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HomeAircraftHelicopterTools and Field Equipment › Do I need these tools?
04-22-2009 10:54 PM  9 years agoPost 1
DKNguyen

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I'm starting out on helis but one thing I'm having trouble with is the tools because they all seem so overpriced. Especially things like blade balancers and pitch gauges. Right now, I've decided to just go with the razor blade balancing method and using a scale since it lets you balance it chordwise too.

But do I need a swash leveller? What's the point when you have other tools (that also have more uses) that let you measure the control rods so they are of the same length?

And do I even need a pitch gauge? These seem to be the most overpriced things by far. Can't you just ensure you have zero pitch at neutral by making all your ball links equal length and at 90 degrees to the control horn at neutral?

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04-22-2009 11:31 PM  9 years agoPost 2
ferincr

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From Argentina now in Costa Rica

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I would say not necessary to the blade balancer (you can do it other ways)
Swash leveler there are many (home made) options to do this. Search the forums for it.
Definitelly yes to the pitch gauge and a caliber to meassure many different things(control rods, distance from paddles to head on flybars, you name it...)
The thing is they look expensive at the beginning but they are one time expense (compared to crash parts)

Intelligence chases me, but I'm a lot faster! Fernando

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04-23-2009 08:52 PM  9 years agoPost 3
Colibri

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The Netherlands

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I agree with ferincr,

But if the costs of a pitch gauge scares you, you might be in the wrong hobby. Almost every part of a helicopter is way overpriced if you buy it as replacement part.

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04-24-2009 08:09 AM  9 years agoPost 4
Colibri

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The Netherlands

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Most blades these days come really well balanced, you don't really need a blade balancer to start the hobby.

You can eyeball the swashplate, no problem. I would get a caliper so you can make all the links very precise in length. If you start with precise length links most of the setup will be good enough.

You do need the pitch gauge though because besides the 0 degree you also need to be able to set the pitch at both min and max stick settings. You can't do that without some kind of angle measure device.

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04-24-2009 08:38 AM  9 years agoPost 5
duceduc

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Saitama-Ken, Japan

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I would get a pitch gauge that measures 450 to 90 size heli. You won't use it all the time but you will need it some of the time.

The swashplate leveller is an 'iffy.' If you are anal about how the heli flys, the swashplate tool is an investment. Measuring the links are not always accurate. You will be surprise on how well it flys when the swashplate is truly aligned.

Here is a thought. If you have a couple of buddies that flys with you during the weekend, why don't you pitch in on the tool. It will cut down on the cost.

Duc S
Do It! Do It!™
AMA:REVOMIX
RCK:24005615-01

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04-24-2009 08:44 AM  9 years agoPost 6
DKNguyen

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Well, I'm mainly hestitant about the Pitch Gauge. I am okay with paying $20 for a milled aluminum swashplate leveller. I have a lot more trouble paying $35 for a plastic injection molded pitch gauge.

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04-24-2009 08:53 AM  9 years agoPost 7
duceduc

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Saitama-Ken, Japan

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I use the align one. $20

Duc S
Do It! Do It!™
AMA:REVOMIX
RCK:24005615-01

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04-24-2009 02:37 PM  9 years agoPost 8
JRjoe

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Jonesville , IN USA #1

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I have a lot more trouble paying $35 for a plastic injection molded pitch gauge
Come on, are you serious??? It's a must have tool in my opinion.
Whats the big deal $1.00 worth of aluminum or $0.24 of plastic. These are just plain needed tools. You need what you need.

Oh wait, i have $1000.00 heli but i won't shell out to set it up correctly.

I'm sorry i just call it like i see it....


JRjoe.....
Indoor plumbing??? No, we don't need that!!!

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04-24-2009 05:59 PM  9 years agoPost 9
Zaneman007

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Texas - USA

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IMO - a pitch guage is a must. A swash level is a yea need it. A tach is for those who do not own a multigov.

But......

If a $35 pitch gauge is bugging you, I'd change hobbies. see above.

Old Guys Rule!

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04-24-2009 06:04 PM  9 years agoPost 10
nivlek

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Norfolk England

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Must haves are : Pitch gauge , ball link lifters and ball link adjuster tool to save your fingers !

http://www.elitemodelsonline.co.uk/...em688?startPos=

At the end of the day , it gets dark .

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04-24-2009 06:42 PM  9 years agoPost 11
Dr Lodge

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Guildford, Surrey - UK

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Having all the right tools is part of the fun!!!

Pitch guage, ball link pliers and the like are mandatory. An Arbor press is really useful, paddle guages are good for accuracy (you can eye ball paddles pretty well but the guage gets them perfect). Tools like a servo horn drilling guage are really useful too. Why skimp on tools when you're investing in what could be $3000 per heli?

Vibe 90, Vibe 50, Vigor CS x2,
Dyna-x, Knight 503D, Logo 10,
TRex 500, Furion, Gaui EP200

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04-24-2009 08:14 PM  9 years agoPost 12
ferincr

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From Argentina now in Costa Rica

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If a $35 pitch gauge is bugging you, I'd change hobbies. see above
+ 2 (again)
It's a one time expense. If the $35 plastic bothers you buy a $29 aluminum one
http://www.espritmodel.com/browsepr...e-(Robart).HTML

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXET67

http://www.heli-world.com/SearchRes...?CategoryID=427

If you try to save $30 or $40 on tools you'll spend $100 to $200 in replacement parts.

Intelligence chases me, but I'm a lot faster! Fernando

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04-24-2009 08:33 PM  9 years agoPost 13
DKNguyen

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Well regardless of how much it is compared to everything else, I'd like to pay for a Pitch Gauge that I actually think is worth it's price. I don't have a problem paying $40 for a digital angle gauge, but the same problem arises again when I start looking at paddle gauges to stick it on and they are all all $20 (though you are getting two, and I don't have a problem paying $10 for one, I just need to find a use for the second one).

ALso, is a tail pitch gauge needed (wouldn't that just be a 450 pitch gauge?). Except, aren't tail pitches usually a lot bigger than what can be read from a pitch gauge?

Is there any pitch gauge that can handle +/- 30 degrees? They all seem to stop at 20 to 10 degrees.

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04-24-2009 10:23 PM  9 years agoPost 14
ferincr

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From Argentina now in Costa Rica

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Well it seems like you made up your mind...
I eyeballed the pitch on a friend Mini T because my pitch gauge didn't fit in the little guy and I got it wrong only for like 15°

You asked if you needed all those tools and we tried to save you a couple of buck where they can be saved, of course I bet there are people out there that they probably eyeball everything on the heli, hopefully none of those ever come flying with me.

May be you can borrow some of the tools from a member of your club that lives close by or do it at the field.

Me, here, I'm screwed, there very little people that fly helis and at our field I'm the one lending the tools.

My house is like a branch of a hobbyshop since I cannot get anything heli related here I have to stash parts (except fuel which costs me $55-$60 a gallon) everthing else I have to order from the US and I pay 35%-50% on top for taxes.

Intelligence chases me, but I'm a lot faster! Fernando

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04-24-2009 11:56 PM  9 years agoPost 15
human213

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malibu

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DKN
Man, stop being so cheap.

Where do you take your dates, McDonalds?

If you want quality, look at K&S, but stop whining!!!!!!!!

I hope I do not read about you flying into your head trying to
save 50 cents...

m

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

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04-25-2009 12:20 AM  9 years agoPost 16
DKNguyen

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Cheap? (you're talking to the guy whose tipping point for buying a $1200 soldering station was when the manufacturer released an integrated sponge attachment for it, even though he just got the $500 version of that station a year earlier) I don't think it's cheap if you're willing to spend more on the pitch gauge, you just want one that doesn't look like it's worth the cost. And whining? I don't think it's whining if I'm trying to find better priced pitch gauges or alternatives. Whining would be @$&# about it without trying to do anything about it.

Remember, it's not the absolute price that bugs me, I don't care if it's $60, just at least have it be made to try and convince me it's worth that much! That's why I keep leaning towards a digital gauge.

Does anyone know if the KSJ Ball Link Pliers can install ball links? It looks like it can only remove ball links.

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04-25-2009 01:11 AM  9 years agoPost 17
Ace Dude

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USA

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Sounds cheap to me.

  

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04-26-2009 03:32 AM  9 years agoPost 18
ch-47c

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san jose, ca

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Get a pitch gauge. Any pitch gauge, even a cheap POS one is better than none. You decide how much to pay. They don't read 30 degrees, because most helis only go to +/- 14 degrees, 60 dgrees is a bit too much.
Get a ball-link plier. HeliMax makes one that removes and installs ball-links. Align has one too, I had one but the spring flew out of that one when I took it out of the shipping box and blister pack.
Get at least a Bondhas metric hex driver set.
Get a pair of common pliers. I know you will laugh. It fits everything. We never used it or cresent wrenches or channel locks on real helis, but it was in our toolbox.
You can get away without the rest, but like any hobby such as fishing or golf or whatever, you'll start accumulating crap. Lots of it. Plus other heli fliers will get tired of you borrowing their tools.

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04-26-2009 10:31 AM  9 years agoPost 19
DKNguyen

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I already have a set of WIha Hex Drivers, except they are the set with the one handle a interchangeable blades. (Wiha calls them their System 4 set), but because the blades are interchangeable, most of the shaft is a hexagon so it fits into the handle that is larger than the head for the smaller sizes, so I'm unsure if it will be able to fit into some of the deep channels (like those on the Logo's frame) and still be able to turn.

Im looking at the manual here and it says I need circlip pliers...I've never heard of those, but they seem to look like round-nosed pliers?

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04-27-2009 06:46 AM  9 years agoPost 20
ch-47c

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san jose, ca

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Any tool is okay, but eventually you may have to expand your set. Like fishing lures or golf clubs. A pair of common pliers will work on circlips.

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