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Welcome! Crain Engineering designs and develops Glow Plug Drivers for RC model enthusiasts. What is a Glow Plug Driver? A Glow Plug Driver is essentially an electronic servo that allows you to turn your glow plug on and off from an on board battery. The Glow Driver plugs into your receiver either from a Y-Connector split off of your throttle channel or you can use an unused channel on your receiver. By programming mixes and switches on your transmitter you can make your glow plug a smart feature of your model. Why use a Glow Driver? - Avoid “Flame outs” at slow idle speeds. - It's Smart. The glow driver can be set to turn on only at low throttle settings. Then it turns off at high throttle when its not needed. The on/off setpoint is set by you. - A Glow Driver is especially useful in situations where access to the glow plug is obstructed by cowlings or the engine is mounted with the cylinder in the sideways or down positions. - A glow driver eliminates the need to connect an external glow battery or glow power supply. - A glow driver can give smoother operation at slow idle speeds. - It will allow you to maintain a very low idle speed since the glow plug will be on at the idle speed. How do I use it? Think of the Glow Plug driver as if it was just another servo. The difference being that instead of a motor moving the control arm it controls an electronic Power supply that turns your glow plug on and off.
The glow plug is turned on and off simply by setting your throttle stick to the position where you want the glow plug to be engaged and then pressing a “set” button on the Glow Driver. At high throttle settings you don’t need the glow plug so it will be off when the throttle is above the set point. The Glow driver will remember this setting even after power is removed so you’ll never have to set it again. The Glow Driver also has a “reverse” switch in the event that your throttle servo is operating in the reverse mode. The reverse setting is also saved in non-volatile memory just like the “set” switch.
What kind of Glow battery do I use? Glow Plugs use a considerable amount of power so we designed the glow driver to supply the glow plug with a separate and dedicated battery. This avoids the problem of draining your receiver battery. We have two models of Glow Driver. One for Lipo's, NiCad, and NiMh baterries. The other is designed for LiFe batteries. You can use one, two or three cell Lipos or LiFe batteries. Any combination of cells can be used from 1.2 Volts to 12 Volts.
The Glow driver electronics are powered from the receiver battery, just like the other servos in your system. Only the glow plug is driven from the Glow driver battery.