CopterX 450 "The Thread" and FAQ
THE COPTERX FAQ SECTION
Read this, then dont be afraid to ask dumb questions, chances are your problem has been experienced before (unless its a medical problem, then you should really see your GP)
COPTERX 450 GENERAL ASSEMBLY
The CopterX AE/SE v1 and v2 are a great cheap CNC heli, easily comparable with the Trex SE in all areas (anybody who says otherwise is simply pissed that they paid too much!), but they are not amazingly well assembled from the factory though (or ehirobo) and will require complete stripping and reassembling with reference to the finless bob video's ( http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=11373 and http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=29182 and http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=41692 ) Download/order these videos, watch them once, then get your heli out and rebuild while watching the appropriate video (that doesnt mean p0rn... ) finless bob rocks and if you follow his vid's your heli will fly great.
Depending on how you mount electric components you made need to add an extension to your esc wires, and remove excess wire from gyro/tail servo. Elf hobby 9g and hs65 cylic servos wires are long enough to mount in the recommended way. CopterX dont seem to supply an assembly manual, various trex and a copterX manuals are online in pdf format - google it
COMPATABILITY WITH TREX
Every major assembly and most minor ones are directly physically compatable with align parts, anodizing/plastic colour being the only real difference. The only difference I can think of is in the assembly of the tail pitch slider (swaged as opposed threaded on the trex - more on this later). Frames are identical, head is identical. To sum up - Mix and match as required
THE 450 MODELS
The latest generation of the copterX models are broken up as follows
AE/SE - Aluminium frame/CF frame
The ali frame is lighter than the cf frame but doesnt handle crashes as well as cf as it is quite a soft ali. Comes down to personal preference.
V1 helis have a 3 mm feathering shaft, no thrust bearing in the blade grips, and bushes on the mixer arms. v2 helis have 4mm feathering shaft, thrust bearings and bearings on the mixer arms. All AE/SE copterX have v2 tails.
V1 heads are rumoured to survive crashes better, V2 better for more 3d style flying. V1 to V2 upgrade is easy and cheap (like gino ). The V2 has better designed frames (same as trex se v2) which allow gyro mounting under boom easier, boom clamp is better, bigger batteries can be fitted as the angle of the tray is steeper, HS65 servos fit easier.
The RTF kit is a worthwhile purchase, with the exception of the elfhobby gyro which is rubbish (most dont even work). The 6exh/r146i are a great first computer radio and work well, the elfhobby 9g servos do work and are suitable to learn to fly with, but look at upgrading them to a HS65HB/MG asap. Recommended gyros to replace the elfhobby are gy240/gy401/JR770T, im sure there are more but ive had good experiences with these.
Electron hobby sells copterX's completely unassembled, so will not require stripdown and reassembly. PM him or electronhobby.com for more details.
COPTERX 430L/30A ESC
The copterX 430L and a 30A esc both work well, and are suitable for everything up to doing taxing 3D. The ESC's built in BEC will happily support 3 analog cyclic servos, a gyro, and digital tail servo running a standard PCM receiver. Running a spektrum/FAAST radio or digital cyclic servos it may be neccesary to replace the ESC or install a UBEC. The 430L is a good motor to start with and will make the copterX get up and go quite well, the 13T pinion is recommended.
MAIN AND TAIL ROTOR BLADES
The bundled wooden blade are very average and will require the blade roots to be filed down a smidgen so they fit nicely in the grips. The carbonhobby/copterX CF blades are quite good (esp for the price) my personal favourites are the GCT CF blades. The stock plastic tail baldes work well, the copterX CF are also good, but the best ive found are the hyperion CF tail blades which are beautifully made and fly awesome.
The ehirobo supplied/bundled batteryhobby batteries are of dubious quality. They do work but seem to puff at random times, id buy a few (not too many ) and invest in some quality lipos and a good charger.
COPTERX OEM UPGRADES
These are nice, but are not reccommended if you cant land like a pro as they dont absorb heavy landings well (ie they break other stuff) They also skate around and wear on hard surfaces (ie concrete)
Yet to be tested
CF main and tail blades
Impressively good for the price
Yet to be tested
USEFUL SPARES/CRASH KIT
Part - CX p/n - Align p/n - Note
DOUBLE CHECK P/N BEFORE ORDERING
Flybar V1 - CX450-01-10(w/paddles) - HS1006 (2pcs)
Flybar V2 - HS1184 (2pcs)
Big main gear - HS1219-84 (3 pcs)
Aluminum tail boom - CX450-07-03 (2pcs) - HZ030T (2pcs)
Main shaft - CX450-01-09 (3pcs) - HS1217 (2pcs - High carbon steel)
Tail shaft - CX450-02-04 (3pcs) - HS1203 (2pcs)
Feathering shaft V1 - CX450-01-13 (4pcs) - HS1003 (3pcs)
Feathering shaft V2 - CX450-01-23 (4pcs) - HS1251 (2pcs)
Feathering shaft Orings V1 - HS1186
Feathering shaft Orings V2 - HS1254
Tail belt - CX450-02-05 - HT1003
As well as the above you'll want a couple of sets of main blades and tail blades, possibly a replacement tail blade grip assy, spare tail fins, spare servo links, spare hardware.
COPTERX ACCESORIES/REQUIRED ASSEMBLY TOOLS
The CopterX accesories/tools are all good quality and I reccommend them. The CopterX training gear is also very good (possibly best 450 training wheels availiable)
To assembly maintain a copterX you'll need a few basic tools and such
Ball link pliers
Needle nose pliers
Screw driver set
Hex driver set (NOTE - Some copterX hardware is 1/16" hex - Be careful too use the right tool)
Sharp craft knife
Vernier calipers (very handy)
Keyhole file set
Mini heli pitch gauge
Small cable ties
Loctite (medium grade works well for all screws)
Triflow or other light oil that doesnt wreck plastic
Silicon grease for tail belt
These are highly recommended but not required
Swash leveling tool
Ball link reaming tool
Tail pitch slider assembly
CopterX tail pitch slider assemblys are swaged together, possibly as early trex versions, which are threaded, have been known to come apart. However on some copterX's (with high times) the swage cracks or simply loosen's off resulting in play in the tail. This is fixed by replacing with align kit p/n HS1200.
Servo mounting hardware
Some ARF kits come without screws/nuts to install servos (p/n to come)
The Blue painted plastic canopy are painted pretty poorly and paint will chip/crack off. Go align fibreglass or copterX fibreglass (yet to see cx fibreglass in person however)
Carbon lower frames
Some lower frames dont mate well with lower plate and will need filing too fit
The most common/generally recommended equipment for a sports flying orientated machine is -
Power - CopterX 430L on 13T and 30A copterX esc
Cylic - HS65HB or MG cylic servos
Gyro - Gy401 (the JR770 rocks too, but is resonably new and doesnt have the same support base)
Tail servo - Futaba 9650, 9257, or digitized hs65 (PM gino for details on ashtek board)
Radio - Futaba 6exh works well, or DX7 is perfect
Lipo - Good quality (Thunderpower/Kongs etc) 3S 2200-2500Mah 25C's
Recommended Setup (6exh)-
Headspeed - 3000rpm
Pitch range - -9 to +9
Throttle curve normal - 0,40,60,95,100
Pitch curve normal - 40,40,50,75,100
Throttle curve idle up - 100,95,90,95,100
Pitch curve idle up - 0,25,50,75,100
You should aim for an all up max weight of 850grams
SUPPLIERS Just a list, not a recommendation
http://www.ehirobo.com/ (Hong Kong)
www.rc-fans88.com (Hong Kong)
www.dream-models.com/eco/flying-index.html - RADDS Flight school
www.rchelis.co.nz - NZ align supplier
www.trextuning.com - Trex site
www.futaba-rc.com/radioaccys/futm0807.html - Futaba gyros (pdf manuals)
www.futaba-rc.com/radios/futk58.html - 6exh (pdf manuals)
http://dhrc.rchomepage.com/calc.htm - Dark horse headspeed calculator
www.clearviewrc.com - Clearview RC simulator
http://www.heli-x.info/download_e.shtml#DownloadHeliX - Heli-X sim download
PEOPLE IN THE KNOW
Gino_CP - The CopterX QandA man who does kick ass backyard circuits
soneebee - Inside knowledge of CopterX developments/history (must have some sort of association with CopterX)
choyado - CopterX retailer
Useful build stuff below
Last edited by jackosmeister; Jan 08, 2010 at 01:11 AM. Reason: It grew way bigger than the original question
I can't help you with the Futaba. But remember not to engage the motor pinion to the main gear if you are programming the esc. Make sure you have sorted out the motor direction and ch direction before doing so.
Because programming the esc need you to put throttle at full and then at minimum. If the motor is engaged and you have just entered a last setting and set stick to minimum, the esc will arm and will go on full throttle if channel is reversed. Program you esc with motor connected to esc but pinion not engaged on main gear.
I just plugged in the battery in (heli is "out of the box"). Its been setup poorly I think, pity because its so nice. What are the ESC beep codes? i didnt get a manual and its beeping its arse off.
My swash plate is all over the show, channels are mixed up in in the cyclic, and i think the rear servo is in backwards - The arm shouldnt touch the anti rotation bracket at full nose down ? (the swash is only about half way up the bracket).
And the elf gyro is a joke. The sticker on the top with the labels for the pots isnt the right way around, and i dunno which way it goes hahaha. I think the 240 is the goer.
Its a real pity they dont put a little more effort in when they build it.
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Settings for CopterX 430L with 13T pinion and 30 amp esc:
Watch all the Finless videos re the Trex 450 at helifreak.com. This will give you a good knowledge base on what should be done. The only thing that is not consistent with the video is that portion where the washout block bottoms on the head block. It doesn't do so on the CopterX. The rest though applies to the CopterX. Follow those to the last word and you will have one sweet handling heli.
Last edited by Gino CP; Sep 22, 2007 at 06:43 AM.
Jacko I have the 6EX which has Heli and Acro modes. I will post my settings on the assumption that it's very similar.
Servo arms are 13 mm from arm center to ball center.
Leave the standard settings on the throttle and pitch curves to start off with (both 0, 25, 50, 75, 100) or at least make sure the center #3 setting for the pitch is 50.
Reverse Channel 3 - That's the throttle! Don't ask me why but with Futaba you will get 100% motor speed at low stick if you don't do this.
Set throttle hold to 0%
Set throttle failsafe - it's peculiar to set up, what you have to do is position the throttle stick all the way down and hold the setting switch down until it 'remembers' that particular setting. Failsafe is what the system will do if the transmitter failed - default is to keep whatever was last sent, not good if the failure happened while you were on high throttle!!
Test the throttle is doing what you expect by plugging in a servo on Ch3. Then test that the motor is doing what you expect by connecting it to the ESC before you actually fit it to the heli. try not to over-rev the motor when it's not mechanically loaded. Remember to test throttle hold and to switch off the transmitter to prove that Failsafe is doing what you expect.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of swash set up, make sure the motor is disconnected - I plug in a 4.8 V supply to the battery connector on the receiver so that even if the ESC is left plugged in (main battery not connected), the motor won't run up.
Set SWaSH type to 3-S and leave standard settings of +50% for A, E, and P.
Make sure that both switches on top of the transmitter are clicked away from you (normal mode on left and throttle hold off on right).
Now you need to make sure that the servos are doing what you expect. Look for Bob Finless videos on one of the forums - don't remember which - for videos of setup. Maybe this is easy for you? Ask if you need more help.
Ensure the servos are moving in the right direction - they should all move up as you move the left stick up and the swash plate should follow the direction of the right stick (as you view the heli from behind).
Now set the throttle to center (no trim please) and adjust the servo links to obtain a level swash plate that has 9mm gap between the top of the CF frame and the bottom of the swash plate. You can level it by eye or use a swash plate leveller. You can make a swash plate leveller out of an old cotton bobbin or round piece of wood drilled out to be a snug fit over the main shaft. Ideally you should also test that the swash plate is level at the top and bottom of the throttle / pitch stick. You could optionally use a pitch gauge while you level the swash plate and adjust the links so that center stick = 0º of pitch in which case the gap may not be exactly 9mm but 0º will be at 50% (instead on my 44% and all other values will change too).
With the throttle stick still centered, go into the settings menu and change the Normal pitch middle setting #3 to obtain zero pitch - yes you need a pitch gauge - I use a home made one. Realize that you do this 'live'; changing the % settings in the menu will immediately change the actual servo positions. In my case 0º was at #3 = 44%. Now move the throttle stick down to zero and go to setting #1 in Normal Pitch, change it so that you get your lowest desired -ve pitch for Normal mode. I aim for -2º and my #1 setting was 32%. Split the difference between #1 and #3 and make that the setting for #2, in my case 38%. Now repeat that setup for the high end... set the throttle to max (motor still disconneted or disabled I trust) and adjust Pitch #5 for your desired highest +ve pitch, I aim for +10º and the setting was 92%, again split the difference between #3 and #5 to get #4, in my case 68%.
You should now be able to watch the pitch gauge run from -2º through 0º and up to +10º as you move the throttle from zero, through mid stick, and on to max - respectively.
If you can't achieve the pitch numbers you need, you may have to go back and increase the SWSH 'P' setting to something higher than 50%.
My Actual Settings for 6EX are: (Yours my be different)
Ch3 Reverse <== this MUST BE REVERSED!!!
EPAs all 100%
#1 32% -2º
#2 38% -1º
#3 44% 0º
#4 68% +5º
#5 92% +10º
Idle Up Throttle
Idle Up Pitch
#1 8% -10º
#2 26% -5º
#3 44% 0º
#4 68% +5º
#5 92% +10º
If you set Idle up, then you should check the lower settings for Pitch and adjust if necessary. Be aware that you can't set the Idle Up settings if Throttle hold is selected - don't ask me why but I've noticed that, with throttle hold on, the Normal/Idle Up switch is defeated and stays in Normal mode.
[Edit] I have a 2.4 GHz FASST 6EX which may be slightly different.
Also I forgot to say you should check the pitch change of the blades with cyclic input. With center left stick (i.e 0º pitch). Put the blade in line with the frame and check maximum pitch change as you move the cyclic forward and back; it should be 6º to 8º and you adjust it by changing the 50% figure for 'E' under the SWaSH menu setting. Repeat with blades at 90º to frame, left and right movement of right stick, and adjust using 'A' under the SWaSH menu setting.
Last edited by Gandalf_Sr; Sep 22, 2007 at 07:56 AM.
Dammmn I think I've just developed carpal syndrome from all this typing
Shweet, i have my work set out for me tommorrow. Some more dumb arse 3D (its a new style ive invented) with the cp2 in the morning, and work on the copterX in the arvo. Ive pulled the elf gyro off the back of the copterX, the tape decided it would like to stick more than the screws holding the gyro together. So ive broken it all ready lol. Ill put my gy240 on it to start with until my bank account looks a bit happier and ill go 401 and a digi servo.
On another note - Ive been sent a walkera GA-002 balancing charger rather than the 3e one I ordered, It seems to work alright, but it takes a hell of a long time to charge. Do batteryhobby batteries come flat? It took about 2.5 hours to charge one 25C 2200Mah battery... seems excessive. Im using the esky wall adapter that came with my CP2 - could this be the problem? its 12V 1.5A. Im not that flash with elecmatronics haha. About all i know is when the smoke starts to escape from the wires you need to turn it off.
Jacko I use an old switched mode (no transformer) laptop power supply (output rated at 16V, 4.5A) with my Ternergy LiPO balancing charger. As long as you don't get the polarity reversed, you should be good with a similar power supply. The spec on that charger says it wants 12-25 V input. You shouldn't charge LiPOs at more than capacity so a 2200 LiPO is max charge of 2.2A and will take around an hour to charge.
Im just setting up my servo neutrals and ive come across a problem or two with the stock servos, whoever makes them (stickers have been pulled off)
1) EDITED - Im a dumbass - it is the problem in the finless vids. Hes da man. The servos must hitec clones, or hitec's...
2) I dont seem to have a sub trim on the pitch servo :cry: Only channels 1-4 have sub trims. The horn on it is Neeeeearly in neutral, but not perfect and ive tried every horn i have...
What do the pro's reckon? Cheers.
Last edited by jackosmeister; Sep 23, 2007 at 01:11 AM.
Try to get the swash plate level.
Consider setting -20% expo on channels 1 and 2 (A and E)
If the swash tilts R when you move the stick L then you can simply set a -ve number (e.g. -50%) for the A channel under the SWaSH setting.
How's it coming along Jacko? I went flying yesterday <Borat Accent>Verry Nicea</Borat Accent>
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