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PRO ECU Controller

The PRO ECU turbine controller is a refreshing reminder why JAKADOFSKY builds better turbines. The PRO ECU controller contains completely new control and monitoring software designed by JAKADOFSKY for our engines. To keep pace with the growing interest in turbines the PRO ECU is easier to setup and provides more information about your engine performance and operating condition.



If this is your first JAKADOFSKY gas turbine engine, we suggest you read the General Turbine Operation section first which details how the turbine's coupling of collective-pitch to the throttle channel is different from glow and gas power plants.

PRO ECU Receiver Connections and Setup.
PRO ECU Expanded Turbine Statistics.
PRO ECU Kerosene Start Factory Option.
Modelers switching to the PRO ECU from the AECU.

New Features in the PRO ECU:

  • One transmitter channel for all turbine operation.
  • RC SETTINGS can be individually changed without running through the setup process each time.
  • Fuzzy logic learns the best settings for your turbine operation after a couple of runs.
  • Only the initial fuel line flush is necessary, the fuel flow setup is no longer needed.
  • The PRO ECU will learn and adjust the Kerosene fuel flow to optimum conditions.
  • PRO ECU data is now real-time allowing for adjustment while the turbine is running.

PRO ECU Setup: Receiver Connections for JAKADOFSKY Starwood & PRO Turbine Models

Modelers configuring their first JAKADOFSKY turbine engine who have previously flown electric, glow or gasoline powered helicopters need to learn that the turbine control must be on a dedicated switched channel on the transmitter. The best choice is a 3 position switch, but a dial or slider will be equally suitable. As demand for JAKADOFSKY turbines is steadily growing, we know that standardizing turbine control will lead to safer operation where everyone benefits. This is less familiar initially, however model turbines are complicated already and this design change in the PRO ECU helps to simplify turbine operation and makes setup simpler. Table 1 details the recommended receiver setup.

1 or 4ThrottleUnused
5Gear SwitchNormal
6Collective PitchNormal
7Auxillary 2-3P SwitchGyro Remote Gain
8Auxillary 3P Switch/Dial/SliderTurbine Control
Table 1. Auxillary channel for turbine control.

Depending on your transmitter, you may have a choice for the turbine control switch. It is no longer possible to use a two position (2P) switch here. The PRO ECU reads the three position (3P) switch as Off, Idle and Max operating speed. While we do not actively change the turbine RPM during flight in helicopters, occassionally the model is flown at a location that has a different altitude or humidity that affects the engine and its operational RPM can be adjusted. Many factors contribute to what that flying speed should be including fixed elements like the model weight and rotor blade type to variable elements like the air temperature and humidity which change day to day.

Turbine Autostart Procedure - Propane Start Fuel

StepConsoleEventAuxillary LED
1. Beginstop  
2. Turbine Switch: OFF -> IDLErun solid on
3. Cycle Turbine Switch: IDLE -> MAX -> IDLE
 rel-system release for startupsolid on
 spinturbine rotor is spinningsolid on
 firepropane ignitionsolid on
 heatshort chamber heat upsolid on
 accefuel pump startssolid on
 idleturbine idlesolid on
4. Set Collective Pitch to neutral (0 degrees)
5. Set Turbine Switch: MAX
 0%++increasing turbine powersolid on
 100%achieved maximum powerturns off
6. Add collective pitch to take off.
Table 2. Turbine Autostart Procedure

The turbine switch is the only way to start or stop your JAKADOFSKY turbine engine and can be used at any operating speed. The engine will automatically follow the next procedure during shutdown to ensure the engine cools off to a temperature below 80 degrees to avoid damaging internal components.

Turbine Autostop Procedure

StepConsoleEventAuxillary LED
1. Land Helicopter
2. Turbine Switch: MAX -> IDLE
 100%- -decreasing turbine powersolid on
 idleturbine at idlesolid on
3. Turbine Switch: OFFofffuel valve closingturns off
 offengine cycles during coolingoff
 coolengine below 80 degreesoff
4. Reconnect the data console to retrieve flight statistics.
Table 3. Turbine Autostop Procedure

PRO ECU Expanded Turbine Statistics

At the end of each flight reconnect the data console to the PRO ECU and record the flight's statistics in a notebook for your turbine. This is how you can track your engine's performance and detect variations in the data which eventually lead to operating problems. Scroll to the INFO menu and at a minimum record the EGT-PEAK and FUELPUMP-PEAK values. If the EGT-PEAK reaches or exceeds 700 degrees celcius, you should look for ways to reduce the loading of the turbine. This is an indicator that the turbine is getting too hot. If the turbine engine reaches 800 degrees, it will automatically shutdown to avoid internal engine damage. The FUELPUMP-PEAK value should remain below 4.2 volts, seeing higher voltage is an indication there is a problem with the fuel supply to the engine. Check the fuel clunks, fittings, tubing and fuel pump for dirt or loose connections. In some situations, the fuel pump voltages appear normal, but fuel flow problems result in a decrease in turbine RPM with a high EGT reading during flight.

In addition to the these two key data points, the following information is now available after every flight in INFO and STATISTICS of the PRO ECU. EGT-AVERAGE, RPM-PEAK, RUNS-TOTAL, RUNS-ABORT, HOUR-METER, LAST-OFF

PRO ECU Kerosene Start Factory Option

The PRO ECU accomplished another design request to remove the requirement for gaseous Butane/Propane fuel to start the turbine. In our opinion, both methods have been proven equally reliable and the choice comes down to the modeler and the particular fuselage or sport model mechanics. The key issue, is the Kerosene igniter is taller and will not fit inside scale models with a tight fitting engine compartment like the Huey. The turbine also requires the use of the 11.1V 3s LiPoly or 12V Nicad starting battery, as addition RPM is needed to spool the turbine during engine start and shutdown. A fully charged battery is good for 2 flights before recharging.

Turbine Autostart Procedure - Kerosene Start Fuel

StepConsoleEventAuxillary LED
1. Beginstop  
2. Turbine Switch: OFF -> IDLErun solid on
3. Cycle Turbine Switch: IDLE -> MAX -> IDLE
 rel-system release for startupsolid on
 fireigniter lightssolid on
 spinturbine rotor is spinningsolid on
 firefuel pump & start valve onsolid on
 heatshort chamber heat upsolid on
 accefuel valve on, acceleratingsolid on
 idleturbine idlesolid on
4. Set Collective Pitch to neutral (0 degrees)
5. Set Turbine Switch: MAX
 0%++increasing turbine powersolid on
 100%achieved maximum powerturns off
6. Add collective pitch to take off.
Table 2. Turbine Autostart Procedure

Modelers switching to the PRO ECU from the AECU:

The PRO ECU combines the turbine safety switch and the turbine RPM switch into a single switch which now only consumes one channel on your transmitter. The PRO ECU now requires a proportional switched channel that has ATV settings for the travel range. Optimally this is a 3 position switch, but a dial or slider is equally suitable. Factors contributing to this change originate in the absent-coupling between the turbine RPM and the collective pitch on the helicopter along with improving the safe operation of our turbines. Customer feedback initiated this design change where customers felt that one switch would be easier and less complex. Forcing pilots to use a switched channel also helps to standardize how JAKADOFSKY turbines are setup on all transmitters making it easier to troubleshoot and improves safety when flying or in an emergency situation.

Fundamentally in our opinion, using the throttle channel introduced too many liabilities for turbine control. For new turbine modelers, it was fairly simple to apply the traditional throttle channel configuration for your turbine's speed. What was not so simple to understand was just how easy it was to accidentally switch your turbine to idle in flight, which means an immediate auto-rotation to land your model safely because of time required to spool the turbine down and back to operating speed. This reinforced the design change to prohibit using the throttle channel for turbine control.

Not all modelers will agree that this is a better way. We firmly believe that this will result in safer turbine operation, avoids the potential of accidentally changing to idle in flight, consolidates all turbine control to a single switch and standardizes the turbine setup on all transmitters.