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Old Apr 03, 2012, 10:04 AM
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Build Log
Trex 600 Stretch Scale Bell 222 Build

Hello all,
First off i would like to say that I am new to this forum but one of my previous builds (HPR135 "High Voltage") can be found on this site thru my brothers (freechip) thread.

I will be posting the build process for an Align Trex 600 ESP with a few modifications, stretched to a 700 and enventually installed in a Funkey Bell 222 fuselage, with retracts and lighting.

I have seen a few stretch builds on this site and others, mostly for camera rigs, but I wanted to post my own thread because for one, this will be a scale fuselage build, plus i might have my own questions and would certainly appreciate some of your feedback.

So stay tuned, and I hope you enjoy this build, as i am sure i will have fun doing it.
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Old Apr 03, 2012, 10:20 AM
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The Baseline Story

I have had the Trex 600esp for a few years now and it was installed in a Funkey Bell 222 (50 size) fuselage as well and featured retracts and lighting.
As time went by, i started getting a wobble which i could not pinpoint the cause. On my last attempt to rid this problem, the wobble became so violent that it ripped the canopy off the fuselage and got shredded thru the blades. The fuselage itself sustained a bit of damaged, and that's when i decided to start over completely and learn from my previous mistakes as well as take the time to upgrade this build to new levels.
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Old Apr 03, 2012, 10:39 AM
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The Original Basics

The mechanics are an Align Trex 600esp with Align Motor (BL650L), Align Speed Control and voltage regulator. It was ordered with some Futaba servos, and 6S Lipo from Hyperion.

The build took approximately 18hrs with the help of my brother (freechip). This was the first helicopter build my brother and i had ever done. My previous experience was with a fully assembled AXEcp then a preassembled Helimax MX400.
Let me tell you, there quite a big difference in quality...


Here are some pics of that first build.




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Old Apr 03, 2012, 10:48 AM
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Flying the Mechanics

Once everything was ready to go, it was time for the first tests. (maiden)

Immediately, the quality and size difference became apparent. It hoverd so smoothly and flew like a dream.




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Old Apr 03, 2012, 11:07 AM
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The Original Fuselage

The time came to get the fuselage. I ordered a Funkey Bell 222 (50size) pre painted in blue from Century Heli. The quality of the fuselage was great, all fiberglass with wood & carbon fiber reinfocements. The paint was incredible with lots of details.




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Old Apr 03, 2012, 11:13 AM
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First Lights & Retracts

The 50 size fuselage was fitted with lights and retracts.

The retracts came from Eurokit and looked very scale. Unfortunately the rubber wheels ordrered did not fit, so the original foam wheels were used. The lighting kit was ok but nothing very special here. Red & green nav lights, top beacon, bottom beacon, and a tail strobe light.





Trex 600/Bell 222 Retracts (0 min 14 sec)




Trex 600/Bell 222 Lights (0 min 29 sec)
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Old Apr 03, 2012, 11:20 AM
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Mechanics install.

Eventually the mechanics found their way inside the fuselage.

It was a very tight fit, and the mechanics had to go in a very specific way in order to get it in the fuse. Remove tail boom, remove main rotor head, remove tail assembly from boom, insert tail boom in fuselage, install mechanics, bolt down mechanics, re-install tail boom, then the hardest part... tighten tail boom (custom tools needed), intall tail assembly, install tail cone, install canopy, install main rotor assembly.

But the end resut was very beautiful....







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Old Apr 03, 2012, 11:32 AM
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First upgrade.

During a cold winter season....

The Bell 222 found herself in peices again, it was too cold to fly outside so what better time to upgrade some things on there.

The retracts system was redisigned for improved strenght, all the side windows were covered with a screen mesh which gave it a blackout look but still allowed for airflow.

The mechanics also went for an update.
The main rotor and Gyro were replaced by an Align 3G flybarless system . The original speed control was replaced by a Castle Creations Phoenix Ice 100 with data logging. Some metal upgrades were added like metal servo horns, metal servo holders as well as a new set of tail and main rotor blades.

Here it is sitting next to my Beechcraft Bonanza.


Which sadly enough is the only picture i have of the updated heli as it stood until lately.

But here is a flight test with the new 3G Flybarless system that still needed some adjustments on the tail gain.

Trex 600/Bell 222 flybarless test. (1 min 21 sec)
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Old Apr 03, 2012, 11:45 AM
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The Last Flight

Fast forward a few years of great flying with no issues other then a small wobble which kept getting more apparent with time.

With multiple attempts are finding and fixing the issue, I purchased new shafts, a new swash plate, new balanced blades, with no success. Also did lots of visits to the local hobby shop and flying sites to find out what was going on.... the only thing people were able to tell me was "Fuselages are notorious for vibrations", which I could understand if it hadn't flown without a single vibration for the first year or so.

So i tried floating the fuselage to the mechanics which made things worst, then tried stiffening it which help a bit but not enough, then tried the last straw which would end up being her demise. I used a set of high performance blades which are perfectly balanced from my Trex 700 3D heli. And it hovered without a vibration until i flipped the idle up swith to get to my normal flying headspeed, then the biggest, loudest vibration i had ever seen caused the canopy to come loose off the fuselage and get chopped up by the blades. when i landed i also noticed that the fuselage had sustained some damage.





This now pushed me to start the build over with a better & bigger setup and that brings us up to date on my little story....
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Old Apr 03, 2012, 12:44 PM
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A New Begining

I decided to stretch the 600 into a 700 and install it in the same Funkey Bell 222 Fuselage but this time in a 60 - 90size. This will allow for more room, to possibly install a cockpit and also for better access when installing the batteries. The 700 size fuselage has a bit more details and comes with more window peices and a set of wiper blades. Also, the tail section is removable (or maybe just needs to be installed permanently) in any case it will make it easier for the mechanics intallation.

Here are some pictures of the Funkey Fuselage. (yet to be ordered)





And here are the sizing measurments:

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Old Apr 03, 2012, 01:30 PM
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The Stretched Mechanics

Now that the fuselage has been picked out, it's time to see if i can not only stretch the mechanics to fit in the fuselage, but also beef up the components and make sure i have a reliable pod and boom before even ordering the Bell 222 fuselage.

There isn't too much to actually stretching the 600. It is as simple as installing a longer boom and blades with a few minor details. Many other threads and sites tell you their version of the stretch and i'm sure they all work fine for their purposes. There are multiple ways of getting it done and even more parts available to do it. Here is my version/parts for this build.

First off, the oh so important boom. The 700 boom is the same diameter as the 600 boom but needs to be trimmed a little. I used my aluminum boom from my Trex 700 since it came with both a carbon boom as well as the aluminum and i have the carbon boom installed on the 700. And since i am using the Align 700 Torque Tube for this stretch,there is not much that needs to be done

So the first step was to cut the boom length by approx. 40mm since the 600 tail case is longer than the 700. I did this by using a small pipe cutter on the end opposite the groove in the boom.
The next step was to lengthen the groove in the boom near the front of the heli since once again, the notch in the 600 is slightly more towards the back than the 700. I did this by comparing it to the original slot in the 600 boom and trimmed it until the boom sat perfectly in the tail case.

Since i am using the "new style" tail rotor assembly there is a small hole that needs to be drilled in the boom to accommodate the locking pin from the tail assembly which also helps to keep everything straight and lined up.

Once everything was fitted and worked fine i installed the 700 torque tube and voila!!!! a working 700 tail.


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Old Apr 03, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Tail rudder servo.

The 600esp came with a boom mounted tail servo. This worked well but not optimal in the original setup. If anyone is planing a simple "Pod and Boom" stretch for other purposes like a camera rig, the boom mounted servo would still work fine with the 600 control rod, the only thing is that the servo is now mounted further away from the frame but will not cause any issues.

Since this setup is ment for a fuselage and the boom has been stretched, the tail mounted servo causes an issue with the following.
1) With the boom being longer, using the 600 control rod would make the servo way too far inside the fuselage boom and would not fit. Not to mention the nightmare of trying to set it up inside the fuselage.
2) The 700 control rod is too long since the 700 tail servo is mounted in the frame, not on the boom.

Some people will say to keep the boom mounted tail servo close to the frame and get a 700 control rod, then cut it and re-thread it. This WILL work, but seems like a bit of hassle and doesn't help the simple installation of the boom in the fuse. (For those of you who are reading this from the begining, remember the steps needed to install the mechanics in the first setup? No More!!)

By having the servo mounted on the frame, this eleminates the need to remove the tail rotor assembly when inserting the boom in the fuse. But how to install the servo in the frame. There is no room to install directly thru the frame like the other servos on the heli but there is an alternative.

In comes the Trex 550...

The Trex 550 is basically a shrunken 600 with all the features of the newer 700, if that makes any sense to you?!?!?!
Anyways, on the 550 the tail servo is mounted "to" the frame using a special bracket, and since the 550 uses the same frame width as the 600, this bracket is perfect for this upgrade. The servo mount is available in either plastic or metal, and since we are going high quality from now on, i chose the metal one. (Part# H55023)


All you have to do is drill out some holes in the frame for the mounting screws where one of the "gyro/receiver" mounts usually sits, then install your servo on the holder and install the assembly on the heli.... and you get a frame mounted tail servo that accepts a 700 control rod.





In this setup, i do not have any need for the other "gyro/receiver" mount located just beneath the new servo install.
There is still a bay left on the bottom frame brace for the receiver and my gyro for the 3G is located on the top of the tail case.




I have also ordered a Trex 700e F3C carbon tail control rod. (Part# H70073)
This will make for a more rigid tail control authority and will give me peice of mind that the rod is not bending once this is all in the fuselage. I already have one installed on my 700, and it works great, not to mention the installation is a snap and the new control rod holders avoid the need to take apart the linkages on the rod for install and removal.

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Old Apr 03, 2012, 03:35 PM
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Dare to Compare

Here is what it looks like with the new boom & servo install as well as a side by side of the Trex 700 and the newly stretched 600






(p.s. for those of you who have been reading from the start, notice in the picture above, the Beechcraft Bonanza, slightly modified since the last time it was pictured. But that will be for a whole other thread.)
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Old Apr 03, 2012, 04:20 PM
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Power System and Electronics

Now that the mechanics have been modified, it is time to update the power system and electronics.

As some of you might have already noticed, the servos have been changed to Align DS-610, they are a good servo for the price. I have the same servos on my 3D 700 and they are great, plus since this is ment to be a scale flyer and not a 3D heli, these servos will be plenty powerful.

The speed controller was previously upgraded to a Castle Creation Phoenix Ice 100. CC controllers are my preffered ESC's and I simply love their data logging and are found in all my vehicles. Also added was a Castle Creation Bec Pro, running on a separate flight pack. The BEC pro has lots of available power to move all the servos as well as power the lighting system and the retracts. Plus having a separate flight pack has many beneficial features.
1) The extra weight of the flight pack will help in the 700 stretch balancing.
2) If the main pack fails, you still have control over your servos and electronics for autorotation purposes.
3) The separate power source allows you to work on the heli while your main pack charges and without running the risk of the motor spooling up by accident, since pulling the motor wires will be difficult when inside the fuselage.



Also pictured is a Lipo monitor for the flight pack, since I don't charge it every time I fly, I tend to forget when the last time was that it was charged. This elliminates any risk of power failure due to a dead LiPo

Motor upgrade:
I wanted to upgrade the motor to a Scorpion outrunner since i have these in my 700 as well as my HPR 135 and really like them. Unfortunately the Scorpion is slightly too big for the frame, and will not fit without modifying the frame, this is not a big problem but i already have my BEC Pro and Lipo monitor as well as my ESC mounted to that area of the frame, and needless to say frame realestate is hard to come by.

Instead, a new BL600MX motor was ordered. The 600MX is an outrunner compared to the original inrunner and also has 2000w of power vs 1600w from the original 650L. Since the new build should not be very much heavier than the original setup, this added power will be more than enough to power this bird.

A new main gear has also been ordered from KDE with a new main gear case. When I took the original gear apart I noticed some strange wear and it seemed slightly ovalized, which might be the cause of the original wobble???
The KDE main gear and case is stronger and more durable, and will hopefully solve the vibration issues as well as serve as a more reliable component the the power system.
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Old Apr 03, 2012, 09:37 PM
KoOl BrEeZe
Joined Feb 2012
597 Posts
Great write up. Enjoyed it from start to ___.
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