass on helpfull hints and tips. As individuals we are shaped by our lifetime experiences!
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 08:28 AM
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Keep these cards and letters coming. All good ideas. I am not looking for development of regulations...just to identify the current best practices out there. I want my kids and grandkids to enjoy this hobby avoiding unnecessary scaring like many of the rest of us.

Yes it is a matter of common sense and constant awareness and respect for the prop edge, but there are those best practices and system design that will help us all to avoid that accidental brush with harm.

Who hasn't crashed his plane? We don't fly over houses and populated areas because it is in attempt to avoid any person getting harmed by our accidental loss of control. Same thing here. I have learned a lot from just these few responses. 'Don't carry your transmitter w/o a real grip on your throttle stick or it shut off in a positive manner' 'Positive lockout of power to the prop until you have it positioned on the flight line'...all good practices. And made even more important as the power and size of the planes are increase.

But what safety practice that we have with large planes shouldn't we have with even the smallest otherwise we get to casual? Don't know.

What are others? Who studies or buys ESCs for safety? Is it a std feature on escs? Same for tx's and rxs?
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Old Jan 14, 2012, 09:42 PM
The 6 P principle works for me
elecfryer's Avatar
Ventura CA
Joined Aug 2007
962 Posts
Re: ESC's, to the best of my knowledge, there are no standards.

Some are not programmable (older models).
Some are programmable via xmtr, others via a credit card sized interface and still others via a computer!

Some esc's will not arm unless the throttle is on the low position. Some esc's will not arm until the throttle is run up to full throttle position (motor not running at this point) and then returned to low throttle position and of course some older versions (and perhaps cheaper versions as well) do not care where the throttle is-just plug em in and they go!

Lots of choices! I will say this, the choices we have today are a lot better (in almost every way) than the choices available say 10 years ago!

Michael (it your not fryin, your not tryin!)
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