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Old 04-04-2011, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Precomp.... DO IT!!!

If you guys haven't taken the time to get your precomp all dialed in you're really missing out. Very simple to do an although it does usually take a couple shots to get it dead on it's well worth it. Tail is much more solid on fast collective changes. First you need to setup the software on your computer and activate the precomp to check and see if it's going in the correct direction. To check direction look down on the tail with the collective at mid-stick and give right rudder. Mentally bookmark which direction the slider goes. Now neutral the rudder stick and give positive collective. The slider should go in the same direction. If it doesn't, then reverse the precomp in the software. Start with the default values. Here's how I adjust mine.

-Precomp off
-Put your gyro gain on a switch and set your rate mode gain to a value at least equal to what you've previously ran in HH mode. Ideally it's best to fly the heli and find the highest rate mode gain possible without a wag but not everyone will feel comfortable doing this.
-Hover in rate mode and adjust your tail rod to get a decently neutral tail in a hover.
-Reset your endpoints on the tail
-Turn Parameter F (Tail precomp) on (which is already setup in the software at this point).
-Now hover and do some smooth full pitch punch outs.
-If the tail swings to the right then you need to increase the precomp value.
-If the tail swings to the left then you need to decrease the precomp value.
- When you're done it should hold steady in a punch out.
-Once you're set then drop back into HeadingHold and recheck your tail gain and Piro speed.

That's it! I can get into cyclic precomp tuning if anyone would like but it's a bit more difficult.

Last edited by nwmtech; 04-05-2011 at 01:54 PM..
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I need to mention one thing.

If you have precomp set you may end up getting some strange and inconsistent piro stops and piro speeds. This will happen if you end up putting some collective in inadvertently when doing a piro.

First case is just doing a plane piro...if you piro and put in some collective the piro rate will increase and decrease along with the collective position. Might be fine for a scale flier but not for a 3D type pilot.

Second case is a piro stop. Again if you put some collective in you will either get an harder stop with a bounce (if you gave collective away from midstick) or you get a softer stop (with collective towards midstick).

My suggestion...use precomp only if flying in rate mode. I too wanted to use the precomp and then started dealing with strange things. I'm going to redo now without precomp set( like I originally had it).

Look at the highlighted sentence from Microbeast's website:
Since the menu items are self explanatory here just a few short notes:
  • When using the RevoMIX the tail rotor must compensate load of the main rotor system. So on a helicopter with clockwise turning main rotor therefore if you enter pitch (both positive and negative!) the tail rotor must turn to the right. This also applies to cyclic movements of roll and pitch independently of the direction. Whenever torque is built up the tail rotor must compensate with anti torque. At 0° pitch of the tail rotor makes the least deflection.
  • Experience has shown that a ratio of 1:2 between cyclic and collective pitch is a good guide. For example 15 cyclic and 30 collective Pitch. Then slowly increase to the optimum values. This presupposes that the tail rotor (sensitivity and heading lock proportion) are were adjusted to the optimum extent before. The RevoMIX is only an aid to improve the performance of the tail gyro for example when the tail rotor system is slightly undersized but not to conceal a poor control at all (if without RevoMix when giving pitch the tail turns away desperately you should check the mechanics and tail gyro adjustment instead of trying to compensate with an extremely high RevoMIX value).
  • Asymmetry is a compensation function if the tail gyro behaves unequal between both directions (there are no negative values since the value depends also on the setting for the main rotor torque). Under normal circumstances it should not be necessary to change this value - default is 0.

To the scale pilots: It is assumed that the helicopter was adjusted according to the instructions and collective pitch center stick position corresponded to 0° pitch during the setup procedure! A subsequent change of the pitch curve then represents no problem but if from the beginning instead of 0° the adjustment has been done with hovering pitch the RevoMIX can not be used because it assumes that 1500μs pulse on the collective corresponds to 0° of pitch.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I did not notice any of these symptoms when I activated it yesterday. In theory, precomp should actually make the tail more consistent in piro maneuvers. This is the same reason why VBar has some of the best piro consitency on the market. My guess, and again just a guess, but is that they've lost some meaning in translation. RevoMix and Precomp are two very different things. If this was true RevoMixing then yes it would definitely degrade tail performance in HH mode and only be needed in Rate Mode. It's my experience that this acts more like a true PreComp and is tied directly into the tail control loop. I could be wrong through.

When we get some more decent weather I'll be able to do some more testing but so far it's good for me.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwmtech View Post
I did not notice any of these symptoms when I activated it yesterday. In theory, precomp should actually make the tail more consistent in piro maneuvers. This is the same reason why VBar has some of the best piro consitency on the market. My guess, and again just a guess, but is that they've lost some meaning in translation. RevoMix and Precomp are two very different things. If this was true RevoMixing then yes it would definitely degrade tail performance in HH mode and only be needed in Rate Mode. It's my experience that this acts more like a true PreComp and is tied directly into the tail control loop. I could be wrong through.

When we get some more decent weather I'll be able to do some more testing but so far it's good for me.
I too need some good weather days and be off of work to dial it in 100%. I like my stops very hard and I like my piros pretty fast. When doing circuits and easy piros it feels fine with precomp on though. Its just the more extreme stuff that starts to show bad things.

I do agree with you about the tail holding much better in pitch pumps. It looks flawless with precomp when it comes to that. But I can't say the same for piro consistency or stops when the precomp is enabled.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I hope I make sense in the following.

When adjusting the precomp in rate-mode (espesially when you have extremely low gain like nwmtech suggests) you actually disable the control loop and completely use the precomp in pitch pumps. As a result when you go back to avcs-mode you are actually constantly disturbing the control loop heavily and this leads to the results that airjawed is describing.
So from my point of view it would be better to adjust the precomp while you are in avcs-mode. So in that way you will probably end up with a much lower value for precomp and dont put so much stress on the control loop.
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I am testing this out nowadays, but I really have no idea what is high numbers, or how low is low.

I started with default, and its not bad, but having to connect to a computer all the time makes it tedious to test properly..
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Old 04-05-2011, 02:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There's a lot of different theories there and unfortunately only the guy who designed the BeastX tail control loop would have the ultimate answer. In a normal HH tail gyro control loop the system is completely re-active, not pro-active. That means that the gyro doesn't do anything until it sees the tail heading move without any rudder command. Now no matter how good the gyro is that means you will ultimately see a small amount of tail kick because it is reacting to what it sensed (although the folks at Spartan have done an absolutely amazing job at getting it close to perfect). When you add precomp into the equation it's like giving the tail control loop a split second warning that the tail is going to kick before it actually does (and how hard by the amount of pitch) and thus it will have a head start in correction to reduce the loss of heading.

In a perfect control loop world the amount of precomp will be added into the piro rotations per second algorithm and piro consistency shouldn't change. However, that's in a perfect world so I'm not 100% positive they conquered that. I do remember one local individual complain a while ago about inconsistencies in piro speed when he was doing collective changes but this was before precomp was even available. I never came up with a solution for him so I had pretty much forgot all about it. What I'm getting at is that there is a possiblity the existing control loop isn't perfect and had this issue before. I'll try and put it into some maneuvers that should make this very apparent the next time I fly.

For me, there was the most apparent difference in tic tocs, and pop n' lock type maneuvers. Especially on my N5 because it doesn't have near the power the electrics do to maintain perfect headspeed.

The VBar method of checking tail Precomp is exactly like what you've described. I always just did some pitch pumps tail in and watched to see which way the tail kicked. The hard part with that is if you get the precomp a tad to high it will only kick about an inch to the left and then will kick back over to the right like it would if it's too low. This "can" be very hard to see and can add to the tuning frustration. I had never heard of the rate mode method of doing it until now but have to admit that it does make sense.

I'm trying to stay very open minded about the whole thing and just see what works the best in the end.
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwmtech View Post
My guess ... is that they've lost some meaning in translation. ... It's my experience that this acts more like a true PreComp and is tied directly into the tail control loop.
That's most likely true. RevoMix is a stupid name anyway since with most radios, it only relates to "revolutions" in so much as the TC is linked to the PC in some way. But the RevoMix is mostly actually Pitch->Tail. All the term is trying to say is that there is some pitch awareness in the tail control loop, be it HH or RM.

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Originally Posted by nwmtech View Post
For me, there was the most apparent difference in tic tocs, and pop n' lock type maneuvers. Especially on my N5 because it doesn't have near the power the electrics do to maintain perfect headspeed.
Thank you. This confirms a theory for me. Namely, that it is principally NP pilots that will benefit from tail pre-comp. And since you also appear to fly a vbar, perhaps you could confirm another theory for me: I am thinking that pitch->tail (on eg the MB) will be as good as makes no difference as throttle->tail (on vbar 5.1 with governor). Have you tried this per chance?
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ollie2893 View Post
Thank you. This confirms a theory for me. Namely, that it is principally NP pilots that will benefit from tail pre-comp. And since you also appear to fly a vbar, perhaps you could confirm another theory for me: I am thinking that pitch->tail (on eg the MB) will be as good as makes no difference as throttle->tail (on vbar 5.1 with governor). Have you tried this per chance?
I dont know what you are saying is true regarding the pitch>tail pre comp. The tail needs to compensate for torque differences that occur as a result from pitch changes. And also a change in rpm of the tail there is a difference in generated tail thrust.

Presuming rpm and thrust and added rotor head torque and thrust both have a linear relation the following could be true.
My own logs show a trex700 will go from 2000rpm to 1700rpm in a pitch pump with 1.2kW in hover and 2kW full power. And a electric heli will go from 24amps to for example 70amps with a 100rpm drop (more of a guestimate, not my own log file)
For the nitro helicopter this is a 60% increase in thrust while for the electri heli this is a 130% increase in thrust. (hopefully I have done the math properly)
This leads me to believe that pitch>tail precomp is much more beneficial in a electric heli.

In know for 100% sure the tail on my Outrage Fusion on 12S kicks out more in a pitch pump then on my Trex700 both without tail precomp.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by nwmtech View Post
When you add precomp into the equation it's like giving the tail control loop a split second warning that the tail is going to kick before it actually does (and how hard by the amount of pitch) and thus it will have a head start in correction to reduce the loss of heading.

In a perfect control loop world the amount of precomp will be added into the piro rotations per second algorithm and piro consistency shouldn't change.
If the precomp is added in a way that is common for feedforward then the precomp is just a adittion to the signal that goes to the servo. So not much intelligence there, it just is a simple multiplication factor of pitch*factor=added to servo signal.
As long as you are not to high on the precomp it shouldnt have any negative effects on piro consitency. But to do this setup right I really believe setting up precomp in HH mode is the way to go for a 3d pilot.
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Old 04-05-2011, 06:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I initially thought adjusting precomp in rate mode would be the best. I first used a lazy susan for zero pitch tail slider adjustment. Then I used precomp so that it stayed straight during climb outs and hovers in rate mode still. This made the tail work perfectly for everything....everything except the piro stops and consistency.

Perhaps one thing to do is to adjust precomp in HH mode?

Does anyone know if the tail can go into free spinning in a preset mode such as 'extreme'? I have my endpoints at max on the rudder. The light stays on with full deflection.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
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After you pre-comp'ed your tail (in RM) and started to perceive inconsistent piro rates, did you go back to tuning Param D to see whether a different setting at that RevoMix would equalize your piros?
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I must admit that after going trough some feedforward theory it clearly states to disable the I-gain, so yes you COULD do it in Rate Mode. The reason why theory says you should disable I gain is because you are looking for certain shapes in the error signal. These shapes are not recognizable for us flying our helis so we might as well do it in HH. If doing it in rate mode it is very important to do it with a amount of PD gain that is representative of your gain in HH mode. Tuning it in HH wil prevent you of using to much precomp.

Will have to see if I can find some more tips in the theory.

Quote:
For all the shape-based tuning examples, the integral will be set to zero (Ki = 0).
Ki = 0 because the integral will distort the shapes that we are looking for. This does not mean that feedforwards will not work when the integral is ON. It is just difficult to see the patterns when the integral is working effectively, since it will try to reduce the position errors with time. After you are done setting feedforwards, revert back to the original value of Ki.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:29 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by djamgils View Post
I must admit that after going trough some feedforward theory it clearly states to disable the I-gain, so yes you COULD do it in Rate Mode. The reason why theory says you should disable I gain is because you are looking for certain shapes in the error signal. These shapes are not recognizable for us flying our helis so we might as well do it in HH. If doing it in rate mode it is very important to do it with a amount of PD gain that is representative of your gain in HH mode. Tuning it in HH wil prevent you of using to much precomp.

Will have to see if I can find some more tips in the theory.
So If I use Precomp in HH I need to use a much lower value? Or should I set up rate mode in the highest gain possible and then switch to HH?

Any ideas how to approach setting up Precomp correctly for HH and 3D flying is greatly appreciated.

I got the MKS 8910A+ on order....figure its the fastest strongest servo for the 450 so at least I'll get a better tail out of that! Not that the Fut 9257 was bad...just the MKS is better.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I can see how this setting could be easily confused with RevoMix in the traditional sense.

the way I see this working is that setting up the precomp in rate allows you to see the effects more pronounced, but thats not to say that rate mode should necessarily be the platform for complete setup and fully realizing the potential. I would set with a higher rate mode gain (short of wag) so that the precomp numbers are not as large (tail gyro holding better/"harder" and feedforward not as necessary) then switching to hh you could fine tune by dialing down the precomp until you see any kicks start to manifest them selves, then maybe dial up 1-2 clicks as needed.

it seems (on paper) that this would get you a setting that only feeds just enough precomp to "prime" the gyro right before it does what it normally does, e.g. it would precompensate only for the kick, which should be just enough tail motion to cover that minute amount of lag time before the tail gyro response kicks in and does what its supposed to do, which is hold the tail. I would think that if this is done then there shouldn't be enough precomp influence coming from outside the tail gyro control loop to adversely affect things like piro consistency and the like.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ollie2893 View Post
And since you also appear to fly a vbar, perhaps you could confirm another theory for me: I am thinking that pitch->tail (on eg the MB) will be as good as makes no difference as throttle->tail (on vbar 5.1 with governor). Have you tried this per chance?
Unfortunately I haven't tried it. I gave up flying VBar right before the governor came out. I was spending far to much time messing with parameters on my N5 when my 700n on BeastX flew exceptional right out of the box. Switched all my helis to BeastX shortly after and haven't looked back since.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by djamgils View Post
I must admit that after going trough some feedforward theory it clearly states to disable the I-gain, so yes you COULD do it in Rate Mode. The reason why theory says you should disable I gain is because you are looking for certain shapes in the error signal. These shapes are not recognizable for us flying our helis so we might as well do it in HH. If doing it in rate mode it is very important to do it with a amount of PD gain that is representative of your gain in HH mode. Tuning it in HH wil prevent you of using to much precomp.
Ok, that makes sense. Then I need to at least be using the same gain I have in HH mode in Rate mode for the adjustement if not a little more just to make sure and not over gain. Is that correct?
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I can see how this setting could be easily confused with RevoMix in the traditional sense.

the way I see this working is that setting up the precomp in rate allows you to see the effects more pronounced, but thats not to say that rate mode should necessarily be the platform for complete setup and fully realizing the potential. I would set with a higher rate mode gain (short of wag) so that the precomp numbers are not as large (tail gyro holding better/"harder" and feedforward not as necessary) then switching to hh you could fine tune by dialing down the precomp until you see any kicks start to manifest them selves, then maybe dial up 1-2 clicks as needed.

it seems (on paper) that this would get you a setting that only feeds just enough precomp to "prime" the gyro right before it does what it normally does, e.g. it would precompensate only for the kick, which should be just enough tail motion to cover that minute amount of lag time before the tail gyro response kicks in and does what its supposed to do, which is hold the tail. I would think that if this is done then there shouldn't be enough precomp influence coming from outside the tail gyro control loop to adversely affect things like piro consistency and the like.
I think I'd agree with that method for sure. Starting the adjustment procedure in Rate mode will just get you closer to your end fine adjustment I think.

This has been a great discussion. Thanks to all who have participated.
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:24 AM   #19 (permalink)
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My own logs show a trex700 will go from 2000rpm to 1700rpm in a pitch pump with 1.2kW in hover and 2kW full power. And an electric heli will go from 24amps to ... 70amps with a 100rpm drop. ... This leads me to believe that pitch>tail precomp is much more beneficial in a electric heli.
You are approaching the issue from a "my tail cannot increase thrust as fast as my motor can increase torque" point of view. If that were the case, then, at best, the pre-comp would achieve a wagging tail (blows out to the left, then returns as torque builds). It would also imply some (unwanted, surely) delay in implementing pitch instructions.

My impression is that the MB's RevoMix merely tries to compensate for the initial loss in thrust (at unchanged torque) following a sudden increase in pitch (and associated decay in HS). As you correctly observe, that loss in HS (and hence tail thrust) is far greater on NP.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:47 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm pleased this debate has broken out, but at this moment I have little to add, though I am reading with interest. This weekend I added pre-comp to the 250, and thought I improved the pitch pump holds to an acceptably tiny twitch, but I think I may have introduced other problems, which I find hard to describe, or even be sure they exist. One problem was that it was extremely windy, so I couldn't tell easily if the settings I was amending were properly having the desired result. Not least because it was quite fun, read tough, just to fly it, since the winds were so strong, so I will have to wait for better conditions to see if I can contribute anything about my own experiences.

Anyway, I found myself in the same boat as latte in that I didn't really know what was a high number and what was low. I also didn't have a procedure to follow, and very nearly wrote one for you guys to inspect, as I tried to set it up. In fact I did write one, but I realised there were too many holes in it, as I am simply too ignorant in this regard, so I binned it. Obviously I was pleased to read that nwmtech had produced one, but I won't have chance to follow this one until the coming weekend, to see if it works for me.

One thing I had included in mine, before I binned it, was to first set the pre-comp to an extremely high value, to assist in visually checking the compensation direction. If you set it to 100 on pitch, just to set the Normal/Reverse, it is as clear as could be when you move the collective. Then, having set this, go for the default values, and adjust from there.

The starting procedure written by the guys at BeastX assumes an awful lot of knowledge by the people wanting to try this, in my opinion. One of the statements says something similar to, since it is self explanatory there is no need to go into detail, well not really to me, but hopefully this thread will develop into a collection of ideas and experiences that may well end up with a really clear working procedure. Not saying that nwmtech's isn't right, just maybe it can be added to?

Another point that I was unclear about until this thread, and the recent posts, was how it would react to overly large values, and how one would spot this. I wondered if it would kick the opposite way, and then further wondered if this happend, would the HH control system try to "re"-correct this, making it hard to spot, and it would seem that perhaps it might?

Oh, and I know nothing of the complexities of control loops etc, but when I observe the effect it appears to be simply a fixed amount of pitch correction, based on the amount of collective from neutral, and based on the micro settings value, and that this is simply overlaid on top of anything else that might be going on, which I presume just continues to go on in the background. I could be completely wrong here, but I would be pleased to read about what is actually going on, hopefully without it becoming overly complex.

I enabled it on the 250, as although quite good, my tail was not perfect in full collective climb outs, and I thought I would try to help it out a little. On the 450 it is is good as I think I could reasonably expect anyway, and I wonder if I should start messing with it if I am already happy with its performance?

I will keep my eye on this thread with interest, and if I can contribute anything once I have had the chance to fly in some reasonable conditions, where I can properly observe what is going on, then I will post my findings here, hopefully to add to the collective knowledge.

Cheers

Sutty
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