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Thread: Timing of 2011 Nitro Cams

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    Junior Member bwhntr7973's Avatar
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    Default Timing of 2011 Nitro Cams

    I just got my 2009 Firecat back from my local bow shop and it is shooting good but I am wondering about the timing of the cams. I had Joel from Martin sending some new cams because the others were tweaked pretty good and one of my local shops put them on for me. My only question is if they timed the cams correctly. I can't seem to be able to find any timing marks other than going by the number 5 hole for the draw length mods. Before they were changed I was getting 280 fps with a 415 grain arrow and now I am only getting 269-270 fps with a 407 grain arrow. I have attached some pics so you can see what I am talking about with the timing.

    Anything will help!
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    Senior Member wscywabbit's Avatar
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    Check this link out it has some good info andshows one of the easiest ways to time these cams:

    http://martinarchery.com/mtechforum/...-Alien-Set-ups
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    is it in spec? ata, bh?

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    Senior Member bfisher's Avatar
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    That video shows a very good way to check the cam timing at nearly full draw. The cables should come to the pencil mark at the same time. Something else I always do is, once the cam timing is set and the draw length tweaked to where I want it is to draw a line on the side of the cam edge where it passes through the limb fork. Doing this gives me a visual reference so if the cables would stretch unevenly or I'd change the rigging I can just look at those marks to get the bow back to where I originally had it set.

    There are no timing mrks on the cams as they can be set to where ever you desire for a certain feel or performance. I usually advance my cams (counter clockwise in the left hand pic) by twisting the string to give a smoother draw. This removes some of the hump right before the cams roll over. It gives up some speed, which I don't care about anyway, but makes the bow feel better to me. This also shortens the draw length which can be reset using the module and draw stop.

    Although you're not using pencil marks on the module to check cam timing it appears that they are pretty close by using the #5 hole in relation to the cable. There can very several reasons why you lost about 10 fps with the new cams. What many people don't do is measure and/or mark the cams and write down the specs as they originally were. Big mistake. Is the bow set to the exat same specs as before? It could very well be that the cams are not wrapped up quite as tight as the originals. Maybe the string/cables are not set to the same length as before. Is this the same rigging? Was anything added to the string? With the mods set in the #5 hole it should be at 29" draw, but have you actually measured it on a draw board? Is the draw weight the same?

    Different lighting can make a difference in what the chrono reads. Still, assuming a 29" draw and computing from the IBO rating I would think your speed right now is on the slow side. The 8 grains difference in arrows only amounts to 2'/sec so that's not much of an issue. What I often find is that IBO ratings are inflated by about 20'/sec on most bows, Martin being no different. Still, you're not worrying so much about this as the amount of change from before. Maybe do some tweaking, add a few twists to the cables to get better efficiency from the cams.

    Using a post on AT about optimizing the Cat cams (same as you'rs) you could twist the cables more so that the cables run right through the middle of that #5 hole. This will make the draw length a bit longer, but this can be compensated with the draw mod and draw stop. There's a good explanation on at about this. Do a search for "Optimizing Cat Cams".
    Last edited by bfisher; 04-05-2012 at 05:39 AM.
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    Senior Member droppixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfisher View Post
    That video shows a very good way to check the cam timing at nearly full draw. The cables should come to the pencil mark at the same time. Something else I always do is, once the cam timing is set and the draw length tweaked to where I want it is to draw a line on the side of the cam edge where it passes through the limb fork. Doing this gives me a visual reference so if the cables would stretch unevenly or I'd change the rigging I can just look at those marks to get the bow back to where I originally had it set.
    Didn't think about doing that! Totally going to have to mark mine.
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    What Barry said.!
    #1 The timing needs to be done at full draw, not at rest. Watch Jims video again on how to set them.
    From your pics - the cams need to be wrapped up tighter. Measure from the cable post to the cable - this should be right on 1/8" at rest.
    Here is a link to the AT thread about setting the cams: http://www.archerytalk.com/vb/showthread.php?t=626601

    From the pics - if it were mine - I would add 3 twists to each cable and take 1 twist out of the string. Then check all the measurements.
    Then - at full draw - check to see if the cams are in time with each other. Make a slight adjustment if they are not perfect, then check your
    speed again.

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    Junior Member bwhntr7973's Avatar
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    Default Thanks guys!

    Yeah, there is a lot of good info on here from all you guys. I measured from the cable post to the cable and the top cam measurement is right about 3/16 so about 1/16 to more than the 1/8" and the bottom cam is right about 5/32 so about 1/32 more than the 1/8".

    I checked my ATA and it is 32.5" center of limb (where the cam pin is) to the other center of limb. I also measured my brace height from the deepest part of the grip to the string and it is sitting right at 7".

    To reply to bfisher, I am not sure if everything was set back to the same specs as before due to having the cams put on by my local bow shop. I am hoping they did measurements but I am just not certain about whether they did or not. I know that when I received it back from Martin with the new cams and limbs the cable post was right at 1/8" both top and bottom. Seemed to be a bit smoother and shoot faster at that setting.

    The other question is, is how easy is changing the cam timing by yourself. I don't have a bow press and have never done this yet but could most likely figure it out easy enough if given the proper guidance. I have seen where you can draw the string back enough to get a steal dowel or screwdriver through the cams to make a bow press in a pinch. I just do not want to damage the cams or anything else in doing this.

    The other question is how far would I need to twist my cables and in what direction.
    Last edited by bwhntr7973; 04-05-2012 at 06:47 PM.

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    Senior Member bfisher's Avatar
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    Don't use a dowel or screwdriver in the cams. Martin bows are pretty unique within the archery industry. One of the few brands that you can back out the limb bolts enough to relieve tension on the rigging. You can do this yourself. Just back out the limb bolts evenly (same amount of turns per limb). If the bolts are bottomed now then it's usually about 12 turns or until you see daylight through the barrel nuts the bolt screw into, as viewed from the side. When you can see about half a hole through the barrel nut there should be slack, or nearly so, on the rigging. At this point you can just slip the string off the cam like a bicycle chain and work on the bow. Putting it back together is just the reverse order. Just remember to record whatever you do so you can change it back if need be and take some digital photos of the cable routing on the cams in the event you forget. After you're done you'll probably have to shorten the module by one hole and reset the draw stop accordingly. Then check and/or retune the bow.
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    Junior Member bwhntr7973's Avatar
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    Default Great info.

    Thanks Barry! Good info as usual. I did not know that about the Martin bows and relaxing the string. If I were to put a twist or two in the cable strings, which way would make it to where it would bring the cable post closer to the 1/8" away from the cable itself? Do I just look at what way the cable is twisted currently and add another twist to it?

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    Senior Member droppixel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwhntr7973 View Post
    Thanks Barry! Good info as usual. I did not know that about the Martin bows and relaxing the string. If I were to put a twist or two in the cable strings, which way would make it to where it would bring the cable post closer to the 1/8" away from the cable itself? Do I just look at what way the cable is twisted currently and add another twist to it?

    I love these forum sights becuase of all the information I get out of them!
    I wouldn't worry about the distance from the post as much as the cables contacting the mods at exactly the same time at the same point on each mod respectively. I would look it up to double check me or wait for another post, but I think you put twists into the cable connected to the cam that is advanced.
    Last edited by droppixel; 04-06-2012 at 11:07 AM.
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