OPTIPOWER ULTRA GUARD 430
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.