Smoke Stopper - Check Your Quad for Shorts - RC Groups
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Smoke Stopper - Check Your Quad for Shorts

We love little gadgets that are useful and the Smoke Stopper is a great example of that. RDQ partnered with Bengineering Labs to create this short detection device for your drones.

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We love little gadgets that are useful and the Smoke Stopper is a great example of that. RDQ partnered with Bengineering Labs to create this short detection device for your drones. It allows you to quickly check your drone electronics after a build before powering up to ensure there are no shorts in the system.

All you do is connect the Smoke Stopper inline between your battery and the quad. You need to use XT60 connectors on your quad or make some adapters. If the LED is solid on the Smoke Stopper, then you are good and no shorts are present. If the light is faded, blinking, or completely off, then there is a short present somewhere and you'll need to find and fix that before flying. The Smoke Stopper uses a resettable fuse, which can be reset by leaving it unplugged for 10 seconds. RDQ does recommend using the Smoke Stopper along with a multimeter for the best protection.

Check out the Smoke Stopper at RaceDayQuads

Specifications:

  • Connector Type: XT60
  • Voltage: 1-5s capable (24v Max)
  • Working Current: 1.1A Hold Current, 2.2A Trip Current
  • Trip Time: 0.5 seconds

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Nov 27, 2017, 11:02 AM
If it's R/C, I LIKE IT!
Nikolei Zinsli's Avatar
Awesome! in for 1
Latest blog entry: 93" AJ Laser 230z
Nov 27, 2017, 11:36 AM
Registered User
PatR's Avatar
Does battery current pass through the Smoke Stopper to other components during the test process?
Nov 27, 2017, 06:40 PM
Registered User
Bill Glover's Avatar
Having looked at the RDQ link I'm still not clear how this works.

Does it physically limit the current that can pass through it to the trip threshold of 2.2A?

Or will it allow higher currents through (in the event of a major short), until it trips after 0.5 secs?
Nov 28, 2017, 04:32 AM
Registered User
I think that it uses a poly fuse. This is a heat dependant resistor. At room temperature it has very low resistance. If it is asked to pass current above its rating then it warms up and the resistance increases dramatically to megohms and therefore could be considered to be a switch. If the current decreases then the polyfuse cools down and its resistance deminishes. There will be a short period, whilst it is heating up, that it will pass full short circuit current.
Nov 28, 2017, 05:00 AM
Registered User
Bill Glover's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearded Flyer
I think that it uses a poly fuse. This is a heat dependant resistor. At room temperature it has very low resistance. If it is asked to pass current above its rating then it warms up and the resistance increases dramatically to megohms and therefore could be considered to be a switch. If the current decreases then the polyfuse cools down and its resistance deminishes. There will be a short period, whilst it is heating up, that it will pass full short circuit current.
That was my assumption too, but I thought I'd ask. If so you're better off with a normal car bulb smokestopper, which simply can't let full current flow. I'd have thought 0.5 secs at full short current would be enough to cause damage in many cases ... which is presumably why they say to use this in conjunction with a multimeter.
Nov 28, 2017, 04:53 PM
Professional UAV Services
Redemptioner's Avatar
Yeah it just uses a set of poly fuses so not really a smoke stopper, at $10 you are far better off getting an actual multimeter so there is no risk at all, that and it has a bunch of other uses. Kudos for the innovation but innovating something that is more expense and has less application doesn't really make it an innovation, if this was a variable current limiter you could control for ESC and motor testing then you would be onto something..

They should of just made a XT90/60/30 plug adapter leads and combined it with a cheap multimeter....
Last edited by Redemptioner; Nov 29, 2017 at 04:45 PM.
Nov 29, 2017, 07:41 AM
Registered User
Bill Glover's Avatar
Yup, something simple that plugged into the quad and tested resistance/continuity across the power leads would be a nice idea for those who couldn't/wouldn't do it with a multimeter. It would need a power source to do that of course (AA battery or whatever).

This does have some value as a safety device ... to prevent the motors spinning up unexpectedly on the bench when doing config. work (much quicker and easier than removing/refitting all the props). But a simple car bulb type will do that AND work better as an actual smokestopper.
Dec 10, 2017, 04:17 PM
DumbThumbsFPV
Deserteagle's Avatar
I bought one to see how and if it works. Thanks Jason!!

PatR this is for us that build the racing style Quads Bud. Though I guess it could be used to wings that have FCs as well.
Yesterday, 02:26 PM
Registered User
If Hobbyking made some xt60 anti-spark connectors I would be all over that.

Xt90-s is good but too big for a number of my rc applications.
Yesterday, 04:14 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuiperJ
If Hobbyking made some xt60 anti-spark connectors I would be all over that.

Xt90-s is good but too big for a number of my rc applications.
I'm assuming you know that making an XT60 anti spark is relatively easy, by adding an extra connector and a short lenght of thin wire or resistor: http://www.rc-warbirds.com/blog/wp-c...parkdeans4.jpg and http://www.offroad-cult.org/Board/at...ark-090707.pdf... granted, a single connector that is designed to flow current thru a resistor upon initial contact, followed by a solid connection would be great

I just hope that, if ever produced, will be available on more than just Hobbyking their service is so terrible that I refuse to even consider them as a supplier
Yesterday, 04:22 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Glover
Having looked at the RDQ link I'm still not clear how this works.

Does it physically limit the current that can pass through it to the trip threshold of 2.2A?

Or will it allow higher currents through (in the event of a major short), until it trips after 0.5 secs?
A simpler (and cheaper since you have everything at home already) solution is to connect a 12V (or 24V) automotive bulb of low enough power (say, 2W or 5W) in series with the positive of a male/female XT60 connector pair (connect a solid wire for the negative, connect the bulb terminals to each of the positives of the male and female XT60). If the bulb is brightly lit after the initial current inrush (ESC capacitors), you have a short. By definition a light bulb will never let more current thru than its rated value

The added benefit of this is that you can limit the flowing current to whatever value you want, by changing the wattage of the bulb. A 5W bulb on a 3S won't let more than .5A thru, no matter the short. A 2W 24V bulb at 4S is only ~200mAh, making it very safe for just about anything. And you can go even lower, but at a certain point you will hit the power usage of the FC, ESC and receiver, making it too sensitive
Yesterday, 04:26 PM
Registered User
Bill Glover's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by robca
A simpler (and cheaper since you have everything at home already) solution is to connect a 12V (or 24V) automotive bulb of low enough power (say, 2W or 5W) in series with the positive of a male/female XT60 connector pair (connect a solid wire for the negative, connect the bulb terminals to each of the positives of the male and female XT60). If the bulb is brightly lit after the initial current inrush (ESC capacitors), you have a short. By definition a light bulb will never let more current thru than its rated value

The added benefit of this is that you can limit the flowing current to whatever value you want, by changing the wattage of the bulb. A 5W bulb on a 3S won't let more than .5A thru, no matter the short. A 2W 24V bulb at 4S is only ~200mAh, making it very safe for just about anything. And you can go even lower, but at a certain point you will hit the power usage of the FC, ESC and receiver, making it too sensitive
Yup - that's what I said!
Quote:
If so you're better off with a normal car bulb smokestopper, which simply can't let full current flow.
Today, 01:27 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Glover
Yup - that's what I said!
I was just trying to explain better what that means for people who never saw one... Sorry, should have mentioned it was the same idea you pointed out
Today, 08:51 AM
Registered User
Bill Glover's Avatar
No problem.


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