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Old 11-03-2011, 09:44 PM   #21
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Helipainter,

Thanks! Yes, the fuselages are awesome. I'm really enjoying the build. Hoping I would have more time to do it, but now the wife has a deadline of me sending it to you for paint: Thanksgiving dinner. Funny, she seems to confuse my helicopter factory as the dining room table......

For the CA, just using the 30 sec thick stuff to tack it in. Still debating on the epoxy, I'm open to recommendations. I have some good stuff, but nothing to apply it with except a brush. I'd like to find something in a gun or tube with a mixing nozzle.
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:21 AM   #22
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bsi makes a ca for hardwoods and plastics, has a purple top, is usually the glue behind the counter at shops that carry horrizon stuff. it loves fiberglass and soaks into hardwoods

You want Loctite hysol 9462, excellent material.

she wants her table back, lol
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:12 PM   #23
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Thanks for the recommendations and tips folks! I have my supplies now, just need some time! Have drill this weekend so not much going on.

I did manage to cross a big to do off the list on Friday. While double checking what's left before bonding the wood, I remembered the landing lights. A quick trip to Lowe's and four mini-maglites later, we have landing lights! I'm using the reflectors out of them and cut a square hole for the DeLight LED's. They turned out great, and I mounted them in styrene and glued them into place. I'll go back and fill in the sides inside the sponsons and get some pictures up. For now, here is the assembly before I installed them. Very bright and I'm really excited about them!



I'd really like to make the inner two on all the time and have the outer as pulsating when the gear is down. May not be scale, but looks cool!
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Old 11-05-2011, 09:21 PM   #24
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Got a quick video of the beacons and landing lights from last night.

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Old 11-05-2011, 09:41 PM   #25
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nice and bright, love them square led's, been getting them on everything now
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:03 PM   #26
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Well, I officially got booted from my factor as Thanksgiving preparations begin. So no new stuff for a couple of weeks. I did manage to dry fit the right main gear with good success. I still will need to cut some more brass but it proved the system is going to work. I also test flew the mechanics today before it got too windy and verified the SK was still solid and the modified TT works. The tail was too twitchy and I'm sure that has to do with the new flex servo line. Hopefully I'll have an afternoon that I can fiddle with the gain settings and get it calmed down.

So, stay tuned in a couple of weeks for the after Thanksgiving rush!
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Old 12-15-2011, 11:59 PM   #27
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I realized I've let this thread go a while without updating, so I'll get it up to speed quickly.

I had back surgery so went several weeks with no work and now doing work on it everyday since I'm stuck at home recovering.

Faye is working on the cockpit panels after I got all the framework glued together and the panel backs drawn and measured out. She should be done by January with them, and I'm sure they will look amazing.

Finally back to making some progress on the build. I have been sorting out a vibration and tail issue on the mechanics, but think I finally have that under control. I'll test fly the mechanics tomorrow to see if bench testing was right!

On the fuse side, finally mounted the rest of the nav lights and posted a video of them as well.



I'll clean up the nav/strobes and once the woodwork is in, route the wires. On the down side, my DeLight controller took a dump so I have to send it back in for repair. I will say, thus far, Dimension Engineering has great customer service!

Got the cockpit parts for the main panel and center pedestal glued together as well, just now posting a picture. Faye is hard at work on the panels for me.




The last hurdle before epoxying wood work in was the retract mounts. I just wasn't happy with what I had made, so decided to give it another go. Old one is on top with new on bottom. Very happy with it as it's much better. It also puts the servo horns back in line for a aft mounting point on the gear, which will make since once i get them hooked up and pictures up.



I need to do a bit more sanding on the main frame and it's going in the fuse tomorrow without doubt!!!!! Things should start flying after that.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:01 AM   #28
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Finally!!!!!! Got the woodwork epoxied in! Got a lot done today, actually but I'm paying for it with a very sore back, so going to rest tomorrow.

Started off this morning flying as the rain held off for a bit. The mechanics are good to go (back to where they were before) and at least acceptable on vibrations. This thing has always seemed to have a vibration, but oh well. The SK720 is rock solid again and working great and the rebalanced tail blades calmed the tail boom down nicely. I also test flew the other 600 I am flying for my neighbor's photography business with great success.

On to the fuse, I had to get the nose gear painted white before mounting the woodwork because I won't be able to get to it afterwards. Sprayed the white on and will add the aluminum to the inner strut later on along with painting the wheel.



I decided to spray the main gears as well with the white and think they turned out good. I'll touch them all up once I'm in the finishing stages of the build.



Had to sand just a couple of spots on the woodwork and fitted it nicely into the fuse. I dry fitted everything one last time then tacked it in with purple CA. Once that was good and dry, used the Loctite epoxy and secured it all in. The stuff is awesome and with the nozzle, very easy to apply





Next up will be mounting the main gears finally and start setting up the gear sequencer and matchbox. I sent my DeLight controller back today for repair as well. Hopefully have some gear swings by the end of the week and will do a nice write up on how they work (assuming they do! ).
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:29 AM   #29
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I meant to add that I weighed the fuse tonight with everything so far and it came up to just under 4 lbs. My pod and boom have plenty of power now, it seems, but man, I'm really hoping I can get this baby in the air! I have minimal weight additions moving forward, as the front cabin will be mostly balsa/styrene. Still, weight is weight, and I'm really hoping to keep the fuse under 5 lbs without the mechanics. I don't want to have to change from my 6s set up!
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:30 AM   #30
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Was feeling frisky today and couldn't lay on the couch anymore so decided to get some legs underneath this girl!



I also managed to hook up the Match Box for the rear's and got that all programed. It took a bit of tinkering, but honestly, I couldn't be happier with my design. Right now, the links are just threaded rod which is pretty flimsy, but I have brass tubing that I'll be epoxying the rod inside of, which the test piece i made worked great. The speed of the A7000's is perfect as well. I had some speed reducers, but as they decrease voltage, I was worried about using them and losing some power. I'll get some more detailed shots tomorrow and a video of the gear swing.

On the front, I started setting up my gear sequencer. As I don't have the linkages to the doors made yet, I couldn't set up the servos, but did get the nose gear all set. It's a little jumpy, as my linkage has some slop in it, so I'll switch to a ball link. I also took apart the retract mechanism and greased it with lithium grease to help it smooth out.

I'm pretty happy with the gears, really hoping they stand up well. I did a couple of 1 foot drop tests with 4 lipo's for ballast and had no issues. I also "taxied" around the house a lot!!!! One thing I did decide is to make the nose gear non-castering, as there is too much lateral stress on the strut, so it won't swivel. Takes care of the worry about raising a crooked nose gear as well.

Next will be the nose gear doors and finish programing those. Then on to the tail cutout. Getting close!
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:36 AM   #31
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Well, a lot has happened since my last post.

I finally found the source of the vibes that have been an issue, really, since I got this darned thing. Turned out the actual head was off balance. I bought a magnetic prop balancer and spent about two hours balancing the head with just the blade grips on. Took 3 4 mm washers and 2 hours. Did I mention it took two hours?? Good news is, those 3 washers turned out to be made of gold cause it fixed all vibration! A quick test flight in the front yard proved it too. The skids that used to be blurry from buzzing are like granite now!

The bad news is the very next day after 3 flights at my flying field, I had a crash on the pod and boom mechanics. I've had the heli for over three years now with only a blade strike. Now I can say it's crashed! Was very lucky though, was doing an approach and was about four feet off the grass and in a very slow forward flight when the tail rotor let go. Figured it out and hit throttle hold and let it spin twice into the ground. The blades are trashed as is the main gear and a link to the one j-arm that is bent on the head. The FAA and NTSB concluded that the set screw on the tail rotor hub was missing all together so I'm guessing that all the vibes I've been tracking down did it's number. I even had lock-tight on it, but I had removed it several times, so it was old stuff. Lesson learned on that!

The great news is that there was no damaged to the boom or TT (thank God, cause that was a pain in the :censored: to build the custom TT) and all of the electronics are spot on. I'm replacing the main shaft just in case, but didn't get a vibe from it being bent. Fixed the head, but have a new one on the way. I may keep the original as spare parts if it's not smooth after rebuild. New blades and misc parts are on the way. A shout out to beyond-heli.com, as he was the only one who had the Rotor Tech blade sets in stock!!! New main gear, shaft bearings, motor shaft and fresh lock-tight are on the way! Overall, not a bad crash, and very relieved that I know what caused it. I've already gone through the entire bird and rebuilt it with fresh lock-tight. I'm also re-securing all electronic connections. I'll also put on the new Rail Blades tail blades, as I found that their profile is much more scale like than any others that I've seen.

While the mechanics are all apart, I figured I'd progress more on the fuselage. It made it easy to finish up the tail rotor and boom mount, so that's what I did! This is the first time I've mounted the mechanics inside the fuse since bonding the woodwork and was relieved that everything measures up and fits great.




I started working on the tail cone first by cutting out a small relief for the tail case, as it is too wide to fit completely inside the tail cone. On the right side, I have a hole cut for the bearing which is some-what like the real heli. On the left, once the relief was cut, I worked from the shaft out, ending with room for the tail rotor slider.




I must have put the tail case on and off a hundred times, but it paid off and I'm very happy with the result. Finished it all up by adding some balsa inside with blind nuts for 2-56 button head screws to attach the cone to the fuse. I also placed a support inside the tail to mount the boom to the fuse via the old tail fin mount. One bolt will be hidden, while the other will be external. I'll be epoxying the ply tomorrow to make sure it's sturdy. It's a tight fit anyway, so the thing's not going anywhere! The stock boom support was too hard to place inside the fuse and didn't work with my servo set up, so I left it out.





Next, I put it all together and played with it on the floor for a while!




LOL I'm such a dork. I had a thought though, while watching the nose gear not caster on my smooth laminate floors. What would it do with some gritty traction? Well, a quick trip out to the driveway answered it with what I was looking for! With the weight of the fuse and mechanics plus the traction of the concrete, the nose swiveled like a champ! Very easy turning and even a slight forward movement centered it nicely. Actually, all three gears did well, even over the bumps and cracks, so it was a good test. I'll grease the struts very well before flight testing. I'm confident in them that they will be great in normal wear and tear. Of course, they aren't going to survive a huge crash, but neither would anything else!

Okay, back to work. Got my servo reverser for the front gear door and put that on, works like a champ. Decided to get the Matchbox battery another go. I've never been able to get it to work powered by it's own battery. I found some hints last night though and gave it a whirl. Finally got it to work!!! Since I'm only using that for the two main gear servos, I'll have space to put the front sequencer and the lights on the Matchbox. That way, all gear / door servos and the lights will run off of a separate lipo. Makes me feel better, cause all that was going to be a lot of power coming from one output on the SK power bus. I'll have a switch on the control board I'm putting in.

I also got my Anderson PowerPoles in and converted all my lipos and ESC's to them. Man, I wish I had known about these years ago. Awesome product. I'll be using the retaining clips on the connections as well as an arming plug for the ESC.

Phew, okay, up to date!! Next will be finishing up the gear doors and then figuring out a upper mechanics mount. Then, I'll do the control board and wiring clean up followed by A LOT of bench testing before it's maiden test sortie!
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Old 12-17-2011, 11:00 PM   #32
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Good news everyone!

All the repair parts came in the mail today, so I'll be ready to get the mechanics back in the air tomorrow. I spent today bolting everything back on (with loctite hehe) and checking it all over. The new head came quick (thanks Cliff from RCA!) but unfortunately with the same issue as the original one - out of balance. I did a spool up and had the same type wobble. So, busted out the balancer and now that I know what I'm doing, went to work. Finished it in 30 minutes with one washer each on two blade grips. Smooth as silk. Re-checked all the bolts and links on the head and swash and balanced the blades (spot on) so ready to go tomorrow.

No work on the fuse today, but did play around with the nose gear spring and got it working. It's pretty firm, but I need it to return to the same length without fail as the wheel sticks through the doors so it needs to be perfect to prevent binding. Overall, it's a little lower (sticks out more) than scale, but nothing I can do with that now. Hoping to get the nose gear doors done next.
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:13 PM   #33
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Man, I'm exhausted! Back is still not as strong yet. Plus I've been working on the mechanics all dang day.

Started off this morning with a test flight, or flop, depending on how you look at it. Heli flew well as always, but despite balancing the head, the skids were back at their torrent.

I spent the rest of the Panthers game working on the head. I found that one of the blade grips was way too tight (not sure how I missed it) and while looking at that, also saw that it was bent. I pulled one of the grips off the original (crashed) head and replaced all bearings etc. Glides well now and much better looking while spinning.

Did a couple of test flights, but never could find the right balance with washers on the blade bolts. So I switched to tiny washers on the bolts holding the j arms to the grips. I also gave up on the magnetic balancer as I was about to throw the darn thing against the wall! :blowup: I used the shaft from it and put it in two bearings on some blocks. Way easier.

Ended up getting it as good as I could and did a test flight tonight after sunset with the spot lights on outside. Just a 1 min hover, but everything looked much smoother. Skids were calm, I could read "Align" and the tail was rock solid. Blade tracking was right on as well. :dribble: The SK showed vibes between 2-3 for the test flight, which is about where we were before the wretched crash!

I'm going to the field tomorrow to fly some packs and see in daylight how she does. I'm really frustrated about the quality of these heads now. I thought they were great out of the box, but was proven wrong twice. Nice piece, and I sure couldn't produce it, but you'd think for $300, it wouldn't wobble!!

Hopefully back to the fuse soon!
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:31 PM   #34
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Alright, after flight testing the mechanics and all but giving up on the head for now, I decided to do some work on the fuse. I did get lucky today though, after a very twitchy flight, saw that the Zeal sticky stuff had given out an the SK unit was just sitting on top of the gel. I'll go with the Velcro strap from here on out!

Got some little stuff and some big stuff done tonight! First, the little stuff: magnets on the front cabin doors. I've been putting this off for ever and regret it, as they would always fall open when rotating the fuse. Not anymore! Went with two larger magnets on each door. They are paired to the metal molded inside the doors. The main cabin doors were too heavy for this setup, but with the hinges and smaller size, they work great for the front. A fingernail underneath pops them open, and they snap closed with an acceptable gap for me. They are just tacked in now, I'll do some epoxy work soon on several different things.



I did work on the nose gear doors and got one linkage made. I still need to fiddle with it a bit. I also need to finish up the other linkage and then work on the sequencer. Pics and hopefully video on that to come soon.

The big stuff was getting the first main gear door mounted. It took me a long time to come up with a system to mount. On the real bird, its a fixed mount and the swing of the gear is perfect such that the flap of a door just rubs against the sponson and it's a simple system. My fuse and gears are not perfect, there fore I had to come up with something different.

The challenge was when the gear is up, the door should be x distance away from the strut, lining up with the bottom of the sponson. When the gear is down, it needs to be y distance, because the pivot isn't perfect. So, I decided to do a hinge type mount and have it hooked to a spring to keep it tight. Confusing, but once you see it, it makes sense. I got some brass oval shaped tubing from my LHS and split it, creating a U channel. Using some styrene, made a mount that slid in the channel and did a lot of measuring to make sure at the pivot point (the bolt), it was the right distance when in the up position. Then, just a matter of lining it up and tacking into place! I'll have a tiny spring between the door below the pivot point and the strut, forcing the bottom out and top in.






I did a couple of test swings and it works great. Now just to get the other side done and epoxy all into place. I'll get a video soon.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:00 AM   #35
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She's looking good, looks like everything fit quite nicely. Best to be patient with these things, there is always problems but the end result is very satisfying
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Old 12-20-2011, 10:59 PM   #36
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Thanks, indeed, it will be worth it!

Huge progress made tonight and I have the video to prove it!

http://youtu.be/NZmZZgmFWoA





Finally finished up the nose gear / doors and got the sequencer all programmed. The actual nose gear down swing isn't as smooth as I'd like, but I think it's the servo that can't control the weight. The retract mechanism has some slop in it, and it's just a 90 degree swing, so not much room to absorb it. I'm okay, as you probably won't notice it when it's in the air. The doors turned out great as well and were pretty easy to set up.

Overall, I wish the gear was mounted a little higher in the fuse, as not that much wheel sticks out of the real helicopter. But without heavily modifying the wood work, that's the best I can get. I'm happy with it though. Best of all, it actually works well!

The rears are still working well. I'll beef up the support rods soon and instal the port side door. I also need to put the spring on the starboard door to keep it aligned correctly.

Next will be the other main gear door, some epoxy work throughout the fuse and wire management inside. I'll also experiment with some lenses for the landing lights.
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:50 PM   #37
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Got some dirty work done tonight. The left main gear door is installed finally. Fit's nice and operates just like the others, so no pictures really.

I also did some electrical work tonight because I'm tired of wires everywhere. I made some custom extension wires for the door sequencer up front and a custom Y cable for hooking up the Matchbox to the SK Power Bus. I have some little foam wire keepers that I am using to help route wires as well. My DeLight controller should be back soon so I'll clean up the lighting wires as well.

I decided to break off the tail skid tonight, as it wasn't tall enough to actually protect the tail rotor blades. It chipped the fuse a tad, but nothing a little epoxy and filler won't fix. I'll redo that tomorrow and work on the upper fuselage - mechanics mounting system (still to be designed).

Really getting down to the nitty gritty on test flight and then off for paint. The interior and cockpit will have a ways to go when it gets back, but I may have this thing in the air by the end of the year after all! Just waiting on the new head to come in now.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:09 PM   #38
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So I had to get up before my usual 11 am this morning. Man, I have a week left of recovery time from back surgery and then back to work! That's gonna be tough!

The up side, is when you get up early, and have nothing better to do, you can work on helicopters all day! Got some cool stuff done today.

First up was doing some epoxy. I strengthened the tail support in the boom, added some around the main woodwork, nose gear servo rod attachments, main gear door attachments and a couple of other little bits. I also put the JB weld on the metal part of the main gear doors. They just need to be painted and I'll add a nut to the bolt with Loctite along with the tiny spring to keep them in position.



I decided to do another dry fit with the mechanics just to make sure everything is good, as well as play with the main battery. I think I'll make a "closet" for it that mounts to the woodwork, as the mechanics are so high inside the fuse, it's hard to get in and out through the door. If I can lower it about two inches (which I can if I cut the Trex bottom frame), it'll slide in and out nicely.




The fuse is essentially ready for paint as of today. I need to sand a spot around the tail skid that I re-epoxied this morning, but that's it. All of the other stuff is internal. I am still waiting on the new head to come in, as I want to do some test flights before dropping big bucks and having it painted.

In the meantime, I decided to knock some stuff out inside the fuse since I'll be tapping it all up for paint anyway. First up is getting my control panel built. I'm really tired of wires everywhere, and I'm a dork and like a cool looking panel!!




I'm waiting on the switch for the ESC to come in as well as an extra case for the PowerPole arming switch. I'll be painting this and labeling it as well, so will save the details for later.

One thing I noticed besides it weight a ton, is the CG is tail heavy! Not a huge surprise, but I was secretly hoping I wouldn't be adding dead weight. I tossed in another 6S just to see and of course that more than fixed it, so maybe I'll just fly 10,000 mah 6s, as I'm not switching to running HV.

I'll be starting on the cockpit and cabin up front next, mainly cutting panels and such. Eventually, I'll have styrene covered with scale carpet (dollhouse stuff that I got from this site!) and the full deal up front. It will add some weight, but not enough to really affect CG I don't think. We'll see.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:41 PM   #39
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Did a little dirty work and research today.

After putting the spring inside the oleo nose gear, I found that it wouldn't compress nor would it caster. I swapped over to my trusty drywall anchor spring (used them in the past on 450 retracts) and it proved to be plenty strong to extend, but yet weak enough to allow full travel by just the weight of the fuse. Now to just find a way for the extension to stop (I already have some ideas) and my nose gear will be perfect (again). I also greased it well and it moves much smoother.

Got some E6000 glue and did a couple of tests on it. Works great thus far, very easy to use and no discoloration although it does say not to use on polystyrene. We'll see what it looks like in the morning. Also checked out some dollhouse carpeting for the cabin. I think it will be perfect, so I'll order the self adhesive stuff online.

On a side note, flew my other 600 today that will be used for AP. It's a stock flybar head and just doesn't feel as solid as the four banger! Just gotta get used to it I guess. Also researched FPV. Anyone do that here? Looks cool enough, I think would be fun for circuit stuff but not scale.
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Old 12-26-2011, 02:42 PM   #40
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