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Old 04-20-2014, 01:01 AM   #1
garyp1029
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Default Watt Meters

It seems to be the general consensus that a watt meter is almost required equipment in this hobby. I am almost convinced, but WHICH one? The AstroFlight WhattMeter gets high marks as does the Watt's Up. However, the GT is about half the price of those two. Anyone got a good reason for not opting for the GT? Obviously the greatest possible accuracy is desirable, but in considering watt meters what constitutes "close enough for all practical purposes"? I see that HobbyKing also offers its own brand. Any other meters that one should consider? Thanks. Gary
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:37 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by garyp1029 View Post
It seems to be the general consensus that a watt meter is almost required equipment in this hobby. I am almost convinced, but WHICH one? The AstroFlight WhattMeter gets high marks as does the Watt's Up. However, the GT is about half the price of those two. Anyone got a good reason for not opting for the GT? Obviously the greatest possible accuracy is desirable, but in considering watt meters what constitutes "close enough for all practical purposes"? I see that HobbyKing also offers its own brand. Any other meters that one should consider? Thanks. Gary
I've got an Astro wattmeter, and have checked it against my $350 Fluke 87V 0.2% accuracy digital meter. That Astro meter is accurate to a percent or two. This is far more accuracy than is required for our electric models.

The actual current pulled by your motor while in flight can vary by 50% more more, depending if you're flying level, climbing, or diving. The important use for a wattmeter, is to verify that you're running your motor/esc/battery pack within their ratings. That would only require perhaps plus/minus 10% accuracy. So, as you indicate, just about any quality wattmeter will be "good enough".

Just be certain the wattmeter you buy will be capable of measuring the currents pulled by your models. That won't be a problem, unless you're flying large models that pull over 60-80 Amps or more out of your battery. If you're running over 60 amps or so, check out the Sears Craftsman #82369 ($55)digital clamp on AC AND DC voltmeter/ammeter. This meter has two DC current ranges, 0-40 Amps, and 0-400 Amps. That will cover just about everything, including the starter on the diesel engine of your truck. It's easy to use, just clamp its jaws around ONE of the battery lead conductors, and read current directly. (Note that most digital clamp on meters are AC only, not usable for our stuff.

One of my club members bought the Hobby King wattmeter, and found it was way the heck off, like 50%. Hobby King replaced it, and the replacement unit works just fine.

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Old 04-20-2014, 08:13 AM   #3
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I bought a $20 wattmeter of ebay and it checked out fine against my lab gear..

As long as like Denny says - it reads reasonably near the mark - it's good enough. We are not lab techs and in forensics etc. - we are looking for readouts to indicate possible trouble or compatibility.
Many times we are looking for DIFFFERENCE of reading when we change a prop or battery pack.

For general use - there's no need to bust your pocket .. as long as it reads to reasonable levels - my Wattmeter will read to 100A not that I like to go that high with it !!



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Old 04-20-2014, 03:21 PM   #4
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HK has a decent one too !
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:06 PM   #5
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Might be a bit more than you are looking to spend but I love my EagleTree data logger.
Got it originally for electric boats use it in everything now.
http://www.eagletreesystems.com/inde...&product_id=54
Check out all the add ons you can use with it. I admit I don't have any but the standard temp sensors and a gps module for measuring top speed of boats while tuning.
I might pick up the altitude sensor just for fun.
Done a slight modification to mine, can now l but not near 300. Not many escs can handle 300 amps. Also need top notch batteries. Boats are hard on equipment! Lots of smelly boats out there, hard to get the burnt electronics stench out of a hull.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:13 PM   #6
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Hobbyking do a Turnigy labelled version that's the same as the GT meter. I've had one for a while and it works fine.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Hobbyking do a Turnigy labelled version that's the same as the GT meter. I've had one for a while and it works fine.
Bit like B6 chargers - so many out there that are so similar as to be sisters !!

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