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GCL-3 DX on-board Glow Control Logic for multi-cylinder engines PDF Nyomtatás E-mail
Írta: Magi István   
2015. november 28. szombat, 08:46

The GCL-3 DX on-board Glow Control Logic was developed for multi-cylinder (2, 3, 4) methanol RC engines. Adjustment of the glow threshold and stabilized power output has been simplified and includes an individual integrated BEC for each glow plug.
It is less sensitive to battery level and cabling voltage drop.

The GCL-3 DX ensures stable and low idle for all cylinder configurations and there is no need for an external glow driver for starting. The GCL-3 DX programmable ignition window should be set to cover the idle and low engine speed throttle settings. The glow electronics were developed for multi-cylinder methanol engines.

The main technical features:

- Glow:  Uses a 3s LiPo battery with a voltage range of 9-14V,
- IIntegrated switching power BECs provide stabilized glow plug power (2x, 3x, 4x, up to 3A) ,
- LiPo protection against deep discharge (GCL-3 disables on falling to 9V),
- Stabilized glow voltage (1.3V),
- Adjustable glow threshold (in total servo range),
- Adjustable glow direction (can reverse),
- Short-circuit protection,
- Multi turn, vibration resistant trim potentiometers,
- LEDs status indication,
- Servo-side control 4V – 6.6V,
- Sizes: 100x60x25 mm,

- Weight (without cabels):

Four-cylinder version: 105g,
Three-cylinder version: 94.7g,

Two-cylinder version: 84.4g

(3-cylinder, 4-cycle methanol engine)

You must use a 3s LiPo battery (11.4V) to power the GCL-3 and glow plug. The recommended capacity is >1500mAh. If you use an ordinary glow plug, it will require 0.3-0.4A per cylinder from the battery (total load of about 2-3A on the GCL-3 for a 4 cylinder engine). Accordingly, if you have the glow on constantly(!) using a 1500mAh battery, it could feed the circuit (with 4 cylinder version) for about 56 minutes. You don’t need to use the glow driver when engines are running at high to full throttle settings, just in the idle range. That’s why the flight time will be significantly longer with one battery charge!

This GCL-3 provides stabilized output voltage (1.3V). The voltage required by ordinary glow plugs is 1.2V – 1.4V.  Glowing electronics which use simple 1.2V NiMh batteries are very sensitive to the voltage output of the battery and length of cabling and connection quality!  Practically, when the voltage drops they cease providing power to the glow plug within moments of falling below the operating voltage.

The GCL-3 with stabilized output voltage utilizes the full battery capacity of the LiPo due to its switching BECs, which has better than 80% efficiency. The circuit has protection against LiPo over-discharge.  If the LiPo delivers less than 9V, the GCL-3 turns off power to the glow plug.

If the LiPo is ready (greater than 9V available), the LiPo/Akku LED is on.  (If the LiPo/Akku LED is not on, check that the battery is a 3s or is fully charged.).

WARNING: If the GCL-3 is switched on AND the LiPo Akku LED is on and the Glow LED is on, the engine is ready to start.  Follow normal safety procedures to start the engine.


LiPo OK LED (Akku). If it lights, voltage of LiPo is appropriate for driving glow plugs.
Glow ON LED (Glow). If it lights, the glow plug is powered.


Glow Direction (Direction). You can give the direction of glowing by changing the jumper. If you use a reversed throttle servo, you can reverse the glow range.
Glow Threshold (Thres.). You can set the glow threshold and you can also set how long it glows upwards from the idle position.

(setting of normal glowing window)

Explanation of labels:

Motor Stop = Throttle cut position i.e. motor stops
Idle = point at which motor idles reliably
Set threshold trim = adjusted glowing threshold with threshold trimmer
Full throttle = motor maximum power
Servo position = distance of throttle
Jumper setting = adjustable window reverses with the jumper (if reversed throttle servo)
Glow level = level of glow power (stabilized 1.3V)
Glow ON = glow is active
Glow OFF = glow is off

The adjustable trimmers are vibration resistant and multi-turn.


The DX pack contains all the wiring, connector switch (only the battery connector must be purchased separately).

It is recommended that different batteries are used for driving the glow plug and supplying power to the receiver and on-board servos! The LiPo battery must be connected with the correct polarity and with a minimum 0.5mm2 wire. It recommended that a main switch be used in series with the battery.

Use the included switch.

The GCL-3 has a separate group of red glow cables (+) to connect to the glow plugs and a blue cable (-) to attach to the engine casing.

The blue ground cable must be connected to the engine's metal housing, the glow cables must be connected to each of the cylinder’s glow plug to make a complete circuit.

Use the included cables to glow. Solder the wires in series with the supplied gold-plated connectors. 

The use of short wires is recommended to minimize voltage drop.  (At the high current used to drive the glow plug, light-weight hook-up wire will overheat and melt the insulation on the wire.)

The glow outputs employ independent BECs , (2, 3, or 4 according to the number of cylinders).

(Heavy current connections)

(Glow cabels)

(5 pairs of gold-plated connector, power switch, shrink sleeves)

The GCL-3 can be used to the power the glow plug in two configurations.

1. The throttle servo channel with “Y” servo cable:

(Y-cable connected to receiver on throttle channel.)

This solution is the easiest and don’t need to utilize a separate channel on receiver. It can be adjusted in the normal glowing window.

(normal glowing window)

The disadvantage of this configuration is that full power is provided to the glow plug when attempting to stop the motor. This makes it harder to stop the motor.

2. Using separate channel on receiver:

This configuration uses program mixing of the throttle to an un-used channel, and permits disabling the glow driver output to stop the motor when using Throttle Cut.

(Separate Receiver Channel Connection)

(programmed ignition window)

In this case, GCL-3-one is adjusted to set the Idle and upper cut-off threshold (Set threshold trim point). The transmitter program mix function is used to copy the Throttle channel (standardly channel 3) to a spare channel to control the GCL-3. This channel is used to provide the capability to turn on and off glow plug power and control the operation of the GCL-3.

NB: If the glow driver does not turn off when the throttle is above, say half way, adjust the Glow Threshold potentiometer by turning anti-clockwise until the Glow On LED turns off.

Sample glow program under ER9X (for Turnigy 9X TX):

Implemented functions:

The throttle servo is connected to ch.3 and GCL-3 is connected to ch.7.  
The GEAR switch is used to enable/disable the glow power. The GCL-3 provides power to the glow plugs, if the GEAR switch is ON and the throttle is at idling speed (The upper limit of the Glow On envelope is adjusted with GCL-3 “Threshold” trimmer.)

The glow plug power is OFF, when the Gear switch is OFF. The standard Throttle Cut function on the transmitter can then be used to easily stop the engine.


motor cut:



CH7 100 CH3   GEA


CH7 S TRN 100

(GCL-3 DX)

Downloadable description: GCL3_DX_eng.pdf


What is BEC?

The BEC (Battery Eliminator Circuit) is a power supply, the glow which generates the required 1.3V LiPo 3s was from 12V. Its great advantage is that it makes it stabilized! The traditional single-cell NiCd batteries or against NiNh it produces more stable and continuous power. Annealing is more stable and insensitive to the wiring!

About the BEC can be powered from the receiver?

NO! The BECs is only generates tension in the glow of it.

The GCL-3 can be fed into the onboard backup battery as well?

In principle, yes (all voltage between 9-14V can be fed), but due to safety reasons and to higher loads would not recommend it! It is recommended that an independent cordless pressure supply.

Can an output connected to two glow plug?

No one output (BEC away) only one glow plug can be connected. The GCL-3 in many BECs in the number of channels (2, 3, 4).

If the GCL-3 multi-cylinder design, as I use the wrong?

No, not a problem. The remaining channels will be a good backup.

What is an DX version?

The DX pack contains all the wiring, connector switch (only the battery connector must be purchased separately). This convenient assembly.

Special thanks for Jeff Dowsley