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Author Topic: Balancing Blades  (Read 1603 times)

Offline Bad Raven

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Balancing Blades
« on: December 10, 2015, 11:25:40 »
Been around RC since 1972, Helicopters since 2006. Currently own more than 20, from 91 powered 3D down to Blade Nano CPX.

Have always bought budget but "named" blades for the i.c. ones, often Thunder Tiger.  The rest get OEM sourced blades or named replacement buys. In all that time I have never balanced any blade pair nor felt the need to.

I now fly with a small group weekly indoors, and notice that their blades are covered with strips and squares of "balancing" tape, and some have been spraying clear varnish on to balance. It is seemingly a topic of frequent conversation and complaint, especially on Blade heli';s. 

The only reason I have changed blades is to make the colour more suitable for the use (though I';ll admit to putting white blades to main and tail on the MCPX just before a period of snow which was not ideal!!  :rolleyes: )

I must be a really lousy pilot as I have never noticed blade imbalance, and I have Nano, MCPX, 130, 180, 230, all unbalanced by me............... So, is it me?  :shrug:

Do you balance your blades? Static or Dynamic? What measurable improvement or solved problem do you achieve?

Offline Two-Six

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Re: Balancing Blades
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 12:00:33 »
UG!

Balancing small blades is really really hard.  I have 4 blade rotor balancing devices now, one is home made.  The only way to balance small rotors blades like the MCPX';s have is to bolt them together and let the bolt pivot on something.  That';s pretty good but still not accurate enough.

My MCPX-BL has had random severe vibrations that I so far can';t sort out.  I was using "upgrade" blades from Blade and another manufacturer...Both the same, I haven';t tried it with the stock blades for a while, I am hoping that will sort it out.  If its not the blades then its the non standard "upgrade" main shaft I have or the "upgrade" swash plate that';s wonky....I dunno.  Its quite random when it goes shaky.  Its very annoying.

I have just bought a little magnetic prop balancer and that is probably the best device I have for small rotors like on my quad, its pretty accurate.  I use fine sand paper on the back of the blades to get them to balance.  All the rotors I have needed balancing and the difference was noticeable afterwards with no vibration that I could feel when revving up my quad.  So I think that worked and it was worth it.

With my helicopters I have a heli blade balancer which is pretty good.  I do think it is worth at least trying to balance your rotor blades, at least have a go at checking them, they might be way out.

I wouldn';t advise using sand paper on composite heli blades, tape is the way to go.

One thing I have seen on youtube is using a smart phone with  a vibration detecting app, that looks like a good way to go, or using a laser pointer and a  reflective thing.  Fit the reflective thing onto you frame, shine the laser on the reflective thing, observe the reflected dot on the wall, rev it up, watch the dot move, add tape until the dot stays still.....
« Last Edit: December 10, 2015, 14:18:25 by Two-Six »
Nighthawk Pro, Trex 450 L Dominator 6 cell *FLOWN*, Blade 450-3D, MCPX-BL, MCPX-V2, Hubsan X4, Seagull Boomerang IC .40 trainer, HK Bixler, AXN Clouds fly,, Spektrum DX7, Taranis, AccuRC

Offline jamesb72

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Re: Balancing Blades
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 12:22:01 »
I';ve always balanced heli blades - you have to add tracking tape anyway (do you not do tracking either ;)

I do it with microscales (0.01g scales from ebay they are about a fiver) and a metal ruler, takes a couple of minutes to balance a set of blades, and works fine on everything from MCPX up to 550.

Weigh both blades, stick tracking tape on the lighter blade, check CofG and mark with a pen on Leading edges, then you just add a bit more tape to even up the weights, if the CG between blades match then add it on the CG mark, if not then adjust tape position to match CG between the blades. Lastly check CG and weights both match, then fly.

I';d say 9 times out of ten the blades need balancing, so I do wonder how badly your heli';s are flying/vibrating ;)



Offline Bad Raven

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Re: Balancing Blades
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2015, 12:31:20 »
I do tracking.............under duress..........   ;)

Offline Two-Six

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Re: Balancing Blades
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2015, 14:17:36 »
Jamesb72,

 I had forgotten about how to do that ruler/weight/tape thing. 

I am going to give it a go again and see what happens.  I think I found it hard to weigh my small rotor blades, just getting them to sit on the scales right the last time I tried it.  I seen to remember the indicated weight varied quite a bit....

I did really have a go at this once but perhaps I did it wrong, it didn';t seem to help my wobbles at all, it made them worse if anything! 
Nighthawk Pro, Trex 450 L Dominator 6 cell *FLOWN*, Blade 450-3D, MCPX-BL, MCPX-V2, Hubsan X4, Seagull Boomerang IC .40 trainer, HK Bixler, AXN Clouds fly,, Spektrum DX7, Taranis, AccuRC

Offline jamesb72

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Re: Balancing Blades
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2015, 20:03:20 »
0.01g scales are the trick. They make it super easy. I should stick a video up on it sometime.