ChopperAddict's Hints & Tips


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   SAFETY - 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.  

That 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 50+ AMPS.

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 myself.

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.

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