Glow Plug Driver

What is Glow Plug Driver?


Post C


This device may be known as Remote Glow Plug or Auto Glow Igniter.  Thank to this innovation it saves my time as well as my hand during engine starts up.  I still remember the accident that was once happened to my hand when trying to unplug the glow plug igniter by accessing it over the propeller. That recklessness caused me a bad cut and resulted in 14 stitches on my hand and left me a scar until today.



Glow plug igniter

Traditional Glow Plug Igniter

The glow plug driver is a brilliant gadget that seems to be indispensable now for it is not only assisting me during the start up but also providing the engine boost up during the flight.  You may realize that when the engine is set for idle during some maneuver a sudden pick up of the speed might cause rich mixture and the glow plug might fail to maintain the heat.  This can happen in both two and four stroke engine and according to this the engine may suffocate and lead to smother in an extreme situation.



Post BThe engine with integrated pump is not a solution causes it does not help maintain the heat in this situation.  When the mixture is too rich we need more heat to burn out surplus fuel in the cylinder otherwise the engine may stop running. The glow plug driver is also provided with the boost up feature that helps warm up the glow plug for the entire flight.



The current supplies during the boost up period is minimal, not as much as it is during the engine start up, thus saving the battery so that it can boost up the engine and maintain enough heat for good ignition. This device also has variable current boost up in relation to the temperature (or resistance) of the glow plug.  In case of engine overheating the glow plug driver will stop supplying the current to keep the engine cool down and running normally.


Its operations


The circuit can be illustrated as shown here.

The best use of this device, according to my trial and experience, is to apply at least 5A.BEC to supply the receiver and the glow plug driver. I always use three cells Li-Po 2200mAH battery with this BEC and select the required voltage to be 4.8V. The advantage is I can fly and boost my plane for numerous flights without recharging the battery – sounds good isn’t it?


Post F


You need to have a transmitter with a selected three- step switch and, preferably, the radio channel could be assigned to any switch you choose.  The operation will be OFF – ON1 –ON2 which can refer to as Operating, Boosting, and Starting.  Once your model plane is ready to start the selector switch which corresponds to the glow plug driver must be switched to ON2 position where the glow plug is fully heated for 30 seconds.



Post G

At this moment the engine is waiting for a starting process therefore you can apply your engine starter. After such period is ended the glow plug driver will switch to a boost mode where appropriate current is emitted to boost up the glow plug at near red heat point for 5 minutes.  Since the engine is already running and the glow is fully activated so this boost up current just merely maintains the heat so as to stabilize combustion which is superb in an idle running.


Post A


What happen in a real use of this device?                                             


This is clearly convinced by me as my engine revolution can be lowered without smothering.  This indicates that during the idle run up the heat is not enough for the glow plug and when a sudden rich mixture is flowing in the engine due to a quick acceleration it might cause the engine to quit.  For this reason the boost can be primarily used during landing but boosting the engine for the entire flight is even safer.


Post D


If you are worried that the boosting might fail the electrical system in case the battery is weakening. Just relax since the glow plug driver has automatically cut out off function when the battery voltage is dropping near 4.8 volt. So it is fully convinced that your servo and receiver still have enough power to function well for the whole flight.  Since this might be the case it makes me intend to use Li-Po battery with BEC to supply the electrical system. This ample power will last for a whole day flight.  Am I fully relied on this configuration?  Of course I am since all of my nitro planes are equipped with this gadget and I have confidence that the electrical system is stable and blessed with good supply for a whole day.  The only draw back is you need to spend more money for the BEC and Li-Po battery. Better or not you decide.



Good or bad device indeed?


No bad Con for me and it rather makes me addict to it. Same for my friends in the flying club they seem to use it more on a four stroke engine. As the engine was upside down on a scale plane it is more difficult for the glow plug igniter to access the glow plug.  Glow plug driver helps you out of this boring task and at no matter of time you will forget the conventional glow plug igniter. This device is fun to play on and it makes more sense to use it as an engine booster for the whole flight. However, according to my experience, the BEC and the Li-Po battery work well as a power supply for the electrical system.


I am quite amazing that so many RC folk do not really know what the glow plug driver is all about. They thought that it was merely a remote starter device (auto glow) but when I shown them all the features it had they seemed to be impressed.  That is why this product was not fully convinced the first time it was launched. Many RC flyers are skeptic of its reliability and its power consumption for fear that it might exhaust the power supply. Well time has proved that this innovation will last for next decades.


So I personally have positive view on this glow plug driver, the only thing I need to wait and see is how long it will last.  Concerning the safety reason I am not much worry about this since it is plugged in its dedicated channel so it works separately from the other electrical devices. In case this device fails it will just stop boosting but the other electrical devices will be working as usual.















10 thoughts on “Glow Plug Driver

  1. This glow plug driver seems like a good solution for the glow plug issues you describe with RC plane engines. It also seems to provide better performance while flying – which is also a plus. There doesn’t seem to be any downside to using this. What are the negative effects of using this system?

    • Hi Jeff thank for nice comment from you I really appreciate your effort on this. The glow plug driver has many designs and alteration as some can only assist engine start up in replacement of the glow plug. But some type like the one I explained is for both start up and boost up purpose, and can be controlled via the radio transmitter. The negative effects can be the radio interference which might happen in some type of the
      Glow plug driver so make sure that the one that you choose has no problem with this threat. I found the one which is explained in my website has no interference with the radio transmitter as described in its testing report. The code for this glow plug driver is RCD3002. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Hello
    for me , it’s the first time to see a site with these great topics , it’s something new for me and it’s interesting
    looks like you are very professional mechanic
    one point which is strange for me , is why you made 2 menus with same links under each other ?

    • Hi Karim welcome to my website if you want to be in this hobby don’t be hesitated to ask me a question. The reason there are two menus here is owing to the theme structure. If I remove the lower menu it will be replaced with something else which is not acceptable for me. So using both menus seems to be decent trade off I can think of in the meantime.

  3. Hey buddy!
    I must admit that despite my little knowledge on such kind of technology, you did manage to provide a great explanation of what a glow plug driver is, it’s uses and how it works. The images and the video greatly assisted in my understanding of how it works.
    Keep it up!

  4. Hi Tinnakon!
    I truly love the design for your website. I particularly like the way you describe what the glow plug driver is used for as well as the installation process. Nice job! The diagram also revealed a great deal of information on how the nice airplane is developed. Overall, great job. I really hope that you monetize your content in order to recieve the revenue you deserve. I wish you all the best buddy 🙂

    • Thank for your compliment I try to put all sort of things under the related menus and topics. If you find there are any issue that needs to be fixed just let me know. I discover that some people need a website with versatile information that gives them the pertinent answer. I believe that the opening discussion will lead to the right track with the more topics the visitor brings in the more answer will generally be covered.

  5. Wow. I didn’t know anything about your niche. So I am glad to find your website here.
    Your website tells me how much you are into RC Planes. And it is very obvious that you know many things about it. You sorted your contents very well. “For beginners” would be very useful for those who haven’t heard anything about RC planes like me. And the gallery would be the best to get the attention of those who dont have time to read. 🙂
    I enjoyed reading your site. I am sure I will sure be back. 🙂

    • Hi Cesma thanks for your appreciation, as a beginner you can start with “Beginner” menu on top of the website. There are many techniques you can learn here including the video tutorial inside. Hope you enjoy RC plane and get the most out of this hobby.

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