Monday, July 31, 2006


Spent this past Saturday flying with my 'cousin-in-law' at a local school. He has a HoneyBee2 which he has converted to run on separates: Futaba 240 gyro, outrunner brushless motor.

Flies pretty well for a tail-motor helicopter. I think the headspeed is too low for the 3D stuff he wants to do.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


Some more battery pack temps:

B4: 108F
B2: 96F (short flight)

I got some prismatic tape to put on my paddles and blades to try to increase the visability.

They don't do anything at all in the air.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


The two weeks the the Trex was down for repair really set me back in my flying. I found side in hovering quite difficult as I couldn't hold the hover still. Fortunately, I've been able to get a lot of flying this week.

I picked up a temperature gauge the other day and started recording some battery temperatures, post flight.

Here are the numbers:

P31- 108
P32 -93 (short flight)
P33- 106
P34- 126 (adjusting the gyro so I pumped the collective a lot)

According to the Thunder Power Batteries Website, lipo discharge temperatures should not be greater than 140 F.

One more thing: I've noticed that flying four packs in a row seems to help me progress more than flying one pack a day for four days. Seeing as I have the capacity to charge 5 batteries at a time, that leaves room for one more battery purchase.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Well, it took a while but my heli is fixed!! The problem was that the upper bearing in the tail pulley assembly had worn and was grinding

As you can see, the upper bearing block is one piece solid aluminum so in order to take the shaft out, I had to resort to heating the pulley with a propane torch.

The tail pulley is located just behind the main shaft so removing it required taking the entire rear of the helicopter apart. While everything was apart, I decided to do some of the upgrades I had been holding off until my "first crash"

Changed the tail boom to carbon fiber and moved the tail servo to the left side of the boom (to protect it from blade strikes). Also added a Deans whip antenna.

Added a ferrite ring between the ESC and RX

Added a flanged tail-belt guide to the tail case which should help keep the belt from sliding side to side.

Took it up at lunch time and everything works perfectly! Whoo Hoo!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Grinding noise update

OK, seems like this grinding noise is a little more serious than I originally thought.

Looks like I'm going to have to take the tail rotor pully apart and check for where the sound is coming from. I've tightened the belt as suggested but the clicking is still there. Perhaps it is a problem with the belt itself? Maybe a frayed section somewhere.

I'll have to see.

To hear the sound I'm talking about, go to my post at (which is a great resource site)

Friday, July 07, 2006

P29 & P30

Spent the packs practicing left-side and right-side hovering. My flights were a lot shorter this time as my packs were charged up last week and sat until today. Put back about1343 mAh into each one when I recharged them afterwards.

I've read that you should look at the rotor disc to see what the helicopter will do. However,
I noticed that it is still hard to see the rotor disc, even with the white blades. Perhaps I can focus on the canopy or something else.

A strange grinding noise has developed somewhere in the main drive-train. It doesn't seem to affect flying, but I did notice it at the end of the last flight. I will try to take it into GrandRC and let Ed take a listen to it.

Put on the Deans Two-piece antenna today as well. I kept trying to figure out new ways to route the antenna and thought, "Might as well try it". I did a range check and it did start to glitch about 30 steps away. I will see how it does in the air. If it glitches more in the air, then I can always resolder the antenna back together.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

P28 (Flight photos)

Spent P28 taking in-flight pictures!

Thanks to my brother-in-law for the great shots (Nikon D200)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

P22 - P27

I picked up a pair of "plain" Align 315 blades. I wanted to have a backup set in case I crashed this long weekend. Anyway, when I picked them up I noticed that the blade root was much thinner than the 315 or 325 pro woods. There is an issue with the pro woods being too tight in the Align metal blade grips. I found the plain woods to fit in the grips just fine. I can now set them to be rigid enough that the blades do not pivot freely in the grips, but will deflect if I push on the ends with two fingers.

I flew in a new venue this morning, the local elementary school. It's just a little further than the church parking lot that I have been doing most of my flying in. I had hoped to fly a little further and faster than I have before as the fields at the school are much larger than the church parking lot. What I found was that if I flew my Trex further than about 30 feet, it became very hard to see the orientation, even with the hot pink canopy. I guess I really don't need any more space right now. Watching some videos of 3D Trex flying, one will notice that they don't really get much further than 30 feet from the pilot.

Spent the rest of the flights today working on side-in hovering. Dedicated whole packs to left-side hovering, then right-side hovering.