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Blade 230S Blade 230S Helicopters Information and Help


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Old 02-03-2016, 06:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default No flight trim flight

Not long ago, I posted positive results from taking the rotors off and performing a trim flight. A few people considered the possibility with an open mind.

Bill_Van even *endorsed* it! You remember him, right? The guy whose sticky in this this very forum discusses the no-flight trim flight for the 200 SRX?

Anyway, several people scoffed and said you can't do a trim flight without flight! I asked one of the local heli flyers I know (eight years flying) and the first thing he says is "I don't know anything about the 230s." He *did* say that he performs a similar procedure with his 600 heli by setting it on a bench, leveling it, and hooking it up to a computer. I don't know if his procedure is called "trim" or not.

It occurred to me that trim technology has changed. If you look at this video of the trim flight for the 230s:
First flight and tuning - 230 S (5 min 15 sec)


...you'll notice that NOT ONCE does the guy use the trim switches. That right there should be a clue. It seems to me that all the special button-pushing to get into trim flight mode is very similar to hitting buttons on a video game to activate a special move. This includes the "throttle must be at least half or greater." So basically, it's "Left, right, left, left, down, right" and etc to activate the trim flight mode and then it's just "hold it level."

If you're like me and you canNOT find a location uncontaminated by wind, then you might consider removing the rotors and leveling it first. It certainly worked for me and was even endorsed by Bill_Van.
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Assuming you need to perform a trim flight. Neither of mine have needed it to date.
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Old 02-03-2016, 09:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The trim flight is just a period of learning mode for the FBL. Its not the only FBL unit to have a learning mode.

Now, how well the designers/developers have successfully implemented learning is one thing.

How well individuals can tell the difference from out of the box to post trim flight probably changes on a case by case basis.

Whether you can do a trim flight on the bench sans blades I have no idea. I just do what it says in the manual and the 230s flys great.

Chopper there is no harm in trying it your way. If people get better results then great. If they don't they can just do another standard trim flight.
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Old 02-03-2016, 12:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think my point is getting through. This is not "my way." This is an ALTERNATIVE way for people in my situation:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopperFreak View Post
If you're like me and you canNOT find a location uncontaminated by wind, then you might consider removing the rotors and leveling it first. It certainly worked for me and was even endorsed by Bill_Van.
I'm just trying to help.
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Old 02-03-2016, 04:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a quad and sometimes if it develops a drift the gyros need to be re-calibrated. You sit it on a level surface and move the sticks to a certain position. This makes sense for a quad because the hover in a level attitude.

What doesn't make sense to me about a no flight trim flight for the 230s is that like the quad you have the heli sitting on a level surface when you calibrate it. However unlike the quad a heli in a stationary hover does not hang level, it needs to lean right to compensate for the tail rotor trying to push the heli sideways. This is a common newbie question, "why does my heli lean right when it hovers?".

Some heli compensate for this by having the main shaft leaning to the right, even some full scale heli are built this way. I haven't paid attention to my 230s to see if it's built this way, not likely as that would make it out of trim inverted.

Anyways, that is why some people will say it can't be done. Me, I just say if it works for you then why not do it that way?
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChopperFreak View Post
I don't think my point is getting through. This is not "my way." This is an ALTERNATIVE way for people in my situation:
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wab223 View Post
Chopper there is no harm in trying it the alternative way. If people get better results then great. If they don't they can just do another standard trim flight.
Hows that grab ya?
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Since my name was mentioned......

The "no flight trim flight" does work!

Is it perfect? No, but it will get you to a place where an actual trim flight will work. Provided there are no other issues with the aircraft!

As I have mentioned before, the 230S has a little too much lift potential which causes the frame to torque. BUT, the result from this effort did take a 230S that was totally unflyable and make it stable enough to do an actual live flight.

Most of this has been resolved with the last firmware/calibration procedure so it's best to upgrade and calibrate first. If it is not rock solid after this process, then move on the the trim flight.

My first 2 birds were replaced by HH, upon receiving the replacements, I removed them from the box, installed the update, did the calibration procedure and they have been flying prefect ever since. No trim flight was even necessary.

There is no perfect solution for every helicopter made as each one is slightly different in some aspect. I can assure you that the best way to resolve flight issues is 1 step at a time. Once that step is complete, it's either fixed or something else is mal-adjusted, bent, or broke!

SO, if the information helps, use it. If it didn't work for your specific application, keep looking for the solution from a different perspective. Debating whether it works or not is only valid if you've actually tried it. Speculation is useless. If I can help anybody, I will do my best based on my experience with that particular model. If you are not learning something every time you fly, you must be dead.
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Very well said, Bill Van!!!!! I agree 100% and couldn't have said it any better.
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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+1 on what WAB223, Bill_Van, 600bob comments.
Not sure why the OP is bringing this up again after a previous seemingly endless debate on the same subject :
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Old 02-05-2016, 04:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Because I've learned more about it. I like to share what I've learned with others. Especially if it's something that could seriously help someone who is in the same situation.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Whoops! I forgot to post instructions for the No Flight Trim Flight! Hyuck!

First, you need to check your firmware. The reason you need to do this is because you might not be ABLE to access the Trim Flight mode if your firmware is out of date! Stupid, huh? Yeah, I thought so, too. Anyway, to check the version of firmware you have, you would:

1) Initialize your 230S and get it ready to fly.
2) WAIT! STOP! Don't fly it just yet. In fact, hit the "Throttle Hold" switch. This can only be done when your heli is initialized, because you're going to access the heli's computer. Obviously, you don't want to be flying when you're doing this because you'll be looking at you Tx screen.
3) If you're using the newer Spektrum DX6, DX9, DX18, etc., you simply turn the scroll wheel and advance two screens. The screen should have a big "H" and a big "F" on it. Probably some other stuff, too. If you're not using a Spektrum, you'll have to find another way to access this screen.
4) Hold down the Bind button. After a second, the zeros next to the "H" and "F" should change. The "F" is your firmware version. As of this post, the current version is 4.22 or so. If you're less than that, contact Horizon Hobby to find out if you need to upgrade your firmware.

Updating firmware is a WHOLE 'NUTHER pain in the posterior that you will have to navigate. It will require blowing $17-$20 more for a cable. Google "SPMA 3065" to find this cable. After purchasing it, follow the instructions in this video:
Blade 230 s how to update AR636 (5 min 50 sec)


The comments section for the above video will provide the link on the Spektrum website since I had the same problem you will.

Hold on, Turbo. We're not done, yet! After installing the update, you'll have to perform the calibration procedure. The above video explains how to do that properly as well.

If you've done all of this, you probably don't need a trim flight! But just in case you do, there are two methods of performing it:

1) Removing the main and rear rotor blades.
2) Disconnecting the power to the main and rear rotor blades.

I haven't done the second method, so I can't really speak to that. However, here's a link for it:
https://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=726702

If you're going to remove the blades like I did, then here's a little info on that, too:

1) The nuts 'n bolts on the 230S are metric. Get over it.
2) The size of the hex wrench you'll need to remove the screws is 1.5. I don't know what "1.5" means, but that's what my hex wrench set says. The 230S comes with a hex wrench of this size, but it strips faster than a woman in a topless bar. You can get a set at Walmart/Lowes/Home Depot for about US$6. This will also strip easily, so try disconnecting the power to the motors instead and realize that you've suffered enough already.
3) IMPORTANT!!!! The main rotors are each held in place by a nut and bolt. The rear rotors only have one screw holding them in. Each nut and bolt on this heli has had a curse placed on it by a high level wizard that causes it to disappear forever if you drop it. You have been warned.
4) MUCH MORE IMPORTANT!!!!!! You read these instructions before starting, right? Because if you didn't, then you won't remember how to put the blades back on the heli the way they're supposed to go. The main rotors are pretty easy. The rotors turn counter-clockwise if you look at it from above, and the blades are positioned like the wings of a plane (ie: the "thick" side goes INTO the wind.) The rear blades are trickier, because the heli will fly even if they're on backwards!? The rear blades are mounted with the concave side out:
Blade 230 s checking tail blade (2 min 17 sec)


Once your heli is neutered, you can use the level you got for the calibration to level it and proceed with the Trim Flight as outlined in the Advanced Settings Addendum:
http://www.horizonhobby.com/product/...nology-blh1580
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I thought that I'd add my views, this isn't aimed at anyone in particular - some comments have already been stated, I've included them for completeness

These comments are based on no wind conditions

For coaxial helis and multirotors .... Level = No drift = stable hover
For single rotors heli....... Level Does Not = No drift or stable hover

Any single rotor will lean in hover, to the right for clockwise rotating blades, how much it leans depends on lots of factors

"Self Leveling" as in "Safe" is actually a mistruth or simplification
Actually it should be something like "stable hovering attitude" - but it doesn't sound as good (and "Safe" doesn't actually control the power, so it's not a true auto hover)
Just for now so I don't have to keep typing it, I'll make up a new abbreviation "Stable Hovering Attitude = SHA

So, lets assume that the heli has never been taught what SHA is, it simply wouldn't "Self Level" when instructed to

The AIM of this trim flight is to teach the heli it's attitude to give a stable hover with no drift ONLY when in self leveling mode

So if a trim flight is performed, the heli is taught exactly what attitude (or lean) is needed for a stable hover, for the purpose of this, lets say it leans 3 degrees to the right

Now (and finally getting to the point) if a non flying trim flight is made, if we're lucky, the heli will be sitting on the skids with the same 3 degree lean (as said before some helis are designed with an amount of built in lean) so it's all good
However, if the rotors are perfectly level when the non flying trim flight is made, then in this case, the "self leveling" will actually be out by 3 degrees

What does this mean in practice
- Both methods are good, certainly better than nothing
- Actual flight trimming will always be best as long as it's in zero wind and turbulence
- A non flying trim flight will still give good results, in the worse case only causing a small amount of drift
- If it's too windy or the pilot doesn't have the skill to hover for 30 seconds, then a non flying trim flight may give better results


BUT
The big point, is that this is a heli, designed for flying and not hovering on the spot (get a multirotor with GPS for that). The self leveling should really be considered as an aid when things go wrong at all other times the pilot should be actively flying the heli




Just a few notes about the trim flight procedure
The sequence is just to arm the setup procedure, above 50% throttle is the final part of the arming, as a CP heli will only hover above 50% throttle (assuming typical pitch and throttle curves that 99% of us use)
The controller will record the attitude (lean) during the 30 seconds and then average it out
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Old 02-06-2016, 12:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I had the right drift issue when I first flew it. Did a trim flight and then I had left drift.. So I re-installed the latest update and re did the calibration. Took it out, left drift.. another trim flight and still... left drift.. So back to the lab I go.

Now, I am not sure if this matters but... for the next calibration, I decided to see if it was level left to right and low and behold, it was not. So I leveled it front to back and left to right for this calibration. Next test flight, I'm at about 6 feet and literally hands off for about 10 seconds. No drift, no nothing. Looks like a picture in the air. This is without another trim flight. Again, Im not sure that it matters or even if the software can calibrate left to right, but it worked.

The only issue I have now, is that annoying swash tilt before take off. Goes hard right and I have to hold left aileron heavy until I pop it off the ground. I wish it wouldn't do that but she flies so nice now, I don't even want to mess with it again.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:01 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default All good information!

When the 230S was first released, the early adopters (including me) found that the drift was almost to the point of making the heli unflyable. Since the target market was to the less experienced pilot, the chances of a successful maiden was reduced considerably. Personally, I didn't have a tipping issue and I didn't need to "pop" the heli off the ground. My success was probably due to experience and luck!

Several solutions, most of which didn't resolve the drift/tipping issues were posted by those that are true beginners to actual HH Staff. Complicating the matter was info from the manufacture that clearly did not help and in some cases, made everything worse!

My original intent was to post a procedure that would get the heli to a point where an actual live trim flight was possible. I found better results when the main blades were left on the heli, but the torque and rotational forces skewed the results..... BUT, it did work well enough to move on the to LIVE flight. This was good, but the real solution was the firmware update. Pure speculation, but originally, a trim flight would resolve the drift/tip issue but the next time you flew, the process started all over again.

I remember my first 230S flying so good after the trim flight that it was truly "hands off" once in the air. The spool up was slow and tipping was minimal. I was amazed! The next time I took her out, it was like starting over. SO, I believe part of the firmware update addressed that fact that the data was not being stored properly..... how else can you explain a perfect flight one day and the complete opposite the next day!

The addition of the calibration procedure addressed whatever was wrong in the original release. Trim flight now became a "fine tuning" for those that didn't get a solid calibration. Those that took a meticulous approach to the calibration procedure were rewarded with a heli that didn't even need a trim flight. Unfortunately, this hobby is quite complicated and a "good enough" or "close enough" attitude will show up someplace down the line!

That said....... if your 230S cannot spool up slowly, lift off evenly with very little tipping, it is NOT flying close to it's full potential!

The 230S is one of my favorites. If you can set it up properly, there is a good chance it will be a favorite of yours too! To those that say it's RTF and you shouldn't have to set it up out of the box, tune back into reality and concede now or consider changing to a ground based RC discipline.

These forums are a great resource. For the last time, if a procedure works for you...... you are ahead of the nay Sayers that sit on the sidelines. If you come up with a process that solves a problem, share it. If you duplicate the steps and it does not fix your problem, no reason to bash the OP since there might be another issue that is preventing the process from succeeding.

And most of all, try to remember this is a hobby. You should be honing your skills in every aspect, including your ability to share information in a polite and professional (read mature) manner. Good Flying, Good Luck!
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My 230S V2 had a severe left drift out-of-the-box, so I performed this procedure with great results! Haven't done an in-flight trim.

I used the bags from hand weights on the skids to hold it in-place on my level tile floor since the tail rotor wasn't removed. I also ran the throttle above 50% for 2 minutes to give it a little more time for things to register in the receiver. When I flew it the next day, it was very stable.
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