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Sep 17, 2007, 10:28 AM
Rotary~myPast,Present &Future!
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Discussion

RC-TEK Phantom450 - Build & 'AirWolf' Conversion


Greetings to all Rotor Enthusiasts,

I entered this Hobby in Feb 2005. But I mastered my first stable hover only in April 2005, all thanks to the frustrating and futile attempt to fly the Nikko Skywatcher, my first RC heli, which is a complete waste of time. For US$107, it is a major disappointment. Trust me, it's nothing close to the $40 PicooZ or the $70 Micro Mosquito, it can't even hold a hover in one place.

I have 5 RC helicopters in all, but none are collective pitch. See Pics below

-Nikko SkyWatcher (modified to become 4-channels FP)
-Honey Bee FP2 (Trainer Heli, notice the ALUoverCF boom that's unbreakable)
-Compy Belt Driven FP
-BladeCX2 (one of my personal favourite after I turned it 'brushless')
-Micro RC Mosquito V2 (seriously a clone but flys well)


I had badly wanted to have a T-Rex. Back then, Align only had the HDE and CDE version.

Recently, I ordered the Phantom450 from Scott of RC-TEK. At US$90, the price is unbeatable and it is almost like an Align Trex 450XL CDE.

As a fan of the famous TV Series 'AirWolf' when I was a child, my intention is to build the Phantom-450, get the hang of flying it, put the mechanics into a 450-size Fiber-glass AirWolf Scaled Fuselage and enjoy cruising the AirWolf Phantom in the college field near my home.

Since there is no thread dedicated solely to Phantom-450 AIRWOLF build, I decided to start mine here.

Please feel free to drop in and share valuable ideas and pictures. And wish me luck!!
Last edited by terencechan; Sep 19, 2007 at 04:24 AM.
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Sep 17, 2007, 11:00 AM
Rotary~myPast,Present &Future!
Thread OP

Phantom450 Kit -Out of the Box


Here are the parts of the Phantom450 kit.

Yes, the head, main frame and tail hub are all pre-assembled. This will be ARF kit if we throw in the BL motor and BESC.

Notice the grey CNC overslung G-head? The original kit actually comes with the plastic version. I had Scott swap out the plastic head with the metal head so that I only had to pay extra for the difference.

The vertical tail fin is CF, which is a pleasant suprise in this affordable kit.
The motor is an add-on item in the drop-down list on the website. I have choosen the 4500kv Outrunner. It comes without a pinion. The newer motor now comes with pinion as Scott had added matching pinions for them.

The other suprise is the painted windshield. The canopy is the milk jar type which cannot be painted without proper sanding and base coat. It's nice to have the windshield already painted black. With some stick-on decals, the canopy will look good even with the simple white black and white scheme (something like the TrexSE canopy I used on my Honeybee FP2).

What's lacking here is a Phantom450 manual, Scott says the Align 450XL CCPM manual can be used. No worries in assembly since the parts are 80% done.
Sep 17, 2007, 11:19 AM
Rotary~myPast,Present &Future!
Thread OP

Putting 'em together


The first obstacle is the A-arm which sends the elevator input to the swash-
the hole in the A-arm is too tight on the swash ball and will cause binding to the elevator servo.

The Mavrikk Ball-Sizer Tool comes in handy, not only for the A-arm, but also for one of the ball grip that acts as a coupler to the blade-grip. The ball grip is tight enough to cause binding to the tail servo.

The assembly of the rotor head unit, main gear and paddles are pretty straightforward as shown in the pictures below:
Sep 19, 2007, 08:43 AM
Rotary~myPast,Present &Future!
Thread OP

Airwolf Fuselage


Looks like a long way to go before I can put the Phantom mechanics into that bad boy..
Sep 19, 2007, 10:18 AM
=>] Smack 3D Head [<=
HeliSmith's Avatar
Terence,

Looks so awesome. Don't worry too much about the manual for head setup as the Finless videos cover CCPM.

Thread subscribed, awesome idea. You're making me want to follow in your footsteps yet again.
Sep 19, 2007, 11:14 PM
Rotary~myPast,Present &Future!
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliSmith
Terence,

Looks so awesome. Don't worry too much about the manual for head setup as the Finless videos cover CCPM.

Thread subscribed, awesome idea. You're making me want to follow in your footsteps yet again.
Cool, now I understand how to adjust the linkages after watching the vids.
man, that's heaps to do just to correct that CCPM interractions.
Did ya go through all that on your Trex?

Hey, I reckon you should put your Rex in an Airwolf too (or a civilian Bell 222). Then we will have something common to work on, 2 heads are better than 1.

-Terence
Sep 22, 2007, 03:29 PM
Registered User
blade strike's Avatar
well since your not going to do alot of 3d with this heli interaction wouldnt be that big of deal unless you have alot of it...

keep up the great work man... are you going to be using retracts???

please post alot of photos
Sep 22, 2007, 07:36 PM
=>] Smack 3D Head [<=
HeliSmith's Avatar
Yeah I did not go through the using a bubble level to work out ccpm interactions. Mine flies fine.. shrug

I think I should have done it and I even dismantled a buble level and stole the thing but I didn't follow through.
Sep 25, 2007, 03:39 AM
Rotary~myPast,Present &Future!
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliSmith
I even dismantled a buble level and stole the thing but I didn't follow through.
*lol I can't believe you did that because I just did the exact same thing!
I saw a bubble level for tiling which has 3 bubble tubes that was on sale for only 2 bucks. I broke the rugged plastic case with brute force to retrieve the little bubble tubes inside.
Sep 25, 2007, 04:00 AM
Rotary~myPast,Present &Future!
Thread OP

Getting my hands on the Retracts...


Quote:
Originally Posted by blade strike
well since your not going to do alot of 3d with this heli interaction wouldnt be that big of deal unless you have alot of it...

keep up the great work man... are you going to be using retracts???

please post alot of photos
Ah, the Retracts...
it's quite a handful to set it up because my Fusano-style Airwolf fuselage ('Fusano' because it looks like the one on helidirect) doesn't come with any assembly instructions for the retracts.

The floorboard in the cabin is basically a clear acrylic sheet for mounting the main body. The default is luminiscent green which stands out easily with a glance at the cockpit area. It's really unsightly to see 'glowing' green on an Airwolf body - looks like the black bird is bleeding some green fluroscent slime. Anyway, that's just me and my imagination. I eventually requested for clear acrylic during the purchase.

It's really frustrating to figure out where the alu horns and pushrod goes.

Notice that short linkage I've made, for connecting to the retracts servo's horn. I arrange the retracts parts such that I can mount the retracts servo at the front area where the heli's body doesn't get in the way.

See that fat boy on the floorboard, it's a 'low-profile' high-torque servo which weighs 32g. I may be using a cheap 9g servo if it turns out too heavy for flying. ok, time for me to get back to that CCPM head.
Sep 26, 2007, 07:44 PM
Registered User
basicbill's Avatar

Phantom kit


Hello,

I received a Phantom kit today, Wednesday after ordering it on Monday. Nice quick service.

I've been using this online PDF Trex manual to get me started.
http://www.rc-tek.com/downloads/Trex_manual_heliguy.pdf
That link courtesy of another RCgroup member "SPaRX."

In the manual, there are several notes in the diagrams to use: CA, threadlock, or lube in various places. I'd be interested in thoughts on that.

Thanks,

Bill
Sep 27, 2007, 02:13 AM
Rotary~myPast,Present &Future!
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by basicbill
Hello,

I received a Phantom kit today, Wednesday after ordering it on Monday. Nice quick service.

I've been using this online PDF Trex manual to get me started.
http://www.rc-tek.com/downloads/Trex_manual_heliguy.pdf
That link courtesy of another RCgroup member "SPaRX."

In the manual, there are several notes in the diagrams to use: CA, threadlock, or lube in various places. I'd be interested in thoughts on that.

Thanks,

Bill
Nice of you to write in Bill, I'm happy that we can work on this kit 'together'.

Regarding the use of adhesives, I would go through every ball end to make sure that they are secured and also to check for excessive tightness of the linkage that will contribute to binding. And there's where my Mavrikk Ball-Sizer tool comes in again.

I follow the general guideline - no threadlock required for metal going into plastic. For small retaining pins or nuts, a dab of CA will prevent it from becoming loose over time.
Sep 27, 2007, 03:52 AM
Rotary~myPast,Present &Future!
Thread OP

First things first...


This project has got to be the slowest build! I've spent some quality time meddling with the Airwolf fuselage earlier and a couple of evenings flying my FP Trainer. And then, I got carried away in my quest to boost up the power of that Trainer Heli to don a pair of 'unbreakable' Kyosho's M-24 blades.

'When are you finishing up on the Dolphin?', my wife asked yesterday.
(the Airwolf resembles a whale actually )
And instantly, I remembered that I have to work on my 'Dolphin' instead.

Well, first things first... I hook up the UBEC to the Phx-35 ESC power inputs so that the UBEC directly taps power from the Lipo; needs no stinking Y-harness power cable.

The UBEC is used to power up the receiver. I have used an external 3amps-BEC to prevent any risk of overloading the Phx-35's in-built BEC, due to having that additional power-hungry retracts servo.

After programming a 'New Model' on my DX7 transmitter and then binding the AR6100 receiver to it, each servo is set to have its servo horn perfectly centered at neutral position by dialing in their respective Sub-trim values on the transmitter. Phew! I'm finally getting near to setting-up of the CCPM Phantom head.
Sep 27, 2007, 10:16 AM
Registered User
basicbill's Avatar

Parts?


So what do you reckon the little package of tail rotor parts are for? Next to your motor in your first parts photo. An extra Tail Rotor Control Arm and Tail Rotor Control Set as far as I can tell.

Bill
Sep 27, 2007, 01:04 PM
Registered User
basicbill's Avatar

Tail boom


Slid head assembly through frame and through main gears. Getting attach hardware on the bottom of the shaft took a bit of patience.

Attached the tail boom to main frame. At first, the tail rotor drive belt would not fit over the drive pulley in the frame. About a 1/4 inch too short. I suppose I could have forced it and stretched it over, but instead took out the four screws and nuts on the frame that hold the boom. Spread the back of the frame apart slightly. Pushed boom forward. Hooked belt on pulley and moved boom rearward to its normal mounting position. Re-attached hardware.

Also, I hope the belt itself is not twisted inside the boom. I took as good a look as I could with a flashlight, but it's difficult to see. So I suppose that's one negative thing about having that assembly fully completed.

I should note that that if the belt is twisted inside the boom, there is a chance that the tail rotor will not turn in the correct direction. As the tail rotor blade passes the top of its arc, it should be moving rearward.

Bill
Last edited by basicbill; Sep 27, 2007 at 09:42 PM. Reason: bad grammar corrected


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