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Hangar 9 Digital Variable Load Voltmeter
Maximize safe flying time by monitoring receiver batteries
Text and photos by Tom Hintz
Like many of you I am not able to get to the flying field whenever I want. When I am able to go flying I tend to fly a lot. Even though I fly mainly gas engine planes, the receiver batteries must have sufficient power to keep my planes listening to the radio commands to come home safely. I could make an educated guess on how many flights I can get in safely but I like to be sure when I put that much money in the sky. For that sense of security I rely on the Hangar 9 Digital Variable Load Voltmeter (HAN171) to tell me it’s OK to fly again.
The Hangar 9 Digital Variable Load Voltmeter is at its core a voltmeter with a large LCD screen that makes reading it easy even in the sunlight. While it does show the standing voltage of 4 to 8-cell receiver packs we get a better indication of the power available if we simulate a load such as when the servos are operating. The Hangar 9 Digital Variable Load Voltmeter has three load settings, .5A, 1A and 2A, all selectable with a slider switch on the face of the unit.
A universal lead plugs into most charge jacks or can be used to add an adapter if you need to go that way. The Hangar 9 Digital Variable Load Voltmeter gets its tiny amount of operating current from your flight pack during the test so there are no internal batteries to run down or re-charge.
At the Field
Using the Hangar 9 Digital Variable Load Voltmeter is as simple as it gets. Plug it into a charge port, select the amount of load (I use 1A) and press the button. This unit measures voltage from as low as 3.5V to as high as 10V and is compatible with all popular 4- and 5-cell receiver packs. On my 7.4V receiver packs I consider 7V as a minimum charge level for flying.
Most of my giant scale planes have two 7.4V, 5000mAh packs and I have yet to see remaining voltages below 7.5V, but I check anyway just in case something is going wrong. A sudden loss of voltage should get our attention and could well save an airplane if we heed the warning and look for a problem.
At 3-1/8” by 2” by ¾” the Hangar 9 Digital Variable Load Voltmeter fits into virtually any toolbox or pocket. With a street price of just $39.99 (12-17-2014) combined with its ease of use there is no good reason not to have and use the Hangar 9 Digital Variable Load Voltmeter at the field and in the shop. This is short money to be sure your plane has enough power for the next flight.
All Flyingrc.net written, photographic and drawn materials are property of and copyright by Tom Hintz and Flyingrc.net 2013-2016. Materials may not be used in any way without the prior written permission of the owner.