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Old 06-09-2009, 06:40 AM   #1
Guntars
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Default Helicommand vs Copilot II

Hallo!
I am new to helicopters, but not to RC planes. I have ordered T-Rex 600 ESP for AP. Since I do not have experience in real flying (just Simulator) what do you suggest will be better? I had experience with FMA Copilot FS8 on my planes and it works great when there is good whether (temperature difference), but not in cloudy days.
How is Copilot II in cloudy days or just after rain?

I have additional questions:
- Is it correct that Helicommand in horizontal mode (let’s say 300 ft in sky) without constant stick input will dive? (Of course it will drift, but two persons in forum mentioned that it will uncontrollably dive and crush).
- How is Helicommand internal gyro for tail? Is it good for just AP work? (no 3d of course).
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:17 AM   #2
jrohland
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Default What's you budget?

Since you said you are getting a T-Rex I assume you have a limited budget for this AP project. Otherwise the http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=114855 would be your better choice.

I can't speak to the HeliCommand but the CPII has a vertical sensor option which can continuously calibrate to the current conditions. It still cannot activate in heavy overcast. You can use the Preflight menu to check the temp difference.
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Old 06-09-2009, 07:38 AM   #3
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Bugged is limited! So...I want to focus on Helicommand or FMA Copilot II. Well, I had some thoughts about Gyrobot 900 also, but perhaps in future.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:03 AM   #4
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I am using the Helicommand.

This is my limited experience with it but it will demonstrate my confidence in the product.

Only on the third flight of a FPV practise heli (Raptor 30) with the new Helicommand.

Between each flight I was able to tweak it a bit closer to what I wanted. So you must get the programming Cable and Software otherwise you won't realise its full potential.

The 2nd flight I had it stabilising back to level without being snappy and oscillating a bit after levelling. This what it was like out of the box hooked up to my particular heli.

On the 3rd flight I was hovering to maintain a fixed position at maybe 250 - 300 ft directly above me and tail into a strong 30 - 40 km/hr wind. The only problem which I will have fixed by the next flight is it was transitioning into Manual Flight Mode as my sticks were moving past the Stick Trigger point. (you can manually overide or have it happen when sticks reach a preset travel limit) This caused the heli to pitch suddenly and continue in manual flight backwards. I had the confidence to centre the sticks to regain a level flight attitude and then slowly pull the heli back into the wind to regain position. I was flying after sunset and I was at a height where I could only just orientate the heli visually. I wasn't flying FPV but had a helper viewing & recording the downlinked image.

To answer your question I would, and I have gone for the Helicommand. My reason is that I will be flying in conditions that would test the limitations of any Infrared system. eg. no horizon in sight. As with any system you buy you must know its limitations and fly, or choose not to fly, with these factors in mind.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:22 AM   #5
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I only have experience with the coPilot-II. It has absolutely no problems on cloudy days so far. If you have the vertical sensor it is even better. I have yet to register less than a 40 degree temp difference with it so far regardless of the weather. Full blown system with all sensors and computer cable costs ~$200.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:40 AM   #6
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I have both units running on my birds, both work well, they both have there own limitations,

IMO the CPII is well suited for learning to fly and gaining experience, the Helicommand is a more extreme unit, and well suited for its purpose, also will provide a stable platform for AP work if you so choose
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:01 AM   #7
Guntars
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Thanks for your inputs!!!

Is the Helicommand internal gyro good for learning and simple flying?

nightflyr, why lerning process with CPII is better? I had idea of using Helicommand position hold function during my learning process.
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guntars View Post
Thanks for your inputs!!!

Is the Helicommand internal gyro good for learning and simple flying?

nightflyr, why lerning process with CPII is better? I had idea of using Helicommand position hold function during my learning process.
Gyro works very well never had an issue using it, CPII setup is simple to use compared to Helicommand which is a bit more involved, but if you get past that of course helicommand can be used for learning also be aware postion mode is mostly that...you can slow fly in that mode also..but for FF....horiz. mode is a better choice
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:00 AM   #9
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Thank you for your help! I appreciate that highly!

Now some more specific questions:

1) What do you suggest is better for FPV?


2) rockjock3 , what is minimum distance for CPII to closest trees or middle building to operate normal (not trying to avoid)? When I used CP FS8 for planes I noticed that if the calibration was les than 2-3 servo ticks, stabilization was pretty bad. Do you think that CP2 with vertical sensor is more sensitive to temperature difference?

3) Mr Boombastic, if the Helicommand is calibrated to horizon position (lets say with auto calibration) …will 8-10 minutes time of flying impact internal gyro temperature, precession or other drift or even after 8 minutes helicommand “remember” saved mathematic horizon?

4) What about Helicommand internal tail gyro? Or do I have to forget it and buy gy401?
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guntars View Post
Thank you for your help! I appreciate that highly!

Now some more specific questions:

1) What do you suggest is better for FPV?


2) rockjock3 , what is minimum distance for CPII to closest trees or middle building to operate normal (not trying to avoid)? When I used CP FS8 for planes I noticed that if the calibration was les than 2-3 servo ticks, stabilization was pretty bad. Do you think that CP2 with vertical sensor is more sensitive to temperature difference?

3) Mr Boombastic, if the Helicommand is calibrated to horizon position (lets say with auto calibration) …will 8-10 minutes time of flying impact internal gyro temperature, precession or other drift or even after 8 minutes helicommand “remember” saved mathematic horizon?

4) What about Helicommand internal tail gyro? Or do I have to forget it and buy gy401?
I thought helicommand used a "mouse type" optical sensor to adjust for drift itself ?? and remove the need for a tempture difference
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Old 06-09-2009, 03:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kevo450 View Post
I thought helicommand used a "mouse type" optical sensor to adjust for drift itself ?? and remove the need for a tempture difference
The optic camera is used for position mode to hold a hover in one spot and limit drifting, but still uses the gyros to maintain stablity.

there are no thermo pile devices in Helicommand, CCD video and triple gyros
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Boombastic View Post
I am using the Helicommand.

This is my limited experience with it but it will demonstrate my confidence in the product.

Only on the third flight of a FPV practise heli (Raptor 30) with the new Helicommand.

Between each flight I was able to tweak it a bit closer to what I wanted. So you must get the programming Cable and Software otherwise you won't realise its full potential.

The 2nd flight I had it stabilising back to level without being snappy and oscillating a bit after levelling. This what it was like out of the box hooked up to my particular heli.

On the 3rd flight I was hovering to maintain a fixed position at maybe 250 - 300 ft directly above me and tail into a strong 30 - 40 km/hr wind. The only problem which I will have fixed by the next flight is it was transitioning into Manual Flight Mode as my sticks were moving past the Stick Trigger point. (you can manually overide or have it happen when sticks reach a preset travel limit) This caused the heli to pitch suddenly and continue in manual flight backwards. I had the confidence to centre the sticks to regain a level flight attitude and then slowly pull the heli back into the wind to regain position. I was flying after sunset and I was at a height where I could only just orientate the heli visually. I wasn't flying FPV but had a helper viewing & recording the downlinked image.

To answer your question I would, and I have gone for the Helicommand. My reason is that I will be flying in conditions that would test the limitations of any Infrared system. eg. no horizon in sight. As with any system you buy you must know its limitations and fly, or choose not to fly, with these factors in mind.

Mr Boom,

I also fly a Raptor 30 but thought it would have too much vibration for FPV or camera video?

Mel
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:17 AM   #13
Mr Boombastic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guntars View Post
Thank you for your help! I appreciate that highly!

Now some more specific questions:

1) What do you suggest is better for FPV?


2) rockjock3 , what is minimum distance for CPII to closest trees or middle building to operate normal (not trying to avoid)? When I used CP FS8 for planes I noticed that if the calibration was les than 2-3 servo ticks, stabilization was pretty bad. Do you think that CP2 with vertical sensor is more sensitive to temperature difference?

3) Mr Boombastic, if the Helicommand is calibrated to horizon position (lets say with auto calibration) …will 8-10 minutes time of flying impact internal gyro temperature, precession or other drift or even after 8 minutes helicommand “remember” saved mathematic horizon?

4) What about Helicommand internal tail gyro? Or do I have to forget it and buy gy401?
3/ The Helicommand doesn't calibrate to any Horizon. It does not use Infrared to determine temperature difference between the Horizon or Earth. I have not experienced any noticeable system variations due to external elements. After switching to Horizontal Mode (Level) it apparently with take a few seconds to improve its stabilisation. My heli is quite stable so I haven't noticed this yet.

4/ If you plan on doing 3D and notice any shortcomings of the internal tail gyro you would be at a level not to need a Helicommand. I use top end Futaba Tail Gyros in my 3D ships and am quite happy so far with the one in the Helicommand. If using for Aerial Photography I have found the tail to lock in quite well in backwards/sideways flight. That third flight I did get tail drift but it was a trim problem as the speed of drift was very slow and consistent in one direction. So that was in 40Km/Hr wind where tree limbs were moving in the sheltered takeoff area. Not sure how many would tackle AP in those conditions. I know most guys are grounded for regular flying in anything over 25Km/Hr.(No, not absolutely everyone).

Save your money until you have tweaked the Helicommand Gyro. If it doesn't do the job then I would suggest a 401 mightn't be good enough either.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navigator53 View Post
Mr Boom,

I also fly a Raptor 30 but thought it would have too much vibration for FPV or camera video?

Mel
Sorry. A bit off topic.

The Raptor 30 I am using is 'disposable'. It was built solely for the intended purpose of practising FPV. Better to waste a Rappy 30 than a Bergen fully fitted out.

My video, whilst low res through the 2.4G downlink (later the 5.8G will be substituted) and recorded on an older DVR camera, was fairly smooth, especially considering the weather conditions. The camera was also solid mounted under the front electronics tray. If it wasn't for the smoke trail going horizontal you may not have picked the high wind.

The only vibration problem I encountered was a low headspeed wobble on descent. I fiddled with the throttle curve DOH! I also chose to keep the woodies on to aid in stability. Attention was paid to balancing down to 1/100th of a gram. The headspeed was at the top end for wood blades though(1700-1800 Rpm). Needed this to get it off the ground with the rich break in needle settings and payload weight. I will be dialing it back a bit later.

Strap a camera to yours and see. Vibration usually comes down to attention to detail in assembly/balancing or can result from wear.

Damn fuel residue was the biggest hassle.
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Old 06-10-2009, 03:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by nightflyr View Post
The optic camera is used for position mode to hold a hover in one spot and limit drifting, but still uses the gyros to maintain stablity.

there are no thermo pile devices in Helicommand, CCD video and triple gyros
Forget using the Position Hold mode. The system is that stable you shouldn't need it.

If you are learning you shouldn't really fly in a wind that you can't normally cope with. If you inadvertently put the heli up too high (a few metres) the system won't work anyhow and then you WILL have to manually compensate for wind.

So I can't see a great deal of benefit from the Position Hold feature, but sure someone might.

I think I said before that you need to be aware of your systems limitations and should have included to know your own. (not directed at you Nightflyr - general comment only).
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mr Boombastic View Post
Forget using the Position Hold mode. The system is that stable you shouldn't need it.

If you are learning you shouldn't really fly in a wind that you can't normally cope with. If you inadvertently put the heli up too high (a few metres) the system won't work anyhow and then you WILL have to manually compensate for wind.

So I can't see a great deal of benefit from the Position Hold feature, but sure someone might.

I think I said before that you need to be aware of your systems limitations and should have included to know your own. (not directed at you Nightflyr - general comment only).
no offense taken...lol, just passing the info along when I can
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Old 06-10-2009, 04:36 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mr Boombastic View Post
Sorry. A bit off topic.

The Raptor 30 I am using is 'disposable'. It was built solely for the intended purpose of practising FPV. Better to waste a Rappy 30 than a Bergen fully fitted out.

My video, whilst low res through the 2.4G downlink (later the 5.8G will be substituted) and recorded on an older DVR camera, was fairly smooth, especially considering the weather conditions. The camera was also solid mounted under the front electronics tray. If it wasn't for the smoke trail going horizontal you may not have picked the high wind.

The only vibration problem I encountered was a low headspeed wobble on descent. I fiddled with the throttle curve DOH! I also chose to keep the woodies on to aid in stability. Attention was paid to balancing down to 1/100th of a gram. The headspeed was at the top end for wood blades though(1700-1800 Rpm). Needed this to get it off the ground with the rich break in needle settings and payload weight. I will be dialing it back a bit later.

Strap a camera to yours and see. Vibration usually comes down to attention to detail in assembly/balancing or can result from wear.

Damn fuel residue was the biggest hassle.
Own a Bergen?.. was just looking @ the Tazer 800....think I'll be added that to the fleet real soon
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Old 06-10-2009, 05:18 AM   #18
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I know that helicommand do no see the horizon. I was asking about “mathematical” horizon the heli remembers. Since it relays on 3 gyros, there always will be cumulative error (because of temperature change and so on…). So is this error noticeable after 8 minutes? Will it effect remember mathematical position?
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:32 AM   #19
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I think there is a bit more to it than Gyros. You would need to ask someone who has more technical knowledge on its workings.

I have to trim the Heli manually (not enough radio channels) and was a bit sloppy in the first flight and it tended to wander off. There is the Auto Trim option that requires several seconds of stable flight. If you have a read of the instructions you would find that the modules orientation mounted to the heli can also affect its directional stability. Comes back to attention to detail I guess. You must also be careful not to orientate heli in unusual attitudes after initialisation and before flying. Something to to with un-natural forces that are not associated with flying.

Since spending a minute to trim in calm conditions I have found no variation between 'trim' from start to finish of flight.

Anyway there is a few dollars diference between the different units. I have used the version 1 Co-Pilot on a plank and was happy with the results. Guess it may come down to whether you want to spend the money twice and then some. Read the instructions on all units and work out how it applies to your application and find the weak points. This is what you'll notice in the air.
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:40 AM   #20
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Own a Bergen?.. was just looking @ the Tazer 800....think I'll be added that to the fleet real soon
You must live in the land of plenty my friend.

Options/support are limited Downunder.
But everything we do have makes others envious.

Extremely happy with Chris's product support and I hadn't even bought one at that time.

My version of a good heli is any one that firstly doesn't fall out of the air. Everything else is a bonus.
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