Above: The Scorpion Backup
Guard is a tiny bundle of
security. It’s a Christmas
Right: The TrakPower
VR- 1 charger is a full-featured charger that
isn’t only for RC car
Happy holidays and year-end finish
Happy holidays to everyone and best wishes for the new year. It’s been a busy year and my
mailbox is still crammed with stuff I
never had page space for. I try to reply
to all emails, but sometimes things
fall through the cracks or are of such
wide interest, I prefer to cover them
in columns. I’m using this month’s
column to catch up!
Wow, this topic got responses for
months after I first covered it in the
December 2013 “Electrics” column.
The DX6i still poses a challenge to
people, and possible solutions seem to
work for some and not others.
One thing that repeatedly came up
was getting to the flightline and finding
that the motor wouldn’t arm. Guess
what the common problem was? Yup,
people configured a throttle-cut/hold
switch and activated it, but forgot to
turn it off when they got to the line.
Head scratching and cussing ensued
only to find out that if they flipped the
switch back to “Arm,” the motor came
to life. Oops! Several even admitted
to swapping out ESCs before they
realized their mistake. No sweat! I still
occasionally do it.
There’s always a debate over the use
of a BEC versus receiver batteries and
I don’t know that there is any “right”
answer. I use both and have for years.
On my larger airplanes, I use a receiver
battery and always use LiFe packs.
I bought a Scorpion Backup Guard
from Innov8tive Designs for my 97-
inch AGwagon, and it gives me peace
of mind. This is a gem for $25!
It’s a 500 mAh 2S LiPo pack with a
circuit that detects low voltage at the
receiver and turns on the LiPo pack if
needed. It’s capable of a 10-amp peak
and supplies a regulated 5 volts to the
receiver. There is a small switch on the
side to activate it before flight.
Here’s the biggie though. You can
also use it with an airplane utilizing a
BEC. The fear most people have about
BECs is that if the ESC fails, so does
the BEC and the airplane is lost. By
using the Backup Guard, you turn it on
after the BEC is armed and if, for any
reason, the ESC/BEC fails, the Backup
Guard will kick in and supply power to
get you safely back on the ground.
The unit is slightly more than 1 inch
wide and 2 inches long and weighs
36 grams ( 1. 3 ounces). That’s a lot of
peace of mind for next to nothing!
Whether you’re a kit builder, scratch
builder, or an ARF flier, eventually
you’re going to need to work on
something. I recently landed a deal on a
Dremel table saw.
These are still one of the best little
saws around. The problem is that
they’re discontinued, but after-market
upgrade parts abound and the saws are
in demand. I bought several items for
mine that were designed and produced
by Bill Wilson and I couldn’t be
happier. The parts are beautifully done
and the quality is excellent. If you’re
looking for Dremel saws or parts, check
out the website listed in “Sources.”
The second item I use most often
is a stand on my bench to stabilize
airplanes when I work on them. I
95 Model Aviation DECEMBER 2014