Thread Tools
Sep 09, 2012, 03:03 PM
Escaping in Flight
Thread OP
Discussion

Leveling Board - Leveling the Gyro


Leveling Your Heli for Setting the Gyro, and other testing.

It is important to have a level surface when the gyro sets on your heli, so it will fly straight and level. It seems that none of the surfaces I use are ever really that all level. Close, but could be better. While it may seem insignificant, I have found flying improvement with this simple set up that allows me to get a perfect level.

I used a 2 X 2 ft handy panel (1/2” plywood, and cut it down to 1 ft sq [or to be equal to the diameter of your largest heli’s blades]) and put a ” x 24 thread T-nut in the middle of the board. The ” T-nut fits the screw on camera tripod mounting pads.

I drew lines from corner to opposite corner. Where the lines intersect marks the middle of the board.

In that intersect I drilled a 5/16 hole for the T-nut to fit in and hammed it so that tangs engage the plywood. Do this before mounting the bubble level.

I fastened a bubble level on the board near the T-nut, but not too close so as to not interfere with any helicopter landing gear. That depends on the heli. Some bubble levels have mounting holes, as mine in this pic, others do not. On the ones that do not, be sure to glue the bubble level flatly to the board to assure it is level with the plane of the board.

I mount the board to the camera tripod. The head of the tripod rotates and allows adjustment. Sometimes you may want to use the legs of the tripod give adjustment in another direction.

This is great when you go to the field and there’s no level surfaces around.

This board also makes for a handy landing area for practicing control.

Parts:
2X2’ handy panel $8
T-nut $1 (Home Depot / Lowes)
Bubble level $1 (Home Depot / Harbor Freight. If not screw holes glue it
flatly to the board.)
Camera Tripod doesn’t everyone have one for their camera? Also works with table top tripods as all camera tripods have in. threads.


This also makes for a great testing platform. As in a couple pics I used a 12 in wooden ruler and spring clamps to keep the heli secured to the board. This is why the board needs to be as wide square, as is the diameter of the heli blades. That keeps the heli from gaining lift from any other ground planes. I used this to see that my blades were tracking, etc, and I saw they were tilting left and I needed to adjust the trim or servos.


Gary
Last edited by gwlundgren; Sep 09, 2012 at 03:39 PM.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Sep 09, 2012, 04:23 PM
Registered User
minbari's Avatar
Pretty cool, but not sure you are right. I can power up with the heli in any position as long as it is still. Once you give it input it makes a new reference.

I usually power up on the bench, the walk it out to the pad. Quick flip to rate mode and back to HH zeroes it back out

Makes sure you keep pitch at a minimum with that. Will rip the blade grip right out
Sep 09, 2012, 04:56 PM
Closed Account
Gyros detect motion when powering up and not how level the heli is. Level has nothing to do with it.......just make sure the heli is perfectly still while the gyro initializes.

For example, I can plug in the battery to my MCPX with it laying on its side and it will fly just fine as long as its stays perfectly still while initializing. Its actually easier to power it up without it moving this way.There have been people flying helis after powering them up sitting on the ground at flying fields for years, and I can guarantee that none of them were perfectly level when they powered up.

If your heli is not flying correctly, it's because of a mechanical setup issue with the heli itself and not because your heli isn't level. It means you need to mechanically adjust the heli using the swashplate linkages, and if flying with a FBL heli, make sure you have no trim or subtrim set for any of your cyclic functions in your TX.
Last edited by Xrayted; Sep 09, 2012 at 05:05 PM.
Sep 09, 2012, 06:45 PM
Escaping in Flight
Thread OP
Very interesting. I'm not an expert in this, but it seemed to make sense. It seemed instructions I had before was to set the heli on a level surface within a couple seconds of plugging in the battery so the gyro could get a good level. Have to admit I am a little confused now. How is a gyro supposed to work?
Sep 09, 2012, 07:26 PM
Registered User
minbari's Avatar
Gyro doesn't sense level, it senses motion. For a tail gyro. when you turn it on, it needs to determine what "still"means. After that, it measures motion in an axis and makes corrections to the servo.

So orientation on start up is not important.

For a 3 axis gyro (fbl) it has essentially, 3 gyros. one for each axis, but the concept is the same
Sep 09, 2012, 10:47 PM
Registered User
spooling up a heli mounted to some thing is a bad idea
stuff like this can happen
watch this
Ground Resonance - Side View (0 min 33 sec)
Sep 10, 2012, 07:50 AM
Registered User
minbari's Avatar
Wow, somebody is in trouble. You could tell they knew out was going bad, but too late.
Sep 10, 2012, 07:54 AM
Escaping in Flight
Thread OP
Looks that it was having trouble anyway, despite being tied down. I don't think I'll run into that in little electrics. :-)
Sep 10, 2012, 08:19 AM
Registered User
minbari's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlundgren
Looks that it was having trouble anyway, despite being tied down. I don't think I'll run into that in little electrics. :-)
Maybe not, but a carbon fiber blade whizzing by you're head at 200 mph will certainly wake you up, lol
Sep 10, 2012, 08:34 AM
Escaping in Flight
Thread OP
Hmmm . . . good point. I have not graduated yet to carbon fiber blades.

That SR in the pic . . . I've flown a grand total of 2 min in 6 mo's. Spent over $200 repairing it. Complained to Horizon Hobby once and they sent me a whole new one. No charge. :-(

I saw when on that board why it dives to the left on me. When just trying to fly it, it crashed on me and I didn't know why. I'd lose control so fast I couldn't tell why. Have an mCPX also. Those CP heli's are very touchy. I'll learn on the mCPX. Less $ on parts.

I don't know about the gyro thing now, given the new light on that. But using the board for testing seems a good idea.
Sep 10, 2012, 08:50 AM
Registered User
minbari's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlundgren
Hmmm . . . good point. I have not graduated yet to carbon fiber blades.

That SR in the pic . . . I've flown a grand total of 2 min in 6 mo's. Spent over $200 repairing it. Complained to Horizon Hobby once and they sent me a whole new one. No charge. :-(

I saw when on that board why it dives to the left on me. When just trying to fly it, it crashed on me and I didn't know why. I'd lose control so fast I couldn't tell why. Have an mCPX also. Those CP heli's are very touchy. I'll learn on the mCPX. Less $ on parts.

I don't know about the gyro thing now, given the new light on that. But using the board for testing seems a good idea.
just make sure you set up your TX for zero pitch and limit your headspeed.

have you ever tried the RADD school of flight videos to learn ccpm helis? I started on a 450 having never flown an RC heli and believe me. those lessons paid off.

also look into the finless bob videos on helifreak. maybe you need to adjust the swash. a single rotor will pull left at take off and you have to counter that with right ail when you lift off.
Sep 10, 2012, 08:58 AM
Escaping in Flight
Thread OP
Thanks for the tip! I've been relying on my son as my guru. He said he learned a lot in this forum here. I will certainly look into RADD.

Thx
Sep 10, 2012, 09:08 AM
Escaping in Flight
Thread OP
Oh, I do have the Phoenix flight sim. Also have the Spektrum DX6i radio. The flight sim is good for learning basics. However, each heli seems to have its own characteristics. Also on the flight sim the heli is small to see. It does have a window within the screen to see the heli closer up so you know your orientation. Somehow that seems less realistic.
Sep 10, 2012, 09:16 AM
Closed Account
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwlundgren
Looks that it was having trouble anyway, despite being tied down. I don't think I'll run into that in little electrics. :-)
That video is demonstrating something called ground resonance and it will destroy a full size aircraft.

I can't seem to find the video, but I once saw a video of a guy trying to fly an RC heli off concrete which is no problem. Problem was,his pitch was reversed and he was too green to know it, so he kept raising the throttle higher and higher trying to get the heli to lift. The heli was vibrating all over the pavement in ground resonance and being driven down into the ground, when all of the sudden it just exploded into hundreds of tiny pieces!

Hard to say if was really ground resonance, parts failure from the extreme downward force or both, but it was pretty spectacular
Sep 10, 2012, 01:00 PM
Rocket Programmer
jasmine2501's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xrayted
That video is demonstrating something called ground resonance and it will destroy a full size aircraft.

I can't seem to find the video, but I once saw a video of a guy trying to fly an RC heli off concrete which is no problem. Problem was,his pitch was reversed and he was too green to know it, so he kept raising the throttle higher and higher trying to get the heli to lift. The heli was vibrating all over the pavement in ground resonance and being driven down into the ground, when all of the sudden it just exploded into hundreds of tiny pieces!

Hard to say if was really ground resonance, parts failure from the extreme downward force or both, but it was pretty spectacular
Those are the videos I love to hate...

I can't say I've ever seen ground resonance with little helis, but I've seen quite a few crashes on the ground. Most often it is due to inexperience, but I've had it happen due to "FBL system overreacted"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_resonance

And yeah, the position of the gyro doesn't matter during initialization. It is measuring the noise level of the sensor, not any positional information. It needs to do that every time because changes in temperature and other factors can change the noise level from one flight to the next.


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Hobbyking KK2 board setup for gain and auto level with flight video hallstudio Multirotor Drone Electronics 27 May 06, 2016 06:50 AM
Question Problem with KK2.0 Board in Self-level mode p.a.h. Multirotor Drone Electronics 8 Dec 16, 2013 01:31 PM
Discussion Can't level quadrino board CraigVMN Multirotor Drone Electronics 0 Aug 25, 2012 05:05 PM
Discussion Cinestar 8 Gyros not leveling out. GizmoII Multirotor Drone Talk 2 May 29, 2012 05:08 PM
Discussion Like A Gyro To Keep Wings Level During Take-Off-From-Grass JD-Slow-Thumbs DIY Electronics 8 Mar 31, 2012 11:19 PM