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Old 12-16-2012, 02:50 PM   #1
Camera Pilot
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Default Align APS system advice

Hello,

This is my first post.

I have been using a Trex 500 for AP work using an HC3 SX for just over a year. I have a FMTS with a 4mm Ragecams lens in a GoPro Hero2. I have had great results with it and I have an Iftron 500mw, 5.8Ghz A/V Tx. All of my Rx wires are shielded and insulated. All of my power wires are twisted, I've installed LC filters (inductors) for each power system and I have good separation between power wires and Rx wires. I've installed an Opto Isolator to the ESC and even soldered and twisted the 3 phase wires from the ESC to the motor. I use a 13.5 gear ratio and the ESC is a CC 70 Pheonix ICE with governor set at 2400rpm (works fine for AP work but I wouldn't try that setup for 3D). I've been flying sport and 3D for over 2 years.
Maximum antenna fades have been no more than 13 on any one antenna even at a distance of nearly 1000 ft. (tested on the ground to 1500 ft. with no more than 20 fades) with the Trex 500. I have been gettting 12 minutes flight time with a 35C 5amp Lipo.
Instead of goggles, I use a 10.1 inch color monitor set just above my control Tx (Not the blue screen type, in fact I've only lost video link once and it was only for about 5 seconds). I use 1 CP patch antenna and 1 omni antenna on my A/V Rx. It's worked great for me so far but then again, I don't fly any farther than line of sight with my heli.

I'm setting up a 700 class electric (Raptor E720) for AP work still using a FTMS and a Sony NEXR camera with a 16mmF2.8 wide angle pancake with a wide angle pancake converter on top of that at times. I may even use the 18-55 zoom that came with the camera at times. I will still be using the Iftron A/V system same as the 500 mentioned above. I will also be using a HDMI to composite converter so the NEXR camera can be used for FPV.

I've read a lot of horror stories about crashes with the APS system but I've also read that most of the time it's been some sort of setup problem, wrong software version or something simple that has turned into big bucks spent on rebuilds.
If I can help it, I would like to avoid the rebuilds and get it right the first time.

I crashed the 500 twice till I got used to using the FPV and I use a spotter.
I do know that I skimped on some servos the first go round. Won't be doing that again

I use a JR 11X Tx with a 12 channel Rx and 3 satellites placed away from EVERYTHING else. 2 of the satellites are mounted on plastic strips that hang from the FMTS, works really well!

I've read that HedgeHeli seems to be the go to guy for problems and setup issues.

Do I have it right that even for AP work, I can still use a linear pitch curve like -12 to +12 (0-50-100) for all flight modes? And that while in the APS mode, it will slow down cyclic rates as well as collective for climbing and decending?

Once I complete the intial setup, can I post a video of it here to have you all check it out to see if I have it right?

I hate the idea of crashing such an expensive bird just because I missed something or have something set wrong. Truth is, I can't afford to be rebuilding this machine. It come close to breaking the bank to buy everthing I needed to build it the first time.

Long first post but I figured you would need to know what my experience level is, how I setup the FPV part, what Tx I use and what I'm intending to do with the new APS system.

Any advice on what to do to start with that the manual does not mention or things in the manual that can be easily misunderstood.

ANY help and advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

Thanks again,

Joe
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:32 PM   #2
mmarmouz
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Location: Laval, Quebec, Canada
Default

Lesson learned !

Make sure there is 0 vibration going to the aps gyro ! Did this mistake twise !

Remove main blades and test on the ground, make sure vibre test pass with all engine speed

Then you can watch the swashplate if it still level when you swith to aps !

Good luck ! I crashed twise and hope it will be the last using the aps

See my thread, i explained what was the souce of my vibration, i have a 500 dfc pro
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarmouz View Post
Lesson learned !

Make sure there is 0 vibration going to the aps gyro ! Did this mistake twise !

Remove main blades and test on the ground, make sure vibre test pass with all engine speed

Then you can watch the swashplate if it still level when you swith to aps !

Good luck ! I crashed twise and hope it will be the last using the aps

See my thread, i explained what was the souce of my vibration, i have a 500 dfc pro
Wow, you have really been through the mill on your 500 trying to track down the problem! The mounting plate would have been difficult to find I'm sure. Glad you were being very careful not to get hurt by the rotating blade grips and I'm very glad to hear you were able to solve the problem. I'm sure it's a great relief! Vibes can be so hard to track down!

After the first crash on my 500 I couldn't find a vibe that had developed. I replaced nearly everything and used a dial indicator on the rest. It turned out that I had a very very slightly bent feathering shaft. It only showed itself when I adjusted the blade tracking, then had to readjust it again........and again.......I knew it was straight according to the dial indicator......wrong! When I removed it, it was bent by only .002" but just enough to make my camera wobble side to side. As the feathering shaft rotated, it was constantly effecting the tracking. Normally the shaft wouldn't rotate but it being slightly bent caused it to rotate. Good thing it did, otherwise I might still be looking for the problem. I will be removing the feathering shaft from now on if I crash. Checking it by measuring the blade grips isn't a reliable method. I removed the blades, placed the dial indicator on each grip side while rotating the shaft with an allen wrench from the other side, each side passed my test, I had the head locked down so it couldn't move while testing it. Still seems like it would have shown up that way but I guess it took the force of the blades to push against the dampers. dunno!

Thank you for lettng me know just how sensitive the APS is to vibes and for all of the other good info in that thread! I'll make sure it passes the vibe test in all HSs before trying the APS or GPS modes.

Thanks again!
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:34 AM   #4
mmarmouz
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Originally Posted by Camera Pilot View Post
Wow, you have really been through the mill on your 500 trying to track down the problem! The mounting plate would have been difficult to find I'm sure. Glad you were being very careful not to get hurt by the rotating blade grips and I'm very glad to hear you were able to solve the problem. I'm sure it's a great relief! Vibes can be so hard to track down!

After the first crash on my 500 I couldn't find a vibe that had developed. I replaced nearly everything and used a dial indicator on the rest. It turned out that I had a very very slightly bent feathering shaft. It only showed itself when I adjusted the blade tracking, then had to readjust it again........and again.......I knew it was straight according to the dial indicator......wrong! When I removed it, it was bent by only .002" but just enough to make my camera wobble side to side. As the feathering shaft rotated, it was constantly effecting the tracking. Normally the shaft wouldn't rotate but it being slightly bent caused it to rotate. Good thing it did, otherwise I might still be looking for the problem. I will be removing the feathering shaft from now on if I crash. Checking it by measuring the blade grips isn't a reliable method. I removed the blades, placed the dial indicator on each grip side while rotating the shaft with an allen wrench from the other side, each side passed my test, I had the head locked down so it couldn't move while testing it. Still seems like it would have shown up that way but I guess it took the force of the blades to push against the dampers. dunno!

Thank you for lettng me know just how sensitive the APS is to vibes and for all of the other good info in that thread! I'll make sure it passes the vibe test in all HSs before trying the APS or GPS modes.

Thanks again!
Yes that is my only advice ! I redid some test again, and noticed that by tightening the 2 screws very well, at the rear completely of each body panel, the ones holding the tail, will eleminate the vibration passed to the gyro mount ! i did put a small amount of double tape to absorbe some vibrations ! did work well, passed the test with all throttle speed !

can't wait to be able to test, at least i know there is no more vibration affecting the APS, on my last crash, i was trying the auto take off ! and when i was hoovering at around 60-65% throttle, i did crash after 10 seconds.

when i was doing my test on the ground yesterday, i did notice my APS vib test fail and turn red at around 60% throttle !!! so when it fail ! no more stabilization ! so swash go left or right, and pitch change very fast ! i did also notice that if the APS have vib, when you switch the APS, sometime it go negative pitch unstead of positive pitch !, that was my first crash !!

Thanks god, i only spent around 500$ in repair with theses 2 crashs, and hope i will not spend again, ! i hope i will be lucky testing it again next time ! i suggest you do a auto take off, and stay not too high ! it will cost you less if it crash, and do it on grass ! now i am using some Pro 3D main blades and plastic tails ! that's what always have to be replace after a crash, i will save my aligns carbon fiber ones after APS is stable !

Good luck to you ! i think we both need it ! make sure you pass the vibe test, and test more than a minute at a high speed throttle !
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