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Scorpion Power Thunder Power RC
Vaderluck

Senior Heliman

Melbourne - Australia

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I've often heard/seen from Youtube the 'expert' said 'tune by ear'. That is why a phone app like guitar tuner would help.
I have so many broken rings/pistons caused by lean runs that I'm contemplating to give up nitro and go to electric.

09-04-2016 10:12 PM
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JuanRodriguez

Elite Veteran

The Villages, Florida

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An electronic guitar tuner works because each string has a fixed frequency for comparison. Tuning a nitro motor by sound is not practical as there are too many other variables to consider ....

Been there, done that and old enough to know better.....

09-04-2016 10:39 PM
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Dawiev

Senior Heliman

Middle East

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I've often heard/seen from Youtube the 'expert' said 'tune by ear'. That is why a phone app like guitar tuner would help.
I have so many broken rings/pistons caused by lean runs that I'm contemplating to give up nitro and go to electric.
For me, sound is almost secondary to the smoke trail. I suspect on your lean runs the smoke trail thins out /dissappear and it is a quicker and better indication of the state of tune.

I think there are an equal amount of vids telling you to do a punch out and watch what happens to the smoke?

I also use telemetry and a temperature readout. The actual value depends on where you measure it and not as important as a fast rising value, which warns you it is going lean. If it stays constant, it shows all is okay, but always smoke trail first.

09-05-2016 02:29 AM
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jbjones

Senior Heliman

Columbus, Mississippi

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Most pilots will tell you to listen to it, which is good advise and a method that I use. Some use temperature, also a good method.

I wonder, being a previous fixed-wing pilot, if that experience helped me with tuning my heli engines. You can get those plants up to flight-speed and get the needles set within some usable variance on the ground. But you learn how it sounds.

Now, on the other side; I got into boat racing a few years ago. I have to get help tuning those engines. I just can't hear it. Fat/dry...it all sounds the same to me...

Bottom line is that is comes down to experience. Listen, learn, ask and have some fun. If you break some stuff in the process...well, that's part of the process. Learn and go foward!

-JB

J. B. Jones

09-05-2016 03:35 AM
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Dr.Ben

rrMaster

Richmond, VA, USA

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I tune by ear, eye, and nose. It is undoubtedly an art form to tune a nitro engine well. The problem with trying to tune with any device other than something that measures EGT is that the sensors have too much latency. Head temp telemetry will get you in the ballpark, but then have I lost track of the number of guys I have talked to over two decades that have cooked motors while in the same sentence telling me what a damn temp gun said.

Of all the people I have seen fly over the years, I never heard anyone make an engine run like Scott Gray. Honest to God, Scott could make an OS run harder and better than the people that designed and mfg'd the engine. Those who have heard his FAI models coming inbound know exactly of what I speak.

Ben Minor

Team Synergy Team Futaba Team Kontronik USA
Progressive RC

09-05-2016 04:02 AM
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artimus

Key Veteran

Buckley WA

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I still have a carb smart....havent used it in years. It worked to keep your head cool was about it. It worked well in a scale bird the had cooling issues...but as far as tuning for peak power not that good. Who wants to buy it......

Fly Hard......Team Viagra

09-05-2016 04:07 AM
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Richardmid1

rrProfessor

Leeds, England

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Assuming the plumbing, fuel and head shims are correct, tuning is very simple and the manual tells you how. With today's high power engines even leaving them at factory settings produces good power.

60% of the time, it works every time!

09-05-2016 07:35 AM
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ticedoff8

Key Veteran

Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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I have the CSM Carbsmart on my Trex 600 (YS 60SR) and Trex 700 (YS 120SR-X).
It is predicated on having the engine tuned properly to begin with.

It will not take an out of tune engine and twist the needles and get it smooth as as baby's bottom.

Assuming the engine is tuned properly, the Carbsmart will adjust the high speed (or midrange) needle to compensate for changes in density altitude, fuel type or other factors where the needles would normally need to be adjusted manually.
For performance, you want a peak head temp that does not promote pre-ignition while under the maximum load.

The Carbsmart has 4 temp settings (90C, 100, 110 and 120C). You pick the temp based on your engin, fuel and performance requirements.

It will save your engine from a lean run in case you forgot to plug the vent line on the tank or the plug pops off in flight or the fuel line gets an air leak. With no pressure in the tank or sucking air into the fuel line, you stand a good chance of suddenly being too lean. The Carbsmart will sense the higher head temp and enrich the needle.

As a side note: the best place to check the head temp is at the glow plug. I have the Carbsmart and my TM1000 sensors thermally bonded to the head directly next to the glow plug.
The Carbsmart is set to 110C and the TM1000 records temps constantly in the 230F to 240F range.
The backplate on the motors is still not too hot to touch.

My sig is not fit for public viewing.

09-05-2016 07:00 PM
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ticedoff8

Key Veteran

Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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BTW: Fuel Injection alone is no better than a simple carb.
Without something that monitors exhaust gas (oxygen sensor), the ECU does not know how to adjust the fuel delivery to compensate.

And, of course, weight, costs and complexity pervent FI from being added to a simple "nitro" engine for helicopters.

My sig is not fit for public viewing.

09-05-2016 07:07 PM
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