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Al Downs

remote control power outlet

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I have to ask because I can't find the thread. I know there was some discussion about remote control power options. I see on line there are options from $25 to $400. Do you have any experience with any of the available units for running engine heaters like the Tannis?

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Al - you might want to do a search for a recent (last year or so?) Sport Aviation article on the subject, I recall some info regarding using a low budget prepaid cell phone with text only function for something like $5 a month.

Having the hanger in the backyard I still desire to use remote control, but accomplish it with a standard timer capable of running the engine elements and a small room heater.  I set this turning on at 5am so plane is good on the mornings I want to fly.  This is a 7 day timer, so long as you're around the airplane the night before, or up to seven days prior to being back, it's very simple to program exactly when you want it to kick on.

image.png.a3bf6729b3e90dec42edc351560fcf7b.png

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Thanks for the info. I don't think that would work for me. I have 5 planes to manage and we keep the 3 CTLS's plugged in all the time in cold weather. The Piper Cub is not flown everyday and I would like to be able to activate the heater from anywhere. That way when I get notified of a  reservation I could turn it on prior to the pilot arriving.

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I have another rookie question. I’ve never had to use a pre-heater on my prior airplanes, but my CT came with a Tanis system installed. At what temperatures should I be using it? A really cold winter day for us has a low just below freezing, but the high for the same day will usually be in the 50s. Summer isn’t an issue as it is horribly hot. The airplane is hangered.

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9 hours ago, Towner said:

At what temperatures should I be using it?

Practice for me is anything 40F or lower, it gets preheated.  The engine can start fine at temps lower than that, it's more the reduction of time to reach oil temp without a long idle, and proper amount of tape on radiator is equally a factor in that time.  Plus it's nice to just tap the key and it's purring, the more you can do to treat battery / starter / engine with care, the better trend line everything stays on.

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image.thumb.png.3cd6ed6b92b32a099d029b2a6a84f879.pngOur group bought 5 of these last year. They work great. About half the price of the Aircraft Spruce.

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I  just switched to a 2 channel Switcheon (SwitcheOn 4G/LTE App controlled devices that Just Work - SwitcheOn)  from a 2G Switchbox.  Works great. I  I also decided to buy the cabin heater from Tanis (Avionics/Cabin Heater Archives - Tanis Aircraft Products) which also warms up the cabin now while I am remotely pre-heating the engine.  I know its more expensive that a ceramic heater on amazon but i really like it.    

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Thanks for all of the replies. I think I found a good solution. I have wifi in the hangar so I bought 2 Smart WIFI plugs. $10 each. Very simple install. I set up a schedule to have them on 6 am to noon. Planes generally get use starting at 8. I tested bypassing the schedule from home and it worked perfectly. I am able to control from home when  needed. This time of year for the CT's, I  like to keep the heater and battery charger on, but they really only need to be on for the first flights of the day. For the less used planes I can turn them on as needed when I get notified of a scheduled flight.

I don't heat the hangar, only the office because of the expense. I have two large radiant  heaters in the hangar and will be able to use one of these plugs on each of those and that will allow me to preheat the hangar when needed.

I don't know if this will save money but it is cool to be able to control these sort of thing from  home.

IMG-1633.jpg

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The SwitchBox sure would be nice to turn on pre-heat for the airplane before leaving for the airport.  I'm just not sure I can justify it here in Georgia where I only preheat my airplane for about six weeks out of the year.

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We have central heating in our hangars and there used to be a web page  where one could schedule heating hours for your hangar but that only worked ( barely ) for one season and then they got rid of it because apparently it was too complicated to maintain ( not the physical infrastructure - just the damn web site ) - oh well ... this level of automation is too sophisticated for the glorious state of Illinois to maintain.

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13 minutes ago, Warmi said:

We have central heating in our hangars and there used to be a web page  where one could schedule heating hours for your hangar but that only worked ( barely ) for one season and then they got rid of it because apparently it was too complicated to maintain ( not the physical infrastructure - just the damn web site ) - oh well ... this level of automation is too sophisticated for the glorious state of Illinois to maintain.

I'm not a fan of the state's politics either, but you can't blame that on the state of Illinois. That is either local government or private entity depending on how it is set up.

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I stand corrected. The airport that I manage as well as all that I am familiar with are not owned by the state. They do however have a hand in how they are run. Bult Field may be the only airport owned by the state, and it is a little bit of a fluke how it came to be.

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1 hour ago, Tom Baker said:

I stand corrected. The airport that I manage as well as all that I am familiar with are not owned by the state. They do however have a hand in how they are run. Bult Field may be the only airport owned by the state, and it is a little bit of a fluke how it came to be.

Yeah , Bult Field is unique in that the state bought the airport and are also purchasing land all over the place hoping to get that new C class airport build that is supposed to provide relief to  OHare / Midway ...

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Meigs was a neeat airport, and it was a shame what happened to it. It would have been impossible for it to be the releiver they think they need. There simply isn't enough space.

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On 2/16/2021 at 8:51 AM, GrassStripFlyBoy said:

Practice for me is anything 40F or lower, it gets preheated.

Same.  If I have the time it gets pre-heat below 45°F, but always at 40° or below.  That was a recommendation Roger Lee gave a few years ago, and it's worked very well for me.

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