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DSS MicroVib 11

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DSS MicroVib 11

Old 9th May 2020, 07:58
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DSS MicroVib 11

Does anybody have or used the track and balance kit made by Dynamic Solutions Systems, MicroVib 11? Is it worth looking at? Sounds cheap enough compared with Chadwick. Supposed to be one man (i.e. Pilot) operated. Will it do a proper spectrum analysis? Pro's/cons? Thinking about it for A109 and fixed wing propeller balance. Comments appreciated.

Blue Safari
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Old 9th May 2020, 09:16
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I have used it in the past, and found it to be exhausting.....

We had two settings:
"automatic", and "manual"-in automatic mode, it took the system hours and hours to "learn" the perfect path, and the recommendations were out of line most of the times, like "remove 142 grams from yellow blade" (although there was no weight on the blade, and the system knew about it)...

It worked in manual mode, but i find the chadwick much quicker.

In my opinion, if you have to do several ships with it, the "cheap" from the microvib will be eaten up by the extra amount of ground runs and maintenance flights you will end up doing...

(But then-at the end; each system is only as good as the guy who operates it...)..
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Old 9th May 2020, 13:57
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Originally Posted by bluesafari View Post
Does anybody have or used the track and balance kit made by Dynamic Solutions Systems, MicroVib 11? Is it worth looking at? Sounds cheap enough compared with Chadwick. Supposed to be one man (i.e. Pilot) operated. Will it do a proper spectrum analysis? Pro's/cons? Thinking about it for A109 and fixed wing propeller balance. Comments appreciated.
We started getting the Micro at my day job just before I retired and since the Micro was designed and built by 2 ex-Chadwick engineers I thought it would be the go to equipment. But have to say I much preferred any of our other vib equip like RADS, Chadwick 177/8500, and VXP over the Micro. From a price point, yes they're on the low side, but if price is a concern look to the ACES Systems line of equipment. Much better interface and by far much better support. I went with an ACES 2020 for a side business I had for props then added a strobe for some helicopter work I picked up.
Originally Posted by bluesafari View Post
Supposed to be one man (i.e. Pilot) operated. Thinking about it for A109 and fixed wing propeller balance.
All vib equipment can technically be considered a "one-man" ops, but practically it's better to have one person minding the aircraft and one person minding vibration equip. Regardless, unless you are a mx shop and/or plan to be performing a lot of track and balancing, it's usually a better option to rent a kit or 3rd party the vib checks due to the initial cost and up keep costs like yearly calibration, etc.
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Old 10th May 2020, 07:46
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Originally Posted by wrench1 View Post
We started getting the Micro at my day job just before I retired and since the Micro was designed and built by 2 ex-Chadwick engineers I thought it would be the go to equipment. But have to say I much preferred any of our other vib equip like RADS, Chadwick 177/8500, and VXP over the Micro. From a price point, yes they're on the low side, but if price is a concern look to the ACES Systems line of equipment. Much better interface and by far much better support. I went with an ACES 2020 for a side business I had for props then added a strobe for some helicopter work I picked up.

All vib equipment can technically be considered a "one-man" ops, but practically it's better to have one person minding the aircraft and one person minding vibration equip. Regardless, unless you are a mx shop and/or plan to be performing a lot of track and balancing, it's usually a better option to rent a kit or 3rd party the vib checks due to the initial cost and up keep costs like yearly calibration, etc.
With all the balancing equipment on the market, and purchased by companies I worked for, there were so many issues with engineers (experienced) being able to carry out a simple track and balance that I had to get back to basics to find out why we were spending so much money on balancing equipment, and the more we spent, the longer it took to balance the machines.

With the old Chadwick 177m from the seventies it was simple, then came the other models and makes of equipment, many many times after days of balancing and adjustments I would rip the balance equipment off the aircraft, put the 177m on it and balance it in an hour or so. Plus nowadays helicopter service intervals are larger than they used to be, and engineers "forget" how to use equipment (including myself)

So after a significant amount of frustration it transpires that engineers are not being trained how to balance anymore, from basic training, type training, continuation training, its never covered. If you do not know what you are balancing, how you are balancing and why you are balancing there is not much chance of carrying out the task efficiently. I have been asked to visit customers who have had balance issues on helicopters, found things had been installed on MRH upside down, wrong way round, inside out, worn out, wrong places, list goes on.

How many times have I seen an engineer installing a balance kit on a helicopter due to customer saying " I have a vibration" without inspecting the helicopter first for wear or damage, it amazed me. Something must be causing the vibration, it was not there a 100 hours ago, what is it, adjusting pitch links, trim tabs and weights is not always the solution. The trim tab tool was always out, adjusting blade tabs, what, why, nothing on the blade has changed.

How many times have I seen an engineer plug the wrong leads into the sensors, mixing vertical with lateral readings, here goes a week of balancing.........

For many years I use to conduct "track and balance" training days for engineers, even experienced engineers, after the 1 day course an engineer could even draw his own basic vertical and lateral balance charts for all types of MRH and tail rotors, its so simple at basic levels. After the course the engineer had a clear understanding of what he was trying to achieve and passed his knowledge on the the younger engineers.

Now asking a pilot to take readings, no not really, unless its built into the helicopter. Its best an engineer takes the readings, relaxed, calm, and under no pressure to say it feels ok when it needs adjusting.
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Old 10th May 2020, 12:03
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Originally Posted by PEASACAKE View Post
With all the balancing equipment on the market, and purchased by companies I worked for, there were so many issues with engineers (experienced) being able to carry out a simple track and balance that I had to get back to basics to find out why we were spending so much money on balancing equipment, and the more we spent, the longer it took to balance the machines.

With the old Chadwick 177m from the seventies it was simple, then came the other models and makes of equipment, many many times after days of balancing and adjustments I would rip the balance equipment off the aircraft, put the 177m on it and balance it in an hour or so. Plus nowadays helicopter service intervals are larger than they used to be, and engineers "forget" how to use equipment (including myself)

So after a significant amount of frustration it transpires that engineers are not being trained how to balance anymore, from basic training, type training, continuation training, its never covered. If you do not know what you are balancing, how you are balancing and why you are balancing there is not much chance of carrying out the task efficiently. I have been asked to visit customers who have had balance issues on helicopters, found things had been installed on MRH upside down, wrong way round, inside out, worn out, wrong places, list goes on.

How many times have I seen an engineer installing a balance kit on a helicopter due to customer saying " I have a vibration" without inspecting the helicopter first for wear or damage, it amazed me. Something must be causing the vibration, it was not there a 100 hours ago, what is it, adjusting pitch links, trim tabs and weights is not always the solution. The trim tab tool was always out, adjusting blade tabs, what, why, nothing on the blade has changed.

How many times have I seen an engineer plug the wrong leads into the sensors, mixing vertical with lateral readings, here goes a week of balancing.........

For many years I use to conduct "track and balance" training days for engineers, even experienced engineers, after the 1 day course an engineer could even draw his own basic vertical and lateral balance charts for all types of MRH and tail rotors, its so simple at basic levels. After the course the engineer had a clear understanding of what he was trying to achieve and passed his knowledge on the the younger engineers.

Now asking a pilot to take readings, no not really, unless its built into the helicopter. Its best an engineer takes the readings, relaxed, calm, and under no pressure to say it feels ok when it needs adjusting.
Agreed 100% PEASCAKE.

A lack of understanding of the basic theory is prevalent and many times engineers will be chasing a vibe issue by blindly following the process of adjustments given by the more modern equipment.

I much prefer a basic system that just provides a phase angle, track and Lat/Vert IPS.

It's pretty simple to work out manually after that.

177 is a bit old hat but there are newer digital systems that will provide the same basic information with much more accuracy especially track data. Just recently used Dynavibe on a MD500E and was very impressed with ease of use and data provide. First time I used the gear and first time T&B on a 500.

Work it out manually after that and think laterally (pun intended) what is causing the vibe. Apart from routine smoothing /post maintenance etc, vibes are often an indicator of failure of another component.

I will give a nod to AW139 Heliwise and HUMS though. For routine smoothing works very well to follow the suggested moves.

Training is the key and is glossed over usually in my experience when it comes to T&B. It's not a black art, just needs some thought and gets easier the more you do.

I don't recall ever been trained in T&B basic theory and I consider myself to be lucky to have been professionally trained by a major international operator over 25 years ago.

In hindsight it was the old hands who explained the basic theory OTJ and picking it up from there.





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Old 10th May 2020, 12:41
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Originally Posted by Salusa View Post
Agreed 100% PEASCAKE.

A lack of understanding of the basic theory is prevalent and many times engineers will be chasing a vibe issue by blindly following the process of adjustments given by the more modern equipment.

I much prefer a basic system that just provides a phase angle, track and Lat/Vert IPS.

It's pretty simple to work out manually after that.

177 is a bit old hat but there are newer digital systems that will provide the same basic information with much more accuracy especially track data. Just recently used Dynavibe on a MD500E and was very impressed with ease of use and data provide. First time I used the gear and first time T&B on a 500.

Work it out manually after that and think laterally (pun intended) what is causing the vibe. Apart from routine smoothing /post maintenance etc, vibes are often an indicator of failure of another component.

I will give a nod to AW139 Heliwise and HUMS though. For routine smoothing works very well to follow the suggested moves.

Training is the key and is glossed over usually in my experience when it comes to T&B. It's not a black art, just needs some thought and gets easier the more you do.

I don't recall ever been trained in T&B basic theory and I consider myself to be lucky to have been professionally trained by a major international operator over 25 years ago.

In hindsight it was the old hands who explained the basic theory OTJ and picking it up from there.
How it all began on training..................

After a couple of years using the later balancing machines, I took the basic readings lat / vert / ips from the equipment and gave the figures to (experienced) engineers in the hangar and asked them to plot them on the maintenance manual balance charts (they had to come into my office to plot them) and tell me the balance move to make on the helicopter.

Amazing results, nearly every engineer interpreted them differently (not necessarily wrong) , some could not plot the readings at all, and I mean AT ALL.

Just because you are a fully licensed engineer did not mean you like to track and balance, I think because they were never shown how to confidently, and that there is always a member of a team who likes balancing whilst paperwork is being done by the person who likes to do paperwork and so forth.

For information, I hated avionics, always have and always will, hated pilots reporting an avionic or radio defect to me when my avionic "expert" was not around, (my go to avionics engineers was great at avionics, but no good at balancing.)

So we all have different skills which is great in a larger company, but not so good in a smaller company.

Continuation training, my pet subject, defect reporting in detail, my pet subject.

4 foot square or four square feet......there is a big difference.............

Apologies if we have hijacked the first post.




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Old 10th May 2020, 13:40
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Originally Posted by PEASACAKE View Post
that engineers are not being trained how to balance anymore, from basic training, type training, continuation training, its never covered.
And you can simply look to automation and technology for the reasons various manual and "analog" processes/procedures are no longer taught to engineers/mechanics, to include pilots, as they are no longer considered required. Unfortunately, without such basic analog knowledge/skills, when the installed technology fails, or worse, gives conflicting data/results, we have seen how obediently following those printed RADS results, or following the displayed "magenta line", gets people in trouble. And while automation and technology does lead to more efficiency and safety, it does not out perform the mind of a properly trained mechanic or pilot. Now back to our regularly scheduled discussion on Micro Vib......
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Old 11th May 2020, 11:45
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PEASACAKE
How true
How meany times have I seen an engineer installing a balance kit on a helicopter due to customer saying " I have a vibration" without inspecting the helicopter first for wear or damage, it amazed me".

Last edited by Senior Pilot; 11th May 2020 at 22:24. Reason: Quote inserts
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