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Skookum Robotics Skookum Robotics SK-360 SK-540 & SK-720 Digital Flybar


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Old 01-12-2013, 06:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Adding Pitch climb to SL feature..My test results

Hi Guys. The weather was a divine 75F today, so I was able to do some experimentation with pitch mixing and the SL mode on my 720. I know this has been discussed and debated here many times, but this thread is just to share my personal experience doing this. This is NOT a debate over SK vs Helicommand or which is better......this is simply experimentation with using my current SK functionality and whether or not there is any value to me doing this. I wanted to provide video but unfortunately I didn’t have anyone that could film with me today, so I will add this later on.

The first thing I did was assign the momentary bind switch to the Aux2 function on my DX8. I then opened up the TX and switched positions with the bind button and Gear switch. This puts the momentary switch right at my finger tip in a much more ergonomic way since I am a thumb flyer. I set up my bank switching on the Aux2 channel so that I could switch banks and into SL at the press of the button now. I don’t need SL to fly, and only use it as a rescue function, so being able to activate it for a very short time and then back off again is perfect for me.

I then created an Aux2 > Pitch mix in my TX so that I could dial in a little pitch when the switch was pressed. You must consider that when this is done, the pitch that is added when the button is pressed will be removed once the button is released. This initially concerned me, because I was thinking that the heli would rocket up and then come back down just as fast once the button is released. This turned out not to be the case, but the amount of climb you get will be relative to the collective stick position you are in when to you activate SL. The lower your stick is, the less climb you will get as the pitch is just being added to the value you are currently sitting at.

I did several test flights and finally settled on a 40% collective mix. This adds 4.5 degrees of pitch when SL is activated and is enough to quickly move the heli upward from my normal flight stick position. My collective stick is normally in the 60-70% position no matter if I’m flying 2 feet or 100 feet up, and adding 4.5 degrees will pop the heli up quickly. When released, the heli will come back down about 1-2 feet and then settle back into a hover. The only negative would be if you were descending rapidly using a lot of negative pitch. In this case 4.5 degrees would only bring the pitch up to about 0 or so, and you would only get a slowing or stop of descent rather than a hard climb the other way.

I did 5 flights to get used to the new functionality, and I think I’m going to stick with it this way. I’m not a 3D guy, and this works for my flying style. I am rarely ever in a position to where I am pulling full negative, so the result I get when flying is very consistent because my sticks are pretty much always in the same range. This pitch mix would not help anyone trying to learn 3D that was constantly moving the stick between low and high, and the fact that you can only use this for upright climb would also be an issue. If you must have this specific climb functionality to learn 3D, you will be better served elsewhere.

So in summary, the pros and cons as I see it are:

Pros
1) Momentary switch is much faster to activate and deactivate without taking your fingers off the sticks.
2) Climb will work for most standard flying stick positions, and will at least slow or stop the rate of descent for negative stick positions.
2) Any small drift normally experienced with SL function will not be noticed at all as the heli climbs.
3) The climb changes your perspective of the heli better than just hovering in place. For example, you may lose orientation in a turn as the boom disappears behind the nose, but once the heli is higher you will be able to see “under” it and the boom will become visible again.
4) Pitch climb helps to stop the current momentum of the heli when SL is activated. For example, when activating the SL when in FFF, the forward movement is stopped much quicker as the heli is forced to go up than if only SL was activated alone. This gets the heli back into control in a more confined area.

Cons
1) Pitch climb may not be of benefit to those trying to learn complex 3D moves and moving the collective stick back and forth to their extremes.
2) Will only work for upright rescue
3) Climb rate is dependent on your collective stick position (see #1, but no real issue for me with sport flying)
4) Pitch that is added for climb will then be removed when SL is turned off rather than stopping in place. This can cause the model to descend when SL is removed depending on Collective stick position (no real issue for me with sport flying)

Thanks guys, and hopefully this was somewhat useful.
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