The flying monkeys got me...

Helis and fixed wing

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Monday, July 2, 2012

HK500cmt Build Day #3: Idiot and the BeastX

Today I wanted to get the servos centered, install the Emax DS9257 tail servo and set the tail up mechanically. Some Trex 500 bling I had ordered from A Main Hobbies also arrived, wicked fast shipping! In addition, much to my surprise as it usually takes days to even get a shipping notice, the HobbyWing FunFly 80Amp ESC OPTO arrived today! Honestly they have been shipping pretty quick lately. I noted earlier, I also decided to make this heli FBL by taking the BeastX off the EXI 450 and put it on this heli today, so I also would be setting that up... which is the idiot and the BeastX part...
So, I soldered a JST connector I stole from one of my old 2S batteries for my Walkera CB180 onto the battery leads of the FunFly ESC, soldered on the EC5 and stole the female pins from the HURC 60A I had originally installed on the HK500 and soldered them on the other end of the ESC. Programmed the ESC with my HobbyWing card in 10 sec, and installed it. Uninstalled the exisiting tail and boom fins and put the Trex 500 ones on, sweet. Installed the tail servo, set up the center and tightened everything down. I prefer boom mounted servos, and use Finless Bob's tail set up marking the limits on the control rod and centering the servo, then centering the marks (I don't bother with the tail geometry he uses by changing the blades to leading edge control (or is it the other way around?)). I have that on one heli and honestly see no difference. Tested the servo with a servo tester. All set.
And then the adventure began, as the idiot fought to slay the BeastX...
Normally this whole process would have taken less than 5-10 minutes... It would take 3 hours including a dinner break and a good dump. Then it took 5 minutes... So here's how it went. It took a couple of seconds to remove the BeastX from the EXI 450. I brought the three BeastX leads, cut some anti-vibration gel, and installed the BeastX on the HK500, behind the elevator servo on the gyro platform. Sweet. I connected the BeastX to the reciever, powered it up, and put it in programming mode and reset it to factory settings. I then went back and did the primary setup, exited, and went back to the main flight paramenter set up. Now, this usually takes a couple of minutes, but when I got to the centering Step G I couldn't get the servos to allow me to center them, they moved odd, would not accept inputs, some wouldn't move at all. This was wierd... I tried the best I could but decided to move on. I didn't like this... Step I, I could not get the swash to move correctly. This is the step where you use standard combos to get all tihe servos moving in the right direction. In fact, the servo movements made no sense... the elevator moved in roll, some of the servos didn't move at all, if they moved they would barely or overdrive. I went through every combo, I reversed this, that and the other servo, I checked everything five times, I swapped wires and channels, I went back to the beginning and re-did everything, checked my setup selections, checked channels and plugs, checked servos on the tester, reset evrything and did it again, and it was insane! What was it? The servos? Does the BeastX not work with analog swash servos? Did I pick the wrong freq? I looked online... I re-installed the latest firmware. Finally I had to take a break. I was sure the BeastX was fine, I was surely doing something fundamentally wrong... My eldest and I went to the local Chinese buffet and I stopped thinking about this BeastX issue for a while. Drove home thinking I really didn't want to call Horizon Hobby and work this out, and I didn't want to send it in for service... I grabbed Model Airplane News and headed to the head. In the middle of my dump it struck me, as my best ideas often do: I had never reset my DX8 from 120 Mix to Single Servo... What an idiot... this is the very first thing they tell you to do. After my constitutional I went upstairs, reprogrammed the DX8 to Single Servo and in 5 minutes had the whole thing done. It works perfectly. For the love of Pete... its always something.
I used 65 Hz for the analog Hitecs, having looked on line and finding nothing about what freq they operated at, but knowing 55 Hz would work. I saw a Helifreak post where I saw most people using these servos had no issues and were recommending 65 Hz. Works fine, now that my frickin' transmitter is set up properly. I used the Futaba DS9257 settings since the Emax is a clone, and that works fine too.
I set her up 6S and spun the motor up, checked swash movement, vibration, tail response, all jolly! I estimated the pitch setup, but used my BeastX bevel box to set up the 6 degree roll in programming. Since I had the battery pack in place I went ahead and fitted the canopy. To get over the batteries she sits a bit up, but looks sweet! I moved the canopy pins from aft over the elevator servo, up to where the rubber bumpers were just above the battery. Worked great! Looks awesome!
Now, just waiting for the Tarot 500 FBL head to come in, install it and set up the swash pitch, and she is then done and done! Unfortunately I think the head won't get here until after the holiday, and I will be away travelling for work...

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