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300X Blade 300X Helicopters Information and Help


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Old 07-06-2012, 08:43 PM   #1
jamesb72
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Default Blade 300X setup tips and tweaks, throttle curves, battery fittings, 250 comparison

[Just tidying up some of my posts from a few threads into one, to make it more useful]

My Blade 300X arrived a few days late (Weds 3rd July 2012) due to getting messed about by a dodgy online seller I'd pre-ordered from back in April, I ended up ordering 300X from my local model shop, who dispatched within an hour and was delivered next day - lesson learned there!

First impression unboxing is its much bigger than my trex 250, the tail box especially seems almost 450 size, the lack of one way bearing is a surprise, but not a big deal, not like it will auto anyway and it simplifies the drivetrain, I like the single gear belt pulley concept, and funny it has a carbon tail rod but with a guide, which I'd not expect to be required, just took a couple of pics.





Interestingly manual comes with 4 seperate addendum sheets.
1. stating not to use 100% flat throttle curves (an error in manual it says causing wooden blade vibrations), but 100-70-60-70-100 and flat 75 for idle1/2 and bizarre normal TC 0-25-50-60-70.
2. showing copper bushing inside main grip bearings which is missing from diagram in manual
3. advising to download AR7200BX manual online before flying
4. another setup change for DX6i with elev-R gyro-N in bold, so I assume these were reversed in the original manual.

I setup exactly as per manual in my DX8, bound the AR7200BX, I checked and zero pitch is midstick, there seems a lot of pitch range (just by eye its a lot more than the 12deg I run normally, will check with gauge another time) but I figured I should try it out of the box before messing about.

I checked directions/gyros all correct, (quick video below as its super critical this is correct and seems to be a cause of confusion with other FBL units)


I then spooled up into a perfect hover, the slow start is very nice, cyclic felt rock solid, tail feels good, tracking is just about spot on.

The throttle curve is a bit slow for headspeed at point 3 but other than that it flew very nicely for a first hop, I did flick into idle1 and do a flip which was very tidy, but will leave anything else until daylight !

Also, just as a test I flicked throttle hold from about 6" up as I always do for landing, and it settled perfectly gently, so the lack of one way wasn't really noticable at all, the motor/drivetrain are very free so it spools down hardly quicker than my Trex 250.

The headspeed sounded pretty conservative to me with throttle curves from manual (certainly compared with the youtube video's from horizon pilots which sound like 100% flat with wooden kit blades on) the IU2 flat 75% on addendum sheet is bizarre, I'm guessing they just wanted something simple to get away from the flat 100 in the manual, I'm not a fan of throttle curves which don't start/end at 100% as they just suggest you have the wrong gearing to me. Managed a couple of flights in daylight, and have tweaked TC up to

normal 0-60-60-75-100 - 3240rpm headspeed
Idle1 100-80-67-80-100
Idle2 100-80-75-80-100 3480 rpm headspeed (I had guessed 3500 by ear so pretty close)

turnigy optical tach so I'm pretty condident is accurate - not an iphone app.

Flies fine like this, it still drops headspeed slightly in flips/rolls, but its OK, cyclic is not that fast at 100 rates, so I went to 110 on rates, and 20% expo, its fairly soft around centre so much less expo needed than I normally use for my preferred feel.

I flew two 4minute flights of hovering around and very mild 3D flips and invert, and put back 600mah and 650mah (Cellpro 10S), so 5min timer should be fine for my flying to keep well under 80% rule.



Grabbed a quick video flying, a bit wobbly as I was rushing, you can see the throttle hold landing at the end is perfectly fine even with no oneway and spool down is not crazy fast.


I have 3 1300mah batts from hobbyking all fit/fly fine (I soldered a female EC3 to male XT60 adaptor so I don't have to mess with wiring), they are about 10mm longer than the original but the same width/height, I've flown a few flights on each lipo, but too early to tell any difference between them in flight, I bought a mix in case the lower C packs went soft over time, rather than buy all the same:

Turnigy 1300mAh 3S 30C Lipo Pack = $8.36 (7.11 with postage)
Turnigy nano-tech 1300mAh 3S 45~90C Lipo Pack = $11.88 (10.10 with postage)
Turnigy nano-tech 1300mah 3S 25~50C Lipo Pack = $8.87 (7.55 with postage)

With timer set to to 4m30s hovering flips/invert (very mild 3D) I recharged 698/732/770mah, so could probably go 5m30 and still be well within 80% rule, I will probably take it easy until the lipos have a few more cycles and then stick to 5minutes.



The 300X canopy was very tight even with the standard E-Flite battery (due to wires not lipo itself), so I've also drilled new canopy holes 10mm further back to get canopy on easily without splitting it (4.5mm drill bit). I also put a drop of silicon oil (RC car shock oil) on the grommets, which makes them much easier to slip on and off, I generally never have to do this again as by the time this dries/wipes off the grommets have stretched a bit and are fine.



The ESC to battery wire was chafing on cable tie inside frame (it came like this), so I've snipped cable tie wriggled the plug outside the frame and cable tied it alongside the outside of frame, so its still held away from the AR7200BX not to transmit any vibration, but won't chafe and is easier to get canopy on over the battery wire which now pushes out the side instead of being curled up in front of lipo. The HK packs came with XT60 connectors which I really like, so I bought an EC3 female and made a short adaptor to XT60, so I don't have to mess with ESC.




My 300X came with dial2 (cyclic response) turned way up to 75%, I've turned it back to 50% which I prefer for my sports/gentle 3D flying, also turned dial3 down slightly it was about 55% and tail would bounce on piro stops, its probably about 48% now and is fine.

I can't decide if they test fly each heli and tweak settings, or they just have a standard set and maybe my tail is slightly tighter than others so I got the bounce (I know others say dial3 settings are 75% with no tail bounce) ?

I guess a lot of the parameters are down to individual preference, so people can tweak them easily, the thing I really like about beastx over the 3G/3GX is the settings are all in simple steps and you can actually feel a difference between them, I found the BeastX tuning guide very straightforward to follow and easy !

Another tweak I've done is trim the hook off the bottom of tail fin with a sharp knife - I fly on grass and it very easily hooked into the ground and pulled tail down on takeoff ! I need to find some slightly taller/raked skids I think, as the tail fin is basically touching the ground with heli on ground, which isn't ideal, even with the shims removed from tail blades so they are free to move (in case they catch the grass on landing, they won't load belt/pulleys too much).



I checked tail setup in rate mode and had to turn the tail rod in 1.5 turns to get it to hold, probably not necessary but I'm old fashioned like that.

I just flew a couple of flights back to back with my Trex 250SE super combo with Align FBL head (non-DFC), CC25 ESC and AR7200BX.

The 300X feels much larger in the air (and noisier), and has much more punch/power, it is also more stable both hovering/flying around and through flips/rolls. Downside is the skids are too low, the tailfin touches the ground even on hard surface, so flying off grass is awkward.

The Trex 250 feels much smaller/quieter in flight, and has a lot less punch as expected (I'm on 15t pinion with hobbyking lipos), it darts off much more rapidly to cyclic control inputs (I am struggling to do 3 forward flips in the mythical 15ft box) but is more stable in a breeze (as if its a higher disc loading, even though it isn't), it just feels like a heavier smaller helicopter in flight, and definitely feels like more of a handful.

I think a lot of this is due to the trex 250 servo geometry not being ideal for FBL/BeastX (can't get blue light at 6deg for example), where the 300X has been designed for BeastX/FBL from the start, so no doubt has perfect geometry designed in.

Pics to try to show the size difference is pretty significant, and in the air, the 300X feels about twice as big as the 250 !







Another update 8/7/12: Was thinking about frame rumoured to be weak, also the lack of tail clearance and I came up with an idea which might help with both, this is a well known mod for Trex 500 as in even a minor a crash the skids break the tabs off the bottom plate or break the skids - the fix is to remove the screws and use small zip ties to attach the landing gear, this way its perfectly secure, but in a crash the zip ties will snap and avoid breaking either the gear or the tabs (I confirmed this on the 500).

So I've removed the 4 screws holding the skids on, and drilled holes out to 2.5mm (they were ~2mm) so I can use small cable ties to attach skids to the frame - I also used spacers on the rear mounts to lift the tail up so it clears the ground (as I fly off grass), you could use anything to space this out, washers, a piece of servo arm etc, I looked in my bag of bits and found some hard grommets so have used those - I'm very happy with this, both as it gives me a useful 15mm extra tail clearance, and think theres a good chance it will avoid breaking skids or frame tabs in a crash as the skids will break away hopefully reducing energy for everything else to deal with.








I bought some cheap 246mm carbon effect honey bee CP blades on ebay to try out, they came today, and fit perfectly (have 6mm roots which matches the kit blades, the Honey bee blades have slightly larger bolt holes, 2.3mm maybe), they are slightly lighter (15.38g vs 17.6g std wood blades) but no noticable difference in flight.

These 'carbon effect' blades appear to be foam cores with fibre glass outers, with carbon effect finish/paint (I haven't cut them open to confirm, but am 99% sure they are), the kit woodies actually feel slightly stiffer (not much in it). The 'carbon' blades are shorter and slightly wider than the originals - 235mm hole to tip (they must measure the whole blade), the original woodies are 245mm hole to tip as advertised. They are probably worth having as cheap spares, but not an improvement I'd say, and certainly wouldn't run these at higher head speed than the woodies.



UPDATE 10/7/12 - back to back video comparing Blade 300X with Trex 250SE AR7200BX

back to back comparison between the Blade 300X and my Trex 250SE super combo with non-DFC Align FBL head, CC25 ESC and AR7200BX just in basic flying.


I fly mostly on a green outside my house, the 300X is just about at the limit of size to fly there, the 250 is perfect for chucking in my helivol briefcase with DX8, 7 lipos and charger for when I'm away for weekends and want something to grab from the car and fly if its a nice day and there is some open space nearby.

Main thing which 300X wins on is value, UK price is 90 more than a bare AR7200BX, which is less than cost of servos/esc/motor so your basically getting an RTF heli for free - can't argue with that !

Assembly and maintenance on the 250 is very fiddly (often requiring a magnifying glass if you have less than perfect eyesight), it has 0.9mm and 1.3mm hex screws which are not the best quality, so hiqh quality allen drivers are essential, the ball links are very tight from the kit, so a 3.5mm ball reamer is required and some fiddling around to get all links smooth, placing electronics is awkward, and tail causes a lot of people issues, I run very short servo arm and cut down blades and have never had problems with tail but its not perfect.

Working on the Blade 300X is MUCH easier, all the screws have 1.5mm allen headed bolts or Pozi head self tappers and so is much easier to work on, no issue with electronics placement as its done by a nice person in china before you buy the heli, and the tail certainly seems fine to start with. I worry about the durability of the plastic parts over time/wear, and how tough it will be to crashes, I suspect not very, but parts will be cheap and easy to find anywhere, certainly replacing the frame on the 300X (which I would expect in a big crash) looks to be pretty quick and easy, and as most parts are plastic, they will either break or not, so much simpler to repair without tracing bent metal parts which can be very frustrating.

UPDATE 13/7/12

I bought some rit dye in lemon yellow (inspired by dreitmans excellent post, and dyed the tail fins/blades to improve visibility - I used the new bits from my 2nd 300X but have put them on the first one which I will stick to as my main flier. Couldn't be easier to use the rit dye, empty the sachet into a chinese takeaway tub, cover in boiling water from kettle give it a stir, chuck in the tail fins/blades, stir a few times then leave for 20 minutes and wash them off - they look great.









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Last edited by jamesb72; 07-18-2012 at 11:49 AM..
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:42 PM   #2
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great review. Thanks for all the tips.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:57 AM   #3
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Excellent write-up, well done.

I'm thinking of cutting the tie-wrap around the BX unit to reduce the chance of vibrations getting passed on.

I have balanced the main blades but found the tail blades were spot on.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:59 AM   #4
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Excellent Thread and I'm sure one that will be reviewed often!

The Hobby Store here says that the "EH" balance board for my charger will be in by next Friday and I'll let You and Steve know how the APL SLS 1300mAh work out...by the way I need to weigh them and compare. I'm hesitant to solder the EC3 connectors on until I know the EH balance connector works.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebaker View Post
I'm thinking of cutting the tie-wrap around the BX unit to reduce the chance of vibrations getting passed on.
I always used to put velcro straps over FBL units (and gyros) so they couldn't 'fall off', and adjusting the tension of these can affect vibrations so you can play with this, but this is probably just being over-cautious, as long as you check the FBL unit is well attached from time to time, the AR7200BX on my 250 is on the side frame with no strap and has been fine for a few months now.

Some people put a bit of nitro fuel tube over the cable tie where it touches the FBL unit, as an insulator - which would also work but would be quite fiddly on the 300X.

I'd be tempted to cut the original tie wrap but put another one through very loosley, just enough to give a bit of security if sticky pad started to come away, but not enough to transmit any vibration as an easy alternative.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:14 AM   #6
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I haven't got any vibration issues as there is zero drift, but as things start to wear there is a chance. I may just chop the tie off as the wires will hold on to the BX, worst case.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:53 AM   #7
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Its not losing the beastx which is the issue its destroying the heli, if the pad came loose it would be impossible to fly (FBL unit would go nuts as it rattled around trying to 'correct' so you'd probably right it off on impact. To be honest there are loads of other parts which could fail and cause a crash, so sticky pad is probably more reliable than most of them, so maybe I just worry too much.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:37 PM   #8
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Oh I see.

I think I'll leave as is for now since I have no problems and consider velcro in the future.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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Very nice review nice pictuters Thanks, Do you own a tach? could you tell us what the headspeed is?
The Tail case looks almost just like a blade 450 3d.
Thanks
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epoweredrc View Post
Do you own a tach? could you tell us what the headspeed is?
I do have a tacho, and keep meaning to do this, but its been raining almost continuously last few days, I grabbed 3 quick flights today between showers, but forgot to take tach with me.

My guess by ear is 3500 or so, will see what tach says tomorrow if weather behaves.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesb72 View Post
I do have a tacho, and keep meaning to do this, but its been raining almost continuously last few days, I grabbed 3 quick flights today between showers, but forgot to take tach with me.

My guess by ear is 3500 or so, will see what tach says tomorrow if weather behaves.
Oh Cool. sucks about the rain but wish we had some here, we not hardly seen any our yards going brown
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Old 07-08-2012, 05:55 AM   #12
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UPDATED - tail setup in rate mode - turned tailrod in 1.5 turns to hold in rate mode and tweaked throttle curves and tacho'd at 3240rpm in normal at lift off, 3480rpm in idle2 with tc 100-80-75-80-100 . - see top post for updates and pics.

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Old 07-08-2012, 06:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesb72 View Post
Quick update, firstly I checked heli over for the first time, and noticed the tail belt was far too tight, it literally wouldn't move when poked with a screwdriver, I've loosened this off a tad, no noticable difference in spool down but can't hurt.

Also sun is out so I got the tacho out, I guessed 3500 by ear, and with my throttle curves
normal 0-60-60-75-100
Idle1 100-80-67-80-100
Idle2 100-80-75-80-100
(slightly tweaked from manaual), normal lifts off at 3240rpm, and idle2 is 3480 - so I was reasonably close with my guess by ear

I'm still 50/50 on keeping the 300X, it flies great out of the box, but its basically a plastic heli, and I wonder how well it will wear/crash, I really like my Trex 250SE FBL, so may get a 250 DFC pro combo and swap the AR7200BX from the 300X into it and sell the airframe on, I really like the look of the DFC swash/head, and the new slider looks a big change (but apparently people still have tail issues with it ? I never had any issues with either of mine, so maybe I am just less fussy).
Cool thanks for the numbers i think this will be the heli i end up with

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Old 07-08-2012, 07:03 AM   #14
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UPDATE: Flew back to back with Trex 250SE with Align FBL head (non-DFC) and AR7200BX, against the 300X, and I am definitely keeping the 300X. - thoughts and comparison pics added to top post above.

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Old 07-08-2012, 01:17 PM   #15
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Very good info and planning that purchase now. -- I wonder if the info will change before it hits the states in full stride.. as far as the manual stuff.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesb72 View Post
I just flew a couple of flights back to back with my Trex 250SE with Align FBL head (non-DFC) and AR7200BX, against the 300X, and I am definitely keeping the 300X.
did exactly the same this afternoon and same conclusion:
i keep the 300X despite its weak frame
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Iskareot View Post
I wonder if the info will change before it hits the states in full stride.. as far as the manual stuff.
The UK manual has all european languages, so I am 99% sure the US will have its own version of the manual, so just a question of when they printed the US ones I guess, sounds to me like the first batch of 130X all went to the US, and first batch of 300X went to europe, so maybe this is deliberate and they hold back on 'other' manuals/release until they find any issues to resolve after first batch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatimoto View Post
did exactly the same this afternoon and same conclusion:
i keep the 300X despite its weak frame
Weak frame - if its cheap may not be the worst thing ever, in a crash something is always going to have to break, at least with a plastic frame its either broken or fine, whereas metal parts can bend and cause vibrations/issues which can be very hard to diagnose (bent motor mounts on the 250 for example, hard to imagine how it can be bent, but it happens and can drive people mad chasing vibrations/problems). Looking at the 300X frame, it looks like changing frame would not take more than an hour, so probably quicker than a strip/rebuild on a trex or similar with multiple frame parts/metal joiners and a lot more screws.

Was thinking about frame being weak, also the lack of tail clearance and I came up with an idea which might help with both, this is a well known mod for Trex 500 as in a crash the skids break the tabs off the bottom plate - the fix is to remove the screws and use small zip ties to attach the landing gear, this way its perfectly secure, but in a crash the zip ties will snap and avoid breaking either the gear or the tabs (I confirmed this on the 500).

So I've removed the 4 screws holding the skids on, and drilled holes out to 2.5mm (they were ~2mm) so I can use small cable ties to attach skids to the frame - I also used spacers on the rear mounts to lift the tail of the heli up so it clears the ground (as I fly off grass, you could use anything to space this out, washers, a piece of servo arm etc, I looked in my bag of bits and found some hard grommets so have used those - I'm very happy with this, and think it will reduce chance of breaking frame in a crash as the skids will break away hopefully reducing energy for everything else.

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Old 07-08-2012, 03:48 PM   #18
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Another nice idea there. That and a carbon plate across the tabs should work a treat. I'll get back to you when I've finished my mod.
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Old 07-08-2012, 09:17 PM   #19
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Now if we could always crash with the skids hitting first..
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Old 07-09-2012, 01:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevebaker View Post
Another nice idea there. That and a carbon plate across the tabs should work a treat. I'll get back to you when I've finished my mod.
Not wanting to be negative, but I don't think the epoxy would hold up in an impact its too brittle, so while this carbon plate I'm sure will stiffen up frame flex for those who have an issue with that, I think it would not help as much in a crash - I'm sure one of the tuning companies will quickly make a machined metal brace which fits into the screw holes though - this would make it much more crashproof !

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Originally Posted by InFocus View Post
Now if we could always crash with the skids hitting first..
I always plan my crashes don't you ? Sadly last 3 crashes have been inverted, with hilarious results - still at least it saves on skids
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