Everybody loves the Tech Aero IBEC because you share the receiver battery with the ignition and save the weight/cost of a second pack. Seems quite logical. Let's check the thinking.

First, and quite obviously, the savings aren't quite real because in turn, you must carry a *larger* battery (heavier/more costly) to make up for the fact one battery is doing double duty. Proponents get so excited about the technology of an IBEC they forget the weight and cost savings aren't real.

Second, another downside proponents never mention is . . . using that thing means putting all your eggs in one basket. Like maybe they *also* forgot what we learned in kindergarten!

So better two packs, in my opinion, a dedicated pack for the ignition and another for receiver. Your benefit is one system loss doesn't take out two systems - ignition and control. After all, should that happen, you then become a spectator to the crash of your model. As an engineer, I never forget the downside of system dependencies but modelers - in their enthusiasm for new technology - seem to forget this critical point. 


  • the fallacy of supposed weight and cost saving, and
  • the added risk of loss by having everything dependent on one system, and
  • this ignores the potential added risk of a crash injuring someone.

Yes, we could offer the Tech Aero IBEC device on the website like everybody else but we don't due to experience. What we recommend, instead, is this opto-coupled electronic engine kill switch because in the event of emergency (dead throttle servo, as an example), you just kill the engine with the flip of a switch.

  1. Two batteries means more trouble? Yes, but what's a model worth?
  2. Two batteries means more expense? Not quite since the model needs a larger/more costly battery to make up for two - no real cost savings.
  3. Tech Aero IBEC is more pricey than an inexpensive electronic switch? Yes. But money wise you spend about the same for two smaller packs plus the electronic switch vs. one larger pack and the Tech Aero IBEC.

Look, this is *not* about money, and it's not about convenience. It's 100% about reliability. Always strive to reduced dependencies, e.g. never put all your eggs in one basket. It's rare for me to argue in favor of two things versus one but this is that instance.

Your call, of course, but I've been doing gassers about 40 years (and +50 years in RC modeling). I keep the ignition sub-system totally divorced from the receiver power-sub-system for the same reason a player keeps his wife from knowing about his girlfriend, and his girlfriend from knowing he's married. Life's better this way.

Price: $16.99

    Item #: GE3001
    Availability: In stock
    Usually ships In the same business day

    Regulations for ignition-powered models require them to have more than one way to shut off the engine. Critically, one method must work without the radio subsystem (meaning in the event of radio failure, or when the radio is not accessible).

    Note; if you want to know what's at stake (and have a strong stomach), then review this article of what a prop can do to the human body, but heads up . . . it ain't pretty!

    Ignition shutdown without the radio

    Thus, typically there's a slide-switch (on/off) between the battery and ignition module. The switch gets mounted to a model in such a way you (or a helper) can throw throw the switch (or slide it from on to off), thus cutting the power to the ignition module by interrupting battery-power. Shutting off the battery-power to the ignition turns it off and without the spark, the engine immediately dies. This effectively takes care of the part of the regulations regarding shutting off the engine without using the radio.

    And remember, regulations are written in blood, there's a good reason for them!

    Ignition shutdown with the radio - 4 methods

    There are other ways of shutting the engine off, which center on using the radio.

    1. Like closing the carburetor with the throttle-servo. This starves the engine of fuel and air, and the engine stops running. Works until the radio/servo don't work . . . then what?
    2. An alternative is a choke-servo, which when you throw the choke-switch on the transmitter floods the engine with fuel whilst simultaneously starving it for air and same thing happens - engine stops running.
    3. Another way is to interrupt the ignition with the flick of a transmitter switch, perhaps using a servo and a mechanical limit-switch to interrupt battery power to ignition module.
    4. but a really great way of shutting the ignition off is with this product, the Opto Kill Switch.

    Opto Kill Switch method

    The battery on/off switch connects to the Opto Kill. When switch is off, then the on/off means battery-power to the ignition is turned off. However, the Opto Kill Switch is in series with mechanical switch and thus, with the mechanical switch-on, throwing a switch on the transmitter (perhaps channel 5 on the transmitter to which Opto Kill Switch is connected to receiver), *also* interrupts the power to the ignition module. Thus, there is ignition kill with 1) external access mechanical switch and via 2) Opto Kill Switch, thus satisfy regulations for two independent methods of shutting off the engine.

    And remember, you may also use throttle-servo and/or choke-servo to kill engine, thus, a total of FOUR methods of killing ignition engine, thus increased safety!


    Honestly? You'd have to be brain dead to have a problem connecting this thing, but here goes anyway.

    1. Connect the mechanical on/off switch to the power-input lead (red-female DuPont connector).
    2. Connect the red-male DuPont connector to power input of ignition module.
    3. Connect black male-DuPont to channel-5 off the receiver (or whatever channel you desire).
    4. Mount LED so it's visible from the outside of the model - when it's on, the ignition is armed!

    That's it, easy peasy! No go have fun with your model secure in the knowledge you've satisfied the safety requirement for more than one method of shutting off the ignition for your internal combustion ignition-engine, one of which is manually operated by external means sans the radio system, and the other is using the safe and convenient Opto Ignition Kill Switch. Means if the throttle servo dies (yes, we're aware of the irony) you have the means of shutting down the engine.

    ProTip: the Opto in the product name refers to the fact the link between radio and kill switch is optically isolated so that stray RFI from a defective engine module doesn't make its way back to the radio causing it to go nuts and maybe crash your model.