My BigMig came today... - RC Groups
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Dec 02, 2004, 04:44 PM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar

My BigMig came today...

Man, am I stoked. This little bugger is so awsome, I can't help but hold it in my hands and look at it from every angle. It's so tiny! My blackwidow was bigger, least I remember it being that way (and not just because of the gas tank).

Had some questions though. I've read the files about breaking it in, and the issues that go along with Norvels, however I've noticed some differences between the included first-time-start and breakin guide, and the manuals instructions for first time starts.

The instructions say that it has been preserved with a special lubricant for shipment, and should be taken off with denatured alcohol. Does this include inside the engine? It didn't specify. If so, this is in conflict with the instructions on the additional instruction sheet, which says to take the head off and lubricated the cylinder/piston.

It states that when starting with a safety stick you turn the propeller counter-clockwise until you feel a bump, then you give a quick flip of the safety stick? This will seem silly to you, but do you continue with the counter-clockwise flick, or flick in the opposite direction?

It says when using a starter to make contact with the starter to the spinner, then run the starter a few seconds (to start the engine, not prime it). I read somewhere else that you're supposed to hold down the starter button before touching the motor, and then touch the starter and spinner together for just a small part of a second. Although I'm not currently using a starter, this would be something useful to know in the future.

This motor has me very excited, I can't wait till Christmas when I can light 'er up. Patience is a virtue
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Dec 03, 2004, 12:45 AM
Registered User
Dukester's Avatar
To me, the key to using a standard starter with these small motors is to always hand flip it once before connecting the glow power to make sure its not flooded. Also use a light touch with the starter, just enough pressure to turn the motor over. If you get a hydraulic lock and hit it with a big starter you are asking for trouble.

Dec 03, 2004, 10:27 AM
Registered User
You will like your Norvel. I haven't worried about the shipping lubricant. Do the head removel (Cox tools will work) and lubricate and turn over as indicated.

My starting routine is to prime 2-3 revolutions with my finger over the exhaust outlet. This seems to be just right. Attach glow ignitor (again, Cox) and flip manually. I use an old Astro Flite 1/2A starter on mine when necessary, but they do hand start OK. If using an electric starter, rotate engine off compression, engage cone to spinner and then hit the starter button.

Have Fun

John C
Dec 03, 2004, 08:04 PM
Registered User
Bipe Flier's Avatar
Normally you flip clockwise, but it doesn't really matter which way you flip it. The engine will start in the right direction. If it starts backwards, which can happen reglardless of which way you flip it, just shut it off and try again.

I prime mine by covering the muffler outlet and turning the prop over 2 or 3 times as well. I use a Du-Bro glo igniter and a Miller 1/2A starter. The Norvel spring starter works well too.

I'd recommend getting a 1/2A starter rather than using a standard starter. Miller R/C makes a good one and Sullivan makes one called a Hornet. Don't hit the button the starter and then hit the spinner because if you have a hydralic lock it is a sure way to break the engine. The only case where I would press the button on the starter first is when starting a large engine that the starter can't quite turn over otherwise. Duke's suggestion about checking for an hydraulic lock is good advice for starting any engine.
Dec 04, 2004, 12:52 AM
Registered User
The guys have given good advice, especially with the use of a starter. NORVEL's can sometimes be difficult to get to start and run the first few times out of the box. Don't get discourged -- when fully broken in, you will have a fine running little engine. Lastly, don't overprop this engine on breakin - I would suggest a MA 5x3, 5.5x3 or maybe a 6x2 APC. Breakin procedures have been widely discussed in the 1/2A of RCU.

the "other" andrew
Last edited by Andrew0820; Dec 04, 2004 at 12:59 AM.
Dec 04, 2004, 12:59 AM
Registered User
Bipe Flier's Avatar
Oh, I almost forget. Norvel makes a 1/2A starter too.
Dec 04, 2004, 05:28 AM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
Yes, I'm aware of the starter issues and who makes them. My question was just about the correct starting "procedure" as I've never used one before. Thanks for the info, folks, especially on general starter use!

I bought 6 6x3 props for flying, one 5x3 for breakin.

One more question, regarding the flooding and locking. If I mount the engine sideways (which is how I will mount it on my plane), will that help to prevent flooding? I know to always check, but if it will help it's always nice to have something working for you in the background

Thanks again for the info, was just looking for some specific details.
Dec 04, 2004, 05:58 AM
Registered User
Bipe Flier's Avatar
The .061 isn't particularly prone to flooding, you just want to make sure that it isn't before you start it. I mount most of mine sideways because I think it looks nicer and the exhaust can be directed to the bottom of the plane.
Mar 14, 2005, 04:11 PM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
It's been a few months. Man, I had one helluva time getting that little bugger to run. I've only run it once, and it broke my test stand (or I was holding it too tightly and it snapped). I got kinda busy with work and such, will probably try it again soon. I don't think the plug was getting hot enough, so I"ll probably go buy me a power panel or something. The portable clip on I have now is the one recommended on the Norvel page, but it just doesn't seem to have much oomph.

I'll be getting a starter, as well. I tried for DAYS to get it to even pop, I didn't think it was ever going to run. Finally, one day, I really let that prop have it. I hit it hard, and fast. Wouldn't you know it? Bugger started screaming in protest I'm thinking that I'm just not getting enough speed to get it to start easily.

Also, I couldn't get it to run at all with the muffler on.

It went through the entire tank of gas in what seemed to be about 3-5 minutes.

And my adjustment needle was a bit rusty, but it's loosening up a bit with use.

Pretty frustrating, in all, but I march on!

I really want this motor to run
Mar 14, 2005, 06:06 PM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
Hah, decided to pull the little thing out and fashion it a new sled. Whacked it for about 2 minutes without much luck, got it to pop a couple times, thought I was wasting my time when I felt some fuel hit my finger. A thought occured to me that it might be a bit rich, so I leaned it out and set the throttle to half. Started after a minute or so, and boy did it run. Lasted alot longer too. Gotta wait 24 hours for my glow starter to charge up, so tomorrow I'll try it with the muffler on.

It really made my day.
Mar 16, 2005, 04:44 AM
roger ingersoll's Avatar

norvels rock

Been following this thread with great interest, as I'm a (relatively) new Norvel owner myself.

Breaking in my BigMig .049 was an absolute bear--but I learned a lot. My recent purchase of an .061 has made me very happy.

Firstly, 6/3 is too much prop for this animal. It can't be emphasized enough that these engines thrive on revs, and they simply won't get there on a big prop.

It took me nearly a quart of fuel on my first breakin experience, before a nice person pointed out that I had too much prop. and that these engines overheat and bog down on a big prop.

I could NOT get the engine to hold needle through an entire tank, even after it became easier to start. Soon as I cut my 6/3 prop down to 4.5 inches, my .049 absolutely screamed--and held needle through an entire tank.

For your .061, use nothing larger than a 5. I've got a 6/3 prop cut down to five inches, and it's fabulous. These engines really come into their own at high revs, and they run cooler and kick out amazing thrust. Running a big prop will wear out your engine faster, 'cause at low revs. it can't cool itself.

Also, the real breakthrough for me was Norvel's starter spring. Best couple of bucks I ever spent.

I've never trusted electric starters. You'll NEVER warp a crank or break a rod starting a Norvel engine with a spring starter--but you odds of doing it with an electric starter are astronomical.

Interestingly, after all the challenge of breaking in that .049, the .061 that I just got this week broke in with ease. Don't know if it's that I knew what I was doing this time--or the fact that I bought the starter spring WITH the motor--but it cranked the second time I flipped it.

You mentioned electrics, and that you're getting a power panel.

I think I've been too cheap with electrics all along, and this week I decided to get with it. Instead of the little Cox battery bucket I've always used, with two D-cells in series, I soldered four D-cells together in series. That may be why engines I've NEVER been able to start are now screaming.

Till my power panel arrives, I'm gonna go on wiring four D-cells together.

Keep us posted on your progress with your new .061. What kind of model are you strapping it to?

Z ya,
Mar 16, 2005, 03:38 PM
Registered User
Just a small point. The D Cells should be wired in parallel, not series, so you end up with 1.5 volts rather than the 6volts you would get if you wired them in series.
Mar 16, 2005, 06:19 PM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
I started it again yesterday. It sounds like it's broke in already. Man does that little puppy scream. Here's what it's doing to me, though. I try to start it, it isn't making any noise, and I'm probably sweating and cussing alot. I really have to let that prop have it to get it to even pop. Sometimes it'll turn over 2 or 10 times (hard to tell, so fast), then stop (usually right at the top of full compression it seems, like it gets stuck). At this point, I can hear the glow plug hissing. Apparently, the popping really warms her up. If I play my cards right and really go at that propeller enough, it will start. I've noticed that I have the best luck with the throttle "in the middle." If it doesn't start within 10 flicks or so, the plug quits hissing and I have to keep trying for another pop or two. I thought perhaps it was too rich (especially since my "test stand" has it kinda going downhill, eventually some fuel will bubble out of the carb), but it sounds right. I dunno.

I ran half a tank through it yesterday, stopped it, tried to get the muffler on as quick as possible (about two days, appx). It popped a few times, but wouldn't start. I'm just going to wait till my gear gets here. I'm hoping that the extra power from panel + the high rpm of the 1/2a starter I bought will make starting easier, or even possible with the muffler on.

Curious about your 6x prop statements, the 6x was actually recommended by other people (numberous). I feel betrayed

I'm going to be sticking it on a home built conversion of one of those wal mart gliders, I can't remember the specific brand I bought. It's on these forums, somewhere. I was going to use a "pod" type thing, but my construction abilities made for a flimsy support system. Instead, I'll leave it on the sled it's no and work it into the fuse and put in some landing gear. Even if I can get it running reliably, I probably won't be flying it soon. The pushrods I have are wayyy too weak and flexed alot in glide tests. Also, my control surfaces are some very hard and heavy wood I got from Lowes (no hobby shops around here). I'll wait till I can buy some balsa, put in a pull pull system to save weight, and get my motor running like a clock.

If it blows up and my other three foam planes I bought as replacements blow up, I'm going to build a throttled cheap delta, via info at
Mar 16, 2005, 07:29 PM
Registered User
Bipe Flier's Avatar
What throttle setting are you starting it at? Try it wide open.

I've got 1 Norvel AME .049, 2 AME .061s, 5 BigMig .061s and 3 .074s. I love these little engines.
An APC 6X2 is fine and loads the engine about the same as a 5X3. I agree that a 6X3 is a little too much. The APC 6X2 or 5.7X3 props or a Cox 5X3 prop work well. I break mine in on a test stand with a Tornado 5X3 soft prop which tends to de-pitch and is a fairly light load on the engine. It is also easier on the fingers.
Mar 17, 2005, 01:22 AM
roger ingersoll's Avatar

no small point at all

Originally Posted by johnvb
Just a small point. The D Cells should be wired in parallel, not series, so you end up with 1.5 volts rather than the 6volts you would get if you wired them in series.
I must be calling it wrong, 'cause surely I'd have burned up all my glowplugs with a six-volt hit, right?

All the positive poles are soldered together, and all the negative poles are soldered together. When I hook it up to my voltmeter, it registers right at 1.5 volts, so that must be parallel, right?

Thanx, for pointing out my mistaken terminology. (Better the wrong word than a burned out glowhead).

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