Inexpensive Safety Device For Your Electric Park Flyer (Updated)

Posted: November 18, 2009 in r/c airplanes

MPI #1570 Universal ESC Control Switch - $5.95

There is always a bit of trepidation when connecting a flight battery to the Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) of the popular Ready-To-Fly (RTF) airplanes, such as the ParkZone T-28.  Is the throttle stick in the down position?  Don’t accidentally bump the throttle when picking up the transmitter.  A powerful electric motor with a propeller jumping to life unexpectedly can cause serious injuries.

Most of the smaller electric airplanes utilize a battery eliminator circuit (BEC) to provide power to the airplanes receiver directly from the motor battery.  Typically the RTF airplanes do not have any type of power interruption mechanism to keep power from instantly feeding the receiver, which then powers the throttle of the ESC.  This can lead to the airplane motor being energized unexpectedly.

There is a solution to help make handling electric airplanes safer by mechanically controlling the power output of the BEC.  It is a Universal ESC Control Switch from Maxx Products International (MPI).

The switch provides mechanical control of the ESCs BEC circuitry to the receiver between flying sessions.  This helps prevent accidental motor runs due to interference or unintentional transmitter control while the plane is energized.  The simple plug and play design of the switch is compatible with all ESCs.

It is important to note that the switch does not disconnect the battery from the ESC.  The battery must be removed after a flying session to prevent discharging the battery.

This switch can be purchased at many local and internet hobby shops, or it can be ordered directly from MPI.

An alternate switch is also available from Cermark

Cermark #288ESCP Micro Universal Power Switch for Brushless ESC - $5.00

Update: Here is a picture showing the MPI ESC Control Switch installed in my ParkZone Corsair.

Switch is mounted using thin Velcro in a convenient and accessible location

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