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« on: April 19, 2010, 11:13:26 AM »
gauravag
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I have a TT 53 Redline installed in my Raptor 50 and now i have had around a gallon of fuel through it.Time to tune the engine  !
As with airplane engines, I think the first step is to get the high speed needle (HSN) set correctly.
I am finding it tough, since I cannot really get to operate the engine at full throttle and still hover.

What I am planning to do, is tie the heli (very very very) securely on a car roof, and then under the normal mode (Pitch: -5 - 0 - 10, Throttle: 0-50-100), gradually get the engine to full speed.
At this point carefully (with a helmet on Smiley )  tune the needle, so we get the needle at a point where it is slightly richer than the MAX RPM. and pinching the fuel line increases the RPM and doesnt cause the engine to fie.
This should take care of the HSN.

Now the LSN tuneup would be easy. Just get it at the richest setting where the transition from idle to max is smooth and linear.
I know that when LSN is rich the transition is sluggish, so perhaps start from a very rich point and gradually keep on closing the needle till we get it right.

Now my questions :
1- Does this way of setting up the needle sound stupid ? ( the HSN part ) . I know its dangerous, but then with adequate help and precautions, would it be an OK way of setting up the needle precisely ?
2-Can i attempt to do this with Wooden blades ? or should i wait for CF ones. at 100% throttle and +10 deg pitch, what kind of rpm would I be getting ? Woodies have a limit of 1700 RPM max.
3. Are the curves above OK for this setup  ?
4. Any other suggestions/tips ?

Thanks !
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2010, 03:37:38 PM »
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Anwar,
Any comments on this one ? Smiley I do want to have a perfectly tuned engine before doing the autos and other stuff !
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 07:15:09 PM »
anwar
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The way we tune heli engines is vastly different from how we tune airplane engines (at least what I typically do, or have seen others do it all the time on our field, and so was what I learned from seeing Joe do it). 

For airplanes, we sort of push the throttle stick to max position, and tune by watching the engine screaming sound (easy for 2 strokes, not so for 4 strokes).

For helis, like you mentioned, we cannot be tuning the needle while the throttle is at the max, unless one does something crazy like what you are proposing Wink  The other big difference is that we almost never really use full throttle (WOT).  So what we are typically tuning for is around the 65% to 80% opening of the throttle.

We tune broadly based on the following.

1.  Sound :  For two stroke engines, it is easy (with a bit of experience) to know when the engine is too lean based on sound of the engine alone. 

2.  Temperature :  On most engines, touching the backplate gives you a good indication of which way the HSN needs to be adjusted. 

3.  Governor/Tach : A lot of times, your headspeed is driven by the governor, OR you know your target headspeed.  So as soon as you can hit that rpm, you do not need to lean the engine any further (of course, better leaning, if available, will help with fuel consumption, but running a little rich helps with durability of the engine). 

What I typically do is to use the backplate temperature method (or use a temp-gun on the head if the backplate is not accessible) to tune the HSN, in idle-up mode. So it is an iterative process.   Once I know that the target rpm is achieved, I usually leave it there instead of trying to extract the best performance.  On the Trex 600N with CF blades, I run 2000 for idle1 and 2100 for idle2.

There are no rules for curves.  Each engine (even from the same brand) reacts differently, based on fuel blend, ambient temperature etc.  You have to adjust the tuning to your local situation, and then use either curves or the governor to limit the peak rpm.
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2010, 12:53:28 AM »
anwar
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BTW, Rajesh/RotorZone has a lot of experience with this specific engine, and I am interested in how he generally tunes heli engines for 3D flight, on governor equipped models.
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 01:43:31 PM »
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First of all, let me specify the configuration I use. The muffler is a very important component that determines the tuning and power output. I found the TT 3D pipe to give good power with lower engine temperature. I'm not pleased with the structural integrity of this muffler though. So next recommendation would be the Hatori 523.

I also added a shim (shim package comes with the engine) in addition to the one already present in the engine. This helped get more power out without overheating the engine.

Governor is turned off while tuning. To tune the HS needle you need to perform maneuvers that has high loading. Fast tic tocs, large loops or fast tight circles with a steep banking are some of them. Watch out for power dropping which indicates a lean condition. Also keep landing and checking the temperature. Get a setting which gives consistent power, decent smoke and keeps the engine temperature under limits.

A good LS needle setting that gives smooth idle is difficult to achieve. Because LS needle has its effect all the up to mid range. Most likely you'll need to keep it rich so that engine does not overheat in midrange maneuvers such as loops, rolls, hovering etc. Don't try to tune for the smoothest idle, you are almost never below 50% throttle during a flight, tune for the range you are going to fly the heli with. ie mid to high throttle. After hovering a few minutes, hit throttle hold or land really fast and see if the engine takes times to slow down to a low idle. If it takes time, then mid range is lean. You'll likely end up with a rich low speed setting which won't give you the smoothest idle and gives a bit of transition stutter on spool up. The higher the nitro the less this problem. You'll have to live with this low end issue to get the engine to perform well in the 50-100% throttle range that really matters.

Moving the "3rd needle" might give a setting with good low end as well as midrange, that is why I was interested in the 3rd needle experiments Anwar mentioned in another thread earlier.

Heli engine tuning is really hard to learn by reading. There are a 1000 methods and opinions including the one I wrote above. You'll eventually learn by experience.  It is almost impossible to get an engine/setting that will make you 100% satisfied. If the engine is not overheating and  you feel the power is sufficient, go fly it.

When I first heard you were getting into nitro helis without local help, I could foresee you starting these threads. And I can tell you this is not going to be the last of your engine tuning threads either  Giggle When I started, I did not getting answers that satisfied me even though there were other fliers around. It took me a month of experimentation to be happy for my flying level then. As I progressed, I ran into different issues and I'm still learning. As you fly more, you'll learn to identify tuning needs more easily. Also don't expect tuning to be set once and forget it affair. You'll need to keep adjusting for weather. Again more the nitro, less the effect of weather. We have a case where temperature increases more that 10degC from early morning to afternoon on the same day, it needs a click or two of HS needle to take care of this.
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 01:58:58 PM »
anwar
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Cool ! Pretty much what I was expecting/suggesting. 

The only thing thing I missed was the importance of the muffler.  On my OS 50 SX-H, I had to lean the engine when I changed from the Align muffler to a Curtis Youngblood MP5.

As I said and Rajesh confirmed, it comes down to time on the field using these helis.  Now a days one thing I frequently do on the field is to tell others when I feel that the engine is running too lean (or they have an unnecessarily high throttle curve or governor limit) just by listening to the engine during flight.  It is easy to kill an engine by over leaning it, happened to me once (partly because the clunk line elongated and did not not pick up fuel, and I failed to notice that in the initial days).  The piston got a hole in it.  One the positive side, it lead to opening up the engine (a good learning process), and changing the bearings, piston and rings.  That engine is now running my brother's Raptor 50 Smiley

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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 04:14:14 PM »
gauravag
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Thanks Anwar, and Rajesh for your suggestions.
I read your posts several times to fully understand, and hopefully, I will over time get to learn to tune heli engines.
I know the task is made more difficult for me due to several factors like not having someone experienced besides me, using 0% nitro fuel, and lastly being a perfectionist.

I am tempted to do that experiment of tieing the helicopter down and making the needle settings from under it. This is because, i am still not an expert in flying and cannot really do high thorttle manoevers like tic tocs and big loops etc.
Also, I am not yet familiar to the heli sounds . ie the other day i had my governor set to a low 1300 RPM, and really felt the the RPM was too fast. With this experiment, hopefully I would be able to tach the RPM and get myself tuned to the heli sounds.

One last thing, that I am still not being able to do is, to get the clutch to disengage at idle. If i reduce the trim, the engine quits, and if i lean further the engine starts to appear to run lean..
I am using 80% methanol iwth 10% synthetic and 10% castor.

Thanks and will report further progress tomorrow, hopefully after my experiment.
-Gaurav
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2010, 04:26:54 PM »
anwar
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I would suggest that you use the backplate temperature method to tune it for what you are trying to do now (hovering, loops, rolls, stall turns).  When you are ready for pitch loading moves (like tic-tocs), revisit that tuning again using the same method.  This has worked fine for me all along, and from what I read, Rajesh also feels fine with this method. 

Remember that you do not let the heli sit in idle for too long; this means you can afford to have the LSN a bit lean (or may be that is the sweet-spot!), if that allows you to have a smoother idle (and get the clutch disengaged).  The other option is to mess with the 3rd needle.

If the rpm is truly 1300, it just cannot be too fast !
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2010, 04:29:20 PM »
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If the rpm is truly 1300, it just cannot be too fast !
The governor says so, and I cannot believe that, thats why i want to go under it and measure !
WIll observe extreme caution and safety.
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2010, 10:24:47 PM »
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Ok i did the experiment today and it was partially successful.
I tied the heli on top of a Maruti 800 and had a friend hold the kids down to make 100% sure the heli does not move.
Started the engine, and gradually increased power in normal mode. Could not really go to 100% power, as the RPM was trying to go over 1700 limit I have on wooden blades ( I was taching with an airplane tachometer. )

Overall satisfied so far. At idle the clutch still does not disengage, and the transition is still a little sloppy , but  my experiment did help me in a few things.

Now the question I have are :
1. When i rapidly increase throttle from Idle to 100% on a linear curve, The engine revs up nicely till about 50% mark and then stutters a bit before going to full speed. Is this a high speed thing or a low speed issue ?

2. On IdleUp mode, my governor manual says engine is at 11000 RPM (Gear ratio is 8.5 ) So Rotor RPM should be around 1300 RPM ) but my tachomoter noted 1500 RPM . Any ideas why this could be happening ?

3. Should i really aim to get the clutch to disengage at idle ? Or is that not really necessary.

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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2010, 11:39:51 PM »
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1. The stutter is likely a low needle issue. But some stutter is unavoidable. If it occurs only during spooling up and you are not in that range during flying, ignore it.

2. Tach and governor readings should not be that much different. Check the sensor position and see if it detects properly all the time.

3. How many flights have you had on the engine so far ?  How does it react to the pinch test ? If the engine is settled and you have room to lean it, do it. Once running in is over you should be able to get an idle with clutch disengaged. It'll also help with 1. Since you are not using nitro you could also experiment with a hotter plug, OS A3 for instance.

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« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2010, 12:27:22 AM »
anwar
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How do you know that the governor is seeing 11000 rpm ?  Are you counting the blinks ?
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2010, 07:49:21 AM »
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How do you know that the governor is seeing 11000 rpm ?  Are you counting the blinks ?
Yes governor gives 1 blink. Manual says one blink is 10,500 RPM.
If the governor/sensor doesnt get the magnet signal, then the blinks should stop and the governor light would go solid red. That is not happening, so I am assuming that the sensor is reading properly.
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2010, 08:54:11 AM »
anwar
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There is a sweet spot again for the distance between the sensor and the magnet.  If the sensor misses some of the times the magnet passes under it, then it will apply the wrong throttle input, resulting in what you are seeing.
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« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2010, 01:38:57 AM »
anwar
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Harveer - Just saw this video of yours, where the engine quit due to overheating, and the usual "hole in the piston" end result.

Glad that you took pictures of the event, and the piston with the damage in it.  It should help everyone be mindful about checking engine temperatures periodically using the backplate method.  It also gives people an idea about "how much screaming" of the engine is normal versus it being an indication of an engine running too lean.

Nice flying and a good auto Thumbs Up


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« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2010, 10:04:23 AM »
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Nice flying. Scary though to see the hole in the piston.
I did take a few observations when i flew this weekend.
- Engine still does not disengage clutch at idle.
- Idle to hover speed does take time for the engine to spool up. Its not like instant power.
- I hovered at around 1500 RPM. and at 3/4 stick. When I gave full power ( 100% throttle, +10 pitch ) , i felt/heard the engine bog down, and rpm seemed to sag. I did this several times mostly in forward flights.
- After around 10 mins of flights I landed and checked the backplate temp. It was pretty hot. I was able to put my finger for 2 secs, but not more !


Now i am running no nitro. From the RPMs , it feels as if the engine is still too rich. However the backplate temp suggests I am going to the hotter side ? Fuel i a musing is 80% methnol, 10% Klotz and 10% castor.

BTW does the nitro help run the engine cooler ?
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« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2010, 10:29:58 AM »
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BTW,
Found a nice thread that has a detailed post on Heli engine tuning :
http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=207799
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2010, 11:03:47 AM »
anwar
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Good description !  The main point is that tuning is dependent on a whole bunch of factors, and there is no easy yard-stick for being perfect.  Temperature gets you close, but may not be perfect.

Nitro should help you with idle and transition performance. You will have to richen the engine as you add nitro. Typically, the more nitro content you have, the higher will be the operating temperature of the engine (but then you offset it by richening the mixture).
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2013, 01:42:31 PM »
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Following up on prev thread on this http://www.rcindia.org/helis/nitro-heli-clutch-not-driving/, just getting some time now to tune the engine.

No issues with the clutch absolutely. I'm now tuning the engine now. Have had about 3-4 tanks during breakin. Only now i'm increasing the TH and I noticed there's a problem during the transition from low-mid to mid range. As I throttle-up there's good response but it seems to bog down at about 35-40% input and worse beyond that.

My settings
High - at 3 turns open
Mixture valve - Flush with carb-body
Fuel - 10%NM
THRO-CURVE - 0-25-50-75-100
Hidden Needle - NOT TOUCHED

What I've noticed so far is that
- with Mixture valve flush: the throttle response is just ok, not really good
- with MV turned counter-clockwise i.e. opened, it gets worse, I mean no response at all to throttle inputs, it just idles
- with MV turned clockwise, i.e. closed into the body, the response is crisp. I see no smoke at idle, but as I throttle up, the smoke is good and increases with input, so does the rpm, but bogs down at just around 35-40% input, not even midpoint.

I haven't played with the high-speed valve as I understand it comes inti play only after 70% of TH, but even any adjustment has not affected the issue i'm facing.

My MV is flush with body exactly at 12 'O clock and I turn it one-hour at a time, either way for tuning.

Any guidelines on getting this set correctly to transition properly?
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2013, 08:15:52 PM »
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Please tune your HSN first and then, only touch the LSN. It is a basic tuning procedure

You have started tuning the engine opposite way (LSN to HSN). What is the engine temperature?

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« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2013, 12:59:21 AM »
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I have been doing just that post this. Though still prefer to run it as rich as possible until I get a temp-gauge.
At the moment, I have managed to get the LSN setting (definitely quite off being flush) to a point where it responds to throttle without hesitation and does this upto mid-stick. Before it used to hesitate to pickup speed until a point and then there was sudden spike with good response and bogging. The bogging is almost gone now, just a little now. Note the HSN is still 3 turns out from inside. Will it create problems to have the HSN at this setting , or should I lean it ? I couldn't have done it before since the engine simply didn't respond beyond mid-stick, so I left the HSN at 3 turns out and set the LSN. Now I'm able to see the HSN coming into play, so will try leaning it out a bit.
Just how much do you lean it?

W.R.T temp, checked the back-plate, I could touch it comfortably for the current LSN & HSN settings, unlike bfore which used to be very hot (at LSN flush with carb-body). So what remains is to see if I can get rid of that very little "flat-spot" at mid-stick (55-60%), which goes away and continues to respond +vely above 60-70% all the way up. During spool-down, I didn't see any engine cut off, which was happening before, but the flat-spot is there. No governor on this yet. Kindly suggest next steps, and also governor setup - how critical is that for normal flying.

Regards

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« Reply #21 on: August 19, 2013, 04:21:43 AM »
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Governor is not essential for normal flying.

Start to lean your HSN n continuously monitor temp while doing it.
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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2013, 09:54:21 AM »
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@Doc Not getting sleep ?? your reply was at 4.21am  Grin
check differentials for OCD Wink Wink Wink
 

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« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2013, 12:35:02 PM »
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Thanks doc, will do and get back with results, not before next weekend.
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« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2013, 02:49:16 PM »
laxmansuthar
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@Doc Not getting sleep ?? your reply was at 4.21am  Grin
check differentials for OCD Wink Wink Wink
 


that is called hobby addiction.
....doctor sahab doesn't waste every single minute for help to peoples.
"akhir doctor sahab hai bhai"

laxman
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« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2013, 10:12:07 PM »
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Satish you can also get in touch with Sharma sir (second chance) and Laxman. Both of them have wide experience in tuning engines. Particularly, Second chance who loves RL53 engines.

Laxman is our fields Yaaron ka yaar.

Back to topic: waiting to hear ur progress.
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« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2013, 04:19:57 PM »
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Doctor is the guru with RL engines
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« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2013, 09:02:56 PM »
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Doctor is the guru with RL engines
Yeah, thats why busted the RL engine.
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« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2013, 01:29:20 PM »
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Ok, had a first run today from where I left last weekend. After tiny adjustments I'm here
- The HSL is leaned out from 3 turns (open from fully closed) to 2 1/4 open now : the mid-to top seems to respond to I/p much better now. On the ground (without main blades) when I did a punchouts though the low to mid transition was sluggish, the mid-to-top end was better, with lots of smoke, and even oil dripping from exhaust. I checked the back-plate temp, they were on warmer side.
- I then left the HSN there and leaned LSN 1 hr at a time until I got a better (not 100%) response. There still seems a little hesitation at mid-to-mid+, post that the HSN comes into play.

One thing I faced on punchouts was the muffler gasket gave way resulting in loose muffler (happened 3 times on 3 new gaskets). I guess that's a common issue. I have got rid of gaskets completely and testing with anabond rtv silicone, it seems to do wonders. Have to wait to see how long it lasts, so far it's pretty good.

Question is
1. How lean can HSN be set on RL 53H? What's normal and what's not?
2. LSN? leaner is better or richer? I started out LSN flush : it simply would do brawwwwrrrrrbraawrr upto mid upto HSN taking over, so I have been leaning it , now 3 clicks/hours leaner. But I noticed the exhaust diminish just before mid and that's here i'm having the slightly sluggish transition, rest of the upper seems ok.
    Temps on 20-30% throttle : just hot, can touch for 6-10 secs.
3. Lean LSN further?
4. Should low-to-mid transition be smooth like linear or is it normal to have slightly richer feel?
5. NOTE: I have done the hidden needle setup, with full barrel open and LSN flush, gap is 1mm.

Regards
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« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2013, 02:15:56 PM »
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before going any further, i hope you are not using castor ?
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« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2013, 03:59:27 PM »
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Ans 1. There is no fixed criteria for this. It depends on ur fuel compistion n temp of surroundings.

Ans 2. LEaning out the LSN shall begin after ur HSN leanign is complete. If you can put ur finger on bac plate for more than 5 sec ur suffciently rich.

My personal way is HSN firstn then LSN n then in RL 53 if nothung seems to work mess with 3rd hidden needle. I keep the LSN slightly richer but it depends on indidual engine n flier.

3. My advice would be begin the whole procedure again (HSN den LSN n Den LSN is switched to slightly richer side)

4. Low to mid even if rich is ok. I prefer it linear.
5. Why did u mess with the hidden needle?? Ur engine temp was normal n u still havent finished ur tuning with other two.

Rest can be explained by second_chance. He guided me when i started with RL 53 engine. Anwar n laxman also have  experince with this particular engine.

And important thing is please put on the main blades, canopy while u do the tuning. I mean tuning shall be done with the dead weight on.
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« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2013, 04:57:04 PM »
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No, no castor. Using tornado 10%NM.

Well since I had taken the th-arm out to Loctite the hex-screw, I thought it was my chance to ensure the 3rd needle was in fact at recommended setting.
Will be putting on blades soon but i'm not an expert to control a punchout entirely, so will it make a huge diff if set with and without blades. I hope not, and should be able to compensate for loss of power if any by HSN alone?
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« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2013, 10:00:38 PM »
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I havent seen people tuning their heli engines without the blades. Ur Wish if you want to stick with it. I dont see a point tuning without blades as putting on the blades changes the entire disc load n dynamics n hence, the engine behavior.


Complete ur HSN n LSN tuning for first few tanks while hovering. Then, go in idle up n just hover around for two tanks. No need for full punch outs. Keep monitoring the temp. if hot u can richen up the LSN by 1/16th n so on.

This will complete the break in procedure. In our field we dont tune the heli engine with full throttle. I have seen them doing this on a plane engine.

These are my two cents. I believe senior players like Second_chance, Anwar n Harveer can now help you out.
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« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2013, 11:44:09 AM »
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Some pointers...

1.  As pointed out multiple times earlier, it only makes sense to do tuning (for anything other than idle) with the blades on.  The load profile has a significant impact on the engine.

2.  I have described the way I have been tuning earlier, and it has worked very well for me.  The "backplate touch for non-idle running", and "pinch and 3 second rule for idle" methods will get you very close to ideal tuning very quick.

http://www.rcindia.org/search2?search=touch+backplate  (read these threads).

3.  I don't remember ever going to full throttle on helis.  While testing initially without a governor, the first thing I did was to set the throttle curves so that the max point was around 80% for testing/tuning.

4.  If you are getting into 3D (or even just testing punch outs), your pitch curves and finger/stick management has an impact on how the engine responds.
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« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2013, 12:07:02 AM »
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Thanks anwar.

Yes I've been following the back-plate temp tests throughout the setup. Will do the pinch-test.
I'm now setting up Ely.q 50 (planning FBL) with the same engine & muffler.
I'm not into 3d at all - I'm in for the engineering and fine-tuning aspects of these machines.
I do fly when I got the time.

Thanks for the pointers.
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« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2013, 08:59:19 AM »
murcielago
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Hi satish,

Do post some pics of Ely q 50. I have neever seen one in person. Would be good to see the design etc.

Regards

Doc
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« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2013, 05:10:47 PM »
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As you can see i'm still putting it together.
It's an excellent design - 2 + 1 part, upper (main-gear, bearings, cyclic-servos and head completely come apart), lower (engine, clutch, main tank) and front (all other electronics). Most of the parts are raptor compatible. Things are on hold at Elq.Q a the moment though.

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« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2013, 05:11:47 PM »
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Main blades and tail blades pending.

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