It's been unseasonably cold here in the Pacific Northwest, and here at Hangar Bravo Three we have taken to throwing sleeping bags over the cowls and placing 100W lightbulbs below the engines. This helps cold weather starting, at least psycologically!
Does anyone here have actual experience with using electric dipstick heaters in our planes?
AC Spruce sells the Stay-Warm Engine Saver (110VAC, 90W) for $36.50, http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...s/staywarm.php
Sporty's gets 39.95 for the same gadget, http://www.sportys.com/Pilotshop/product/17359
I did a little googling and found several other vendors of what APPEARS to be the exact same item, marketed for cars, trucks and tractors, as Kat's 90W Dipstick Heater, however the reviews are not very encouraging:
So, have any of you folks used these or have accurate info about them (not the hearsay please: "It burnted up all the earl in mah tractor and now the cow gives sour milk!")
Another great idea I have seen is taking a metal ~20 gallon garbage can, short enough to fit under the engine compartment, cutt a bunch of 2" diameter holes around the base, and put an oil-filled electric radiator in the can, under the engine. Set the temp to appropriate level (by experimentation) and throw that sleeping bag over it. Cold room air will draw in thru the holes at the base and rise up into the engine compartment warming everything.
The problem is in our hangar with three PA22s, we have very crappy electrical power, and the several dehumidifier heaters in the airplane cabins, office lights and radiator heater, beer fridge and computer (yeah, it's a fun clubhouse!) have us near our limit. Three additional 700W radiators for the planes would pop the breaker for sure.
GG in chilly Oregon