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09-06-2006 02:51 AM  14 years ago
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rcpi

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Naperville, Illinois

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Caliber 30 power question
I have flown my new Caliber 30 with the O.S. .32, 30% heli fuel, and stock wood blades for about 15 flights. Then put on some Maverick 550 carbon fiber blades. Checked the balance on the main rotor and tail rotor assembly. Flew it 5 more times. Has a good smoke trail, seems the fuel mixture is right. The engine runs and idles great.

With the wood blades I had the throttle curve set to 0 45 55 75 100 with the pitch set at 30 50 75 100. (10 degrees full pitch) While in fast forward flight, it would loose some head speed as you slowly increased to full pitch over 2-3 seconds. The motor would really quiet down too. I did not get the feeling it was too low.

With the carbon blades the whole thing runs quieter. I had to set the throttle curve to 0 45 65 85 100 in order to get enough head speed. As I increased to full pitch slowly in fast FF, the head speed really gets low. I swear it got so low it was stalling and about to make a rumbling sound.

Is this as good as the stock caliber gets for power? Am I expecting too much out of this .32 engine? The caliber is my first nitro helicopter. I learned how to fly with the T-Rex electric. It has a lot of power compared to the caliber.

rcpi
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09-06-2006 02:57 AM  14 years ago
astelz

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Burlington, Ontario, Canada

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I've got a multi gov on mine and it keeps the head spead rather constant in FF (1875 rpm) so I'm guessing you could tweak things a little to get more umph out of the .32 I am finding that climbout is a little to be desired on the .32, but still tweaking myself and not flying to aggresivly.
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09-06-2006 03:05 AM  14 years ago
vortechZ230

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U.S.A.

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Set your pitch at -2,+5,+10,(Use a pitch gauge!)., throttle set linear,0,50,100,also check that you are not running too rich,I use a Venom and shoot for 220 degrees, on cool power 15%, Sounds like your bogging down, it should not do this!, The climb rate should be decent, but it is not spectacular!, Hope this helps you......
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09-06-2006 03:19 AM  14 years ago
rcpi

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Naperville, Illinois

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I do have a Venom temp gauge on a truck. Will try it tomorrow.

Is 220 deg the highest reading it should have?

Thank you both for the help.

rcpi
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09-06-2006 04:30 AM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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Have you flown anything other than a T-Rex, and do you have any experience tuning a nitro motor?

The 32 SX-H is VERY easy to get a lean bottom end, resulting in a lean top-end. If you have the needles set wrong, you'll see the kind of stuff you're seeing. You can also roast the motor in short order.

You might want to set the two carb needles back at the factory setting. The motor should start and run, but be on the rich side. Keep it idling using your throttle trim tab. Bring the throttle up to just about the point where you're going to lift off -- set the low speed needle to get decent power at the near lift off point, and get a good transition from idle. Avoid trying to get a really good idle by leaning out the low-speed needle.

The low-speed needle is effective in the 32 up to 75-80% full throttle. Once you've got the thing running fairly well at the near-lift off point, then goose up the throttle and see what the motor does for full throttle and FFF. Adjust the high speed needle to get a good top-end. Go back and check the low speed needle setting, checking for transition from idle to hover, then checking the high speed needle. Since the two needles interact to a large extent, you may have to go back and forth a few times getting both fine-tuned.

The 32 powered Caliber compared to a T-Rex with an Align 430L/3550 KV motor and a 13-tooth pinion may seem a bit "sluggish" at first. You're turning a lot bigger rotor disc, and lifting a lot more weight.

The 32 powered Caliber will also teach you collective management. You can't horse it around with impunity as you can a T-Rex with a strong motor and the right pinion.

Shoot for a head speed in the 1800 - 1900 RPM range with the 32, learn to manage the throttle and collective a bit, and fly.

If you want to transform the Caliber from a docile, good-natured heli into one with a lot of get-up and go, drop an OS 37 SZ-H in it with something like a Toki, Hatori, Muscle Pipe, Fun-Tech, or KSJ Competition 30 muffler on it. You'll be able to easily turn 2000-2100 RPM at the head and the heli will come very alive.

Meanwhile, look at the pitch curves in the instruction manual and use those as a starting point. As Vortech suggested, the normal throttle curve should be a simple straight line, 0 to 100%, half open at 50%.

Your "3D" pitch curve should be -9 degrees / 0 degrees / +9 degrees. The 32 isn't too happy with a ten degrees of pitch. The companion throttle "V" curve of 100% / 70% / 100% would be a good match to start with.

With the 32, I've started out using a "normal" pitch curve of -3 / +6 / +9 degrees, an Idle-up 1 of -6 / +2 / +9 degrees, an Idle-up 2 of -9 / 0 / +9 degrees. With the OS 37, you can add in a degree or two to get to +/- 10 or +/- 11 degrees.

Make sure you're able to get zero degrees pitch initially using a linear 0 to 100 % pitch curve, and the stick in the center, at 50%.

If you're not using a pitch gauge, use it before flying again.

Also make sure that you don't have an overabundance of cyclic -- left/right and fore/aft, If you overdo it, you'll find you have some pretty healthy binding of the head when you go into the corners of the cyclic stick.

The Mavrikk CF blades are pretty good. I wish you could still buy the Mavrikk Fiberglass 550 blades, they were hard to beat on the Caliber 30. I think they performed a bit better than their Mavrikk CF counterparts.

Dave
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09-09-2006 02:57 AM  14 years ago
rcpi

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Naperville, Illinois

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Wow!

Thank you for all the tips!

I have flown glow fixed wing for 10 years and have nitro trucks. This kind of setup is new to me. You cant check the richness by pinching the fuel line at full throttle.

I replaced the A3 glow plug with a #8. It had 3/4 of a gallon thru it. Then leaned out the motor 2 clicks per flight. After about 8 clicks lean it seemed to wake up. It climbed a lot better and the motor made noise when giving it a lot of pitch. It really worked well for the 5 flights that day. Also had to lower the throttle curve a little to 0 40 60 80 100 in idle up 0. I do not have any other idle ups setup yet. My T-Rex is set up for idle up 0,1&2. Will set that up on the Caliber this weekend.

Later that night I noticed the main mast had more end play. Maybe .010 of an inch. The aluminum mast stop wore down a little. I replaced it with a steel one, but with .001 to .002 end play. Also put in a new bearing at the top. Went out to the flying field the next day and the motor was bogging again. Moved the high end needle valve rich and lean but no results. It idles great and spools up real quick, too quick even. It wants to really go from a hover, just under full power it quiets down and looses power. The smoke trail seems good. I am wondering if having no end play in the mast stop could be a problem. I gave it .006 clearance (or end play). Have to wait until next week to try it.

I see what you are saying about only having -9/+9 pitch. Right now it is at +11 deg. Will change that too. Do have the Maverick pitch gauge. Its bogging way before full pitch tho.

I have the cyclic set fairly low on low rate. On high rate it is definitely more snappy. I am only using low rates at the moment.

There is no header tank. I bought one today, will put it in. Also will install the on board temp gauge.

Well thank you for the help dkshema,

Will play with it some more next week.

rcpi
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09-09-2006 04:52 AM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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You don't want end play in the MR shaft. If you have some, you'll never get the pitch curves set up correctly because the shaft can move up and down, which will directly affect your pitch.

Loosen the mast stopper collar, seat the mast fully down, slide the stopper up and tighten it. No up or down movement should be in the MR shaft assembly.

I don't believe the mast stopper collar should be showing any wear, after all, it is rotating with the inner race of the upper bearing. If the stopper is worn, then something is amiss. I suspect the additional up/down play you saw in the MR shaft was due to the stop collar slipping on the MR shaft.

I'm going to suggest that the OS 32 is lean on the low speed needle. The symptoms you see -- runs great up to about 80% throttle, then the power just suddenly drops off and the motor sounds like it's doing a lot of hard work.

One thing you can do to get a tiny bit more power is to take the stock muffler apart (you get to leave it on the motor as you only need to remove the back end and the circular baffle plate that's inside. Drill four or five 1/4 holes in that baffle plate, make sure you don't have any aluminum chips on it, then put the muffler back together. The motor will be a tiny bit louder, and you'll get just a bit more oomph out of the 32. Of course you could also put something like a muscle pipe on the 32 for a better improvement, and then go to 30% nitro for the added boost. The best solution in the long run is an OS 37 SZ-H and a good, big muffler.

I'm using a 30 year old Schluter pitch gauge on my helis at present, it is sufficient for the task. +/-11 is a bit much for the 32, but works well for the 37.

The header tank is a nice addition, it keeps fuel always going to the motor and helps out a bit if you have a fuel foaming problem (which really should be cured by careful balancing of the fan and clutch bell). But don't expect the header to make the motor run any better or worse, as it's just a wide spot in the fuel line.

You can do the pinch test on the motor to check the bottom end at idle -- idle the motor, pinch the line...see how long it takes it to speed up and die. Adjust the low needle accordingly. Just don't go lean, and use the throttle trim tab to maintain a decent idle speed. Otherwise you'll have a lean bottom end and no matter what you do to the high speed needle, you'll be screwed.

Dave
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09-13-2006 02:58 AM  14 years ago
rcpi

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Naperville, Illinois

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It is still raining here, unable to test the Caliber 30.

I happened to remove the engine for a little inspection yesterday. Found out it was running too lean. The piston shows a little sign of excessive wear right below the ring. It definitely cooked at one point in time.

Removed the head,piston, ring, and sleeve. Put the parts in a ultrasonic cleaner for a spell. The cylinder bore had some real light lines etched in it. The piston was a little "grey" right below the ring. The ring is in perfect shape. Gave the cylinder a quick hone to remove any high spots. Removed any high spots on the piston. Every thing looks good.

I believe the real culprit was the carburetor. After dismantling it, I noticed there was something partially plugging the v-groove in the spray bar. It looks like a black rubber material, very tiny pieces. Maybe from the fuel tank stopper? Cleaned everything in the ultrasonic cleaner.

Its ready to go, if it ever stops raining.

rcpi
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09-13-2006 03:07 AM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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Goo in the spraybar is bad. If you're not using an in-line filter between your tank and the carb -- now's the time to put one in. And while you're at it, if you're not using a filter on your pump, put one there, too.

Dave
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09-16-2006 03:04 AM  14 years ago
rcpi

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Naperville, Illinois

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I was able to take the Caliber 30 out yesterday and today.

Started out with a richer low end needle setting. As rich as I could get it without killing the motor. It uses a little more up trim to idle now. Then started with the high end needle valve 2 turns out. The high end was way too rich, it settled in at 1 1/4 turns out.

The low end is as rich as possible without killing the motor at idle. It will idle forever with no problem. When spooling up it takes a second for the motor to clear out, there is a lot of smoke. It sounds good at a hover and transitions well into full throttle, full pitch. I increased the high end needle until it bogged a little in flight, leaned it out until it had a lot less smoke and no power gain. Set it 4 clicks richer from the best fuel setting. It has plenty of thick smoke at hover and full throttle settings.

I am using the venom on board temp gauge with min and max memory. The max temp reading is from 268 to 279 deg. One time hit 296 after a lot of full throttle/pitch FFF. That temp seems a little high, but the engine seems to be doing fine.

After reducing the max pitch angle to 9 deg and cleaning out the carburetor, it runs like a whole new animal. My guess it goes about 50+ mph. I can chase some of the airplanes around the field now.


rcpi
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09-16-2006 03:11 AM  14 years ago
dkshema

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Cedar Rapids, IA

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If the transition from idle is a bit rough, you can go a bit leaner on the low-end needle. Not much, just a little at a time to fix the transition.

Happy to hear you got your bird in the air. Go have some fun, now.

Dave
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