Temp Gun Revelation!
I thought I would share something I came across while letting my mind wander on a trip back from racing.
I bought a PE1 temp gun about 3 years ago when I first started getting serious about electric on road racing. I used it all the time and it was always returned to its home in my pit box after use and sitting around all day on my table. I never really dropped it or abused it.
When I went to asphalt Nats with a buddy who also has a PE1 temp gun, we discovered our guns didn't give the same reading for the same motor at the same time. We solicited a third temp gun (I can't remember what brand) and found mine was 10 degrees under and my buddy's was 10 degrees over at 150 degrees. I was kinda bummed and just thought maybe I had finally wore mine out. We also found that they read correctly at room temperature, but the hotter the motor was the further off our readings became.
So last week I bought a new TGX1 temp gun. I have had the same gearing in my 12th scale for quite a while and was getting around 130 degrees after 8 minutes with my PE1. I temped it throughout the day with the new temp gun and like I expected I received very different readings. I had actually been closer to 150*.
When I read the instructions for the new temp gun it mentioned to make sure to keep the sensor area clean as it could affect the accuracy. This prompted me to look at the sensor area of my PE1. Sure enough it was covered in dust and lint and foam tire dust. I took a q-tip and gently dusted the sensor area off. I nuked a cup of water in the microwave for 1:30 and then temped it with with both guns at the same time at the same spot. They were within a degree of each other.
I can't help but wonder if any of the few motors I have smoked were due to an inaccurate temp reading.
Here's my guess as to a theory.
The guns we use are IR temp guns. I imagine the IR beam was partially reading the temp of the dust and debris on the lens cover thus bringing the temp down a few degrees. It works fine at room temp because the dust and debris is actually at room temp. The hotter you get the further the difference in temp between the motor and debris on the lens.
A bit of an A-Ha moment for me. : )
"Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right." -Henry Ford
"[Driving] Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration" -T.A. Edison
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