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May 17, 2015, 06:26 AM
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Mikado Vplane Stabilizer/Gyro and Vbar Control!


Hey guys I've been a long time Mikado brand user and I wanted to create a thread that is about their new radio, gyro, and entrance into fixed wing rc. (There are two other threads here i have linked below, but I wanted to start one with a,more informational title, and perhaps they can be merged). It's only been out a couple months, but I've scoured the web on my favorite forums and there is very little being talked about out there. I am no expert by any means, just a fan of their products. I use a lot of different products but helis are my first passion but I love my airplanes as well.

Mikado is a bit higher on the scale of rc products in the helicopter realm for those of you who are not aware. They are the first company to start making flybarless units years ago. I remember spending over $700 for each unit.
Flybarless units have literally done wonders to Helicopter rc. I've been fortunate to fly helicopters without one, then the tail gyro alone, and then the flybarless unit. If you have seen some of the wild helicopter videos, they couldn't be done without a flybarless. For sake of comparison, the flybarless unit is the same thing as the stabilizer when we are talking about planes. I prefer stabilizer over gyro, because a stabilizer is made up of several gyros put together to help control multiple axis. A gyro helps control yaw, a stabilizer helps control yaw, pitch, and roll all at the same time.
Ok, so I have been using stabilizers in my planes for just a couple months now. In fact I have Not yet tried the Vplane stabilizer! I've been using the Spektrum AR636 and the Lemon rx brand stabs. (I am not brand loyal by the way, I like to use what works best for me, I've been flying both JR and Futaba for quite a few years). I've had so much fun and success with the two brands that I am hooked on stabs. Every one of my 10+ planes and future planes will or already have a stab. I've also turned quite a few folks and yes some stubborn old-timers at the field onto them and they are very happy. More to come...

http://www.vstabi.info/en/node/1908
http://shop.mikadousa.com/VStabi-Electronics_c_18.html
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2369194
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2369194
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2346770

And a little more reading of the growth of gyros in planes, already have come a long way:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1035605
Last edited by jakeg1999; May 20, 2015 at 07:49 AM.
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May 17, 2015, 06:29 AM
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Let this also be a place to hash out likes, dislikes, pros and cons for stabs in planes. I understand both sides but am obviously in the camp "for" the stab. I will say this, if you are completely against them, let's please be polite and considerate and not bash or belittle anyone who is for them or interested in them.
May 17, 2015, 06:40 AM
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I believe before you turn your nose at them, try one. For those of you who have been around this hobby for awhile, think back to your very first radio and it's capabilities and now look at your current radio and it's capabilities. Remember what it was like before no mixing in the radio, etc. Our radios have come a long way and have simplified setup and allowing for some exciting flying.
The second and biggest sort of misconception for naysayers, is that the stab flies the plane for you, or "fights" you. Well yes, that's actually not a misconception , it's true But it's because you're either flying a newer Trainer type or an improperly setup stab. Basically what I tell folks at our field is that stabs take away the "bumps" in the air. They make the plane feel more locked in and trimmed. They should not be fighting your input, in fact when set up properly they give little to no input as you move the sticks. A properly set up stab can even go unnoticed making the pilot feel like they are just flying a well trimmed plane. Ok, enough of that, I am just excited to see what stabs can do for the 3d world. Oh and did I mention that with at least all the stabs I am currently aware of, you can simply turn them off with a switch at any time. So you can turn it on only when you are landing for a little smoother approach, on windy days, or just leave it on all the time like I do. Ok introduction over.
Last edited by jakeg1999; May 17, 2015 at 06:55 AM.
May 17, 2015, 06:47 AM
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Yesterday I finally got around to setting up the software in my vbar unit that just came off a helicopter. You can use them for either application which is great. I have not yet installed it in my plane as I'm considering doing it on video as I do it the first time. I'm not a video guy, but I'm quite impressed with how quick and easy it is to set up a new heli, that I may want to share my first experience with the vplane setup. So hopefully later today I will be installing the vbar in my Extreme Flight 60" Edge for testing purposes and then into my EF 78" Extra and so on. I will also be leaving the current AR636 receiver in the plane so I can swap back and forth between the vbar control radio and my DX9 compairing the 2. Disclaimer to all this, I'm no expert, not sponsored, not a perfectionist, just a plane nerd as my wife calls me. Sorry about the typos, I will try to go back and fix them, this has all been with my phone......thumbs sore...Jake
Last edited by jakeg1999; May 17, 2015 at 06:59 AM.
May 17, 2015, 07:06 AM
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Below are a couple links to the other two stabs I'm using. One is the Lemon and the other is the Spektrum. Been awhile since I looked but the Lemon I believe is $26 ish and the AR636 is $80ish. Both have worked great for me. There have and are still a unchanged of setup ki ks with the Spektrum as you can read about in the attached thread but the Spektrum has more capabilities than the Lemon. I trust the Lemons so far, using their 10ch version without a stab in my EF 78 " with good results.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2164243
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=2089792
May 17, 2015, 01:31 PM
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I'm signing on as I too am a vbar user and also haven't found much info either. I have a spare blue laying around and have been pondering using it to check out the possibilities. To date Iv been using the Guardian and A3 Super. I like both for different reasons. looking forward to seeing what you find in programming and setup. I looked at the Mikado website Few days ago but all I could find for programming info was for the Vcontrol. I might not have looked everywhere tho.
May 17, 2015, 01:35 PM
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On the vstabi site its hard to find and actually hidden. I just sent an email to Rainer at vsatbi with my screen name and he added me to the super top secret area. However I didn't find a ton of info which is a bit expected on the heli forum.
Last edited by jakeg1999; May 17, 2015 at 01:42 PM.
May 17, 2015, 01:42 PM
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Welcome, and I look forward to hearing your results as well. I just started putting the vbar Silverline in my plane. I've taken a few photos and am planning to video it but I'm terrible with video and this is really my first attempt at that. If it sets up like the heli software which I believe it does as I skimmed through it already, I want to show folks just how different and simple it is compared to the traditional setup process. One major feature that I think is awesome and can't wait to try is auto trim. Here is how I understand it, although once I get into it, it may be different. Set up your airframe as usual. Go through the radio setup as the wizard instructs in the radio, then go fly. Take your plane up and do a relatively high speed pass while holding the sticks so the plane flies level and straight making any corrections as necessary. As you do this, flick on the auto trim switch and it "learns" how you are holding the sticks in a couple seconds. Flick the switch off and your planes is now trimmed! Pretty darn cool.
May 17, 2015, 02:01 PM
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One thing I forgot to mention as of right now and I don't know if that will change or not, but you will need a Vbar Control radio in order to use the Vplane software with your Vbar unit. I currently does not work with other systems ie. Spektrum, Futaba. I have no idea of this will change or not.

Mikados Proving Ground: Episode 1 - VPlane Benefits (2 min 45 sec)
May 17, 2015, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeg1999
Welcome, and I look forward to hearing your results as well. I just started putting the vbar Silverline in my plane. I've taken a few photos and am planning to video it but I'm terrible with video and this is really my first attempt at that. If it sets up like the heli software which I believe it does as I skimmed through it already, I want to show folks just how different and simple it is compared to the traditional setup process. One major feature that I think is awesome and can't wait to try is auto trim. Here is how I understand it, although once I get into it, it may be different. Set up your airframe as usual. Go through the radio setup as the wizard instructs in the radio, then go fly. Take your plane up and do a relatively high speed pass while holding the sticks so the plane flies level and straight making any corrections as necessary. As you do this, flick on the auto trim switch and it "learns" how you are holding the sticks in a couple seconds. Flick the switch off and your planes is now trimmed! Pretty darn cool.

That's an awesome feature! The A3S will take trim inputs but you can't reset it in the air. It's not hard to do the "stick centering" as they call it. you fly and trim as normal, land and flip the switch.

I use a JR radio and don't really plan to change at this point. I do look forward to seeing how this goes for you.
May 17, 2015, 03:46 PM
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Just did the install and video. The video is rough but I think you will get the idea. I'm reviewing it now then going to upload it to youtube.
May 17, 2015, 04:29 PM
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Ok uploading the video now, I think it took me longer to figure out how to upload the darn video than it did to set up the plane.

A couple things about the video I want to mention. First off it's my first time on camera so bare with me. I kind of get a bit jumbled and jump around a little bit. I did look through the software last night and got as far as setting up the elevator briefly, mainly because I didn't want to spend all day re-doing the video. I did flick on the throttle at the beginning as well, that's how I new it should work. Other than that, the whole process was done for the first time as you see in the video. The video is rough cut, and un-edited, because I have no idea how to edit! The video is almost 30 min long, but there is lots of me just babbling. You should quickly see that setup is rather quick and can get quicker with time and experience. The airplane is not new and was set up and flying great on a Spektrum system. The trims and settings were actually very close between the two systems. Most importantly, although in the video I check one control surface, you need to make sure that all control surfaces move in the correct direction by the stabilizer. It can be castistrophic if it's backwards, although I have a hunch this software may keep that from happening. Lastly hopefully the video helps someone, and gives a quick rough idea on how the system works. There is a lot more adjustments that can be made in the radio including mixing and so on.
May 17, 2015, 08:29 PM
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Here is the video. Let me know if you have any questions, I didn't cover everything as I still need to spend some time with it. I probably won't be able to test it out until next weekend unfortunately....life has created a busy week for me coming up.

Vplane Set up (29 min 36 sec)
May 18, 2015, 10:54 AM
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The thing about VPlane is that it is so simple to setup and fly, you really feel like you are missing something. Follow the wizard and fly….that is really all there is to it.
As to the sensor mount, use the Mikado tape. The Zeal will allow for wobbles in the sensor mount and that will cause some unwanted oscillations. Just make sure the surface you mount the gyro to in the plane is solid (reinforce if necessary).
When you set your endpoints for all surfaces, you set them to the max BEFORE binding (you will hear the servo squeal).
The way you have the motor switch setup will "work" but the idle position is not a "hold". You need to either set a hold (the little lock option) or get used to going all the way to "off" when you turn the heli/plane motor off.
Upon take off, get into "level flight", then click the auto trim function….TOO COOL! It will trim the plane for you in the air!
Nice video especially for your first attempt!


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