Solo Pro 270 specific section
The latest addition in the 100-size Solo Pro 45 degree flybar FP family, the Solo Pro 270, is also a very nice heli, so it will get some seperate attention here:
Main features/differences compared to Solo Pro V and Bravo SX:
- Flybar located below rotorblades, and unable to strike canopy or tail boom during flight
- Thicker CF tail boom, and tail motor mounted a little higher
- Main shaft now has dampened feathering shaft, so no more breaking off those small blade pivots
- Swash has center ball hub, to reduce lateral play, and swash anti rotation pin now pointing straight backward, instead of 45 degrees
- Slighty different receiver, and different transmitter (J4Pro), might be able to bind to Futaba TX (still unconfirmed)
- Slightly differently shaped tail rotor
- Differently shaped main blades
These changes make this heli very pleasant to fly. It's very smooth in it's control response, has a good tail hold, and it's more quiet than the Bravo SX, and even more silent than the V-series. Hover, once the heli is trimmed out, is very stable, almost like a Syma S107. I haven't seen a 45 degree flybar FP heli hover this solid yet. It's also less affected by ground effect, as you hover close to the ground, making take offs and spot landings much easier.
As this heli uses a very similar design of key components, many problems can be adressed by following the FAQ content in the first 2 postings. So for now I'll only discuss some 270 related issues here.
Q1: My servo's are often buzzing a little, like they are searching for their positions. Is that normal?
A: Initially all 270 receivers had this, so it's a little hard to call it a malfunction. Perhaps they tried to increase the servo's resolution, but it appears to be pretty harmless, and doesn't appear to affect control response once in the air. Later batches of the receivers appear to not have this buzzing "issue".
Q2: This heli doesn't have the "take off help mix" the 260 and SX have. Was my board badly programmed?
A: There is nothing wrong with your board. Since this heli remains very stable when close to the ground, it's not really needed, and that is probably why it was removed. For a perfect vertical take off you would need to apply a slight touch of left aileron while increasing throttle, but even without the 270 will likely have a neater take off than the 260, with the mix.
Q3: Can I use my Solo Pro/Bravo SX TX to control the 270?
A: No, this is not possible. The 270 receiver might look like a simple revision of the 260 receiver, but these are not compatible. It appears though that this heli, or a later batch of the 270, is to be compatible with Futaba transmitters. Details about this are still sketchy though.
The transmitter that comes with the Solo Pro 328 however, can be bound to the 270. Also, the J6Pro can be bound to the 270, but only when "Communication Protocol R-0" is selected. On page 27 of the J6 manual is a section on changing the Communication Protocol choice. You will need to set it to R-0 for the SP 270 (which actually looks like A-0 on the display). Then just bind normally (see P26 of the same manual).
Q1: I've flown outside, but the heli seems to struggle more to pick up speed. What is wrong?
A: For some reason the servo throw on the 270's receiver is greatly reduced compared to the Bravo SX and 260 aka Solo Pro V. It's like flying on low rates on the 260. Perhaps this was intended to avoid the servos locking up at the endpoints under any circumstances, but it also limits the heli's potential. So far it seems to be impossible to alter the servo travel with the stock J4Pro TX, and the only way to get full throws is to change the receiver for the 260's one, which has adjustable endpoints on the TX. As both receivers are identical in board shape, and the mounting holes are also the same, this swap is straightforward.
It seems on recent batches (we're talking second half of march, 2012) throw is more on par with the 260, and there is no direct need for fitting a 260 receiver to get faster forward flight.
General remark, except for the head components, this heli is built the same way as the 260 aka Solo Pro V.
Q1: How do I replace the flybar?
A: The procedure is fairly identical to the Solo Pro, except the pin is not press fit into the flybar, using the shaft as pivot point, but the other way around. So if the flybar can't pivot freely (testing with links not attached) the holes in the flybar might need reaming, and not the hole in the shaft. Best is to unsnap the long links at the mixer arms, then remove the screw that holds the head on the main shaft, and pull the head off. Slide the guide piece off the rest of the head, then unsnap the links between mixer arms and flybar. Finally, slide out the pin, and the flybar is free.
Q2: Can I repair a broken flybar?
A: When making a crash with the blades still spinning (also called "under power") there is a risk that the flybar breaks just outside the balls, where the links to the mixer arms are attached. It's possible to repair this with nail glue (perhaps a decent CA glue will work as well) and a tea bag. First glue the 2 halves together with the glue. Then carefully wrap small strings cut from the tea bag around the broken area, acting as a splint. Soak the tea bag strings with CA, and let it cure. Should be as good as new. You might create a slight unbalance in the flybar, in that case, add some weight on the other side as well, perhaps adding a "splint" on the opposite side, just to prevent future breakage there.
Q1: Does this heli still have subtrim, like the 260 and 320?
A: At first this option didn't appear present, as the TX of the 270 lacks the button on the back, that is used on other helis to access subtrim mode. But it's still there, it just needs a little different procedure to access it. Push down on the right stick, the one you use to switch between low and high rates, hold it down, and then push down the left stick 3 times. That will put the TX in subtrim mode. Unlike on the 260 and 320, in subtrim all controls still work, even the rudder. So it's possible to fly normally in subtrim mode. When finished trimming, one click on the left stick will put the TX back in normal mode.
Q1: What batteries can be used for this heli?
A: The stock battery is the BA-927, which is the same battery the Bravo SX uses. In contrary to most stock batteries, this one has already proven itself in the "power hungry" Bravo SX, as a battery that gives good power, good flight duration, and also good life expectancy. Typical flight times on this 150 mAh battery are around 6 minutes.
The Hobby King OEM 150 (BA-925) can also be used, but performance is less, with a possibly less strict tail hold, and shorter flight times, despite being also rated as 150 mAh. The NanoTech 160 is now also sold fitted with a NE style connector, so these are an option as well. Performance is better than the BA-925, but the NT 160 is also about 0.5 gram heavier than the stock Nine Eagles BA-927 batteries, putting a little more strain on the motors, and possibly reducing climbout power. Personally I prefer the 927, but if money is tight, the NT160 is a viable replacement.
When converting the battery holder to accept mSR style plug batteries, the 160 mAh versions of batteries like Thunder Power and other brands, are probably what to go for. Lower capacities will limit flight times noticably, and may not even be able to deliver the current this heli needs for good control response.
Upgrades and mods:
Since this heli is pretty new, no real upgrades have been produced yet. The swash already has a center ball, and the head has rubber damper rings, like the Xtreme heads for the 260 and 320. User Bobepine reported that replacing the rubber dampers with those for the Blade mSR has made control response slightly more direct, as the stock rings apparently are softer.
Apart from that the only performance increasing mod so far is swapping the board for that of the 260, so you get more servo throw, and the option to adjust the gyro setting, thus influencing the piro-rate, like on the 260 and 320. When flying outside, this board swap is very recommended.
For those that want a different canopy, there is some good news. User Bobepine also tried the MIA canopy kit on the 270. His comments: "As you can see, I did not need to use the upper part of the boom mount. No need on the SP270. In fact, there is no modifications required at all. It's plug and play. No need to install a canopy mount, it fits right onto the stock canopy mount. Also no need to modify the tail boom mount, either, like using part of another frame to make this work. Things line up perfectly with the stock tail boom mount. It's like this mod was made specifically for this heli. Very cool."
The overall result is indeed nice: