These meters range from approximately $15 to $150. All
work well for our purposes.
Checking the current on a running airplane
at the field is easy with a clamp-style meter.
Happy holidays! As the season approaches, I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and
a great New Year. Thanks for your
support of the column again this
year and please continue to send
suggestions, criticisms, etc.
It’s Time to Store Your Batteries
For many of you, flying season is
over and it’s time to store your flight
batteries. Even if you fly throughout
the winter, chances are that you fly less
frequently and you need to store your
batteries longer than usual.
Whatever the voltage level is at
when you choose to store them, be
sure it’s not fully charged or fully
Arguments continue over the
“proper” voltage level to use, but all
agree it’s somewhere between full
and empty. Most of my chargers use
something around the 3.8-volt level
and I’m good with that.
This is also a great time to
put your batteries on your
and bring them down to or
up to storage level while
Inspect your packs for
damage or wear on the
covering, wires, or connectors.
If the connector is pitted and
shows signs of corrosion, replace it.
I shared a picture of one of my
packs that I completely discharged and
disposed of because of physical damage
from a crash. It’s tempting to keep such
a pack and just watch it because the
photo shows the balance is still perfect
across the pack, but this pack isn’t
safe. I can’t see what has happened
internally that might suddenly cause it
Yes, it hurts to toss out what appears
to be a perfectly functioning pack,
but safety is more important. Do not
continue to use damaged packs.
With a wide selection of meters on
the market, everyone flying electric-powered aircraft should have one of
some sort. Most pilots can use a meter
such as the Astro Flight Whattmeter—
it’s reasonably priced and accurate.
Standard volt/amp meters are handy
around the house for many reasons and
can be used in our hobby too. Many are
limited as to how many amps they can
read and most limit themselves to 10.
That’s not enough for most electric fliers.
Shunts can be used to increase their
flexibility, but most of us simply want to
connect them and measure something.
96 Model Aviation DECEMBER 2016 www.ModelAviation.com
Storage time is coming