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Old Jun 24, 2008, 02:06 AM
PLD
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Australia, QLD, Charters Towers
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New Product
PLDaniels Electronic power/switch jack: PLD-ESJ-1A and -5A

We've all had it before - the troubles of using mechanical jacks for our power switches, so, since I've got the tools here I've decided to put an end to the problems (one hopes) and I've created an electronic version which is both smaller/lighter than a jack and hopefully easier to install as well.

I've got two sizes in design at the moment (actually in the etching tank as I write this);

Features and Specifications

Supported battery types: NiCd, NiMH, LiIon, Lipo, LiFeO4

1A:
Voltage range: 4 ~ 15V
Size: 12.5 x 8mm
Weight: 0.6g (without wires)

5A:
Voltage range: 4 ~ 20V
Size: 12.5 x 10mm
Weight: 0.9g (without wires)


CURRENT STATUS: PRODUCTION.

The electronic jacks will work in such a way that you insert a jumper into a 2-pin hole (each hole is about 0.8mm dia, 2.54mm spacing) to deactivate the system. When you remove the jumper/short the system will become active.

Quiescent current of this device will be in the order of 10~20uA (that's 0.01 to 0.02mA) - basically your lipo will likely self discharge before this device drains it.

I'm estimating the RRP of this device will be about $12 AUD for the 1A and $15 AUD for the 5A version.

Paul.
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Last edited by PLD; Jul 08, 2008 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Revise board sizes
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 02:15 AM
Team WC2013 F3K
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Really interested...

But...
Using a switch jack gives you the oppurtunity to charge without opening the hatch (I'm using some sub 250 mAh and charge several times during contests, as a security issue). How would the easiest way to continue to do this be? A Y cable from battery and another 2 holes for charging the battery?

/Jonas
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 02:17 AM
PLD
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Australia, QLD, Charters Towers
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Hot off the etching press - the first proto batch. Track sharpness and board quality is typically rather low with these because you're just testing things out. Proper boards get done at proper PCB factories.

Jonas,

A Y-split would be best, yes - I did think about incorporating a charge point on the unit but it'd cause a bit of trouble with the board size and potential connector confusion (would hate to see someone insert the jumper onto the battery points *puff* )
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 02:27 AM
Team WC2013 F3K
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I'll take 2 of them....

Shall I order and pay via the website (pay pal) as usual. I also need your lightest regulator, BAC-Mini!

/Jonas
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 02:27 AM
PLD
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Jonas,

I was just thinking, a lot of lipos can often still come with balancing leads, so you could always still charge via them directly and have the electronic switch still connected to the main power leads. When "off" the electronic jack will be seen as about a 500K~1M ohm load, so it won't meddle with the charging process (I'll validate that statement later tonight when I've built the first real unit).

Paul.
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 02:29 AM
Team WC2013 F3K
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Great! Thats what I thought...or hoped!
/J
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 03:02 AM
PLD
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakman7004
I'll take 2 of them....

Shall I order and pay via the website (pay pal) as usual. I also need your lightest regulator, BAC-Mini!

/Jonas
I guess I better hurry up and actually test these proto units.
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 04:04 AM
Team WC2013 F3K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pldaniels
I guess I better hurry up and actually test these proto units.
Yes, it's so sad that a full day only has 24 hours AND one night...
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 04:16 AM
PLD
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First proto 1A unit

Well, here it is

Weighs 0.4g without leads, 2.3g with leads. Even includes a tiny green LED which may not be of much use in the cockpit bit offers some testing validation.

Here's a bunch of photos to whet your appetites already

The sloping mound where the 2 pin short plugs in is actually just heatshrink, so you can be pulled back so the whole unit sits very flush against the inside of the fuselage and you'll only need two very small holes.

Quiescent current is 7.7~8.0uA ( about 4 years to discharge a 300mAh pack )
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Last edited by PLD; Jun 24, 2008 at 04:24 AM.
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 07:35 AM
Plane dodger
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Stratford Sikorsky, Connecticut, United States
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Whoa Paul nice job and great idea. You should cross post in the slope and other glider forums if you haven't already.

Killer
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 07:46 AM
PLD
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Hi there Killer,

Haven't cross-posted yet, thought that was generally frowned upon (or was that on the old internet News-Archives?).

Just been talking (emailing) my usual PCB maker and I think for now to keep costs sane I'll start out by running a batch of the 1A units (in reality, I can fit them with a suitable set of components to handle 5A peak loads, 1.5A constant) and I'll leave the larger 5A constant unit out.

There still a few things to work out properly, including which pin headers and jumpers to use. At the moment I'm using "machined pin headers" which are very good quality devices but they are a little bit fragile (eg, you could break a leg off and have it stuck in the socket on the PCB if you knock it too hard). The other problem is that I need to hand-make the jumpers and that's not fun.

Actual production units would be encased in clear heatshrink, so I don't have to punch holes into the heatshrink so you can see the LED (which most people won't see anyhow after it's installed).

I would daresay that most people will clip off the wire from the output side and solder it directly to the receiver or BAC unit ?

At the moment the unit should work for 4 cell packs and 2S lipo packs.

... so many minor things to think about
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 07:53 AM
Plane dodger
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Post up a new thread with a link.
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 08:06 AM
PLD
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Killer,

Okay, posted in thermal and slope...let's hope I don't stir too much trouble

Paul.
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 05:27 PM
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United States, TX, Houston
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Power jack

I will take a couple if they can be manufactured to work with a 6 volt system in a six digital servo, open class glider.
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Old Jun 24, 2008, 06:24 PM
PLD
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Hoot,

I think for you, you're probably going to be safer off with the 5A constant class switch that I'm thinking of making... since it will require a somewhat thicker set of leads to prevent voltage sagging issues under loads.

Paul.
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