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HelicopterMain Discussion › Mesuring engine temperature
07-08-2008 10:44 AM  9 years agoPost 1
Hamo

rrVeteran

Ireland

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I have just bought a non contact, infrared thermometer for measuring the temperature of my nitro engine. Different parts of the engine give different readings, the highest being on the heat sink with the cooling fins. My question is, which part of the engine should I be measuring.
Am I correct in checking the part which gives the highest temperature, ie the heat sink.
Hamo

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07-08-2008 11:07 AM  9 years agoPost 2
Dood

rrProfessor

Wescanson

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You can check any part of the engine you want.
Personally, I check the engine's backplate. Thats it.

The backplate is easily accessible, and gives me the most consistent readings.

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07-08-2008 11:12 AM  9 years agoPost 3
ronlund

rrApprentice

Corpus Christi, TX

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Measuring engine temperature

Hamo,

I would read the temp where I could get the most consistent reading. You have to strive for consistency if the readings are going to mean anything. I stick my finger on the backplate of the engine after shooting an auto. If it's too hot, my finger will jerk away. If I richen the engine, I do the same flight pattern ending it with an auto from the same altitude.

The next thing you'll ask is "What temperature should I be looking for". You'll get some replies, but remember, there isn't a number that anyone can give you that will be the optimum temperature. That's because the engine heats and cools pretty quickly and whoever is answering your question isn't flying your model.

Without touching the needles and just changing the way it's flown, you could vary the temperature 100F easily.

If someone says "Don't exceed 450 degrees" they would be right. Of course if you take that as a safe upper limit, you'll be frying your engine pretty quickly.

I think feeling and smelling the engine gives you really good clues. If the smoke burns your eyes, it's probably too rich. If the engine smells hot, it's probably too lean. If you can't touch the backplate for more than a split second, it's probably too lean. Once you get that figured out, measure it with your infrared device and use that as a reference point.

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07-08-2008 11:19 AM  9 years agoPost 4
flying buffalo

rrApprentice

Darwin, NT, Australia

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I use my reader right where the heatsink meets the engine. Which is basically right inline with the combustion chamber and this will give you the most acurate actual engine temperature. thats what I believe anyway.
cheers

Yesterday was history...tomorrow is mystery

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07-08-2008 01:19 PM  9 years agoPost 5
ChristianM

rrVeteran

Oslo, Norway

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Hamo

Some good advice has been given above but to give you another piece of data this is what I did (I now use the CarbSmart unit instead of the temperature gun).
  • Fly around for a minute or so and exercise the engine.
  • Land, stop rotor and quickly measure the temperature on the combustion chamber just below the heat sink.
  • Adjust needle until you get a temperature of about 90 deg C (195 deg F).
  • Don't change the needle settings more than a few clicks at a time and keep in mind that changes in the climate or fuel may require needle adjustments.
This should be a good starting point.

Christian

Burn fuel, be happy

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07-08-2008 09:06 PM  9 years agoPost 6
w.pasman

rrElite Veteran

Netherlands

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I copy above comments. As a starter I messed around a bit with a thermometer but it showed pretty useless. The finger-on-backplate after few minutes flying is about as good as it gets, the smell is les accurate but useful sometimes. Even with the backplate you can still be two or three clicks off the optimum that I can find only by flying.

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07-08-2008 09:40 PM  9 years agoPost 7
toolman18

rrElite Veteran

Portland Tx

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I can tell you from experience that if you put spit on your finger and touch the head it should not sizzle. Sizzle is bad. To lean. Richen until its much better. You should have a good amount of smoke but not so much that you burn your eyes. Hope this helps.
Brad

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07-08-2008 10:07 PM  9 years agoPost 8
Dilbeck

rrElite Veteran

Springdale Arkansas

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Also check engine as soon as you land because it will heat soak and get even hotter before it starts to cool.

Clint

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07-08-2008 11:46 PM  9 years agoPost 9
Yug

rrMaster

UK. Herts

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It's tricky to get a good reading from the head immediately after landing because it's got heatsink fins and will therefore fluctuate dramatically from inflight temperature. Ideally, the flight temperature needs to be around 100'C depending on variables like air density, fuel type and so on. When you measure the temp immediately after landing, it may have dropped by quie a few degrees which makes it guess work. Finger on the backplate is my preferred method as you learn to judge it quite accurately after a while. Other solutions are Eagletree or use inflight adjustement with Carbsmart.

Vegetable rights and Peace

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07-08-2008 11:59 PM  9 years agoPost 10
Rockohaulic

rrElite Veteran

Canyon Country, CA, USA, 3rd Rock from the Sun

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I basically take what Christian says and what Yug says.

I'm running a carbsmart on one of my engines. I've got this engine running really good with the help of the carbsmart.

With that engine, after a hard flight, when I land, I shoot the engine as quickly as I can with my temp gauge. As they said, the head has cooled quickly by then. So since I'm running my carbsmart at 100C (212F), then surely I would not see 212F with my temp gauge. Sure enough, it is consistantly between 159F and 169F at the head.

The backplate is also consistant at about 105 to 109F when I shoot it.

So now for all my non-carbsmart engines I would expect to see similar temps if I have the engine running good.

If I see 200F at the head with one of my non carbsmart engines, then I know that in flight, when there is no carbsmart to richen it up, that it is running over-lean.

Saturday morning I flew my helicopter in my pajamas
How it got in my pajamas I'll never know

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07-09-2008 02:19 AM  9 years agoPost 11
Chook

rrApprentice

Esperance Western Australia

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I use these on my heli's.
http://www.heliproz.com/prodinfo.asp?number=125095
They hold the max temp during the flight.
Hold the max button down for 2 seconds, when turned on.
Just press and fly.
The display is big enough to see the head temp with rotors still spooling down, so you can land and check without getting too close to heli. My Venom is velcroed to the top of the header tank.
I aim to see between 100 to 105 celsius.
Been using my first one for over 3 years and only need to replace the battery when you forget to turn it off after flying.
Cheers

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07-09-2008 02:29 AM  9 years agoPost 12
Jerry K

rrKey Veteran

Houston Area

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On big birds we check the motor temps after a flight "with' the motor still running shot through the prop at the base of the clyinder head. We expect to see around 200 degree F. some are better but you don't want to go much over 200-210

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07-09-2008 08:19 AM  9 years agoPost 13
Hamo

rrVeteran

Ireland

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Thanks guys for all the information. I am beginning to lean towards a carbsmart, looks like it's the way to go. I thought that a non contact gauge would be more scientific than the "finger on the backplate" method. So I was wrong. I should have asked the question before buying the infrared thermometer.
Hamo

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07-09-2008 10:45 AM  9 years agoPost 14
Yug

rrMaster

UK. Herts

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I should have asked the question before buying the infrared thermometer.
Not really, it's good having more gadgets

Vegetable rights and Peace

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07-09-2008 10:56 AM  9 years agoPost 15
tchavei

rrProfessor

Portugal

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If someone says "Don't exceed 450 degrees" they would be right. Of course if you take that as a safe upper limit, you'll be frying your engine pretty quickly.
Actually the Hyper siezes at 387F +/- 10%

Come on, ask me how I know

Tony


--------------------
"Perfection and patience usually walk side by side..."

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