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450 Build complete

Posted 12-14-2009 at 06:39 PM by nielsm
Tags build

I actually finished it late last week, but didn't have time to post a blog entry & load the photos till today.

I received the parts from ReadyHeli within a few days. I quickly replaced the motor & retested it (spun up fine).

I then set about laying out the wiring. After mocking out a few different options I decided to put the receiver in the front of the bird under the battery tray. Since I had a 6200, I wanted to run the second receiver on the other end of the bird. As luck would have it, the cable connecting them was a little to short to place exactly where I wanted (right at the end of the frame around the boom mount), but it's not bad where it ended up.

The front part of the frame already has 2 servos right in behind the battery tray & there is a hole in the tray leading down to where I wanted the main receiver. I took those 2 servo leads & the rear elevator servo lead along that route.

I then ran the gyro leads along the right side of the frame directly to the receiver.

Cable braid
I had gotten the cable braid from Ready Heli in the 1/4 size. It's much smaller than I had figured & was a bit challenging to wrap around the servo connectors & then fish the wires thru. As it was my first time using the braid, I didn't fully realize what the heat shrink was for & thus just ran the wires without it in place.... oops! Once I realized what I could use it for (as the braid tends to fray at the ends quite horribly), I did apply it on the gyro connection, but didn't bother ripping everything else out, since the other run had 3 servo wires & with the size I had, putting the 2 gyro plugs thru the heat shrink was a chore, I could only imagine with 3 in the tight space I was using. Maybe once the heli has a few crashes under it's belt, I'll revisit & make those pretty.

With the servo & receiver connections done, I laid the ESC into position on the left side of the frame. I ran the motor wires toward the rear of the heli & then in to the frame from the rear, which leaves just enough slack to easily disconnect the motor wires for pitch & radio tests, but not have them loose enough to end up in the main gear. The esc receiver wire was a bit too long though & ended up having to be wrapped near the front of the frame... a bit ugly, but OK.

The battery I got for testing was a ThunderPower 2250 3S 30C. Probably a bit overkill for the sport style flying I like, but ThunderPower packs aren't that heavy. One thing to watch for in your ESC/battery placement is the discharge wire coming off the battery is probably on one corner. You'll want to gauge where you place the ESC with the battery lined up to ensure ideal wire slack. With the battery laying so the wire is furthest from the esc, you should be able to have the front part of the ESC just forward of the middle of the main gear. If you put the battery on reversed, you risk the wire interfering with the main gear, so I positioned for the further position.

Preliminary radio setup
With the wiring done I was able to begin the radio setup. As I mentioned, I was using the Spektrum 6200 with the Super Combo servos & gyro. These are connected to my DX6i. I still didn't have the swash leveler, so it was very preliminary. All I really did was ensure all servos moved in correct direction for collective by adjusting the servo reversing. Then I made sure the swash mix positions were correct for the control movements, flipping from +60 to -60 as appropriate.

Carry bag
So the build was done, but for swash leveling... my mind turned to how to carry the heli... I have the Wingtote bag for my CP Pro 2 & while it's nice... it's really big. Although it can also carry my radio & a bunch of spare parts, I wanted something smaller for the 450. I was drawn to the Heli Guard case from ReadyHeli.

On Friday, I got an email from Ready Heli that the leveler was back in stock. I placed my order for the leveler along with the Heli Guard case for the 450 within 20 minutes & got another email back about an hour later saying it had shipped! Very impressive!

As I mentioned earlier, I'm writing this several days after finishing the wiring. I didn't expect the leveler or case till today or tomorrow, but somehow the USPS delivered it to me yesterday.... on a Sunday!!!! I was very surprised to see the postman, but amazed nonetheless at how quickly I had this order from ReadyHeli.

The case is very nice... well made & just big enough to hold the heli, with 2 nice slots for holding batteries. It's small enough that it's easy to carry my WingTote with the CP Pro 2 & the Trex 450 in one hand, which will make trips to the park/flying field much easier. In addition to the typical mints ReadyHeli is known for, they also included a couple of ReadyHeli keychains. Nice touch.

Unfortunately, with the weekend drawing to a close & a party coming in the early part of the week, I couldn't get to the swash leveling as my wife & I had to clean our apartment in prep. NYC apartments & dedicated heli workspace are incompatible, so my heli space is cleared off the dining room table in anticipation of our guests tomorrow. I'll go into swash setup & leveling in the next entry....hopefully later this week.
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