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Old Feb 11, 2010, 11:27 AM
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Do you use a an on/off switch in your sailplane?

I've used different methods of "turning on" my sailplanes thru the years. With many smaller planes I'd just use a short lead and connect to the battery via standard JR type connectors. In most of my 3 meter planes I'd always install an on/off switch with a charge lead attached. I'd usually use a standard size Cermark switch - not the monstrous types that JR produces. Recently I've had a couple of friends bring up switches as a just another failure point in the plane's electrical sytem. They prefer to use Deans Ultra plugs instead.

So just how safe is a quality ON/OFF switch ? How heavy duty does it need to be to function properly in our 6 servo sailplanes on 5 cells? Who makes the best on/off switches for our application ( modern molded planes)? How many of you feel that using Deans plugs is the best way to connect your battery to the receiver?

Clay
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 11:49 AM
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I haven't used switches in many years. My new Xplorer has a bus from the battery to the wing that by-passes the receiver. I'm using Ultra Plugs. The battery end has a servo connector for charging. The model plug has a servo plug going to the receiver. The rudder and elevator are the only 2 servos getting power from the bus in the receiver. I'll be retrofitting my 3.5 Xplorer to this system.

JW
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 11:58 AM
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I had a switch short out on me ONCE. I am with the less is better crowd... switch bypass
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 12:13 PM
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Yes I use a switch in all my sailplanes.
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schrederman View Post
I haven't used switches in many years. My new Xplorer has a bus from the battery to the wing that by-passes the receiver. I'm using Ultra Plugs. The battery end has a servo connector for charging. The model plug has a servo plug going to the receiver. The rudder and elevator are the only 2 servos getting power from the bus in the receiver. I'll be retrofitting my 3.5 Xplorer to this system.

JW
Can you describe the bus setup from the battery to the wing?

Clay
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 02:00 PM
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From the plane portion of the plug, I took 2 - 22-guage wires per side (+ and -) directly to the DB-9 connector where the wing plugs on. I also soldered a servo connector lead on that plug for the receiver. I made single-wire servo leads to go from the receiver to the DB-9 to carry the signal to the wing servos. From the pack I soldered 2 - 22-gauage wires per side to the battery plug, and soldered a servo connector to the plug at the same time for charging. That's all in the 4-meter Xplorer build log in the F3X section. If that's still not understandable, I'll draw a wiring diagram and scan it in.

JW
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 02:11 PM
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Clay, I do not use a switch either, and am in the process of reworking a wire harness of my 801 to a system somewhat like Jack's but with input from Rob Glover and Chris Lee, both engineering types. When done, each wing side will be directly powered from the battery and and then downstream of that junctiour, it will feed the RX and the elevator and the rudder servos. I am using the new JR378 and 388 High Voltage servos with 2S LiPo pack of about 1800 mah, no regulator needed. Fairly simple to do and will really keep the wing happy especially during launch.

Marc
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 02:25 PM
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I don't use on/off switches in any of my planes unless it's EPP
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 03:43 PM
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Jack,

Not sure if it's the day or my old brain, but I'm not sure that I followed your explanation. Can you post both a diagram & some pictures of your bus & wiring? Thanks.
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 04:03 PM
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I don't use swithces; extra weight, extra technicality waiting to fail etc. However i would recommend that new flyers use them at first, if asked.
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 04:11 PM
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No switches for me: I use the big Deans to connect the battery to a short lead into the Rx. The male (Rx side) connector I usually glue into the servo plate (from underneath) so that disconnection is a one-handed job.
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 05:03 PM
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I don't use a switch. When I time for hot-shot contest flyers I note whether or not they have a switch. A few do, but most do not. Many competition planes have little room for a switch, and of course there are many bad things that can happen that can outweigh the convenience of one-finger off/on.
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 05:45 PM
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Clay-

Here's something that I've been thinking about, similar to what is pictured above (replace the super-duty deans with a 3 pin deans instead)

T
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 06:04 PM
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Good question. I have historically used a switch in everything, but the Freestyler 3 is a bit short on room, so these are the first planes I have not used a switch in. Battery is set up with polarized Deans micro connectors, and wing servos are powered directly from the battery, like Jack has done.

On/off is a two-hand task now, which is even more of a PITA since the FS3 uses an inverted cabin arrangement, but I'm confident in the power system. Another disadvantage is the requirement for a custom charge lead that also puts additional cycles on the pack-side connector.

My F3J planes still use switches, and I'm debating whether to continue to do so...the voltage drop through them is quite amazing and it's another potential failure point to consider. But, I've not had a single failure in 10 years of flying, so another thought is why mess with success?

Tom
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 06:15 PM
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I remember once seeing a three-wire phone jack used as a switch. It had three modes:

1. nothing plugged in = radio on
2. unwired plug inserted = radio off (This plug had a red streamer attached.)
3. wired plug inserted = battery charging

I've used regular switches on all my sailplanes, and I've never had a failure or problem with them. I've bypassed the receiver on some giant-scale power planes to provide battery power directly to some of the servos.
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