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Atom 500 Compass Atom 500 Model Helicopter Discussion


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Old 04-18-2012, 06:46 AM   #1
brent.downey
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Default New 500 owner

Hey folks.
Yesterday I received my brand spankin new Compass Atom FBL with the Align 3GX from rc711... but they forgot to pack the ESC! No problem though as they have already shipped the missing ESC.

Has anyone here built the same kit from rc711? I'm having a little trouble with the manual with little inconsistencies with self tapping bolt sizes for servo mounting, etc. I know I will eventually work it out but it's frustrating... I guess because the servos that came with the kit are SPRING RC servos. Anyone familiar with those?

Also, doe's anyone know if I can use the Align 3GX usb module to update the firmware on a 3G unit?

Anyhoo, can't wait to get this thing in the air. Please let me know if anyone has any experience. THANKS

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Old 04-18-2012, 03:34 PM   #2
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Ha, my kit (from RC Heli Canada) also arrived yesterday. It's mostly built but I'll be waiting for a while to get a controller and receiver.

The mythical M2.5x10 self-tapping screws (for the aft swash servo) listed in step 1 of the version 2.0 manual were missing from my kit as well. I used the M2.5x16's to install that elevator servo (they were the only ones that would work with the spacers) and will work out something for my BLS251 rudder servo. Jeff tells me that compass doesn't even have a p/n for these items, and I can't find them in the version 2.5 parts list that at the back of the manual.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:35 AM   #3
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Cool!
I managed to install all of the cyclic servos last night but when I got to the rudder servo setup, the placement of the holes are too close together for the servo nuts provided.
I'm not sure if I should just find something else to use in place of the servo nuts or drill more accurate holes in the frame...(I don't want to do that).

Also it was a nightmare to get the elevator servo into the frame. I had to loosen up the back of the servo case to allow the wire leads to go through the servo mount hole.

Did you go over your flybarless head yet? I'm definitely re-assembling it as something looks off... one of the grips are really stiff and the spacing on the right grip to the head looks smaller than the left.

She is gonna be a beauty tho... love the new canopy colors on mine. Different than on the website.

Thanks for the reply and let me know how it goes.

Here's a video.



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Old 04-19-2012, 04:37 PM   #4
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It is a beautiful heli and mainly a pleasure to work on. The swash servo installation (Hyperion DS-16FMD in my case) was a PITA due to the width of the servos being a bit narrow for the holes in the frame. The airframe is almost ideal from my perspective, and it will be even better once I install the stretch kit.

Getting the elevator servo into its slot is like a good puzzle: seems like it's impossible but they will go in with the correct sequence of moves.

The servo nuts are for full-size rudder servos (like my BLS251) and the holes line up properly with the servo and the cuts on the left hand side of the frame. I suspect you're trying to install a smaller rudder servo, which would go into the hole on the right hand side of the frame, and without the nuts.

My FBL head arrived with silky smooth grip action (talk about heli porn), but I still need to rip it apart and install the KBDD dampeners I bought for it. You really need to open yours up and see what's wrong with it. Setting up this head was such a joy compared to the torture I go through getting flybars just right.

Also, the ball links are extremely tight and need a major reaming with the sizing tool. I'm not sure if you've done this before but you need the tool and it goes in from the side with the slightly larger opening. I did this without any ball link pliers and it was extremely difficult to push the tool into the links for the main blade grips.

The only other thing I noticed is the manual isn't clear on the mast collar installation - it needs to go under the upper shaft bearing block, and it has a small step which needs to face the bearing race.

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Old 04-19-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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Brent,

Welcome!

There are a great many of us here who will be happy to assist you, sir.

I used a full-sized tail servo in my Atom, to the spacing on the servo nuts worked out on mine.

To get the front cyclic servos in, I removed the aluminum brace/tube between the side frames in front, installed the servo, then re-installed the aluminum piece.

I mounted my elevator servo from the outside of the frames (my machine was pre-production, so I had no instructions to go by. If necessary, you can loosen the screws holding the side frames together, on one side, and spread the frames slightly to get the servo in.

I agree with xspare, above, who suggested that you take the head apart and make sure all is well. I always take these all the way apart, anyway, and re-locktite things.

By the way, this is already a pretty hot helicopter so there is no reason to put it on the stove (as shown in your video, above).
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Old 04-20-2012, 06:43 AM   #6
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Ha ha!
I like the stove comment!
You do realize that my apartment is that small that this is my only viable heli workspace! LOL

I got a lot done last night minus lock tight on everything that needs it (final step) as well as re-doing the head. Setting up the tail was a breeze compared to most everything else I put together, and I should get my ESC is a few days to continue setting up servos and pitch, etc.

I picked up the JR ball link reamer at the local hobby shop yesterday and dealt with those also. I have a question...

Do I really need the elevator servo spacers because I could not find the two m2.5 X 10 self tapping bolts in the kit?

xspare can you post a pic or further explain the mast collar? I Installed the main shaft last night with the collar just above the top bearing block. I noticed there was a lot of play in the main gear after that and it seemed odd to me. I think I know what you mean though.

Also one more thing... The manual refers to bearing retainer for the bearing on the tail pulley bearings. I Googled bearing retainer and the only thisnk I could really come out of it with was... some people use blue locktite as a substitute...? Any ideas?

Thanks for all the support guys.

By the way xpare, I used to live in Halifax for 6 years from 96 - 02 and I miss it.
Windy as hell most the time.

CHEERS its Friday.
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Old 04-20-2012, 08:39 AM   #7
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"Do I really need the elevator servo spacers because I could not find the two m2.5 X 10 self tapping bolts in the kit?"

Mine does not have any. If the arm on the lower of the two front servos touches the main gear or pulley at its lowest setting, you will need the spacer.

"xspare can you post a pic or further explain the mast collar? I Installed the main shaft last night with the collar just above the top bearing block."

As I recall, the mast collar goes underneath the upper bearing block, not on top of it. I will have to look at mine, again (been over three years since I built it).
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Old 04-20-2012, 09:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ah Clem View Post
As I recall, the mast collar goes underneath the upper bearing block, not on top of it. I will have to look at mine, again (been over three years since I built it).
Correct. It's that way on all the Compass helis. There is a hole drilled in the frame for tightening the collar. It's a PITA sometimes, but it does allow for a lower swash position than if the collar was on top.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
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Excellent guys thanks!

Collar under the main gear will sort out the main gear movement.
Another question....
What would you recommend for de-greasing the head parts when you rebuild?

I have left over Align grease from another build.

CHEERS
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #10
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I would degrease any fasteners or threaded holes, so that locktite can adhere properly.

I would make sure that the dampers are lubed with silicone grease (I would recommend KBDD Dampers while you have the head apart). The thrust bearings should also be greased.

The thrust bearings in the tail should also be greased.
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Old 04-20-2012, 11:29 AM   #11
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Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2012, 12:46 PM   #12
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Brent,

Keep asking questions as you need to, sir.

These are very good questions and it will help you and other new Atom pilots!
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:37 PM   #13
brent.downey
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Thanks Clem, appreciate it.
I managed to put the collar in it's right place earlier and will be taking apart the head tonight to degrease and re-assemble.

On another note. I have the compass trackx head as well for my t-rex550 which is soon going to be airborne.... I hope.

I just got back from a few flights on my 450. What a great evening!
Even managed to impress the girlfriend... even though I was puckering
the whole time.



b
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:06 PM   #14
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Click on attached pics for larger view - they show Hyperion DS-16FMD servos installed on the starboard mount (right hand) swash servo:



and the aft mount (elevator) servo, using M2.5x16 self-tapping screws:



Note that the flanges are narrower than the spacing of holes in the frame. On the lateral servos (port & starboard) this results in the center of the screws lining up with the outermost edge of the servo flanges, and on the aft servo it results in the M2.5x16 screws being splayed outwards if using the spacers. I found the spacers resulted in better alignment of the ball with the swash, for these particular servos.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:51 AM   #15
brent.downey
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Thanks for the Pic's xspare. Really appreciate it.

I de-greased the head and re-assembled it last night.
I'm going to remove the elevator servo a re-mount based on your pics.
Still waiting on my ESC....

What flybarless setup are you using?

B
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:40 AM   #16
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I fly a Hitec Aurora 9 so am forced to use conventional receivers. Skookum Robotics has quality products at a reasonable price, so I'm leaning heavily towards buying Canadian.

The new SK-540 (not quite on the market) seems like it's going to be less fussy to operate than the existing SK-720 unit, but the self-levelling capability of the SK-720 really opens up my options for FPV & AP aspects of the hobby. Decisions, decisions...

I'm planning to go with a Castle ICE100 ESC (same size & weight as the ICE75) so I can eventually wring the living $%!^ out of this heli once stretched and running a stupid fast pinion.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:08 PM   #17
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Ha ha! Crazy.
I'm actually into the fpv somewhat. Still learning...I have a few quad copters as well as a tri that I built and love getting GOPRO camera footage.

That SK-540 gyro is quadcopter capable? Cool.
I have a tarot flybarless that I am currently trying to set up on my 550 with the trackx head.

NO GO so far, can't even get the gyro to initialize.

Where do you fly in Hali?

CHEERS
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:01 PM   #18
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I had been flying at Shannon Park with a local MAAC chartered club but I haven't been there in a while as I don't feel very good about it. The club has a very strange and questionable status, which leads to some weird political/cultural problems.

Sadly, I haven't been flying much in the past year. Mostly fixing stuff, simming, a little mCPX/mSR action in the house, and some local fields & sloping.

I am quite excited about the prospects for the return of the Shearwater Flyer's club at CFB Shearwater. The club was shut down following 9/11 but I'm told that there is a lot of official support to reopen it. It's believed that we would have year round access to the condemned 9000' x 200' military runway if this is approved. People are already making plans to bring turbines in from far and wide.

If Shearwater doesn't come to be then I'd like to try Shubie, they have some great people out there and it's nice country.
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:29 PM   #19
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Yea I know all about club politics. I fly with the MAAC club out of St. John's here on the Island, (my first year) and a lot of them seem to be not liking the heli's, or anything that don't have a wing attached to it. Most of them are older guys and I guess their roots are with the airplanes. I actually got a bit of flack a few months back just for a test hover of my 500 at the gym.

I used to live on Belmont right next to the Shearwater base. Used to go to the airshow every summer.

Good luck with the club space. Having lots of space to fly is a big deal.


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