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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. So we know that Racing isn't a "HOBBY" with anyone here. So in your "off time" what do you do to unwind? Fish, Ride Motorcycles, Bowling, Paint? Let's hear about your favorite thing to do when you don't have to do anything else.

Radio Control Helicopters

Postby admin » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:10 pm

I started making multirotor camera platforms for one of our customers and got hooked on the technology. For many years I wanted to learn how to fly a radio control helicopter. Back in the 80's I got a Hirobo Shuttle which had NO stabilization, NO tail gyro and a small nitro engine. To say that it was difficult to fly was an understatement. It was relayed to me that flying an R/C Heli was like trying to juggle flaming torches while standing on one foot balancing on a basketball... It was WORSE than that.

Fast forward 30 years and the technology has progressed to the point of autonomous systems, 6 axis gyroscopes, GPS hold (locking things in place in teh sky) and all manner of amazing radio advances. Now, flying these helicopters is still a big challenge,m but with the assistance of simulators, and the stabilization systems, not nearly as difficult as it used to be. We've built very large helis for use in movies as camera platforms as well as TV shows. Naturally, I take a lot of the stuff back to the shop to refine (read play with) so it's been a real blast to finally get to do what I have wanted to do for so many years.

Of course, I can't leave well enough alone so I've started to build a scale heli for my own personal enjoyment. I'll show photos when it's ready. I'll get some pics up tonight of the 'fleet'. in the meantime, here is a photo of one of the stabilization systms we use. It's a Bavarian Demon and runs around $500.00. it will stabilize the largest helis we build and also has a "Bail Out" function that will right the heli should it get out of shape. No GPS but a very responsive and stable platform.
20140910_151148_resized.jpg


The next photo is of the mechanics for a 470 size helicopter (about 3' long). This is mechanics for the scale heli so they are necessarily smaller than a conventional helicopter. The motor drives a main gear which drives a belt for the tail (not shown).
20140910_151218_resized.jpg
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Re: Radio Control Helicopters

Postby GregM784 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:39 pm

I love RC Helos. i have one at home, a small double rotor deal, indoor only. The cat hates me, and that is ok with me.
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Re: Radio Control Helicopters

Postby admin » Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:47 pm

Pick up a Blade 200SRX. It's a fixed pitch heli, larger than the little coaxial you have and a blast to fly. Three modes Beginner Intermediate and No Limit. Self leveling and you can constrain the pitch angles.) If you have a Spektrum radio, it will bind right up. BNF is $219 and RTF with a transmitter is only $259.00
Heres a video;
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Re: Radio Control Helicopters

Postby GregM784 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:43 pm

Thank fully race season is over in 4 weeks, and fly season will be back. :) I'll look for that helo. Thanks Dad.
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Re: Radio Control Helicopters

Postby GregM784 » Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:44 pm

And yup, i fly with a DX7
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Re: Radio Control Helicopters

Postby admin » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:02 pm

The Spektrum radios are really quite good. I can't believe how far they've come from the old 72mhz days. My Original Heli radio was a brick with a wire sticking out of it. My first gyro didn't actually DO anything. I'm setting up a Warp 360 with a Skookum 540 and I have it flying but there are so many parameters to set and adjust, I'm only scratching the surface. I have a 500 pro with a NAZA-H that pretty much flys itself as does my 550 and 600 with the Wookongs (The 600 hasn't flown yet as I'm so backed up with other controllers. My 700 has mini V bar controller but that heli scares the crap outta me. I really don't have a big enough place to fly it. (The Local FLying field cuts helis off at 10am. About the time I'm going to sleep LOL!)

I'm setting up a Scale AS350 with a Bavarian Demon, but waiting on tail parts. The BD is AMAZING and quite simple to setup. If I was setting up a heli for the first time, I'd either choose a NAZA-H control or the Bavarian Demon.
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Re: Radio Control Helicopters

Postby Piranha » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:00 pm

Have you looked into and what are your opinions of the Pixhawk? I just started researching more for the video aspect. Looks like the pixhawk can do some pretty impressive stuff like follow me and region of interest that looks like it will integrate gimbal movement.
Really amazing what controllers can do these days!

Marc McCormick
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Re: Radio Control Helicopters

Postby admin » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:52 pm

I have looked at the Pixhawk for quite a while. While they list Helicopters on their site (or they used to, haven't been up there is a couple of months). Evidently they are more designed for multirotors. I like heir waypoints function as the price is very low compared to something like a wookong or Ace One, but as far as helicopters go, I don't think that they have anything currently that will work. Also, if you're not using a fully dedicated Helicopter Camera Platform, your really wasting your time. A Multirotor is capable of excellent stability and a lot of options for camera mounting. If you used anything larger than a gopro, then you need to look at a hexarotor at minimum. DJI is / Has a waypoint setup but I haven't explored it in detail.

If you are looking for a good gimbal mount, check out PHOTOSHIP ONE. http://photoshipone.com/
They have mounts that are easily adapted to a Multirotor.
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Re: Radio Control Helicopters

Postby admin » Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:57 pm

Also, check out the DJI Waypoint system

http://www.dji.com/product/ipad-ground-station
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