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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tarot ZYX 3-Axis System: Strike 1

Last week I was chatting with Dick Ober, MCRCC club prez about my BeastX heli and how much I loved it. He mentioned he had bought a Taro ZYX FBL system and it was being installed and programmed for him by someone, on his Align 250. I had never heard of it, though I am familiar with Tarot. It is a FBL computer that is about $70! About 1/3 the price of the BeastX. So...I checked out the Tarot ZYX system online and it seemed to be well received. I was a bit worried about programming it, the way it was designed compared to the BeastX, whose programming is very easy, but this vid made it seem rather straight forward. I ordered a Tarot ZYX 3 Axis FBL system from CNC Helicopter last week. They are a quick shipper of great products, and I have ordered a lot from them. At the time I ordered just the computer, but later that evening found the generic FBL head I had ordered on eBay was a POS (I had another one just like it that was a great head, so this was a surprise. Looked fine, I took it apart and could not get it back together without binding as the feathering shaft seemed short: There's something screwy with either the grip bearings seating or the whole thing), so I went back to CNC Helicopter and ordered the Tarot FBL rotor head. I should have ordered both at the same time as was kinda hoping that CNC would give me the package price with a refund (I didn't ask for it, but they sent both in the same mailing bag...), but they didn't. Oh well, my bad.

The kit arrived yesterday, quick shipping! I checked it out this morning and noticed that the set button was a hole... I passed a paper clip and it met no resistance, nothing there. I tried installing it. I connected the ZYX to the receiver only, with the provided cables, turned on the transmitter (I had zeroed everything) and powered on the heli, then held the aileron stick left or right (tried both), all three lights came on, and the went out, and the red light came on steady. It never went into programming mode. I tried several times. So, no set button, but it didn't matter because it never went into programming mode. I even tried using the rudder stick.

This is a big disappointment. I contacted CNC Helicopter and am waiting to hear from them. I wish they had a phone number... but had to settle for an email. I suspect they will have no problem trading devices, but this is going to eat up another week or more!

I like the Tarot FBL Head on first inspection. I have to take it apart to grease and Locktite it, but this thing looks very sturdy. Unlike most FBL heads, the swash stabilizers are connected directly to the base of the head instead of on an adjustable link that is secured to the shaft separately. Positioning the adjustable heads isn't difficult, but one less thing to come loose.

I was pretty excited when it arrived. I wasn't sure that the whole low price-low quality curse would apply as Tarot makes very good Align compatible parts, like that remarkable FBL Head. I am a little more skeptical how this is going to work out, but really want to give it a try!

Keep tuned for updates!

UPDATE: Within a couple of hours XMHobbies/CNCHelicopter has a new one on its way. Running out now to mail them back the bad one. Stay tuned. Thanks, Jeff, at CNC Helicopter! One thing I didn't mention until I remembered to email Jeff about it... When I opened my box the device was "missing" having fallen behind its holder and was rattling around in the box. I wonder if that's how it got damaged?

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