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I first became aware of this unit via a posting on the Stuka Stunt Forum. This, in turn, led me to threads on the EZoneMag Forum by 'JMP_Blackfoot'. This was Jean-Marie Piednoir, of Paris, who's company JMP Products produces various electronic devices, including timers to control electronic speed controllers (ESC) originally for electric F/F models. Jean-Marie had been encouraged to produce a similar device for electric C/L models and was seeking some input on what was required. As you might expect, everybody wanted something different!

The unit as described seemed to be exactly what I needed, so I obtained a unit from Jean-Marie. The cost was $25 and J-M can accept payment by PayPal to the address above. J-M is still seeking input, but I think the current version as presented here is just about right.

So, what is it?

Basically you have an electric motor with an ESC and a drive battery. Normally, the ESC would be plugged into an R/C receiver which would control the ESC as directed by the R/C transmitter. In this case, the ESC is plugged into the ESC timer, which asts as a receiver emulator. Actually, the unit is so small that it is plugged onto the ESC lead.

Note that the timer will work with any motor, regardless of size or type, because it controls the speed controller. Obviously, you must use the correct ESC for the motor. This also covers the question of what happens if you should crash the model, because the correct controller will sense any overload and stop the motor.

What can it do?

The unit is fully programmable, via a single pushbutton, and allows you to set two timed periods and associated speeds. By this means you can set the first period to, say, 30 seconds at zero speed to allow you to get to the handle and a second period of, say, 5 minutes for the flight time at any speed you may wish. At the end of this second period, the motor blips three times to warn you that it is about to cut. This feature can be inhibited if required, though I can't see why you might want to.

The whole sequence is started by pressing the button for more than 2.5 seconds which ensures that you can't start it accidentally. If you have set the first speed to zero, the motor will kick to confirm that the cycle has started. If you want to stop the motor at any time, you can do this by simply pressing the button.

A second connector is fitted to the unit which allows the timed cycle to be started by an external pushbutton. This means that the unit could be started by, say, down elevator.

Setting up


For convenience, the second plug (see above) can be connected to a standard battery (or the ESC). This allows a servo to be connected to the ESC lead so that the operation can be more easily observed without having to start a motor. The servo position indicates the motor speed.

Each part of the sequence can be selected by a coded sequence of pushes on the button. The time is then set by another push. To speed up the process, the main timed period is set to 10 times the period between pushes. This is necessary because the maximum period is 1000 seconds (16 min 40 secs).

Jean-Marie's full programming instructions can be found here.


The timer installed in my electric C/L model.

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