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Old Jan 03, 2015, 05:56 PM
Registered User
Deer Park, Tx (East side of Houston)
Joined Oct 2009
176 Posts
Help!
Help please, First time smoke system user question

Hello,

For my initial setup and maiden flights...Do I run the smoke oil pump at a fixed speed or do I set up a mix so pump speed is proportional to throttle?

I have Googled and read a lot:

1. No matter which setup I use to much oil cools the muffler and you end up not burning the oil which makes a mess. Not enough oil and poor smoke performance.

2. One line of Googling says that once exhaust and muffler is at operating temperature muffler temperature won't change much with throttle position, as long as I don't pump to much oil in. Therefore muffler will burn a given amount of oil. In this case a simple fixed pump speed and a switch to turn the pump on and off could be the way to go. I would adjust the fixed pump speed after engine is at temperature for max smoke performance without cooling the muffler thus minimizing the mess.

3. Another line of Googling says I keep the switch to turn it on and off but I set up a mix so that the smoke oil pump speed is a proportional percentage of throttle position. This line of research seems to be based on muffler temperature changing as engine speed changes thus more oil can be burned at full throttle than at mid throttle.

So maybe the question boils down to...does the muffler temperature really change that much during flight based on throttle position? Seems to me there would be a certain amount of thermal mass in the muffler so temperature changes in the muffler would be slow once it is at operating temperature.

I am using a Harris competition smoke pump with B&B specialties smoke muffler on a DLE35 rear exhaust.

I know trial and error will get me to the ultimate goal but if anyone had any suggestions or experience to share it would be greatly appreciated and shorten my learning curve

Thanks in advance....
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Old Jan 04, 2015, 12:08 AM
team sleprock
whiskykid's Avatar
United States, WA, Port Angeles
Joined Dec 2009
3,628 Posts
I am by no means an "expert"

but I do believe it is the exhaust temp, more then the muffler temp. that is more important then how hot the muffler is, or stays!
my oil port is almost directly pointed at the exhaust port!

I do have my oil pump mixed with my throttle, but more too keep oil from being pumped in when under 1/2 throttle! so the oil doesn't actually squirt into the exhaust port!

you'll find that it really doesn't take that much flow too make good smoke! I try too start oil at 1/2 throttle and max at about 3/4, and if radio permits, I use the retract switch for smoke on/off!

there is undoubtedly abunch more, but that should get you in the game!
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Old Jan 04, 2015, 12:14 AM
team sleprock
whiskykid's Avatar
United States, WA, Port Angeles
Joined Dec 2009
3,628 Posts
"smoking"

a lil smoke!
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Old Jan 05, 2015, 09:23 AM
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United States, NY, Eldred
Joined Jun 2012
1,061 Posts
You definitely want pump speed set to throttle. Even if you set it at a fixed speed and get good smoke, you'll probably be wasting oil. Also, if you've never used smoke, you're gonna be surprised at how quickly it's used! Also, if the majority of the oil isn't being burned, it's gonna make a mess. When a smoke system is properly set up, there should be very little residue after a flight. You'll read lots of threads about people complaining of oil dripping off the plane and how the oil gets every where. That's because their system isn't set up well and is spewing way to much oil. I used MDW aviation smoke oil. I never tried anything different because it worked.
As far as exhaust temp changing, effectively changing how the oil is burned...you're way over thinking this. Just properly set up the system and use a quality smoke oil and go fly and enjoy it.
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