I am thinking of putting a fuel flow measurement system in my Supercub (Cubcrafters). any suggestions?
I am thinking of putting a fuel flow measurement system in my Supercub (Cubcrafters). any suggestions?
Wally Mart has a great selection of inexpensive, reliable Timex watches....
While I respect the folks that use Cubs to make a living, my uses are for recreation and leisure - AND I'M NOT ASHAMED!!!
I have had sight gauges/tubes in both of my cubs.... BUT, if you have do much real measurement, you soon learn that fuel is very dependent on rpm, leaning, climb, etc. Every time I take a long cross country I track fuel flow, and it varies from around 8gph to around 12gph, depending on all of these factors. The sight gauges tell me about how much is gone and how much is left, but not very accurately...and no info at all when I am near empty. Just have thought for some time that it would be cool to be able to track fuel flow accurately, as I go along. I know that MANY guys in larger/faster planes swear by fuel flow instruments, and they are very accurate for flow/burn rate. Obviously you have to know when you filled up and how much fuel was added since then. DU!
Either the Electronics International or the JPInstruments fuel flow instruments work great. I've used both and they are both well worth the money, in my book.
Both companies have good web sites. My preference is JPI, but they're so close as to be about a wash.
Take your pick, but put one in.
I have the jpi. A few pointners regardless. I set the full quanity to 35 not 38 gallons. I set my low fuiel alarm to 30 gallons. Fine tuning the calibration for he first ten hours is critical for accuracy. Do this over a broad range of flying.
I've had great luck with the EI units, they are usually darn accurate right out of the box.
I have had nothing but problems with my EI unit. Conversations with EI have always ended up placing the blame on my airplane. When it works it has cool features, but its inconsistency make it undependable for its primary usage. I
I always figured fuel flow meters were pretty important for fuel injected constant speed airplanes. On a fixed pitch carbureted airplane they have no appeal. If I can't see fuel on the gauges, I rock the wings. If I still can't see an indication of fuel, I worry. So far I've never been surprised by a zero fuel indication. The closer to zero I get, the more often I rock the wings. I don't think I'd rock them any less if I had a fuel totalizer.
I would probably feel the same if I could afford a high speed airplane to fly when I was not cubbin...
I did have a few calibration problems in the C-170 with the EI, but we got it all worked out with a few tech calls.
For the record, I don't have a fuel flow gauge in the 180. Same reason, too. Grossly inefficient intake system, carburetor, etc. Once you lean it, it is what it is.
Also, for the record, I'm not critical of you guys that like the gauge. If it serves to make you happy, that's a good enough reason to have it. There's no right or wrong. Just different.
I just like gadgets... it gives me something to play with on long trips.
Truth time...I am like Steve, in that I like gadgets. On long cross countries I play with the plane and anything I can think of to do with flying it and navigation. I don't listen to AM or FM radio or CD's etc. I have only made one trip to Alaska, one to Maine, one to Yuma, 5 or 6 to Florida, and 16 to Washington State, but I hope/plan to do a lot more. The interest in a fuel flow meter is probably more in the way of entertainment. Still, if I can learn more about what my cub is really doing, count me in.
Have to go with Steve (and others) as well. The FF can teach you a lot: what if you learned that by slowing the engine slightly you used .5 gallon less, leaned the same way, and only lost a knot of speed -- would it be worth it? Maybe not around the patch, but if you've filled up in Rawlins and are trying to make Amarillo, you might reconsider that .5 gal per hour. That type of scenario is where FF flight testing is extremely useful. What you do with your FF is learn all the various flow combinations for speed, and then for range with the EGT/RPM (MP) and write them down as you complete various flights and pick the best ones for range.
I agree with Matt. "I rock my wings, and if I can't see fuel, I rock them again"? Uh, up here, there aren't many places where that technique would be useful, in that there is a lot of unfriendly country for unplanned landings, and there isn't a gas station behind every bush.
These things may be gadgets, but when the boss was replacing the 185 I ruined after a crankshaft broke, I told them the only instrument that was absolutely a must in the replacement airplane was the fuel flow computer. And, by the way, the fuel injected engine in that airplane is a lot easier to manage by "ear" and simple instrumentation than an O-320 is.
I have pretty extensive experience with both an EI unit and a JPI unit, on O-360's, and both have been excellent.
Here's why: I get up to cruise altitude, and find out the wind is a bit stiff. I can quickly look at the fuel flow computer and tell if I have enough fuel, assuming conditions remain the same to get to destination, or if I need to divert. Now, if its close, I can start tweaking the power some, and immediately see what that does to my fuel remaining at destination. If it doesnt' look good, I divert, and its better to do that early as opposed to later.
Yes, even in a Cub, these things are well worthwhile. I didn't used to think so, but after using them in little airplanes for a while, I'm a believer.
Although I have too keep dumping money into trouble-shooting my EI problems, I still couldn't get myself send it back for a refund. I guess that tells me that I really value the information it gives me or that my wife really enjoys me spending money on the cub.
As an EI Tech Support rep I would love to try to help you sort any EI related problem you may have.Originally Posted by ground loop
A humble FP-5(L) vs. JPI FS450 Comparison....
A FP-5(L) informational vid.
I've had an EI for about the last 5000 hrs in my work machine, apart from 2 sensers it's been great. With a bigger engine (IO-720)on different use the fuel flow can vary from 90 ltrs an hour to 130 so a FF gives me an accurate indication no matter what work. Even on a 320 depending on use the flow can vary greatly.
It's another usefull addition but I still use my Tandy $20 dual timer as the go or nogo decison maker.
I've had my JPI for a year, now, and the FF sensor started to pack it up about six months ago...if I have to put in a new sensor every year, I'm going to sell it on e-bay.....what kind of sensor life are you guys getting????
Last spring a plane load out of the lower 48 bypassed a fuel stop, at Kethcikan I believe, since their fuel flow showed adequate reserves. They never made it to the next stop.
I do fuel flow calcs on the ground and always take plenty of extra. I would say the #2 cause of plane crashes is fuel starvation. I love the Cub site guages compared to my Cessna electric guages. They are always way off. Greg
Not sure which plane you mention about bypassing Ktn and heading north to fuel starvation. Been a couple.
The one, (proves Crash and SB correct). 310 I think stopped in Ktn for fuel, the local FBO was closed, (7:00 pm I think) so the pilot figured he had enough fuel to Juneau, Instrument flight....
He said emergency to get direct approach about 15 min. out of sisters, the IAF, changed to GST for shorter distance, broke out at 2000 I think it was just in time to call fuel starvation. Could have made sitka, Wrangel, Petersberg, all with fuel, but wanted to be in Juneau that night.
Lost his wife and family for that decision.
BUT: One guy here had a Bell 47 with a fuel flow on it. Swore by it. Told me he know to the tenth of a gallon how much he had in the tank, never ran out in a couple of years. Told me when it said 5 gal. he needed to be landing, because at 2.5 it got quiet outside.
I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
I have two JPI systems and each is utilized differently in each plane. In the high performance I use it to tune fuel flow and maximize efficiency,in the cub I use it more to keep up with fuel consumption except when at high altitude which in almost never. I put it in the 12 because I don't fill up everytime after flying and the 12 will show no fuel with 18 gallons on board. For a cub I would just go for the 450 fuel system or equal. Save your money for all the other features. On a 185 with GAMI's go the full monty.Originally Posted by jimpattensc
We think we will get extremely long life out of our FT-90 & FT-60 transducers. They have been extremely reliable to date in there approximately 2 years of service. I believe I have seen one maybe two of the thousands we have shipped have issues. They also feature a uniform k-factor per model with no variance. This is key for accuracy and fine tuning.Originally Posted by fobjob
We expect to be off by less than a 1%(+ or -) of actual on our FP-5(L) burn calculations.
Because of the "straight flow through" design. The FT-90 transducer (gravity systems) has a phenomenal lack of pressure drop on the system. At 63 gph the psi drop is only 0.5. This transducer is a machined aluminum cube rather than a cast unit as well. Burst rate is over 4000psi.
The FT-90 can replace any JPI (Flow Scan) transducers.
I would be interested in getting you into an FP-5L system with a FT-90 transducer, I may be able to work with you as I would love to get your reviews posted here. Email me for details if your interested. firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you see this video? It's a bit dry but very informative on our product.
Electronics International Inc.
541-318-6060 ext. 190
I just got quoted 395 dollars for a replacement type 231 "transducer" (It's a sensor, not a transducer) from JPI. I would classify that price as "ransom"...OK, Mathew, if your zeal to sell stuff on this site is what it seems, let's hear the price for your FT-90 sensor("transducer")....put it right up here for everyone to see....
First, a wiener by your name would help your sales pitch
But, I am looking for ways to get better fuel consumption, doing lots of 6 hour days with the cub spotting.
Email me directly on info for your product, in addition to what you post.
needed room on panel
I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
Thanks for your input.Originally Posted by fobjob
I am here because of my personal interest in Cubs. I am not here to solicit. I am interested in sharing information as much as I am in receiving it.
I would sell anyone who is interested in factory direct orders at MSRP since I am the manufacturer.
The lowest prices come most often come through our Dealers like Chief, Spruce, Pacific Coast, etc.
I have a replacement transducer for the 231, "Transducer" (I'll leave the descriptions to our Engineer.) Our part number is the FT-90 and retails for $295.00.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Excuse me? I missed that.....Originally Posted by aktango58
Price: GPS interactive FP-5L retails for $778.00, Standard FP-5 is $748.00 ($100.00 factory rebate offered through the end of this month.) A lower than list price may be found through one of our Dealers. Maybe in the 5-6 hundred range.
Install time: Likely around 4 hours. Installation manuals can be located here http://www.buy-ei.com/Downloads.htm
Warranty: One Year guaranteed. $65.00 max covers any and all repairs after that.
benefits: Many Many Many including the flow transducer we are referring to. Used for flight, used since fill up, Time Remaining, Two low fuel alerts, Vacant "Aux" channel for any secondary engine function, hp or %hp, mpg, and more!
At 40gallons we are usually less than .10 off of actual. This REALLY maximizes your range and minimizes wasted fuel stops.
Mathew, I'm sure that your FT-90 is a fine unit; your price is not in the 'ransom' category, but still bordering the "Drive your customers away with a club" category. I just purchased a replacement 231 unit for 100 bucks, by doing a little shopping around with Google.(includes shipping) Since it costs about 17 bucks to manufacture, by my reckoning, that is an acceptable mark-up without being insulting.
But with that bit of venom out of my system, there is a larger question: If these sensors are affected by 'thread sealant'....does that include "fuel lube"?
Because, the fuel selector switch (upstream) usually has that stuff in it....??
And, therefore, cannot be avoided....
Hey fellers, just a heads up. EI, and thereby, Mathew Sharp, are great supporters of our little website, he just had not received his weiner for being so as of yet. He now has, so you can at least stop beating him up about that part...
A couple things jump to mind when I read this thread:
1. We seem to have limited vendor participation on our forums, which I think we should all encourage. It is great to hear them help us understand their products, and their practices.
2. Regarding item #1, vendor participation is limited because they get tired of being jumped on whenever they show up. There are things to like and dislike about every vendor, BUT you have to admit that having them here trying to make sense of our ramblings and understand our needs is something that we want to encourage, not discourage.
3. So, my sugguestion is, when we do have vendor participation, let's try to work with them constructively if possible! No, we don't want this forum to be one big sales pitch by any means, but sound technical info on the products we are interested it direct from the manufacturer would help cut through some of the crosstalk we get on some topics.
I wonder if the pipe stuff we used to put the FT90 in my old C-170 is why that transducer is flaky. The one in my cub works like a champ, I don't like to fly without it (especially with belly fuel).
Just my thoughts for the day!
Originally Posted by fobjob
Thread sealants and fuel lube will have no effect on the FT-90's function or safety. It was designed to operate in the fuel system with all of the fuel system's various components as well as thread sealant and whatever other materials are required to install the product. I cannot speak educatedly on what Flowscan's products are affected by or not, but I do know they are used in thousands of installations.
While I can't discuss the exact price to manufacture one of our FT-90 transducers, I guarantee it is substantially more than $17. We have these units machined out of solid aluminum blocks and then hand assembled for precision. This is why each transducer's K Factor is exactly the same. I promise you that the labor costs alone are more than $17, not to mention the aluminum block, machining costs, jeweled bearings, custom machined nickle-plated steel pin axles, custom molded plastic rotors, anodizing, circuitry and more.
The FlowScan 231 is not manufactured by our company, so I cannot comment on the price to manufacture it. I know it costs a considerable amount of money for even distributors to purchase, since we sold them with our products for many years.
Thanks for the dialogue.
Yep, nothing brings down manufacturing costs like sheer quantity produced. My WAG estimate was based on an equally WAG estimate of # of units produced. Since Flo-scan uses the same 'transducers' in a long-established boating market, that changes the situation considerably.
But, has anyone actually studied the failure mode of these things. From the JPI instructions, they certainly imply that 'thread sealant' will destroy their units...I can see why, if a big goober of inert stuff comes loose and jams the wheel...I can also see that something viscous in the jeweled bearing will play hob with the slippage, which seems to be what happens after a while, but not always.....JPI told me that back flushing often helps, but we got bogged down in a discussion of using various solvents...my guess is that it just hasn't been studied that much. I'm going to conduct some experiments with my old unit.....can't EVER leave anything alone...
Anyway, congrats on the courage to stick your toe in the crock-odile infested waters. Welcome aboard. Frank
Hey, lets give Mathew a little slack!!
He was just providing some very good info, and not pushing sales. I am sure he does not set the pricing of EI's products. I hate to see us run off posters with good input and information.
If you don't want the Fuel totalizer in your cub that is fine. I don't have one in my -12, but would not like to fly the twins I have without one. They are a very valuable instrument for many planes, and if you really want to run minimum fuel in a plane, used properly they are very helpful. But they like any instrument are only as good as the operator and are not a substitute for common sense. As far as service life of parts, it is always good to get people's experience with service lifes, but we need to remember there can be lots of reasons for differences in service life, including installation means, operations and type of use.
If we want to do a price analysis of all of the parts on our Cubs, I am sure many other parts could be subjected to higher cases of not being worth what they cost to manufacture. Personally I like EI gauges, and I choose to have them in my panel. The digital Tach is my favorite. I have never had one burp with any of my EI instruments, and my plane is not babied.
To each his own. Mathew, keep posting. :P
Something to think about when using these things: The insidious failure mode is slowly increasing slippage, due either to increasing bearing friction of the sensor, or an intermittent connection with the sensor's electrical connector, which starts dropping pulses to the display unit. Both result in a gradually increasing optimism in the efficiency of your engine, and an unrealistic estimate of remaining fuel, which won't be obvious, and in fact, will lull you into a feeling of confidence. Dennis of JPI recommended to me to solder the wires to the sensor directly and eliminate the connector. I had previous, a bad solder joint in the connector, which resulted in a slowly worsening accuracy problem. The little molex connectors supplied are quite reliable, but the factory solders one connector(which is the one that failed) and the installer solders the one on the sensor. In every shop I ever worked, they would always put the new guy to work soldering connectors, which was disastrous. In other words, these things are fun and useful, but fail-deadly, not fail-safe. Always check against your sight gages....
I know someone who is getting an EI FP-5L for Christmas. My cost was under $550 with a $100 rebate.
I installed the JPI FS450 almost 2 months ago in a friends RV6. It wouldn't work at first. Many phone calls to JPI and troubleshooting it suddenly started working. I taxied the airplane to his hanger and it quit again, then it started working. I rigged a test lead to verify I had power on the transducer side of the wiring harness. I did. He flew it enough to get it calibrated and it quit again mid-flight. I checked voltage to the transducer and it was there. JPI sent me a tester to hook to the plug where the transducer goes. The reading on the instrument didn't match the instructions with the tester. Called JPI for two weeks. They had a message on their machine that they were having phone problems and to email questions. Sent 4 emails with no response. I finally got a hold of them and they said the instructions were wrong and the transducer was bad. They said they would not honor the warranty on the transducer if there was trash in it like teflon tape. Teflon tape on a fuel system is a no no in my book. I checked the gascolator and found no contaminants. JPI sent my buddy a new transducer for $110 which would be refunded when they got the defective one. I installed it and it worked as soon as I pressurized the system. No problem since. Never got a refund for the transducer sent back. My buddy called and JPI said the transducer worked fine and he wouldn't get his $110 back. This is after being on hold for 20 minutes. I called and was on hold for 15 minutes. Then the secretary told me they were on break and to call back in 10 minutes. I called back later and asked for the owner. He was on another line, did I want to call back? I asked if he could call me, you would think she had never heard of such a thing. Never got a call back. I called back and she said he hadn't been there today. I have dealt with manufacturers for many years and worked out all kinds of problems. I have never been treated like I have been by JPI. I will never buy or install any of their products.
"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
I'm the guilty owner of the RV above. With the exception of Taylorcraft, I have never experienced such a crappy level of customer service as I have with JPI. Not only is their customer service horrible, they out and out lied concerning the charges for the second transducer.
I wish I had done more homework and read some of the other JPI horror stories on the RV site beforehand. I'll never spend another dime with them. The JPI unit is still supposed to be under warranty, but if it stops working tomorrow I'll throw it in the dumpster and replace it with an E.I. unit. Too bad E.I. don't take trade-ins, I'd be tempted to replace it anyway.