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Switches on electrics

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Old 05-06-2006, 02:47 PM
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Phillip Hatch
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Default Switches on electrics

To anyone knowledgable regarding thuse vs non-use of swithces on electrics. Today, my friend plegged in his battery on his Banshee 3d thereby arming it. Wanting me to fly it for the first flight I picked up rhe TX to check things out and in the process got my thumb under the throttle and you know the rest!!! Part of the problem is my inexperience with electrics which is limited to a ZAGI. After picking up the moter and promising to rebuild the nose in a few days, I commented "if I ever go further into electrics I will install a switch. Other e flyers took strong umbrage to this remark so here I am. What are thr pro's & con's for using or not using arming switched? Thanks a bunch. Phil
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Old 05-06-2006, 03:23 PM
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Time Pilot
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Default RE: Switches on electrics

In light weight models, it just adds unnecessary weight.

It is another component that could fail.

In some setups, there isn't much room to begin with and the question is, where would you put it? If you are going to put it inside the plane, what's the difference between 'arming' your plane by plugging in the battery, or arming your plane by flipping a switch?

A switch, to me, is unnecessary. I do all my visual inspection first and then when I'm ready to fly, I secure the battery, plug it in, and then finish my preflight.

Many canopies are secured by simple hatches and magnets, so once the battery is in, it only takes seconds to get the plane flight ready.

The only time a switch might make sense is if there was a 'lengthly' task to do between plugging the battery in and then flying, like having to bolt down the wing or the hatch.

You might want to treat having the battery plugged in like having started the glow engine.
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Old 05-06-2006, 10:41 PM
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Default RE: Switches on electrics

I don't use switches because of all of the above, but also because I distroyed a lipo with one.

The switch was on the speed control, so I thought it turned the power off. Wrong!! there is still a trickle amount draining the battery. I left one pluged in, but off, for 2 months and found the lipos totally drained and totally worthless. (Jeti Controller)

So I also carry a grudge against switches.
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Old 05-06-2006, 11:26 PM
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Default RE: Switches on electrics

In order for a switch to absolutely, positively cut off all power to the plane, it will have to be inline with one of the battery leads. This means the switch must be able to withstand the full current of the power system. For many planes, this implies a pretty big and heavy switch.

lwatson is absolutley correct about the switches on ESCs. They do not completely cut power consumption, and your battery will be drained within hours or days.

But of course, lipos should never be stored or charged in your plane anyway! Lipos should always be stored and charged in a safe, non-flammable container.

- Jeff
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Old 05-07-2006, 06:11 PM
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Phillip Hatch
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Default RE: Switches on electrics

Thanks guys for the enlightenment and insights. Your replys contain a lot of new and useful info for me. It appears that the learning curve on electrics is just different enough from gas powered planes to drive me nuts! At 72 years old, I hate change. Oh well, thanks again, all of you. Phil
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