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Old 05-05-2009, 04:26 AM   #1
rockjock3
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Default Review - FMA's new Co-Pilot II

This is going to be a review of the new Co-Pilot II by FMA Direct. I am going to try and take you from receipt of the unit through basic install and into some flight recovery with it. I am an beginner/average heli flyer. I have been flying for about 1 year, but due to money and time limitations I have not progressed very well. I spend lots of time on the sim, but with limitations on money/time to get real flying in I am, like many, hesitant to try much beyond some basic flight and maneuvers.

Flight stabilization was interesting to me in the past, but cost prohibitive with units costing upwards of $500 and more. With the introduction of the Co-Pilot II, at under $200 for the basic model and $209 (as of this posting) for the full-blown all inclusive model, flight stabilization became very interesting again.
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:49 AM   #2
rockjock3
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Default Review -- Installation

My initial impression of this system is awesome. The components appear be well constructed and installation is very simple and straight-forward. I installed the unit on my T-rex 500 and it took approximately 2.5 hours from the time cut the box open until I programmed the unit for its initial flight.

One note, for my installation I required the use of a 6 inch extension for the horizontal sensor and a 3 inch extension for the vertical sensor.

I would have liked to be able to mount the horizontal sensor on the bottom of the boom for better protection, but it just rubs the pushrod. On a larger heli you should be able to mount it on the bottom if you wish.

So far, I am very impressed. I am ready for some test flights. Hopefully in the next few days out I will be able to get out to the field and get some shots and video for you all.
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--T-Rex 450 V2 (mostly) 430XL - CC35, GY401 W/S9650, HS65MG, AR7000e, 325 Carbons
--T-Rex 500 all metal head, GY401 W/S9254, HS5245MG, AR7000, 425 carbons
-- DX7, Hyperion Duo, flight leader case

Last edited by rockjock3; 05-05-2009 at 01:15 PM.. Reason: Correction
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:30 AM   #3
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Is it easier to set up than the first Co-pilot was? That was a big pain in the ass getting those infernal dip switches right and getting the thing to give the right commands. Pre-flight calibration wasn't too horrible, but I hope this new version has streamlined things better.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:49 AM   #4
rockjock3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonJ View Post
Is it easier to set up than the first Co-pilot was? That was a big pain in the ass getting those infernal dip switches right and getting the thing to give the right commands. Pre-flight calibration wasn't too horrible, but I hope this new version has streamlined things better.
I cannot compare the two as this is the first Co-Pilot system I have had. I can say that it was VERY easy to program. The manual was very good at explaining everything I needed to know and the flow chart was very easy to follow. The initial programming only took me approx 15 minutes and that included just playing around time in the menus.

I can also say that their are no dip switches. Everything is done from the IRNet programmer.
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--T-Rex 450 V2 (mostly) 430XL - CC35, GY401 W/S9650, HS65MG, AR7000e, 325 Carbons
--T-Rex 500 all metal head, GY401 W/S9254, HS5245MG, AR7000, 425 carbons
-- DX7, Hyperion Duo, flight leader case

Last edited by rockjock3; 05-05-2009 at 10:36 AM.. Reason: add information
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:25 AM   #5
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Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback on this, I'll be following your reviews as you post them.

Clean looking bird you have there, is that heat shrink on the AR7000 antennas? Hmmm..

Mel
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Navigator53 View Post
Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback on this, I'll be following your reviews as you post them.

Clean looking bird you have there, is that heat shrink on the AR7000 antennas? Hmmm..

Mel
Yes, shrink wrap. I will probably get some wire netting for the CP-II wires as well, but didn't have any and wanted to get the system installed.
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--T-Rex 450 V2 (mostly) 430XL - CC35, GY401 W/S9650, HS65MG, AR7000e, 325 Carbons
--T-Rex 500 all metal head, GY401 W/S9254, HS5245MG, AR7000, 425 carbons
-- DX7, Hyperion Duo, flight leader case
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:02 AM   #7
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Hey man, good to see the 500 is still up and running. I kinda miss that little bird... somedays. You should come check out the FBL T700N sometime. I'd like to check out your CP2 as well.
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Old 05-05-2009, 01:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HELINHAWAII View Post
Hey man, good to see the 500 is still up and running. I kinda miss that little bird... somedays. You should come check out the FBL T700N sometime. I'd like to check out your CP2 as well.
Hey there. Yes, that will have to happen. I just got orders for Robins Georgia, but we don't leave till October.

Yea, still flying. Tooooo scared to try much that will get it hurt. Still hasn't hit the dirt (knock on wood).

Hey everybody, Helinhawaii created that "clean bird" to my 500 before I bought it from him. Great work huh?
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--T-Rex 450 V2 (mostly) 430XL - CC35, GY401 W/S9650, HS65MG, AR7000e, 325 Carbons
--T-Rex 500 all metal head, GY401 W/S9254, HS5245MG, AR7000, 425 carbons
-- DX7, Hyperion Duo, flight leader case
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Old 05-05-2009, 04:29 PM   #9
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Yeah... I'm transferring to Fort Campbell in August. Kinda looking forward to it... kinda not!
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
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FYI...You may have seen this already. Here's a video on the setup:
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Old 05-05-2009, 05:50 PM   #11
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rockjock3

Greetings. Im just gonna ask, how far apart are your main sensor and vertical sensor? Nice install...
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:44 PM   #12
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Default Main Sensor Placement

Thanks for posting this review; I'm very interested. I have a feeling this setup may end up on my Furion for safe measure during my learning process.

I don't know how crucial this is, but you may want to double check your measurements prior to flight.


The Main Sensor Module can be mounted anywhere on the aircraft, as long as the following requirements are met:

Should be at least 6 inches from other components (including the Vertical Sensor Module, IRNet Router, digital servos, vertical stabilizer, horizontal stabilizer and landing gear) and at
least 12 inches from engine and muffler.


It looks like the two sensors are pretty close to one another; you may want to move the Vertical Sensor Module closer to the body.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Sparrow View Post
rockjock3

Greetings. Im just gonna ask, how far apart are your main sensor and vertical sensor? Nice install...
Great minds....
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
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here's my setup got about a dozen flights on it ..no problems to report so far...
DUDE! I think that's the most "stuff" I've ever seen stuffed into a 450 before.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:25 PM   #16
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Nightflyr, My turn... Those vertcial stabs on yur horiz. fin may have some blocking effect as the field of view of the sensors is quite wide and they overlap. About 120 d eg each sensor I believe.

Al
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:49 PM   #17
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HH, if you think thats packed you should see my experimental....can barely fit a pair of needle nose inside the frames, but thats half the fun ain't it
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:57 PM   #18
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Al, The verticals have not posed any problem so far with the CPII and I've been running the system every chance I can, she's been balanced and trimmed to the point of hands off hover for 15 seconds at 3 feet off the ground before I installed the CPII but good eye and if you look real close you'll notice the sensor is placed in such a position that the field of view being blocked is at an absolute minimum besides I wouldn't lose my verticals no matter what...keep my bird very stable in turns and reduces tail slide with less tail rotor input
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:03 PM   #19
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Looks great , flies great. Can't complain there.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:21 PM   #20
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nope I can't ...the only trouble I seem to have is a side drift that I can't seem to trim out...after going thru all the material on the CPII i'm 98% sure it's due to my location, been testing it in my side yard and it can not get a clear view of the skyline i believe it's reacting to the houses and cars that are around the area, As soon as the weather clears up I'll take it to the fields and buzz it around and see if that improves it any
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