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Old 03-04-2014, 05:46 AM   #1
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Power Distribution Systems......

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I've never used more than an orbit power jack and dual switches in my jets but more and more I see guys using power distribution systems, and they seem to be getting more and more complex.

I figured they were just born from the large IMAC community and have spilled into jets with those folks as well as with guys who like a little extra bling in their models.

Well as that trend continues and the systems become more elaborate ( now even including built in 3-axis gyros) this can't be just chalked up as a fad.

Its a bit overwhelming to figure out what they are needed for and how do. Properly select the correct one for my needs. Can we start a thread on debunking some of these myths and helping select the right system? Perhaps share what you have used and why?

Sean McHale (MAAC 21489 / AMA 689542 / JPO 2474)
"Strive for simplicity. You never have to repair what you leave out." - Bill Lear
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:25 AM   #2
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Re: Power Distribution Systems......

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Old 03-04-2014, 08:37 AM   #3
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Re: Power Distribution Systems......

I have used a power box cockpit in my carf tutor and will be installing a power box srs with igyro in my avanti. I like the idea of supplying power to all of the servos regardless of the extension length. Some of these leads are getting pretty long. Setting end points etc is very easy on the power boxes too. You have the ability to match more than 1 channel on the power boxes which frees up channels on your trans and doesn't use as many free mixes. It allows for a more cleaner simpler install , as well as incorporating redundancy in power. I still see people using 1 batt pack in a jet, and wonder why. She srs I gyro combo in spektrum config is the receiver too you just plug satellites into it. There are some great tutorials online on setting them up. Most newer trans have sequencing built in but these do as well.

Food for thought.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:38 AM   #4
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Re: Power Distribution Systems......

Funny you ask this, I've been wondering the same thing and I was actually thinking About doing a thread my self! So I will be keeping a close eye on this one

Typically these devices are fairly pricy. So knowing the best one for your needs will for sure be a helpful thing.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:55 AM   #5
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Re: Power Distribution Systems......

This gets even more interesting with Futaba s-bus. Like you, I have used several Orbit power jacks with the 6014 receivers and dual A123's switches. Redundant and simple system and the Orbit takes care of issues with long leads.

So now with the Tucano, I'm running s-bus servos for all the flight control surfaces except rudder. The 7008 receiver is certainly not a good candidate to use as a power bus to feed all those servos out one port!

What I've decided to to is run dual batteries thru an electronic switch. I'm using the Jeti dual redundant switch as it has the magnetic activation so I can switch the power on/off from the outside without anything showing. I'm then going to run a 20 ga power s-bus to all the servos with the individual servo connections y'd off this main line. Puts the onus on me to do a lot of soldering though.


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Old 03-04-2014, 09:11 AM   #6
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Re: Power Distribution Systems......

Call me old Fashioned but I have never used power distribution. Plug your battery's into your receiver and fly. Never have had an issue. 40% planes with multiple high load servos have no issue. If you are worried about all the power going into one jack. Use a y harness and plug it into a few of them. I don't get why people spend money on power distribution I really don't.

No servo can draw more power then the connector so why do we need to beef these up. As for multiple servos drawing power, I have data logged hard 3d flights and never drew more than 15 amps for an instant but the average was 2-3 amps. If you dont belive me spektrum did the same testing here

Max 17 amps for a few milliseconds but average was 2.5 amps! If a servo connector can handle 5 amps plug each battery into the plan using 2 ports and you 100 % covered. Price of this setup is 15 dollars.

1000s of flights with one battery in anything up to 35% and 1000s of flights with 2 batterys in 40%+ Never had one failure due to power issues. Keep It Simple!!!
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:24 AM   #7
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Re: Power Distribution Systems......

Like Paul, I have been using Orbit Power Jacks with dual batteries and a Wolverine switch with no issues. I have some long leads in one of my models and this system seems to cope. Like Sean, I have always considered power distribution systems more bling than anything necessary in our jets. Maybe even something problematic as it is something more to fail. However the flight stabilization systems have got my interest and I have been considering experimenting with one of these systems but don't know where to start.
Any comments, suggestions or first hand experience would be helpful and appreciated.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:24 AM   #8
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Re: Power Distribution Systems......

Great thread! I know for the Giant scale stuff as Kevin has mention I wouldn't even think of using power expanders. I use the S-bus system and make my own wiring harness as Paul explained. I can plug a battery into any part of that system. Typically I'll plug into the front of the plane and one to towards the rear of the plane. I run two A123 into a Dual Fromeco switch with three leads out. Two to the radio and one to the ignition. Done deal. Super simple.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:34 AM   #9
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Re: Power Distribution Systems......

I have got 3 of the Power Box units so far. All for my jet aircraft. I have grown with the Power Boxes starting with SC-12 in my Kingcat, Cockpit in my Phantom and finally just last year with the Royal SRS in my A-10. I liked the idea of matching servos with my Kingcat without using a whole lot of Matchboxes. Also batteries are the heart of our Radio Control systems. It one thing to lose a redundant control surface, or to lose an engine, but lose a battery and you have lost the whole aircraft, no doubt about it. The Royal SRS is a very sophisticated piece of equipment where it gives you the basic battery management system that power box started with. But now it gives you sequencing, 3 axis gyro correction, GPS monitoring(and with only one wire between the receiver and the Royal). And for those that will want to say it, give you change for a quarter too. I have not put a Power Box in all my jets or IMAC equipment, but at the very least I do have redundant power system in all those aircraft. The Power Boxes I seem to install in my scale and more complicated setups. Is it bling, somewhat, but I don't think I have lost a jet to a battery failure yet. Dumb thumbs, that whole other subject.
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Last edited by akb; 03-04-2014 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:47 AM   #10
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Re: Power Distribution Systems......

100% agree with you Kevin.

That's why I'm curious. To me. It's just more weight and more money.....
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