TIMER INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE
Just like your wristwatch is put in a case to protect the innards, so should your timer be installed. It would be nice if we could put our timers in a nice metal case with a gasket seal, making it near water tight. Unfortunately, this is not feasible. But, you can a lot to put the timer in a pretty good environment, with very little effort. We very strongly suggest all timers be mounted in a small box inside the fuselage. (Read below about how our Installation kits can fill this need) After determining where the timer is to be mounted, you need to add bulkheads that will form a small sealed cavity inside the fuselage. Seal up the cavity with dope or epoxy to keep all the balsa dust inside the fuselage out, and to nail down any dust inside the cavity. No matter how neat a builder your are, there is always going to be a huge amount of balsa dust inside your fuselage, and you sure do not need that flying around, and landing on the timer gears.
The timer needs to be installed so that there is adequate clearance between the clockworks gears and the fuselage sides. Some of the gears can hit the fuselage sides if you are not real careful in making the cutout. For this reason, we introduced a whole family of Installation Kits for all our timer products. There is a kit for every timer we offer, and we really encourage you to use them. They make installation a lot easier, and at the same time help ensure you have adequate clearance for the gears. After the plywood kit mounts are attached to your fuselage, you will likely need to bevel the balsa away from the mount, on the inside. The installation kits include a molded dust cover that installs inside the fuselage and eliminates the need for you to build the sealed box noted above.
It is always advisable for the timer to be mounted on a totally flat surface. Our Installation Kits are great for this. And, we strongly encourage you to use small #2 metal screws (included with our kit) or 2-56 machine screws to hold the timer, not glue. Glue says you are not likely going to take the timer out to inspect or clean it. Some customers make a gasket to help seal the outside crud away from the timer. This sounds like a good idea, but we have never used it ourselves.
One of the hardest points to get across to our customers is to not oil or lube the timer clock gears in any way shape or form. See below for how to oil the pivots and spring.
OIL - THE ENEMY
It is sometimes necessary to put the tiniest amount of oil on the gear pivot points. You must not get it on the gear teeth, only the pivots. A wire can be useful to do this. Dip the end of a fine wire in some Outers Gun Oil and use it as the applicator.
OIL - YOUR FRIEND
There is one place that lubrication is a good thing. That is on the spring of extended run time models, such as the DT, MAX, Ultimate, and 3F. These are the timers that have the spring housing can on the back. The spring coil needs to slip and slide on itself while it is unwinding. It is good to keep the spring coated with a thin film of oil. And we do not mean WD 40 or 3 in One. These are the kiss of death to the clock. Use a high quality clock spring oil. This is oil that has the consistency of water and never thickens. Outers Gun Oil available at Wal Mart is good as is Dukie's Oil as sold by Doug Galbreath. To oil the spring, you let it unwind all the way, to where you can see the spring coils through the little hole in the case cover. Put several drops of this good oil in the hole, and then wind up the clock to distribute the oil. This also helps to protect the steel spring from corrosion. You can not use too much oil. Any excess oil will drain out of the can.
WARNING - never remove the can cover. It is crimped in place and if you pry it off, the timer is scrap. You will not be able to get it back on correctly.
How often a timer needs to be cleaned is a variable based on how you installed it, where you fly, and how often you fly. It is common practice for the Seelig timer users to clean their clock every day they fly. No, that should not be necessary with a Texas Timer, but it does show you how important some people believe cleaning is. We suggest that you check your timer once in a while, and see what is happening to it. This is why we want you to use screws to mount the timer, and not glue it in. Of course, gluing it in has its own risks as we have seen the glue creep into the clock and really mess it up big time!
The bottom line is KEEP IT CLEAN and you will be rewarded with many years of trouble free operation.