Laser Balancing Props

by FliteTest | September 5, 2012 | (40) Posted in Tips

Lasers can help you visually see the vibration that your motors and props are creating.  By reflecting a laser off of a mirror that's attached to your plane, tricopter, quadcopter, or multi-rotor you can easily see and and correct balance and vibration issues!

The effects of an unbalanced prop or motor can be seen with your FPV with the onboard camera causing a jello-like, wavy, warped video playback.  You can also sometimes simply feel the vibration by touch as well.

The idea is simple, point a laser towards a mirror which is attached to your multirotor arm, plane or where your onboard camera is setup. Reflect that laser off of the mirror and onto a wall.  

The dot that is formed on the wall while the engine is off is what you want to match when your props are running.  Unbalanced props will result in wavy or elongated deformation of that laser dot reflection.

Add or remove tape from your prop and try again until the vibration is to your satisfaction.  

This is a great way to test the vibration of any area of your RC plane or multi-rotor, attaching the mirror to any place you want to 'see' the vibration.

We got the idea from this youtube video:

Click the 'Join the Discussion' link below to interacted and discuss this article!


dammuozz on September 6, 2012
entertaining and educational video!! will try for sure!!
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Bbjen on September 7, 2012
I think that this is the best fine tuning method, sure you need to balance them before but for the camera, it is needed to be almost perfect. I would suggest building a bracket alone fixed to the table sit wayyou could take away the vibrations absorbed by your hands and be even more precise...
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Cyberdactyl on October 1, 2012
What would be great is for someone to develop some simple parameters and geometry on where the laser is mounted, where it is aimed at the multicopter's arm or motor, etc. and then explaining how to balance according to the laser's pattern.
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banditjacksRC on December 11, 2014
^^^great idea
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agetchell on September 6, 2012
Seems like you would want to use traditional means to balance the props but then use this technique to look for other vibrations; such as a bent shaft. I can't see using this to balance the props.. Would take forever to determine how much tape to put on and which side etc.

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tramsgar on September 7, 2012
Whether using lasers for balancing props, the whole guckamungo or just verifying your standard balancing it seems like a great technique - thanks for the tip.

Could you please also show a good method to balance props by removing material some time?

Finally, there's been a lot of bench time for a while, I wanna see more flight time! The autumn isn't over yet, we've got the whole winter to tinker.
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WalneyCol on September 5, 2012
That is absolutley the worst way of ballancing a prop I've ever heard of and gives no idication whatsoever of which blade or which side of the´╗┐ hub needs to be modified. -1 for sure
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Corsair2014 on September 5, 2012
thats why you only balance one motor at a time dude
(unplug the other esc's)
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cubby on September 5, 2012
it just shows out of balance, you have to use your brain to figure which blade is heavy or light. Not to difficult if you are smart
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mountaindewdude76 on September 8, 2012
Can this same method be used on planes? I'm sure it can, just not sure how.
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pete236 on September 5, 2012
What's with the Yankee's hat?
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Laser Balancing Props