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spark | RC-Warbirds Blog
Jul 4 2012

CARF Spark with JetCat P-60SE Turbine

A great video of one of our customers flying his CARF Spark with a JetCat P-60SE Turbine.
Drop us an email if you are interested in a turbine conversion kit for your EDF Spark.

Mar 5 2010

CARF Spark Sport Jet

CARF Spark by RC-Warbirds

We build this CARF Spark in Green/Blue Contender scheme for one of our customers.
The model is extremely well designed by CARF including a removable battery tray and receiver plate.

This Spark is equipped with the following components:RC-Warbirds Spark
- TamJets TJ100 EDF unit
- Neumotors 1515/3D Brushless Motor
- TamJets retracts (designed for the Spark)
- TamJets Spark Trailing Oleo Struts
- MPI wheels
- TamJets Brakes

Servos used are various Hitec Digital and Analogue servos.

The model will be flown later with 5000mAh 12S Hyperion G3 Lipo Packs.
Due to the light weight of the plane performance will be fantastic.

To get an idea of the performance have a look at the below video of a similar equipped Spark:

Feb 15 2010

The Anti-Spark – a DIY Project

With larger and more powerful EDF power setups beyond 5S the need for an anti spark circuit becomes important.

Although many modern ESC have either an in-build spark eliminator (example: Kontronik Power Jazz 63V) or come with a separate anti spark connector (example: HET 100A ESC), there are still ESC’s out there which come with neither (example: Hyperion 90A).

This article is intended for modelers which such a ESC’s.

What does an anti spark circuit / arrester do?

Basically it eliminates the spark/arc which is created between Battery connector and ESC Connector when initially connecting a high voltage battery to your ESC.

Why is there are spark?

The current spike which is generated when you close the circuit (connect the battery) is the cause for this spark.
The spark usually becomes properly visible (and audible) with setups of more then 5S.

The higher the voltage of the setup you are using the larger and louder the spark will be.

So why not spark away?

Although we have not experienced this by ourselves yet, there are reports from modelers that the voltage spike can permanently damage the ESC.

Fact is however that the spark will damage your connectors as they are slowly eroded away with each connection you make. This will in return increase the electric resistance of the connector possibly causing it to fail due to heat build up one day.

What can be done?

There are multiple DIY solutions available in the net, ranging from simple to highly complex
Here we would like to describe a simple solution by using 1 resistor only.

As mentioned above the spark is generated from the initial high current spike when connecting the battery to the ESC.
To eliminate the problem the ESC needs to be slowly "charged up" before the battery is connected fully.

elcoThe "charging up" is done by loading the electrolytic capacitors on the ESC (see picture).

Each ESC comes with 2 or more of these capacitors. Once they are charged up the battery and ESC are in an equally loaded state which means that no current spike and therefore spark will be generated.

Building the Spark Eliminator

Items required:
- 1x short piece of silicon wire
- 1x Resistor of suitable value for your ESC
- 1x heat shrink tube

If you are using Gold connectors between esc and battery:
- 1x male + 1x female connector (same type as you use between ESC and Battery)
   example: 6mm gold connector as shown here

If you are using Deans connectors between esc and battery:
- 1x small polarized connector pair (e.g. mini deans)

Before you start shopping for your resistor you need to calculate the size required for your ESC/battery combination.

Although in general a small Ohm resistor with 1/2 to 5 watt will work you can adjust the value depending on your ESC and intended "charge time".
Click here for a link to a great tool which will do the calculation for you depending on battery size, capacitor and charge time (we will describe the calculation method another time).

Now you can start building. Depending on the connector you use between ESC and battery follow either diagram below.

Using Gold Connectors:

 Anti Spark Diagram with Gold Connectors

Using the spark eliminator: Spark Arrestor
- Make sure the male/female connector we prepared above is only connected to the ESC via the cable/resistor
- Connect the minus pole of Battery to minus pole of the ESC
- Connect the battery plus pole to the male/fame connector
- What 1-2 seconds
- Connect the male/female connector to the plus pole of the ESC

Using Deans Connectors:

Anti Spark with Deans connector

Using the spark eliminator:
- Connect the small polarized connector between battery and ESC first
- What 1-2 seconds
- Connect the battery to the esc with the main connectors.

Whether you are using the deans or the gold connector version (or any other connector), in all cases there should be no spark. If there still is a slight spark then the capacitor on the ESC are not fully charged yet. In this case wait 1-2 seconds longer the next time before you make the final connection.

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