DynaVibe Classic F.A.Q.

Q: If my propeller was statically balanced, is there any need to dynamically balance it?

A: Yes. Static balancing is a great first step, but things can change once a statically balanced prop is mounted. The dynamic balancing process encompasses the entire propeller assembly, so even mounting a statically balanced prop does not ensure there will be no vibration from the prop assembly. Read our "Prop Balancing Myth Busting" blog post for a deeper discussion on this issue.

Q: Where can I get a copy of the DynaVibe Classic product manual?
A: Enter your email address to receive a copy of the product manual:

Q: Can the DynaVibe be used on geared prop installations?

A: Yes. It actually works very well on geared assemblies since the geared drive puts the engine vibration frequency at a different frequency than the prop vibration frequency. This makes it easier to isolate just the prop vibration.

Q: Will the DynaVibe work on a 3 blade prop?

A: Yes. The number of blades on the prop is irrelevant in the balancing process.

Q: Can the DynaVibe be used on rotorcraft?

A: Sure! The rotorcraft version of the DynaVibe Balancer includes an additional accelerometer and remote averaging button. Note that we're not rotorcraft experts so we can not offer technical support for tracking and balancing a rotorcraft other than how to operate the DynaVibe itself. Read more about balancing rotorcraft on our blog.

Q: Can the DynaVibe be used with turboprop and radial engines?

A: Yes. Everything focuses on the prop assembly. It doesn't matter how the prop is driven. We have many customers using the DynaVibe on turboprop aircraft. Regarding radial engines, the orientation of the cylinders is cause for concern since vibrations from combustion are in the same direction as the prop vibration. However, we've had several customers use the DynaVibe on aircraft with radial engines with great results.

Q: Can dynamically balancing my prop help me gain more power?

A: It can. Improved performance is certainly one benefit of a balanced prop assembly. When the prop is out of balance, it directs energy toward shaking the airplane instead of propelling it. Our blog tells the story on how this works, and on how significant the performance improvement could be.

Q: How do I mount the accelerometer and optical pickup?

A: Due to the variety of engines, we're not able to supply mounts to fit every configuration. You will need to build a fixture to bolt the accelerometer and optical pickup to the engine. Typically, the mount is bolted using one of the case bolts. The accelerometer is mounted on the bracket in the vertical direction, and the optical pickup is pointed toward the prop, near the hub.

Q: Can the DynaVibe be configured to read where to add weight instead of where to remove weight?

A: Yes. Simply mount the accelerometer upside down (with the cable pointing toward the hub).

Q: What kinds of weights do I need to use and where can I get them?

A: Visit the Balancing Hardware page of our website for this information.

Q: Should the reflective tape be removed from the prop after it is balanced?

A: It takes a very small change in weight to cause an out-of-balance. Since the prop is balanced with the tape on, the tape is usually left in place to maintain balance. Note that some people do prefer to remove the tape from metal propellers to avoid corrosion.

Q: How can I practice using the DynaVibe

A: It is very helpful to practice by balancing a box fan. You can drill small holes and attach small (i.e. #6-#10) bolts to the fan blades to see how the DynaVibe responds.

Q: What can be causing the DynaVibe reading to fluctuate or give inconsistent results?

A: You can get tips and ideas on what might cause inconsistent results by reading our blog post on this subject. Here are the primary things to consider:

  • Hold RPM as stable as possible when balancing. It will take several seconds at a stable RPM for the reading to stabilize.
  • The engine should be running smoothly from idle to max RPM. Don't try to balance a prop with a rough engine!
  • Route all of the DynaVibe wires well away (4" or more if possible) from spark plug wires or other sources of electrical noise.
  • Make sure there are no loose components on the engine that can be moving, such as the spinner, magnetos, exhaust pipes, alternator, etc.
  • Keep the accelerometer mounting bracket as short and stiff as possible. If the bracket starts to resonate, the magnitude and phase angle will be affected resulting in an incorrect measurement.
Q: What RPM should I use to balance?

A: The best readings can be taken at cruise RPM, or the maximum stable RPM safely sustainable for one minute.

Q: Does the DynaVibe tell you how much weight to add/remove?

A: The DynaVibe tells you what correction is needed by indicating the vibration magnitude and angle (where weight is needed). You will get an indication of how weight affects the IPS reading after your first measurement, correction, and subsequent reading. For example, if your initial reading is 1.00 IPS and one washer reduces the out of balance to 0.75 IPS then you know that one washer corrects 0.25 IPS. Therefore, it will take an additional 3 washers of that size to balance the prop assembly.

Q: How often do I need to dynamically balance my propeller?

A: Opinions differ on this subject, but most people in the General Aviation community agree that once is not enough. We address this question in detail on our blog, which we recommend that you read. Essentially, anytime anything changes on the prop assembly, we recommend that the prop be dynamically balanced, even if the prop has simply been removed and re-installed. Fortunately, it is easy to dynamically balance a prop with DynaVibe.

Q: I dynamically balanced my prop, but I'm still experiencing a vibration. What should I do?

A: Most vibrations are caused by prop assembly imbalance, however, sometimes the vibration source lies elsewhere. The DynaVibe GX2 will allow you to do full spectrum analysis to help you locate the source of more complex vibrations. Our blog shares several case studies of troubleshooting these more complex vibrations.

Q: When using DynaVibe for vibration analysis, what do the different vibrations (e.g. half-per, 1-per) mean?

A: The DynaVibe GX2 supports vibration analysis, and we've put together a table that summarizes the cause of the vibrations you might see when you do a vibration survey. We're always happy to help our customers understand the results they are getting during prop balancing or vibration surveys, so don't hesitate to contact us by email or telephone with your questions.

Q: Are the DynaVibe accelerometers fragile?

A: No. We make our own accelerometers using state-of-the-art sensor technology, not piezo crystals. DynaVibe accelerometers are quite tough and will not be damaged by normal handling or drops. While it is possible to crack or chip the sensor's epoxy housing, we have never had sensor failure due to accelerometer mechanical damage.

Q: What does the angle measurement mean on the DynaVibe reading?

A: The angle is the location where the prop assembly is too heavy. Either remove weight at this angle (measured from the master blade in the direction of prop rotation), or add weight at the reading angle +/-180 degrees.

Q: What are the differences between the DynaVibe Classic, GX2 and the DynaVibe Classic for Rotorcraft?

A: Read our blog post that details the differences in the available models of DynaVibe. In summary, the DynaVibe GX2 is for dynamic prop balancing AND vibration analysis. The DynaVibe Classic is a dynamic prop balancer only, and the Rotorcraft model is a Classic with some special features for rotorcraft.

Q: Can DynaVibe be used to balance anything other than a propeller?

A: Yes! Some of our customers are doing airplane tire balancing with their DynaVibe system. DynaVibe is capable of balancing just about any type of rotating machinery, and DynaVibe has also been used to balance industrial meat slicers, industrial fans, even commercial snow blower impellers and brush cutting equipment! You can read about some of these use cases on our blog.

Questions? Contact us at sales@rpxtech.com