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and Sold only
Factory-Direct by:

Cardinal Electronics, Inc.


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Frequently Asked Questions
Will the PROPTACH®  work of twins?   What color blades
are required?

Will the PROPTACH® work on helicopters?

  Explain the background
lighting requirements?
Explain the warranty   How about night-time?
Will the PROPTACH®  work on other things that rotate?   What about bugs, rain and scratches on the windscreen?
How far away will it work?   Will the PROPTACH®  replace my certificated panel tach?
How about more than three blades?   How do I validate
accuracy of PROPTACH
® ?
Can I lean with the PROPTACH® ?   How about countries
with 50 Hz lighting?
How about pusher aircraft?   What about large vibration, motion and maneuvering
against clouds as a
background variables?
How much is a Lux?      

Will the PROPTACH® work on twins?

Yes, it will work at very acute angles at long distance such as the view you would have from the cockpit of a twin. The accuracy is unchanged because it is a counting process.

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Will the PROPTACH® work on helicopters?

Yes, the same as on twins. Just point it at any part of the rotor plane, even the tips. We have had report of helicopter users capable of just pointing down at the shadow of the blades on the ground on a sunny day.

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Explain the warranty

We are the manufacturer and warrant the unit for a period of 10 years and only charge the cost of shipping back to the customer after a period of one year. We will fix or replace any defective unit that has not been subjected to abuse. In the case of severe usage we only charge for the cost of replacement parts and labor. (Call before sending back)

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Will the PROPTACH® work on other things that rotate?

Yes, in those cases you will need to provide an optical interruption twice per revolution. In the case of a pulley or a shaft, if it is a dark surface, just put two pieces of white masking tape about 180 degrees apart to make it look like a propeller. If the surface is light, then put black tape on instead.

One piece on the surface will result in a reading of half speed in the two blade mode.

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How far away will it work?

This depends on the size of the object. In the case of an aircraft propeller, you can see that it works up to 35 ft away depending on background illumination (see comparison page). In the case of other objects, the best estimate is about 6 times the half diameter.  

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How about more than three blades?

Yes, it will work on 4, 5 and 6 blades but some arithmetic is required. Indicated speed is only direct for 2 and 3 blades.

Actual Speed = Indicated Speed * Blade Mode /Actual Blades.

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Can I lean with the PROPTACH®?

Yes, because the resolution is one RPM, on fixed pitch propeller aircraft, leaning at cruise will result in an increase of RPM from the full rich condition up until a peak at maximum power then decrease again with further leaning. The change is small detectable and repeatable using the Proptach, but indecipherable on a mechanical analog tach.

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How about pusher aircraft?

If the unit can't see any part of the propeller it won't work. If the unit can see any part of the propeller in a mirror, such as on an ultra-light, it will work.

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How much is a Lux?

10000 Lux is a measure of bright daylight, 10 Lux is a dark IMC and 1 Lux is deep Twilight.

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What color blades are required?

The PROPTACH® will work with almost any color blades, light or dark. It only requires a small contrast to the background. If you would succeed in making an exact sky colored prop of exactly the same brightness, it would not work.

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Explain the background lighting requirements?

The PROPTACH® will work from a low light level of one LUX up to 10,000 LUX. This is deep twilight to full daytime sky conditions. Pointing the unit directly at the sun in low sun conditions will result in temporary overload of the compensator circuit. In that case, just aim the unit slightly away from directly at the sun.

Daytime IMC is also well above the one LUX threshold.

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How about night-time?

No, this is less than one Lux and the unit will not function.

The unit display is also not backlit. If you really need to know it during these conditions, a bright flash light usually works or in the case of singles with nose landing lights, this also works.

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What about bugs, rain and scratches on the windscreen?

These have no effect on the operation because they are too small to be seen by the unit.

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Will the PROPTACH® replace my certificated panel tach?

No, while the PROPTACH® is far more accurate it is not intended as an STC'd replacement. As long as your panel tach is working, just placard the error and use the Proptach to accurately set cruise RPM and other verification functions.

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How do I validate accuracy of PROPTACH®?

Use the unit inside any building with 60 Hz lighting and the unit will indicate 3600 and 2400 respectively +/- 1 RPM in the two and three blade modes. The unit will do this for life because the time base is quartz crystal +/- 250ppm accurate.

Pointing the unit at any TV screen will result in 1798 and 1199 respectively +/- one RPM in the two and three blade modes.

This does not apply to computer screens.

There is nothing to adjust for calibration. It will do this for the life of the unit.

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How about countries with 50 Hz lighting?

That frequency will result in 3000 and 2000 +/- one RPM in the two and three blade modes.

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What about large vibration, motion and maneuvering against clouds as a background variables?

The PROPTACH® contains a digital filter that looks for consistency of input. If the filter detects a significant change from reading to reading, it will hold the last valid value in the display until consistency is restored. The unit updates once per second and indicates when the data is invalid by a display icon.

This filter provides a smooth display of data even during rapid or erroneous changes of the input. Small RPM changes will track exactly. Large changes will hold off until stable.

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Cardinal Electronics, Inc.
P.O. Box 70136
Lansing, Michigan  48908
Toll-Free:  800-344-9469
Telephone:  517-321-6618
FAX: 517-321-4988

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