The Blade 400 Bible
12.01.2009 is the final version.
Email me for suggestions etc. Pete (Slyster) from MN... email@example.com
01....... General tips. (NEWBIES go here!)
02....... Instructional videos.
03....... Lubrication (and were to use Loctite)
05....... B400 Parts and spare parts to have on hand!
06....... Main shaft and gear and one way bearing.
07....... Feathering shaft.
08....... Main blades + balancing.
09....... Motor pinions.
10....... BEC/ESC. (and WHY the need..)
11....... Head/Tail setup.
12....... Gyros and servos.
13....... Radio fixes/settings/curves... some newbie settings.
14....... Receiver related information.
15....... Belt stuff...
16....... Factory default settings.
17....... BLING! (CNC head and tail etc...)
18....... A general maintenance routine
19....... RunRyders tips.
20....... Helicopter future after the B400?
22....... Motor replacement
23....... Tricks (improvise!)
24....... Blade grip mod (more pitch)
25....... General Maintenance Tips
26....... RTF? (What do check before you fly your new heli)
27....... Heli tool set
28....... Flying lessons- How to fly (tutorials etc)
29....... Adding bright LED's for fun and orientation.
30....... Painting the canopy and blades.
31....... Winter gear
32....... List of bearings
33....... 3D flight!... (moves glossary so far....) and tips...
34....... The ULTIMATE Blade 400 setup!
WATCH THESE FIRST!
Finless HELI BUILD and RADIO and SETUP videos
WHAT PART IS IT?
Blade 400 parts and part numbers exploded view
NOW one with mouse hover for part number!
#1- SOME GENERAL HELI TIPS
DO YOUR RESEARCH!
What is swash mix... good article
B400 flies best with some mods!
Just so you know... it is best to upgrade the gyro and servos. The stock gyro/servos are weak.. will make it harder to learn on this heli. They strip.. they don't center well.. and the tail doesnt hold. With the typical upgrades to the Hitec HS65 servos on the cyclic and GY401 gyro and S9527 (or any good servo) on the tail... this heli flies just as good as any T-Rex450. Don’t take my word for it----> http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?p=1134204
- What are “pitch and throttle curves”?
Helicopter Terminology for newbies and experts alike!
- Blade 400 repair site
- Tips for repairing a heli after a crash
Blade 400 for dummies
- Blade 400 Do’s and Don’ts
Radd’s flight school of rotary flight (NEWBIES!)
- Buddy box trainer setup
Setting up a CCPM Heli (from RC Heli Magazine)
Stock head and tail photos
HOW TO SOLDER http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_NU2ruzyc4
and also http://www.swashplate.co.uk/ehbg-v17/ch11s04.html
USE a SIM! Clearview a great sim value for $40
General agreement is that Phoenix sim is the VERY best for helis ($150)
A sim chart is available here:
Excellent general heli setup guide
Good swash leveling thread
B400 PNP manual. Just in case many of you haven't seen this, I've been looking through the PNP Version of the Blade 400 Manual and found A LOT of useful info there. Proper swash plate heights, link lengths, etc. I wish they would have included this info in the RTF Version as well. Thought some of us newbies would like to see this. "BennyTRD"
T-Rex style canopy and grommets
These work so they canopy clicks on like the trex.. SO nice!
#2- BLADE 400 HELP VIDEOS- really for ANY CP heli.
Finless index! (SEE THIS!)
Note.. there ARE more then listed here... search Youtube
DX6i part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGtwrt8FzO0
DX6i part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFK6B9X6ESA
Gyro/Servo setup part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53TeGHTkv2E
Gyro/Servo setup part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyPNzjoO9W0
Head setup 1.. servo/swash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1JdYzfDxA8
Head setup 2.. washout/flybar/blades http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS7L-bapzRQ
Head setup 3.. more... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzkwkUnwui0
Head setup 4.. tracking.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LI0Zoi2vFvs
Tail setup.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_G7EpY0Jeo
Feather shaft repair part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWKTWMea1Y8
Feather shaft repair part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si2JkFPp_oA
Feather shaft repair part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9A9yN7CbyU
Main shaft repair part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htjmfyNCTvw
Main shaft repair part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVYjWJb3DEw
Main shaft repair part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmeR5yeUylk
Hover theory http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHE8kvc1LwA
Approaches and deceleration http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PX7PMFFhzY
BEC 101 http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=55538
NOTE! Sokals videos are also availble at high quality here!
More.. Helimix's B400 repair vids http://youtube.com/view_play_list?p=8C3DF9E66E67BEC1
Jasmines awesome really detailed B400 repair vids
"No matter who you are, something will happen eventually and you'll have to rebuild your helicopter - the trick is to make it come out better than it was. Helis need proactive maintenance, so even if you don't crash it, you're going to rebuild occasionally. I had flown this heli in an airshow the day before I bashed it into a fence - it was a totally random event - it can happen to anyone. These are simply skills you have to know."- Jasmine
Servo Gear Replacement
Blade 400 Rebuild - Part 1 - Parts
Blade 400 Rebuild - Part 2 - Destruction
Blade 400 Rebuild - Part 3 - Servos
Blade 400 Rebuild - Part 4 - The Tail
Blade 400 Rebuild - Part 5 - Gears, shaft, swash
Blade 400 Rebuild - Part 6 - Washout and Flybar
Blade 400 Rebuild - Part 7 - Blade Balancing
Head link measurements http://www.slyster.com/heli/b400links.jpg
(NAVY_Blade401 on RCgroups)
MANY MORE... FINLESS BOB vids... he uses T-rex but good for B400. http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=41692
FYI on Loctite- "Use blue for setscrews in pinions that use them. Use green for pinions without setscrews that don't press on. Don't use any for brass, fluted press ons- fluted as in, if you look at the inside of a brand new one, you can see ripples on the inside of the hole. Those stretch and mate with the shaft when you press them on; that's why you don't reuse them."- Osterizer
Tips on lubing motor
EASY way to lube the motor...
General lubrication suggestions...
- Silicon spray for the belt.
- TriFlow oil for shafts/bushings.
- White lithium grease for servos.
- General grease for bearings.
Sly uses mostly silicone spray for nearly everything (links, belt, head, main gears)... because it dries and will NOT attract stickies such as grass and dirt! But still use light oil and grease where applicable... grease for bearings and thrust bearings in the head and machine oil on shaft where the head slides on.
Sokal- get some mothers wax (for cars) put on the main shaft with swash and head removed power up the heli at 25% stick and polish the shaft can do the same with tail works very very well. and lasts a bit longer than a liquid
Where to use loctite?
BLUE Loctite on all true metal-to-metal fastener connections. CA for metal to plastic... and none for bolts with lock nuts.
- Feathering shaft bolts- wipe off excess to be careful of the thrust bearings.
- Grub screw in main shaft collar, and grub screw for tail hub to tail shaft.
- Ball link bolt and nut on rudder servo horn (CA if plastic)
- Motor mount screws.
- Tail rotor blade mount screws
- Grub screw in flybar paddle mount/adapter
- Grub screws into flybar paddle control frame rods
- Motor pinion grub screw.
- Swash balls.
Tx Tail Boom on Helifreaks.
Zippies available in the USA now!
Good batteries and good chargers on the CHEAP
What is C rating?
Remember that C-rating is only part of the equation. It is the fraction of an hour in which the battery can be safely discharged. So a 15C battery can be discharged in 1/15 of an hour or 4 minutes. This particular 15C pack is 2400 mAh, so you can pull 2400 mah out of it in 4 minutes, which is an average of 36 amps (same as a 20C 1800 mah pack). That's a lot more amps than most people are pulling and it explains why these things aren't puffing when used with the stock motor or something similar. I think somebody puffed one with a 2221-8 though. (Fishboy77)
The Dean connectors are easy to solder. They have soldering tabs on the wire side. Just slip loose shrink tubing on each wire then solder. Then heat shrink the tubing. Remember to use the female plug on the battery and the male ones on the esc.
Soldering deans video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT18mxfGRjo
KEEP YOUR LIPOS ALIVE!
- Long term storage (fridge a bonus) at about 3.8V/cell. 3.8*3 = 11.4V 3s (7.6V for 2s)
- Allow the battery to go less than 3V per cell will kill it! (9V for 3s and 6V for 2s)
- Fully charge to 4.2V per cell. 3*4.2 = 12.6V for 3s (8.4V for 2s)
- Lipos should be stored FULLY charged for only 5 days or less.
Cheap 12V power supply http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26oqItOY3lE
... Sly says "otherwise eBay has other options.. I am using a $20 one that is meant to power portable DVD players for cars.. it is 12V/6A.. plenty of power. I just cut the end off."
- LVC is there for a reason.. but not recommended you let lipo reach it... (if you do.. you have reach a load voltage of 9V.. that is too low and WILL damage the battery) - Gunny
Science lesson from Skunky!... Max amp discharge rates:
"I will use the 1800mAh as an example. Take the C rating times the amp hours to get the constant discharge rate the batt can handle. So you have a 20C 1800mAh batt. 20 * 1.8 = 36. You can discharge at 36A continuously safely with this battery. 15C in a 2400 = 36A as well. The C rating of a batt is the constant discharge rating."
Storage levels and other charging questions
CHEAP Lipos and CF blades
in bold are the parts that almost always get damaged...
Main Blades EFLH1415A
Blade Grips EFLH1417
Spindle/feathering shaft EFLH1421
main shaft EFLH1447
Servo gear set EFLRDS751
Tail Blades EFLH1471
Landing skid EFLH1446B
Landing strut EFLH1445W
Main gear w/one way bearing EFLH1452 (too hard to replace bearing...)
Flybar paddle EFLH1428
Flybar seesaw holder set EFLH1423
Tail Boom EFLH1457
Another list of parts with comments
EFLH1415A : B400 325MM MAIN ROTOR BLADE SET WOOD WHITE - Worth keeping a couple of sets in stock, I like the align 335 pro woods and they aren't much dearer
EFLH1417 : B400 MAIN ROTOR BLADE GRIP/HOLDER SET - I've broken one of these in five crashes as the wood baldes, spindle and main shaft absorbs most of any impact
EFLH1421 : B400 SPINDLE/FEATHERING SHAFT SET (2) - Get several!
EFLH1425 : B400 FLYBAR 220MM (2) - These are expendable but reasonably durable in the sense they can be bent back to shape easily.
EFLH1445W : B400 LANDING GEAR STRUT SET WHITE - Think about replacing this with Align T-Rex 500 landing gear and skids, it is a little more durable than the B400 gear. Using the Rex gear can lead to broken frame tabs on occasion though.
EFLH1446B : B400 LANDING STRUT SET BLACK - See above
EFLH1447 : B400 MAIN SHAFT (2) - Get several!
EFLH1451 : B400 MAINGEAR W/O ONE-WAY BEARING - Though it is the gear and not the bearing that generally breaks it is a hassle changing the one way so gears with the one way in are a good choice. It's more money but less time and hassle.
EFLH1453 : B400 MAIN TAIL DRIVE GEAR - I've yet to strip one of these and the main gear is way more likely to strip
EFLH1455A : B400 ALUMINIUM SPEED-UP TAIL DRIVE GEAR/PULLEY ASSY - Not tried this yet but may try it for better tail authority
EFLH1456 : B400 TAIL DRIVE BELT - Pretty durable but worth having a spare, when you get it take it out of the packet as they are packaged folded
EFLH1457 : B400 TAIL BOOM (2) - I go through these in most crashes, bit of a weak link in the airfram IMO, mind you my crashes are usually spectacular!
EFLH1465A : B400 ALUMINIUM TAIL ROTOR SHAFT & ALU.DRIVE PULLEY - Worth having as they bend fairly easily
EFLH1470A : B400 ALUMINIUM TAIL ROTOR BLADE GRIP SET W/HUB - Not broken one yet but they do develop a little slop
EFLH1471 : B400 TAIL ROTOR
BLADE SET - These get dinked up pretty good so worth having some. There are
some alternatives out there that may provide better tail authority but also may
need the root filing down to fit.
#6- MAIN SHAFT and GEAR (and one way bearing)
Great $4.00 bearing puller
One Way bearing
Pounding in the one way bearing your self? It is EZ to put in (but impossible to take out) but be SURE you put it in right... othewise it is backwards and you are screwed like I was... and here's a tip... The arrow is on the bottom of bearing and goes into the main gear with the arrow facing toward the bottom also. (thanks Helidude2)
Both main gear and tail gears can just slide out left or right when shaft is out. You can replace the main shaft without tearing down the whole heli. Start by removing the head by disconnecting the links and removing the bolt from the bottom of the head block. The head should then pull off the main shaft. Disconnect the swash links from the servos and pull the swash and washout base off the shaft. There is a single bolt beneath the main gears the holds the shaft in, remove it and the shaft will pull out. Take the collar off the shaft and put it on your new one, make sure you get the orientation the same as the holes on each end of the shaft are spaced differently. Reverse the process to install the new shaft. (Joediamond on RCUniverse forum.) Note: Shorter hole/tip distance on top.
Jesus bolt... I would like a shanked bolt also. I have been using Dubro bolts. They are stronger than the stock bolts, but fully threaded. The lower bolt rocks in the main shaft. This shears it off over time. The Dubro bolt has lasted much longer than the factory one did. I have been putting it in wet with epoxy. This stops the rocking for awhile. The epoxy wears out fairly quick. Looking for a better solution. (RotoRob)
#7- FEATHERING SHAFTS
Yet ANOTHER! :) Best one yet?
(hosted locally here http://www.slyster.com/heli/bestyet.jpg )
AWESOME feathering shaft photo showing parts and order.
Thanks Niconedz on Helifreaks... http://www.slyster.com/heli/bfsp.jpg
ANOTHER... RHash posted a diagram of the order and orientation of the various shims and bearings when changing the feathering shaft. *Really* useful. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...591#post9240591
EZ FAST feathering shaft replacement...
To fix the shaft FAST use a flybar... same threads to screw into the feathering shaft to keep all pieces in the proper order. (I can't remember who suggested this)
Alternate feathering shafts (T-Rex 450 v1) "Align part AGNH1115 (HS1003) $5.99"
For those of you flying the Blade 400 , the F-shaft is on backorder last time i looked, but you can use the E-sky Honey Bee King II F-shaft, it fits perfect , (it was mentioned earlier in this thread) you just have to use the nylon nuts on each end, i did mine today, and the blade is back in the air ,just make sure the nuts are flush with each ends, and don't tighten them too tight. Tx Hummingbird111
Tip on thrust bearing assembly...The two cupped washers that sandwich the bearing cage appear to be the same but are not. The inner diameter is slightly different between the two. The one with the largest inside diameter goes on first (closet to the head block). Get a feathering shaft and slide the cupped washers on. Wiggle each washer and it will be very clear which ones have the larger ID. Also, make sure that the open face of the bearing cage faces the head block. It is designed to keep the grease in place..centrifugal force. (Redfire)
If you still have a wobble i would double check your main shaft. A very small bend that you cant even tell will cause a lot of shake, at that speed. Also for future reference, don't spend 7 bucks for on spindle shaft. Align makes a set of 4 for like 6 bucks. Just a little long, but sam diameter. Some people use shims to make up the difference, I grind down with a Dremel, and use calipers. Only takes a min, about 15 thousands off each side and seem to be stronger. Also I can usually get about three bends out of each shaft before junk. If it just has one bend in spindle, I just put in a drill chuck and bend back, you can get them perfect if you take time at it, you got to figure that this isn't a high speed shaft, as long as you can get it strait enough so blade grip don't isolate when you spin shaft with allen wrench it, you shouldn't have tracking problems. Josh Mcormick
I've been using T450's spindles as well. Works like a charm with a couple extra washers.
I don't grind my T450 feathering spindles either. Just buy a couple of extra head dampening shim packs. They fit the CP as well, so you may find them with the CP parts ($1.99/ea, 8 shims per pack). Each shim is about .005". You can just space your grips out with 5 more shims on each side to take up the end play. Just make sure your thrust bearings aren't binding or too happy. You'll be able to feel this by moving the grips by hand. Don't use the thick washers that come with the 450 spindles. They are about .050" each and will cause your thrust bearings to bind for sure when you tighten down the screws. 2 packs for $4 and you'll have extras in case you need to tighten up the head- Loopy1
Strong CNC shafts for B400 http://www.helidirect.com/product_info.php?cPath=30_314_445&products_id=7265
The feathering shaft is super easy to change if you use the flybar tip listed earlier in this thread. The flybar will thread directly into the feathering shaft, then you push the flybar through the head and pull a new one in from the other side. Don't remember who posted that but it is great. I can change shaft in a couple of minutes.
About T-rex 450 v1 feathering shaft... On my Blade 400 with a T-rex Feathering Shaft, mine is setup as follows.. Grip--Step Washer--Align Spacer--Dampener--Head Block Depending on the condition of your Dampeners, you may need to add shims to get the Dampening stiff enough. If you need at add shims, add them between the Align Spacer and the Dampener.
ALWAYS use loctite on the feathering shaft bolts!
#8- MAIN BLADES and balancing.
Can’t figure out a nagging blade tracking problem?
One thing to check is a cracked seesaw and other damaged parts. (Tx Windsors)
Re-shrink those stock
main blades! Quick tip: Make sure you re-shrink the shrink wrap that
is on the stock main blades. Bought a new stock set recently, and used a heat
gun to make the wrap tight. Before it had been a little bit loose here and
there. I could re-shrink it quite a bit; you could actually see it
re-shrinking! Read somewhere, that you want to re-shrink once in a while,
since the wood and wrap "works" over time, and the wrap might loose
Free shims for Align blades- Tx Bladelernin on helifreaks
Gallon milk jugs are perfect thickness for grip shims.. .024
Great carbons to try
Great blades to get (Radix)
Great tracking idea... using a laser pointer!
Possible? "I got a package of #60 O-rings from H-D. They are OD 1/4" x ID 1/8".
Seem to be exactly the same size as stock."- Wolfpackin
T-Rex 450SE rubber o-ring dampeners work great! - Redfire SVT / Hoverpunk
BEST blades? (cheap version)
Some say .1 gram scale is NOT good enough... and some say blade balancers just cannot be trusted.. so here is a cheap balancer that can't go wrong... 6-32 x 1.5 screw threads in tight enough to hold the blades rigid.. yet won't damage them. You can then balance very precisely using two glasses.. but this doesn't help with CG balancing which some say isn't worthwhile anyway.
Most of my Blade 400 vibrations where from the factory main rotor blades. They have a cutout for weights that is on only one side. This has made all of mine flex at the cutout. I went with Align Pro 325 wood blades, and Radix carbons for when I don't think I will crash. I use Align o-rings for dampeners in my Blade 400. They are much stiffer than the factory dampeners. LUBE O-RINGS!
Switch to Align woodies after stocks run out.. then carbons.
Great flat bottom blades http://www.jcshobbies.com/products_trex.html
Possible great cheap blades (Freestyle 325mm woodies)
#9- MOTOR PINION
Gear mesh article
IMHO, 95% of the people flying the B400 do not need to be using the 10T pinion.
The 9T pinion is a $3 part and takes 15mins MAX to change. I highly recommend anyone that is not doing "extreme" 3D to give it a shot. Quieter, relaxing, still can do 3D.
btw.. If you are using the stock motor, the only pinion that will work is the E-Flite EFLH1409 9T pinion gear due to the unusual motor shaft- tx grngrb
WHY do I
need BSC or a new ESC?
Great upgrade esc Align 35G
Good Align setup and instruction thread
BEST ESC... http://www.castlecreations.com/products/phoenix-35.html
CC ESC install http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=875610
CC ESC user guide http://www.castlecreations.com/support/documents/Phoenix_User_Guide.pdf
Good thread talking about BEC and how to install with some pix- Tx dwoodworker and Towpilot... http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=92244
I read this somewhere... "I would expect 6V will destroy the factory servo's fairly quickly. I would use the 5v unless the servo's have been upgaded. And he also notes that the BEC (use 6v) http://www.dimensionengineering.com/SportBEC.htm is awesome!"
- Stock ESC poor.. gets hot.. especially with upgrades.. add a CC BEC... or a better ESC.
cutting out the fake vents on the front of the canopy helps A LOT as well...its gets plenty of airflow over it that way in FF- (BladeCX2Runner)
A BEC is cheap insurance and if your going to upgrade servos, like digital tail is a good idea. As for the FREE fan for cooling (main rotor) I have the ESC mounted on the forward outside of the frame below the batt location and the BEC on the other side, small vents cut in the canopy as others have done and things stay much cooler. TX Supra6
In my experience BECs don't get that hot. It can be mounted on the side of the frame. Pretty easy to install, there are two ways to do it. Check out BEC 101 at Helifreak and it should answer your questions. My stock ESC gave out so i just replaced it with a esc that had an existing BEC. I would think a good place to mount the stock esc is underneath the frame where it can pick up a bit more air. That would apply more to forward flight i guess though. My 35a esc on my rex gets pretty hot after a hard run, I'm thinking of getting one myself. http://helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=55538 (thanks JustinMoore12)
To check firmware... For the AR6100e, they are currently up to v1.6, which will obviously have the Quick Connect feature since it was actually added mid v1.2.
Good ESC to get ($85) if issues... Castle Creations Phoenix 35.. but remember the stock ESC is just fine IF you add the CC BEC 10A ($25)...
You want to program it to 3 cell lipo, Low voltage cutoff,(i would suggest soft, it wont completely cut out if you run the battery low.) disable the brake, soft start to your desired time (longer the time the longer it will take to spool up) and you should be good to go.. no governor.
After replacing all servos on my blade400, ESC started to run hot. I installed External BEC(Castle Creations 10A BEC $25Cdn). Installation was really easy, splice the BEC wires into the power leads on the ESC then run the wire from the BEC to the receivers BATT input then cut the red wire that comes from the ESC to the receiver. Next cut the yellow control wire from the BEC lead(AR6100E).
#11- Head/Tail Setup
Chinese weight mod... pros and cons.. tennis racket affect.
Balance the entire head! (solves tail vibes too!)
-- Putting on the Align 450SEv2 tail a go! (No more vibes)
Good place to buy (or see CopterX stuff in bling!)
Swash mix and amount of cyclic and paddles etc...
“I have a problem with 0 pitch at center but too low or high with full stick”.. (Answer thanks to Sokal)
Set you mix to 60% keeping the -/+ values the same. Check range if not equal then your swash is to hi or low depends on what’s more if you have more negative then swash is to hi (for non flipped grips) adjust swash plate position re-center every thing at mid and check again till the range is the same ie +8/-8 then raise the pitch in the swash mix till you get 10. For aile and elev put the blades off to the side and put full right cyclic look at the gap between the flybar control arms and the blade grips adj the aile swash mix setting till it bearly touches now go full left make sure the gap is the same if not then fly bar was not even if so input the same # in to elev swashmix
should the tail spin?
Looking at the heli tail in... blade nearest you moves down!
When repairing the tail rotor, make sure that the belt is turned in the right direction before reinstalling the tail rotor shaft. To do this pull the belt straight so it is horizontal and has no twist, then rotate the belt 90 degress clockwise when vewing from behind. To check that the belt is correct spin the main rotor blades in the clockwise direction the tail rotor should spin counterclockwise. (NAVY Blade 401).. also you can see it better if the tail if off and you shine a bright light into the maintenance port.
Tail seems slow?
"Rudder travel adjust" is the #1 tool for piro rate. 100% a couple a second, 40 maybe 1/2 per secone etc. Sly had this problem.. see this thread especially post #61
Another “How to stop drift with stock gyro” thread
BEST SETUP explanation so far...
the "0" setting is still 66, then you almost certainly haven't set up
the gyro mechanically....
· Set "0" to 30 and "1" to 70. Zero the rudder trim and sub-trim. Flip the TX switch to "0".
· Plug the battery in and let the gyro sit for ~10 minutes or so. This allows the gyro to warm up, and hopefully eliminate any thermal drifting.
· Switch the TX gyro switch to "1" -- heading hold mode -- and adjust the rudder sub-trim until the servo creeps as little as possible. With the stock gyro you probably won't be able to eliminate creep entirely.
· Switch the TX gyro switch to "0" -- rate mode.
· Hover the heli, and note which way it wants to rotate. Land and adjust the length of the tail linkage to correct.
· Repeat the last step until you can hover the heli with little or no rudder input.
· Reduce the "0" (rate) gyro setting from 30 toward 0 until you start to get "wag", then back off a bit.
· Flip the TX switch to "1" -- heading hold mode -- and increase the "1" setting from 70 toward 100 until you get "wag" and back it off a bit.
You now have a correctly adjusted gyro. (My TX settings are around 25 and 75, but your setup may differ.) Thanks to grnbrg on RCGroups!
Another GREAT setup explanation
Hello Everyone, Please do not feel like you have to read this post, but if you are having any trouble with your GY401 and 3400G combo drifting, I have finally figured mine out. I was extremely frustrated as my heli was drfiting to the left slightly and I was having to use 1 click of trim to keep it somewhat centered. Not no more, now my heli is 100% locked with no trim or subtrim at all. This is what I did.
1) Bought new JR standard servo arms (JSP98080), and fastened the ball link to the closest hole to the screw center on the outside. These servo horn's have no weird arc to them, and are straight up and down. (makes finding 90 easier)
2) Make sure all rudder trims and subtrims are centered.
3) Place horn on servo and power up heli in HH mode. Then flick into std. rate mode (I had mine at 30%). Then adjust linkage mechanically so slider is in middle of tail shaft (via threaded rod)
4) Adjust limits on GY401. Mine fell at approx. 120. I know this is on the higher side, but it works.
5) Adjust the delay to approx. 10-15 on the GY401. I know it says to put at zero but it works.
6) Test limits to ensure no binding.
7) Switch between rate & HH mode 3 times fast to program center on GY401.
8) Turn off heli.
9) BIND, then turn off heli again.
10) Turn on heli and go test it out.
With this setup the limit is very high, but when you do this, it allows you to set the gain on the gyro much higher, this resulting in a much better hold. I have my gain at about 79% with no wagging and a very locked tail. Also I found by adding a little delay, it got rid of the hard stop the tail does when changing directions, thus allowing you to increase the gain even more. Thanks to Jlsider on Healifreaks
How do make the tail HOLD! (Thanks to Wolfpackin)
To get rid of wag reduce the gyro gain.
To stop drift:
Move the linkage ball to the middle hole on the servo arm.
Set the heli up in Rate mode (approx. 25% gain) so there is as little drift as possible. Make all adjustments mechanically by adjusting the linkage length of the tail pushrod. While in rate mode also make sure the servo arm is centered and square with the pushrod.
Then switch to HH and hover. Use rudder subtrim to "trim out" any drift while flying. Don't worry about what the servo/slider/gyro does while on the bench.
Go back to Rate mode and check your hold, if needed make further mechanical adjustments. Go back to HH and tweak subtrim settings again.
Using this method I usually need 1-2 clicks of regular trim to start every flight. This varies depending on temperature, battery and mood of the gyro. Once I set the regular trim I don't touch it for the entire flight. I get a solid hold with no drift.
Also, make sure you let the heli acclimate to the ambient temp you are flying in.
And, I found that turning the physical gyro gain pot to full CW helped, others have found full CCW to be better. Experiment to see what works for you.
Make sure the pushrod has a straight shot between the servo arm to the tail.
Setting things up the way I described takes a lot of back and forth between HH and Rate but if you stay with it and try different combos you can get this gyro servo combo to work pretty darn good. The main rule is to use mechanical adjustments in Rate mode and subtrim adjustments in HH mode for no drift.
After installing HS65’s everything is mixed up!
By Jasmine- The balls on mine went on the outside, but the 285 might stick farther out, and you may need to put them on the inside. The thing to get it that the link goes as perfect to vertical as you can get it - otherwise you risk having it slip off the ball. You may need to reverse the servos, and/or the swash mix. Just use my method of figuring it out...
1. Go into your reversing screen and put the heli in throttle hold mode.
2. Move the collective up and down, and reverse the servos until they all three move down when you move the collective up. Should all three be moving up when you move the collective stick down.
3. Go into the swash mix - should not need to change the pitch channel, but if the aileron is backwards, negate the number, and if the elevator is backwards, negate that one too.
Good servo info page!
New servo find.. from Buildem (Neu DS450’s)
Good HS65 servo upgrade info
Good guide for B401 setup
tail gyro suggestions
(From this thread http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=97863)
Good guide to getting the GY401 drift free
Another good 401 setup link
Logictech 2100T gyro self-calibration (hidden function), eliminates HH drift
From Sly's experience... The HS65MG works great for learning, FF, FFF, and loops but isn't up to the challenge of hard maneuvers and starting 3D. It is a slower analog servo that needs so delay set if you use the 401.
"The 9257 is excellent.... I've only used it with the 401...... and another.... You want to get the JR DS3500G for the tail, perfect servo, one of the best matches to the 2100T. If not the JR DS3400G, Hitec HSG5083MG are both very good choices.
"ALSO awesome alternative... Hitec Standard Heli Gyro Pack (HS-5000 Gyro/HSG-5083 Tail Servo/3x HS-65HB Servos) [HRC40105]
"Inexpensive options: JR DS290G and Futaba S3154"
"From my experience both the 9257 and 3400G are great servo's. Won't go wrong with either of those. 9257 seems faster, but I like the way the 3400 holds."
"Don't forget the old school 401/9650 @ 6V....still kickin"
"The inexpensive combo stock gyro and Spektrum DSP75 true-digital (275Hz) servo works good (not the best of course). The great thing about the DSP75 is that you can program it with the separate Digital Servo Programmer:
- Mode (i.e., fixed wing, cyclic, or tail)
- Center (i.e., 90 deg) of servo horn
- Travel limit left and right (indepedently) to avoid binding of tail slider
Makes a good complement to the lacking servo features of the stock gyro."
"jr 3400G on a 401. work great. Like it even more with it tail boom mounted."
"I was running the Futaba S3114 mounted on the tail when I still had my Blade, worked great with the 401 and only 14 bucks to boot"
** good setup! ** From Buildem336... "If you want the best tail servo that works perfect with a 401 gyro get the Ino-lab tail servo. Its faster lighter and smaller than the Futaba 9257 I run it in my Blade 400 and my brother runs it in his T-rex 500 the tail is perfect on both birds. "... INO-LAB 0.06sec/60 CORLESS DIGITAL TAIL SERVO - T-REX 500..
HS65 rebuild thread
Good cheap servo alternatives
I suggest you replace your cyclic servos before they fail in flight and cause a crash. I learned this the hard way, as have many people in this forum. Many pilots are using the Hitec HS-65 MGs with great results, but they are pricey ($35 each). I now run HXT900s from Hobby City. They are only $3.65 yet are fast, strong, and reliable. The replacement gear sets are a buck. They will not center as precisely as the MGs but for that price I am not complaining. (HXT900 9g / 1.6kg / .12sec Micro Servo)- Fishboy77
Tape? The best foam tape I've used is the black "servo tape" Trinity sells it or wide Trinity... The one with the plastic center tube thing is what i always look for, and the blue strip at the start. Some are like rubber but ive never had good luck with it or the white type. They always fall off after a while.installing a GY401? Check out - BowerR64
401 drift issues?
Thread on gyro/piro limits and adjustments
Guess I was flying my blade400 on borrowed time, the gyro switch should not be set to digital for the eflite DS75H stock servos !!!! It will cause them to fail in just a few minutes. The eflite DSP75 servos are OK to run with the G110 gyro switch set to digital setting but do not come with the blade 400.
The stock G110 gyro is a rate AND heading hold (HH) gyro. The way you set this in the radio is somewhat non intuitive. In the radio, gain values from 0% to 50% correspond to 100% rate gyro down to 0%. Radio gain values from 50% to 100% correspond to 0% up to 100% HH. So . . if you want maximum rate gain, you would set the radio to 0%. Maximum HH gain, set radio to 100%. Now, 50% radio is 0% rate, 0% HH, so essentially the gyro would have no control over the tail. DO NOT FLY WITH RADIO GAIN AT 50%! Unless you like the challenge, that is... Going further, if you set the radio to 75%, this is actually 50% HH gyro gain (since 75% is between 50% and 100%). Likewise, 25% radio = 50% rate gain. Gotta do a little math to figure out gyro gain values for other radio %. To me, they should have made the radio display go from -100% to +100% instead of 0% to 100%.
Logictech 2100T Gyro + 3100G Servo Combo Set AWESOME + cheaper
ALSO awesome alternative... Hitec Standard Heli Gyro Pack (HS-5000 Gyro/HSG-5083 Tail Servo/3x HS-65HB Servos) [HRC40105] Just the 3 servos around $70
You gotta turn it all the way to 0%. Huge difference. I have mine at 0% on the gyro and 78% on the TX and it holds great (I have it in the 2nd hole from the center on the servo horn. A lot of guys here use the 3rd/middle hole. Mine had binding with the 3rd hole but the 2nd hole was the sweet spot for me).
Basically, it is controlled by the TX gyro gain settings.
00% = RATE mode gain of 100%
10% = RATE mode gain of 80%
20% = RATE mode gain of 60%
30% = RATE mode gain of 40%
40% = RATE mode gain of 20%
49% = RATE mode gain of 2%
50% = HH mode gain of 0%
60% = HH mode gain of 20%
70% = HH mode gain of 40%
80% = HH mode gain of 60%
90% = HH mode gain of 80%
100% = HH mode gain of 100%
Just make sure that the tail is set up correctly in rate mode (page 24 & 25 in the manual tells how to set the settings in the TX). Mine had a bit of a wag until I corrected it via the tail servo linkage.
I picked up my B400 on Saturday. Out of the box it had some tail wag, so I read the instruction manual and low and behold this gyro behaves like the esky HH gyro. The factory settings are both set to be in HH mode. I think that part of the problem is the tail needs to be set up in rate mode. After I figured this out per pages 24 and 24 if the instruction manual, I was able to use the gyro switch to switch back and forth from rate mode to HH mode by changing the gyro settings in the TX. I set the "0" setting to around 65%, if I remember correctly, and the "1" setting to 25%. The reason is to be in rate mode the gyro sees 0 as 100% rate mode and 50 as 0%. Anything over 50 is HH mode. In other words I have the "0" on the gyro switch in the gyro setting in the TX set at 65% to be in HH mode and the "1" on the gyro switch in the gyro setting in the TX set at 25% to be in rate mode. So, when I switch the gyro switch back and forth I can see that the tail servo moves correctly between rate and HH modes. When in HH mode the tail behaved like it should, but when I switched to rate mode the tail drifted to the right (counter clockwise). That told me that the tail needed a little more pitch via the servo to slider link because I can't move the servo like I can on my kingV2. I didn't have time to do this yesterday, so I still need to make the proper adjusts to see if I am right.
http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=57491 gyro gain in tx has to be more than 50
then plug in the batt and the 401 LED should be a solid red for hh mode i use 70% (SOKAL)
INSTALLING NEW SERVOS... Reverse 65's in the radio! The HS-65's need to have their rotation set for the position you have them installed hence the "servo direction" this is set in the transmitter. I do not have mine handy right now but it's in either the set-up or adjust menu. Also the same with the Swash Mix, being that you will have changed the servo direction of rotation from stock settings the movement of the Swash needs to be adjusted also, again this is done in the transmitter menus. The Sub Trims have to do with the installation of the servos and done prior to the two steps above, sorry, the idea is you get the control arms as close to the 90 degree angle, to the servo case, then use the sub-trims to get them right at 90. As you may have been discovering, if you are new to all this and learning as we all are you may want to spend an evening doing it all over. First take a look the Finless Bob videos on the head assembly and set up, they are specific for a Trex but all the theory and procedures apply to the 400, basically the same or close, the rex has an additional adjustment for the flybar rotor top but the IDEAS are correct. Not only will you get it set up correct but as you are flying you will be more able to make the small adjustments with the knowledge you have gained. You'll need a pitch gauge, ball link pliers, Allen wrench a bit of grease or lubricant, Phillips screwdriver, patience and a few of the beverage of your choice.
O.K. I figured out what was wrong with my elevator travel. Long story short I moved the two pushrods balls in one hole closer on the servo horn. This will not look right when compared to stock which is parallel. The pushrods now look like an isosceles trapezoid with the narrow side on the servo horn. Evidently the HS65Mgs change the geometry somewhat.
Yes second hole is used, you always want to try and match that up as close to stock as possible. It may be a good idea to put the ball links on the inside of the elevator servos horn. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=877952
Servo center/limit to avoid binding:
The big gear (last on top) has notches that limit the servo travel. I was having binding after replacing a few gear sets the other day and noticed that. Maybe you could mention it, as if you don't setup the last gear correctly, the servo will not give you full travel, will bind and may fail.
1) open front cover
2) replace gear set if necessary,
3) place front cover temporarily
4) turn on receiver, center all sticks in throttle hold
5) turn off receiver, remove front cover again
6) remove first gear, and place it back making sure the notch inside the front cover is centered between the two limiters on the gear.
7) replace cover, enjoy. (From Dexter)
#13- Radio settings/curves (use curves at your own risk!)
Using a DX7 with the B400
DX7 ‘secret’ recalibration instructions :)
How to set gain on the DX7
More DX7 and setup help from Gino (see his blog)
Switch Spektrum radio to mode 1 or mode 2
Trim swtich fix
There is a design issue on the DX6i. The digital trims have failed on a number of transmitters. I do not know how common the problem is, it depends on how often you use the trims and how much force you use. Horizon uk will send out new trims under warranty. The digital trims sit on a small pcb and contain a small black plastic 'T' shaped rocker which rests on two pcb mounted switches.As you push the trim left or right the corresponding switch is depressed and you hear a click. The problem is that the black plastic rocker is in some cases not strong enough and the rocker can fully or partially break at a right angle join which seems to be the weakest place. This can be fixed at the flying field by swopping with a trim that you do not use while flying and of course you can always use subtrim. Some people have strengthened the trims with epoxy. The trims are easy to swop if you have a small screwdriver with you. Others have found that fitting a small fibre washer under the pcbs reduces the force on the rocker and has so far prevented the problem. So long as you don't panic if this happens to you while flying it is a minor issue. If you know it might happen then it won't. I swopped my tail/rudder trim with the throttle and strengthened it with 'hard plastic' glue... thanks Chris John
Online manual for Spektrum DX6i
Fixing the roller
But forget stock.. here are GOOD settings for learning and experienced alike
FIRST fly with 30% expo for aileron an elevator.. and go DOWN from there.
Flatspins addendum on the stock DX6i settings
ON REVERSE SETTINGS
Eflite's radios see all other manufacturer's servos as reversed. Here is where to put them to in case you have non-Eflite servos: ELEV - R, PITCH -R (All others N)
NOTE: This worked after I switched plug positions for the two L & R head servos on the Rx. You may have to try it.
ON TRAVEL ADJUSTMENTS
Because I have the GY401, I opted to leave Rudder travel at 100% and adjust it on the Gyro instead.
ON GYRO SETTINGS WITH THE GY401
Normal: 50%, Stunt 60% (good place to start)
ON SWASH MIX
Since I was just scrolling down the Tx menu and happened to see this function first, it would not let me make any adjustments! It seemed locked on INH! Once I figured out to set the SWASH TYPE first, THEN the swash mix could be set.
As soon as you get back to the main menu, BE SURE TO MOVE THE TROTTLE TRIM LEVER ALL OF THE WAY DOWN!! If you don't you will get a start up surprise. As soon as the Rx boots after you plug the battery in, the rotors will start spinning. Probably not fast enough to do serious damage, but fast enough to freak you out.
"Oops!" I fogot where to plug things in on rx !!!
AR6100e v1.6 update... they are version 1.2. Upgrade is version 1.6. Easiest way to check is look on the edge of receiver to see if 1.2 or 1.6 is there. Second way is, while radio and rx is powered (definitely want to hit throttle hold), move a stick in full one direction, quickly disconnect battery, move stick in full opposite direction, and reconnect. If you get instant control change and flashing light on RX, you have latest. If no flashing light and it take several seconds to get the change, you have old version. (Can possibly do with out stick deflections and just check for flashing rx light.)
Connections? AUX=PIT, GEAR= GYRO SIG yellow wire, RUDD=GYRO
Number of Teeth?
You can use either Align Trex 450 or Eflite B400 belt. The eflite belt 400T and align is 397T
a BRIGHT flashlight into the inspection port and look into the end of the tube
and you can see if the belt is twisted or not. (Sly)
Inspection and replacement
You have to take the TR shaft block in the frame out -- the 4 screws (2 on each side of the frame) just below & to the rear of the main gear holds this block in place. You will have to take the rcvr out as well (and the main gear too for when you replace the belt). You can then remove the TR shaft block down & out of the frame. I put Velcro on my rcvr so I can remove it easier later on (also to try & isolate it better from the frame).
Replacing it is a little trickier. Here are some tips I remember from when I replaced mine (unfortunately I didn't write it down -- going from memory here):
1. the belt is not stiff enough to push through the boom, so I used a long stiff wire with a hook at the end to pull/fish the belt through from the other side.
2. The belt needs a 1/2-twist in the boom, since the TR gear is horizontal. I can't remember which way you twist it -- what I did was move the belt by hand the same way the TR gear rotates to make sure the rotor moves correctly. Note that the TR gear moves opposite direction from the main gear.
3. When replacing the TR block, get as much slack in the belt out the boom end as you can, push the boom in the frame as far as it goes -- hopefully this gives you enough slack so when you slide the shaft block back up, the belt pulley just goes through the belt. I seem to remember using an Allen wrench to help me stretch the belt a little in the frame.
I don't know if it's easier to put the belt around the TR gear in the frame first, or do the TR end first. I did the TR first, but I often tend to do things bass-ackwards.
LUBE belt with Liquid Wrench (or equivalent) Silicone Spray from hardware/auto parts store! Most use this. Conditions and lubes the belt.. and dries so it will not attract dirt and dust etc. Helps with static.... some say FOOD SAFE silicone spray is best for not damaging the belt. (although I don't know where to get food safe silicone)
#16- FACTORY SETTINGS
Factory throttle curves are:
Norm: L = 0%, 2 = 25.0%, 3 = 50.0%, 4 = 75.0%, H = 100%
Stunt: L = 100%, 2 = 92.5%, 3 = 85.0%, 4 = 92.5%, H = 100%
Factory pitch curves are:
Norm: L = 35.0%, 2 = 42.5%, 3 = 50.0% (0 pitch) 4 = 75.0%, H = 100.0%
Stunt: L = 0.0%, 2 = 25.0%, 3 = 50.0%, 4 = 75.0%, H = 100.0%
Hold: same values as Norm pitch
Some of the setup list values are different from what is shown on Page 79 of the Spektrum manual. I will only list the items that are different from the manuals values:
Model Name: BLADE400
Reverse: AILE-R, RUDD-R (all others N)
swash type: CCPM 120*
Thro Cut: Position - INH
Timer: Down timer - 04:30
Now for the adjust list (Page 105).
D/R&EXPO: the "0" switch positions for AILE and ELEV are at 90% D/R. All EXPO's are at INH. Travel Adj: RUDD: <90% and >90% (note you have to move the rudder stick left & right to set the separate values).
Gyro: Rate 0: 66.5% Rate 1: 64.0%
Throttle and pitch curves as listed above
Swash Mix: AILE: -75%, ELEV: -75%, PITCH: +85%
Mix 1: INH
Mix 2: INH
Align 450SEv2 tail a go!
Head speed and super cyclic response tips
WHY go metal?
(Why go Copter/X cnc part)- "...to answer your question you can get more collective and cyclic pitch, run higher headspeed, more blade options, 4mm spindle vs 2mm stock spindle." (SkunkyMagoo)
Copter/X CNC parts... $100 for the head and tail.
Easy as pie to install. Just slide it on. (Skunkymagoo)
Skunky also says... (about how to install) Remove the copterx swash and put the copterx balls on the inside of the stock swash. Install the stock swash on the head. Slide it on and slide in the jesus bolt. Make sure you go over everything with loctite.
Good cheap bling CNC here!
Canopy painting: The spray paints from Tamiya and Pactra work well. Wipe down the canopy with alcohol or something to remove any mold release agents or oils from handling. Everything I've tried flakes a little (after a crash) when the gel coat (fiberglass canopies) is fractured. On the cheap plastic ones, the paints stick pretty well. You can try an adhesion promoter like this from Napa. (Paint Adhesion Promoter. Item#: MS 6246).
RE: CNC head stuff.... I would use the Copter X head, that's what I'm putting on my T-Rex. http://heli-bros.mybisi.com/category/Parts_24146_Page1.html 60 bucks vs easily twice that for the align v2 or eflite parts. I know someone has put a trex head on a blade 400 im not sure where i saw it though. CNC tail is like 30 bucks. IMO- JustinMoore!
The parts are Align TRex V2 compatible so if you can't get CopterX parts easily you can get the Trex stuff and it will fit just fine (more than likely you'll only need spindles and tail shafts) The jury is still out on the strength of the front part of the tail case, and seems to be the one weakpoint in the setup. You can get them from either heli-bros.com or ehirobo.com. Mon_T
Copterx Head and Tail installation and setup with PICS.
#18- General maintenance routine
One suggestion from xpower180 on HeliFreaks
Main Shaft out (checked for straightness / Cleaned / Re-Greased)
Main Gear out and checked (Bearings cleaned and Re-Greased)
Belt checked over
Tail checked over when removed (Cleaned / Re-Greased)
Swash checked for levels at low-mid-high
Feathering Shaft / Blade Grips checked (Spindle / bearings cleaned and Re-Greased)
All screws / bolts checked for tightness
#19- RUNRYDER blog and tips
My son and I have found some very simple and easy to do mods that have enhanced the flight performance of our B400, and we thought we would share them. While all of these mods are not intended for the new heli pilot, the more experienced pilots will find them useful. I did all these mods one at a time so we would know what worked and to what extent. All mods were done after we had plenty of time on the stock machine as well.
The first thing we did was make sure that everything from the servo arms, swash plate, washout arms, flybar cage and mixing levers were all level at half stick and zero pitch on the blades. Dot not use any sub trim on the servos and get the servo arms as close as you can by trying different splines, and use linkage to level everything else.
Next, put the flybar directly over the boom and make sure your head block / grips are 90 degrees to the boom. If it is not, grab the mixing base in one hand and the head block in the other, and give it a gentle twist to correct. If it is out, it won't be much, and this will correct any swash timing issue it might have. The pins in the head block will tolerate a small amount of twisting easily.
To optimize the tail servo / gyro we moved the link ball down one hole (third hole up from servo arm mount screw) and we were able to turn the gyro up from 70% to 78%. The tail is now holding very well, even in fast backwards flight and backwards rolls.
Next, I stiffened the head dampening. I ended up with a total of .025 thousandths a side. I basically added shims until the thrust bearings got notchy and then removed one. This stiffened the head up quite a bit and gave it a more locked in feel.
Next, I installed a set of T-rex 450 5 gram paddles. They did help with cyclic authority but it was a rather subtle change. Nothing drastic.
Next, I installed a set of Radix 325 blades. The blade change made a big difference. The Radix blades were about 10 grams liter than the stock wood blades and 10mm shorter. To use the Radix blades you must use the included grip shims. I also added an extra .025 shim per side that are not included but had left over from another set. The total shim thickness is .065 on both sides of a single blade. The Radix blades are more expensive then the stock wood blades, so I would not recommend them for the new heli pilot. The stock wood blades are high quality and do work very well.
I don't particularly care for the canopy mount rod and how it slides back and forth while trying to install the canopy. I initially installed heat shrink tube on each side to keep it from sliding, but have since had to split the frames and cut it off to slide the rod out. When I put it back together I used some thin wheel collars on each side and gently snugged them down. If you use wheel collars make absolutely sure that the servo arms and fore aft bell crack will clear them.
Next, I gave the belt a light coat of silicone spray to loosen the tail belt and allow it to run smoother and free it up. The silicone dries tack free and will not attract dirt.
Next, I installed a Thunder Power 2200V2 pack. The thunder power pack bumped the head speed up to 2900 which made the heli more nimble. I would not recommend the TP pack to new heli pilots strictly because of cost and the possibility of crash damage. The E-flite packs work very well, are cheaper, and work with the supplied charger.
Next, I flipped the grips and mixers. Flipping the grips puts the mixer on the leading edge and allows the blades to react quicker and more precise. Flipping the mixer gave us more direct input and more pitch / cyclic range. While flipping the mixer does make the heli more responsive, it does make it less stable. By doing this mod we have achieved 12+12, high unobstructed cyclic throws and still have some reserve throws. I was also able to move the points in the swash mix program to the 65% range. This allows the heli to respond to cyclic / collective pitch changes quicker for a given input. I definitely do not recommend this mod for the new heli pilot, but if you are an advanced pilot and want to play around, give it a try. I think you will find it really wakes the little heli up.
After doing all these very simple mods, our B400 is now crisper responding and has a more locked in feel. It will tumble, roll, chaos, piro flip all on axis and is more precise.
Horizon did not design the 400 to be this aerobatic right out of the box. They were more focused on giving the entry level to advanced pilots a RTF heli that was stable and flew well out of the box along with a heli that would be the next step from the CP and CX. I personally think they achieved their goal, but with just a little TLC, you can have even the next step beyond their design.
As with all mods, consider each one carefully. Some will benefit all pilots while others will only benefit the very advanced fliers.
Over the past couple of days we have been experimenting with tail servos. The servos we have tried are, stock of course, Hitec HS50, E-flite S60 and the JR 3400G. All of these servos have performed very well for us as tail servos in our T-rex / E-flite G90 combo (how I get the G90 to work so well is another story, and our focus is on the 110. Those that have seen it, can't believe it). Our G90 / HS50 combo has proven very reliable and great holding power in the past but has not proven the same with the G110. The 110 does not like the HS50 at all, and in fact, was all over the place during aerobatics. My son had to fly the tail to keep it from blowing out. Out of all the servos we tested, the stock has proven very reliable, if set-up properly, and works well with the 110. For hard core 3D, the 3400G has proven bullet proof, works well with the 110 and holds extremely well. I personally hate to run a servo that size / weight on a small heli so we are putting the stock servo back in. For us, the 3rd hole on the stock servo seemed to be the sweet spot and that is what we are going back to. If my son feels that the 3400G is worth the extra weight I will put it back in. The ultimate combo would be the 770 / 3400G but, again, I try to keep the weight down on small helis. For the money, I would recommend staying with the stock servo and if you want to upgrade, go with the 3400G. The 3400G fits the stock frame without mods. Money well spent either way.
We have also been trying different cyclic servos. Servos tested, stock, HS65, JR DS285. The best bang for the buck is definitely the stock servo. They are light, fast, have the same torque as the 285 and have a tight gear train. They are not as durable as a HS65 or a 285 but even with a few extra gear sets on hand it's a great servo for the money. My son was doing some pretty wild crack flips and rolls with the 400 today and he was very pleased with the stock servos over the others. Enough to say, we'll keep these in and carry spare gear sets.
It's very easy to add several ounces of extra weight by using different servos, gyros and tail servos. The result is a small heli that flies heavy and now is down on power. I hope this thread will allow the new heli pilots enough information to make educated decisions and not waste money. I'd rather see them use the saved money for extra batteries and be successful in flying helicopters.
We have ditched the Align paddles and gone back to stock permanently. They are one gram heavier put are crisper responding.
We are also experimenting with tail blades at this time to optimize the G110 / stock servo set-up. I think the rite set of blades will compliment the 110 / stock servo set-up.
PM questions are welcome and I will answer them as fast as I can. Jim...
I found this little Q&A session very informative.. thanks to GunnyGlow on RC Groups.
Originally Posted by Slyster
I have upgrade parts... new 401 gyro/HS65 servos etc but decided to learn the
B400 totally stock first.. learn the feel... even to the default
pitch/throttle curves. Did a good number of packs hovering... and I have a
few questions for the gurus.
Most likely a BEC will help....higher headspeed also
Originally Posted by Slyster
0-45-75-85-100 might be a good place to start.
edit..I wasn't paying attention. I'm not sure if this curve will promote longer flight times.....but it might help lower the ESC temp. Try it and see. (headspeed is scary at first.....but learn to love it!!)
Originally Posted by Slyster
Cover your finger with a plastic bag and rub a lil thin
CA on it....should be fine!! (balance your blades after this)
Originally Posted by Slyster
4- Any 'standard' preferred curves for hovering and FF for learning the B400? (I know I have 5 of them in my tips document)
Curves are really....personal. I bet everyone in here is using different curves. Learn what the curves are all about and experiment a lil.
Originally Posted by Slyster
5- Lipo... too late (for the safety of the Lipo) when the B400 does the power down thing?
no....I've hit LVC a number of times. I won't recommend
it....but LVC is there for a reason!
# 20- WHAT ABOUT MY HELICOPTER FUTURE?
New V3 Trex 500
"Apparently you can put a trex head on the Blade by shortening the main shaft and replacing a few ball links and balls with the blade 400 ones. Shouldn't be that difficult IMO. Im not sure but you might be able to use the solid trex shaft at that point as well, they come in a few options like harder alloys and titanium. (the b400 shaft is hollow) You can get a CNC Copter x head from helibros for like 60 bucks. Pretty much identical to the trex head. That will be my next upgrade for mine. Personally, i would get good with the blade 400 and step up to a Hurricane 550. Cheaper than the rex500 and much more stable. The difference in a larger heli is awesome. I loved my raptor, too bad i don't have the space to fly it at the moment"- Justinmoore12 on RC Groups
Good post about other future helis's
Another very good one... (Mostly Logo 400, Guai 550, Trex 500/600)
BEAM Now that Horizon Hobby Distributors!!
Has taken on the Beam line, no one has to worry about limited parts support now.
My Beam just gets better and better. It is still tight and quiet and precise. I just wish I had the skills to really wing it out... Jimmy on RCgroups.
T-Rex 500. Good prices here. http://www.t-rex-parts.com
# 21- Simulation
Sly's variant and canopy mod
Getting the DX6i switches to work in Clearview
Another Better B400 for Phoenix
Using your DX6i with Realflight
Better sound for Clearview.
If you listen to the B400 sound on CV.. it's the same as the HBFP!
Download this small file... I recorded the real B400 sound.
Replace the old heli.wav in models/blade 300 3D/wavdata with this new one.
Right click and save as... http://www.slyster.com/heli/heli.wav
Update- Stefan from Clearview will include this recording in the next version
Sparx tweaks for Phoenix... http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=69672
Good phoenix discussion...
# 22- Motor
Motor mounts us The motor mount to frame is 2.5x7mm (2.5x 8mm will work) and the motor to mount is 3x8mm.
(If main motor dies...)
Another drop in option
trex 3dx450 sonix new 3500kv brushless moto w/fan --- New golden version
A positive note on the STOCK motor...
FISHBOY77- I've been running the 2216-12 (10T pinon) with the stock ESC for some 250 flights without issue. In fact, the ESC doesn't even get hot. And I am doing a good amount of fff and hard vertical punchouts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8Xh0V2hi9o
The kv of this motor is only 3350 and I'm using a 10T pinion, so the headspeed stays pretty low, yielding a low current draw. Just because this motor CAN pull a lot of amps without frying doesn't mean that it will do so. Just don't overload it and you will be fine. Also, a switching BEC will help a lot with any heat issues.
Well, I went with the Scorpion HK-2213-14 instread of the 2221-8. The 213-14 seemed to be almost an exact replacement for the stock.
Stator Diameter 22 mm
Stator Thickness 13 mm
No. of Stator Arms 9
No. of Magnet Poles 6
Motor Wind 14 Turn Delta
Motor Wire 11-Strand 0.21mm (31 AWG)
Motor Kv3585 RPM / Volt
No-Load Current (Io)1.74A @ 10V
AmpsMotor Resistance (Rm)0.038 Ohms
Max Continuous Current 32 Amps
Max Continuous Power330 Watts
Outside Diameter27.9 mm
Shaft Diameter3.17 mm
Body Length25.6 mm
Overall Shaft Length47.5 mm
More options (another thread)
From Fishboy on the Scorpion 2216-12 (is it a drop in fit)
"Yup. The stock ESC is doing just fine with this motor. I think the stock ESC is good for what it is - a 25 amp ESC. The problem is that in the stock configuration (3800 kv motor with 10T pinion), it's overgeared. Combine this with a lack of a switching BEC and it's no wonder so many of them are overheating and going into thermal shutdown. The 2216-12 is a 3350 kv motor and I'm using a 10T pinion. So even though it can deliver more power than the stock motor, it will pull less current just flying around because the headspeed is lower."
Another opinion (Scorpion HK-2213-14 another drop it fit)
Needs NEW pinion.. 3mm.. but straight shaft. WILL work with stock ESC. I'm using the Scorpion HK-2213-14 with 10T along with a CC 35A (and a Sport BEC). I would say it's a darn near twin to the stock motor in terms of performance and battery use, but definitely not a performance upgrade. Bearings & shafts are easy to come by and the 2213-14 is cheaper than a replacement eFlight motor... Dynarace.
Helidirect and Esky brand replacement thread (eSky sounds awesome)
(Esky http://www.helidirect.com/product_info.php?cPath=44_392&products_id=2157 )
I also got the Scorpion 35A ESC, but thought that I would simply try it with the Stock ESC first.
I put on a new 10T thinking that with the Scorpion motor having a slightly lower KV rating the rotor speed would be safe. To my surprise it took off at just about the same throttle setting, and responded the same. I'm no expert flyer, so can't say if there are any real differences. The flight time was exactly the same and both motor and ESC were only warm, so no problem there either. I may still fit the Scorpion 35A ESC later as the Stock is only 25A.
I'm a happy bunny. It was lower cost than stock and you can get replacement bearings and shafts which will mean no further full motor replacements in the future.
If and when I become more expert and need the extra power, then I'll certainly consider the 2221-8, but realize higher cost batteries and lower flight times will then be the penalty. (Tx to Paul530a)
I'm using these in my stock motor and haven't had any problems after 40 flights. The motor seems to run alot cooler too.
Here's a video on replacing the bearings in a Scorpion
If you want the bearings for a Stock motor, then you can use Trex 600 Bearings 3x3x7mm, part number 683ZZ / H60086T which come in a pack of 4 for just a few bucks. I replaced mine, but the shaft was also worn and the motor still vibrated.
As for the Scorpion bearings, I suspect they're not much different in quality to all the other motor bearings. Motor bearings are real small and spin at a very high speed. I'm not surprised they don't last too long. I've seen some people talking about ceramic bearings which may be better, but they cost more.
Replacement motor and keep original ESC: Scorpion HK-2213-14
As a beginner around 250 -300 flights on my copter it started making a very ugly sound and landed it'self. Upon investagation it had puked the lower bearing in the motor. As a resourceful flyer I have become a fixit chep kind of guy as working on the enginering marvel that these are ,i'm is much into the mechanics as the flying although I prefer the flying. I found that the inner race was very easy to remove(after the almost invisable balls fell out), the outer race was Quite the challenge! With a dental pick I discovered there was nothing to grap onto or drive it out ,so I challeged a gunsmith friend of mine to pull the outer race. He tried to tap and pull the race with a 1/4 -28 bottom tap and discovered that it worked best on the alum just under the race. Put it in the lathe and couldn't touch the race(hand cranked) with a drill bit. So I brought it home and ground it out with a dental bit,drilled a hole in the alum. to bust it in 2. Now i'm ordering a bearing (2)from Boco Brearing (3x7x3) And I'll have an extra motor(bought a new motor) And the repair will be easyer next time but, I jones if I don't fly. It upset's me that E-flight dosn't make that bearing servicable as everything else seems to be. the upper bearing is just as bad but its not as tourqued upon as the lower. I'm 55 and this is my first real hobby and I love a challange. This fourm would be easyer with spellcheck!
# 23- Tricks. Improvise!
Fix your own bent shafts
Flybars can be used as:
- Great tool for changing over feathering shaft
- Cut it a bit and can be used as a metal cannopy mount rod (the grommets actually hold well on the thread)
Main shafts can be used as:
- Main shaft
- Great balancing device to find center of gravity (on blades)
- Emergency stick on struts in case you break the stock ones. (Brettboz)
Cheap O-rings...You can also use #60 O-Rings from home depot or a plumbing store. Pack of 10 for $1.50... Skunky
Bolts for main shaft and jesus bolt:
M2x12mm hex bolts
20 for 2.95 but there is shipping of 4.00 under 10.00
Ten for $1.50 M2x12SHCS
# 24- Blade grip mod.
Allows for more main rotor pitch
Thread here http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=70692
Another more recent
#25- SOME GENERAL MAINTENANCE TIPS
Here's a good list from Tail Boom
Check training gear and tie wraps for tear ‘n wear
Check blades incl. grips, hubs, mounting holes (every 80-100 flights at the latest), shrink wrap and rotation, paddles incl. set screws, belt tension, tear ‘n wear
Check blade and paddle tracking
Check electronics cables, antennas and connections for tear ‘n wear
Check gyro tape for tear ‘n wear
Check lubrication of:
- Bushings, swashplate control ball (Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant)
- One-way bearing, thrust bearings (Mobil 1 Synthetic Grease) (every 80-100 flights)
- Belt (Snap Silicon Spray; must be safe on rubber and plastic, e.g. food grade)
- O-rings (Associated Green Slime)
- Servo gears (white lithium grease or Tamiya Ceramic Grease)
Check every 30-60 flights:
Check servo gears and screws for tear ‘n wear (every 30-60 flights)
Check pinion, gears and pulleys for tear ‘n wear (every 30-60 flights)
Check pinion and tail drive gear mesh (every 30-60 flights)
Check head o-rings for tear ‘n wear (every 30-60 flights)
Check bearings (e.g., tail case), bushings, collar (every 30-60 flights)
Check main and tail rotor system and setup (every 30-60 flights)
Check ball ends on flybar frame rods for tear ‘n wear (every 30-60 flights)
Check every 80-100 flights:
Perform general inspection (every 80-100 flights)
Check canopy grommets tear ‘n wear (every 80-100 flights)
Check ball links and linkage for tear ‘n wear (every season)
26. RTF? What to check before you fly your new heli.
Better safe the sorry. You have been waiting all this time to fly it. Imagine only flying it for less then one minute and then back to waiting to fly it again. This time because you are waiting for parts. All this could have been avoided if you just took 15-30 minutes to look over the heli and make sure it it working good.
A complete setup is not required, but I would suggest you do it ASAP. When you get it fresh out of the box, I would do a few things before you try and fly it.
1. You are going to have to charge the battery. But before you do that, check the battery voltages. If you do not have a volt meter, you shoud consider getting one. But if you do not have one, you are going to have to rely on your charger. IF you do NOT have a volt meter, to not use that batter until you charge it.
2. While the battery is charging, go over your Radio and check setting. This will keep your mind off of "When will my Battery be done!". Look through these forums and you can find the "default" settings for the DX6i. Compare them to yours. There may be little differences, they do not have to be exact.
3. Also while the battery is charging give the heli a good "Look over" Look for any links that might have fallen off. Any parts seem loose. Make sure all the servo are connected to the Receiver and not about to fall out. Same with the gyro connections.
4. Battery is charged. Now Turn on your Radio and then plug the battery into the heli to get it fired up, hopefully not literally. Make sure the throttle/collective stick is all the way down when doing this. After everything goes thru its start up routines, do a Pre-Flight check.
-- Turn ON your Throttle HOLD ( check and doulbe check this 0
-- Verify your Throttle HOLD is on. Move the throttle/collective up and down. It should not start the motor. All of yoru servos should be moving though.
-- Put the throttle at center. Check for Level Swash, Level Flybar Padles.
-- Move the Right stick around. Make sure Stick Right = Swash RIght. Stick Left = Swash left. Stick Forward = Swash Forward. Stick back = Swash Back
-- Check taht the tail servo is moving by movign the left stick right and left.
Now you have made sure all your controls are working.
5. Turn off the throttle hold and start spooling up the Heli. Do this slow and at a good distance. You do not want to be too close to it if it wants to let one of its parts go. Yes it has been flown at the factory, but it as been tossed around by many people and on many trucks before it got to you. Stop increasing the throttle when the heli is just about to lift off and then lower it just a bit. Now look that is it runnign smooth and if you see any vibrations.
6. Now if you feel your skills are at this point, put it up in a hover. Do not take right off an head into a cirucit. Just bring it up into a hover and look again for any vibs. No vibs, move the heli around a little bit. Move it side to side. Punch the collective a little bit. Now if it all looks good to you go give it a fly.
I know this looks like alot, but really most of it is done while you are waiting for your battery to charge. The other things will take you 5 mins max.
After you get that Smile from flying your new heli wipped off your face, I would highly suggest sitting down and doing a Good and proper setup on the head and tail of the heli. The factor setup is not going to be Great. They just set them up good enough to get them off the ground. Nothing makes a heli fly better then a good setup,
27. Heli Tool set.
A newer thread
Original thread for updates...
Ball link pliers
Hex drivers - metric
Screw drivers - phillips - 000, 0, 1 : slotted - 1/16
Nut drivers - metric - 1.5 (2 of them), 2.0
Pitch gauge (see post 7332)
Digital scale (.01 gram)
Digital calipers (.02")
Dremel type tool
Needle Nose pliers
Swash leveler (see post 7332)
Flybar lock (see post 7332)
Rotor tack (see post 7332)
Laser pointer (see post 7332)
28. FLYING LESSONS... how to fly!
Flying lessons.... (Tx Fishboy77)
29. Adding bright LED's for fun and
orientation (and night flying!)
(a little confusing but it's all here)
If you go to the thread that that started where my pics are, there are a http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8357045&postcount=582 of posts I did for a http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8527785&postcount=603 couple of led projects.
I did two micro and two trexes (twice). I have http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=8628092&postcount=606 build pics http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9173699&postcount=609 wiring and http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9178670&postcount=611 links to superbrightleds and led calculators.
It's pretty much all http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9406964&postcount=615 there over a couple of months. Start at about #582 and go from there. I would go with the 8MM diffused, this is the build that was in in RCHELI. Yes, its plugged into the gyro channel using the open wiring spots since gyro only uses signal.
You need to wire in parallel, not series. Thanh's thread has a lot in it if you skim it, little tips. Give the led education links a look. Once you figure out the basics, it is very easy to do, and you will do it on every heli you have. Trust me, it helps visibility a lot.
(by Santini on RCGroups)
30. Painting the Canopy and blades...
I bought some black CF blades.. and they are VERY bad... for visibility.. so I painted them white... and WOW.. I had forgetten how much the stock blades tstood out! Don't spend a lot on money.. I used Rust-Oelum painter's Touch from Home Depot and it worked great! Very tough stuff acutally... but you WILL have to rebalance the blades after paintingl.... and I just painted the tops.. and 1/2 to to the tip. Bit MAN what a difference after trying some colors... white is BEST do NOT doubt it.
And after many attempts of painting the canopy or visiblilty.. what i found is BEST so far...Canpy blazre orange (as in deer hunting) and also painting the 'windsheid' black.... use Tamyia 'for polycarbaonte' for the canopy.. and sand first with a very fine sandpaper...
31. Winter gear...
Good R/C gloves from Tronix on helifreaks.
Radio and hand warmer
Trans-Mitt Winter Hand Warmer
Horizon Hobby Radio Warm
Direct Radio Warm link http://www.raydiowarm.com/new_mitts.htm
32. List of bearings and sizes.
Full list in PDF format
Are ceramic bearings worthwhile?
Great site with good bearings and heli bearing kits
Source for ABEC-3 rated bearings.. some will work for the B400
List of bearings, locations and sizes.
Thanks BennyTRD on Helifreaks
1115 - 3x6x2.5 - For Main Grips, and for all 4 tail belt related bearings.
1420 - 3x8x3.5 - Thrust Bearing. 1 for each Main Grip.
1442 - 5x10x4 - Bearings in frame for the Main shaft. 3
1441 - 5x8x2.5 - Elevator swash linkage in frame. 2
1468 - 4x7x2.5 - Bearing inside the tail slider. 2
1121 - 2x6x3 - Bearings for the Tail Grips. 4
1464 - 2x5x2.5 - For Belt Tensioner and I think for the Seesaw mounts in the headblock. 4
1433 - 17x23x4 - Bearing for the Swash. 1
3x7x3 - Stock motor... replace with Boca ceramics.
These should work
Original thread http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=97594
A VERY important tail bearings tip... (help vibration) Thanks Buildem33
As everyone knows the Blade 400 get tail vibrations I had the same problem with mine I would be going thru bearings really fast flying it pretty hard and I ended up even trying the t-rex 450 tail case since it has bigger bearings than the 400 does but those went out just as quickly so what I did is I put some ABEC 3 bearings in the tail case (stock b400 case!) and in the front tail drive pulley and I got 200 vibration free flights I would touch the tail once every 30 flights or so to see if any vibes had returned and when I finally felt some vibrations it was 200th flight and even then the vibes were not enough to hear or see you could only feel them so I put a new set of ABEC 3 bearings and its been 35 flights on the second set and so far and no vibrations. I also purchased some ceramic bearings for it and I will put them on when these Abec 3 bearings go out about another 165 flights then I can see how much longer the ceramics will last. This is by far the cheapest way to get rid of the vibrations on this heli.
These are the ABEC3 bearings (for stock b400 tail and frame belt pulley)
These are the BETTER ceramics to replace the same...
33. List of 3D moves (glossary!) and tips.
Go to 3D school!
What are those cool moves (that I can do ) called? :)
More 3D tutorials
34. The ULTIMATE Blade 400 setup
Check out this B400.. it's flight... it's specs.
This has to do with bearings so to not duplicate just thread here:
More from Buildem:
Originally Posted by Slyster
How long did it take you to learn to fly 3D like that? Did you take you
months to learn helis to the point of FFF and curcuits like most people? Or
Thanks Slyster I just turned 2 years of flying and I try to fly as much as possible lots of practice the key is to not be too much in a hurry and dont skip stuff first learn all your upright orientations to where you completely master them then learn your FF RF circuits then your inverted hovering all orientations then move to inverted FF RF circuits once you learn this first then it starts to go faster because when you start 3d if you mess up and no matter what orientation the move leaves you in if you know them all then you just fly out of it.
Originally Posted by BennyTRD
Great flying man. The 400 looks really good. Very little bog. Whats the setup on that?
I have the 65mg, 401 gyro, inolab tail servo CC35, stock motor 11t gov down to 2900 headspeed. What you hear is the head loading up with the gov this thing does not bog at all even if I give it full collective tic tocs.
Another EXCELLENT SETUP
B400 w/ Spektrum DX6i
3xHitec HS65MG cyclic servos
Futaba GY401 gyro
Futaba S9257 tail servo
Align 450SEv2 complete tail and Align belt
Either an Align 35A ESC or a BEC for the stock ESC
Get 4-8 ZippyH 2200mah lipos and a few Turnigy 6 chargers from Hobbycity... LOADS of stick time.