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Flight Stabilization Flight Stabilization


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Old 07-15-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
eatfire
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Default What's the difference?

I'm looking at flight stabilization for the first time, up until now I thought the Copilot was the only game in town. Now looking here I see different. So I was hoping someone with experience could explain the differences and pro's and con's of each. All I am looking for is a system that will prevent a crash not fly the Bird for me. I've seen the hands off hovering videos and I am not looking to do this. I have heard the Copilot II will have a programmable hard deck in the near future. I understand it would only activate once the copter got below the programmed hard deck. This would be great. Let me know your point of view.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:24 AM   #2
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From what I have read about CoPilot it can get confused by varying terrain, tree lines etc. because it uses temperature to tell up from down and so it didn't appeal to me.

I bought a used 500 that came with FlyMentor, it's a beater bird with enough vibration to make the skids buzz yet FM seems to work good on it. I only use it in the Balance mode because I'm not interested in "hands off" plus I think the vibration fuzzes the CCD anyway.

FM will not prevent a crash but it does tame the bird down, it gives you a little more time to sort out any orientation or dumb thumb moments. It's a little like a 45* flybar in that you need to always give it a little cyclic to keep the heli moving but you don't get the pendulum effect but if you take your thumbs off the cyclic for more than a couple of seconds it will go off someplace on it's own unless you have perfect trim. At least that has been my experience so far.
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:58 AM   #3
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I second 600bob. I've heard the same thing about CP II. I also have a FM and only use balance mode. I don't even have the CCD camera installed and it works just fine. One thing I tried to do was set it up on a tx switch as a bailout. I discovered that in a moment of panic, flipping the switch is the last thing I thought about, usually only after the heli had already hit the ground. Now I just leave it on but still have it on the switch.

I don't know what your skill level is but for me FM was a great learning tool and along with my "indestructible" mCP X the only thing that finally got me into forward flight. As I get better, I'm slowly turning back the gain on the FM.
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Old 07-16-2011, 04:28 AM   #4
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Ok time to put some facts up..

CPII does have a operational window in which it needs to function correctly..

But I have used it close to home as you'll see, and in areas where there are trees and buildings and it has functioned without issue.

There is a hard deck module in development..

As to how it performs...in certain area conditions.. you be the judge





Cost wise both the FM and CPII are close in pricing depending on what versions you choose.

One factor that is commonly over looked, is the CPII is designed for both fixed wing and helicopter..

And is compatible with most flybarless platforms on the market,

Flymentor is a gyro based platform, which is not affected by its surroundings, but is affected by extreme temperature changes and needs time to acclimate.
Vibration will affect its performance.
And to my understanding the software at present has issues operating on Windows Vista and Windows 7

There has been tries to use it as a flybarless unit on helicopters, but using it to simply hover or slow forward flight is about as much as you will get from it.
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:37 AM   #5
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And, as a 'user friendly' unit CP wins hands down. I bought each unit for 2 B400's the CP was up and running in an hour and I have yet to figure out the FM install so it's off and sitting in the box.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:07 AM   #6
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Granted Flymentor is a cheap Chinese knock off of the HeliCommand setup, but from my experience, it works. I thought FM was very easy to setup. It's also half the cost of the CoPilot II. I looked them up just now:$149 to $169 depending on combo package for CoPilot vs $70 for FM from HK.

Now, if money was no object? I'd go FBL and a SK-720, but the FBL argument is another thread.
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:40 AM   #7
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Not sure where all the ugly rumors come from but this video was sent to me by a CPII user:

FPV Stryker Flight with CPII InstalledFPV Stryker Flight with CPII Installed in the Alberta Rockies

http://revolectrix.fmadirect.com/videos.htm?videoid=24

For those of you who know or attend the NEAT fair in Peaceful Valley, NY, also know the flying conditions. We regularly fly the noon demos showing off the Co-Pilot. I would not miss it this year! [Hint]
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:30 AM   #8
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Very impressive video! Seems more like it was shot from a large glider than a Striker. One of the reasons I got the stabilization systems for my helis wasn't just for the learning. I'm toying with the idea of FPV. It's just too cool!
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:43 AM   #9
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Ok Howard..I'm going..I'm going...need to show off the birds
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Old 07-16-2011, 12:33 PM   #10
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Thank you all for the replies and advice. I will be looking at these two units with great intreast. As I said I am not looking for something that will fly the bird for me but to bail me out when needed. So far the CP II seems to have the edge that is if the next generation has a programable hard deck feature as it sounds like it will. The Flightmentor is worth a look and I am going to consider both.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:15 PM   #11
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One last question does a stabilization unit replace the gyro or does it work in conjunction with it?
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatfire View Post
As I said I am not looking for something that will fly the bird for me but to bail me out when needed.
If you are really looking for a "bail out" feature then CoPilot is the only low cost option, Flymentor doesn't actively bail you out it just levels the heli.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatfire View Post
One last question does a stabilization unit replace the gyro or does it work in conjunction with it?
Hi,

You still need your gyro. The CPII does not control yaw.

Last edited by Howard Matos; 07-16-2011 at 06:25 PM..
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:45 PM   #14
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I've been flying for about 4 year, useing Helicommands for 3 and Flymentor for about 2. I fly with them on all the time ( normal flying only ) and they have never failed to bail me out, I just let go the stick.
I think i can safeley say that if I used a bail out switch the heli would by buried in the ground before my brain told me to operate the bail out switch. But that may be my age. Hopeing that someone will come out with an auto bail out system that will work in conjunction with all stabilization systems.
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivor Hill View Post
I think i can safeley say that if I used a bail out switch the heli would by buried in the ground before my brain told me to operate the bail out switch. But that may be my age.
That's been my experience. I gave up on the bailout switch idea. In a moment of panic, I never think to hit the switch. Honestly, I'd probably never think to let go of the sticks either! I'd be too busy fighting to regain control!
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:55 PM   #16
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Position mode is usefull for very controlled lift off's and landing's, it's also a lot of fun. If you used it you would learn to let go the stick's.
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Position mode is usefull for very controlled lift off's and landing's, it's also a lot of fun. If you used it you would learn to let go the stick's.
I tried position mode a few times but never could seem to get it to work that well but it did work. After I replaced all the servos in my B400 I never bothered to reinstall the CCD (it was attached to the tail servo with double sided tape) and just used balance mode. The biggest problem I keep running into is orientation. The heli doesn't have to get very far away before I can't tell which way it's pointing. At least with the FM, some of the possibilities are removed from the equation.

I really need new glasses!
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Old 07-16-2011, 07:06 PM   #18
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I have the same problem thats why stabilization is on all the time, I find the scale heli's are easier to see.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Matos View Post
Hi,

You still need your gyro. The CPII does not control yaw.
Thanks for the clarification. This is the unit am considering. Time and money are the factors now.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eatfire View Post
One last question ...
Would you be surprised if I told you that you are a long, long way from your "last question" regarding flight stabiliazation?

The great thing is you have found one of the best places I know of for the answers.
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