I purchased this Align 700E DFC HV super combo from Helipross, for what seemed to be a good price at USD$1,349.99, including shipping.
I had already decided to use a different FBL controller as my experience with the 3G and 3GX had not been good at all. I opted for the MSH iKon (Brain), because of good flight reports and the self level feature. A Black Friday special of $169 also added to my decision.
I also decided to upgrade to the black plastic main gear, tail boom gearbox gears and the new 6mm tail shaft also with black gears.
Colored 2mm tail fins (red in this case) were also a must have for me as I find these add to visibility significantly.
I really enjoyed this build. Probably my best to date. Fit and quality was excellent in the kit. The design is simple, easy to work on and strong. No more bellcranks and the carbon fiber plastic impregnated frames are clever. I also like the plastic nose assembly, which allows plenty of room for all of the electronics. Three bearings on the main shaft are standard and so is an extra bearing for the motor pinion. I followed Align's new instructions to align the pinion with the bottom of the main gear (not on the bearing, as in the manual), in fact I set it just above, as the main gear rides up slightly when under load.
The same can't be said for the upgrades. The Align TT bevel gears were too large in diameter to fit the bearings on them. After contacting the supplier Align suggested to them that I sand them down.
In the end it was the only option I was left with and I managed to get the diameter just right by sanding them down to 12.05mm, as the bearings must be a snug fit on the gear.
The upgrade 6mm tail shaft required a 0.1mm shim to remove the slop in the gearbox. The original shaft with a step down to 5mm at the end did not have this slop.
My only other gripe about the kit was the size of the wires on the Castle Phoenix ICE2 HV 120A ESC. The supplied motor bullet connectors would have been a nightmare to fit on the ends of the pre tinned ESC leads. Since the wire gauge was hugely bigger than the motor wires I opted to cut off the tinned end of the wire and remove some of the wire strands until the wire fitted neatly in the bullet connector.
This in no way spoiled the fun of this build. The rest of the kit is so good and Align have been very thorough to ensure everything you need is provided, including ample velcro strips and straps.
No parts were missing and all electronics worked as expected. I really like that Align does not thread lock anything and that all bearings are pre lubricated.
I didn't use Align's thread lock and instead used my Tarot 222 thread lock, as I really like this thread lock. 222 is usually purple and is rated for use with very small screws up to 1/4 inch screws. The Tarot 222 is a blue color.
The electronics I used seem good. As I mentioned I didn't use the 3GX as I don't think this FBL unit performs very well, even though some are reporting better performance with the lastest v3 firmware. I also don't like that it still requires Tx helicopter 3 servo mixing.
The servos seem to perform well, even at 5.5 volts. I'm undecided yet what voltage I will use. I've wired for a 2S lipo, but will be plugging in a 10amp (15amp peak) HV BEC to start with which has selectable voltage from 5.2V to 8.4V. I might start off at 6V or 6.8V and see how it goes.
I had already purchased a Castle link so I had it when the kit arrived, however inside the Castle ESC packet is a voucher to obtain online a free Castle link or a Field link for $10. US shipping is free but international shipping charges have to be paid.
The Castle Phoenix ESC connected to the PC fine and I changed the settings to governor mode using 3 RPM's 1750, 1950 & 2150.
When I first flashed up the ESC to check the motor direction, I was unable to get it to arm. To get it to arm, I ended up having to set my throttle hold to -20%. Normal, idleup 1 & 2 are set to 30, 70 and 100 percent with the EPA's on throttle set to 110 percent. These settings select the 3 RPM's programmed in to the ESC.
I also added a couple of mixes to my Tx to get the 3 flight modes the iKon has. One of which will have the self level enabled. A second large switch forces the flight mode to the mode with self level enabled.
I'm using a Hitec Optima 7 and will be using the telemetry to report the voltage of the battery connected to ground. This same battery will have the most load as it will also supply the BEC.
I'm still waiting for the BEC and red tail fins to arrive.
I found this build video very helpful:
However there were some things I disagreed with. Like installing the elevator servo before putting the frames together and thread locking all screws going into metal.
Also watch out for the small screw on the inside of the tail gearbox side plate, that needs to be thread locked. This screw holds the pitch slider arm on the side of the gearbox side plate.