PowerExpander Competition 12 User Guide

PowerExpander Competition 12 User Guide
the receiver regulator going below 4.75 volts is the input voltage to the
receiver regulator has dropped below 5.35 volts. This means the input
voltage on the Deans connectors is probably below 5.8 volts for some
Optional Failsafe-switch
The PowerExpander Competition 12 supports the addition of a failsafe
switch (optional package). The PowerExpander Competition 12
supports 5-cell NiCd/NiMH or 2-cell A123 battery packs. When using
the failsafe-switch, the switch lead is plugged into the input marked
“Sw” near the top left of the servo connections as shown on the
reference drawing.
Competition 12
User Guide
Smart-Fly can supply two types of failsafe switches. First is the
standard slide switch that most people are familiar with. This is a small
slide switch with out a charge jack. The second failsafe-switch is the
Pin & Flag switch, where a pin, with a flag on it, is inserted into the
switch to turn the system off. To fly, the pin is pulled out of the switch.
The advantage of the Pin & Flag switch is that the system cannot
accidentally be turned off, as can be the case with a slide switch. The
failsafe switch lead can be extended using a standard Futaba extension.
Thank you for purchasing the Smart-Fly
PowerExpander Competition 12!
The PowerExpander Competition 12 also supports charging the
batteries through the two charge connections denoted by the “Chg”
next to the battery input ports, one on the top of each servo output rail
as shown on the reference drawing. The optional failsafe-switch
package includes two charge leads and two Ernst charge jack mounts.
The charge leads have a Futaba male on one end and a JR male on the
other end. You may use these by plugging either end into the
PowerExpander Competition 12 and the other end into the charge jack
This manual takes you through the installation and operation of the
Smart-Fly PowerExpander Competition 12.
Features of the
PowerExpander Competition 12 are:
The charge jacks on the PowerExpander Competition 12 can also be
used to connect to a battery meter. One thing to keep in mind when
using a battery meter and the failsafe-switch is that the jacks are not
switched off when the unit is off so the battery meter will continue to
draw power even when the unit is turned off.
Ignition Cutoff
A separate manual is supplied to instruct you on the use of the Igntion
Cutoff. The Cutoff channel is determined by using the six-inch jumper
supplied. The Futaba male end should be plugged into the port marked
“IC”. The other side of the jumper can be inserted in any servo output
channel or it can be connected directly to the receiver, for example, on
channel nine of a nine-channel receiver.
Additional information and technical help can be found at
Quest Engineering & Development, Inc.
6125 South Ash Avenue, Suite B-8
Tempe, AZ 85283
Ph: (480) 460-2652 Fax: (480) 460-2653
For use on any size plane
Light weight, 1.9oz, 54g
Compact design, footprint is 3.0” x 4.5”
Uses 5-cell NiCd/NiMH or 2-cell A123 battery packs
Inputs protect against cell failure or power shorts
Filtered and regulated 5.0V power to the receiver
LED power indicators for input and receiver power
Fully buffered outputs on all channels
Full filtration of all signals in and out of the unit
Integrated Ignition Cutoff
Can be used with optional failsafe switch
We also have available an “L” shaped receiver mount that will mount
the receiver at a sixty degree angle and get the antenna(s) up, away
from the unit. While we have not found this to be necessary some
pilots like to get the short 2.4GHz antennas up off the unit towards the
canopy. In general, pilots use this receiver mount with 2.4GHz
Receiver Connections
All receiver channels have each servo signal output individually
buffered. If a servo were to short its signal wire, the other servos on
that channel would not be affected. Ten of the channels have three
servo outputs while two channels have four servo outputs.
CAUTION: Do not plug any receiver pigtails into the battery input
of your receiver. On PCM it will put your receiver into DSC mode,
on 2.4GHz receivers it may cause your receiver to unbind. All
connections from the PowerExpander are meant to plug into servo
outputs ONLY.
The unit also RF filters each signal output and matches line impedance
resulting in a cleaner signal down long servo leads. The impedance
matching reduces the electrical “ringing” that can occur on long servo
leads. Ringing can generate RF interference and can reduce receiver
The receiver servo outputs are connected to the pigtails coming out of
the PowerExpander Competition 12 in the area with the notations “Ch
A” through “Ch L” on the reference drawing. The two channels on the
end (“Chan A” and “Chan L”) have power connections to the receiver
in addition to the signal connection. If you have a receiver that has
less than twelve channels, you should still use both the end connections
as this will provide you with power redundancy to the receiver in the
event that a power or ground lead should fail.
Power Connections
5-cell NiCd/NiMH or 2-cell A123 batteries should be used with this
unit although the inputs will tolerate voltages up to 8.5V (lithium-ion or
lithium-polymer 2-cell packs). The power inputs are protected from
each other in case of a dead cell or short. There is about a half-volt
drop between the input and the servos. If lithium packs were used the
servos would see 8.0V for fully charged packs which is generally not
advisable. For A123 packs this means that after they flatten out at 6.6V
the servos will see about 6.1V.
The unit will accommodate both end-loading receivers and top-loading
receivers. All signals from the receiver into the PowerExpander
Competition 12 are RF filtered. This prevents noise from the servos
entering the receiver connections to the receiver. If all channels are not
going to be used, then the unused pigtail can be tucked away.
CAUTION: Input voltage to the PowerExpander Competition 12
should be at least 5.8V. This is due to the 0.45V drop across the
“BatShare” and the 0.35V dropout voltage of the receiver regulator
to maintain a 5.0V output to the receiver.
Connections Directly To Receiver
If you want to connect a device directly to the receiver instead of going
through the PowerExpander Competition 12, make sure the current
draw of the receiver and the device is less than one amp. We
recommend you do not connect servos directly to the receiver
Reference Drawing
Receiver Mounting
The receiver mounts in the center of the unit. 3M dual-lock mounting
tape has been supplied to mount the receiver. This tape’s holding
power is extremely strong. It is recommended that the whole 1”x2”
piece not be used, instead cut some 1”x ½” strips and use these on
either end of the receiver.
indicated by the “minus” sign, the positive power lead (red on Futaba
and JR) is indicated by the “plus” sign and the signal line (white on
Futaba, orange on JR) is indicated by the “top hat” symbol.
There are several reasons that a device might be connected directly to
the receiver instead of going through the PowerSystem Competition 12.
The most likely would be if you had a fourteen channel receiver and
needed to use the extra channels. Items such as jet ECUs and smoke
pump control do not draw much current and could be used.
Servo Connections
Servos are connected to the PowerExpander Competition 12 along the
two rails on either side of the receiver. The servo connectors are
universal in that they will work with Futaba or JR connectors. When
using a JR connector, be careful to observe the polarity of the
connection. The ground lead (black on Futaba, brown on JR) is
It is highly recommended that you use two battery packs for
redundancy and to provide extra current to the unit. Power is supplied
to the unit through the two Deans Ultraplug connectors at the top of the
servo block.
Servo Power LEDs
The servo power LEDs are next to the Deans Ultraplug connectors and
indicate power is present on that connector. These do not indicate the
voltage input is above the minimum required.
Receiver Power LEDs
The receiver power LEDs show the receiver is getting voltage greater
than 4.75V. If the receiver regulator output voltage drops below 4.75
volts the LEDs will go out. There are two possible causes of the
receiver voltage going below 4.75 volts. First the load the receiver is
presenting to the regulator is greater than one amp causing the regulator
output to droop. This could be caused by directly plugging something
into the receiver that is overloading the circuit. The second cause of
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