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Glow Head Igniter Trouble

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Help! Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  NEW222 on Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:43 pm

Hi there again. So I was just checking out the heads on my couple of Cox engines and none had any glow. I have made a 2 - D cell battery holder many moons ago and it worked fine. I put new batteries in it and it was reading at 1.487 volts. I hooked it up to the heads, one by one, and nothing had any glow to them at all. So, I just push my standard 'Hot Shot' glow plug igniter and they (all 3) glowed as they were supposed to. So, I check and it is at 1.2.. volts. What gives? I would like to try running these this weekend again, but have no clue how to fix this situation. Any help would be greatly appreciated as to what may be going wrong. I would also not mind making an igniter clip if I have to, and anyone has plans for one.

Thank you.
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  Brenda on Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:49 pm

Make sure your grounding it good on head. I've seen clips slip over the painted part thus not allowing ground.
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  RknRusty on Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:54 pm

Brenda wrote:Make sure your grounding it good on head. I've seen clips slip over the painted part thus not allowing ground.
Yeah, that and make sure castor varnish isn't insulating your contact area.
Solder everything. Alkalines are hard to get a good connection on. I rewired a brand new cheap battery box with chrome coil spring contacts and it would not light a plug at all. I put copper leaf springs in it and it worked fine.
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  NEW222 on Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:06 pm

I forgot to mention. I had cleaned the tops of the heads well, as well as the center post, even that little groove in it. I also took the clip apart and sanded the 2 copper contacts. Still no go. That is when I finally had an epiphany. I found 2 batteries that had a bit more juice in them. I now have a glow from it. I think I was overthinking it, and missed the fact about good voltage and as earlier, the pair was putting out 1.487 volts. The new one at around 1.58 volts. I overlooked that the other igniter was a rechargeable which would have 1.2 volts. Please correct me if I am wrong. Anyways, thank you for your help and time. It was greatly appreciated.
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  RknRusty on Thu Mar 26, 2015 8:37 pm

Good work, New!
BTW, my 1.2v NiCd igniter makes them glow brighter than any alky I've ever hooked up. But I do pack my twin D alky pack for backup, because the sub C NiCds only work for a total of 20 minutes of glow time before they die. I like them because you get full heat all the way up until it dies. I always have two of them in my pocket.
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  Brenda on Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:57 am

But how many AMPS was is pushing?
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  NEW222 on Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:36 am

Honestly, I had never checked.
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  Ken Cook on Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:48 am

If your using the Cox clip, it really is suffering due to the wires being too small of a gauge. The clip can be repaired using 16 gauge speaker wire. You just have to make sure due to the little room within the clip and the larger diameter wire that the two don't touch each other. I successfully wedged a small piece of wood between the two and finished the hole using silicone to prevent this. You can increase the length of the leads over the stock length and not have to worry about a substantial voltage drop. Ken
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  JasonB on Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:04 am

Ken, I did the same with my Cox glowhead clip - the stock wires are laughably under-sized.

Before I did, I measured the voltage drop. The voltage at the battery was 1.2ish under glow load. The voltage at the clip, with the glowhead connected, was only 0.8V. 0.4V disappeared in the leads.

Mine has a bit of acetate inside the clip to separate the leads.

J
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  crankbndr on Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:38 am

Batteries can give a false volt reading unless they are checked under a load, how many times have I checked my car battery and got 12 volts, engage the starter and drops to 8 or less.
Check voltage with the glowhead hooked up.
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  roddie on Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:44 am

Brenda wrote:But how many AMPS was is pushing?

Brenda makes a good point. A new battery will deliver the highest current (amperage.. not voltage)... Side by side; an old and new battery may read the same voltage without a significant load.

The coil element in a glow plug is similar to the filament in a light-bulb.. except it has a higher resistance. This puts quite a load on the circuit. Using small light-Gage connecting-wire further increases this resistance and will drain a battery faster than using heavier-gage connecting wire. (as Ken mentioned)

Many people use 3 or more "D" cells connected in "Parallel" (+ to + and - to -) to multiply (increase) the available current/amperage available. The voltage doesn't increase when the batteries are connected this way.

Most power panels have a glow-driver circuit with adjustable "current" via a rotary knob and an ammeter for reference. The ammeter's needle shows the amount of current (amps) that the plug is drawing when connected to the circuit (clip). I like having a meter.. because it is a very useful diagnostic tool. If there's a weak/faulty connection in the circuit.. or the glow-plug is "bad".. it should be apparent in the meter reading. An "open" connection will yield a "zero" reading on the meter scale.

A Power-Panel is more cumbersome than a 1.5V battery/pack.. but it uses a much larger capacity battery (12V) and has internal regulators for stepping the voltage down for the glow-driver circuit. A typical 12V/7Ah battery would provide approx. 2-3 hours of continuous starting current, before needing to re-charge. The various connections on the panel are typically "Banana-jacks" for accepting "Banana-plugs" which are soldered to the leads of your glow-plug clip, electric  starter.. electric fuel-pump etc.  I sometimes use a small 1/2A electric starter.. and usually plug it into the 12V "fuel-pump" sockets, because that circuit has a polarity switch. (as well as an on/off switch..) I frequently run Cox "Reedies" which will operate equally well in either direction.. allowing a quick change between right and left-hand propellers. A flick of the switch reverses the rotation of my starter. Modern panels may even provide a 5V std. USB output connection.

Sorry if I stated information here, that you may already know... just trying to help out.
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  OVERLORD on Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:45 am

Good cables and good connections to reduce resistance are the most important thing, I think. Here's a link for a battery box I built myself. It always worked fine for me.

https://www.coxengineforum.com/t4864-home-made-battery-box?highlight=battery+box

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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  gcb on Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:29 pm

New222,

Using speaker wire or appliance cord will get less voltage drop than most clip wires that I have used.

Make sure your "D" cells are alkaline and not carbon (regular) cells. Carbon will usually drop voltage rapidly because it can't handle the rate of current drain like the alkaline cells.

NiCd and newer rechargeable cells can handle much more load.

For a clip with two separated wires, I find that twisting the wires together a few times makes them easier to handle.

Good luck.

George
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  NEW222 on Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:46 pm

Thank you all again. This has been a very good learning experience for me here. Some of the information I had already known, and a lot of it is new to me. Both old and new are equally important in my opinion, as although some that I knew has slipped away. Now to go and find me some speaker wire first and second, go check out the link provided.
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

Post  getback on Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:13 pm

I like Lieven's idea but, I have a control panel and some other little odds and ends that come in the tote this year I am going to make some new / longer leads . THE AMP METER IS VERY HELPFUL , I can set it on 3 amp and wee are good to go. St.Pats Beers Eric
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Help! Re: Glow Head Igniter Trouble

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