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Running Engines in winter

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Running Engines in winter

Post  coxaddicted on Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:20 am

As above written, i like to ask if i have to look for something spezial to run an engine in winter. The temperature is falling under 0 deegres/ 32 f now. Yesterday i had problems to start the engine. Is there something to care especial in winter ?

Sorry for this dumb question, but i like to know before i try again.
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  Admin on Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:26 am

I used to wrap a hand warmer around the cylinder about 5-10 minutes before starting it up. Otherwise, no special fuel/oil changes. Like any cold engine, you wouldn't want to push it up to its maximum rpm before its warmed up. I have ran my engines in the winter before, can be a little more pickier to start.

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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  Surfer_kris on Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:28 am

They are harder to start but above freezing it should be fine. Pure castor fuel gets rather thick so you have to readjust the needle. Try to keep the engine warm, one can use a small handheld propane torch (on low heat), or a plastic bag with hot water, to get the engine warmed up a little before starting. Below freezing you may have too cover the cylinder a little too retain the heat better. For me the problem is usually keeping my hands warm enough to enjoy the flying...
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  Jason_WI on Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:35 am

The D cell batteries cannot output the required current in the cold weather. I switch to a glow panel driver in the cold and have better results. The lead acid SLA has a lower ESR than a dry cell battery and performs better in the cold.
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  Surfer_kris on Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:39 am

Good point (forgot to mention that), I keep the batteries inside my jacket at all times (appart from when using it).

We have -5°C with some snow today, I can't decide if I should go to the field or not...
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  coxaddicted on Sat Dec 01, 2012 3:35 am

Thank you guys, did not thougt about the batterie maybe it is the point
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  Kim on Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:20 am

Jason_WI wrote:The D cell batteries cannot output the required current in the cold weather. I switch to a glow panel driver in the cold and have better results. The lead acid SLA has a lower ESR than a dry cell battery and performs better in the cold.

Yeah, if possible, definitely get yourself a Power Panel. You will then know for sure that you're getting plenty of current to the glowhead, and can crank it up for really cold weather starts. Mine is mounted in it's own mini field box, with it's own sealed 12 volt battery along with some basic tools. It can be pulled from my main field box, which gives me portability. I'm lucky in that I can fly from my yard, but occasionally also like to travel and freeze myself at new locations!

I've had my sailplanes out in some really cold temps, and my Panel helps me get things going without worrying about the state of my batteries.





Just a thought! Kim

The little engines seem to love the cold air, once they get going,
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  Ken Cook on Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:22 am

Ronsonol lighter fluid works very well in cold temps as a prime It really kicks off the most stubborn engine. The fluid is very water like and at the tip of the can runs all over. This makes for a lot of excitement when it goes all over. Only a small squirt is all that's needed but very helpful in the winter. Oh, and wear gloves due to it giving the engine a nasty habit of wanting to kick back. Ken
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  crankbndr on Sat Dec 01, 2012 8:24 am

Those photos look like the Ponderosa to me. Nice!
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  navion34 on Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:11 pm

Jason_WI wrote:The D cell batteries cannot output the required current in the cold weather. I switch to a glow panel driver in the cold and have better results. The lead acid SLA has a lower ESR than a dry cell battery and performs better in the cold.

Yes, for me nothing is better than a 2V lead battery

This morning my QRC runs well (but the temp was about 8 °C)

sunny
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  coxaddicted on Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:23 am

Thank you guys,

i am looking for the mentioned power panel now. I allways have my car with me when I go out for running the little Kyosho RC/Cars.

Therefore a 12V power supply is allways available, the car boot is my ,,pit stop''.

Sadly there is no 12v power point in the car boot so I have to connect the power panel directly with the battery.

Another option is the 12v battery of my vespa scooter which is more handy/portable, I think this will make more sense. It would be also fine for the battery if it will be on use during winter ( I don't drive the scooter during winter except the 24.12. when there is a big christmas meeting for two - wheelers)

We will see, this one here would be fine or not?
http://www.ebay.de/itm/181032128940?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  Ken Cook on Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:49 am

If you decide to use a power panel, I highly recommend a gel pack vs a lead acid battery. If a lead acid battery spills, you have problems. Having a meter on your panel is better than those that use LED's as it gives you a more accurate reading of the resistance. Certain plugs don't require a lot of amperage while others do. I know my Nelson HD plugs struggle with my power panel as they have too much resistance even with the panel dialed all the way up. The bottom line is that I don't get them too wet when starting. Another good practice is to use a heavier starting cord to your clip like quality 16 ga. heater cord. It prevents any voltage drop from the standard wire usually provided and it's much more flexible.

One other thing, I have a club member who has carpal tunnel issues and doesn't hand start his engines. If a starter is to be used in conjunction with the panel, the plug port suffers a voltage drop due to the high amperage starter motor. Just something else to keep in the back of your mind if using a electric starter on other engines. Ken
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  Kim on Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:58 am

I'm not sure about the sealed lead-acid batteries, but another thing about the gel-pack type is that you can put them in a field box upright, or on their side, and sometimes this can mean a big boost in available "pack-along space" ...
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  fredvon4 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:25 am

I buy uninteruptable power supply batteries from http://www.atbatt.com/product/24366.asp
and use the old battery(s) in my field boxes (large for RC and small for C/L)

these are 12VDC at 9Ahr high discharge for a lot less then they sell the 7Ahr from hobby sources

I have not yet bought these- http://www.portablepower.com/enersys_cyclon_0800-0004-p-233.html

A small form factor lead acid 2 VDC Cylon cell. Would like to know if anyone uses them and what you think. At $10 a pop I may just get one and see for myself
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  navion34 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:21 pm

fredvon4 wrote:

I have not yet bought these- http://www.portablepower.com/enersys_cyclon_0800-0004-p-233.html

A small form factor lead acid 2 VDC Cylon cell. Would like to know if anyone uses them and what you think. At $10 a pop I may just get one and see for myself

I have this one in my CL box, very good. I Use a long wire for the voltage drop.
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  John Goddard on Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:29 am

Dunno if you guys have it but over here we've
A product called Bradex Easystart which is an
Aerosol designed For reluctant diesels in sub
zero temps.
It will start the Titanic where she rests.
Not cheap but will start everything every time.
Very Happy
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  John Goddard on Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:34 am

PS
Battery's of all types don't like the cold
Half my lipos didn't want to play last weekend
And after 6 hours in the open even my 300
Dollar Spare BMW battery was having trouble
Turning my glow engines over on the starter.
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  pkrankow on Sun Dec 23, 2012 8:26 pm

Today I was flying in the snow with my brother. We were having a heck of a time keeping the Cox 049 reedie RUNNING. It would start just fine, we ran a tank of fuel through the engine as a "bench" test, then restarted. It ran nice and strong until launched. About 1/2 lap to 1 lap through the engine would start struggling and die.

Temperature was the high 20's when we went out, say 28F-ish. It was still below 32F when we finished this morning even though the temperature was in the low 40's this afternoon.

After this frustration I remember some advice I was given a long time ago. I took some yarn and I wrapped a single wrap all the way down in between the fins on the head in each of the 3 grooves. Each space was tied off with a square knot and the ends cut short. The idea is to insulate the glow head enough that the filament stays lit through the run, but not over insulate the head and allow for overheating.

I probably should have done one wrap at a time with a test flight between insulating each gap with the wrap of yarn.

We then proceeded to have other problems that made the plane under perform, but keeping the engine running strong was NOT one of them.

The plane we were flying is the coroplast wing I built for bashing. In the cold the plastic hinge, which is simply a flute cut out, was not very limber so we had plenty of up, but almost no down. The plane also would not hold trim, and loops would keep growing. The frequent crashes in the snow packed the wing tips full of ice and snow which would not readily shed out so the plane was getting heavier and out of balance both front/back and left/right.

My daughter even flew an entire tank through with me. She is far from ready to solo, but had a blast!

Since I had to alter the arrangement of the engine with the yarn wrap we decided to fly the one plane instead of getting out more maneuverable craft. I suppose I could have swapped heads instead of any other technique.

Besides increased risk of burning out the glow head, is there any expensive risk involved with lightly insulating the glow head in this manner?

Phil
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  RknRusty on Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:34 pm

pkrankow wrote:...Besides increased risk of burning out the glow head, is there any expensive risk involved with lightly insulating the glow head in this manner?

Phil
Not living in an extremely cold place, I've never heard of that trick. But I don't think it will hurt anything, especially while the plane is flying through the frigid air. The exposed edges of the fins are still radiating heat.

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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  Admin on Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:51 pm

That is a good idea! Using yarn. Just last week, I was talking to someone who bought several of those single fin car glow heads for use in the winter. A few years ago, I met a guy at the field that ground the fins down on the cylinder and head of a Black Widow and the engine was only ran in the winter. I used to just wrap a hand warmer around the cylinder for about 5-10 minutes before starting the engine but that basically just made the engine easier to start and didn't help anything once it was flying around up in the air.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/COX-KYOSHO-GTP-VINTAGE-R-C-RACE-CAR-PARTS-GAS-POWERED-GLOW-HEAD-/110985801828?pt=US_Character_Radio_Control_Toys&hash=item19d744f064

Its only supposed to make it to a high of 8°F tomorrow, perhaps if I find the time (don't hold your breath), I could start an engine for fun.

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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  RknRusty on Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:56 pm

A Galbreath head only has one fin, it might be a workable option too. At least you'd only have to fumble with one piece of yarn with frozen fingers if it needed it.

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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  SuperDave on Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:57 pm

For cold weather operation of engines a strong 1.5 volts of battery power with sufficent amperage is advised.

Why amperage?

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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  John Goddard on Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:31 pm

If you're having trouble starting because of the
Cold try mixing 5 or 10 % petrol (gas) in with
The fuel.
Sounds nuts I know but it works and won't
Harm your engine at all.
Santa
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  John Goddard on Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:36 pm

SuperDave wrote:For cold weather operation of engines a strong 1.5 volts of battery power with sufficent amperage is advised.

Why amperage?


Andre Ampere?

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Medal medal medal....
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Re: Running Engines in winter

Post  SuperDave on Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:45 pm

JB:

Then there is Ohm's Law with which to deal. Laughing

Huh? "Ohmmmmmmmmmmm" Very Zen I must say.
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