RPX is experiencing record sales for its helicopter track-and-balance kit. The helicopter community is responding enthusiastically to the solution’s ease-of-use and affordable price.
As we work with customers to help them obtain and use DynaVibe with DynaTrack to perform track-and-balance procedures, we get lots of questions about how our system works. This post will share a collection of questions we routinely get, with our answers. If you have questions or want more information about how to track-and-balance your ship, please contact us!
Q: What is the difference between DynaVibe and DynaTrack? Do I need one or both?
A: The DynaVibe GX3 is the handheld system that enables dynamic balancing, vibration analysis, and track-and-balance. An optical tach (a.k.a, phototachometer or phototach) attaches to the GX3 to measure RPM, as do one or two accelerometers to measure vibration magnitude. DynaTrack is an optional optical blade tracking GX3 accessory that enables blade tracking. A complete track-and-balance kit consists of a DynaVibe GX3 (which includes the optical tach and accelerometer) with DynaTrack.
Q: Is the DynaVibe and DynaTrack kit suitable for track-and-balance of 3 or 4 blade helicopters?
A: Yes. The kit will let you work with helicopters that have up to 6 blades.
Q: How big is the system?
A: The DynaVibe GX is a handheld system, as the photo shows, it is small and highly portable, easily used in the field.
Q: Are the accelerometers used by the DynaVibe system permanently fixed to the cables?
A: Yes, the DynaVibe accelerometers and cables are a single, fixed unit. We are aware that competing track-and-balance systems use accelerometers with detachable cables. We know that this question expresses a concern about having to replace the entire unit should a cable get cut or damaged. The good news for our customers is that a complete DynaVibe accelerometer and cable costs less than a cable for our competitor's track-and-balance system! RPX has the most affordable solution for doing track-and-balance.
Q: Does DynaTrack measure the main rotor rpm?
A: The main rotor RPM is measured by the optical tachometer attached to the DynaVibe GX3. The DynaTrack (also attached to the DynaVibe GX3) measures the blade track error.
Q: Does the DynaVibe GX3 system have an input for a magnetic pickup?
A: No. DynaVibe uses the industry's state-of-the-art optical tachometer. This approach is better because it is sometimes difficult to make proper adjustments with a magnetic pickup.
Q: How we can install the optical tachometer in, for example an AS350 helicopter? Should it be placed vertically to the blade or at some angle?
A: This photo shows the setup of the DynaVibe optical tach and accelerometer on an AS350. For most applications, the optical tach is mounted near the transmission and detects a strip of reflective tape on one of the blades grips.
Q: You state that your system can collect up to 8 flight condition reports. How are those condition reports saved? Do I have to clear the SD card where they are stored after every set of measurements?
A: You can get readings (IPS, phase, and track) for up to 8 different conditions per flight. These conditions are per the manufacturer's procedures, or whatever conditions you choose. Once you have completed a flight, you can review all of the conditions for which you captured readings, whether just 1 or all 8. When you begin a second flight, the new flight data will copy over the first flight data. You can go to the track log to review the data you’ve captured. You do not have to manually clear that data for a new flight and new data collection.
Q: Can you tell me about the Push-to-Talk button? What is its purpose?
A: The PTT button is what lets you do pilot-only data collection, if needed. It enables unit operation with a remote (in-cockpit) PTT switch so you do not have to hold the unit or push its buttons to capture readings. This allows for single-person operation, letting a pilot collect that data while concentrating on flying the aircraft. Using DynaTrack does not require two people.
Q: For what helicopters do you have Application Notes?
A: RPX has already published application notes for Bell 205, 206, 407, OH-58, EC350; Hughes 300, R22, R44, and Rotorway. We are regularly completing new Application Notes. Keep in mind that an Application Note is not required to use DynaVibe for track-and-balance on a helicopter, but it is helpful for installation and operation purposes. RPX Application Notes follow the manufacturers recommendations for track-and-balance, so if you have the maintenance manual and corresponding balance charts, you have what you need to track-and-balance using the system.
Q: Can you tell me about calibration? How long does it take?
A: A new DynaVibe GX3 unit comes already calibrated. As with many aviation tools, annual NIST-traceable certification is required for tools used on certified aircraft. For the DynaVibe GX3, recalibration costs just $249 USD. To have it recalibrated, just contact us for an RMA number and then send the unit and accelerometer(s) to RPX; there is no need to send the entire kit. We can complete a recalibration in one day, not including the shipping time.
Q: What kind of guarantee or warranty covers DynaVibe and DynaTrack?
A: We provide a money-back guarantee for the first 30-days after purchase. If you’re not satisfied with the system, you can return it for a full refund. A limited, lifetime warranty covers the purchase of new DynaVibe GX3 systems and DynaTrack accessories. Other accessory items are covered for a one-year period.
Q: In which format is the output file that contains the measurement data?
A: DynaVibe provides its output in the form of an HTML document, so no proprietary software is required to view the data, and it is easily shared.
Q: Are DynaVibe software updates available for free?
A: Yes. Software updates are free and obtained on the support page of the RPX website.
Q: Is it possible to review a User’s Manual for this device?
A: Yes. To obtain one, simply contact us through the website, by email or telephone and we will send you a free, current copy.
If you have other track-and-balance questions, please contact us!