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Balance Master
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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:17 pm    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

I have seen these advertised for years, no personal experience.
http://balancemasters.com/aircraft.html
The engine/gearbox/prop on the FF is a Rotax 277, B-box (2.58:1) and two blade 62" Ivo, and is very smooth over 5200 rpm but terrible between 5100-4000. Performance is excellent other than the vibration. I am thinking harmonics, but who knows???
Wondering if the Balance Master would be worth trying, but before I spend the $, would like to hear from somebody who has actually tried one.
Thanks.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Repairing the fiberglass nose bowl. Ugh.)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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John Hauck



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 4617
Location: Titus, Alabama (hauck's holler)

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:36 pm    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

Richard P/Kolbers:

My own personal thoughts only.

This is from the 277 Manual: "The 277 is designed and tuned to operate at
6250 to 6500 rpm full load/full throttle."

Since I have been on the List it seems you have always preferred to operate
you Rotax two strokes below the power band. I looked for rpm specs for the
power band, but could not find anything except the above. You may be trying
to operate the engine in a zone that it was not designed for. Below 5200
rpm is really slow for a single cylinder two stroke working as a continuous
duty engine.

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama

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John Hauck
MKIII/912ULS
hauck's holler
Titus, Alabama
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rickofudall



Joined: 19 Sep 2009
Posts: 1334
Location: Udall, KS, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:06 pm    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

Richard, I started running Balance Masters balancers on my Harley Vibraglide. I run them on the engine and the clutch. While they're nothing much during acceleration once you reach speed you can actually feel the engine and transmission even out. I've run them on my 582 and my HKS. I believe they work and are well worth the money. My 2 cents after 27 years running them.

Rick Girard
On Sun, Apr 22, 2018 at 8:35 PM, John Hauck <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com (jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com)> wrote:
[quote]--> Kolb-List message posted by: "John Hauck" <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com (jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com)>

Richard P/Kolbers:

My own personal thoughts only.

This is from the 277 Manual:  "The 277 is designed and tuned to operate at
6250 to 6500 rpm full load/full throttle."

Since I have been on the List it seems you have always preferred to operate
you Rotax two strokes below the power band.  I looked for rpm specs for the
power band, but could not find anything except the above.  You may be trying
to operate the engine in a zone that it was not designed for.  Below 5200
rpm is really slow for a single cylinder two stroke working as a continuous
duty engine.

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama



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John Hauck



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 4617
Location: Titus, Alabama (hauck's holler)

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:14 pm    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

BTW:  I have no experience with Balance Masters.

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama




From: owner-kolb-list-server(at)matronics.com [mailto:owner-kolb-list-server(at)matronics.com] On Behalf Of Richard Girard
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2018 9:05 PM
To: kolb-list(at)matronics.com
Subject: Re: Balance Master


Richard, I started running Balance Masters balancers on my Harley Vibraglide. I run them on the engine and the clutch. While they're nothing much during acceleration once you reach speed you can actually feel the engine and transmission even out. I've run them on my 582 and my HKS. I believe they work and are well worth the money. My 2 cents after 27 years running them.


Rick Girard

On Sun, Apr 22, 2018 at 8:35 PM, John Hauck <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com (jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com)> wrote:
--> Kolb-List message posted by: "John Hauck" <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com (jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com)>

Richard P/Kolbers:

My own personal thoughts only.

This is from the 277 Manual: "The 277 is designed and tuned to operate at
6250 to 6500 rpm full load/full throttle."

Since I have been on the List it seems you have always preferred to operate
you Rotax two strokes below the power band. I looked for rpm specs for the
power band, but could not find anything except the above. You may be trying
to operate the engine in a zone that it was not designed for. Below 5200
rpm is really slow for a single cylinder two stroke working as a continuous
duty engine.

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama

--


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John Hauck
MKIII/912ULS
hauck's holler
Titus, Alabama
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:38 pm    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

The Balance Master guy came to our EAA chapter meeting and made a presentation. Very impressive. He had a small electric motor driving an un-balanced disc with a weight mounted off center. It shook itself half to death on the table. He installed the balance Master device and the thing ran smoothly. We all looked at it to see if it was some sort of scam, or that he had "rigged" the demonstration, but it looked 100% legit to all of us.

Bill Berle
www.ezflaphandle.com  - safety & performance upgrade for light aircraft
www.grantstar.net           - winning proposals for non-profit and for-profit entities

--------------------------------------------
On Sun, 4/22/18, Richard Pike <thegreybaron(at)charter.net> wrote:

Subject: Balance Master
To: kolb-list(at)matronics.com
Date: Sunday, April 22, 2018, 3:18 PM


Pike" <thegreybaron(at)charter.net>

I have seen these advertised for years,
no personal experience.
http://balancemasters.com/aircraft.html
The engine/gearbox/prop on the FF is a
Rotax 277, B-box (2.58:1) and two blade 62" Ivo, and is very
smooth over 5200 rpm but terrible between 5100-4000.
Performance is excellent other than the vibration. I am
thinking harmonics, but who knows???
Wondering if the Balance Master would
be worth trying, but before I spend the $, would like to
hear from somebody who has actually tried one.
Thanks.

--------
Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is
wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.




Read this topic online here:

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Jack B Hart



Joined: 22 Feb 2018
Posts: 9
Location: Winchester, IN

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:31 am    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

Richard,

Hold on a day. I have one I will send to you after I find it.

Jack B. Hart FF004
Winchester, IN



From: "Richard Pike" <thegreybaron(at)charter.net> Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2018 6:20 PM To: kolb-list(at)matronics.com Subject: Balance Master
--> Kolb-List message posted by: "Richard Pike" <thegreybaron(at)charter.net> I have seen these advertised for years, no personal experience. http://balancemasters.com/aircraft.html The engine/gearbox/prop on the FF is a Rotax 277, B-box (2.58:1) and two blade 62" Ivo, and is very smooth over 5200 rpm but terrible between 5100-4000. Performance is excellent other than the vibration. I am thinking harmonics, but who knows??? Wondering if the Balance Master would be worth trying, but before I spend the $, would like to hear from somebody who has actually tried one. Thanks. -------- Richard Pike Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops) Kingsport, TN 3TN0


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Winchester, IN
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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:00 am    Post subject: Re: Balance Master Reply with quote

Jack Hart: What a prince! Thank you, can't wait to try it out and see how it does.

John Hauck: you are correct, I am sure that the Austrian gnomes at Gunskirchen tuned the 277 for optimum power between 6250 and 6500, and I am sure it would happily churn away at that speed all day. However, while 6250 - 6500 rpm is where the engine makes its rated power, that does not necessitate the engine having to be consistently operated at that rpm.

Here is a very good website of tutorials by the Australian light aircraft people - https://www.recreationalflying.com/tutorials/index.html
and from their page on "Engines and Propellers",
"Although aero-engines can quite happily operate continually at their rated power, doing so is not good practice. It is uneconomical in terms of fuel efficiency, but — more importantly — it may shorten engine life, if engine operating temperatures and pressures are exceeded. Normally the maximum — and optimum — power setting for continuous cruise operation is 75% of rated power."

Then they deal specifically with the 2-stroke; "Two-strokes don't have very good volumetric efficiency, and the engine is generally efficient only in the upper 30% of its rpm and throttle opening range. In fact, ultralight two-strokes tend to run very roughly at speeds below 2500 rpm and achieve their rated power at rotational speeds in the 5500 to 6500 rpm range. The three most common two-strokes are two-cylinder models with individual cylinder displacements around 250 cc; they achieve their rated power at 6500 rpm and 75% power at around 5300 rpm."

Something else to consider is that running an engine slower than its rated power does not lug it. Once again from the recreationalflying.com tutorial page: "the power delivered by a propeller varies in accordance with rpm cubed (if everything else is kept constant)" Therefore, as rpm is decreased from the engine/propeller maximum attainable rpm, the load reduction on the engine decreases exponentially. (don't know the right technical term for a decrease cubed, but you get the idea)

Back when I was flying a Maxair Hummer with a Rotax 277, it spent most of its time around 54-5500 rpm. The 582 on my MKIII spends most of its time around 54-5500 rpm solo, 56-5700 rpm when I have a passenger. When I am in a hurry, it runs at 6200 rpm and sucks gas like it was free.

The 277 on the Firefly is still breaking in, but right now it appears that the sweet spot is going to be around 5500 rpm to run right and fly right. I have not been trying to fly it at rpm's below 5100, it is that (possibly due to still breaking in?) if it gets below 5100 down to around 4000, as in when making a descent to land, it vibrates more than it ought to. This is typically in a semi - unloaded state, throttle retarded, engine providing minimal thrust. Once it gets below 4000 rpm, the vibration goes away.

David & I have discussed changing the two blade Ivo to a three blade as a way to deal with the vibration, but only if we have to. Right now we have an 800'/min climb rate, and we would hate to have to give that up by going to a smaller diameter prop.

As always, appreciate your input, gives us all a chance to think these things through and stimulate the old grey matter.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Repairing the fiberglass nose bowl. Ugh.)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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John Hauck



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 4617
Location: Titus, Alabama (hauck's holler)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:21 am    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

Don't think I explained myself very well, as usual.

I indicated the only numbers I could find were max power. Could not find anything for cruise power. Was not inferring the engine needed to be operated at max power.

Not that familiar with fixed wing aircraft, but on several of the Army helicopters I was privileged to fly there were RPM areas to stay out of. When running up, don't hesitate in these yellow zones. 4000 to 5200 may be a similar zone with the 277. If it was me, I'd fly Hell out of it and stay out of 4000 to 5200 except to transit that rpm.

Don't know if a 3 blade will solve your problem, but you won't know until you try.

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama


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John Hauck
MKIII/912ULS
hauck's holler
Titus, Alabama
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:46 am    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

What John described is actually quite common in certified fixed wing a/c, as well. Many that are equipped with metal constant speed props have a 'yellow arc' (usually around 2000-2200 rpm on an engine with max 2700 rpm). While not a problem to transition through that range, continued operation there can result in a broken crankshaft or prop. Remember, these are FAA-blessed aircraft.

It's worth pointing out that just because you don't feel it, doesn't necessarily mean it's not there (might not be exciting the airfame so you're feeling it at higher rpms, but still out of balance). But if it's bad enough to be annoying, you probably want to stay away from that speed range; you're probably operating near the natural resonant frequency of the system and stuff can sometimes break very quickly there. 
Have you tried *dynamically* balancing the prop? It isn't cheap to pay an a&p to do it, but many EAA chapters have one of the less expensive models you can borrow or rent.
Charlie

On Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 1:20 PM, John Hauck <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com (jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com)> wrote:
[quote]--> Kolb-List message posted by: "John Hauck" <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com (jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com)>

Don't think I explained myself very well, as usual.

I indicated the only numbers I could find were max power.  Could not find anything for cruise power.  Was not inferring the engine needed to be operated at max power. 

Not that familiar with fixed wing aircraft, but on several of the Army helicopters I was privileged to fly there were RPM areas to stay out of.  When running up, don't hesitate in these yellow zones.  4000 to 5200 may be a similar zone with the 277.  If it was me, I'd fly Hell out of it and stay out of 4000 to 5200 except to transit that rpm.

Don't know if a 3 blade will solve your problem, but you won't know until you try.

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama




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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:50 am    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

There are several FAA certified airplanes with fixed pitch metal propellers that also have those "caution" and "avoid" ranges of RPM. The mathematics and engineering for figuring that out are way above anything I can understand, but I know that these vibration and resonance issues are very real.

There is a famous video of Sikorsky doing "ground resonance testing" on a Chinook (I believe) where the helicopter just tears itself apart on the ground. Terrifying spectacle. John H I hope you were not the test pilot sitting in that aircraft in that video !!! I needed a change of underwear just watching the video on a computer...

Bill Berle
www.ezflaphandle.com  - safety & performance upgrade for light aircraft
www.grantstar.net           - winning proposals for non-profit and for-profit entities

--------------------------------------------
On Mon, 4/23/18, Charlie England <ceengland7(at)gmail.com> wrote:

Subject: Re: Re: Balance Master
To: kolb-list(at)matronics.com
Date: Monday, April 23, 2018, 11:45 AM

What John described
is actually quite common in certified fixed wing a/c, as
well. Many that are equipped with metal constant speed props
have a 'yellow arc' (usually around 2000-2200 rpm on
an engine with max 2700 rpm). While not a problem to
transition through that range, continued operation there can
result in a broken crankshaft or prop. Remember, these are
FAA-blessed aircraft.
It's worth pointing out that just because you
don't feel it, doesn't necessarily mean it's not
there (might not be exciting the airfame so you're
feeling it at higher rpms, but still out of balance). But if
it's bad enough to be annoying, you probably want to
stay away from that speed range; you're probably
operating near the natural resonant frequency of the system
and stuff can sometimes break very quickly
there. 
Have you tried *dynamically* balancing the prop?
It isn't cheap to pay an a&p to do it, but many EAA
chapters have one of the less expensive models you can
borrow or rent.
Charlie

On Mon, Apr 23, 2018
at 1:20 PM, John Hauck <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com>
wrote:

"John Hauck" <jhauck(at)elmore.rr.com>



Don't think I explained myself very well, as usual.



I indicated the only numbers I could find were max power. 
Could not find anything for cruise power.  Was not
inferring the engine needed to be operated at max power. 



Not that familiar with fixed wing aircraft, but on several
of the Army helicopters I was privileged to fly there were
RPM areas to stay out of.  When running up, don't
hesitate in these yellow zones.  4000 to 5200 may be a
similar zone with the 277.  If it was me, I'd fly Hell
out of it and stay out of 4000 to 5200 except to transit
that rpm.



Don't know if a 3 blade will solve your problem, but you
won't know until you try.



john h

mkIII

Titus, Alabama









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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Balance Master Reply with quote

This one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FeXjhUEXlc
Or maybe this one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RihcJR0zvfM
Congratulations on surviving!

victorbravo(at)sbcglobal. wrote:
There are several FAA certified airplanes with fixed pitch metal propellers that also have those "caution" and "avoid" ranges of RPM. The mathematics and engineering for figuring that out are way above anything I can understand, but I know that these vibration and resonance issues are very real.

There is a famous video of Sikorsky doing "ground resonance testing" on a Chinook (I believe) where the helicopter just tears itself apart on the ground. Terrifying spectacle. John H I hope you were not the test pilot sitting in that aircraft in that video !!! I needed a change of underwear just watching the video on a computer...

Bill Berle


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Repairing the fiberglass nose bowl. Ugh.)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:42 pm    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

No, this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2tHA7KmRME

Bill Berle
www.ezflaphandle.com  - safety & performance upgrade for light aircraft
www.grantstar.net           - winning proposals for non-profit and for-profit entities

--------------------------------------------
On Mon, 4/23/18, Richard Pike <thegreybaron(at)charter.net> wrote:

Subject: Re: Balance Master
To: kolb-list(at)matronics.com
Date: Monday, April 23, 2018, 4:50 PM


Pike" <thegreybaron(at)charter.net>

This one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FeXjhUEXlc
Or maybe this one? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RihcJR0zvfM
Congratulations on surviving!


victorbravo(at)sbcglobal. wrote:
> There are several FAA certified
airplanes with fixed pitch metal propellers that also have
those "caution" and "avoid" ranges of RPM. The mathematics
and engineering for figuring that out are way above anything
I can understand, but I know that these vibration and
resonance issues are very real.
>
> There is a famous video of
Sikorsky doing "ground resonance testing" on a Chinook (I
believe) where the helicopter just tears itself apart on the
ground. Terrifying spectacle. John H I hope you were not the
test pilot sitting in that aircraft in that video !!! I
needed a change of underwear just watching the video on a
computer...
>
> Bill Berle
>


--------
Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is
wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.




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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Balance Master Reply with quote

Got the Balance Master in the mail over the weekend, (Thank you Jack Hart!) installed it and test flew the Firefly yesterday.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAcfoOJJDpg
(Climbs good for a 277, huh?)
Here is the landing, just to show I don't always bounce them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulIJ_WHLMfY&feature=youtu.be

Substantial improvement in the vibration level, but not in the way we expected. It is now smoother than previously at cruise rpm's, best around 5500, and the smoothness band has widened out a bit. It is now smooth down to 5000, but still vibrates a lot between 5000 and 4000, but not as much as before. In any event, it is much better at normal cruise, and a tad better in that rpm area where it stinks. The next thing we will be trying is to convert the 277 to dual ignition. Keeping the original stock ignition, and adding another one.

Back in the 80's, I had a Maxair Hummer with a 277 on it, and the 277 has a charging coil that lays directly beneath the ignition source coil inside the magneto. The normal ignition relys on points, but years ago, small engines could replace the points and condenser with a small solid state device called an Atom. It is about the size of a postage stamp, and acts like an ignition points device.

Got a friend with a machine shop to weld up a place on the hemispherical dome of the 277 head, which I then milled flat and tapped for a B8ES plug, added a small coil, and wired the whole mess up. Details are in the March 1990 EAA Experimenter magazine.

Anyway, it worked great, and also - unlike the points ignition - the Atom has an advance and retard function. Which had the effect of causing the 277 to idle a lot smoother. And might also have an effect on the vibration level at lower power settings. But if not, it is still always nice to have dual ignition.

So now I will be calling some of the snowmobile places up Nawth to see if I can find a 277 head to experiment on. But that will be a topic for a different thread.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Repairing the fiberglass nose bowl. Ugh.)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:22 pm    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

  Very nice, Richard.  What is the stall speed on that?

Try here for parts: http://alssnowmobile.com/

                                                  Bill Sullivan
                                                  Tarboro, NC
--------------------------------------------
On Mon, 4/30/18, Richard Pike <thegreybaron(at)charter.net> wrote:

Subject: Re: Balance Master
To: kolb-list(at)matronics.com
Date: Monday, April 30, 2018, 5:09 PM


Pike" <thegreybaron(at)charter.net>

Got the Balance Master in the mail over
the weekend, (Thank you Jack Hart!) installed it and test
flew the Firefly yesterday.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAcfoOJJDpg
(Climbs good for a 277, huh?)
Here is the landing, just to show I
don't always bounce them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulIJ_WHLMfY&feature=youtu.be


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:36 pm    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

Richard, if you should decide that a little more power might be nice? I have a nice little Rotax 377 w/ 2:58 gearbox with approximately 80 total hours and a new 66X28” Tennessee propeller with 10 hours. I flew the engine for 50+ hours and the propeller for 10 last season. Lots of extras included. For sale. Email me if your interested. It’s available actually to anyone on the Kolb list.
Have a great day! George
George Helton
Firestar FS100, 2702 Hirth
14GDH
gdhelton(at)gmail.com

Do not archive.

Quote:
On Apr 30, 2018, at 5:09 PM, Richard Pike <thegreybaron(at)charter.net> wrote:



Got the Balance Master in the mail over the weekend, (Thank you Jack Hart!) installed it and test flew the Firefly yesterday.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAcfoOJJDpg
(Climbs good for a 277, huh?)
Here is the landing, just to show I don't always bounce them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulIJ_WHLMfY&feature=youtu.be

Substantial improvement in the vibration level, but not in the way we expected. It is now smoother than previously at cruise rpm's, best around 5500, and the smoothness band has widened out a bit. It is now smooth down to 5000, but still vibrates a lot between 5000 and 4000, but not as much as before. In any event, it is much better at normal cruise, and a tad better in that rpm area where it stinks. The next thing we will be trying is to convert the 277 to dual ignition.

Back in the 80's, I had a Maxair Hummer with a 277 on it, and the 277 has a charging coil that lays directly beneath the ignition source coil inside the magneto. The normal ignition relys on points, but years ago, small engines could replace the points and condenser with a small solid state device called an Atom. It is about the size of a postage stamp, and acts like an ignition points device.

Got a friend with a machine shop to weld up a place on the hemispherical dome of the 277 head, which I then milled flat and tapped for a B8ES plug, added a small coil, and wired the whole mess up. Details are in the March 1990 EAA Experimenter magazine.

Anyway, it worked great, and also - unlike the points ignition - the Atom has an advance and retard function. Which had the effect of causing the 277 to idle a lot smoother. And might also have an effect on the vibration level at lower power settings. But if not, it is still always nice to have dual ignition.

So now I will be calling some of the snowmobile places up Nawth to see if I can find a 277 head to experiment on. But that will be a topic for a different thread.

--------
Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.




Read this topic online here:

http://forums.matronics.com/viewtopic.php?p=479734#479734











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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Balance Master Reply with quote

Stall speed (indicated) is currently between 30-35 indicated. The airspeed indicator reads about 5 mph fast at 55, and needs to be calibrated, so the real answer is - I don't know. Using the FAA's data sheets, it meets 103 specs, so - yeah - it is pretty slow. <Grin> We have a set of VG's from StolSpeed sitting on the work bench, but they have not yet been installed. Waiting for the weather to warm up, so that the adhesive will stick better. That should buy us another 4-7 mph, will report on that when we get to it.

Thanks for the offer of the 377, it would probably be smoother, but we are currently barely legal as a Gen-U-Wine Part 103 legal U/L, a 377 would totally blow that out of the water. (I have no idea how the Kolb Factory makes legal weight with a 447, but that is none of my business...)

Right now, aside from trying to get the vibration on power-off descent to diminish, we are very happy with the 277, it burns a bit less than 2 gph, and has great performance. Once we put dual ignition on it, we will like it even better.

If we were to change it, we would probably go with one of the powered parachute engines, lose about 20 - 30 pounds of weight, and get WAY better fuel economy.

Something that you have to experience to appreciate, is that lighter really is better. Once you fly a really light Kolb, there is something about it that is really unique. Reminds me of flying the Hummer back in the 80's. If the wind is blowing and it is likely to be trashy, drag out the MKIII, add a passenger, and that works really well. In trashy air, weight is your friend.

But if it is early in the morning, or late in the afternoon, and it is glass smooth, drag out the Firefly, and go fly it. As Beauford used to say, it really is a "tissue plane." Still a tough-as-nails Kolb, and turbulence is not going to hurt it, but it floats and flits around. A very different experience, and once you learn to trust it, it is a good ride.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Repairing the fiberglass nose bowl. Ugh.)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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John Hauck



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 4617
Location: Titus, Alabama (hauck's holler)

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:29 pm    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

To me, a Firefly flies better in wind and turbulence than a FS. Looks like
your airplane is more FS, with the FS wings, than Firefly. The Firefly
fuselage has a lot of FS in it. Been a long time since I have flown a FF,
but I still remember the winds at Lakeland and how well the FF handled them.
Only time the wind bothered me in the FF was when we were encountering
really stiff rollers of the trees just before touchdown. I did run out of
aileron once. It got my attention when the stick hit the aileron stop, but
I didn't crash. Wink

john h
mkIII
Titus, Alabama


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MKIII/912ULS
hauck's holler
Titus, Alabama
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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Balance Master Reply with quote

John said "To me, a Firefly flies better in wind and turbulence than a FS. Looks like your airplane is more FS, with the FS wings, than Firefly."

That's exactly right. Original Firestar 5 rib wings with a Firefly fuselage. Which poses an interesting idea - after I get a few more hours in this version, and get it really firm in my mind how this bird flies, it would be fun to fly a standard short winged Firefly and compare the difference. Might motivate us to whack a couple feet off the end of these old wings! Or maybe not - we might discover that with the short wings and a 277, we have a climb rate like a Cessna 150 on a hot day.

And meanwhile -if we have a reason to go fly when it might be windy or turbulent, I have a MKIII and David has an Aircam and a Stingsport. Yeah - maybe we'll leave well enough alone. Maybe I am getting old enough not to always need to stay OCD about optimizing everything. Maybe I'll learn to just be thankful for what I have and live with whatever shortcomings that entails. Maybe...

Meanwhile, John: or Jack Hart: if you guys are ever in the area, I would be honored to have you take the Firefly up and see what ya think.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Repairing the fiberglass nose bowl. Ugh.)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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ceengland7(at)gmail.com
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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 5:45 am    Post subject: Balance Master Reply with quote

On Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 4:09 PM, Richard Pike <thegreybaron(at)charter.net (thegreybaron(at)charter.net)> wrote:
Quote:
--> Kolb-List message posted by: "Richard Pike" <thegreybaron(at)charter.net (thegreybaron(at)charter.net)>

Got the Balance Master in the mail over the weekend, (Thank you Jack Hart!) installed it and test flew the Firefly yesterday.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAcfoOJJDpg
(Climbs good for a 277, huh?)
Here is the landing, just to show I don't always bounce them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulIJ_WHLMfY&feature=youtu.be

Substantial improvement in the vibration level, but not in the way we expected. It is now smoother than previously at cruise rpm's, best around 5500, and the smoothness band has widened out a bit. It is now smooth down to 5000, but still vibrates a lot between 5000 and 4000, but not as much as before. In any event, it is much better at normal cruise, and a tad better in that rpm area where it stinks. The next thing we will be trying is to convert the 277 to dual ignition.

Back in the 80's, I had a Maxair Hummer with a 277 on it, and the 277 has a charging coil that lays directly beneath the ignition source coil inside the magneto. The normal ignition relys on points, but years ago, small engines could replace the points and condenser with a small solid state device called an Atom. It is about the size of a postage stamp, and acts like an ignition points device.

Got a friend with a machine shop to weld up a place on the hemispherical dome of the 277 head, which I then milled flat and tapped for a B8ES plug, added a small coil, and wired the whole mess up. Details are in the March 1990 EAA Experimenter magazine.

Anyway, it worked great, and also  - unlike the points ignition - the Atom has an advance and retard function. Which had the effect of causing the 277 to idle a lot smoother. And might also have an effect on the vibration level at lower power settings. But if not, it is still always nice to have dual ignition.

So now I will be calling some of the snowmobile places up Nawth to see if I can find a 277 head to experiment on. But that will be a topic for a different thread.

--------
Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0


Hi Richard,
Congrats on getting such impressive performance. 
Your mention of the Atom points replacement module caught my eye. Is this it?
https://pickersyard.weebly.com/atom-universal-electronic-ignition-module.html
If so, I think I have a couple of similar units (green ones) lying around from my father's stash of lawn mower parts. I've been tempted to try mounting them in the Slick mags on the Lyc in my RV-4. Smile  Any idea if there's something similar available today for the old points-ignition 503 engine?  I'd love to get rid of the points in my 503, but the multi-hundred$ CD upgrade is hard to justify.
Thanks,
Charlie


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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1520
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:24 am    Post subject: Re: Balance Master Reply with quote

Yep, that's the one. As I understand it, different colors have different spark lead/retard features, but are otherwise pretty much the same.
Don't have time to do a good reply right now, but looking at the older 503 magneto diagram, the 503 would be a good candidate for dual ignition. Keep the points and add the atom. All you would need to get would be the dual plug heads (assuming they bolt on) and a couple of coils.

Details later.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal (Repairing the fiberglass nose bowl. Ugh.)
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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