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[April 26, 2007]


Tonight I wanted to fire up the heated pitot tube to see if it gets hot enough to melt plastic tubing connected to it. I needed to make some alligator wire jumpers. I picked this kit up from Harbor Freight the other day for a couple bucks. Its funny, I am an electrical engineer and don't have basic stuff like this at home.


Next I connected everything up with a ammeter in line using a spare car battery for my power source. I mounted the pitot tube on the pitot mount to help dissipate heat as it would on the wing. Also, it made it nice to mount.


This Dynon pitot uses a special control box that varies the power to the pitot. It looks like it has some sort of feedback circuitry that detects the when it needs more power. Dynon states that it uses 10 amps on startup, then 5 amps then < 1 amp on idle. Here I am showing 7.81amp on startup.


I connected some plastic tubing to the pitot lines to see if it got hot enough to melt it. I let this thing run for 30 minutes


On idle, I was showing 65mA being consumed. It jumped up to 4 and 8 amps occasionally. The front of the pitot (long skinny part) got very hot - not hot enough to burn me, but I couldn't hold my hand on it. The body of the pitot (thicker part that interfaces with the pitot mount) didn't get very hot at all. It was 60 degrees in the shop, and I am guessing the mount was about 75 or 80 degrees. The tubes pitot and aoa aluminum tubes were about the same temperature. I wish I had a handheld infrared thermometer to get specifics, but this is enough for me to know that interfacing the plastic tubing right to the pitot without dealing with some intermediate aluminum tubing to dissipate heat. Thats good news for me - keep this thing simple.

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Last Modified: November 11, 2017