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ParkBEC and ParkBEC 6V Frequently Asked Questions

I have a 3A BEC in my speed control - why would I want ParkBEC's lower 1.25A capacity?
It is very common for speed controls to have BECs rated at 2 or 3A. However, what the manufacturers do not tell you is that this rating is only true for an input voltage of 6V. The BEC on your speed control is what engineers call a 'linear voltage regulator'. It works by burning up excess voltage and turning it into heat. The higher the input voltage, the more heat gets produced. If there is too much heat, then the BEC will either fry, or shut down! The result of this is that in real world situations, if you are running a 3S lipo battery pack, your ESC's BEC will only be able to provide about 0.5A before it overheats. At 4S, most ESC manufacturers don't recommend you use the BEC at all, or at best power two small servos.
ParkBEC is a different type of voltage regulator - a switching voltage regulator. It does not care very much about what the input voltage is, and as such it can provide your servos with a steady 1.25A all the way up to 8S.
For more information, please visit our beginner's guide to switching regulators.

Do I need a ParkBEC?
If you are running an aircraft with a 2S battery pack, chances are you will not need a ParkBEC. At pack voltages of 4S and higher, you will almost certainly need to use a switching BEC like ParkBEC or SportBEC. If you are using a 3S pack, then the answer is 'maybe'. At 3S, if you are flying a relatively slow airplane with only 2 or three low-draw servos, then you are probably safe. If you are flying a fast aircraft, one with large control surfaces, 4 or more servos, or are experiencing overheating problems with your ESC's BEC, then a ParkBEC may solve a lot of your problems. ParkBEC is also a great help if you're running a parkflyer with a four-servo wing, for a total of six servos.

What is the difference between ParkBEC and ParkBEC 6V?
ParkBEC supplies a regulated 5 Volt source to power your receiver and servos, which is the standard for the majority of BECs. ParkBEC 6V supplies 6 Volts. Powering your servos with 6 Volts will increase the power, which means that the servos will move faster, and have more torque. For floater or old timer type aircraft, this additional speed is not usually necessary or even desirable. For micro helicopters and aerobatic planes, powering your servos with 6V gives you noticeably better responsiveness. Using a 6v BEC may also help the tail servo of a helicopter have smoother response. Most of our ParkBEC 6V customers are flying T-rex sized helicopters.

How does ParkBEC compare to a UBEC?
The UBEC is a fine product made by Kool Flight Systems. Both ParkBEC and UBEC are efficient switching BECs that work well with high pack voltages. The difference is that UBEC has a max current capacity of 4A, while ParkBEC has a max capacity of 1.5A. The tradeoff is that UBEC is larger, heavier, and more expensive. If you are running a parkflyer, park jet or a small helicopter such as a T-Rex, then there is simply no point in weighing down your aircraft and your wallet with a BEC that is more than you need. If you fly much larger aircraft with high torque or standard size digital servos and really need the extra capacity, then we recommend purchasing a SportBEC.

Will a ParkBEC work with my specific setup?
In general, as long as you stay within ParkBEC's recommended number of servos, you'll have no problems. If you're the sort of person who loves to tinker with setups and push limits, we make a product called ServoSense Plus that you should check out. With a ServoSense Plus, you can directly measure the actual inflight load that you're putting on your BEC. So if you're running a larger switching BEC or a receiver battery and are looking to shed some weight, using a ServoSense will tell you without a doubt whether a ParkBEC will work. As long as the Max reading of the ServoSense Plus is less than 1.7A, the Max15 reading is below 1.5A and the Avg reading is below 1.25A, a ParkBEC will work without any trouble.

Do I have to plug the ESC in through the ParkBEC?
Not at all. The inline method of installation is usually the most convenient. If for some reason it isn't in your case, ParkBEC can be installed in the same manner as other switching BECs. Cut or remove the red center wire from the ESC's throttle cable and install the ParkBEC into a spare RX channel or with a Y cable. Place a piece of electrical tape over the header where the ESC usually plugs in if you are not using the pass-through feature.

How much interference does a ParkBEC generate?
Switching BECs have a bad reputation for putting out a lot of EMI (radio noise) because the first incarnations on the market were carelessly designed. ParkBEC was designed right from the start to avoid this problem, and as a result emits almost zero noise in the common radio control bands. In fact, the local oscillator in your receiver is a bigger EMI source than ParkBEC. Here is data showing ParkBEC's noise profile. As long as you keep ParkBEC more than 2 inches away from your receiver/antenna, and don't wrap your antenna around power-carrying wires, it is extremely unlikely that you will run into any problems.

I have a T-Rex (or similar) helicopter, will ParkBEC work for me?
An extremely common setup is a T-Rex with 3 HS-56 servos, 1 Futaba 9650 servo and a Futaba 401 gyro. We have had dozens of customers use ParkBEC 6V with this configuration, and it works great.

How easy is it to kill a ParkBEC?
It's actually suprisingly hard to do. ParkBECs are mechanically robust enough to survive most crashes without damage. They will protect themselves from short-circuit, overloading and over-temperature. The only thing you really need to be careful of is soldering them to the battery connector backwards.

What else can I do with a ParkBEC?
Beyond being a great little switching BEC, ParkBEC is also useful as a general purpose switching regulator. People have used ParkBECs to power cameras, wireless links, lighting systems or even small motors. ParkBEC is also useful for running radio systems in R/C cars or robots that run from high voltage packs.