Thread Tools
Dec 31, 2020, 11:00 AM
Dr. Nick Musco, Md.
Musco123's Avatar
Thread OP
Discussion

Building my first 550 heli....need suggestions


I've been flying rtf helis for a while now collective pitch included. I have a blade 230s that I fly nearly every day and I practice on real flight 9.5 a few hours a day. I noticed the larger birds fly much better than the smaller on the sim so decided to build one. My dad had a new old stock century swift 550 that I decided to put together. I have the motor and esc for it I just need suggestions on servos (swash and tail) and gyro/fbl units. I'm new to building helis but not new to the hobby at all. Have planes, cars, boats, and rtf/bnf helis, and fpv drones. I've just read so many reviews on so many servos and have no clue which to go with. I've heard buy the best servos you can afford with helicopters but would like to try some best bang for your buck servos if there are any with a good combo of speed and torque for swash. Was looking at a set of mks servos for $370 but don't know anything about them.

Now this helicopter does have a flybar but I plan to convert it to fbl when I tear this one up. So I'm looking for a fbl head that will fit a 10mm shaft also. Please and thanks for any help or pointers given.
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Jan 30, 2021, 09:23 AM
Registered User
2Doggs's Avatar
MKS make good servos, but you shouldn't need to lay out that much. There are lots of decent servos for a lot less.

You might start by considering the voltage you'll run them at. Your ESC might have a BEC with a fixed 5v output, or it might give you the option to select a higher voltage, 6v or 7.2v, 8.4v even. You might use a separate BEC to give you those options, or even a 2s RX battery, either LiFe for 6.6v or LiPo for 8.4v.

Higher voltage servos tend to be faster or higher torque for the same speed.

Since it's your first large heli, I'd steer away from expensive, super quality brushless servos, but look at decent coreless ones. JX do a pretty good range, and I've been flying some of their re-branded ones on my 600 for hundreds of flights without problems and with good results. KST are good, if you want to spend more.

The tail servo may depend on what gyro you use. More recent gyros and most FBL controllers can drive low pulse width servos that can perform even better. You can use an FBL controller, such as a Kbar, as a tail-only gyro for an FB heli, with the advantage that you can still use the vibration analysis feature which can be really useful for troubleshooting vibes.

Good luck! My JX suggestion will likely prompt others to chip in with more costly options!
Jan 30, 2021, 01:41 PM
rc user
pdooley's Avatar
just don't go with a fast, low torque servo on cyclic, it will fly like crap.
JX is fine. I've had a few fail but that was on 1/8 buggies. heli swash probably has considerable less shock.
Jan 31, 2021, 05:53 PM
Dr. Nick Musco, Md.
Musco123's Avatar
Thread OP
I went with all turnigy high torque coreless digital for cyclic and a brushless high speed mid torque for the tail.....I know head lock gyro are obselete but do you have a recommendation on a decent one?....I have everything to convert to flybarless but I don't wanna put my vbar on with a flybar and burn up my servos so I'll set up and fly the flybar head until I mess it up then convert but I need a heading hold gyro.
Jan 31, 2021, 08:39 PM
Registered User
2Doggs's Avatar
You won't burn up the servos with the Vbar - it will only be running the tail servo, and that will surely be 333Hz or better. Running a flybar, the cyclic servos will have it easy hooked up to a regular RX.
Jan 31, 2021, 09:52 PM
Dr. Nick Musco, Md.
Musco123's Avatar
Thread OP
Really?! I thought about it that way too and I was going to experiment with it but read that it wasn't supposed to be done. How would I set the vbar? All the way down? I think the lowest it'll go is 40 on vstabi?
Jan 31, 2021, 11:23 PM
rc user
pdooley's Avatar
40 for what? the cyclic gain? it's irrelevant, you are not using those channels.
vbar works fine for tail only, you can set the tail freq in vstabi. i have run a few helis with vbar clone(kbar) and they are fine tail only.
Feb 01, 2021, 03:03 AM
Dr. Nick Musco, Md.
Musco123's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdooley
40 for what? the cyclic gain? it's irrelevant, you are not using those channels.
vbar works fine for tail only, you can set the tail freq in vstabi. i have run a few helis with vbar clone(kbar) and they are fine tail only.
Yeah the gain. And how do you connect the servos using tail only? To a separate reciever or can you use sat receivers and plug them straight to the vbar? I apologize if that's a stupid question I just have watched so many videos and read many posts and have not seen anyone using the vbar for a flybar heli or tail only but if I can do this is be more than happy.
Feb 01, 2021, 10:09 AM
rc user
pdooley's Avatar
use a full size receiver. you will be using the vbar's tail servo channel in place of a tail gyro, that's all, everything else is set up like a flybar heli. if you have a sat, plug it into the full size Rx sat port. of course you will need to provide power to the vbar



as a completely separate thought, you can control all the servos with the vbar, just set the heli up as a normal flybarless model. the 2 important things here would be reducing cyclic gain to the minimum as you suggested and making sure all your slider trims on the Tx are set to zero.
with this setup you can use satellites and will have a very stable heli.
this isn't theory, I've done it on more than one heli and it works fine.
Feb 01, 2021, 10:29 AM
Registered User
2Doggs's Avatar
There's also no need to worry about the Vbar overloading the cyclic servos. If you had analog servos, which you don't, you can set the Vbar to analog. Even when set to digital, however, it only runs the cyclic servos at a humble 160Hz. I'm pretty sure any recent Turnigy coreless servos will be capable of running at least 250Hz, if not more. (you could let us know what model of servo you got)

Since you already have a Vbar, are you already familiar with how to set it up? If not, there are tons of folks here who can give you step by step advice.

Feb 01, 2021, 02:09 PM
Dr. Nick Musco, Md.
Musco123's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Doggs
There's also no need to worry about the Vbar overloading the cyclic servos. If you had analog servos, which you don't, you can set the Vbar to analog. Even when set to digital, however, it only runs the cyclic servos at a humble 160Hz. I'm pretty sure any recent Turnigy coreless servos will be capable of running at least 250Hz, if not more. (you could let us know what model of servo you got)

Since you already have a Vbar, are you already familiar with how to set it up? If not, there are tons of folks here who can give you step by step advice.

I've tried to set this vbar up on a tail motor 230s but it didn't work out due to power issues, but the vstabi setup seems very simple and straight forward. As far as you mentioning Hertz and all that... complete chinese to me 🤣. I promise I can fly better than I can talk about all of this. Set ups are new to me, but I'm learning.

I can go either way I have an 8 channel reciever but I'd much rather use the vbar with my two satellites since it will eliminate using extra wires and it'll be set up for fbl when I decide to do this.
Feb 01, 2021, 02:47 PM
Dr. Nick Musco, Md.
Musco123's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdooley



as a completely separate thought, you can control all the servos with the vbar, just set the heli up as a normal flybarless model. the 2 important things here would be reducing cyclic gain to the minimum as you suggested and making sure all your slider trims on the Tx are set to zero.
with this setup you can use satellites and will have a very stable heli.
this isn't theory, I've done it on more than one heli and it works fine.
I believe this will be the way I go i also have a 10a bec I plan on using since the esc bec is only rated for 5a I'm waiting on my pitch gauge to come in to set up my servo linkages and swash plate. Thanks for the advice from you and 2doggs. It is much appreciated! I'll update when I get it in the air.

I'll post some pics. I dyed the canopy green it came out so good 😂 thanks again
Feb 01, 2021, 03:45 PM
Dr. Nick Musco, Md.
Musco123's Avatar
Thread OP
I enjoyed building this thing so much can't wait to get it in the air. It was a new old stock kit my dad had sitting for a while. Had the motor and 120a esc with it already.

@2doggs this is much more of a challenge than the drone stuff and I'm loving it. I've actually flown fixed pitch for a while which bored me and so do the airplanes. I have been on the simulator 2-3 hours a day and fly my xk k110 apart daily. My 230s is down for a minute but it was pretty challenging to fly. The k110 is way more stable. Even in 3d idle up mode which is how I've been training myself to fly. I can hold a pretty stable inverted hover which Ive been practicing for about 2 months. I really am enjoying flying something that requires skill and patience to learn....keeps me interested.

Anyways here's a few pics. It's nothing extravagant but I fell in love with it after I put the dyed canopy on it....I also have a fiberglass canopy (white in pics) I fitted for it that my dad took to the body shop to paint for me.
Feb 01, 2021, 04:13 PM
Registered User
2Doggs's Avatar
Looking good, but you do know that helis are a money pit! Probably the only reason I stopped crashing was that I stopped pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, so I'll never be a great 3D flyer, but still enjoy doing smooth, basic moves. I would like to learn piro-flips, tho, I like the look of them.

The canopy does look good in that pale green!
Feb 01, 2021, 04:26 PM
Dr. Nick Musco, Md.
Musco123's Avatar
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Doggs
Looking good, but you do know that helis are a money pit! Probably the only reason I stopped crashing was that I stopped pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, so I'll never be a great 3D flyer, but still enjoy doing smooth, basic moves. I would like to learn piro-flips, tho, I like the look of them.

The canopy does look good in that pale green!
Man I have plenty of money pits 🤣😂 and rc helicopters are far from the most expensive. I've been pushing my self to learn everything. It's addicting to be honest. I'm not scared to crash because I enjoy building and tinkering but ive been doing good with my bailouts lately. At first it was ridiculous. Rebuilt my 230 3 times so far 🤣😂

Hard 3d is my goal. I admire and respect the skill it takes. I never thought I'd be doing the things I'm doing this early but it's slowly coming to me without me even noticing. I'm still learning the basics but the muscle memory is coming to me.


Quick Reply
Message:

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion I'd like to build my first wing, S800 perhaps? Suggestions? funbags Flying Wings 18 Mar 28, 2018 06:19 AM
Question First Build (220 Racer) Setup - Need Suggestions! Wind1000100 Beginner Multirotor Drones 22 Dec 08, 2016 01:38 PM
Discussion My first FPV need suggestion daniele_il_Bruce FPV Talk 6 Mar 08, 2016 10:48 AM
Discussion I'm building my first fpv plane, and I was looking for suggestions for gear. uninc4life2010 FPV Aircraft 2 Jan 11, 2016 02:55 PM
Question building my first boat, need suggestions Big Buffalo Dock Talk 43 Jul 02, 2007 02:44 PM