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PROTEK R/C ELECTRONIC SWITCH
amain.com
PTK-4060
$39.99

Continuing with the ProTek testing bonanza, today we have an item that’s easy to overlook but vital to a nitro vehicle’s longevity. Mechanical on/off switches, like anything mechanical, can break…often at the worst time, like when your 1/8 truggy has just hit mach-7 at the end of a long straightaway.  All of the vibration, hard hits and crashes add up, and when that switch finally does go to the big recycling center in the sky, you may have to chase after the runaway for a good half mile.  Good luck with that.  ProTek R/C has released its own electronic switch (#PTK-4060) to add digital security to your vehicle’s on/off switch, appropriately and unsurprisingly named the “Protek Electronic Switch.”

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Some notable features include its MyLaps transponder-sized mounting footprint (see photo), a flat bottom cover for installation in tight spaces (like a radio box), low voltage LiPo protection and a healthy 10-amp current limit.  The switch works equally as well with NiCd or NiMh batteries; push and hold the on-button for 3-seconds for LiPo mode (the LIPO led will illuminate), or push for 1-sec to turn on NiMh mode. Pretty simple, as long as you remember to hold the button each time for LiPos.

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The switch’s tiny LEDs also indicate the receiver pack’s remaining capacity by the color of its lights—it will show green, orange or red based upon the pack’s remaining capacity. The switch turns ON with a 1-second button push, and turns off with a 3-second push to prevent an inadvertent OFF status. During testing, we discovered that the mounting tabs are rather brittle and can snap off.  For a simple fix, I replaced the 3-tab back cover with the included flat cover, and used servo tape to mount the switch.

Priced at $40, this switch is harder on the wallet than a standard mechanical switch, but over time the ProTek switch wins the battle with its ease of use, compact size and digital on/off security.