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Voltwatch lights all on????

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Voltwatch lights all on????

Old 10-02-2010, 08:51 PM
  #1  
molokaiboy
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Default Voltwatch lights all on????



Igot a 2 of these voltwatches on my planes. When Ihook up a 4cell pack the green light is solid, as the pack gets depleted the next light glows.

However when Ihook up a 5cell pack(switched to 6v on voltwatch) the green lights a bright solid green, but all the rest of the lights are illuminated dimmly. When I move around my controls the green stays lit but the other lights get brighter and it starts to flicker. Are these voltwatches going bad or is it typical for it to do it when using 6volts?

Guess I'll use my discharge function to apply a 1A load to check my battery before flights. Or Imay just go to lipo/life rx packs.

Thanks,
Les

Old 10-02-2010, 09:14 PM
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Charlie P.
 
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Did you switch the VoltWatch to 6.0v?  Mine lights as a bar when I cycle the servos but goes back to dim except for one LED otherwise.  I only have one model currently I fly at 6.0v so I can't really say .
Old 10-03-2010, 10:22 AM
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-pkh-
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Mine did something similar. With no servo movement, I don't think they all lit up dimly, but when I moved both sticks around to move the servos, I would get some of the lower voltage lights flickering. I believe the voltage noise generated by the moving servos cause the other lights to flicker a little. They really should have put some sort of RC filtering on the input of the sensing circuit to filter out noise and keep it from flickering.

I just look at the middle of the lights that light up when I move the sticks around and read that off the meter.
Old 10-03-2010, 01:55 PM
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Rodney
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

That flicker is valuable information. It is telling you that, as you exercise the servos, the bus voltage at the receiver is dropping down to the level indicated by the lowest level lights. You do NOT want any filtering at that point as the information given is a warning of marginal size wire gage between the battery and receiver or a high resistance switch or excessive current draw by one or more of the servos. Could also indicate a battery that has a high internal impedance. This ability of the Voltwatch to give you this information is why it is a much better check on power distribution than a loaded voltmeter is. In short, that flicker is valuable information, you just have to recognize it.
Old 10-03-2010, 09:10 PM
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molokaiboy
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Thanks for the info guys, Ireally appreciate it alot.

Yes, Ihave the switch set to 6v.

Iwill try to bypass the switch to see if there are any changes. Iwill also hook the battery directly to the voltwatch. Maybe even install the voltwatch in another model. All in all I'll try different configurations, models etc. to see if the results are all the same. Iwill post my results if anything good comes of it.

Aloha,
Les
Old 10-03-2010, 10:05 PM
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Charlie P.
 
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Might be worth disconnecting one servo at a time to see if one is binding or straining against another.
Old 10-05-2010, 09:47 PM
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molokaiboy
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

This plane was put together by a friend of mine, but was recently given to me.Idecided to go as Charlie said and found that my throttle, rudder, and elevator seemed to have either a binding issue, or some other problem. If Ionly have my ailerons connected the only one light is lit to indicate the voltage. As Imove my servos the lights flicker as an indication of the load. Iwill go over the 3 servos and control surfaces to see if Ican solve the problem of what seems to be a binding issue.

Thanks for the help guys.

Aloha,
Les
Old 10-05-2010, 10:06 PM
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Charlie P.
 
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Unscrew the servo arms and try moving the connection rods with your fingers.  They should all move very easily. 
Old 10-08-2010, 08:23 PM
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molokaiboy
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

The control surfaces/rods move freely. But Idid remove the control rods from the servo arms and found that all three did not align well with the servo arm, thus putting unnecessary load on the srvos themselves. Once Ire-aligned the control rods with the servo arms, the lights only flickered when there was a load present. In a No-load condition only one LED lit indicating voltage.

Thanks for the help guys.

Aloha,
Les
Old 10-08-2010, 08:38 PM
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Charlie P.
 
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Good job!
Old 10-09-2010, 06:27 AM
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Rodney
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Your finding tend to substantiate the value of a Voltwatch over a loaded voltmeter. As I said, those flickering lights are giving you valuable information.
Old 10-09-2010, 07:30 PM
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

ORIGINAL: Rodney

That flicker is valuable information. It is telling you that, as you exercise the servos, the bus voltage at the receiver is dropping down to the level indicated by the lowest level lights. You do NOT want any filtering at that point as the information given is a warning of marginal size wire gage between the battery and receiver or a high resistance switch or excessive current draw by one or more of the servos. Could also indicate a battery that has a high internal impedance. This ability of the Voltwatch to give you this information is why it is a much better check on power distribution than a loaded voltmeter is. In short, that flicker is valuable information, you just have to recognize it.
Rodney's post is great; I am glad I read it yesterday.
I just discovered another source of radio disturbance that my Voltwatch made me investigate.

Today, I was ready to fly my plane, did a radio ground check, and all was good.
Started the engine and the Voltwatch went crazy.
Stopped the engine, and everything returned to normal, the Voltwatch green light was steady with all the surfaces deflected at once.

My old loaded voltmeter told me that the battery was able to keep more than 5.0 volts under load.
Scratched my head and started the engine again, just to have the same flickering of the Voltwatch.

Surgery time!
Every connection looked solid, and Ohms were low in every wire.
Then, I noticed that the flickering of the Voltwatch happened only when I touched the Rx.
Diconnecting and reconnecting each Rx's plug, I identified the rudder's servo connection as faulty.

Tested the servo in another Rx with same result, flickering happened only when touching the connector in the Rx.
However, the connector felt solid and the wires' continuity were good.

I pulled the three pins out of the plastic J male connector of that servo and found that the pins of the white and red wires had a strong fit in the Rx.
However, the black wire's pin slided freely over the Rx's pin.

Replaced the faulty black wire's pin, and everything returned to be as good as new.

Pay close attention to your Voltwatch, if you have one in your plane.
Thanks Rodney![sm=thumbs_up.gif]
Old 10-09-2010, 08:40 PM
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Charlie P.
 
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

I used to "poo-poo" on the Voltwatch displays. But, since I have tried a few, I am convinced they are certainly worthwhile.

My GSSpilot appreciates the input, also.
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Old 10-09-2010, 09:18 PM
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molokaiboy
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Ihave used voltwatch's on my helis before Iwent to lipo, but never had the flickering lights issues like Ihave had with the planes that Ihave now. Ifind these little gadgets to be an invaluable piece of hardware that can save your models.
Iguess I've always built my own models and my helis all had digital servos and any kind of binding issues were almost immediately apparent to me with excessively noisy servo chattering.

Thanks for all the help.

Aloha,
Les

ps. My friend just put together a Carden 89" Yak54 and a voltwatch alerted him of a problem with one of his brand new flight batteries prior to his maiden flight. A6v 2000mahHydrimax battery was bad, and it was brand new from the factory. Anyway they had 2 batteries in theplane, flipped first switch voltwatch"Green", flip second switchvoltwatch "red", they finally trouble shooted it and found one pack was no good.
Old 10-10-2010, 02:26 AM
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mintie
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

The volt watch is certainly a valuable piece of equipment. I have seven of them ,one in all my ic aircraft.Would never fly with out one.
Some interesting posts here and valuable information for others to read. thanks guys.
Old 10-10-2010, 11:46 PM
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molokaiboy
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Well Iam glad I started this thread. Great info for all.

Ihave mostly flown digital servos and when there was binding issues, Icould always easily hear them. But with these analogs Igot,they don't make much noise, butthe voltwatchfound the problems. Ialways listen to yourmodels, wierd sounds, unusual flight performance, things like that, canAlert the pilot of possible failures.

Aloha,
Les
Old 10-11-2010, 07:40 PM
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wjcalhoun
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Voltwatch was great when I flew NiMH; now that I fly LiFe, the discharge curve makes the voltwatch useless. Too bad.

Old 10-12-2010, 01:35 AM
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molokaiboy
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

Do they make one for lipo/life packs? If not maybe someone sould make one. Iwonder if Ican make one myself, Ithink Imay look into it.

Aloha,
Les
Old 10-12-2010, 07:32 AM
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Default RE: Voltwatch lights all on????

ORIGINAL: wjcalhoun

Voltwatch was great when I flew NiMH; now that I fly LiFe, the discharge curve makes the voltwatch useless. Too bad.

You still should use one of these before each flight:

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...ER++&search=Go

Volts reading will be different, but the principle is the same: test the battery under load to verify that you have enough "juice" to complete the next flight.

Just for do-it-yourself kind of people:

http://www.hangtimes.com/id42.html

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