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Old Mar 06, 2011, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by SpadCat2000 View Post
kdean, did not know you played guitar, also. Great idea using the wall mounts to hold the helis. I am having a hard time playing when I always seem to be out in the shop tinkering with the V400s. And several fixed wing projects are on hold also. These things are addictive!

Yesterday when I was flying the V400, a couple of guys brought a brand new 9053 and quickly found out it is not capable of any forward flight in even a very light air movement (too slow to call it a wind). They were amazed that the V400 did not even notice it and seemed to be as stable as the 9053. I informed them of the mods, but told them I would not put any more money in and get the V400.

In regards to the fuse, it must have some importance if RTF advises their use. Not only could it save the electronics, but the wiring and motor could be saved also if it becomes stalled for any reason. As I said, I thought I bought one but can't find it.

rustyh17, always welcome to contribute any way you can. I also like the hs-5055's and plan on using them in V400 #1. My only concern (not really sure it is valid due to lack of heli exp.) is that I would rather the plastic gears break in a crash than something more valuable it is attached to. I have found the HXT-900 and Tpro 9g work real well (for my experience level) and they are much tougher than the stock servos. Plus at $2.77 shipped (I get them in less than 5 working days), the price can't be beat.

Wasp09, thanks for the info. It appears the HK kit has been on back order many months, so will continue looking on ebay (no rush anyway).

SpadCat
SpadCat, thanks for the servo info. I understand the "let the least expensive component be sacrificial" philosophy. I had a blade strike (on my arm which was in a coat thankfully), and the servos held fine. The ball link head failed. That was a very quick fix. I never considered the possibility of getting servos for $2.77 each. That kind of changes the dynamics of things just a bit! lol

One point to consider, I've heard the digital servos are more responsive and hold better than the analog option. Are the HXT or Tpro 9g analog or digital? The Tpro looked analog when I looked it up on the net.
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Old Mar 06, 2011, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by rustyh17 View Post
SpadCat, thanks for the servo info. I understand the "let the least expensive component be sacrificial" philosophy. I had a blade strike (on my arm which was in a coat thankfully), and the servos held fine. The ball link head failed. That was a very quick fix. I never considered the possibility of getting servos for $2.77 each. That kind of changes the dynamics of things just a bit! lol

One point to consider, I've heard the digital servos are more responsive and hold better than the analog option. Are the HXT or Tpro 9g analog or digital? The Tpro looked analog when I looked it up on the net.
They are both analog and both servos are probably from the same manufacturer. I am a very unskilled heli operator and have the controls reduced for LESS response (you would probably call it mushy), so the analog work fine for me. In fixed wing aircraft, I have years of experience, and I do see the difference in high performance craft. They hold and center better along with being more responsive (In a heli, probably would make training easier due to better centering). The V400 is so stable that it kind of overlooks the imprecise nature of the cheaper servos the way I have it set up and in the type of flying I do. I have 2 V400's, and one I am using as a basic trainer and the only mods I am doing on it are for durability (for obvious reasons). It does have the brushless main motor upgrade. The 2nd V400 I will build for more advanced flying and as a back up to the 1st one if it is down.

SpadCat

As a note, I too had a blade strike on the arm while flying in my garage last week (rainy outside), and even though a heavy jacket, I got a couple of marks. Much more careful now!
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Old Mar 06, 2011, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by SpadCat2000 View Post
They are both analog and both servos are probably from the same manufacturer. I am a very unskilled heli operator and have the controls reduced for LESS response (you would probably call it mushy), so the analog work fine for me. In fixed wing aircraft, I have years of experience, and I do see the difference in high performance craft. They hold and center better along with being more responsive (In a heli, probably would make training easier due to better centering). The V400 is so stable that it kind of overlooks the imprecise nature of the cheaper servos the way I have it set up and in the type of flying I do. I have 2 V400's, and one I am using as a basic trainer and the only mods I am doing on it are for durability (for obvious reasons). It does have the brushless main motor upgrade. The 2nd V400 I will build for more advanced flying and as a back up to the 1st one if it is down.

SpadCat

As a note, I too had a blade strike on the arm while flying in my garage last week (rainy outside), and even though a heavy jacket, I got a couple of marks. Much more careful now!
I completely understand about the analog's being sufficient for normal flying. When you can buy them for $2.77 each vs. $20 each, it becomes a pretty easy choice. I'm glad to hear you had on a coat too. I am much more careful now too. I'm just thankful my lesson only resulted in a bruise rather than getting seriously hurt.

Take care! Russ
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Old Mar 07, 2011, 03:47 AM
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Hey Spad,

yeah, i'm a full-time musician. I also teach music and computers in a primary school, and also have my own music school where i do private lessons. I started out as a drummer, but now I'm playing bass, guitar, and some piano. I play with a few bands, and usualy have gigs at least 4 nights a week. Along with band practices, and being a husband and the father of 2, I dont get much time to spend with my helis.

UPDATE:

All of my birds are in the air. Now that #3 is in good flying condition, (still a slight wabble), I spent some time with #1. After my crash I thought that only the main gear was striped. So I fixed that: I found that the stock, out of the box, gear mesh is rather loose. So when a gear "strips", it realy only shaves off the tops of the gears. Instead of re-placeing the main gear, all i did was, - with a small flat head screwdriver, cleaned any excess plastic that might be inbetween the gears, and adjust the motor to tighten the mesh of the gears. I make sure its not to tight, slowing down and putting strain on the motor, but just enough so rotation feels smooth. I've done this on #3 and now on #1 and they fly fine with the "striped" gears.

When trying to perform a hover test with #1, I found that one of the servos was striped as well. I thought it was the pitch servo and started to swap it with one if the stock that came with #3. When I turned everything on to get the servo in its neutral position, i realized it was actually the alieron servo. It stopped moveing and became very hot.

After installing and test hovering, i took a look in the broken servo to see if i could rotate the gears and get a second life out of it. Two if the gears are striped and it look like there is no way to save it. The good news is that its the upper gears striped and these are the gears that are metal in the wk-09-8 servos that i have. It gave me hope that the two bottom most gears wont strip, as these are plastic in the wk-09-8's

Im not sure if the TGY-90S are digital or analog. I cant find any info on the net, but they sure do feel looser than the stock servos.

I'll try to get to the park today, if the wind gods are in favor.....

Kdean
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Old Mar 07, 2011, 10:20 AM
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Im not sure if the TGY-90S are digital or analog. I cant find any info on the net, but they sure do feel looser than the stock servos.
Kdean
http://www.servodatabase.com/servo/turnigy/tgy-mg90s

Looks like the TGY-90S is analog too. Very nice price though AND metal gear! This one would probably work very well, but the mod is a bit more involved due to the servo dims and mount tabs.

I got to fly the V400 yesterday in a moderate crosswind. I was worried about getting too crazy on the 3D stuff, but sheez that bird is tight. I am in love... The only problem with being in love with a heli is you start to worry about crashing it. I have noticed that on a flight sim, I can do anything, but with a real heli, it is just DIFFERENT. It is probably the same difference as playing poker for money or poker for fun. If is doesn't cost anything to lose, it isn't real. I like real, but it sure does pucker your !
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Old Mar 07, 2011, 02:04 PM
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Thanx rusty,

I kinda knew they were analog by the way they felt in flight. But thanx for the confermation.

I have the same flight anxiety problem. I'm a monster on the sim, but as soon as its the real thing i freeze up. Its like my mind cant work out left, right, forward, back, up, or down anymore. I think its a matter of trust.

You have to learn to trust what the heli is going to do, when you ask it to do something. The only way to develop this trusting relationship is to fly it as much as you can, and take small steps. I made the mistake of trying to do something that I do on the sim all the time, (a bank turn), but the v400 did not behave like the sim. I ended up doing a face plant into the ground. So, becareful. You may trust the sim because you've spent time getting to know how it will behave. You could take bigger steps because you could crash as much as you want. But in real life, as you said, it will cost you.

I've actualy stoped using my sim as much. And when I do use it, I do excersises to help build my orientation control. Hovering over one spot in all orientations, landing on a givein spot in all orientations, (fms has an indoor landscape with some boxes, i practice landing on each box, in all orientations and with different models) flying backwards, backward bank turns and circles. Sometimes I'll do some inverted flight, loops and rolls, but only to strech my thumbs, then its back work.

I also need to start flying my v400 in flight mode. The sim only lets you fly in full flight mode, so this may be why the switch from sim to real feels so different. We'll see what happens.

I'll be making alot of small steps to build a trusting relationship with my helis, and after your first crash it makes it easier for you crash again with no worries.
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Old Mar 07, 2011, 03:53 PM
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Thanx rusty,

I kinda knew they were analog by the way they felt in flight. But thanx for the confermation.

I have the same flight anxiety problem. I'm a monster on the sim, but as soon as its the real thing i freeze up. Its like my mind cant work out left, right, forward, back, up, or down anymore. I think its a matter of trust.

You have to learn to trust what the heli is going to do, when you ask it to do something. The only way to develop this trusting relationship is to fly it as much as you can, and take small steps. I made the mistake of trying to do something that I do on the sim all the time, (a bank turn), but the v400 did not behave like the sim. I ended up doing a face plant into the ground. So, becareful. You may trust the sim because you've spent time getting to know how it will behave. You could take bigger steps because you could crash as much as you want. But in real life, as you said, it will cost you.

I've actualy stoped using my sim as much. And when I do use it, I do excersises to help build my orientation control. Hovering over one spot in all orientations, landing on a givein spot in all orientations, (fms has an indoor landscape with some boxes, i practice landing on each box, in all orientations and with different models) flying backwards, backward bank turns and circles. Sometimes I'll do some inverted flight, loops and rolls, but only to strech my thumbs, then its back work.

I also need to start flying my v400 in flight mode. The sim only lets you fly in full flight mode, so this may be why the switch from sim to real feels so different. We'll see what happens.

I'll be making alot of small steps to build a trusting relationship with my helis, and after your first crash it makes it easier for you crash again with no worries.
kdean,

So I'm not the only one! Thank God! I thought I was just being a fraidy cat.

I've been flying a sim since 2005. In Feb/2011 was my first real world flight. I couldn't believe the difference. I flew the first time without full flight mode, but Saturday morning this last weekend, I MADE myself switch it to full flight mode and go for it. My mom was there playing with my two young sons and they were all watching. I was talking about how I could make it fly upside down and blah, blah, blah... and you know what my mom did? She is so funny! She has always been the one that pushed me to achieve many great things in life and this time proved no different. I'm 45 years old, and she said, "You know, you're never going to be satisfied unless you just fly that helicopter upside down!" The boys were like, "Do it daddy, do it!" They were jumping on the trampoline and having a ball... So, what was I to do? Man up? You bet your sweet !

I was in full flight mode, high rates, hovering at 15ft...tail in... I did a left hand roll over... gave it negative pitch... floated it and held it there for 4 seconds... continued wetting myself... then flipped over left again and brought it back to upright...

I was like, "Holy crapola! That just happened!" I did it in front of my mom and my boys and they saw it. I hovered that puppy back to the porch, landed it, and shut it down. I was scared to death, but very happy. The boys were going on and on about it. I hope they grow up learning to fly their first helis when they turn 7 years old. They'll be pros by the time they hit their teens.

Anyway, my observation is that a person needs a sim to stretch themselves MILES beyond what they'd ever do in real life. Then, when they do it in real life, if they do even 50% of what they can do in a sim, they will be doing some really cool flying. I know I would have NEVER done inverted flight otherwise.

By the way, and this is being honest, when I put the V400 (w/ the HS-5055MG dig servos) in full flight mode, that sucker was a monster 3D capable machine. It does EXACTLY what you want it to do with immediate response.

Sorry for rambling. I don't have anyone here locally to talk to about this sort of thing... Take care! Russ
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Old Mar 07, 2011, 07:16 PM
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I don't have time right now for a full response (got the grandkids), but want to say....awesome story!

Later,

SpadCat
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Old Mar 08, 2011, 12:37 AM
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So I tried to do some hovering in idle-up/flight mode. Boy was that stupid. First of all, im in the living room, right in front of my $2000 flat screen, and glass fish tank.

I used my #2 heli because its only had 2 flights out of the box, and I have not tampered with any of the settings. My plan was to spool up to 50% then flip the switch. Well, by the time it gets to half stick it already trying to get up in the air. So, on to plan B. Get in a stable hover and flip the switch. I'm very worried about the heli becomeing a celling fan, so my thumb is ready to add negitive pitch. Well...... flip goes the switch and SLAM the heli hits the floor like a ton of bricks and sticks like a magnet in a steel factory. I was not expecting that.

No problem, nothing broken, lets continue shall we.....

I'm in flight mode now, lets do some hovering. Feels good, no big difference in cyclic controls. I do like the up - down command that you get in flight mode. Played with that for a bit, landing and lifting off a couple times. Now its time to switch back to normal mode......

So Im thinking, or maybe I was'nt thinking, get the heli landed and then flip the switch back. Made sence at the time. Touch down............then Flip, and up she goes, fast. Chopped the stick, hit the floor hard, added stick she went for the roof again. This happend 3 time really fast. I am shocked that I did not hit anything but the floor with the skids. I did not know my thumbs could adjust that fast. She was going up in every direction at all kinds of angles. By the time I was landed it was nose in. I dont remember how it got that way.

Unpluged it, turned of the transmitter, changed my shortz, in that order (like it says the manual). I am still amazed that nothing is broken. Maybe when I try to fly it again, something will show up.

Lesson: I should have adjusted the pitch in normal mode to match the neutral point of flight mode.

I also realized that I need to trust myself. I was talking about trusting the heli before, but you also need to trust your own ability. Those hours and hours on the sim do help your reflexes and decision making. And when you dont have a chance to let your 'brain' get in the way, you may find that you already know what to do, without over thinking it.

One of these days I'm going to the park with the mentality that "I'm going to crash this heli today". And then just fly all out with no holds barred, rock out with my out...... Take one big step, try as many manuvers as I can. And if or when I crash, I will be much further along, as far as trusting myself and the heli, than if I continue takeing small steps.

Keeping in mind, I have three of these helis, and can sacrafice one in the name of improvement. If you only have one, I would not recommend this excersise for you.

But before I do anything crazy, I have to get things on the heli set-up right....
Like the PITCH.....

kdean
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Old Mar 08, 2011, 02:23 AM
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One more thing,

When you find out how 'easy' it is to fix it, you'll find it 'easy' to crash it.
Without the worry and stress, If you know what I mean......

Its past my bed time.

kdean
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Old Mar 08, 2011, 09:51 PM
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Wow, you two guys are far ahead of me, but it seems I am learning the same lessons. I did not think my sim was capable of 3D since I only have a 4 ch controller, but a couple of nights ago, I pulled the throttle trim lever all the way back, and guess what?...I found that I could fly inverted with the power/elevator stick on the low side of center. That opened a whole new world for me.

Good stories from both of you, and kdean, I am glad you didn't turn your #4 into a ceiling fixture! It must be really satisfying to be a music teacher. I missed my calling as I love to teach and spend some time teaching a couple of kids basic guitar until they get a professional instructor. I also love to teach RC fixed wing and at one time was a club instructor. I have two students now. Just after I learned to fly, I asked my instructor what could I do in return to pay him back for all the time he spent with me (no sims in those days) and he said just go teach one other person to fly. Well, have taught more than I can remember now, and will until I can't fly anymore, or sims put me out of business.

Rusty, your story (without the added bonus of your kids) is similar to a You Tube vid I came across a few days ago about a new V400 pilot doing his first inverted hover. It was pretty cool.

SpadCat
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Old Mar 08, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Back in Love with V400

There was a time when it was love at first sight with the V400, but then it turned quickly into, well, I won't say hate, but it sure made me start looking for a much sturdier airframe and maybe I should have invested in the V450. Out of over 30 flights, just 6 in FF, the rest in hover practice in the garage and backyard, It seemed like I was always repairing something due to very minor accidents, but now I feel like I know the ship inside and out and have made the usual improvements to make it a better and sturdier ship. She is great to fly and now if there is damage, I can quickly repair her. I am lucky that one of our LHS stocks parts for it at reasonable prices, so I do not have to have many spares on hand. Just installed the boom brace and it looks pretty sexy. I even have learned how to repair the canopy and make it more durable. The plastic shatters very easily, but now I have made it more durable.

kdean, I have not timed a flight with the 3s 2200ma, and have done no FF with with one, but from flying around in the backyard, It is a long time and am ready to come down before it gets to the end of the charge. Once the wind dies down again, I will try to do an accurate timed session.


SpadCat
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Old Mar 09, 2011, 02:46 PM
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There was a time when it was love at first sight with the V400, but then it turned quickly into, well, I won't say hate, but it sure made me start looking for a much sturdier airframe and maybe I should have invested in the V450. Out of over 30 flights, just 6 in FF, the rest in hover practice in the garage and backyard, It seemed like I was always repairing something due to very minor accidents, but now I feel like I know the ship inside and out and have made the usual improvements to make it a better and sturdier ship. She is great to fly and now if there is damage, I can quickly repair her. I am lucky that one of our LHS stocks parts for it at reasonable prices, so I do not have to have many spares on hand. Just installed the boom brace and it looks pretty sexy. I even have learned how to repair the canopy and make it more durable. The plastic shatters very easily, but now I have made it more durable.

kdean, I have not timed a flight with the 3s 2200ma, and have done no FF with with one, but from flying around in the backyard, It is a long time and am ready to come down before it gets to the end of the charge. Once the wind dies down again, I will try to do an accurate timed session.


SpadCat
Spad,

I don't know all the common acronyms around here. What does FF stand for? Also, if you have a short list of acronyms, it would be useful. I am quite the noob. Thanks, Rusty
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Old Mar 09, 2011, 06:17 PM
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Spad,

I don't know all the common acronyms around here. What does FF stand for? Also, if you have a short list of acronyms, it would be useful. I am quite the noob. Thanks, Rusty
Actually I am the real noob around here! .. I have been trying to pick up the lingo and FF is Forward Flight as one would fly a fixed wing. FF used to be "Free Flight" in the days when RC was new. At one time helis were called "choppers", then "copters", then someone decided to call them "helis". Don't know why . Now I am really confused, how did I get on that tangent!

Took my #2 to the hobby shop where I bought her and showed the owner all the mods that really improved the V400. They already stock the 9 gram servos and is waiting for the slo boat from China to arrive with the spare parts. She asked me if I could train people on how to fly it, and I said not yet, maybe in a couple of years!

SpadCat
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Old Mar 09, 2011, 08:53 PM
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Just installed the boom brace and it looks pretty sexy. I even have learned how to repair the canopy and make it more durable. The plastic shatters very easily, but now I have made it more durable.
SpadCat
SpadCat,

boom brace? is that the rtf-heli thing they sell for V400?

canopy repair/durable? care to share? mine is still unbroken and i'd love to keep it that way.

I am using 3Sx1500mah packs. They are the Walkera stock packs for their Lama 400D. I found them for $17.10 in bulk from a wholesaler in Hong Kong. I love them, because they give good flight time (>8min, but never tested the absolute limit). They certainly last longer than the 1300mah that came with the stock heli, and the 2200's may add too much weight to the heli for good 3D characteristics. Anyway, that was my reasoning behind buying 4 packs. With my revolectrix cellpro 10s, I can charge 2 packs in parallel at 3C, so I get two packs every 20 minutes. Basically, I can fly continuously with that set up. I can't stand the stock Walkera chargers that take hours to charge one pack.
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