PN8016
THE POLAR COORDINATE CHART ABLANCE CHART MAKING IN THE REAL WORLD
BY JAMES E.FACKLER
CHADWICKHELMUTH
4601 N.ARDEN DRIVE EL MONTE, CALIFORNIA 917311299
(626)5756161
FAX 3504236
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page 

Introduction 
2 
IPS Diagram and Explanation 
2 
Phase Diagram and Explanation 
3 
Nomagraphic Grid 
3 
Required Items for Sample Balance 
4 
Sample Balance Installation 
4 
Illustrated Balance Installation 
5 
Potential Problems during Sample Balance 
6 
Establishing Phase and Amplitude Response 
710 
NonSymmetric Weight Points 
11 
ThreePoint Symmetrical Balance Exercise 
12,13 
The Sure Shot 
14,15 
Computing Radius Change and Corresponding Weight Calculation 
16 
Computing Multiple Weights 
17 
Glossary of Terms and Definitions 
18,19 
1
For many, the balance chart is the most difficult concept to grasp in
dynamic balance. Some know how to use it, but have no idea why it is
laid out the way it is, how it was made in the first place, or what went
wrong when the chart〝told〞 them to do the wrong thing.
Like anything else, it is easy to use, and even to make your own, once
you understand it thoroughly. Before we start, we have to get some
perspective of what we are doing.
Def: Dynamic Balance – A mass (of weight, or lift, or whatever) relative
to its center of rotation while in motion.
Good dynamic balance is achieved by putting the center of mass of a
rotating part at its center of rotation. Since we can’t very well change the
location of an output shaft on the rotating component, we have to change
the center of mass instead. This is usually done by adding weight, or
redistributing the available weight, so the center of mass coincides with
the center of rotation. To affect balance, two pieces of information are required:
1. Amplitude – or AMOUNT of correction required.
2. Phase – or angular position, which relates to WHERE the correction is
to be applied.
If you think of the center of the chart as the center of rotation, you are a
step in the right direction. The Balancer measures amplitude in Inches per
Second (IPS). It’s obvious then the higher the IPS, the farther from the
center of the chart. The balance chart has concentric circles graduated in
tenths of inches per second like diagram A.
Phase can be determined two ways. Either remotely, using a magnetic
pickup, in which case the phazor is used. The phazor registers phase in
〝clock angles〞 of thirty minutes each. Another way to determine phase,
is use via the Strobex. It is used when a magnetic pickup is impractical to
use. A reflective target is placed on the rotating part, and its angle viewed
with the Strobex while running. On a vertical plane of rotation, 12:00
o’clock is up. On a horizontal plane, 12:00 o’clock is at the head of the
aircraft. The balance chart has twelve radial lines extending from the
center, as shown in diagram B. these lines correspond to the clock angle
from the Phazor or Strobex.
Diagram B
When the IPS circles and clock lines are superimposed, they form a grid
system on which to plot an outof –balance, this grid system appears in
diagram C.
Diagram C
We make worksheets with only the IPS circles and clock angle lines (P/N
3659), from which we start our charts. They make life a lot easier.
One of the easiest ways to learn dynamic balance is to sit down in a quiet
room and go through the balance procedure. Experimentation yields
valuable insight into practical application.
=THE EXPERIMENT=
Required items:
1
Three or Four blade electric fan
1
Roll of tape (500 mph ok, but not required)
1
VIBREX kit
1
Pad worksheets P/N 3659 (or draw up your own)
115VAC power for fan
*1224 VDC for Balancer
* To use 135M11 Strobex, 24VDC required. Also – DO NOT use a
battery charger or other DC source that does not produce〝clean〞direct
current.
To start, a very important note – If you are going to make your own chart,
you
MUST
keep
ACCURATE
records
of
where
and
how
much
adjustment is made. Dynamic balance is a slightly inaccurate exercise
anyway, no sense making matters worse by trying to remember weights
and where they were placed.
Use a tabletop cooling fan for your first exercise. They are cheap to run,
quick to start, and seldom pose a safety of flight threat. A fourblade
model is best, but a threeblade will work OK. Leave the five or more
blades alone until you know the three and fourbladed ones real well.
Mount an accelerometer on the fan, so the long axis of the accelerometer
is in plane with the spinning disc. Place a reflective target on one of the
blades. This blade then becomes the〝target〞or master blade from
which adjustments will be referenced. It will also give us the phase angle
when viewed with the Strobex. Label the remaining blades A,B,C, the
way they pass a point while operating. In fact, it is not a bad idea to
actually write〝A,〞〝B,〞and〝C〞on the respective blades.
NOTE: Most small 115VAC fans turn about 3200RPM (depending on
power and efficiency). Some motors have the speeds stamped on them. If
it is a variable speed fan, use the highest RPM setting.
1. 
Reflective Target. Identifies〝TARGET〞blade. 

2. 
〝A〞Blade. Blade which follows TARGET in operation. 

3. 
〝B〞Blade. Blade opposite TARGET. 

4. 
〝C〞Blade. 
5. Fan Motor 
6. 
Accelerometer. Mount in plane of rotation of fan. 
7. Accelerometer Cable. Route clear of exhaust, allow slack for fan
movement.
8. Fan base. Should be heavy enough to keep fan from〝walking.〞
Set up the Balancer and Strobe. Make sure there are no loose papers
around, and fire up the fan.
Scan the frequency ranges, using the RPM Tune dial on the Balancer. By
〝peaking〞the IPS meter, you will get close to the RPM of the fan.
If you get little or no IPS, this may be caused by one of two things.
A) It is already balanced (add weight to one blade with tape,
to throw it out of balance); or
B) The accelerometer was placed at a node.
Once you have a good strong IPS (.5 to .9 is good) and steady clock angle,
plot this point on the graph at the intersection of clock angle and IPS.
Remember – be accurate. See Balancer manual for tuning instructions.
There it is, 9:00 o’clock and .5 IPS. A point on the chart. Label it #1. That
single point won’t give any clue to where the corrective weight should go,
so tape some weight to the target blade and take another reading. Plot this
point, labeling it #2. Half the answer is already given. The distance
between points #1 and #2 equals the weight used. So, any time that much
weight is used, the next point will be that far away. Half the weight, half
the distance, etc.
Be sure to add the test weight tape at the same radius on subsequent runs.
REMEMBER!
This is IMPORTANT!
The DISTANCE the point went, equals the amount _{o}_{f} _{w}_{e}_{i}_{g}_{h}_{t} _{u}_{s}_{e}_{d}_{.} The DIRECTION the point went, equals the phase response.
Take the test weight off, and add it to the〝B〞Blade, the blade opposite
the Target. Since the weight is now 180 degrees opposite, the next plotted
point should also be 180 degrees opposite. Take a reading and you will
see. If the three points you have(original, add to Target: and add to〝B〞)
don’t exactly line up, or the second line isn’t exactly the same length as
the first one, don’t get upset. This is not uncommon. Remember –
dynamic balance is a slightly inaccurate proposition.
The next step is to obtain the move lines for the blades adjacent to the target. Remove the weight on〝B〞if it hasn’t been already and put it on
blade〝C.〞Take a reading and see which way it goes. It should be
perpendicular (90 degrees) to the other two lines. By removing the weight
and putting it on the〝A〞blade, you will have completed this part of the
exercise. Now you have a fourspoke pattern. The similarity to the actual
weight addition points is not coincidental.
The reason there is a four spoke pattern, is because the weight addition
points on the fan were 90 degrees apart. On an aircraft, these spokes are the〝zero lines〞of the chart. They are determined experimentally by
adding weight to the various weight addition points on the rotor. If the
weight points are 90 degrees apart, the axes on the chart will be 90
degrees apart. If the weight points are 120 degrees apart, the axes (spoke
pattern) will be 120 degrees apart.
To make a chart from the four spoke pattern, superimpose the pattern
over the center of the chart in the same angular relationship it was plotted,
but extend the spokes to the 1.0 IPS circle (outer most circles). Draw two
lines parallel to each spoke at the outer circle. These lines will form the
border of the chart. Place a zero at their point of tangency with the 1.0
IPS circle. Draw a small representative sample of the spoke pattern in a
corner above the chart identifying which weight change produced which
arrow.
From our previous weight addition, it is known that anytime weight is
added to the target, the next point will go in the 7:00 to 1:00 o’clock
direction, so anytime a plotted point lies on the 7:00 o’clock side of the
10:/4:00 o’clock line, some weight will have to be added to the target. If a
point lies ON the 10:/4:00 o’clock line, no adjustment will be required on
the TARGET, or〝B.〞Therefore, the 10:/4:00 o’clock line becomes the
target 〝zero〞line. Place a note at the border under 4:00 o’clock the
says ADD to 〝Target〞. The same is done for add to 〝B,〞and add to
〝C〞and 〝A〞on their respective axes.
That takes care of the phase portion of the chart. The next logical
question is…how much correction?
Suppose the test weight to be five grams. Measure the distance between
the baseline (#1) reading and any point after addition of the test weight,
with a ruler or divider. Transpose one end of this length to the center of
the chart. By referencing the move line length to the IPS circles, you get
the ratio of weight to IPS. In the example, if the lines were .5 IPS ling and
we used five grams, the sensitivity for the chart would be one gram per .1
IPS.
Now back to the border lines on the chart. Simply transfer the sensitivity
to the border. Normally, sensitivities are linear that is, if (X) equals .2 IPS,
then twice X equals .4 IPS and three times X equals .6, etc. This is true to
a point.
Outside 1.0 IPS (or any severe level), this rule may not hold true. Because
other items may begin to vibrate in sympathy with the rotating element or
because the rate of damping may change, linear measurement may be
impossible at severe vibration levels, So much for linearity.
The finished chart for the example looks something like figure D.
Suppose
the
weight
addition
points
are
not
symmetrical
and
their
distances from the center of rotation are different lengths.
No problem. Establish your move lines as done for any chart. The zero
lines will now correspond to the angle at which the weights are placed A
threeposition balance might look like this.
1) Establish move lines and weight sensitivities.
2) INVERT and transpose vectors to center of chart. Draw borders.
NOTE; Borders are parallel to adjacent zero lines. The reason for the
inversion is simple. If we laid out the zero lines for our chart, just like the
move lines, the border adjustments would be backwards. Instead of add
they would have to say subtract. This is OK, but…weight can always be
added. It may not always be possible to subtract weight.
3) Draw in weight sensitivities.
4) Make final notations regarding installation, operating speeds, where
the weight is placed, etc., so anyone can use it.
THE SURE SHOT
All the trial and error is fine if you have the time. As is often the problem,
the time for test runs is just not available. To speed things up, the
following will help:
1. Work the sample problems in this booklet. They really help.
2. Use the minimum equipment to set up. If you can get by with using the
Strobex and a reflective tape, it will reduce installation time considerably.
Magnetic pickup brackets, interrupters, etc., are OK for routine jobs that
are often done, but are really impractical for oneshot exercises. EX. How
many oneoff airplanes are there in the world?
3. Add your first weight opposite the direction the connector of the
accelerometer points, and use a generous enough weight to give a good
length move line. See example on next page.
Now is where your newfound knowledge of balance charts will come in
handy. Follow these steps for a quick finish.
1. Draw a line from your first point to the center of the chart.
2. Draw a line from your first point to second point.
3. Measure the angle between lines in 1) and 2).
4. Move the weight towards the position opposite the accelerometer the
same number of degrees measured in step 3).
5. Add or subtract weight as evidenced by the length of the move line.
GOING A STEP FURTHER
Weight sensitivities are based on the amount of weight used at a given
location on the rotor or propeller. It is possible to relocate weights
without having to make several check runs fairly easily, using the basic
weight and balance formula W x A = M, Where W=weight, A=arm (or
radius) and M=total moment.
Diagram E shows a test weight of 25 grams (W) at the rim of a spinner.
The rim is 10〞from the center of rotation, so 10〞=A. Suppose the
permanent weight is to be moved inboard on the back of the bulkhead at
the 7〞radius as shown in diagram F. How much weight is required?
Well, right now the total moment of our test weight is 250〞gr (25 gr
times 10〞=250〞gr.). By dividing the moment by the new radius 250/7
will give our new weight, 36 grams. It will take 36 grams at 7〞to equal
25 grams at 10〞.
I have often been asked why I don’t recalculate the weight when I move
the test weight on a prop spinner to the inner lip of the bulkhead just
beneath the spinner. I don’t simply because the〝arm〞is insufficient to
affect the balance significantly.
EX. 
35 grams ＠ 10〞 
vs. 
? grams 
＠ 9〞 
350〞gr 
vs. 
? grams 
＠ 9〞 

350〞gr/9〞 
= 
38 grams 
So; 35 grams vs. 38grams. Also, remember it takes about two or three
grams worth of hardware to install the weight inside the spinner. The net
change in moment is then reduced to nearly zero. Consider also it takes
four or five grams to change the balance .05  .1 IPS on a typical turbo
prop.
Computing multiple weights.
Some time it may be necessary to compute a single weight from two
weights placed at different angles or vice versa.
It is not really difficult if the two weights are equal. Suppose you have
run out of available weight allowed on the clamp of two blades. This
weight may be offloaded to the spinner quite easily.
First, weigh the weight on the blade clamp. Then draw a line between the
middle of the weight on the two blade clamps. The shortest radius to this
line becomes the〝arm.〞Multiply the arm times the weight on both
clamps. If the weight was 40 grams on each clamp and the radius was 6〞,
then the moment would be 40 + 40 x 6〞=480〞gr.
Suppose the weight on the spinner band was at the 10〞radius. 480〞gr./.
10〞=48gr. It will take only 48 grams on the spinner band to equal the 80
grams on the two blades where weight was removed.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
Accelerometer
Amplitude
Balance Chart
A transducer which converts mechanical
motion to an electrical signal.
Amount
A nomagraphic display depicting the phase
and
amplitude
response
component
of
a
dynamic
Balancer 
Processes 
and 
displays 
signals 
from 
transducers 

Clock Angle 
Phase as measured in hours of a clock. 
EX.: 12:00 o’clock = 360 degrees; 3:00
Dynamic
Good Balance
o’clock = 90 degrees; etc.
In motion
A balance condition which results in the
least
wear,
most
comfort,
and
best
longevity. As low an IPS as it is possible
to get.
Gram 
Unit of weight. 28 grams = 1 oz. 
IPS 
Amplitude as measured in Inches Per 
Second velocity. 

Linear 
Proportional ratio. 
Magnetic Pickup
An electrical reflective target, (i.e., if you
can’t see to use a reflective target, phase
reference may be done using a remote
sensor. The magnetic pickup serves this
Moderate Imbalance
function).
An imbalance which results in longterm
wear and premature failure (.4 to 1.0 IPS).
Move Line 
Two points connected after a change has 
been made to the dynamic balance. 

Node 
A point, line, or surface of a vibrating body 
that
is
free
or
relatively
free
from
Phase
Severe Imbalance
Slight Imbalance
vibratory motion
Azimuth, or angular position
An imbalance which results in shortterm
wear or failure (1.0 IPS or more).
An imbalance which may be bothersome,
but does not significantly affect wear or
Strobex
TARGET Blade
safety (.2 to .4 IPS).
Displays visually the azimuth of a part.
Master Blade or any blade from which
adjustments are referenced.
Transducer 
Anything which converts mechanical motion 

to an electrical signal. 

VIBREX 
Derived 
from the words 
VIBration 

Examiner. 
Product name 
for 
Balance 

System 
manufactured 
by 

ChaswichHelmuth Company. 

Zero Lines 
The lines on a chart where no adjustment 
is necessary on a given axis.
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