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Old Mar 23, 2011, 12:17 AM
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I do RVP
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United States, CA, Fremont
Joined Dec 2008
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T-Rex 500 Pan/Tilt Version 1

Old T-Rex 500 Pan/Tilt FPV setup. This old 500 has long been upgraded to a shock spring suspension boom pan/tilt camera mount for a much improved flight view. But keeping this blog posting around for historical purposes.
  • Align T-Rex 500 ESP
  • EagleTree OSD
    • GPS V4 10Hz
    • Barometric altimeter V3
    • Pitot tube airspeed sensor V3
    • Magnetic RPM sensor
  • Custom made dipole antenna on tail
  • 900MHz/500mW Video
  • Pan/Tilt camera mount with Flytron DT-3K magneto-gravity head tracker
  • Futaba FASST 10CHP radio
  • extended landing gear
  • Loc8tor tracking beacon
This has been a challenging build. Unlike foam planes, the carbon fiber body and many metallic parts is a big hazard for RF waves. Vibration of a heli also a big challenge. But this 6-cell bird is a real predator compared to most other RVP/FPV aircraft. It cruises at 30mph and goes 60mph or more at full throttle. It literally turns on a dime and flies in any direction so it can keep its eye on any target regardless of direction of flight. Try flying sideways and backwards while looking around with the headtracker!

I have flown regular fixed view on a heli for about a year -- fixed view heli is actually not too difficult to fly. But add head tracking to high performance 3D heli is something to be experienced! Looking straight down with nothing obstructing your view is exhilerating. The ability to hover and look around gives you a greater appreciation for the landscape you fly over and a greater appreciation for flight. An RVP helicopter with head tracking lets you give the finger to gravity -- if only for a few exhilerating minutes. I love doing a power vertical takeoff peaking at around 900 watts of power output.

But it is a challenge to fly with head tracking. Its the diametric opposite of what most people fly RVP wise -- which is usually a beginner's plane with lots of dihedral stability. This heli RVP flying is definitely not meant to be an "easy flyer". But that's not to say this heli is out of control. Not at all. This helicopter goes exactly where I want it to go and responds quickly with power and authority -- its just that, like all helis, you need to control both transmitter sticks simultaneously and with more frequency of adjustments depending on how stable the heli setup is. I am seriously considering my first flybarless setup may be on this RVP heli. Not for 3D performance but actually to get that rock solid attitude hold the 3-axis gyros of a flybarless system gives. This would be perfect for looking around at the ground for an extended period of time while hovering or during fast forward flight. I have the the CoPilot-II onboard but it hasn't worked so well. Its always a bit off no matter how much I calibrate it and so I've haven't flown with enabled at all really.

I have not seen any heli videos uploaded with full pan/tilt on a head tracker and I can see why now. But its been worth it to learn this unexplored area of RVP flying. When I close my eyes at night, I see myself flying the video on this helicopter. Is that normal?
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Last edited by WEREE; Mar 06, 2015 at 01:46 AM. Reason: More verbage
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Old Mar 23, 2011, 03:18 AM
CaliDave is offline
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Bay Area
Joined Dec 2010
2,462 Posts
It's a beautiful build

Can't wait to fly again once this weather clears up... I'll "test" out the system more with the pan tilt.... very fun.
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Old Mar 30, 2011, 12:59 PM
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Petaluma, CA
Joined Aug 2009
285 Posts
Thats beautiful...Hope to see it in action soon!
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