Heli Setup and TX Programming

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Heli Setup and TX Programming

Post by Clint »

If you own a heli, you've probably watched(or at least heard of) Finless Bob White's Helicopter Tutorial videos.

I've watched them countless times, and decided to textualize some of the basics while setting up the HBKv2.

I believe this will make a good complement to those videos if you use his style of setup.

Code: Select all

Helicopter programming

Reset an unused model and set to Heli mode.
set trims off, revo off, subtrims off, atvs 100, d/r 100, expo off, failsafes, 
tcuts, mixes etc  note:INH=inhibited=Off

Name your model. 
tip- at different stages during programming, save a backup to another 
model in case you need to go back to a certain point.

on 120 degree CCPM (typical radio setup)
Ch1 Aileron  - right side servo 
Ch2 Elevator - rear servo
Ch3 Throttle - main motor esc
Ch4 Rudder   - gyro or tail motor esc
Ch5 Gain     - either knob or switch for gyro gain
Ch6 Pitch    - left side servo

Servo Setup

1. Set swash mode first as changing this can reset other related settings.
2. Set servo reversing
ex:pos pitch all 3 servos up
perform swash function reversing if any ccpm function is backwards
or change swash to a different mode. (dependant on radio)

example of how servos should move(can depend on head style)
pitch all servos move up/down in unison
aileron   right-stick    left-servo up     right-servo down
aileron   left-stick     left-servo down   right-servo up
elevator  back-stick     rear-servo down   front-servos up
elevator  forward-stick  rear-servo up     front-servos down

3. Put throttle stick at center and set servo arms mechanically as close to 90 degrees as possible.
4. Set subtrims to finalize servo arms to 90 degrees.

Head setup

1. Adjust links between servos and swash so swash sits level and:
full positive stick does not touch/bind with head/washout
full negative stick does not touch/bind with mainshaft collar

2. At center stick, washout arms should be lined up/level.
so adjust links between washout and seesaw and then go back to 1.
Note: both washout-to-seesaw links need to be same lenght.
repeat 1 and 2 until complete.

3. At center stick, seesaw mixer arms should be level with eachother.
note: flybar must be level with heli to set this.
so, adjust links from swash-to-seesaw to level the seesaw mixer arms.

4. At center stick, eyeball the blade grips and set corresponding
links to about 0 pitch. Re-check pitch later when blades are on.

5. Remove ccpm interactions at full pos and neg stick using ATV/endpoints.
At center stick, paddles should be level. eyeball with flybar cage to ensure.
now watch paddles to make sure they remain level when at various full sticks. 
Has to be done with flybar parallel to tailboom(checks ail/pit) and again 
with flybar perpendicular to tailboom(checks elevator).
full pos pitch should not tilt paddles in relation to elevator
full neg pitch should not tilt paddles in relation to elevator
full pos pitch should not tilt paddles in relation to aileron/pitch
full neg pitch should not tilt paddles in relation to aileron/pitch

Adjust servo endpoints(ATV) as needed to keep paddles level at full stick.

set trims on swash as needed, if previous adjustments cause swash to bind.

6. Check entire range of stick motion for unwanted interaction.
(again in both elevator and aileron directions) 
paddles should remain fairly level during entire stick moves.
excessive paddle movement means servos arent in sync with eachother. 
setup custom p-mix to remove these interactions throughout the range.
Digital servos are more precise than analog servos, but will require
a switching bec for accessory power.

7. Center throttle sitck, install blades, pitch guage should
read 0. flybar needs to be level. adjust links at blade grip to 
set 0 pitch.

8. check pitch range, go full positive and full negative.
-10 to 10 is good, -9 to 9, -11 to 11.. should always be equal.
adjust swash mix pitch %. recheck all other links now for binding/levelness.

9. Set swash cyclic angle of paddles in aileron/elevator directions
for 6-8 degrees.ensure swashplate does not bind with main shaft. 
adjust swash mix % for aileron and elevator.

note:mixing can overdrive endpoints on servos. Final checks on full
collective and full throttle should be done to eliminate chance of binding.

Pitch curves

mechanical setup previously done now allows a linear pitch curve:
low  stick = full negative pitch
mid  stick = 0 pitch
high stick = full positive pitch

setting of pitch curves
In normal mode we want about -1/-2/-3 pitch at 0 stick to bring heli 
down in windy conditions. It is a personal preference, as too much
negative pitch can slam heli down in emergency throttle stick down situations.
Attach pitch guage and set pt#1 to where pitch guage shows -1/-2/-3 degrees.
calculate p#2 to be midway between pt#1 and pt#3.
note: p#3,#4,#5 need to be same on all throttle modes so there is no pitch
change during idle up mode swaps.

Normal  mode  40  45  50  75  100   -2 to +10 pitch
Idle up mode  0   25  50  75  100 stunt mode idle up 1 -10 to +10

Throttle Curves

Throttle is best set to where motor efficiency is.
Heli should not osscilate in hover=rpm too low.
Hovering in Normal mode should occur between mid to 3/4 stick.
More blade pitch needs more power to not bog the heli.
The goal of the throttle curve is to keep a consistent useable head rpm 
through all pitch ranges.

Normal  mode  0   50  80 * 90  100  * is where you normally switch modes
Idle up mode  100 90  85   90  100

401 gyro setup

1. Set digital/analog mode.
2. Plug servo into ch4, Plug remote gain into ch5
3. Find a servo arm that gets you 90 degrees and use the hole on the arm
that is closest to the servo screw. 
4. Tail pushrod should be a straight shot down the tail, parallel to boom.
5. Position the servo on the boom so the tail pitch slider is in the
center of the shaft. = full deflection in both directions.

6. Typical gain setup.
remote gain set to right = rate mode(revo)
remote gain set to left = heading hold mode
you can assign ch5 a knob or switch.
for a switch set atv endpoints to where you want gain.
for initial setup set both atv endpoints to 50%.  (25/75 of a 0-100 range)
set gyro limit(servo endpoints) in rate mode to check for servo binding.
actual gyro gain will need to be set by test flights, no drift while 
giving throttle and no wagging while hovering.

7. Checking gyro mode on initialization.
Put switch into what you set hh mode to.
if gyro is blinking then reverse ch5(gain) to enter heading hold mode.
solid red led=hh mode on the 401.

8. Setting servo Limits.
Turn switch to rate mode, and set limit pot on gyro so it does not bind
in each direction. readjust servo on boom if binding/not travelling far
enough in one direction.

9. Gyro servo direction.
- as set up to fly the nose. 
tail rotates up into the downwash of the rotor.
right turn should make the slider go toward the boom.
left turn should make the slider go to the tail blades.
reverse ch4 if needed.

10. Setting gyro reverse switch on gyro.
move tail boom toward you, gyro should move slider away(or towards blades)
if not, hit reverse switch on gyro.

Brushless esc programming

make sure throttle is not reversed, it should arm on 0 stick.
motor should also not spin blades reversed. switch any 1 motor wire.
brake disabled (no brake on helis)
battery lipo mode cutoff (preference)
soft start (preference)
governor mode (preference)
throttle response (preference)

note: when programming with sticks, 
throttle curve needs to be linear and full 0 to 100 endpoints.

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