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Aerochute Ignition (toggle) Switches

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Im telling this tale in the hope that it helps someone else out.


My old ex Aerochute (19 rego) had been through the wars before Id got it. It had been a training aircraft(32 rego) for a lot of years and Im guessing its had more props and damaged stuff changed on it than most machines. Im not sure if the ignition switches were the originals or not on it when I got it?


What happened was it started to play up a bit on starting.It use to come to life after 3 pulls but that went to 5 then to 7. In frustration on starting Id check the kill switches by flicking them off and on between pulls give the fuel ball a squeeze again and even off and on the chokes again checking everything was okay, it would fire up I'd smile and all was forgiven. Id always just think it was going to fire on that pull and never put it down to faulty kill switches.


The real trouble started at Cowra (Hutcho's hanger). After a fly I flicked the switches off on landing only to have my engine cough and fart on me and by flicking them on and off a second time the engine spluttered and died.


Once home and armed with a new set of switches I dismantled the small switch box to find that the switches are held together by 2 very small screws in each switch body. On both switches one of the small screws had vibrated out leaving the switch only just working. I'll post pics because a pics worth a thousand words and Im long winded enough lol.


Like I said Im not sure if the faulty switches were originals or changed before my time? Either way its worth a look at your own on that windy or rainy day.


Im now back to a three or less pulls to start, Yaaaa!


PS, who ever soldered in the old switches needs to leave the soldering to someone else. Seeing this nasty mess makes me think even more that they aren't the originals?













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Hi SP,


Not sure if the switches are the original but I did notice that you replaced 3A switches with 2A type.


While this may be OK short term, the contacts will pit and a high resistance may develop over time if breaking any reasonable current and collapsing voltage.


Maybe a higher current item (ie Jaycar ST-0581) rated at 20A will give better reliability, but I am also unsure of the manufacture of this switch regarding reliability. (less than $5 each)


Maybe avoid switches with screws and go for riveted types as well.


I agree, terrible soldering.


Also, missile switch covers are cheap insurance nowadays to prevent accidental toggling off the ignition as well.





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Thanks for your input av8vfr. You had me scratching my head wondering how the hell you knew the amp of the switches I put in and then it dawned on me DOH!


I should have posted one more photo and then you would have had the whole picture.


On the bottom of the old switches it reads 3A125VAC on the bottoms of the new ones it reads 2A-250V and 4A-125V


I did remover both screws on both new sets and loctite the screws in.


I'll look into those missile switch covers, thanks.


Thanks heaps for your input.





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Hi Stringpuller


The switches appear not to be the originals. I think the originals were sealed and not able to be unscewed, They had a tendency to fall apart and not be repaired. I have had one fail on an aborted takeoff, not pretty. I also fitted the missile switch covers. As well as stopping the flapping seatbelt ends from accidentally turning them off, just flicking the covers closed pushes the switches at the correct angle without the normal downward pressure on the switch that contributes to the usual failures.


I reported the switches to Aerochute and RAAus as a defect and recommended the missile covers as standard to avoid premature switch damage and the usual damage of lines being wound in when you cant turn the engine off. After the usual "we'll investigate" nothing was done. Obviously too expensive to fit 2 $10 covers to a $20,000 aircraft to stop it happening.


Have fitted the missile covers myself and have had no problems since.


Cheers, Kev



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G'day Kev, It makes sense that the original switches would be of better quality than the old ones and the ones Ive replaced them with. Since Ive fitted the same as my old ones I'll run them and see how they go. First sign of trouble they're gone.


Just so it clear, with your missile covers do you have them so the missile covers are up(when ON) and its one easy push on them to turn them OFF? Or are your covers guarding the switches on the ON position and Missile covers must be lifted to shut down the engine?


All the missile covers Ive seen fitted are in the easy slap to turn OFF which looks a worry to me because it doesnt take much effort to bring the covers down and turn OFF the engine.



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I think that the position of the switches is wrong in the first place (where they can be accidentally knocked to "off") I would rather see them mounted on the top plate.





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Aerochute Kev you might over read this question that was put in a note above this re your missile switch covers.


Just so it clear, with your missile covers do you have them so the missile covers are up(when ON) and its one easy push on them to turn them OFF? Or are your covers guarding the switches on the ON position and Missile covers must be lifted to shut down the engine?


Merry Christmas to everyone. Fly safe.



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Hi guys


I have fitted the covers so they are up when the ignition is on. To turn off both I only need to run my hand over them and they move to the off position. The covers actually have a locating lug on them so they can only be installed in the opposit way (The wrong way for us) so I filed them off and turned them round. When screwed on with the switch, put a bit of alaldite under them to stop them turning.


The switches are spring loaded and do take a deliberate push to close them (off). I doubt they could be accidentally closed. I have had and accidental turn off nor had a loose flappy end of the seat belt turn off a switch since fitted.


With the switches on the headplate, Aerochute did put them there for a while but a student waving his hands around accidentally turned them off in flight. They were then promptly moved back to the side.


Merry Christmas eveyone, Fly safe





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Whoops, Above post should read...Ihave NOT had an accidental turn off..........."


I put them this way as I am never in a hurry to turn them on, but if hanging upside down, in a tree, on fire with the chute lines winding in, I COULD be in a hurry to turn them off!!.





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G'day Kev, thanks for making that clearing. Im all for fitting the missile covers the way you have. Like I said Ive seen them fitted your way and can see the advantages of it. Its a quick tap to kill the engine and it looks like the covers puts minimum stress on the toggles plus they look really cool.


I think if Aerochute (Conte's) did a poll on how often an ignition switch was turned off by mistake in their standard position they'd re think the whole switch and its position again. Ive got mine on the head plate and that's where they're staying, but Im 19 rego so its my choice.


I guess there's no where that's 100% perfect so we'd better learn not to bump them.


I think I hear Santa better hit the sack. Merry Christmas.



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