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Old Apr 15, 2008, 08:35 PM
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Looking for a Esky Lama v3 "adjusting/tuning" guide

Hi all,
I am very new to the world of RC heli's.
I just ordered a Esky Lama V3 which should be here in about a 3 days.

I figure the first thing I should do is "get to know" the helicopter. I found a few threads about adjusting the swashplate and such, but I was hoping to find a more complete guide that details how to adjust/fix/work on the heli.

I just want to make sure it is setup properly before the first flight attempt and I'm sure I'll need to know how to replace and readjust all those parts that I'm going to break

I see there is a thread for the V4:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=727689

Are these two heli's similiar enough that the most of the info in that thread would apply to the V3 as well?

thanks.
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Old Apr 15, 2008, 09:52 PM
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frieslander's Avatar
Canada, ON, Woodstock
Joined Dec 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aelvion
Hi all,
I am very new to the world of RC heli's.
I just ordered a Esky Lama V3 which should be here in about a 3 days.

I figure the first thing I should do is "get to know" the helicopter. I found a few threads about adjusting the swashplate and such, but I was hoping to find a more complete guide that details how to adjust/fix/work on the heli.

I just want to make sure it is setup properly before the first flight attempt and I'm sure I'll need to know how to replace and readjust all those parts that I'm going to break

I see there is a thread for the V4:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=727689

Are these two heli's similiar enough that the most of the info in that thread would apply to the V3 as well?

thanks.
Yes the same principles apply to both, the only real differences between the 2 other than the body is the outer shaft hole positions, one is a little higher than the other, and the frame, battery holder and skids.

I have 4 V3's, two complete with radios and 2 "barebones" with no radios. I have a Robins body for the one and I will probbably change another one too. I got a set of servos for the barebones heli and a couple of 4 in 1's.

I follow and participate in both the V3 and V4 threads, the problems are the same.

Have FUN!
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Old Apr 16, 2008, 01:40 AM
This is what I want!!!
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Brisbane, Australia
Joined Feb 2006
273 Posts
A quick word of advice...

Don't tinker around too much before your first flight. The heli should be pretty good straight out of the box. You don't need to fiddle around with swashplate leveling and the like at this stage. These are all important things once you've started breaking and replacing stuff but assuming nothing has happened to it in the post it should simply be a matter of charging the battery installing the transmitter batteries (make sure you'll have 8 AA's ready to go) and firing her up. It won't hover "hands off" but only Co-ax pilots think that that's an achieveable goal anyway.

Just take it easy and get to know your heli. Read the instrustions (they aren't great but that doesn't mean they should be ignored). All you'll need to do is a bit of trimming and that's all part of the learning process. Pick a reasonable indoor location at least 9ft (2.5m) square but bigger is better, where there are no drafts and try you first hover.

The heli will spin and slide around so be ready for it and if anything goes too far out of control, have a plan in place to cut the throttle and just let the heli drop back to the floor. This sounds drastic but your little heli is tough and an out control heli at full throttle can do a lot of damage to the surrounding as well as itself whereas 99% of the time a Lama dropped from less than 4 ft will be undamaged.

Start by just doing short hops and hovers to about 3ft. The throttle control takes a bit of getting used to because there is some lag between the power input command and the reaction of the heli. So throttle up gradually so that you can see that the heli is getting lighter then it will lift off into "ground effect" this is a zone that exists between the floor and about 2 rotor spans off the floor (roughly 2 feet for a Lama) the heli requires less power to fly in this zone but it is also little less stable and more skitish (for a Lama anyway). Increasing the throttle will ge you climbing properly. Take it up to 3 -4 ft (around 1 m or so). back the throttle off slightly (very slightly) and you will hover - hover for a second or two and then back the throttle off a little to start a descent and land. Do this until you are confident about hovering long enough to start trimming the heli.

Trim the Rudder first since it is the easiest to diagnose and correct and also masks the trim errors on the elevator and ailerons. Then trim the other controls. Once you heli is in reasonable trim your Take-off --- Hover --- Land excercises will be easier and you can go for longer hovers... and start flying.

Once your been flying your heli the other thing to be aware of is the battery. You don't need stopwatches or stuff like that but plan to shut down at around 8 minutes. 10 to 15 of those Take-off hover-land cycles will do it for the first battery. You won't be able to tell that the battery is getting flat - lipos are like that. If it happens that you do notice a drop off in power land and shut down straight away. At this stage it's better to shut down early rather than late because you are just running your battery in and it normally takes a few charge/discharge cycles to get get the battery up to its peak.

The big thing is to take it easy and not to get frustrated. Every awsome pilot you see flying in videos and at club meets etc. had to learn how to fly. Even though the Lama is easy to fly expect it to be tricky for at least the first dozen Batteries or so while you reactions catch up to you heli and start feeling natural.
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Old Apr 17, 2008, 08:31 PM
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great advice, thanks!
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Old Apr 17, 2008, 11:17 PM
This is what I want!!!
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Brisbane, Australia
Joined Feb 2006
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.... and have fun !

Let us know how you go!
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Old May 17, 2009, 07:50 PM
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OK I dropped mine, broke it, bought a metal upgrade, then took it to the hobbies store and 50.00 later it still won't fly like it did when it was new. It comes up and left right fwd & bck are very delayed.

The hobbies show sez there are very delicate machines - I say it flew good b4 so now what - Help pls
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Old May 17, 2009, 08:40 PM
All flight is 3D.
various parts of NY
Joined Jan 2009
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Here's another word of advice for when you get your V3. Disconnect the battery and power down BEFORE making any adjustments to the heli or carrying it around. The first week I got it I made the grand mistake of carrying it and the transmitter from one room to another with both the transmitter and the receiver turned on. I accidentally bumped the throttle and it started spooling up in my hand and ripping itself apart. I had it less than a week and I already had to order a new gear/outer shaft and glue the tail back together and make repairs. Don't make the same mistake I did.

Otherwise it's a great machine. I've been flying mine for 6 months and it's still going strong. It handles beautifully, it's very stable, and, although it took a lot of practice, easy to fly in a small room without hitting anything.
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Old May 18, 2009, 01:36 AM
It flies!!! ... so who cares ?
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Joined Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capatosta
OK I dropped mine, broke it, bought a metal upgrade, then took it to the hobbies store and 50.00 later it still won't fly like it did when it was new. It comes up and left right fwd & bck are very delayed.

The hobbies show sez there are very delicate machines - I say it flew good b4 so now what - Help pls
Good morning,

... could you be a little more specific please? WHAT metal upgrade did you buy?
I bought a lot of metal upgrades myself, from various different places - and the one thing about metal upgrades I know now, is that they are quite different VERY often, in VERY LITTLE aspects which are sometimes barely visible ....

Basically you can make a L3 fly a lot better even with a 10$ upgrade set from DX (dealextreme.com) - but that will require some work. Actually EVERY metal upgrade usually requires quite a bit of work, before it functions as expected ... what you need most of the time is "tuning for your tuning parts" !!
So back to the basics, WHICH metal upgrades did you buy, and WHICH did you install?
The upgrades I would recommend personally are a longer inner shaft (right now I use the helitek supershaft 2.0), a aluminum upper rotor head (the ones out of those 10$ china sets are pretty decent, but you need some luck) and a metal swash plate (same thing, the ones out of the 10$ chinaset are usually pretty decent - and will much less likely disintegrate into two parts than the stock plastic one usually does - but the swashplate in particular need 'A LOT' pf tuning, before it will work properly ... at least that is what I experienced)
All the other metal tuning parts are nice optics, and will help sooner or later, but for the beginning, those 3 are the really important metal upgrades.
1. Upper Head
2. Supershaft (2.0)
3. Swash plate (and 4. aluminum guide for swash plate links once you did "tune" your tuning swashplate.

next point to look at, is the fit of the flybar into the upper head - there can be various problems that you might not even think of - but you probably read about all of them here in the forum (or not )
Most important thing: "The fit flybar to upper head has to be as perfect as possible"
There MUST NOT be any sideways space for flybar movement - if your flybar moves left or right more than REALLY !!! just a miniscule tiny bit, ... BAAAD!
It ALWAYS must be able to move up and down "almost by itself" (blow at it and it starts going down - good [this is meant figuratively])
That means, be careful to tighten the screws on the uupper head enough, but not too much... if you make them too tight, the sides of the head will bent inwards and kind of clutch the flybar)
As you say, the reaction to TX input is delayed, check how loose the links sit on the brass balls. They MUST be VERY loose (i.e. move extremely easily around without popping off) if you can do something like THIS, you ABSOLUTELY need to get some sandpaper (180 or finer) which - to my experience - is usually the case with EVERY metal upgrade.
If you place a swash plate like in the picture, it must "fall down" right away - without ANY type of resistance.
And of course this has to be usually done with all 4 brass balls on the swashplate.
A good idea is also to exchange the inner brass balls against some with longer "body" like the ones on the outer swash ... but to do that, you usually need a second swash plate, just to use the brass balls. This is also the time to install the aluminum lower rotor head - or at least the guide, because the stock plastic one will no longer be "wide" enough.

This was a lot to read, I hope it helps a little

Regards,
Sven

PS:
THIS is how the swash looks AFTER the mod I am talking about

THIS is how the lower rotor head will (should) look ... also pay attentions on how the links from the blade grip down to the swash plate are totally straight and no longer angled like a V ...
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Old May 21, 2009, 09:01 PM
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Hey wow - A better answer than these are delicate machines, I can fly the heli but I have 30 yrs experience behind me the novice will not be able to react and adjust as quickly as I can.

I originally wanted to jut buy a new heli and I told the shop that I wanted to do that. I even said just put the original plastic parts back on. They assured me that it could be fixed. After I called and said this is unflyable I get these are delicate machines speech. Then I get I have to be paid for my time - It will be the last time I'll pay for that kind of time. I can't believe that this shop gets away with this. The speech was very rehearsed so I guess he gets a lot of complaints.

Enough about the shop - I really appreciate your response!!! I don't quiet understand the Looks like a V comment but I have a starting point. If there are any other links you can point me to I could use all the help I can get!

I don't know what the metal parts are my brother bought them, It's the shaft (longer), swash plate (Blue & Silver) and metal blade holders.
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Old May 22, 2009, 11:58 AM
NotAnotherMomentLostToSei zures
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United States, MA, Malden
Joined Mar 2008
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^^^^
I have read TOO many times the metal blade grips are more of a hinderence than an asset. In my most humble opinion I'd go back to the plastic blade grips. Just my 2 pennies worth.
Mike.
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Old May 22, 2009, 01:06 PM
It flies!!! ... so who cares ?
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Joined Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capatosta
Hey wow - A better answer than these are delicate machines, I can fly the heli but I have 30 yrs experience behind me the novice will not be able to react and adjust as quickly as I can.

I originally wanted to jut buy a new heli and I told the shop that I wanted to do that. I even said just put the original plastic parts back on. They assured me that it could be fixed. After I called and said this is unflyable I get these are delicate machines speech. Then I get I have to be paid for my time - It will be the last time I'll pay for that kind of time. I can't believe that this shop gets away with this. The speech was very rehearsed so I guess he gets a lot of complaints.

Enough about the shop - I really appreciate your response!!! I don't quiet understand the Looks like a V comment but I have a starting point. If there are any other links you can point me to I could use all the help I can get!

I don't know what the metal parts are my brother bought them, It's the shaft (longer), swash plate (Blue & Silver) and metal blade holders.
Ok a few more cents:
What I wanted to say with the "looks like a V" is that the plastic links from the swash plate to the Blade grip are further apart at the blade grips than they are at the swash blade - similar to a V that is "wide" at the top and (extremely) narrow at the bottom.

For the metal swash and the blade grips it would be best if you could provide a picture, in particular with the blade grips ... but the cheaper the metal parts were (especially the blade grips) the more likely you got the ones you better get rid of (which is by far not as true for the swashplate). Longer shaft is always helpful a you will automatically lower the probability of a blade strike (even though I manage to still get blade strikes with a helitek supershaft 2.0 installed)
Metal blade grips that work are the ones from Xtreme. I still did not get a chance to test my new blade grips from micro heli - because they do not fit on those china tuning sets (they sit way tooo tight)

So short version for long post:
If you can, please provide a picture of swash and blade grip

Regards,
Sven
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Old May 23, 2009, 10:03 PM
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I just notice that a linkage has popped off - probably from the crash when it lunged forward for no reason.
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Old May 24, 2009, 08:36 AM
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Looks nice, I did not use the metal blade grips as too many members were negative about those. Is this Esky or the DX type?

I have the DX type myself as cost was a factor with me. My unit works and handles great with the set.
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Old May 24, 2009, 08:54 AM
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I posted cuz its broke

Quote:
Originally Posted by frieslander
Looks nice
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capatosta
OK I dropped mine, broke it, bought a metal upgrade, then took it to the hobbies store and 50.00 later it still won't fly like it did when it was new. It comes up and left right fwd & bck are very delayed.

The hobbies show sez there are very delicate machines - I say it flew good b4 so now what - Help pls
The heli won't fly - This is how the so called shop fixed it to make it flyable I posted pictures in hopes that someone will see so problems and point me in the right direction
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