This review contains only the opinion thoughts of my own through my own investigative testing of the product. Static tests may not indicate real world performance of any equipment, but real world data will be provided as the testing proceeds.

Product Arizona Regulator
Manufacturer Fromeco
Price $65
Product Web Site Fromeco Arizona Regulator
Description The Arizona regulator by Fromeco is the first dual voltage design I have seen. It is relatively light, has great power handling capabilities according to the specifications, and the failsafe power switch is a great bonus.

The Arizona Regulator package comes stock with the regulator being the only item you recieve, for a few dollars more you can order the pin switch and alternate power connectors on the feed leads. I opted for the pin switch, and the Deans Ultra connector for the power feed to prevent any polarity mix ups or misconnections to the lithium-ion battery I built.

The regulator sports a large blue heatsink to which the actual regulators are attached. The driver circuitry is on the circuit board underneat the heatsink. This assembly is attached to a vibration isolating mounting pad which can be strapped somewhere on your heli. The heatsink of this device is electrically hot so make sure that it does not come into contact with grounded carbon fiber or aluminum fram components.

The failsafe design in this unit is nice, if the switch is OPEN the regulator is on, this means if your switch fails or disconnects you will not loose power to the helicopter. The one, very minor, disadvantage to this is when the regulator is off, it draws a small amount of power. It is recommended to disconnect the battery pack from the regulator when it is not in use. Fromeco states that the regulator power draw when off is extremely low and that it will take several weeks for it to fully discharge and permenantly kill a charged Lithium-Ion pack.

The pin switch feature is nice and a very low profile setup.

Fromeco's web page provides the following specifications for their product.

Input Voltage 6-8.4VDC
Output Voltage 5-6.25VDC primary regualtor
Seperate 5VDC regulator for gyro and tail servo
Power Handling No airflow: 17 Watts
1m/sec airflow: 28 Watts
1.5 Amp fixed voltage secondary output for gyro and tail servo Combination
Weight 50 grams with mounting plate

The Arizona regulator is a great looking piece of equipment. They put a bit of effort into the design and visual appeal of the unit. We know there is more to a good product than this, but it is a good start. The blue LED power indicators matche the unit and provide some feedback that the regulator is actually recieving power.

I had originally intended to run this setup in an airplane with a flight data recorder for the initial tests before installing the regulator into a helicopter but the airplane in question was not co-operating and so I had to resort to static testing on my workbench to check things out.

This is the first run of static tests and results. For the first runs, test times were kept to 3 minutes to ensure stability and gather some information in regards to heatsink temperature and my testing setup.
These tests of the primary regulator were conducted using a resistive load of 2.5 ohms. At 5 volts this drew 2 amps, at 5.5 volts the draw was 2.2 Amps and at 6 Volts the draw was 2.4 Amps. With linear regulators, as the output voltage increases closer to the source voltage, the power handling capabilities improve resulting in less system power lost in the form of thermal energy(heat). The fixed resistive load seemed to work well in this case as the current draw was higher at the higher voltages which are more efficient. According to the Fromeco specs and tests this seems to be in the average range that an all digital Raptor 50 would draw during hard 3D.

The 3 minute test values were measured using a Fluke Industrial Scopemeter using FlukeView software to graph the results.

The first test was run at 5 Volts (+/- .2 volts), 2 Amps for 3 Minutes. The top graph is the regulator output and the bottom graph is the battery pack(2s2p home made Li-Ion pack)

The second test was run at 5.5 Volts (+/- .2 volts), 2.2 Amps for 3 Minutes. The top graph is the regulator output and the bottom graph is the battery pack(2s2p home made Li-Ion pack)

The third test was run at 5.5 Volts (+/- .2 volts), 2.2 Amps for 3 Minutes. The top graph is the regulator output and the bottom graph is the battery pack(2s2p home made Li-Ion pack)

As you can tell during these intial tests, the regulator held it's voltage very closely and only drifted by +/- .2 volt maximum during these tests. Longer and more extensive tests(inluding thermal data) are on the way culminating in tests on a Raptor 50 with Futaba 9252 Digital servo's with a GY401 and 9254 tail servo. Additional and final testing will be performed on a Bergen Intrepid EB Gasser fully loaded with Futaba 9252 Digital servos.

These tests will be performed after the next battery of static test which will be 10 minutes and 20 minutes conescutively to simulate AVERAGED loads before real world load testing.

Please stay tuned for Page 2(Static Testing 2), Page 3 (Static Testing 3), Page 4(Real World Testing 1) and Page 5(Real World Testing 2) of this article....


Photo's are intellectual property of Jon Caywood and occasionally other sources used with their permission. If you would like to duplicate these photo's or dicuss this website, please contact me at [email protected]