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04-02-2012 10:04 PM  9 years ago
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TheBigE

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Geneve Switzerland

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Using Digital Pitch Gauge
All,

Okay my first time with a Digital Pitch Gauge, Align to be specific. I am setting up V-Bar, I have by servos centered at 90 degrees and my swashplate is level (via a swash leveler).

THis is the first time I have used a Digital Pitch Gauge, and I zero it on the frame. Going into this, I figure the gauge to be accurate within .3 degrees. I know the reading is within .1 degree, but with the inaccuracies associated with zeroing the gauge, I will give a little bit of room.

So I zero the main reference blade and then check it at the 90 degree points around the disc. It is all good except for one location that is off by about a degree. I remove the blade and drop a hex driver in the blade bolt holes and it looks parallel to the main shaft.

I am wondering if there is something I am missing with the Digital Pitch Gauge. Where could the inaccuracies be coming from? I tried it both on a heli stand, and also clamped to a table. Given the swashplate is level, the blade should have the same pitch measurement all the was around, unless the heli is not level.

It seems the measurements should always be referenced to the zero of the gauge.

Any thoughts are appreciated.
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04-02-2012 10:54 PM  9 years ago
PBusch

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Minnesota

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If your blade is over the boom then zero the gauge out over the frames, find a level spot and zero it out, then put it on your blade and make your measurements

If your blade is perpendicular to the boom, (sticking out the side) then zero the gauge out on the boom, then put it on your blade and make your measurements.

When you do this don't move the heli, it will mess your readings up. I also don't worry about a couple of tenths but try to get as close as I can. If your really anal then get some turnbuckles on your links, you can get it dead nuts on but I don't think that really matters.

Every digital gauge I've used (wixy and the rc logger) are very very touchy to get zeroed out, again, a couple of tenths is no big deal.
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04-02-2012 11:15 PM  9 years ago
ticedoff8

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Morgan Hill, CA. USA

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You have a small black-hole that has opened the space-time continuum at exactly the point that the blade shows 1-degree off.
If you let the cat loose in the garage, they can usually chase them away.

Or, the heli is slightly off level in that axis.
Or, the digital pitch gauge needs to be recalibrated (the RC Logger I have has a procedure - but, I don't know about your's)

The problem with the digital stuff (readouts on TX, gyro gain, digital calipers - etc) is that now you can see the small values and we think they are important.
I can set the sub-trim on a servo at EXACTLY +7 and then when I wiggle the servo it doesn't come back exactly the same place.
It is close, but not perfect.
So, I move to +6. And do it again. And again. And again (repeat until insane)

In the "old days" - your pitch gauge was MAYBE +/- 0.5-Degree - and then it was still very subjective.

If the blades track okay and the heli doesn't shake - don't worry about it.
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04-02-2012 11:32 PM  9 years ago
Jerry K

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Houston Area

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In short the pitch gauge needs to ALWAYS be used in the orentation it was zero'd in. That means if it was zero'd with the face, facing forward it needs to be used on the blade in the same direction.

You CANNOT check one blade as it swings around the disc in 4 different locations.

Also as mentioned previously do not move the heli.
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04-02-2012 11:46 PM  9 years ago
PBusch

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Minnesota

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^^^

Exactly
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04-02-2012 11:59 PM  9 years ago
Jerry K

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Houston Area

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Not to beat a dead horse, but here is a test and also BTW how to check a level. Take the level and zero it on something NOT level. Lets say 2.0 deg off level, but it is rezeroed to read zero. Now turn it around 180 deg and see what the reading is, it should read 4.0
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04-03-2012 12:14 PM  9 years ago
TheBigE

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Geneve Switzerland

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Thanks all,

This pretty much confirms what I thought on the gauge. Just like any other tool, it is important to understand it limitations of the measurement.

While this does provide more precise readings, the accuracy can be in questions depending on how you can use it.

It seems to me that the best method is to use a hex driver through the blade grips to check zero, around the four points and then zero the meter at one of the points and then use the gauage to set the pitch range.
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04-03-2012 09:19 PM  9 years ago
Jerry K

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Houston Area

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Keep in mind that leveling the swash and setting the pitch are two seporate tasks. The swash leveling is performed first and after it is leveled in the 3 positions the blade pitch is set. The pitch only needs to be checked in one position usually with the blades over the boom OR the canopy, one blade then the other in the same position. Both collective and aileron cyclic can be set there. If you need to check elevator cyclic that would be a seporate step.

There is no need to check pitch around the disc because the swash has already been leveled (set up) in a previous step.
Just like any other tool, it is important to understand it limitations of the measurement.
Change your wording from limitations to procedures
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04-03-2012 09:42 PM  9 years ago
fenderstrat

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Aston,Pa

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do you guys really check the pitch at 4 points?

I have only ever checked at 1 point.If I take the time to get both blades at 0,precisely 0,99% of the time I dont even need to touch the tracking,its spot on.Once I set 0 I set high and low pitch and go fly

What is the reason for the 4 point check(I am just curious)as you really cant make any kind of separate adjustment
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04-03-2012 10:42 PM  9 years ago
TheBigE

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Geneve Switzerland

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I was doing in this case just as a double check that the swashplate was level. then the more I started thinking about the Pitch Gauge the more I realized that it would not work.

I finished the setup today and set it zero using a hex driver through the bolt holes int he blade grips, and then put on my pitch gauge, zeroed it and then set the max pitch range.

I did this all at one point on the heli and checked both blades and they had the same pitch and range.
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04-03-2012 11:16 PM  9 years ago
Wave

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Illinois

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The digital pitch gages work excellent, but you have to get the feel for averaging out the .1 or .2 degree variations in readings.

My blade tracking has never been better.

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