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- Fitting a switch between the LIPO and the ESC
I have seen a lot of discussion on
the forums from time to time talking about how to do this, and have seen
some VERY STUPID answers that I really hope people haven't followed.
The first thing to know is that
the standard 11.1v Lipo is a VERY POWERFUL battery, capable of short
bursts at up to 50 Amps or more. That old school formula we all probably
remember tells us that
Volts * Amps = Watts, so it is easy to see that your Lipo could push out
600 Watts or more in a burst.
is the same power needed to drive at least 10 * 60W bulbs
So bearing that in
mind, you need to think about trying to put a switch on a circuit that
may well carry that much power.
Many people say use a
car switch of some form, as they work on 12 Volts anyway. That is
true, BUT DO NOT DO IT, as they DO NOT COME CLOSE TO BEING ABLE TO CARRY
If a car needs to
switch large currents, it uses a small switch for sure, but between the
load and the switch is a large and usually heavy relay that actually
does the switching of the power. The small switch only carries a
tiny amperage just sufficient to throw the relay.
You can buy small
circuits that contain what are called MOSFETS (transistors of a kind)
that can switch high currents, but these are pretty expensive, and other than that, you will need to
carry around the weight of the car relay on your helicopter as well,
which is not usually a very smart thing to do.
I will admit that I
have seen people using low amperage switches on their helicopters, and
they do seem to work, but I suspect that the reason for this is that
they only have a problem when actually switching on or off. All of the
rest of the time the contacts are staying "made" and therefore
can perhaps handle the power demands, but I would be loathe to do so
The other and
favoured option is
to arrange it so that one side of the leads from the Lipo to the ESC
goes via a FEMALE Deans plug that is mounted somewhere accessible.
The other lead goes directly to the ESC as normal.
Then you need to take
a MALE Deans plug and solder the two pins together on the back to make a
short circuit. Then when you want to fly your helicopter, Power up
your TX, push your MALE Deans plug into that female, and it will
complete the circuit, acting just as if you had plugged the lipo in
normally. Removing your MALE Deans Plug will remove ALL POWER from
the helicopter instantly.