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Posted by navigator2011 | Oct 06, 2019 @ 08:58 PM | 1,180 Views
As many will attest, nano-sized helicopters are excellent teachers. Crashing anything larger can be a frightful prospect, chiefly due to the cost of parts and the time of repairs. One small mishap can end a flying session and leave one with a bunch of fully charged packs to discharge. But not with the nanos -- they just bounce off the lawn over and over again! This level of durability leaves one free to experiment, and thus can greatly improve learning new moves that would otherwise be out of reach.

As with any helicopter, there are some parts that are particularly susceptible to damage. In the case of the Blade Nano S2, the board dampeners can be a particular source of frustration. It's not that the dampeners are particularly prone to being damaged, but rather once they are damaged, the only way to get new dampeners is by purchasing a completely new board! But this makes replacing a simple piece of rubber a nearly $70 endeavor -- on a helicopter that retails for $100! Obviously, Horizon Hobby should be offering the dampeners separately for a much more reasonable price. So, nope, I'm not paying that price when the receiver board in my Nano S2 is perfectly fine.

The other day I had a particularly nasty crash, on concrete, that put my Nano S2 under my parked car! While I was pleased that my Nano S2 was still flyable, I was concerned that, once back in air, the helicopter was flopping all over the place. Back at my bench, I pulled off the canopy and found one...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | May 20, 2019 @ 08:03 PM | 3,506 Views
After flying my Blade Nano S2 enough to wear down the performance of the stock, brushed motor, I decided to install Horizon Hobby's brushless upgrade, BLH3325, into the S2. I chose to basically copy the install posted by HF member, Chris1683 in the HF thread, Ideas about brushless upgrade, because, well, it seems like the best way.

As many nano-enthusiasts will attest, keeping the weight of the nano as low as possible is an important factor. The weight of the nano can affect everything from tail hold to flight time, as well as climb-out and flipping performance! Before the installation, I weighed the S2 without a battery. The scale waffled between 26g and 27g, but seemed to settle on 26g, as shown in Fig. 1. I decided to pull the HH brushless motor and ESC from my Nano CPS since I knew that they would add only about 2g, overall.

One key to keeping the weight of the brushless upgrade on the low side is getting rid of the connectors that come with the upgrade and shortening the wires as much as possible. Of course this makes soldering even more difficult, and it's not easy for me to see such small solder points. I almost felt like I was soldering blind!

As shown in Fig. 2, I removed the brushless ESC from its shrink-wrap and then soldered on new, slightly thicker wires. The only decent place to mount the ESC is on front of the receiver board, and the stock wires were getting in the way. So I removed the stock wires and soldered the thicker wires to the...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Dec 13, 2018 @ 08:32 PM | 12,417 Views
I absolutely love my Trex 150X for flying around my front yard, practicing maneuvers. I've been putting 6-7 packs through the 150X every morning for nearly a couple years, now, and I love it! Perfect size for my front yard, and super quiet too! All I really hear is the blades ripping through the air. There's a lot of negativity about this heli, so I thought I'd post about my positive experience with my 150X and a few tips that may be helpful.

Although I have a few bigger helicopters, I like to use micro helicopters to migrate new skills from my simulator to the real world. Like many pilots, I have a mental barrier to trying something completely new with a larger, more expensive helicopter. And then there's the intimidation factor--it's enough to just freeze my hands! My solution to this gestalt was to buy a Blade Nano CPS and then convince myself that it's disposable and thus crash-able.

I made a lot of progress flipping and flying inverted with the Nano CPS, but I became increasingly frustrated with the behavior of the brushed motors, the twitches, and the tail blow-outs. I have arrived at a skill level where more crashes are caused by the helicopter's anemic power and tail authority than my dumb thumbs. So I pulled the trigger on the Trex 150X.

The 150X's performance is so much better than the Nano CPS, and also my Blade mCPS, particularly in the tail area. Continual tail blow-outs had been just killing my Blade helis! The 150X, on the other hand, has...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | May 27, 2018 @ 01:30 PM | 14,808 Views
After having so much fun with my brushless-upgraded Blade Nano CPS, I decided to pick up a Blade mCPS. It seemed that the mCPS is a bit better supported by Horizon Hobby, or at least most of the parts listed on their site aren't discontinued like with the Nano CPS. Being just a bit bigger than the Blade Nano CPS, the mCPS seems better built and more refined than the Blade Nano CPS. Upon flying the mCPS, however, I soon discovered the stock brushed motor in the mCPS is pathetically weak, maybe even weaker than the Nano CPS! I could actually hear the brushed motor losing power throughout each pack I flew, and the mCPS had nearly zero climb-out towards the end of the pack. There have been many discussions in the forums about potential causes of the mCPS's anemic power output, but I immediately knew that the mCPS desperately needs a brushless motor upgrade!

Unlike in the case of the Nano CPS, Horizon Hobby still offers a plug-n-play brushless upgrade for the mCPS. There is a wide variety of different approaches to installing a brushless motor into the mCPS, and many pilots have posted builds using various powerful brushless motors and ESCs. The easiest way, however, is to just go with Horizon Hobby's brushless motor, BLH5104, and brushless ESC, BLH5105, as shown in Fig. 2. Unfortunately, this brushless motor and ESC add about $50 plus shipping to the cost of the mCPS, pushing the total for the BNF version close to $190! Since I really wanted this compact helicopter...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Jan 11, 2018 @ 07:19 PM | 16,106 Views
In a previous write-up, I discussed installing a brushless motor into a Blade Nano CPS. I realize that many owners are satisfied with the stock brushed motor, but mine was incredibly weak and would start bogging in as little as one minute into a flight. Now, with the brushless motor installed, this little Nano CPS has plenty of power for a helicopter of this size, and noticeable motor bogging is a thing of the past.

With the power problem solved, it was then time to put this helicopter into practice. The first step was to get some bigger battery packs. It had become clear that the more powerful brushless motor was making quick business of gobbling through the stock packs. To extend my flight times, I picked up six Glacier 220mAh 45C battery packs from Buddy RC for $2.99 a piece. These packs fit perfectly in the battery tray without weighing down the Nano, and they give me solid flight times of 3:00 without any sign of decreased motor performance. I've been flying these packs daily for about two months, and there's no sign of puffing, the packs are always cool after flying, and the cell voltage always settles to around 3.84V. Nice!

I typically like to fly six packs during a flying session, and never less than three packs if I'm crunched for time. There was simply no way I was going to be charging this many packs with the stock USB charger that comes included with the Blade Nano CPS. I had thought about picking up a parallel charging board, but I've had good...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Nov 26, 2017 @ 09:12 PM | 19,521 Views
Lately, I have been trying some new moves with my two 180CFXs, and I've plowed them into the grass a few times. Admittedly, I'm not very quick with throttle hold, but even still it seemed like a lot of parts got damaged in each crash. So, I thought, it would be nice to have a small helicopter that could bounce off the lawn and still keep flying.

Hoping to spare my 180s some grief, I pulled the trigger on a used Blade Nano CPS. As advertised, the nCPS does actually bounce off the lawn and keep flying. But many times it bounces off the lawn just because its brushed motor is so anemic. Searching online, it didn't take long to discover that many people were unhappy with the brushed motor in the nCPS. Some pilots have reported installing a brushless motor upgrade into the nCPS with positive results. It seems there's a brushless motor upgrade BLH3325 for the discontinued nCPX, but not for the currently available nCPS. With decent soldering skills, however, the BLH3325 upgrade is reported to work well with the nCPS.

I managed to source the BLH3325 upgrade for a relatively low price on eBay. As shown in Figs. 1-2, the BLH3325 upgrade includes simple instructions, and has all the plugs necessary to be easily installed into the nCPX. I decided to leave the plugs installed until I successfully tested that everything was working correctly.

The first order of business was to remove the stock, brushed motor and then install the brushless motor. The brushed motor seems...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Oct 17, 2017 @ 08:29 PM | 15,832 Views
There can be no doubt that the Blade 180CFX is a bit less discussed since the Oxy2 helicopter came on the scene. I have an Oxy2, and I love it, but I still fly my 180CFXs because they fit so well in my front driveway. Although the Oxy2 is a much more stable, precise, and high-performance helicopter, the Oxy2 can get away or get too close much more quickly than the 180CFX. I think I will eventually switch all the way over to flying Oxy2s, but not yet--I still love the smaller size of the 180CFX.

One thing that always bothered me, however, is that I didn't have complete control over the way the 180CFX flies. I purchased my 180CFXs used, and so I never registered with Horizon Hobby, nor did I care to purchase extra cables just to update the 180's AR6335 firmware. And then, there was the notorious tail behavior--sometimes twitchy, or wagging, or just slushy. Sure, a lot of this tail behavior could be improved by updating the Blade FBL firmware, as well as upgrading to a Spektrum H3060 tail servo. Even then, however, the Blade FBL firmware offers limited control over the 180CFX's behavior.

I had my first experience with an MSH µBrain2 during building the Oxy2. A great feature of MSH receivers is that they offer free software that helps with imputing all the settings that control the helicopter's flight behavior. MSH even offers a Bluetooth Module that can connect the receiver with a phone! At first, the software seemed a bit daunting, if only because it provides...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | May 02, 2017 @ 02:09 PM | 19,414 Views
As many owners of the Blade 180CFX will attest, the stock tail servo tends to be fragile. For some time, I have suspected that my stock tail servo is about to give up the ghost. I have had a Spektrum H3060 servo sitting on a shelf, awaiting installation, but I didn't want to waste a perfectly working stock tail servo, and so I've been flying the stocker without incident, but waiting for it to show some sign of imminent disaster.

Eventually, one morning, I spooled up and the tail started this weird, intermittent popping or twitching behavior, always about 1-2 cm in the clockwise direction. Sort of like it's smooth, then twitch, smooth, then twitch-twitch-smooth, and so on. The twitching would tend to worsen while I was flying. Finally, I thought, it was time to replace the stock tail servo.

There is more than one technique for installing the H3060 tail servo into the 180CFX. One technique is to carefully grind the servo case and portions of the 180’s boom support until the servo fits snugly into the 180's tail servo mount. A second technique is to install a Lynx tail servo adapter that is specifically designed to be used with the 180CFX and the H3060 tail servo. I chose the latter technique as I couldn't guarantee that I wouldn't grind the servo case without killing the servo.

I am impressed with the Lynx servo adapter--at first, I didn't think it would enable the H3060 to fit without grinding the servo case at least a little bit. Much to my surprise, the...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Mar 09, 2017 @ 07:34 PM | 19,139 Views
I really do enjoy flying my Blade 180CFX. As you may have detected, based on my last blog about the 180CFX, it was love at first flight. So much so that I decided to purchase a second 180CFX--I just like to have two of the same helicopter. Having two or more of the same "micro" is really good for traveling, vacation flying, and the like. I find it difficult to fix things on the road, and having two of the same micro helicopter is convenient since they are so small, the parts and batteries are compatible, and having two can keep me in the game in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

The 180CFX is small and convenient for traveling, but I needed a good case to carry both helicopters on trips. I had purchased the Blade 180CFX Carrying Case, but it holds only one helicopter. But then I had an idea--with all the extra space they put into the case, why not just put two 180s in there? After eyeballing and measuring things, I determined that the interior dimensions of the Blade 180CFX Carrying Case are roughly 1-1/2 inches deep x 9-1/2 inches wide x 17 inches long, and that both 180CFXs could be comfortably stuffed into such a volume.

I chose to purchase a custom-cut slab of charcoal foam from The Foam Factory. A custom slab of foam that would fit the Blade 180CFX Carrying Case cost a little over $10. Ordering was super easy, just enter the desired dimensions of the foam, add the resulting custom-cut foam to my Cart, and then check out. A few days later, I...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Nov 03, 2016 @ 04:15 PM | 18,860 Views
As many will attest, the Align Trex 250 doesn't have a lot of room for mounting a flybarless receiver. It seems that the frame sides are just slightly too narrow for many of the most popular FBL receivers on the market to fit within the frame.

Many 250 owners have resorted to cutting out portions of the frame sides to allow the receiver to fit onto the bottom plate, between the frame sides. Some prefer to de-case the receiver and then mount the electronics directly into the frame. Others, myself included, have accepted mounting the receiver onto the outside of one of the frame sides. Side-mounting the receiver does work, but it leaves the helicopter imbalanced and exposes the receiver to relatively greater potential crash damage.

So, when it came time to do some work on one of my older 250s, a four-year-old CopterX 250, I took the opportunity to attempt installing a Spektrum AR7200BX receiver inside the frame. This called for widening the lower frame ever so slightly. Widening the frame would require creating spacers between the frame sides and the bottom plate, the motor mount, and the belt drive-gear box. The spacers would have to be thick enough to provide clearance between the AR7200BX and the frame sides, but not so thick as to require longer frame screws.

I had thought about using matchbook paper for the spacers, but then I worried the paper might not maintain a uniform thickness when tightened into the frame. Next, I thought about creating the spacers...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Jul 12, 2016 @ 05:47 PM | 19,643 Views
I thought I would check in and let everyone know what I've been doing since my blog about the Trex 250 DFC. Oh, speaking of that 250, I had quite a time working out all the bugs that cropped up after getting the helicopter all put together. I won't get into all the gory details about troubleshooting and repairing the 250, but let's just say that after replacing a failed speed controller and a defective cyclic servo, repairing all the resulting mechanical damage, and installing an MKS DS95i tail servo, the Trex 250 DFC today flies wonderfully. I fly that 250 every day. Well, until recently, that is.

After having flown a Walkera V120D02s for a couple of years, I had become burned out with fussing over microscopic parts, a lack of electronics options, and the instability and quirks associated with micro-sized helicopters. I had sworn off micro-sized helicopters and resolved that the 250 would be my smallest size class and my Trex 450 Pro would become my daily helicopter. As many will agree, a 450 is definitely more stable in the air and replacement parts are sold nearly everywhere.

Despite the stability of the 450, however, I eventually learned that the size of one's flying area is just as important of a consideration as the size and type of helicopter one chooses. Although the 450 is relatively more stable and easy to learn to fly with, the intimidation factor is greater, too. Certainly, with a large field to fly in, one probably is better off going with a 450 or...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Dec 10, 2015 @ 05:32 PM | 22,803 Views
The Align Trex 250 doesn't seem to get much mention nowadays. Even so, I still rather enjoy the 250 size helicopters, and they are the size helicopter I fly most--they are a bit less intimidating than larger helicopters, have plenty of performance for me to grow into, and they are suitable for flying in my driveway. I just finished building a new Trex 250 DFC that came with a torque tube (TT) tail, and thought I'd share it with the community.

As many will agree, the Trex 250 can be a chore to build and work on, and this particular build was no exception. Straight away, I ran into trouble getting the main shaft to rotate freely with the main gear tightened fully onto the main shaft. It seemed that the main bearings were positioned just a bit too far apart to allow me to fully tighten the main shaft without binding the one-way bearing. In an attempt to solve this problem, I found that the main bearing holders included in the kit came with metal sleeves, but the metal sleeves were omitted from the replacement holders I had purchased online. I found that using one of each type of main bearing holder allowed free rotation of the main shaft and no binding of the one-way bearing with the main gear fully tightened onto the main shaft. Normally, I don't like to mix and match different parts, but mixing these main bearing holders provided a nearly perfect, no-slop solution that eliminated the binding in the one-way bearing.

Next, I ran into difficulties getting the TT...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Mar 02, 2015 @ 09:21 PM | 24,048 Views
In my previous write-up, I discussed converting a 450 Pro boom mount to a belted drive pulley. While the belted 450 Pro boom mount turned out fairly well, I mentioned being unsure about how close the belt passes by the interior hole through the boom mount, and also how tight the belt is with the stock boom. I mentioned clearancing some material from the hole through the boom mount, and also shaving about 1.0mm off the front of the boom to loosen up the belt just a bit.

After thinking about these issues for a while, I came to the conclusion that I didn't want to shave the boom because I would have to carefully shave every new boom I use later--sounds like a pain to customize parts after every crash. As for the spacing between the belt and the interior of the hole of the boom mount, I decided that I had better clearance some of the material in the boom mount that formerly held the torque tube (TT) bearings in place.

As shown in Fig. 1, there is a protrusion within the boom mount designed to prevent the boom, and the tail, from rotating within the boom mount. I decided that I wanted to leave the protrusion in place, otherwise I would have to pin the boom, which would make adjusting the belt tension quite a chore. I started out using various files to carefully widen the areas within the hole in the boom mount where the belt passes closest, but also preserving the protrusion that keeps the tail from rotating within the boom mount. As shown in Fig. 2, using files to...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Feb 14, 2015 @ 09:43 PM | 24,797 Views
For a long time, I have wanted to build a belted tail for my Trex 450 Pro, but I didn't want to rely on purchasing clone parts from companies located overseas. The quality is always poor, and the wait is too long. I thought there had to be a way to use Align 450 parts, available in my area, to build a belted boom mount for the 450 Pro. The more I looked into this subject, the more it seemed that the drive gear assembly for a 450 Sport should have everything I need. All I should have to do, I thought, is remove the pulley and bearings from the 450 Sport drive gear assembly and then install them onto the front torque tube (TT) gear assembly for the 450 Pro.

I didn't want to tear into my 450 Pro just yet because its TT tail working pretty well. So, I went ahead and purchased new parts for this little experiment. I bought a new Boom Mount for the 450 Pro, shown in Fig. 1, and a Drive Gear Assembly for a 450 Sport, as shown in Fig. 2. I already had a front TT gear set for the 450 Pro laying around the garage.

I began by pulling the top umbrella gear off the front TT drive shaft, as shown in Figure 3. I found that the top umbrella gear pops off easily by using ball link pliers. Next, I disassembled the 450 Sport drive gear assembly. As shown in Fig. 4, the 450 Sport drive gear assembly provides the drive pulley and bearings that are needed for the belted boom mount. It was quite a chore to remove the pulley from the Sport drive shaft, and the white drive gear broke...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Dec 01, 2014 @ 12:45 PM | 23,978 Views
In my previous write-up, I discussed some ways to modify a Soko Gauge so that it can be used without removing the main blades of a helicopter. Although I didn't mention it at the time, I find it much easier to use my Soko Gauge together with an adjustable balance table. So, I thought I'd just give a short description of my balance table.

I honestly don't know why I waited so long to build a balance table--it can be used with any helicopter and any pitch gauge. It's actually fairly easy to build a balance table, too. I started out with a pre-cut round board that I purchased at The Home Depot. The round board is nice because it eliminates the hassle of cutting a circular piece of wood, or alternatively having to contend with a square or rectangular piece. Also, the round board features nicely rounded edges, eliminating any need for using sandpaper to smooth the edges. Although my round board remains bare wood, as shown in Figs. 1-2, I think it would be a nice touch to add a varnish finish or a couple coats of Varathane® to give the round board a finished appearance.

As shown in Figs. 1-2, I used three 1/4" diameter brass bolts for legs of the balance table. Although I used 2-1/2" long bolts, it might be a little better to use 3" bolts to give a bit more clearance under the balance table. I positioned my bolts holes 120-degrees apart, as measured at the center of the table, so as to match the position of the balls on the helicopter's swash plate....Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Nov 07, 2014 @ 02:15 PM | 24,488 Views
For a long time, I have relied upon a regular, manual pitch gauge to set up my helicopters, such as a CopterX Pitch Gauge shown in Figure 1. Besides being rather inexpensive, the regular pitch gauge is convenient because it can be mounted directly onto the main blades of helicopters and then measurements can be immediately performed. Also, typically one gauge can be used with various sizes of helicopters, ranging in size from 250 all the way up to 800-sized helicopters. A drawback, however, is that the gauge must be eyeballed relative to a rod fastened to the rotor head of the helicopter. Certainly, the eyeballing part is where most of the measurement errors generally arise.

As many members of RCG will attest, the Soko Gauge does a great job of minimizing errors when leveling the swash plate and adjusting the blade pitch of collective pitch helicopters. I love my Soko Gauge because it eliminates any need for eyeballing the gauge relative to a rod fastened to the rotor head of the helicopter. One thing I didn't like about the Soko Gauge, however, is that a main blade must be removed from the helicopter and then a platform, included in the Soko Kit, must be installed into the blade grip in order to use the gauge. There are times when I want to do a quick check without having to mess around with removing and installing the blades. There must be a way, I thought, to combine the convenience of the regular pitch gauge with the accuracy of the Soko Gauge. While I did...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Oct 03, 2013 @ 12:58 PM | 27,651 Views
If you've read my blog, you'll already know that I love to tinker and try unusual things with my helicopters. My latest project has been installing a brushless motor onto a variable-pitch tail of my 450 Pro. This particular tail configuration, known in the forums as a direct drive variable pitch (DDVP), differs from most motorized tail systems that incoroporate fixed pitch tail rotors, or even use an airplane propeller. In the case of the DDVP tail, the tail blade pitch is controled by way of a tail servo, as usual, while the motor turns the rotor, either at a governed speed or in combination with the main motor speed. Based on some of the information available on the forums, the DDVP has the potential to reduce vibrations and noise often associated with torque tube tail (TT) systems, as well as eliminating belt tensioning issues often encountered with belted tails. However, the weight of the motor also has the potential to affect tail performance due adding inertia to very end of the tail. Even so, I wanted to give building the DDVP tail a try.

For my tail, I chose a Tarot 450 Pro TT tail section because they are less expensive than Align parts and they are readily available. The motor I picked for this project is a Turnigy Park 300 1380KV brushless outrunner because it should produce a tail RPM similar to the TT tail, and because this motor has a 3.0mm shaft diameter, just like the stock tail shaft of the 450 Pro.

A primary part of this project is mounting the...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Aug 26, 2013 @ 02:19 PM | 26,427 Views
It seems to me that there is a schism growing within the rc helicopter community. On one hand, there is the well-known group of pilots whom enjoy flying 3D stunts--flips, rolls, inverted, tic tocs, rainbows, piro-flips, and the like. On the other hand, there are the scale pilots whom aspire to make their aircraft and flights look as much as possible like real, fullsize helicopters. Obviously, performing stunts has a certain potential for causing injury to the pilot and anyone nearby, and there can be no doubt that this is fueling the debates in a few recent, popular threads:

Guy hit by 700-size heli at IRCHA 2013

Tragic accident in switzerland

3D is NOT for everyone

It is not difficult to see in these threads that the discussion of scale versus 3D is becoming, somehow, more angry, with lines being drawn. Does flying scale and 3D have to be mutually exclusive? I don't think so. As I posted in the latter thread, scale flying, 3D smack flying, random flying, why not learn and appreciate it all?

Personally, I am a scale pilot; at least, for now. I haven't the skills for stunts, and I am unwilling to crash heli after heli just to learn a particular stunt--that's what the simulator is for. But it was the allure of flying 3D that motivated me to buy my first collective pitch helicopter . . . boy, was I in for a surprise! Consequently, today I am a very good helicopter mechanic and a decent scale pilot. Most of all, I enjoy my flights now that I have stopped...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Jun 02, 2013 @ 08:39 PM | 27,417 Views
The other day it suddenly occurred to me that, after over a year of ownership, I had not yet gone through and tuned up my little Walkera V120D02S. It had been flying fine for my purposes, but I did notice from day one that while the swash plate looked level, the servo arms weren't very well centered and I'm sure there was some binding at the pitch extremes. Certainly, the swash plate was not remaining level throughout the pitch range.

In a previous write-up, I discussed creating a plumb line pitch gauge, and I touted it’s usefulness across a wide variety of helicopter size classes. I thought, what better time is there than now to demonstrate the usefulness of this pitch gauge on a helicopter as small as the V120D02S. Figures 1 and 2 show the plumb line pitch gauge taped onto one of the main blades of the V120D02S. As is standard operating procedure, the receiver was bound to the transmitter with the motor leads disconnected for safety's sake.

The blade pitch-angle is clearly shown in Figure 1 to be 0-degrees with the throttle stick positioned at mid-stick, but things didn't start out this way. On one hand, the blade tracking appeared to be set up very well at the factory, and the swash plate appeared to be vertically centered along the main shaft when the blade pitch-angle was 0-degrees. On the other hand, however, the swash plate obviously had been leveled with the servo arms positioned at different angles. Thus, there was no way the swash plate was actually...Continue Reading
Posted by navigator2011 | Apr 02, 2013 @ 12:08 PM | 29,747 Views
In my previous blog, I discussed a few simple techniques for setting up a collective pitch helicopter, which focused on leveling the swash plate and setting the blades to 0-degrees pitch-angle when the throttle is set to 50%. Once those tasks are finished, the next step is to set up the helicopter's pitch curve. For those new to collective pitch helicopters, the term "pitch curve" merely refers to a sequence of settings in the transmitter that governs how much the main blades tilt, or pitch, as the throttle stick is moved from 0% to 100% throttle. If the main blades have too little pitch, the helicopter will have very little lift and may not get off the ground even when the motor is at full throttle. Too much pitch can lead to motor bogging and overheating. Or, if your motor is reasonably powerful, too much pitch can make the helicopter jumpy and difficult to hover. Either extreme can lead to hours, if not days of frustration for those just starting out with a collective pitch helicopter. Clearly, measuring the pitch-angle of the main blades at various throttle values is an essential part of setting up any collective pitch helicopter.

It is difficult to measure the pitch-angle of the main blades just by eyeballing the blades. Thus, it is essential to actually measure the pitch-angle with a suitable tool, and there are a variety of tools available for just this purpose. Probably the most common and cheapest tool for measuring blade pitch is a simple...Continue Reading