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  #1  
Old 12-17-2020, 07:21 PM
Darin Watson Darin Watson is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 164
Default PIREP --- Portable CO Monitor (Safety)

To start....I HAVE NO AFFILIATION WITH KWJ Engineering, but rather passing on a PIREP in the interest of safety; especially during winter operations, of which we have the better part of 7 months worth here in Canada.

KWJ Engineering makes, or used to make a CO detector called "Pocket Model 300" (the yellow unit in the photo below) which I have been using for the last 6 years, or so. KWJ has been excellent with their customer service and knowing that CO sensors have a finite life, I asked if there was a way to test, which they went through with me. The Pocket 300 tested out OK but is near the end of life, and I asked a few questions about their newest product call "Sparrow".

Being an existing customer, I was offered a discount, and hence ordered one and tested. First thing I wanted to ensure was that it would work on an iPad at the same time as running Foreflight, which it does just fine. Once the pre-determined threshold is exceeded there is a very audible alarm on the iPad, which is always on the intercom with some tunes as well as ADSB traffic alerts. Also attached are a couple of screen shots of the normal and rise to alarm during the test. The response time was very quickly, <2sec.

I proved the text alert feature to two phones, however, that is only useful if you have cell or internet coverage, so not that handy at altitude.

The other feature that I really like is the logging which you can see in the last attached photos. You can track CO only or temp and RH if you want as well. For a full list of features their website ( https://www.sparrowsense.com ).

I know first hand of the dangers of CO in small planes, you want to seal up the cabin to reduce leaks (and therefore fresh air) while using the exhaust pipe as a heat source....so we need good protection !!!

Moderators if this post is off side, feel free to delete, but this is the best portable, cost effective and user friendly device I can find and am sharing this in the interest of safety in the VAF community.
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Darin
C-GULF RV-7 located in Calgary, AB
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2020, 07:39 PM
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Foghorn Foghorn is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 175
Default

Iíve been looking at CO2 detectors to mount behind the panel. This looks pretty simple and I can take it with me. Thanks for the write up.
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RV8 Fastback - Building (N767TS)
C195 - Flying (N4469C)
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2020, 10:42 PM
Darin Watson Darin Watson is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 164
Default Glad to help

Glad to help. The tricky thing about CO is it will accumulate high or low as it is approximately same density as air.

I fly a slider -7 and had the Pocket 300 clipped to the hoop to centre support bolt thinking that is about as close as I could be to what I am breathing. CO can enter the flap rod openings or even the rear bulkhead via the tail cone, depending on your exhaust dispersion, so under the panel may not be the best location.
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C-GULF RV-7 located in Calgary, AB
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2020, 04:24 PM
Darin Watson Darin Watson is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 164
Default Flight test

Went for a little spin in the mountains yesterday, even though I have lived here 30 years that never gets old !!! But I digress.

After fully charging the battery in the Sparrow, it has now been on 52 hours continuous and showing 83% battery life remaining. I am going to leave run until approx. 50% to see how long it takes for that to occur.

Other than at startup and shutdown (as one would hope) not measuring any CO while flying. It does however show the instrument is sensitive and working as expected. The temperature oscillations were likely due to radiant heat as I had the unit having on the handle of the canopy latch (slider) so that it is about head height and reading what I would be breathing.
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2020, 06:14 PM
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Greenley Greenley is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Dowagiac, MI
Posts: 382
Default

Am I understanding correctly, that if you have no cell signal in flight, this unit will not give you the CO level, you would have to land to find out what it was?
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My RV-10 is now traveling, watch out world!!!!!!
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2020, 08:07 PM
Darin Watson Darin Watson is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 164
Default Cell signal not required.

Cell signal is not required for normal use and alarms on iPad or smartphone. The only time the cell signal is required is to send out notification texts. You will still see the real time levels and if hooked into your intercom, get an alarm that you are sure not to miss.

I believe that the notification texts are intended for people being monitored while working alone and could have CO exposure like in an engine room or some oil and gas remote facilities.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2020, 09:55 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sidney, BC, Canada
Posts: 4,075
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Saving others a search: $250USD for the Sparrow.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2020, 11:27 PM
Darin Watson Darin Watson is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 164
Default Saving others the search

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflake View Post
Saving others a search: $250USD for the Sparrow.
I guess I should have put that in the write up. However, they were, and maybe still are, running an introductory discount of $100, making it $150USD.
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2020, 11:36 PM
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PaulvS PaulvS is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 510
Default CO detector $95

I'm not meaning to detract from the value of the original post, as any discussion on CO safety is good.

There was however also another recent positive pirep on VAF for the following CO detector for $95, for those who may want to consider an alternative. I don't have any affiliation with either.

https://www.forensicsdetectors.com/p...hicle-aircraft
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