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Old Jun 16, 2012, 02:08 PM
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Best way to balance props

Is putting a small amount of tape on the outermost part of the leading edge on the unbalanced side of the prop an accepted way to balance? I would rather not sand the prop.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 02:28 PM
KK Tri Flyer
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United Kingdom, Scotland, Glasgow
Joined Feb 2012
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That's exactly what I do, and I can balance the props pretty quickly and well enough to give smooth and quiet flight, and probably fine for video/FPV.

I used some cheap PVC electrical tape to start with, but it didn't stick well enough and tended to fly off after a few flights. Use a tape with good adhesion. Even sellotape works OK, but it's not really heavy enough for props that need a lot of balancing.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by ripmax View Post
Is putting a small amount of tape on the outermost part of the leading edge on the unbalanced side of the prop an accepted way to balance? I would rather not sand the prop.
That's only half way done. You also need to balance the hub of the prop.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SeismicCWave View Post
That's only half way done. You also need to balance the hub of the prop.
How do you do that? I'm sitting here balancing props as its too windy out to fly!
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 03:00 PM
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How do you do that? I'm sitting here balancing props as its too windy out to fly!
1) The balancer has to be really free spinning. Any friction will create a false sense of balance. The best I have used is that magnetic one.
2) I use lead tape for golf clubs. I have heard you can also get sticky back copper tape.

When you spin the prop the goal is to have the prop stop at any position. If your balancer is really good the prop will always "hang" on the heavy side. The heavy side does not have to be one prop blade. If you look carefully you will notice one side of the hub will always hang down. That is the heavy side. You have to put some weight on the light side (the side that faces up). Once you get the prop to stop randomly then it is really balanced.

Also when you spin an unbalanced prop you will notice that the prop will actually speed up when the heavy side pass the top. It will also slow down when the heavy side is on the bottom.

Sometimes when you balance the hub the blades will be off balance and you have to add tape to the light blade. Sometimes when you add tape to the light blade the hub will now go out of balance.

It is one of the most frustrating to do. However it is also the most rewarding once you get them balanced.

Also using the proper surface of the propeller to engage to the balancer is also important. The balancer usually comes with two slider with O-rings in the middle to act as friction stops. You push them on the prop to center it on the shaft. Use the cone shaped part to push into the prop center hole on the bottom of the prop. Use the flat part to sit on the top of the prop hub. If you are not consistent you will spend a life time balancing your prop. Every time you put the prop on the balancer differently you have to go through the whole procedure and balance again.

If you cannot center the prop properly on the balancer there is no sense in balancing the prop. A poorly balanced prop is worse than using a prop from the factory without balancing.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for replies,
SeismicCWave, I have a magnetic hobbyking balancer, which....I'm not impressed with, you can balance a prop, turn it around on the balancer and its out of balance, from what u said down to the hub balance, but it has no orings just 2 cone stops that screw into the prop hub, so there's no way of telling if they are centered correctly.

Think I'm wasting my time with this rubbish balancer!!
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 03:47 PM
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United States, OR
Joined Jul 2004
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it is funny, I am old school and use hand balancer. it works well enough if you know how. but you need to start with good quality props. some are just garbage.

with decent quality props, I can use hand balancer and get good performance as long as motor is ok. (I've also had some bad DJI motors that needed big balancing help) I need to swap it out as it is iffy to balance motors and I have some sunnyskys coming.

i do check for hub balance. if hub is really out, chances are the prop is garbage. LOL. most of better props (except for woodies) tend to have good hub balancing. (ok, APC sometimes have issues with hub, and I tend to avoid them)
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 03:52 PM
Kiwi in Germany
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Germany
Joined Jun 2010
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the Top Flite TOPQ5700 balancer looks nice but I can't find anything like that in europe.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 04:14 PM
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the Top Flite TOPQ5700 balancer looks nice but I can't find anything like that in europe.
Yeah I think I am talking about the Top Flite balancer. Actually I made my own. I use some super strong neodymium magnet and a shaft from my old High Point balancer.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ripmax View Post
Thanks for replies,
SeismicCWave, I have a magnetic hobbyking balancer, which....I'm not impressed with, you can balance a prop, turn it around on the balancer and its out of balance, from what u said down to the hub balance, but it has no orings just 2 cone stops that screw into the prop hub, so there's no way of telling if they are centered correctly.

Think I'm wasting my time with this rubbish balancer!!
LOL if the prop is out of balance when you turn it around then it is pretty hard to know when it is in balance. Does the cone stop have a flat end and a coned end? You use the cone end on one and the flat end on the other.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Two cone ends, both the same.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 05:15 PM
recep
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Ankara, TURKEY
Joined Sep 2005
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After all motor and prop balancing with a balancer you can still get more improvement with this technique.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=228
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 08:54 PM
Atomic Playboy
United States, MN, Inver Grove Heights
Joined Jun 2012
218 Posts
Keep in mind your cones must be balanced also. The rubber cones on my turnigy balancer were not even close to balanced when I got it. They are better now, but still off enough that I can balance a prop, reorient the cones, and it appears the other side of the prop is the one that's too heavy.

I need to spend some time with it tonight. If anyone has tips on balancing the cones, post them. These things are a PITA. The holes in them were not even centered when I got them. I'd buy balanced cones if someone sold them.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 09:28 PM
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I need to spend some time with it tonight. If anyone has tips on balancing the cones, post them. These things are a PITA. The holes in them were not even centered when I got them. I'd buy balanced cones if someone sold them.
I am searching for them right now. I have been struggling to find some good precision cones or prop adapters. I made one on my lathe but it is not quite precise enough.
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Old Jun 16, 2012, 10:01 PM
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Imlay City, MI
Joined Dec 2006
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Instead of tape, I use clear nail polish. I figure it weighs about the same, and it won't come off.
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