January 1, 2016

Voltage alarm in the E-Revo

I'm only using lipo batteri in my E-Revo 1/16 VXL. The car runs for quite a while on one battery and very much depending on how you run it. In contrast to flying machines the timer is not as useful. Especially when I crash a lot and pass the remote around to people to drive.

I've had the possibly bad approach to run the car until it starts feeling sluggish. This is too long. When you get that feeling you should have stopped a minute ago.

There are new speed controllers that have low voltage cutoff to protect lipos, but mine doesn't. Instead I'm installing a separate low voltage alarm into the car. I initially intended to use a simple alarm plugged to the balance lead, but it turned out to clumsy. There's really not much space under the canopy of this car.


Low voltage alarm installed in the front of the chassis.

Instead I'm using one of the many low voltage alarms out there. This particular one has two buzzer, a bright blue LED that you see clearly when it start getting dim outside. It is connected directly to the main power lead and senses automatically how many cells the battery has.

I made this installation while at the same time changing the battery connector to EC3 ( from TRX connector) and replacing the gears of the steering servo. I dabbed down the wire to the alarm using some hot glue, seems to work just fine.

Result

Low voltage alarms like this one is not made for for car applications. In fact, the car draws a lot of power when starting from standing still which will case a half a second voltage drop and trigger the alarm. Fortunately this alarm reacts fast and does not keep on buzzing but gives a short beep and a blue flash. When power is running low the alarm will warn continuously. Works well but I did not foresee the initial warning beep that can be annoying but safely ignored.

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