It’s not often we cover the typically tedious process of engine break-in, ourselves not the biggest fans of listening to an engine at constant revs for what feels like an eternity, zzz – a thought shared by our Singapore-located Aussie friend Ben Panic & his Swiss buddy Didier Perrin who set out together to make their own automated break in bench!

The genesis of this project began because of a lack of time to break in engines and the procedure is one of the most boring in RC. Didier and I saw a few versions of break in benches however none of them had everything in one box.  You needed external starters, tanks were not big enough, they needed to be clamped to benches etc…

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So we decided on one of our many long long 3 hour border crossings to customs coming back from racing in Malaysia that we would design and make our own.

The initial prototype was to fit all the mechanicals in one (starter) box and make sure it was stable and the alignment could be achieved.


Once we were satisfied with this I decided to automate it so you could leave the box to run itself.  I did some research on robotics and got all the electrics and began to program them and work out how to power everything form a 4S lipo.

In parallel Didier was able to utilise his contacts to get the machining of the parts done and we were able to build two boxes.

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We focused on a couple of things in the final version of the boxes

  • To make sure we were generating enough load on the engine with the right propellor and also the right airflow out of the propellor enclosure
  • Propellor mount needs to be precisely machined so engine bearings were not destroyed due to misalignment
  • Airflow to the engine was minimised to stop the air cooling the engine which is a large problem in many break in systems
  • Automation so the user could leave the box to complete a cycle of break in itself
  • Multiple options for break in depending on the type of engine and where it was in the breakin cycle

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  • Autonomous breakin bench with no external connectivity required
  • Automated microprocessor controlled servo operation
  • 3 pre programmed fuel maps
  • Fully programmable via external USB interface to modify fuel maps
  • Step down transformer to power servo and microprocessor
  • Push button switches to activate full maps
  • Dual fuel filters
  • Servo mounts for carb control
  • 4 spare input/output for sensor expansion – temp probes, digital readout and rpm
  • 4S lipo to power engine heater
  • 4S lipo to power starter box and electrics
  • Stainless steel mounting plate
  • Propellor enclosure with intake holes
  • Delrin slider system for smooth operation when removing propellor enclosure
  • Precision made propellor mount milled on swiss lathe and milling machines
  • 750cc fuel tank

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