As I’ve become more and more interested in RC planes and helicopters, details gets more important. I’ve never properly balanced my propellers, I’ve only used simple methods of making sure their not all bad, but I’ve never had a prop balancer. That’s when I discovered DU-BRO 499.
The DU-BRO 499 seems to be one of the sets that’s been most reliable, and it’s fairly cheap! I picked up a set for $25 on Amazon, and considering that cheaper, maybe less reliant, models cost $8-15 anyways, It’s better to invest to make sure you have proper equipment, and do the job once.
I’ve seen the “non-friction” ones that use magnets, but I can’t imagine that it will be accurate enough on the cheaper versions. It’s two simple cheap magnets in a plastic holder – they won’t be accurate. The reason why I skipped magnetic equipment was mostly the fact that the rod that’s “levitating” with the propeller mounted on it will be affected by the magnets! There shouldn’t be any surprises there. If you have a couple of magnet, and levitate a rod between it, it can spin to a preferred angle, because the rod also gets magnetized. Of course I haven’t actually tested the different magnetic versions out there, but I’m pretty sure this will give you an inaccurate measurement – which is why I went with the DU-BRO.
The assembly is pretty straight forward. A manual is included, and the parts can’t really be mounted the wrong way anyways, it pretty much makes sense just out from the drawing. Even though it says to use pliers to push the nuts into the base, I just a screw driver to push it instead. The pliers won’t push it deep enough, as they will actually be a bit recessed into the plastic when fully seated.
The next thing is to mount the 8-32 knurl nuts to the posts, with the knurly side facing inwards on the post. I actually had a couple of these posts where I had to use a couple of pliers to force the knurl nuts on them, because they have to much plating on them, making the threads to large.
After forcing them in, I then had to force them down to two nuts in the base (and then tighten with the knurl nuts). The other two posts were fine, and I could mount them by hand. It doesn’t really matter though, as I’m not going to remove these posts anyway. As long as I’m able to move the other two to the middle mounts, it’s OK, it will have full functionality.
I sent an email to DU-BRO anyways, telling them that I faced problems when mounting it, and I got a prompt reply and they instantly sent two new posts in the mail. So DU-BRO can definitely be trusted.
As for the rest of the parts, they were perfect. I used my iPhone as reference for adjusting it, it’s an OK height, and it was what I had close by.
The DU-BRO consists of two sides with two large discs which spins very easily, and perfectly manufactured cones to hold the propeller on the shaft. I tried spinning it without a propeller on it – and you can’t see it’s spinning – it’s SO perfect, and spins for ages. This is something that earns my thrust, there’s no forces working in here, everything is as good as it can be.
After testing this balancer, I can definitely recommend it! I’m not sure if this is the best out there, but I wouldn’t see what there’s to improve upon. The only thing I felt maybe could be included, was a rod for self-tightening props. There’s a lot of DJI drones and copies out there, and they can’t be balanced without this rod. I know there’s some sellers on eBay and Amazon that make these, but I would really want to see that included in the kit, especially considering the high level of accuracy of all parts, I wouldn’t want a cheap third party rod ruin the measurement when balancing self-tightening props.
But all in all, 10/10 – Really!