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  • May 10, 2021, 01:31:09 PM

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Author Topic: Fire Plug Fans  (Read 327 times)

Offline Dave Hull

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Fire Plug Fans
« on: April 30, 2021, 12:55:39 AM »
A friend asked a question about the internal connections on the GlowBee Fireplug. I've never had one and never used one, so without getting my mitts on one and taking it apart...any comment I might make would only be a guess.

He said he was unable to charge it, having tried several different batteries. He was connecting the charger to the external terminals and moving the rheostat lever all the way over to one side. (I forget which one, sorry.)

I don't know what he was using for a charger. The battery that was in it was a sealed lead-acid type, which I assume was standard.

Also, is the meter set up as an amp meter using a shunt resistor or is it a simple voltmeter?

What say you, current (sorry) or former FirePluggers?

The Divot

PS--Let's skip the well intentioned advertorials on modern substitutes. He has what he has and would like to figure out how to make it work

Offline bill bischoff

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Re: Fire Plug Fans
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2021, 06:21:38 AM »
Charger input passes through the same circuitry as the output to the plug. The Fireplug should be charged with the control set all the way to the right. This sets the potentiometer to 0 ohms, so full charge current gets to the battery. If he tried to charge it with the control to the left it won't charge. The ammeter is inductive. It has a simple of coil of wire around it which creates a field to cause meter deflection. No power goes through the actual meter movement.

The two most common failures (besides the actual cell itself) are an open fuse or dirty windings on the pot. The fuse is actually the connection between one terminal on the battery cell and a terminal on the top of the unit. Check it with an ohm meter. If the pot is dirty, many times just moving the lever back and forth multiple times will clean it. Otherwise, a few swipes with 400 grit paper will shine it up.

If the unit will still light the plug, then it is fully functional. If not, try removing the cell and hooking the charger directly to it. No joy here means either bad battery or bad charger.

Online Motorman

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Re: Fire Plug Fans
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2021, 08:56:20 AM »
I've always just removed the battery to charge it. Gives me a chance to inspect the wires.


Motorman 8)
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Online Dave Rigotti

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Re: Fire Plug Fans
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2021, 08:59:55 AM »
"Or break them..."

I've always just removed the battery to charge it. Gives me a chance to inspect the wires.


Motorman 8)
Dave Rigotti
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Online Motorman

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Re: Fire Plug Fans
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2021, 10:40:37 AM »
I bought mine used so I don't know what the original wires looked like. Mine has longer wires that are coiled enough to give plenty of slack when I screw the base on and off.

I'll try charging from the outer terminals with the pot wide open.

Motorman 8)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2021, 06:38:42 PM by Motorman »
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Offline Dave Hull

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Re: Fire Plug Fans
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2021, 01:12:24 AM »
Thanks, guys. This info helps.

I will pass on the info about the fuse, the position of the rheo for charging, and the inductive pickup on the ammeter. I wondered if it had a shunt resistor, so thanks for clarifying.

Be nice if he gets to use it again.

Dave

Offline BillLee

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Re: Fire Plug Fans
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2021, 06:25:14 AM »
Dave, most folk who use a FirePlug remove the fuse and replace it with a piece of wire. The fuse will blow if you short the leads across the head or something, usually at the worst possible time.

Like, in the middle of a pit stop or somethin' ....  :(
Bill Lee
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Offline Dave Hull

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Re: Fire Plug Fans
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2021, 09:41:14 PM »
Bill,

It probably won't be used for racing, but it still might blow at the worst possible time--right when you finally got on the circle and want to go....

Had something similar happen to my (very) well used Radio South Pro Driver. No more glow and no more go. When I opened it up, the FET had smoked. I must have shorted it somehow. I had two and they lasted a long, long time.

I'll let him know about the fuse.

Thanks,

Dave


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