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Aug 12, 2017, 11:54 AM
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Tarot 450 Sport belt drive

8/12/2017. On the way is the Tarot kit. After way too much back and forth I decided to get the kit my 450 size UH-1 was built for and stop trying to adapt something that would only lead to heart break. I searched and searched for the Align kit to no avail. I did find lots of clones but it seems most are TT now, even the FB kits. Hours upon hours of trying to unlock the code for parts, to get a belt drive for the real deal gave me a headache. I didn't want to get a clone that would require replacing nearly everything with better parts (Align). Many folks did recommend the Tarot, saying the quality of the parts is as good, if not better than the Align, so that's what I bought. Could have gone two ways, first get the FBL/TT model and a belt drive conversion, or the FB/belt and the FBL conversion. As I wanted to do a one stop purchase I went with the latter. The frame that I have (it appears to be a Tarot) is missing everything in as the main/drive gears, main shaft, linkages, servo nuts, FBL head and rotor blades, to replace these, well the cost was as much as a kit. The silver lining, all of my electronics will work.
I had even searched the classifieds, not only here but on a few other forums, found a couple RTF and BNF, but the owners either didn't answer my questions or were too proud of their machinery. The bare bones kit is really the way to go for me, looking forward to Monday and the start of the build.
8/13/2017. The kit arrives tomorrow so I'm occupying my time with other endeavors. Interest is renewed in a stalled project, got some paint sprayed, ordered a new battery for the UPS, honey do's. May get to the cedar for the den closet yet today, have to check my stash for stained/varnished base board.
8/15/2017. The kit and other sundry pieces arrived yesterday. It's amazing how it all fit into that tiny box. Well packaged and it appears complete. I'll get started on it today and post up some photos. The FB head is fascinating, all the mechanical bits. It has me thinking of going old school.
8/20/2017. Nope, not going the FB route. While it's a very interesting piece, don't want to go there. It's going to make a wonderful "Weather Vane" on top of the house. There's enough junk in my collection now to build a 450 helicopter weather vane, cool eh? No pictures, got engrossed in the build and didn't stop. The frame is near complete and I've started adding the electronics.
8/25/2017. On hold, there's a new Spirit Pro headed my way. I may use that instead of the BX, as that's currently in the 300 X. The satellite receivers (DSMX) came yesterday. So if the SP works out, I may not have to fuss with the TM1000, telemetry is already in the SP, including vibration analysis, and it's got blue tooth, so I can setup and fine tune with the semi intelligent device or lap top.
8/29/2017. Ordered the 118 mm main shaft. The swash sits too low and the following arms aren't perpendicular, the added 2 mm should fix that. Looking at making a mount for the FBL, something to sit atop the tail boom clamp like my Blade helis. I'd rather not use an extension for any of the servos if it can be avoided. Maybe something as simple as a wooden block could work, I don't see any stress involved. It just has to be secured to the frame to keep from flopping around and support the FBL. I hope to maiden this by next week, if all goes as planned. Once the maiden and any tuning required are done, it's into the UH-1.
9/9/2017. Received and installed the new MS yesterday, the added 2mm is perfect. Still some rod length adjustments to make then start setting up the FBL. Today the mount for that will be made. I dug up the piece of DFPT or whatever it is that I thought would work for it. Cuts nicely with my compound miter saw.
9/18/2017. Tarot has an upgraded tail blade grip set with thrust bearings, bought one in natural Al finish. Made the mount for the FBL, but it seems too flexible so maybe reinforce it with some flat carbon fiber stock. Slow progress.
12/20/2017. Scrapped the idea of making a mount for the FBL and just mounted it to the frame, starboard side. Done. The satellite Rx will mount on the gyro plate, fits perfect. Pulled the servo arms off and moved the balls to the back side. This made a vast improvement in the control rod geometry, their almost perfectly vertical, much better than the pyramid shape I had at first. Of course I'll need to re-level the swash but it was worth the effort. Two steps forward, and here's the one step back.....there's a brass spacer for the main gear. It seems when I changed the main shaft out for the 2mm longer one I somehow managed to dislodge the spacer. Darn good thing it had been greased as it stuck to the bottom plate rather than vanishing forever. Minor and good fortune, still a step backwards. The original plan was to use Sullivan S517 Goldenrod for tail control but after I got it, I decided it was way too much and ordered the S 503. Better choice IMHO, far more flexible and a tad bit lighter. Installed the UH-1 (kit) included tail booms and transmission to find a clicking noise, the belt teeth just touching as they pass. There is a forward and back side to this assembly, the nice Al pulley (lower) goes forward. I talking to a fellow scalier, his came assembled while mine came totally disassembled so it's luck of the draw. Fixed. Now to re-install the spacer and connect the goldenrod, resume Spirit programming......
12/24/2017. Progress at last! Yesterday I managed to get my (new) laptop and the Spirit Pro to talk to each other, an exercise in frustration but I figured it out. Any who, replaced the spacer, leveled the swash, mounted the satellite and slid the ESC into place, tidied up the wiring, cut the S503 to length and mounted that. I started the programming even though the mechanics weren't quite finished. Next up is to complete the mechanics, and finish the programing of the Spirit Pro. I'll post up some photos when our new camera arrives. Our old one is just worn out and is so old the manufacturer doesn't even support it anymore. Well we got our moneys worth out of it for sure.
Making headway today. Rudder linkage is finished and is working like a champion. One item of note, the plastic ball link grips needed to be drilled to .8mm in order for the included 2/56 all thread rods to fit. The main blades are zeroed at mid stick. For testing, a spare set of Blade 450 X CF blades are installed. With these, there's about 7mm clearance between mains and tail rotors. They also appear about 3mm longer than what came with the kit, but as those are for a FB head, I didn't think they would work as well with the FBL controller. After some chores, we'll see about finishing the programming.
Mechanically, this is ready to maiden so once it warms up and the programming is complete, we'll give it a go.
12/30/2017. Programmed at last. There is a noisy servo or servos so that needs looked into. It's been cold here too so no maiden until it warms up a bit and the servos situation is corrected. The wife's new camera is up and running, hard to believe how far digital cameras have come. So included are a couple of shots of the finished mechanics. After the maiden and all is dialed in I'll tidy up the wiring with some sleeves.
1/20/2018. The sun finally came out yesterday and the promise of another sunny day for today got me back to work on this. Fitted the canopy and noticed the notchy feeling again as the blades were turned. Checked a couple things but haven't resolved the problem. Back to the work bench.
2/8/2018. This is going to require a complete tear down to correct a few issues. Since it's getting complicated, I'll also be doing this: I reckon it should be done no matter, and why wait for a failure that will no doubt happen in flight. Ounce of prevention/pound of cure type of thing. So all that means is this is getting back burnered while work continues on other projects.
Last edited by farquward; Feb 08, 2018 at 03:54 PM.
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