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Build trials & tribulations

Posted 12-07-2009 at 11:02 PM by nielsm
Updated 12-12-2009 at 08:52 PM by nielsm

I finally got some time over the past couple of days to dedicate to building the 450 Sport. The first steps were re-tracing the rotorhead build, ensuring every screw had loctite (they all did) & attaching the flybar cage. Most of the ball links needed a bit of sizing for smooth operation, which the JR Ball Link Sizer does a great job of.

The frames were the next step. Both halves were mostly built out of the box. A few more loctite checks where they attach to the bearing blocks (all good) brought the first headache. The little button screws are tiny & can be easily stripped, so take your time & make sure you have the allen key (or other hex driver) straight to avoid stripping. Once the frames are together you get a great sense of how strong this heli is.... the frames are SOLID!

The manual will have you move onto another step, but it is easier to install the motor now without everything else in place. I didn't & waited till the manual suggested. Getting the screws & a driver in the space while trying to balance the motor in is tough.... unfortunately I dropped one of the washers which made its way into the motor (more on that later).

The manual shows the skid install placing the light blue rubber sleeves on the outside of the skids. Another option is to place them on the inside, so they don't have the possibility to slide off in use.

The boom was another challenge. My older build, the Concept 30 had a torque tube. Threading the belt in such a narrow tube was tough if you don't use something to guide it. After struggling for a few minutes with trying it by hand, I looked for something to help. Since the boom supports were handy, I used one of those to thread the belt. While on the tail, I checked for loctite & reapplied on the tail box (all was there). The manual will have you put the gyro in with double sided tape. I held off, since I want to plan out the wiring later.

Now we get to install the rotor head assembly & the main gear. It's easier if you loosen the collar in the middle of the main shaft, so you can easily line up the hole to tie the main gear to the shaft. Getting the bolt & nut in the small space afforded by the frame is tough, so if you have big hands, this might not be fun.

If you listened earlier the motor would already be in & you would just be adjusting mesh now. If not, the manual will instruct you to do so.... be very careful not to drop the screw or washer in the motor. It's very open & with the small washer & screw, they can get caught in between the can & the armature, with no way to get it out.... I just had to order a replacement motor... don't make my mistake!!!!

Now we get to install the servos. Damn these things are small! Putting them in is fairly easy, though you probably want to power them up, hooked to your receiver so you can center them before putting on the servo arms. One thing to be careful with is the links up to the swash are very lightweight metal & space is limited, so be careful attaching the ball links. They felt like they would easily bend to me, so I took my time.

At this point the build is mechanically done. I played with some thoughts on how to run the wiring & radio layout. I have a Spektrum 6200, so I wanted to see how to place the satellite receiver. The wire on the satellite feels just about 1cm too short, so I've had to try a few options.

With a plan for the wiring layout, I took some time to solder a Deans connector to the ESC & my battery. Might as well test out the ESC programming (manual takes a few times of reading to figure out what it means). This is when I discovered the washer had in fact fallen into the motor. I tried bringing the motor up to speed & just got a few clicks on the motor & then it would stop. When I turned the motor & main gear by hand, they felt a little stiff. The ESC started getting warm as I kept trying. Finally, I decided to pull the motor & that was when I found the washer was indeed in the motor & nigh impossible to get out because of the tight space & strong magnets. After 45 minutes of trying to find & remove the washer, I resigned myself to ordering a new motor.

Since I bought the heli from HeliDirect, I figured I'd spread the love & give ReadyHeli a try. I'm still waiting for them to get the Trueblood swash leveler in stock, but I ordered a replacement motor and some blue braided wire covers for my wiring job still to be done. Thoughts on ReadyHeli & finishing up the build coming soon....
Posted in Trex 450 Sport
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