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Arming switch - advice.

Old 04-03-2013, 12:20 PM
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bem
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Default Arming switch - advice.



Hi,
I was thinking of a good and easy arming switch solution for my Sebart MythoS 125E.
Setup will draw about 80-85 amp (Hacker A60-7XS, 8 cells, MasterMezon ESC, APC 19x10 to start with).
Not sure if it is a requirement yet with external arming switch in various countries when competing.

Have checked these solutions below so far but I'm sure it is more arming swith solutions out there You can recommend:

- ArmSafe Kit 10 guage
http://www.hobby-lobby.com/armsafe_k...37031_prd1.htm



- Emcotec SPS SafetyPowerSwitch, 44-71 gram depending on what version is choosen, maybe little heavy.
And I do not know if it is or will be considered external arming switch in a true sense since it is electronic
and also is unarmed when the magnet or pin is put on, so it is kínd of backwards compared to simple external
arming switch with just a contact that is removedwhen disarming. If You for some reason loose the magnet or pin
and have no spare You are in armed situation until you disconnect the batteries.
http://shop.rc-electronic.com/e-vend...&c=2263&p=2263



- Arming Switch High Current (but it does not say how high current it can cope with continous)
http://www.rcdude.com/servlet/the-15...Current/Detail



- Or the supersimple solution, just a wire outside the fuselage where You connect/disconnect
like this image below,can not be much easier than that but not so neat perhaps
http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img0029y.jpg


What do You use in Your F3A machine and why did You choose Your particular solution?
Are there any newer arming switch solutions that is on the market now perhaps that I should take into consideration?

Would You say I would be crazy if I skip the arming switch and just unplug the batteries as unarming?
There is the canopy in my case that is screwed on/off so it would take maybe 10-15 sec to get the canopy off
to disconnect the battery. I really want to use a good arming switch so it is not that I do not want, but I want to be
comfortable with it and it must be bulletproof.

Thanks,
Bo

Old 04-03-2013, 12:42 PM
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strattac
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

I have been using the 6972 from Max Products which has been working very well. http://www.maxxprod.com/mpi/mpi-21.html
Old 04-03-2013, 12:49 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

I personally LOVE the Emcotec switches, but IF an arming switch rule were ever to pass (it hasn't yet) they would be illegal because they are fail ON (though my argument is you'd have to have 3 separate systems fail to have a problem with the Emcotec). That said, they are heavy and kind of bulky.

I currently use the Armsafe kit, 10 or 12 gauge is fine, just match what your batteries are using or bigger, bigger weighs more and you generally won't have a long run. Quick and convenient to install, put something (like a female deans) on your radio to hold the arming plug when not in the plane. Just be careful of extending the length of wire from battery to ESC to much more than about 7" to avoid voltage "ripple" that Schultze and Castle both warn about in their instructions I haven't seen a warning from Jeti, but the advice is generally to keep the run as short as feasible.

The high current arming switch is basically an Anderson powerpole equivalent of the Armsafe kit. The arming switch is bigger and bulkier (harder to lose) and technically an APP connector is only rated to 40 amps (unless it's one of the HUGE ones) but lots of people run APP connectors for currents up to 120 amps for the short-term uses we have. Still, I prefer Deans myself.

I don't like the super simple solution, it just doesn't feel "tidy" to me, but it's certainly functional and electrically efficient! If you go that route, use the Jeti Anti-spark connectors (5.5 or 4mm) to avoid pitting the bullets and loosening things up over time, unless you like the occasional dead stick :-) http://www.espritmodel.com/jeti-afc-...-5mm-150a.aspx


Peter+
Old 04-03-2013, 02:23 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

I use the Emcotec SPS. I use the 60 amp version. It handles spikes to 120 amps and has proven rock solid in all my planes. As Peter noted, it does fail ON, but only if it is already on, so in other words it will not shut off power if it fails in flight. However, and I have confirmed this with Emcotec, the only way that can happen is if there is a hard short in the device, which they have never seen. If it fails while off, it stays off so there is no chance of an accidental powering of the ESC.

I am also a big fan of their switches for the radio battery. No mechanical parts, solid state and actuated by a magnet.

I'm also a huge fan of the AP 45-amp Anderson Power Poles (APP). True, they are rated at 45 amps continuous, but they handle more than that easily. That 45 amp rating is at 600 volts as well, so they handle our application with ease. Plus you'll never have to worry about a cold solder joint ever again!! I can wire up a set of 2 5S packs in less than 3 or 4 minutes.

http://www.powerwerx.com/anderson-po...owerpole-sets/

http://www.powerwerx.com/techdata/PP45.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeTTw9i8WEc
Old 04-03-2013, 09:43 PM
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Anthony-RCU
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

ORIGINAL: bem

-Would You say I would be crazy if I skip the arming switch and just unplug the batteries as unarming?
There is the canopy in my case that is screwed on/off so it would take maybe 10-15 sec to get the canopy off
to disconnect the battery. I really want to use a good arming switch so it is not that I do not want, but I want to be
comfortable with it and it must be bulletproof.

Thanks,
Bo


No, I wouldn't say you are crazy not to use an arming switch. I have only recently experimented with one after years and don't really like it. I have throttle kill on my Tx that I use religously. It is checked before the batteries are plugged in and isn't switched until the plane is on the runway. It is flipped again when the wheels stop on landing. I do love a quick release canopy for the convenience of not having a ball driver in my pocket at all times.

I have seen a friends arming switch fail cutting off the main batteries. Luckily, since he was using a Ubec, catastrophe was avoided because of his back up system.
Old 04-04-2013, 12:30 AM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

I think that picture in post# 1 is one of my (external ) switches from a while back.
Agreed, not the most elegant, but reliable over time(huge contact area with 5.5mm bullets, pitting is just irrelevant, and very occasional replacement of the esc bullet if becoming slack)
From experience, the most common accidents with f3a-size motor batteries, include (a) shorting of the batterie's positive and negative main leads,and (b) battery fires,most often after a crash.
There are many ways to minimize (a), but making both battery connectors female, and having one male esc connector fixed externally, goes a long way to reducing the risk.
With (b), again from personal experience, and close involvement with other peoples' incidents, pulling apart the external switch, is very likely to halt the fire process.
And believe me, the last thing you want to be doing in a potentially panicky state, is to be fiddling with a canopy release mechanism, followed by delving inside the smoking fus. to disconnect the motor battery internally.
Old 04-04-2013, 08:37 AM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

I personally do not use an arming switch but do have a throttle kill switch setup on my transmitter and have SET,TESTED and RE-CHECKED the failsafe in my radio ! This is very important- a plane with an arming switch can still get away if the transmitter signal is lost and the plane is armed ( ask me how I know )... Doing the failsafe adds an extra layer of safety...
Old 04-04-2013, 04:18 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

If you believe you are safe using a transmitter switch you are kidding yourself. It just hasn't gone wrong yet....... it may not happen today, tomorrow, next month or next year but it will go wrong! There is no substitute for a physical disconnection (by switch or terminals).
Remember, maximum torque available for the first rotation with electric and a big often carbonfibre "knife" attached.
(Luckily not speaking from direct experience)
Old 04-04-2013, 05:00 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

I'm very comfortable with the Emcotec SPS which provides for a complete electrical disconnection of the batteries. Beyond that I go to extreme lengths to ensure safety. I cannot get RF unless the radio is in the start up "Motor Off" condition with a flat -150% throttle curve. In addition the RF will not turn on unless I have the throttle stick at full low. Once on I need to turn on the receiver, but even then there is no power to the ESC. I have to remove the magnetic arming plug, flip one switch to turn on the throttle/motor curve (I call this my "Master Switch") and then finally move a slider to the center postion which turns off the throttle kill and turns on the timer. NOW I can finally put power to the motor.

So that is:

1)TX on with throttle at 0 and "Motor off" condition set. Both required before RF transmitted.
2)RX on (ESC will not and cannot arm without RX signal)
3)Arming plug pulled
4)Master Switch moved to "Motor on" condition
5)Slider moved to turn off throttle kill and turn on timer.

My failsafe it set to zero throttle and my ESC will turn off power to the motor if it loses signal from the RX.

So:
Move slider from center = motor dies (regardless of Master Switch position)
Move master switch to off = motor dies (regardless of slider position)
Failsafe (RF failure) = motor dies
RX off (RX battery dies/RX fails) = Motor dies
SPS fails with anything other than a hard short while ESC armed = motor dies
SPS fails with anything other than a hard short while already off = ESC will not arm.
Hard short has not been reported with the SPS and I'm betting if one happened it would cook a FET or something else to break the circuit.

Upon landing I immediately turn the Master Switch to OFF and move the slider to full OFF. Helper puts arming plug back in which disconnects battery power.

All of this is a piece of cake with my Futaba 18MZ radio.
Old 04-04-2013, 07:32 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

An arming switch/ device is not bulletproof either. It is just one layer of safety.
A plane can still get away with an arm/disarm device. Having multiple layers of safety
and using them all the time is a sure way to avoid an accident. Like I posted above I do not use an arm/disarm
device simply beause I have multiple layers of safety and use them religiously ( and I do not like the way arm/disarm plugs look outside a plane) I did
loose a 2 meter ship in a runaway situation ( and I am not the only one believe me ). It was my fault-in my scenario an arm disarm
device would have not prevented the loss from happening . Here is what happened-immediately after landing I grabbed the airplane by the vertical fin to bring it to the pits as at our
field taxing from the runway thru the flightline to the pits is not permitted. As I placed my plane in the pits before disconnecting anything I pointed the nose away towards the runway ( I
always do that). I had installed a Digi-switch inside the plane ( it looks quite big and ugly outside) and before removing the hatch to turn it off for some unknown reason I switched my
transmitter off before disconnecting the battery from the ESC. Plane went to full power immediately thru the flightline towards the runway, and on its way it swerved and hit a startup stand,destroying itself in the proccess. Took less that 2 seconds. All blame is on me . I had not developed and tested a system to prevent the situation from happening. Like we say in aviation - all the holes in the cheese lined up - thus allowing the incident to happen. So just relying in the arm/disarm device is like an open invitation for disaster. Here is what I do -
1- Transmitter set up with a throttle inhibit/cut switch
2- Failsafe at transmitter set and TESTED !
3- Always point nose towards a clear path away from the pits,spectators and objects.
4- Always keep thumb holding the throttle at idle even with the inhibit switch is active.

An arm/disarm device would add extra safety. I just dont like them. When seting failsafes they should be tested for proper operation. That is what I failed to do on my incident. At D3 pattern contest we have made everyone arm their planes , hold on to it,throttle up some and then turn off the transmitter . A few motors went to high power, others kept spinning and some went to cutoff. All could be blamed to improperly setting up the failsafes and FAILING to test it ! This is a very important step that should not be overlooked.
So do not just rely on an arm/disarm device wether it be a plug or switch but have a system with multiple safety layers and test them ( failsafes) to make sure it works...
Old 04-04-2013, 09:48 PM
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Rune
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

I use the new Jeti anitspark plug as an arming plug just routed the cabel out off the fuse and in again.
Old 04-05-2013, 03:54 AM
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bem
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

Hi,

Thank's for all the great answers/advices so far. It is more to this topic then I first had though of and it is great it came up to the surface.
Unless something else that would appeal to me moreI'm almost descided to use thesupersimple solution with just the positive cable from ESC to battery routed outside fuselage and a JETI antispark connector there.

+ Simple and clearly visable when connected / not connected
+ Low risk for failure when connected
+ Low weight
+ Low cost (JETI antispark connector about 13 Euro / US $17)

- Not so neat but I can live with that.

In addition to this I have already Failsafe for signal loss in transmitter set and tested so motor is turned off if I turn off transmitter (signal loss) and motor is running (at any RPM).
One thing I will add is the killswitch function also so I will configure a throttle off to one 2 way switch to have throttle on/off and I will also get a red plastic cap on that switcharm so I know that red switch is the one I must pay attention to.

One thing that Ihave not been able to change sinceI have not figured out how is when You turn on the radio (I have Futaba 14MZ) you get a warning to Continue (turn On)if throttle position is about 1/3 up or higher - I would like to have it set to just one click on throttle stick but it seems not possible. In Linkage menu page 2/2 You can set Warning to throttle position to On or Off but not desired position on the throttle stick.

Hope that this will raise the safety level a bit for me with this MythoS 125E plane.


/Bo
Old 04-05-2013, 04:48 AM
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Magne
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

Neil,
one basic requirement for any safety equipement to work properly is that it is used the correct way.
So when you write : "an arm disarm device would have not prevented the loss from happening . Here is what happened-immediately after landing I grabbed the airplane by the vertical fin to bring it to the pits as at our
field taxing from the runway thru the flightline to the pits is not permitted."
In this case it is obvious that an arming/disarming device would indeed have saved you your plane.
Used correctly, it would have read: Here is what happened-immediately after landing I DISARMED THE BATTERY, grabbed the airplane by the vertical fin and brought the plane back to the pits.
No drama whatsoever.

I also found this one a bit strange: "A plane can still get away with an arm/disarm device."
Please share your secret.

Regards,
Magne

ORIGINAL: NeilRivera

An arming switch/ device is not bulletproof either. It is just one layer of safety.
A plane can still get away with an arm/disarm device. Having multiple layers of safety
and using them all the time is a sure way to avoid an accident. Like I posted above I do not use an arm/disarm
device simply beause I have multiple layers of safety and use them religiously ( and I do not like the way arm/disarm plugs look outside a plane) I did
loose a 2 meter ship in a runaway situation ( and I am not the only one believe me ). It was my fault-in my scenario an arm disarm
device would have not prevented the loss from happening . Here is what happened-immediately after landing I grabbed the airplane by the vertical fin to bring it to the pits as at our
field taxing from the runway thru the flightline to the pits is not permitted. As I placed my plane in the pits before disconnecting anything I pointed the nose away towards the runway ( I
always do that). I had installed a Digi-switch inside the plane ( it looks quite big and ugly outside) and before removing the hatch to turn it off for some unknown reason I switched my
transmitter off before disconnecting the battery from the ESC. Plane went to full power immediately thru the flightline towards the runway, and on its way it swerved and hit a startup stand,destroying itself in the proccess. Took less that 2 seconds. All blame is on me . I had not developed and tested a system to prevent the situation from happening. Like we say in aviation - all the holes in the cheese lined up - thus allowing the incident to happen. So just relying in the arm/disarm device is like an open invitation for disaster. Here is what I do -
1- Transmitter set up with a throttle inhibit/cut switch
2- Failsafe at transmitter set and TESTED !
3- Always point nose towards a clear path away from the pits,spectators and objects.
4- Always keep thumb holding the throttle at idle even with the inhibit switch is active.

An arm/disarm device would add extra safety. I just dont like them. When seting failsafes they should be tested for proper operation. That is what I failed to do on my incident. At D3 pattern contest we have made everyone arm their planes , hold on to it,throttle up some and then turn off the transmitter . A few motors went to high power, others kept spinning and some went to cutoff. All could be blamed to improperly setting up the failsafes and FAILING to test it ! This is a very important step that should not be overlooked.
So do not just rely on an arm/disarm device wether it be a plug or switch but have a system with multiple safety layers and test them ( failsafes) to make sure it works...
Old 04-05-2013, 06:14 AM
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Rune
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

Neil,
one basic requirement for any safety equipement to work properly is that it is used the correct way.
So when you write : "an arm disarm device would have not prevented the loss from happening . Here is what happened-immediately after landing I grabbed the airplane by the vertical fin to bring it to the pits as at our
field taxing from the runway thru the flightline to the pits is not permitted."
In this case it is obvious that an arming/disarming device would indeed have saved you your plane.
Used correctly, it would have read: Here is what happened-immediately after landing I DISARMED THE BATTERY, grabbed the airplane by the vertical fin and brought the plane back to the pits.
No drama whatsoever.

I also found this one a bit strange: "A plane can still get away with an arm/disarm device."
Please share your secret.

Regards,
Magne
Its all in the name off disiplin(dont know if this is correct english)
I always plug the battery when I change it put the canopy on and leave the plane waiting for next flight , when its my turn It take the plane  to the runway turn on the radio check that all run correctly , arm the battery , make the flight land get the plane to me DISARM the battery and turn off the radio(failsafe is some off the first thing I program when I set up a new plane and have checked it)...roll the plane into the pit ..grab a new battery change ..carry the used one to the car ..this so I dont take a used  one in a mistake.
one thing I maybe should do more is to check the batteries with a simpel messuring device..I do that in comp but not wihle practice.
I think the arming an important safty device and the jeti anti spark is wery good its no visible spark only I'm a bit concern about the male plug but it should be easy to change that if it get sloppy.
Old 04-05-2013, 07:11 AM
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smcharg
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

F3A does provide a rule for disarming electric aircraft.  We tried to get AMA to follow suit but no dice. 


For electric powered models, the electric power circuit(s) must not be physically connected, before the starting time is begun and must be physically disconnected immediately after landing..
Old 04-05-2013, 11:07 AM
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bem
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.


ORIGINAL: bem

One thing that Ihave not been able to change sinceI have not figured out how is when You turn on the radio (I have Futaba 14MZ) you get a warning to Continue (turn On)if throttle position is about 1/3 up or higher - I would like to have it set to just one click on throttle stick but it seems not possible. In Linkage menu page 2/2 You can set Warning to throttle position to On or Off but not desired position on the throttle stick.

/Bo
An little update on this. I asked today in Futaba Radios Direct support forum and got an answer:

The purpose of the warning for the throttle position is to warn electric flyers that the throttle is not at the low position. That is to prevent accidents caused by the motor turning on unexpectedly, and to prevent having the speed control become armed by accident. The position of the stick cannot be changed, but is set by the factory.
Bill Baxter, Manager Hobby Services/Futaba Service/North America


Just curious - it it same with Futaba 18MZ that it is set at factory at a fixed throttle position that can not be changed to desired postion by the user?

/Bo
Old 04-05-2013, 12:32 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.


ORIGINAL: bem


ORIGINAL: bem

One thing that I have not been able to change since I have not figured out how is when You turn on the radio (I have Futaba 14MZ) you get a warning to Continue (turn On) if throttle position is about 1/3 up or higher - I would like to have it set to just one click on throttle stick but it seems not possible. In Linkage menu page 2/2 You can set Warning to throttle position to On or Off but not desired position on the throttle stick.

/Bo
An little update on this. I asked today in Futaba Radios Direct support forum and got an answer:

The purpose of the warning for the throttle position is to warn electric flyers that the throttle is not at the low position. That is to prevent accidents caused by the motor turning on unexpectedly, and to prevent having the speed control become armed by accident. The position of the stick cannot be changed, but is set by the factory.
Bill Baxter, Manager Hobby Services/Futaba Service/North America


Just curious - it it same with Futaba 18MZ that it is set at factory at a fixed throttle position that can not be changed to desired postion by the user?

/Bo

Yes it is. But, it is also dead simple to set up the throttle cut, use the motor function or have a zero throttle normal condition. I've never found this an issue. See my post above.
Old 04-05-2013, 12:34 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.


ORIGINAL: smcharg

F3A does provide a rule for disarming electric aircraft. We tried to get AMA to follow suit but no dice.


For electric powered models, the electric power circuit(s) must not be physically connected, before the starting time is begun and must be physically disconnected immediately after landing..

I'd be all for that if it allowed for the use of the Emcotec Safety Power Switch.

http://shop.rc-electronic.com/e-vend...&c=2263&p=2263
Old 04-05-2013, 01:09 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

Hi,
It doesn't !
It says 'physically' disconnected.
At the comps they want to see it actually disconnected.

Brian
Old 04-05-2013, 01:21 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

Dumb post [&:] -> Removed by me.
Old 04-05-2013, 01:29 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.


ORIGINAL: serious power

Hi,
It doesn't !
It says 'physically' disconnected.
At the comps they want to see it actually disconnected.

Brian
Yep, I understand that. Which is why as far as US AMA goes I wrote:

I'd be all for that if it allowed for the use of the Emcotec Safety Power Switch.
Old 04-05-2013, 02:24 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

Do we have the requirement this year?

I like the idea of a device that you can remove from the plane to ensure the plane is not armed. Something that the judges and anyone else can clearly see when it is removed. It is called a battery. I can keep it out of the plane with the canopy off, and everyone will know it is safe to walk around the plane. I will put the battery in on the flight line during my startup time, when I have a caller.

I use Anderson Powerpoles for my electrical connections. They can handle the current, but I don't feel great about plugging one in the side of the plane where if it falls out I lose power. It is a failure point. I don't regularly use Dean's connectors but they do feel more secure when plugged in.
Old 04-05-2013, 02:31 PM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.


ORIGINAL: gaRCfield

Do we have the requirement this year?
No. It got voted down by the ACB.


I like the idea of a device that you can remove from the plane to ensure the plane is not armed. Something that the judges and anyone else can clearly see when it is removed. It is called a battery. I can keep it out of the plane with the canopy off, and everyone will know it is safe to walk around the plane. I will put the battery in on the flight line during my startup time, when I have a caller.
My plane loads the battery from the bottom. Far less convenient than a top loader. I load my packs plug it all in and the arming switch has a red flag hanging off the side that says "Remove before flight". Plus a VERY BRIGHT green LED lights up when the plug is pulled.
Old 04-06-2013, 03:46 AM
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.

I almost had an accident after landing. When I approached the model (from behind). Bumped the throttle, on a Giant Scle Stick with a 160 Tacon. The plane jumped straight towards my truck. It was so fast I barely was able to cut the throttle in time. The prop was 2 inches away from hitting my bumper when it stopped. Fortunately there was nothing or nobody between the truch anf the model. It scared the heck out of me.

When starting you have more layers of protection...

So I now use the Maxxi switch, done with Anderson Power Poles. I anyway use the power poles (love them). I think it looks like a regular radio switch (unlike another kill switch that is also available that looks bulky...)

Anyway, it is cheap (around $12), small, and really easy to install. I just like the additional layer of protection it provides.

Gerry
Old 04-09-2013, 12:56 PM
  #25  
smcharg
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Default RE: Arming switch - advice.


ORIGINAL: Silent-AV8R

I'd be all for that if it allowed for the use of the Emcotec Safety Power Switch.
I love the look of the Emcotec and actually spent some time on the phone trying to get them to understand our (Pattern) needs a little better. The problem with the Emcotec is that if it does fail, it fails closed which means there is still power to the electrical components. They fail it closed because of BEC. Most guys in pattern don't use BEC at all and therefore, need this to fail open. I explained the problem and they said they understood and would consider making an "F3A" version but that was almost 9 months ago. I would love for them to design something for our needs. It really is nice albeit quite heavy in comparison to some of the others. The other problem with it (as mentioned to the engineer in Germany) is that all of the Emcotec is still based on electronics. There never is a physical disconnect between the battery and ESC.


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