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What's the best incidence meter out there?

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What's the best incidence meter out there?

Old 12-07-2012, 12:01 PM
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Default RE: What's the best incidence meter out there?

I haven't gotten to use the digitals of any brand so can't say either is any better. I did have the GP meter for a number of years and it too worked just fine but I had to take it to a flat and level spot in my shop to zero it every time I changed something. Still, for the price it worked well. I got my Robart in a big box of junk at an auction for almost nothing. I had been using the meters my advanced instructor owned so when I spotted that Robart in the box of junk I never said a word to anyone and bid on it. The meter was brand new. The instructions that come with the meter show a number of things you can do with them besides setting up wings and stabs. I don't think there is a lot of difference from one to the other as long as they do what you need. I gave a student my old GP meter and it's still being used so it was 20 bucks well spent. Make and model is just a choice thing and two are much better then just one if your able to afford it. I even use mine when I'm setting up ARFs for people. I was surprised at how well the incidence of most ARFs is already set.
Old 12-07-2012, 12:48 PM
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Default RE: What's the best incidence meter out there?

Thanks, I like the feature on the Robart for the thrust, I could see using that often.


Old 12-07-2012, 04:22 PM
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Default RE: What's the best incidence meter out there?

Flyboy, I have two robarts, and I guess they are not state of the art, but I usually put one on each wing half when joining wing halves, or put one on the mounted engine crankshaft to check incident on the horizontal stab or check the incidence on the wing compared to the engine or the horizontal stab, anyway the point here is to USE a meter and not THINK it looks OK. Same way with a tach, USE it, don't say, oh it sounds pretty good or "man", it really pulls. Thirty-thirty five years ago these were hi- tech tools and now they are just what they are, essential tools to help get your plane dialed in, so that you can be a better pilot and have fun, Bob.
Old 12-07-2012, 05:12 PM
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Default RE: What's the best incidence meter out there?


I need to buy an incidence meter and there are a few to choose from, Robart, H9, Dubro. etc. Which would be the top of the line?
If you are realy serious then digital is not the way to go. If the zero on a digital meter is altered how does one know it is level? The Robarts is based on the spirit level. If the workbench is flat and level, using the robarts meter and squares the wing/tail incidences and firewalls can all be set at the same time.

Ed S
When i first started building models i used a level and ruler to set up my models. You do need to know how to calculate using trigonometry though.
This worked excellent, but the Robart meters made it alot easier. I have been using the Robart meters for years now and find they are very good. I have 5 of them.
You do not need a flat and level work bench. You don't even need to level the model, but it is easier if you do.
Most models use the canopy base for reference, so set the canopy base level then set the stab, wing and down thrust from this 0 point. If the model is not level then you need to do some basic maths to get the required settings.
For years i also used the Robart meters and rulers to set control surface throws, but now i use the CRC throw meters which work very well.
Another post said he can read his meters from 10 feet away. Can't see that is a benefit as i have never had to be that far away from models when setting up.
Old 12-07-2012, 05:28 PM
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Default RE: What's the best incidence meter out there?

The very best is the one you become the most proficient with using in a well defined systematic order of aircraft setup prior and during use...

Old 12-07-2012, 06:04 PM
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Default RE: What's the best incidence meter out there?

That's a great answer, Bob! I use a plain ol' bubble level in conjunction with the Robart tool for some set ups. Here is a 1/4 DH-5 being set up. You can see the bubble level under arm of Robart tool. Non- elastic cord and rulers come in handy for this stuff, too!
Old 12-07-2012, 09:23 PM
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Default RE: What's the best incidence meter out there?


For a disclaimer, use what you like, I can’t disagree with that. But Ed, I do disagree on both of your statements about digital meters. All functions you mentioned can be easily performed without a level building table, so there is no need to actually measure level. And every digital I’ve seen can easily be reset by just pushing a button, so digitals can indeed be used to measure level, even after they had a zero adjustment.

My issue with the Robarts is that the meter display is very small, you have to read looking head on to line needle up with reflection on mirror bit, and then after all that the accuracy isn't all that great either. I can read my GP meter from 10 feet away at about any viewing angle to about 1/8 degree accuracy. The GPs aren’t a real big deal to zero out, but it does take a minute or two. But once that is done, they are very accurate, and very easy to read, and there is no need to set plane perfectly level first.
I prefer the AeroPerfect also for all the reasons John W mentions. I definitely don't have to use a level table eventhough I have one. I have it set-up on my laptop so it's very portable

For me, the simplest way to set-up a plane if you have a flat table is using a height gauge. The simplest way to determine control surface deflection is with the aeroperfect

I also have other reasons for the aeroperfect such as precisely measuring propeller blade angles at specific stations. I make my own props so that's important to me...YMMV

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