Model Airplane News - - MODEL ENGINE MAESTRO -

One of the things we learn as RC fliers is that even­tu­ally ev­ery­thing fails. I checked a 2S A123 re­ceiver bat­tery just be­fore a flight re­cently and found that it had done just that. As I packed up and headed home, I de­cided I was pretty lucky that it hadn’t failed in flight and cost me a plane. But the more I thought about it, the more I won­dered if there was a good way to safe­guard against that hap­pen­ing to me. As it turns out, there is.

Optipower’s Ul­tra Guard 430 is a bat­tery-pow­ered smart backup sys­tem for RC re­ceivers. Its pur­pose is to give a pilot enough power to land a model in case of a fail­ure in the pri­mary power sup­ply, whether that’s a bat­tery or a BEC (bat­tery elim­i­na­tor cir­cuit). One of the big­gest ad­van­tages it has over other sim­i­lar prod­ucts is that it charges and main­tains the 2S 430mAh LiPo bat­tery as you fly on the main power source, so it’s not yet an­other bat­tery to mon­i­tor and main­tain. If the main source volt­age drops more than a half-volt, the Ul­tra Guard takes over and flashes a bright LED to let you know. There’s an ex­ten­sion LED so that you can mount it in a more vis­i­ble lo­ca­tion.

Small and light, the Ul­tra Guard senses volt­age from 2 to 8.2 volts and is rated to pro­vide 5 amps con­tin­u­ously and 10A in­ter­mit­tently. It plugs into the re­ceiver via a uni­ver­sal con­nec­tor and uses the JST-XH bal­ance tap from the LiPo to power the main board and LED. Avail­able from op­tipower­bat­tery.com, the Su­per Combo in­cludes the Ul­tra Guard and ad­di­tional LED for about $55.00.

The Optipower Ul­tra Guard 430 is small, only weigh­ing about 40 grams. It’s sim­ple to in­stall and easy to main­tain, as it charges it­self from the pri­mary power sup­ply.

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