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Tire pressure monitor

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Old August 10th 19, 07:10 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Phil King
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Default Tire pressure monitor

Has anyone tried using a tire pressure monitor cap in place of a regular
dust cap on a glider tire?

There are at least two types - simple pneumatic ones that show
green/amber/red or ones with wireless technology to display remotely.

I'm thinking the simple one would be really useful provided it will fit
within the wheel fairing. I think it would be a non-starter for most
glider tail wheels but probably OK for the main wheel.

I would appreciate any constructive advice about this especially from
someone who has tried it.

Old August 11th 19, 03:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default Tire pressure monitor

Phil, do a quick search for TPM. There are good threads with info from 2008 and again in 2017.
I tried three different version and while they worked ok most of the time, all three systems would lose the signal at times.
Old August 11th 19, 05:10 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Tire pressure monitor

On Sunday, August 11, 2019 at 10:07:27 AM UTC-4, wrote:
Phil, do a quick search for TPM. There are good threads with info from 2008 and again in 2017.
I tried three different version and while they worked ok most of the time, all three systems would lose the signal at times.

Michael - I think Phil is talking about this style:


and not the RF style which would monitor all of your vehicle's and trailer's tires remotely.

Old August 14th 19, 03:28 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Tire pressure monitor

On Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at 6:45:05 AM UTC-7, Phil King wrote:

The only threads I found were about trailer tires rather than glider
tires. Anyone any experience of using a monitor on a glider tire?
Phil King

The problem with most TPMS systems, at least as they might be applied to a glider main tire, is they screw onto the tube's valve stem. In the limited number of gliders I've owned, there is no clearance for them.

I have them on my motorhome and can monitor the glider trailer as well. In that application they make a lot of sense as both tire pressure and temperature are displaced and have set points to trip an alarm. Then I can pull over, check things, and hopefully make necessary repairs before tire pieces depart.

The potential advantage for a glider seems about nil to me. In the unlikely event you have a leaking tire, you are going to land with it anyway, one way or another. You are probably not going to roll the emergency vehicles in any case, so the only advantage would be knowing you've got a low tire or flat in advance. Given that unlikely eventuality (I've only ever had a tailwheel go flat), it doesn't seem like a TPMS would be worth the bother, even if the sensor did have clearance to fit.

Once had a brake caliper freeze to the rotor on my Husky after playing in the snow off road. I knew about it as the Husky veered off a fair amount on take off from the snow covered road and I glanced at the wheel to see it wasn't turning, basically a ski. Landed back home on the unpaved runway at Minden on one wheel, when the locked-up wheel came down it broke free without fuss.
Old August 14th 19, 09:31 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Phil King[_2_]
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Default Tire pressure monitor

I guess I've not made it clear why I would want a TPM on a glider tire.
My thought is that when checking the glider before flight one action
should be to check the tire pressures. This is a time consuming process
- find pressure gauge, maybe find extension, take off dust cap, fit
gauge (and extension), read pressure, (remove extension,) replace
dust cap, repeat for each tire (three tires on some types). Each time
you do this you remove some air from the tire and with a small tire this
can be significant.

Much simpler to look at the TPM and check that it is showing green!

For a glider I can't see any advantage in having the wireless sort with a
read out in the cockpit. Of course for a trailer it's a great idea.

Old August 14th 19, 12:17 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Martin Gregorie[_6_]
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On Wed, 14 Aug 2019 08:31:30 +0000, Phil King wrote:

Much simpler to look at the TPM and check that it is showing green!

A search on "tyre pressure monitor cap" shows that shops on Amazon UK
sell them - a four-pack costs less than GBP 2.00. They look as though
they are a bit fatter and longer than the brass tyre caps on my glider,
but at the price its probably worth trying them, even if they do end up
on your car or trailer.

Martin | martin at
Gregorie | gregorie dot org
Old August 14th 19, 05:39 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Bob Kuykendall
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Default Tire pressure monitor

On Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 1:45:05 AM UTC-7, Phil King wrote:

This is a time consuming process - find pressure gauge...

Any sort of thing you add to the valve stem increases complexity and potential failure points and reduces reliability. In some situations that approach pays off. I think this is not one of them.

My advice: Fill the tire with an air chuck that has a gauge at the beginning of the season, while the glider is standing on it. When you do that, look at how much it bulges at the bottom. As long as the tire looks about like it did when you filled it, it probably is about right.

--Bob K.

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