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08-21-2019 05:46 PM  3 months ago
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Rockin Bird

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St Gabriel, La

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NITRO
What is the best way to make 20% nitro fuel for nitro glow helicopters ?
That sweet smell of "Nitro"
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08-21-2019 11:49 PM  3 months ago
SoCal Scott

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Kailua, Hawaii

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Carefully and in a well ventilated space Methanol burns without emitting any visible light.

Basic ingredients are 22% oil, 20% nitro (if that’s your flavor), and the remaining 58% is for methanol and any additives. AFAIK a small amount of antifoaming agent is added to the fuel as well.

Nitro can be sourced online or even some racing shops sell it for cars. Methanol isn’t hard to come by. As for the oil, I’m sure someone else can chime in and give a list but I’ve heard good success with Klotz synthetic. I personally add ~1.5oz of Klotz Benol castor oil to a gallon and call it good.
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08-22-2019 12:00 AM  3 months ago
jbjones

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Columbus, Mississippi

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The math is easy. 1 US gallon = 128 fluid ounces.

1% = 1.28 floz

You can work up all kinds of blends once you decide on the knowns (nitro %, oil %). Accurately measuring it is another story. A bunch of folks do it, so don't be discouraged. Good luck!

A question for those that do mix their own; Is it that easy? Are you putting additives into your fuel for anti-foaming, etc? If so, what part are you taking that volume from? I guess what I'm asking is, what part suffers when you add something that isn't the 3 major ingredients?

Edit: after reading this question, it hit me. You take it out of the alcohol. Nitro and Oil are knowns. Duh. Leaving my dumb comment for learning reasons...

Edit2: I see on the Klotz HeliGlo datasheet that it, "Contains anti-foaming agents and rust inhibitor". So, I guess that answers my above question.
J. B. Jones
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08-22-2019 02:05 PM  3 months ago
Rockin Bird

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St Gabriel, La

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Thanks,sounds like a lot of work.That sweet smell of "Nitro"
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08-22-2019 03:17 PM  3 months ago
wjvail

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Meridian, Mississippi

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I have mixed fuel for a long time and if there is enough interest I'll start a how-to thread. Really though, the only way to make the economics work is to buy ingredients in bulk. By that I mean in 55 or 53 gallon drums.

There are three basic ingredients in model glow fuel. Their approximate cost is as below:
Synthetic Oil: 55 Gallons $1,280.00 (.18 $/oz)
Nitromethane: 53 Gallons, $ $1,751.00 (.258 $/oz)
Methanol: 55 Gallons: $210.00 (.03 $/oz)
Total investment: $3,200

I made a spread sheet to use as a mixing table but the math is grade school stuff. Here's an example with cost breakdown:

Total fuel to be mixed: 1 gallon, 128oz, 3,785ml
Blend to be mixed: 14% oil, 30% nitro, 56% methanol.

Oil: 128 x .14 = 17.92 oz ($3.22)
Nitro: 128 x .3 - 38.4 oz ($9.91)
Methanol: 128 x .56 = 71.68 oz ($2.13)
Total fuel mixed: 128 oz ($15.27)

So it works out to be just over $15 a gallon. I found that most people around here are willing to pay $20 or $25 a gallon for fuel. The results of that are that for an investment of $3,200 I can supply fuel to the local area and make enough to pay my own fuel bill. Currently I only sell fuel to people I know well and usually sell it at something close my cost. While I don't make much doing this, I am able to buy ingredient in quantities that no single individual could use.
"Well, nothing bad can happen now."
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08-23-2019 12:56 AM  3 months ago
Rockin Bird

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St Gabriel, La

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Thanks for the breakdown. I bet you have saved a fair amount of money over the years mixing your own batches.That sweet smell of "Nitro"
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08-23-2019 12:59 AM  3 months ago
Rockin Bird

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St Gabriel, La

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How do you get the color in mixing your own fuel?, GREEN, BLUE PINKThat sweet smell of "Nitro"
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08-23-2019 01:03 AM  3 months ago
JuanRodriguez

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The Villages, Florida

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Rockin Bird How do you get the color in mixing your own fuel?, GREEN, BLUE PINK
I would guess food coloring......although totally unnecessary.
Been there, done that and old enough to know better.....
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08-23-2019 01:52 AM  3 months ago
wjvail

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Meridian, Mississippi

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Rockin Bird How do you get the color in mixing your own fuel?, GREEN, BLUE PINK
Food coloring does work and as Juan pointed out, you don't have to dye your fuel. I sell oil, methanol and nitromethane to a club member that mixes fuel for people I don't know well. He uses food coloring. He has for years seemingly without problems.

For my own fuel I switched to a dye better suited to our purposes. Most dyes are made for the clothing industry and include salt as a fixer. I'm not a dye expert but I learned a bit when shopping for a dye that worked for me. The largest problem is that most sellers will only sell in 1 lbs cans or larger. That is a LOT of powered dye - more than I could use in several lifetimes.

The easiest route is to not dye the fuel at all. I did, however, crashed a helicopter because the fuel wasn't dyed. Many years ago I used a dye that tended to tint the HDPE we use for our fuel tanks. On this day I pulled my helicopter from the car, looked at the pink fuel tank and went flying thinking I saw pink fuel. Because that day I had clear fuel, I didn't notice the tank was only about 1/8th full. Needless to say, about 2 minutes into the flight the engine quit.

One more thought. Just because you add something to your fuel and it appears to work doesn't mean it's good for your engine. Sure it might work for a few tanks, but how does it perform for 100, or 1,000 flights? Is it acidic? Does it cause rust? Is it abrasive and cause premature wear? One technique I've used over the years to answer these questions is to add far more of an ingredient than I would for normal use and then run it through an engine. One day while testing dyes I added a ridiculous amount of dye to my fuel and put the engine on my test stand. After a few hours running I disassembled the engine for inspection. I was surprised by what I found. See pictures below. As it turned out, the dye was dying the oil and the pink piston was only an oil film. A good flushing with methanol and the piston was silver again.

"Well, nothing bad can happen now."
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08-24-2019 02:31 AM  3 months ago
Rockin Bird

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St Gabriel, La

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Man you really did some serious testing.Thanks for all the input guys.That sweet smell of "Nitro"
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08-25-2019 12:30 AM  3 months ago
Jerry K

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Houston Area

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I have been told, because I have never mixed my own fuel in 40 years of flying.

Every formula I have ever seen over this period involves percentages and leaves it up to the mixers math skills just like above. Now here is the kicker. The commercial mixers use weight not volume to mix the percentages you see advertised. Consider there are 3 very different specific gravities to the components what an amature mix master brews up is different than what you are buying in the store.
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