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D-501 infrared temp sensor: You’ll never have to spit on your engine again

D-501 infrared temp sensor: You’ll never have to spit on your engine again

Pond, Steve

For the nitro racer, engine temperature is the most critical piece of tuning information. Having accurate temperature readings will help you determine the proper fuel-mixture settings for your engine and, more important. may help you to avoid the premature engine wear and damage that results from overheating.

There are a number of ways to measure a nitro engine’s temperature, but one device is consistently used at the highest levels of national- and world-championship racing; it has become the standard by which other temperature sensors are judged: the Exergen* D-soo infrared temp sensor.

Top racing teams use the D-soi almost exclusively because it provides more consistently accurate temperature measurements than any other device that the R/C world’s engine gurus have tested.

The D-501 can measure temperatures of from -so to sso degrees Fahrenheit (-45 to 287 degrees Celsius). When its probe tip is put into a nitro-engine cylinder head’s glow-plug cavity a momentary switch provides an instant and accurate temperature reading. Use one of the unit’s three scan modes to obtain the information you want for your application:

“Regular” mode displays a continuous temperature reading for as long as the button is held down. Use this to monitor temperature changes.

“Min” mode scans for the lowest temperature. Hold the button down, and the D-soo will display the lowest temperature.

“Max” mode. Depress the scan button, and this mode scans for and then displays the highest temperature. This is the most useful mode for nitro engines. It’s especially helpful during quick pit stops; if you release the scan button too late after pulling the probe away from the engine and expose the probe to cooler temperatures, you’ll still see the highest temp reading, even if the probe is in a cooler spot.

What makes the D-soi superior to other infrared temp sensors? According to Exergen, in addition to its superior manufacturing, the unit’s “Automatic Emissivity Compensation System” (AECS) is what really separates it from the rest of the pack. In simple terms, the AECS system discriminates between engine-surface heat and environmental heat. Factors that can introduce significant errors-air-temperature changes, “emissivity” shifts from varying target temperatures, contact errors and heat-sinking errors-are all accounted for.

The D-soi follows the accepted, worldwide standards for temperature-sensing devices. It is both NIST traceable and in compliance with ISO goon, 9002 and 9003 standards.

Unfortunately, the best temp probe on the planet comes with the highest price tag. The D-soo is listed at a whopping $699 but is available on the street for $250 to $3oo. The D-soo isn’t for everyone, but serious nitro racers who didn’t worry about spending $250 to $350 on a top-of-the-line competition engine should think about protecting their investments and ensuring maximum performance with the Exergen D-soo.


Extremely accurate.

Compact, so it’s easy to handle.

Comes with a carrying case.


A little pricey for the casual enthusiast.

Copyright Air Age Publishing Mar 1999

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