Onboard Glow Plug Driver GDL V6.9Thank you for interesting our extremely lightweight robust and easy to use glow driver system.
GDL V6.9 was designed to eliminate the need of external handheld glow igniters or start panels, traditionally used for starting methanol (nitro) engines of fixed wing RC aircraft. Heart of this device is a specially designed converter that gently conforms the 2S LiPo battery voltage to any standard RC two or four stroke methanol engine's glow plug. Upgrading your aircraft with this device will allow you to totally control your engine's glow plug from your transmitter. By your choice, the glow plug can be remotely turned on, off, or automatically controlled by throttle stick position.
- no useless points of failure like buttons or pots
- no bunch of wires to confuse
- no need to modify the fuselage
- no soldering required
- very soft start (longer glow plug lifespan comparing to traditional ignitors)
- military grade reliability
- only high quality components inside (like Infineon, NXP, muRata, On Semiconductors etc.)
- totally controlled from the ground by one aircraft transmitter channel
- all necessary wiring and connectors are included (Deluxe version only)
- Onboard (RC receiver) power supply - 4.8-12.6V
- Glow plug dedicated battery - 6.5-8.4V (2S LiPo or 2S LiIo)
- Control signal - standard servo PWM (1,5ms neutral)
- Minimal radio system requirements - one free channel with 2 position switch
- Working temperature range - from -25С(-13F) to +80С(176F)
- Minimal dedicated glow plug battery requirements - LiPo, 2S, 350мАч, 5С
- Recommended dedicated glow plug battery - LiPo, 2S, 800мАч, 5С
- Maximum glow plug wires diameter - 16AWG (1sq.mm)
- Size - 54mm Х 21mm Х 8mm
- Weight - 12g(0.42oz).
Engineering over marketing
You presumably may say, that the perfect glow driver must have a button to set it up, a button to turn it on for engine start, a switch to turn it off after the flight, and several LEDs to see when you lost connection with the plug, when you need to charge the battery, when you shortcut the plug's cable, and of course, the most important LED-of-pain called "Your Plug Is Dead". Oh! Don't forget the battery cutoff and overheat protection! And... as a cherry on top, a complicated paper manual, making the whole thing useless if it lost.
Do you really think you need all this? Or maybe sales guys do? It's not a secret that it's way easier to sell something fancy looking over really cool engineered.
Face it, the only thing you really want from onboard glow plug driver is that installation should take not more than couple of minutes and after this, you'll get a couple of things less to care about. Less, not more! Since you install it, it must work as expected till the moment you'll decide to reinstall it to the next model.
Honestly it was not too easy to achieve this, but we did it finally. It took about 10 years of research and real life testing. Just check the following "In details" section to find out how it works.
First, we need a perfect electrical and mechanical connection with the plug. As it usually happens, there was a very long way to find the perfect solution that is pretty simple and obvious. Unlike traditional plug caps (weak or oversized or both) our clip consists from only one small part and this is just a specially shaped piece of thick and strong springy wire. It's easy to clip it on and there is no any chance that it will unclip by accident. The electrical contact is perfect too, cause the physical tension is really strong. Also it's a spring loaded connector that is paramount for high vibration environment applications such as small engines.
Next, we need a really good wire. We use military grade fluoroplast insulated ones. Its sheathing is hard to cut even by knife and thermal endurance is enough to stand the hot soldering iron or even open flame. It's way thinner, lighter and tighter than traditional silicon wires, while the same soft to bend. We wrapping the tip of the wire over the clip and then soldeing it. The second "ground" wire is the same, with the exception of fork connector for motor mount screw at the end, instead of plug clip. It's a real overkill for any real life situation.
And finnaly, we have to connect with the electronics. Here we use the industrial microlift connector produced by Degson Electronics Ltd. It's really small and lightweight but incredibly durable. There are two the same connectors in GDL V6.9. One for glow plug and another one for the battery.
Bingo! Now we're free from contact-related troubles. You really have to crash your model into dust first, to break this kind of connection. Say good bye to several annoying LEDs and related "so necessary features".
Let's dive into electronics!Just one boring fact first. Unlike almost any modern electronics, this device is not fully digital. But it's not fully analog either! We use semi-analog tech based on non-standard utilization of every single part parameters and even more their stable imperfections. It's far beyond the typical applications described in manufacturer's datasheets. The basic principals are: "more features with less parts applied", and "all features must be based on physical laws, not by adding special circuits". Finally we've got simple device with lots of features that never fail, while the laws of physics are unchanged in the universe.
OK! Let's jump to funny stuff!
As we already know, our GDL V6.9 does not have specially added protection circuits, but!
- shortcut protection: nothing will burn out if it happens
- soft start: oh yeah, it turns on the plug even softer then old and tired handheld igniter. But unlike it, the final plug temperature will be always like you using a modern expensive start panel. This feature dramatically expands glow plug's lifespan. Good bye "LED-of-pain".
- battery cutoff: no, we don't need it while you use the recommended battery and charging it ones per day. If you're able to start the engine, the battery capacity will be enough to fly and land. If you're unable to start the engine, it's seems like you've forget to charge the battery yesterday evening.
Safety note: The engine that properly adjusted for automatic onboard glow plug idle support is incredibly responsive and much better cooled by oil but highly sensitive to loosing the electrical plug heating. If the battery is weak, GDL V6.9 will damp the power, trying to keep the balance between plug temperature and battery life. But priority is shifted to the plug temperature. Sometimes it's better to loose one weak battery instead of whole aircraft.
- off switch: just switch off the onboard power and you can forget the battery connected to GDL even for several months. It will not discharge.
- overheat protection: the board is never getting hot by itself, while able to operate normally at very high environmental temperatures.
- engine start mode button: bet you have several switches on your TX that you never used before! It's way more convenient.
- setup button: your TX is still full of never used before features. Using one simple mixer gives you the opportunity to set up everything visually and even change your settings while your model is in the air.
Thus, the only LED you need is one small but very bright one that will show you if your glow plug is on or off. You'll use it maybe ones or twice, during initial adjustments, so there is no need to drill the fuselage for it. Speaking of drilling, the only fuselage modification you may need is a tiny 2mm (1/12inch approx.) hole under the hood, for two thin wires that even has no connectors on one side. (Thanks to Degson's the GDL equipped with.) And finally, all installation operations can be performed with no soldering, and with almost no any additional tools, right on the field!
- Connect the 3-pin cable to the spare channel of your receiver (i.e. Gear#5 or AUX#7) as labeled on PCB
- Connect the 2S LiPo or LiIo battery as labeled on PCB
- Connect 2 wires to the the glow plug and engine's crankсace as labeled on PCB (polarity does not matter)
- Set up any free linear mixer (clone channel) in your radio from Throttle channel to the channel where Driver is connected to (i.e. THR>>>GEAR or THR>>>AUX)
- Assign any free 2 or 3 position switch to the channel where Driver is connected to (i.e. Gear#5 or AUX#7)
- Adjust the reverse and switching point as necessary by your radio's channel reverse and mixer amount respectively (refer to your radio's manual)
- The switch should change the green LED behavior between "Always ON" and "Controlled by Throttle Stick via Mixer". The third optional position can be used as "Always OFF".
- The mixer should be adjusted to keep the LED lit in throttle stick range from idle to 10-20% above.
- It's absolutely NOT recommended to use the same battery to power up the aircraft receiver and glow pug simultaneously! Always use dedicated battery for the glow plug!
- There is no glow plug battery hard cutoff in this device. It's made on purpose to have the possibility to hold the temperature of the glow plug as long as possible to prevent the dead stick, especially while late emergency landing. It's better to loose the battery than the whole aircraft. Don't forget to check the battery voltage before flight!
- Glitches on receiver side power line caused by low quality board switches or battery connectors can cause malfunction in any electronics powered by this kind of unstable power source. This device is not an exclusion. Always pay lots of attention to powerline quality!
- If you need to re-cycle board power, make at least 3 seconds pause between turning off and then on.
HOW TO PURCHASE
- Onboard glow driver GDL V6.9
- standard male-male servo cable for receiver
- military grade Fluoroplast cables for glow plug and engine's crankcase
( 50cm/19inch approx.)
- red-black JST connector cable for dedicated battery
- self-adhesive decorative sticker
- package (ZIP)