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Glow Sticks

For starting glow engines

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Graeme Poke27/11/2018 08:05:18
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175 forum posts
20 photos

Any recommendations please for glow sticks> cheers Graeme

Peter Christy27/11/2018 08:45:50
1582 forum posts

I prefer to make my own glow power units. I usually use a plastic box (used to get them from Maplins, now gone, alas!) and fit a 5 amp meter in series with a single, large capacity NiMh cell (3000mAh or so). I use a "phono" socket on the end of the box to connect to a variety of different glow leads, for different purposes.

The reason I do this is that you can tell an awful lot from the ammeter! Plugs are designed to run at a specific *voltage* - not current. The current will vary depending on a number of factors. This is why I do not like power panels, which tend to control current! It is much better to supply the correct voltage, and let the plug draw whatever current it wants. Contrary to popular belief, a good, large capacity NiMh will light ALL plugs - 2V as well as 1.5V - and never overdrive them.

Most plugs draw between 2 and 3 amps when operating normally. Once you have determined the normal current for your plug, it is easy to tell if an engine is flooded or dry.

A flooded engine will draw more current than normal - typically 0.5 to 1 amp - as the fuel in the plug will cool the element until it boils off. A dry engine will draw the correct current, but it will rise slightly when cranked by a starter, as the fresh air coming into the cylinder cools the element. A blown plug will obviously draw no current.

A nice, big 5 amp meter (ex car battery charger?) will save an awful lot of faffing about when presented with a reluctant engine!

Just my 2p worth!

--

Pete

RC Plane Flyer27/11/2018 09:20:07
654 forum posts
19 photos

Hi Peter beat me to it I also have the D Cell in a small box with ammeter on two banana sockets for the lead with Phono plug end not a problem. Even when charging the battery every 3 month or so just need to check the ammeter needle moves backwards a little to check its charging

Richard Harris27/11/2018 09:32:45
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2058 forum posts
1892 photos

Graeme,

THESE are useful units, especially if you fly a mix of IC and electric as you can utilise your LiPo's.

glow driver.jpg

Geoff Sleath27/11/2018 09:39:46
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3423 forum posts
295 photos

I don't fly glow engines very often these days (mostly electric but a couple of petrol) but I've always been nervous of glow sticks. To have a fairly unstable (they always seem prone to wobble a bit once the engine starts) and relatively top heavy glow stick very close to a spinning prop seems to me not the best idea. I do what Peter does and have a battery in a plastic box with an ammeter with an outlet (mine's 2 x 4mm sockets) for the various types of readily available plug connector.

Geoff

Denis Watkins27/11/2018 10:10:52
3912 forum posts
61 photos
Posted by Graeme Poke on 27/11/2018 08:05:18:

Any recommendations please for glow sticks> cheers Graeme

If you want to fly Graeme, then a glow stick is handy if your field box goes flat.

2100mah glow sticks are most common now, and come with a wall charger quite cheaply

A charged stick will last you a busy weeks flying and is simple to put on charge in between

Old Geezer27/11/2018 11:24:05
630 forum posts

The ultimate El Cheapo solution: a couple of D Size Duracell torch batteries soldered together in series and wrapped in fibre reinforced tape, connected to your glow clip of choice with a foot or a foot and a half ( or whatever length seems appropriate ) of heavy gauge multistrand hi-fi speaker cable. Can't remember when I last replaced the batteries - so they last a long long time - or it's another sign of the old memory going!

Nigel R27/11/2018 11:35:09
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3099 forum posts
479 photos

I have a Sub C glow stick. It's a generic 2500mA sub C type, and came with a wall wart charger. I've not a clue where it came from. It's always worked just fine when I've needed it. Cheap and simple.

I do prefer to use my box mounted panel though. The clip feels more secure, and it has a meter.

 

" a couple of D Size Duracell torch"

Two D cells would give 3V.

 

Edited By Nigel R on 27/11/2018 11:37:13

Engine Doctor27/11/2018 11:50:38
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2315 forum posts
28 photos
Posted by Nigel R on 27/11/2018 11:35:09:

I have a Sub C glow stick. It's a generic 2500mA sub C type, and came with a wall wart charger. I've not a clue where it came from. It's always worked just fine when I've needed it. Cheap and simple.

I do prefer to use my box mounted panel though. The clip feels more secure, and it has a meter.

" a couple of D Size Duracell torch"

Two D cells would give 3V.

Edited By Nigel R on 27/11/2018 11:37:13

Yepyes should read " soldered in parallel". Another sign of age Old Geezer laugh I have the same problem .

Ron Gray27/11/2018 12:34:55
1479 forum posts
363 photos

Expensive but brilliant. I've only recharged mine once this year and it's used every time I go flying (once or twice a week). It even fires up 2 plugs on my Laser V twins. Current is adjusted to how wet the plug is so you always get a good glow (they demonstrate firing up a plug under water!). It twists and locks onto a plug.

**LINK**

Edited By Ron Gray on 27/11/2018 12:36:15

Chris Walby27/11/2018 12:41:38
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994 forum posts
236 photos

I just use a couple of ones from my LMS,

The first was the usual long type, works a treat until I started flying twins. Then discovered the long one won't fit between the nacelle and the fuselage on one side. sad

So made an extension lead up, but sometimes it plays up, thus I have the back up of a shorty version.

Simple and works for me smiley

John Stainforth27/11/2018 13:49:30
312 forum posts
38 photos

Maybe I have been unlucky, but I have found glowstarters to be amongst the most unreliable of my modeling possessions. The most unreliable seem to be the very common rechargeable ones that have a battery that is more like capacitor that doesn't hold charge very well at all, and can be very easily ruined by overcharging. I've had four or five of those. A glow starter with bulldog clips to connect to a separate battery is more reliable. Recently I have been using glowstarters which take a single AA battery. The shop I bought these off tried to dissuade me from buying these, telling me that the rechargeble ones were more reliable. But I went ahead and purchased two anyway and have found them to be utterly reliable. They have the advantages of being compact, light, do not require charging and AA batteries are cheap and very easy to come by, so one just has to remember to keep a few spares in the flight box.

Fatscoleymo27/11/2018 16:30:50
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247 forum posts
86 photos

Ron Gray - that glow driver you linked to is $129!!! What's that? about £100?

Nothing, but nothing needs to be that expensive to start a glow engine, or save having to go to all the trouble to have to charge it more than once a year, or to save blowing plugs (how many plugs can you buy for £80). And I just cannot image ever having to start a glow engine under water. Still, each to their own.....a bog standard el cheapo glowstick does it everytime for me...had them for years and years.. even the one my mate left attached to his cub which then piled in due to mismatched model and tranny..kept on working.. Must be having a grumpy day methinkswink

Nigel R27/11/2018 16:44:44
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3099 forum posts
479 photos

Fats, there was once a control line class where very quick engine starts were a competitive edge. Perhaps there still is.

In this class a bunch of guys worked out many years ago, that the quickest reliable way to start their motors was to quite literally flood the thing with fuel, and then use a home brewed glow driver of identical function to that Ron linked to. Their start routine thus went flood, burn, flip, go.

I am not a control line flyer. But I do remember reading the article that was published along with the DIY glow driver schematic in question. I did think about doing one for a project at home. But I'd need a PCB etched and I don't have facility for it.

Seems a bit overkill for us regular flyers though. Maybe it's an ideal Christmas present?

Don Fry27/11/2018 16:51:32
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4043 forum posts
45 photos
Posted by Fatscoleymo on 27/11/2018 16:30:50:

Ron Gray - that glow driver you linked to is $129!!! What's that? about £100?

Nothing, but nothing needs to be that expensive to start a glow engine, or save having to go to all the trouble to have to charge it more than once a year, or to save blowing plugs (how many plugs can you buy for £80). And I just cannot image ever having to start a glow engine under water. Still, each to their own.....a bog standard el cheapo glowstick does it everytime for me...had them for years and years.. even the one my mate left attached to his cub which then piled in due to mismatched model and tranny..kept on working.. Must be having a grumpy day methinkswink

Did you have to make that public?

Fatscoleymo27/11/2018 16:59:29
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247 forum posts
86 photos

Sorry Don.....

Tom Sharp 227/11/2018 18:21:08
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3546 forum posts
18 photos

I'm still using a 2 volt accumulator, it's in a square glass case with acid swirling around and has a long lead to reduce the voltage, with crocodile clips to connect it to the engine.

Chris Walby27/11/2018 18:23:31
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994 forum posts
236 photos

I must be lucky coming to this hobby only a few years ago wink

Laser engines and glow sticks that work....The only time they don't start is when Mr Numpty has left the throttle cut on..once I have switched it off it starts a treat.

I would even go as far as say IC is easier than electric, once assembled (about the same time), just keep topping it up with fuel, not even the faff of changing batteries each flight. smiley

Don Fry27/11/2018 18:30:21
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4043 forum posts
45 photos

Laser sights on.

Former Member27/11/2018 21:30:52
724 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

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