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What would be a good Watt Meter to buy?

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Stuart Quinn-Harvie 108/02/2019 15:59:04
114 forum posts
83 photos

Afternoon folks.

Since returning to the hobby back in November I have made the decision to go all electric for everything. ( Probably. Mostly. ) I have also decided that a WattMeter would be a good idea but don't really have anywhere to start. being on a limited budget I'd rather not spend thirty quid when ten would do the job just as ( or ALMOST) as well.

I am currently building a Cardinal, a Chilli Breeze and a Japp ( June 1967 Aeromodeller free plan) And have a couple of foamies to fly whilst the building goes ahead. Frankly I just want to see if what I do to them will start a fire/war/public scene.


Any suggestions, oh hive of aeromodelling wisdom?


Oh and here's a picture of the in progress Japp, because it's cute. img_20181231_124733.jpg

Edited By Stuart Quinn-Harvie 1 on 08/02/2019 16:00:04

Wingman08/02/2019 16:01:28
1149 forum posts
405 photos

Hi Stuart - Put "wattmeter" in the search box above -there's quite a bit on this forum

Stuart Quinn-Harvie 108/02/2019 17:21:35
114 forum posts
83 photos

I really am not thinking today am I? Thanks

Bruce Collinson08/02/2019 19:10:26
563 forum posts

Good one from George at 4Max, as with all things electric. Buy once , buy well.


Steve J08/02/2019 19:22:06
2063 forum posts
60 photos

IMHO, it is easier to use Google to search this site than use the site's own search function - wattmeter


Geoff S08/02/2019 20:11:33
3780 forum posts
39 photos

I have an original (and quite old) Astroflight Wattmeter and one I bought from HK for about 20% of the price and correlates quite well with the expensive one and also has a LiPo check facility. It's the HK one I use 99% of the time and quite frequently.

The main use of a wattmeter is to measure current. It's handy to have a voltage check without needing to fit a second meter hence it easy to measure input power (ie watts) but current is the parameter that really matters when setting up a power train. However, the LiPo check feature is very useful but I expect most wattmeters these days have it.


Piers Bowlan08/02/2019 22:18:41
2168 forum posts
53 photos

This is a Wattmeter from Hobbyking, remarkably similar to the GT Power watt meter sold by 4Max.

Simon Chaddock08/02/2019 22:40:59
5777 forum posts
3055 photos

This is the one I use and about the cheapest on the market and in this case from London so you don't have to wait for the slow boat from China!

Remember you do have to solder on male/female connectors to suit your installation but it does measure  instantaneous and peak amps, volts, watts and watt hours!..

Edited By Simon Chaddock on 08/02/2019 22:41:58

leccyflyer09/02/2019 07:51:14
1584 forum posts
332 photos

Personally I prefer to use a Graupner clamp meter, as it;s so convenient to use, without having to fit it is series in the power train. I initially has an AstroFlight wattmeter, which is a nice piece of kit, but I rarely used it at the field, it would get used once or twice in setting up a model, or in bench testing, but rarely at the field. With the clamp meter all you need to do is clamp the meter around one of the battery leads and measure the current draw - you pretty much know the voltage of a fully charged pack anyway, so it's simple mental arithmetic to derive the watts, if that is what you are looking for, If you;re mainly interested in knowing that the current draw for a battery-motor-prop is within spec, then that'r right there on the meter. It takes 10 seconds.

Also, if your clubmate wants to know what the current draw is on his model there's nomfaffing around with different connectors or adaptors, it;s just a matter of clamping the meter around one wire and that's it. Very convenient.

I think I've used my AstroFlight Wattmeter twice since getting the clamp meter.

Be aware if you decide to go the clamp meter route it has to be a pukka DC capable clamp meter, the cheapy eBay AC clamp meters won;t do the job.

gangster09/02/2019 11:15:48
1041 forum posts
29 photos

The watt meter I use is a three button eBay cheaply which has given good and fairly accurate service for 6 year. Bearing in mind it cannot last for ever I have been looking round for a replacement. It’s a real Swiss Army knife measuring battery and individual cell voltage. This is perfect current for set up and voltage down the field to tell me % left and cell performance. Many of those advertised at present do not appear to have a balance board to look at the cells. In answer to the OP I would recommend one that does all those things

PatMc09/02/2019 12:26:02
4473 forum posts
548 photos

I now use this one.

It came with XT60 connectors fitted which match most of my batteries & ESCs, I got a pair of XT30 - XT60 adaptors at the same time to use with some smaller models.

It took 2 days to arrive having travelled all the way from HK's UK warehouse, so no wait for the slow boat from China.

A good quality bargain at £16.67 + P&P, buy well, buy more within your budget. wink 2

Edited By PatMc on 09/02/2019 12:28:15

Geoff S09/02/2019 12:41:06
3780 forum posts
39 photos

I have a DC clampmeter but rarely use it because it's fairly big to get in and, I admit, I forget it's in the cupboard. As lecyflyer says make sure you get one with a DC option - cheaper ones are usually ac only which aren't much use for what we need.

My HK Wattmeter is the same as the one Pat links to. I've had it for years and it's still going strong. The only thing I don't like about it is that the connector for the balance plug to check LiPos is a bit awkward to access.


gangster09/02/2019 14:52:23
1041 forum posts
29 photos

Yes thats the one I have got I am sure it came with a separate balance board, that is certainly how I use it Great meter does everything I want

Stuart Quinn-Harvie 122/03/2019 03:19:46
114 forum posts
83 photos

I didn't realise that so many answers had been posted! Thanks folks I appreciate all the advice and suggestions.

Piers Bowlan22/03/2019 07:15:07
2168 forum posts
53 photos

So which one did you go for in the end Stuart?

Here is the Japp plan on Outerzone if anyone is interested.. Did you scale it up from it's 21in span incidentally? Perhaps not, judging by the size of the razor plane!

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