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May 13, 2010, 11:03 AM
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Mini-HowTo

Absolute Beginners Walkera 4G6/4G6S thread


This mini howto will remain under construction, and feedback is very much appreciated



Introduction
Hi all,

Beginnings
As I have seen many beginners (including me) taking on this advanced heli, I thought I post some of my ideas to warn beginners, and to share my experience if beginners take up the challenge and try to fly this little beast. I came from a blade mcx directly to the 4G6, and I have found it very difficult to learn how to hover her! Other people allready mentioned this is not a beginner's heli, and I could not agree more. But I took up the challenge, and now I am proud to say that I can hover her side-in after 6 months! (which means that I cannot fly yet, if I want to fly, I take my mcx). Most people probably want to fly sooner than that, they should switch to an easier heli like a Walkera CB100 or an Eflite Blade MSR.

Methods
I encountered many of the 4G6 related issues, and therefore try to share my experiences as best as I can in a structured way. As 99% of the info was already shared on the different forums by other people, there is a lot of linking here, and I definitely will try to give the original poster credit when appropriate. I will try to edit the posts in this thread as more usefull info (and hopefully feedback as well) comes in. The most important edits will be summarized here.

First things first
Contents (Links will open single posts only. Alternatively just scroll down)
Warning
As mentioned, the 4G6 is not considered a beginner's helicopter! Flying it as a beginner will require quite a lot of study, quite a lot of money, and lots and lots of time and patience. If you are prepared to spend all of this into your hobby - the 4G6 - then you are in for a huge challenge which is - in the end - very rewarding. If not, you are probably better off with the above mentioned MSR or CB100.

Note, however, that with the current 3-axis gyro (4G6S) this heli is much more suitable for beginners. For flying that is! All other aspects that are valid for CP helis still remain the same....

Teaser
I do not want to end this introduction with a warning. Therefore, look at the latest teaser by Buildemm with Dkfuji's FBL head.
Walkera 4g6 Flybarless Maiden 3d flight (2 min 11 sec)


Happy flying!
Last edited by hjns; Jun 10, 2010 at 03:15 AM.
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May 13, 2010, 11:04 AM
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4G6 Buying Guide


What to buy as a beginner?

Short answer:
Buy the 4G6S (= 4G6 + 3-axis gyro) with the 2801 Pro Transmitter as a combo.

Long answer:
The 4G6 is sold as combo with and without transmitter. The transmitter is either the cheaper 6-channel Tx 2602 or the more expensive Tx 2801 Pro. Also, the heli is sold with (as 4G6S) or without the 3-axis gyro (as 4G6). Choosing between the different combo's of course will depend on your budget, and on your expectations. Advantages and disadvantages of the different Transmitters and adding the 3-axis gyro are detailed below.

For the 4G6S (with 3-axis gyro)
  • The advantages of the TX 2602 are: Lower price as compared to TX 2801 Pro, Sufficient to fly, Binds to the 3-axis RX without hassle
  • Disadvantages of the TX 2602: Only one model can be bound, no memory for multiple models, Limited adjustment of throttle/pitch curves and expo, No throttle hold (switch to turn off the motor, while keeping control over the servos). In order to correctly setup your heli, you need to manually disconnect the motor.
  • The advantages of the TX 2801 Pro are: Very nice adjustments for throttle/pitch curves, expo etc, Memory for multiple models/helicopters/airplanes, Throttle hold (switch to turn off the motor, while keeping control over the servos). Note that these are only theoretical advantages, as throttle hold does not work with the current 3-axis gyro, and neither do pitch curves.
  • Disadvantages of the TX 2801 Pro: More expensive than the TX 2602, More actions needed to correctly setup with the 3-axis gyro, Not all 2801 functions are available in 2602 mode

For the 4G6 (without 3-axis gyro)
  • The advantages of the TX 2602 are: Lower price as compared to TX 2801 Pro, Sufficient to fly
  • Disadvantages of the TX 2602: Only one model can be bound, no memory for multiple models, Limited adjustment of throttle/pitch curves and expo, No throttle hold (switch to turn off the motor, while keeping control over the servos). In order to correctly setup your heli, you need to manually disconnect the motor.
  • The advantages of the TX 2801 Pro are: Very nice adjustments for throttle/pitch curves, expo etc, Memory for multiple models/helicopters/airplanes, Throttle hold (switch to turn off the motor, while keeping control over the servos)
  • Disadvantages of the TX 2801 Pro: More expensive than the TX 2602

Do I need the 3-axis gyro?
  • Short answer: yes
  • My opinion: after trying to learn on the 4G6 (with stock HH gyro), I made very little progress. It was very difficult for me to learn to hover tail-in, but I succeeded. It took a lot of time, a lot of blades, some rear gears and a part of the sofa, and I still could not hover side-in. However, as soon as the 3-axis gyro came out, I bought it and installed it. Within a few weeks, I was hovering side-in, and it is much easier to fly, making the 4G6S accessible for beginners as well!
  • "Convincing" answer: Take a look at Tioguera's comparison of the 4G6 and the 4G6S, and then decide for yourself.

4G6 vs 4G6S as a beginner (4 min 18 sec)


Necessary tools
Read first these pages on What do I need to get started?

OK. So what do I have that is really needed:

Helicopter related tools
  • Micro Blade balancer. Although the 4G6 blades come in pairs that are usually well balanced, it is good practice to make sure that your blades are balanced. Especially after repairs of damaged foamies using easy mods, balancing is a must to prevent weird vibrations that can make the heli unflyable.
  • Pitch Gauge fitting for 4G6. The pitch (angle of attack) on the rotor blades needs to be checked to set up the helicopter. You'll need this to set up the pitch curve during setup.
  • Battery meter. Especially the 3-axis gyro needs quite a lot of juice. Make sure to use fully charged Lipos when flying with this bird. A battery meter to check voltage comes very handy.
General tools
  • 2 Philips micro screwdrivers, tip size 000. You will need two of these, because the blade grips are connected to the feather shaft using two very small screws. You need to fixate the first screw while rotate the other. Magentic and hardened tips will ease your work tremendously as well.
  • Small hex drivers. A hex driver comes with your 4G6. However, it is much easier to use a normal hex driver with the same size.
  • Loctite threadlock. A must! The above described screws to the feather shaft are a perfect example of where to use loctite. You do not want these screws to come loose mid-flight. The 4G6 head rotates at around 4000 rpm, so loose-flying blades can cause serious damage.
  • Multipurpose cutter
  • Pincet/tweezer
  • Long nose pliers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • CA glue

Recommended addons/upgrades for beginners:
  • Motor connector mod. Deliver more power to your motor by removing the connectors between the ESC and the motor. The connectors usually get very hot. Just solder the wires from the motor directly onto the soldering points on the ESC will give you a great improvement in power and/or flight times. The improvement has been documented many times on the different forums.
  • MicroDeans mod. Switch from the low-amp Walkera connectors to MicroDeans for all your Lipo - Esc connections. Find some MicroDeans here.
  • 3-axis gyro/receiver (RX). This gyro/receiver combo helps to stabilze your heli, so that only minimal corrections are needed to keep the heli in the air. That means you can focus to learn to fly, i.e., to learn to move the heli also correctly when the heli is pointing with the nose towards you, which is difficult enough. Read this thread on the first introduction of this very nice piece of equipment.
  • HP08 motor. There are many posts about which motor is the best for the 4G6(S). For a start, read this (from post 322) and this. There is currently a thread open for everybody to share his experiences with different motors, different lipos, different ESCs and different pinion gears, comparing headspeed and flight times in a nice Excel sheet. Feel free to share your experience as well!
  • Procrasher's hardened main shaft. The stock main shafts are notoriously soft and may bend even upon a soft crash. With the carbon steel main shaft I have crashed now more than 20 times, and it is still true. Read Procrasher's famous post here, and send him a PM if you want one.
  • Dkfuji's true CNC head. I have not tried this crash-proof version yet, but on the forums it has received good reviews. I did try his CNC flybarless version, and I never want to go back to a flybarred version..... No need to say that the FBL version also stayed true throughout multiple crashes.
  • Lipos and Charger
  • Initial collection of spare parts: Tail gears, Main shafts, Feather shafts, etc
  • Recommended modifications to save money: Main blades modifications, Canopy modifications, Other modifications
Last edited by hjns; Jun 23, 2010 at 08:51 AM.
May 13, 2010, 11:04 AM
Registered User

4G6 Mechanical setup


So you bought a 4G6, now what?

Your 4G6 is a full collective pitch micro helicopter. Therefore, mechanical setup of the 4G6 requires knowledge of collective pitch helicopters. So start studying first, and make sure that you know what you are talking about!

Homework
Setting up your 4G6 correctly may take several hours the first time. So make sure to have enough Lipos available, and only start out with the right tools, or you may break some fragile parts....

Also, make sure that your Tx setting are not way off. If you are not sure, just copy the appropriate Tx settings from the next section (on Binding the Tx to your heli) into your Tx, so that you can be reasonably sure that your Tx settings are ok to begin with. Only then continue with the instructions below.

Find the exploded diagram also on Walkera's website. Below is an expanded version of the original post by Gadflyii.

The following setup was done with the 4G6S (with the 3-axis gyro), the 2801 Pro v2.2 TX, full plastic swashplate, plastic head, CNC blade grips, and Gaui mixer arms. However, the principles should be similar for other variants.
  • Preparations: Remove the landing skids and set the chassis on blocks. I took some LEGO from my kids and used that to stabilize the chassis. Make sure that it is level.
  • Motor setup: the pinion gear should be in “loose” contact with the main gear. Leave just a little bit of room between the two gears, so that the main gear has a very little bit of play. Too tight, and your motor will bog down very easily. Too much play, and the pinion gear will damage the tips of the teeth of the main gear. See also this post by Mikeinde.
  • Remove the head and the swashplate, and all linkages. Remove the servo horns. Disconnect the motor from the ESC.
  • Bind your Transmitter (TX) to the heli. Let it initialize until you hear the high-high-low beeps, and then put the TX into “Idle 1” mode. Then put the throttle in midposition. This will place the servos in midposition as well.
  • Put the servo horns back at 90 degrees. If it is not possible to put them back at 90 degrees, use the subtrim function of the TX to make it better. (True 90 degrees may be inbetween the grooves on the servo throw arms)
  • Turn the heli off. Reassemble the swashplate and the head. Do not add the linkages yet.
  • Position the swashplate along the main shaft in such a way that the swhasplate has equal room to move up and downwards. The swashplate should be directly in the middle between the head above and the collar below. I used my own swash leveling tool (created from a damaged main gear) to do this.
    In the picture here, the red arrows show wrong (unequal) distance of the swashplate to the head-collar, and the green arrows show approximately correct distances. As mentioned above, I used a damaged main gear to position the swashplate correctly.
  • Bind your Transmitter (TX) to the heli again. Let it initialize until you hear the high-high-low beeps, and then put the TX into “Idle 1” mode. Then put the throttle in midposition. This will place the servos in midposition as well.
  • Take one servo-swashplate linkage, and adjust it to the length necessary to place the swashplate in the correct mid-position as described above. Turn the heli off.
  • Adjust the other two linkages from the servo horns to the swashplate so that they are of equal length as the one you just adjusted.
  • Reposition the linkages to the servo horns and to the swashplate. (See image) Note that the rings of the linkages have an inside and an outside. Make sure that the servo horn balls and the swashplate balls enter the rings of the linkages from the inside.
  • Reposition the head, the flybar-ball, and the flybar.
  • Bind your Transmitter (TX) to the heli again. Let it initialize until you hear the high-high-low beeps, and then put the TX into “Idle 1” mode. Then put the throttle in midposition. This will place the servos in midposition and now your swashplate should be level as well. If not, readjust the linkages by 1 linkage and 1 turn at a time to level your swashplate.
  • Add the linkages from the swashplate to the flybar-ball links. The flybar-ball should be positioned in the middle of the head, with ample (preferably equal) room below and above (see image). Turn the heli off.
  • Complete the head with the rest of the flybar, mixer arms, blade grips, and main rotor blades. Make sure that the flybar paddles are level with the flybar-ball links.
  • Bind your Transmitter (TX) to the heli again. Let it initialize until you hear the high-high-low beeps, and then put the TX into “Idle 1” mode. Then put the throttle in midposition. This will place the servos in midposition, your swashplate should be level, the links to the flybar ball are horizontal, and then look at the pitch of the blades. These should be zero (i.e., angle of attack is completely horizontally). If not, adjust the long interlinks from the swashplate to the mixer arms so that both blades are completely level.
  • Tail setup: Loosen the two screws that hold the tail servo in place, and removed the servo horn. Set all sub trims for the tail to zero, and verify there is no trim on the tail servo. Power up the heli and let the servos initialize, then power the heli back off. Put the servo throw arm back on at 90'. Set the tail blade pitch to 0' by hand. Note how far the servo is from the servo rod. Move the servo forward (towards tail) about .5mm and then adjust the servo control rod. Reassemble and powered back on, and verify that the tail is at 0' pitch and servo arm is at 90'.
    or in other words (explanation from IMHO):
    Quote:
    - With the gyro in rate mode and no rudder trim at all (including sub-trim) adjust the tail servo so that the arm is 90 to the tail boom. Next move the actual servo mount back and forth on the boom until the pitch slider is in the middle of it's travel.
    - Do a test hover and keep adjusting the servo mount until it's close to drift-free. You can adjust the ball link on the rudder servo rod to fine tune if necessary. Keep adjusting and hovering until the heli will hover with (almost) no drift. At this point you can super-fine tune with sub-trim if necessary.
    - I'm not sure if the stock gyro will reset it's neutral point by flicking the gear switch like the 401 but to make sure you can unplug the battery and then power up again in HH mode so that the gyro will reset the rudder neutral point. Make sure you don't move the heli while the gyro is initialising.
    - Set the gyro gain to about 60% and now try a hover in HH mode. Increase the gyro gain until the tail wags and then drop it down until it stops.

An even better manual of how to setup your swashplate can be bought here. Worth every 10 bucks of it!

Balance your blades: follows.

Different blades. Steve Joblin did a good job and provided a description of the different blades for the 4G6.



Troubleshooting
Last edited by hjns; Oct 10, 2010 at 05:04 AM.
May 13, 2010, 11:05 AM
Registered User

4G6 TX setup


Binding the TX to your heli

Tx 2801 Pro with 4G6 (HH gyro)
Tx 2801 Pro with 4G6S (3-axis gyro)
  • Read and follow Tom's very comprehensive guide here.
  • Try DKfuji/Manny's settings. Note that PLT controls the amount of +/- pitch that you have in Normal mode. The lower (i.e., more negative) you add to PLT, the less maximum pitch you will have at full throttle. You can also then adjust the Idle-up pitch curve itself by switching to 2801 mode and adjusting the throttle curve and going back to 2601 stick mode. The higher you make PIT value (more "+") the less pitch you have at start-up and Normal flight. If you keep PLT at "0", the pitch curve is too steep and you end up with way too much pitch (at top and bottom collective stick) that will bog the motor in Idle-up flight mode. If you leave the PIT at "0", you will have too much pitch at 1/4 to 1/2 stick in NOR flight mode which makes it harder to control and land without cutting the motor out.

Tx 2602 with 4G6 (HH gyro)
  • To be added

Tx 2602 with 4G6S (3-axis gyro)
ESC matters
3-axis gyro matters
  • Find some more useful info here
  • And here
Last edited by hjns; Jun 12, 2010 at 11:09 AM.
May 13, 2010, 11:05 AM
Registered User

Learning to fly the 4G6


  • Get familiar with helicopter aerodynamics
  • Put some training gear on.
  • Find a large area (at least 4x4x4 meters) with a smooth surface.
  • Then learn to fly using RADDs guide
Last edited by hjns; May 19, 2010 at 08:26 AM.
May 13, 2010, 11:06 AM
Registered User

4G6 Modifications


Below is just a selection from the original mod threads.
Thread 1 Thread 2 Thread 3 Thread 4

Recommended for beginners:
  • 3-axis gyro: read the thread started by Dkfuji
  • HP08 motor
  • Main blades protection: Timewerx wrote a nice easy mod that protects your foam blades.

Other cool mods:
Last edited by hjns; Aug 06, 2010 at 09:04 AM.
May 13, 2010, 11:28 AM
Registered User

Summary of edits



01 June 2010
Edits are too many to summarize. I will not keep record anymore. If something major is being updated, I will just add another post to the thread with the update.

19 May 2010
Photos removed and replaced by links to the photos in mechanical setup.
General layout smoothened.

17 May 2010
Mechanical setup added with photos.

15 May 2010
Tools added. Started with mechanical setup

14 May 2010
Buying Guide: TX 2801 vs TX 2602 added

13 May 2010
Setup of the structure of the mini howto
First addition of general info
Last edited by hjns; Jun 01, 2010 at 09:13 AM.
May 13, 2010, 11:40 AM
Registered User

4G6 Videos


Below is a movie with me trying to fly....
4G6S - what not to do when you can only fly tail-in (1 min 41 sec)
Last edited by hjns; May 19, 2010 at 04:13 PM.
May 18, 2010, 11:59 PM
Registered User
Still need a lot to complete in the mini howto, but I would welcome some feedback. Start shooting.
May 20, 2010, 08:25 PM
Registered User
Dan203's Avatar
I'm curious about something... What's the main difference, when learning, between CP and FP. I jumped from a 3ch coax to a 4#6S which I have only ever flown in my kitchen and living room. (I don't have a big outdoor space like you) I was able to hover tail in after 3 batteries, and now after about 35 batteries over 3-4 weeks I can hover from all orientations, in a very confined space, without much trouble. I'm curious how exactly my experience may have changed if I had bought a 4G6S instead? I've tried several CP helis in the simulator and the only real difference I've noticed is the throttle. (i.e. FP works top to bottom, while CP works from the middle out) Some of them are a little more twitchy then others, but once you learn to hover it's pretty much all the same.

I'm not trying to say you're wrong, or brag, I'm really curious as to what the real difference between CP and FP is for a beginner. (thus far I've only ever flown CP in a simulator)

Dan
May 21, 2010, 12:15 AM
Registered User
I do not know, because I cannot compare. You probably are learning much faster than I...., so you mau have learned cp as well.
May 21, 2010, 12:32 AM
Registered User
Hi Dan,
I flew 2 coax, 1 FP and 1 CP before, here are my observation.
The controls of FP and CP are quite similar, the real difference is that it's really jumpy, means when you push down your throttle from high to low, it doesn't have the "delay" since it pitches down instantly, really "pushing" the heli down rather than let gravity pulls it down.
From what I've learnt, if you can fly FP, CP isn't really that much harder in "flying" sense (it's still harder, but I've jumped from coax to CP, FP is rather just picking up my friend's and ran, and only once). Rather you'll need to learn more about setting up - ie. mainly the pitch, pitch+throttle curves, etc.
I'm still a CP newbie, but that's what I know...
May 21, 2010, 12:57 AM
Registered User
Dan203's Avatar
Thanks for the info. The thing about the throttle curve makes a lot of sense.

I'm wondering, since it requires a fancy TX to fly a CP heli, is there a way to make a CP heli act like a FP? Like set the pitch to a constant value and make the rotor speed increase from bottom to top? That way someone like me could get the heli in the air and trimmed out without having to worry about learning the new throttle controls at the same time. Then after I was comfortable with it I could switch to a real CP mode and learn to deal with that. (man this is making me want a 4G6 )

Dan
May 21, 2010, 01:34 AM
Registered User
One other thing you should know. I learned my 4G6 first without 3-axis gyro. The stock gyro-rx only had a heading hold gyro (to correct for yaw). You may be able to turn off your gyro, and try flying with it, and then you have a better idea why it took me so long to learn the orientations....(apart from fighting the tail, that is). Keeping a 4G6 in the air requires a lot of skill without the 3-axis gyro.

Also, as there are more moving parts on a CP, you need to learn more about the setup etc, like thloh mentioned. Then again, it was probably clear from the previous posts as well.

I know that it should be relatively easy to "convert" a 4G6 into a 4#6 by replacing the 4G6 blades with 4#6 blades and keeping the Tx in normal mode. I remember posts from people who did this, so just search the forums for more details.
Last edited by hjns; May 21, 2010 at 02:48 AM.


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