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Heli-Log 8:25:2021

Posted 08-25-2021 at 08:09 AM by rcnut

Another heli build…after IRCHA! And only 7 more days left in this month…

It took less than a week to build my new Goblin Raw, and now the Protos Nitro… This last week was filled with lots of challenges… Work was busy, everybody wanting stuff done all at once (I support 3 labs), and working on my new heli right after work... Having painful issues with my back, and possibly finding out why…more spinal stenosis(). Friday was pretty much non-stop from the time I arrived at work, until the time I got home. The plan on Friday was to work on the Protos some more before going to bed. Well, that didn’t work out too well. I crashed once everything was done...bounced around like a pin-pong ball between the 3 labs, and after work…oil change, buy e-cig juice, get haircut, grocery shopping for the next week, cut grass & trim… Enough of that, let’s build!

Protos Nitro 700 build…

First impressions

I started Monday right after work. The manual is on-line, a “dropbox” file. NOT impressed by that, just make it a PDF file so I can store it on my PC. The instructions are quite interesting, to say the least. Not to well explained except for key areas. Ok, first complaint. The kit is packaged very well, bubble wrapped sections, everything in its own plastic bag(s) and labled…page/step number, most sections are pre-built and self-explanatory. However, the carbon fiber parts are covered in an adhesive plastic wrap. A pain to get off, but effective! Edges on the carbon fiber are somewhat sharp…a little sanding fixed this.

The canopy is nicely painted, but the fiberglass is a bit thin, compared to other canopies I have. The holes are pre-drilled and even has the rubber grommets installed…good luck getting them out! There’re small and a bit stiff. I replaced the front pair, opened the hole to accept the quick pin setup I have.

The boom is an unusual shape. It starts out rectangular at the frame with a raised half curve on top (structural support?), tapering smaller into a round traditional tub style tail. Ah yea, $120.00 for a replacement! This is their “EVO” design. However, I was told by Scott (at Cajun Aircraft) that there is a traditional metal tube conversion for it, something I will look into at a later time. I was also told that I would enjoy this heli...a lot. Will see!

And then there is the “Gorilla Landing Gear”, yea…ok! This thing is very flexible! I wondered how it would hold up the heli once mounted… It does, but I have an idea that might make it better…

The build…

As with any traditional heli builds, the instructions start off with building the head (straight forward here), the swashplate, all the links to the swashplate and blade grips, and install the mainshaft with the swashplate. Next is the center frame assembly. This is a weird setup, but functional. There are many parts that go into making up the essentially Goblin Aluminum Frame Tray system, only this is black anodized and machined out center sections, much like the Synergy 700 kits, upper and lower bearing blocks. This assembly goes rather fast and makes up most of the frame stiffness. All the screws needed are screwed into the frame pieces rather than in bags that you need to sort out and measure. Oh yea…that’s another thing I need to mention… Pay attention to the screws coming out as some are longer, due to other parts being added to them. The manual somewhat shows this with a box showing a pic of the screw (etc.) and the dimensions. It doesn’t say hey, longer screw here for…no, the screws are colored red with a pic of Loctite next to them…red or blue Loctite? Look closely and you will see a blue stripe across the picture of the bottle. There is a belt tensioner that is added to the center frame assembly. Once again, the manual doesn’t say much about it, but… There is a flat spot ground on the washer (shown in the picture) that matches the cutout in the frame. The tensioner is pre-assembled.

Note: there are several items that are factory pre-assembled and Loctite, but always check!

The tail section of the frame plate joins together and slides forward and back. Like the electric motor mounts, only this one is toward the rear of the frame. This is how the belt tension is adjusted. Once the frame plate is built, the left side frame is bolted on. There are two plastic frame stiffeners(?) that goes most of the way around the fuel tank. I think it is used mostly to protect the fuel tank rubbing on the frame. That and thickening the area around the tank…not sure. There is a rectangular frame that fits over the top of the tank to hold it in place…ok… All the internal pieces are installed on the left side of the frame. The right side is then added, making up the rest of an actual heli body. Now on to the motor!

The motor build up is a normal assembly. Clutch hub bolted to the motor, fan bolted to the hub, and clutch. Next, the clutch stack… Loctite the pinion to the bell, bolt the upper bearing block to the pinion, slide the start shaft into the assembly, and fasten the start cup at the top. Everything was going fine until I noticed the clutch liner. The clutch liner is not glued in, nor is it cut to fit. So old school steps here! Cut the liner to fit with a slight gap…to allow for the glue used…epoxy! Mix up some JB Weld, apply a thin coat to the inside of the clutch bell, install the liner and press it into the glue.
I added two layers of masking tape to the clutch, making the clutch a firm fit, not loose, and then carefully inserted the clutch into the clutch bell. This will hold the liner in place as the epoxy dries. Learned this trick a long, long time ago…mid 80’s.

While I was waiting for the epoxy to dry, normally overnight…I started in on the fuel tank. According to the manual, the tank is pre-plumbed…ah, no, it is not. At least mine wasn’t. No problem… The vent nipple was installed, and no chucks of plastic in the tank. The fuel line is a bit longer than needed, about one inch longer. At this point, I would normally hack this build and use products I like, like a different type of clunk, but not sure where I have place some of my other spares, and the fact I have forgotten, after two years of not working on my helis, I decided to use the fuel clunk that comes with the kit…a bubbles clunk. If this doesn’t work that well, I will buy (or try to find my stashed clunks) the Lynx M.O.A.S fuel clunk, the Miniature Aircraft Fuel filtered pick-up magnet, or possibly SAB Fuel clunk for the Goblin Black Nitro heli.

After the epoxy dried, I installed the clutch stack and the motor. Added the bottom frame stiffener plate, landing gear, and fuel tank. Next up…servos. Now normally at this point, I would plug my servos into the FBL controller (a Spartan Vortex VX1n) and program the FBL controller, center the servos, install the servo horns, and then install the servos. That or use a servo centering electronic box. This kit has a unique servo horn system…one I’ve never used before. It’s a two-piece servo horn system, a hub and the arm. The hub bolts to the spline shaft of the servo, and servo arm clamps on over the hub. So basically, setup the links close to what the instructions state, Add the links to the servo horn and swashplate, center the servos, slip the swashplate centering tool under the swashplate, and tighten the servo arm grip screws. Poof! Perfect center! No more adjusting the individual links! Well, that takes all the fun out of things! LoL! I haven’t setup the swashplate just yet, everything is installed and ready to go, I’ll do this when I start programming the FBL controller on the heli.

The cyclic servos installed without much trouble. However, the throttle servo and tail servo are installed up front back-to-back, leaving very little room between them. And the kit comes with those (in my opinion) stupid plastic screws nuts! I’m not a big fan of those…hard to install, and even harder to install once your heli is built and you need to replace a servo…or pull it out and put it back in, for whatever reason. There is never enough room to get your big fat fingers in there to hold that little piece of plastic! Hemostats work well, as long as the super smooth plastic doesn’t slip out and fly across your work area…aka, floor! Ok, I understand the reason for some of this crap…cheap, less weight, and keeping the cost of the kit down. Ok, I’m done ranting! Maybe…

More to come!...

After thoughts...

This heli is coming together rather quickly now. I've been watching a few YouTube videos on the Protos Nitro wondering how this heli will fly. I guess I will find out soon enough!

I read that FMA/Revolectrix is going out of business...that sucks! I bought the dual lab 8 several years ago. The plan was to use it along with the Bump-charger in a charging case. I started on this project, but haven't finished it. So maybe it's time to get this project going...I'd like to see this thing in action! WoW! Being able to charge 4 sticks on 2 parallel charge boards at once!

And then there's the evil thing of cleaning my workshop! Boy has it gone bad. I've never seen it this bad. Well, I became lazy after my back surgery, and for good reason, but let it go to far. So it is time to re-organize everything. More on that later...possible winter project?

Until next time...



Today`s show is brought to you by: The new Letter "P", the Letter "R", the Letter "O", the Letter "T", Letter "O", and the Letter "S"
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