Thursday, June 20, 2013

Competition Altimeter for Models - CAM

To me modern electronics is both amazing and sometimes frustrating, this unit has worked well for me. The Competition Altimeter for Models unit is a rather amazing tiny package of electronics for an electric powered sailplane weighing only 7 grams.  At a model sailplane contest last Saturday I was given one of the units to use in my Radian Pro electric sailplane.  The function of this tiny unit is to limit the height that an electric model airplane will climb to during the power phase after launch. In this way electric sailplanes can compete with sailplanes launched by other means such as an electric winch.

CAM Unit Wrapped in Pink Foam

Someone helped me set this up but it did not look too difficult, no computer is needed to program it. The unit can be set to cut the electric motor at 100, 150, or 200 meters high or 30 seconds, whatever occurs first. For the local contests we decided to use the 150 meter height cutoff which gets the sailplane to a good height without becoming too tiny to see in the sky.  After the motor cuts, it is possible to start it again before landing.

Radian Pro Electric Sailplane

For me I find it fun to practice with this unit as I know all the flights are starting at the same altitude. Last evening I was climbing in thermal lift with my Radian Pro up to almost 7:00 p.m. in the evening. Without the unit I was climbing to lower altitudes and using power on more times just to stay up instead getting to stronger thermal lift.

Bill Kuhl

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