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Heli-Log 9:12:2015

Posted 09-12-2015 at 11:07 AM by rcnut

Here we are, close to the middle of September! Umm…wasn’t IRCHA just a few weeks ago???

Summer is on its way out and fall is coming in. I’ve been watching my neighbor’s house this last week, and noticed how quiet the neighborhood is…the birds are gone! Well, most of them. It was nice to hear them early in the morning, but now their songs have been replaced by crickets and other noisy bugs. Soon my neighborhood with be flooded with the dreadful lady bugs and boxelder bugs…looking for a place to camp out for the winter. Grrr!

Now is the time to finish up with the summer flying and head into the winter projects. I have several lined up so far…Building the OXY3, modifying my mCPx, fixing and installing the “brain” controller to my Lynx 130 heli, building the Synergy 766 and then converting it into a nitro heli. And that’s just for starters. There are some electronic stuff I wish to look into, but that will have to wait until next year.

So in the meantime, on with the OXY3 build!

OXY 3 build

After being home a week from the IRCHA Jamboree, I decided it was time to look into this little heli and see what all the “hoop-la” is all about. The heli is packed well and the parts and pieces very well organized. The kit comes with a CD, the instructions are in PDF format. Very nice! I bought the -002 kit…comes with everything except servos, FBL unit, and LiPo’s. As for servos…I choose the BK mini’s, a Spartan Vortex VX1e controller, and 4 Optipower 3s 1600mAh 35C LiPo packs.

The build is mostly like any other heli kit, for the exception of the screws in the bearing blocks; they are installed into the appropriate holes, without Loctite. Several subassemblies are done for you, which is a nice touch. So this heli builds fast. The instructions are well thought out, calling for the proper needed “stuff”, Loctite (red/blue/green), and CA glue…if needed.

The instructions start off with the tail. You build the gearbox to the boom, and then add all the other goodies to complete the tail. The boom isn’t your typical round metal boom, its rectangular with rounded ends. This eliminates the need for boom supports. The boom clamp, up front, is a typical Align type clamp, which works very well I might add. The tail servo mounts to the boom.

Next up, is the body. I sanded all of the carbon fiber edges (I really need to find a better way to do this!) before assembling the body. The frame edges are very sharp! So I grabbed a pair of disposable rubber gloves and made all the edges dull. Then it was the usual install the bearing blocks, radio/battery tray, boom clamp, other side frame, slide the mainshaft into the three bearing blocks, and tighten the screws in a “zig-zag” tightening pattern. Install the motor, tail assembly, main gear & mainshaft, and then the electronics!

The instructions have a nice section explaining which pinion gear to use, as the kit comes with two pinions. Based on which number of cells you plan to use, 3s or 4s. I chose the 3s LiPo’s for a lower head speed and the instructions said to use the 14 tooth pinion. I set the gear mesh and tightened the tail belt. And it was at this time that I noticed the tail blades do not free wheel with the main blades…

Now for the servos… The instructions tell you to center the cyclic servos and tail servo prior to installing them. Getting to the servo horns will be next to impossible, so this is done on your workbench. The instructions even go as far as to tell you which hole you need and direction (left side, right side) of the servo horn. Someone did their homework! However, the servo horns that come with the kit did not fit onto the servo output horn, so I had to use the supplied servo horns. I transferred the proper hole location per the instructions. The instructions also include a wire route path, showing locations to wire tie the servo leads in the carbon fiber! That is so cool! Even the mounting of the ESC, and the routing of the BEC servo wire to the FBL unit is shown. Kind of takes all the fun out of things! No…not really! LoL!

The instruction shows mounting the FBL unit on the bottom side of the boom clamp…ok… Ah…there is a small ridge running down the center of this clamp, and it bothers me some. My FBL controller will not sit level…what to do? So I grabbed my Dremel with a cut-off wheel and very lightly and carefully ground off the raised spot at the center so the VX1e will sit flat…and then I routed the servo wires towards the bottom rear.

It was at this point, I decided to test fit the canopy with the LiPo sitting in its place prior to finalizing the wiring. As I unwrapped the canopy, I found it was crushed/damaged!??? It looks as if the canopy was used, crashed and then placed in the box and shipped. The plastic wrap was on the box uncut, and there were no dents on the box itself. I don’t know what happened, but this will allow me to experiment with the canopy, finding new mounting holes to accommodate the slightly larger LiPo’s. Placing the LiPo with the power leads facing forward won’t allow the canopy to fit properly. If I turn the battery around, leads facing the motor, the canopy fits like it was intended…so that’s the way I went with, no drilling new holes.

The Maiden flight

I did the first [maiden] flight in the driveway, and after some tuning, it hovered great! I had to make several adjustments to the Vortex controller to get the tail the way I like it and to dial in the head speed. After that, I was flipping and rolling this little heli like my bigger helis. I charged up all 4 LiPo’s , that I bought for it, and headed out to our club field on Friday…before Labor Day. I used a vacation day to spend flying…and boy did I! I logged 11 flights on my N7 and 4 on the little OXY.

This heli is quick! Now I need to tame it down some for indoor flying. The next day I went to a buddy’s house to fly with. Jerry has all kinds of large airplanes to fly, like 42+% gas powered airplanes! I flew his Hanger 9 Ultimate bi-plane with a DA150 swinging a 32X10 prop, and an Extra 260 with a DA100. Both planes were a blast to fly, but I have to say I liked the Extra better! I decided it was time to show off the little OXY3. As I was putting it through its paces, I heard comments about how low I was able to do my maneuvers, well…that made me go even lower! I did a high (somewhat high) speed pass a couple of inches from the ground and the heli lost lift just for a split second and smacked into the ground. Damage was minor, boom, DFC links, blades, main gear, and one canopy mount. I’ve ordered the parts to fix it and this time I will spend a bit more time fine tuning the controller instead of showing off. This should be a lot of fun indoors this winter!

More on this heli latter!

Synergy N7

First weekend back from IRCHA, and with the O.S.105HZ motor back in my N7, well, the HZ version and not the HZ-R I started out with, It was time to dial the motor in properly. I had noticed the motor sounded rather loud right after I started the motor? It kept getting louder the more flights I put on it. And then I realized what the sound was from…the main bearing in the motor! Oh great! I stopped flying it to prevent the motor from blowing up and I ordered a new set of motor bearing (from for the O.S.105HZ.

I had experimented with different types of colored dye. Mark and I bought a skid load of fuel during the Toledo show. When it arrived, the Wildcat 15% heli mix was a semitransparent dark purple…buy the gallon. However, as you would fill the tank in the heli, the fuel looks clear! It is hard to see how much fuel is left in the tank. So I did a little research online to see how to add coloring to the nitro fuel. I came up with two solutions…

The first was to add Kool-Aid mix, no sugar of course! And the other was food coloring. I tried the Kool-Aid first. It was working fine, or so I thought, until the motor became harder to start and the idle became a bit rougher and it would die. I pulled the plug, only to see a lot of deposit all over the glow plug! This is not good, so I tried the food coloring. I gave up on the food coloring for fear of doing more damage to the internals of the motor, hence the main bearing noise.

But that wasn’t it…I pulled the motor out in preparation to install the new bearing only to find it was the clutch making the noise. Yep, the clutch was loose! When I swapped motors at IRCHA, I must have seated the clutch wrong, somewhat cocked on the fan hub, that or I swapped the Rave clutch bolts from the fan hub assembly. When I was working on my helis before IRCHA, I wanted to try the O.S.105HZ-R in my Rave. I had an extra fan hub assembly, so I used it. Then if I needed, I could swap the motor back once at IRCHA, hence the reason I initially brought the other O.S. motor with. When I did a test flight right after installing and setting up the throttle link, but I didn’t hear the noise at that time. It wasn’t until I was home and out by myself that I noticed the bearing type sound. So now I have an extra set of O.S.105 bearings.

My N7 is flying great now, if only I can stop breaking the tail fins! I’ve been practicing a lot of autorotation’s inverted, knife edge, flipping (trying), pop-ups, etc. It’s the stalling the heli just before hitting the ground that is taking them out. I am learning when I do stall (somewhat stall) my heli, to land it right where the stall starts versus trying to extend the auto by bringing it closer to me…flying it like an airplane. I have switched out (bailed) of throttle hold a few times to save a potential “splat” (crash) landing. I am getting better with my autos, “reading” the wind/blades per se.

I am having a blast with this setup and I’m not missing the YS120…so far. I did order the replacement parts needed. So I can start that rebuild anytime I want. I think I’ll save the YS120 for the Synergy 766 heli! And thus my winter project…

My N5

My N5 is doing great, pretty much charge the LiPo, fill the tank, and fly! I’ve been using this heli for trying different maneuvers I wish to work on. I did find out that in a pinch, I can borrow the tail fin for the N7…until I get more fins for the N7! However, this heli really does just as good as the bigger N7, but with a bit less power and fuel consumption. Yea, the N5 gets way better fuel mileage than the N7.

Until next time!
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