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Old 12-10-2012, 11:44 AM   #1
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Default the best tuning guide ever from the best thread ever!!

THANKS TO ALVIN CHAI WE HAVE A GREAT TUNING/SETUP GUIDE NOW!! THAT ORIGINATED IN THIS THREAD, THEY ALSO LIST SOME TEAM PILOTS SETUPS AND SK-SCREENSHOTS:


http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=473511


AND THIS IS THE FULL SETUP GUIDE ALVIN CHAI LISTS IN PAGES ONE AND TWO. JUST FIGURED ID CLEAN IT UP A LITTLE AND GIVE REFERENCE TO A REALLY GOOD TUNING GUDE PEOPLE DONT HAVE TO SEARCH FAR TO GET AHOLD OF



SK540/SK720 basic setup overview

Mounting Pad
- The SK540 likes to be hard mounted, even on nitros. I know the earlier SK540 came with the black foam tape, it will work but not as good. I like using the 3M Exterior Mounting Tape. All new SK540 now comes with thin white tape, those work really good as well.


Swashplate Tab
- I use 10 degrees of cyclic pitch on my helis. Some team pilots are using 8-9 degrees as they feel it suit their flying style and setup better. I would say 10 degrees is a good number to use.

- Some people may find the cyclic pitch values may not be equal on both sides (e.g. left and right aileron cyclic, front and back elevator cyclic) but it doesn't matter as long as each side is at least 10 degrees.


Swash Servos Tab
- Trim each servos so they are centered and swashplate is level with zero pitch at center stick

- Before adjusting the Travel (%), check to make sure the swashplate is level throughout the pitch range. If one servo is moving more (or less) than the others at max or min pitch, adjust the Travel (either + or -) for that servo so the swashplate is level at max, mid, and min collective stick.

- Once this is done, use the Swash Mixing to set the pitch range you want, and adjust the Travel (%) to get equal positive and negative pitch if necessary. Make sure you increase or decrease the same % amount on all Center, Right, and Left so the swashplate stays level.

- Don't worry if the final Travel (%) is all over the place, as long as the swashplate remains level, it will be fine. However take care in not to overdrive the servo by having too high Travel (%). I limit mine to around max 130%

- If you are maxing out your swash mix and travel, and still not getting enough collective or cyclic pitch, then increase the distance of the servo horns.


Cyclic Tab
- Control Rates are basically flip and roll rate. The higher the control rates, the faster the heli flips and rolls. Do some FULL flips and rolls, and adjust the control rates to suit your liking.

- Bell Gains are basically how fast the heli response to your stick movements. High bell gain will make the heli "react" faster to your sticks, and low bell gain will slow it down. However high bell gain may cause the heli to rebound at stops.

- Self-tune Bell Gain is a good start to tune the bell gain. The self-tune value will work for the majority of pilots. Just enable self-tune bell gain and allow 2-3 flights for the 540 to auto tune to your flying style. After that you can turn it off if you wish.
- I think the manual suggest to adjust the control rates to achieve around 85% of bell gain. That is a good starting point, but I will discuss later on how we tune it.

- Hiller Gain is the "locked-in power" of your heli, basically it works like your normal tail gyro gain. The higher the gain, the more locked-in your heli feels. However too high hiller gain will cause the heli to shake or wobble in hover or in 3D (just like how the tail will hunt if gain is too high) I always keep the default value of 50,50 for the hiller gain, and run an overall gain of around 50-60%. You can adjust this thru your transmitter or use the Lock Cyclic Gain function.
- For smaller heli, I like to run around 30-40% overall hiller gain, as too high will cause the heli to wobble in aggressive 3D.

- Damping Gain. I find that the default value of 18,16 for the damping gain seems to work well for most helis. However if you have some cyclic rebound at stops, try reducing the damping gain. One thing to note is that the damping gain is propositional to the hiller gain i.e. if you increase hiller, damping increases as well.

- Tail Drag Comp basically help keep the heli level throughout the pitch range. This is more for elevator than for aileron. Since helis have big heavy bodies and long light tail booms, there may be drag in the tail when you give full positive or negative pitch. For example if there is no Tail Drag Comp, when you give full pitch and climb, the tail will dip down and lag behind the body, and vise-versa.
- Do a full pitch climb out and full pitch descend, and adjust tail drag comp so the entire heli remains level throughout.

- Hiller Decay. The lower the hiller decay, the more "heading hold" the swashplate has and helps keep the heli stable in high winds. Just as an example of how hiller decay works, if you set it to 0%, the swashplate will hold the last position/heading in flight and will stay there until you move it back. At max 200%, the swash will always move to level slowly.
- However low hiller decay can cause some oscillation during 3D. I like higher hiller decay because it makes the heli feels more smoother in maneuvers. For 600-700 size helis, I prefer around 150-165%. For smaller helis, I like using 185-200%.

- Cyclic Accel is the acceleration of your cyclic. It does not affect the sensitivity or range of the cyclic. Imagine the Control Rate is the top speed of a car, and Cyclic Acceleration is how fast the car can accelerate to that speed.
- So the higher the Cyclic Accel, the faster the cyclic moves.


Tail Tab
- Control Rates controls how fast you want your tail to spin. The higher the rate, the faster the tail spins.

- Rate Gain makes the tail stable, without it the tail will go crazy
- Hold Gain makes the tail locked-in into a heading. This is more or less like the Hiller Gain for cyclic.
- I hardly adjust the Rate and Hold gain, and the default values works well in all my helis.

- Collec Mix helps keep the tail straight during full climb and descend. Almost all helis today have powerful motors, and the instant torque created by these motors can caused the tail to kick or not keep up when pitch is applied. Adjust Collec Mix so the tail stays straight.

- Start Accel controls how fast/powerful the tail starts moving when you move the rudder sticks. If you tail feels soft to start, increase Start Accel.

- Stop Accel controls how fast/powerful the tail stops when you let go of your rudder sticks. If your tail rebounds after a stop, reduce the Stop Accel.


First Flight
- Check all pitch, cyclic, and rudder direction is correct, and make sure the gyro is compensating in the right direction when you tilt the heli.
- Find a nice calm day, set the Hiller Decay to 200% and hover.
- If the heli drifts to one side, adjust the swash linkage to counter the drift. For example, if the heli drifts to the right, either lengthen the right servo linkage or shorten the left servo linkage. Do one turn at a time.
- Don't worry if the swash level is slightly off after doing this. However if it is too much, then something else needs to be checked on the heli.
- Once the heli remains stable in hover, adjust the Hiller Decay to your liking.


I think that's about it for basic setup overview




alvinchai
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Hi everyone, sorry for the delay. Below is the Advance Setup I promised...

Advance Setup

I will concentrate on how I set up my Cyclic as I get asked that a lot. Some of the values may not work for the type of flying you do, but it will give you an idea on how I tune it.

For all helis, big or small, I usually start with the following values for the first flight,

Control Rates 280, 280
Bell Gain 55, 55
Hiller Gain 50, 50
Damping Gain 18, 16
Tail Drag Comp -6, 0
Overall cyclic gain 50% (in transmitter or using Lock Cyclic Gain)
Self-Tune Bell Gain - Off
Hiller Decay 165%
Cyclic Accel 30%

Control Rates
- I will get the heli in the air and start doing some full flips and rolls. I will then increase or decrease the control rates to get the final rate I like.
- What you are doing here is finding the maximum roll and flip rate you want. That’s basically what Control Rate is.


Bell Gain
- I hardly use the self-tune bell gain as I find the auto tune values are a bit too high for my liking. But I'm not saying Self-Tune Bell Gain does not work, it works pretty well for many pilots, but for my flying style, I prefer a lower bell gain.
- I think the manual says to give sharp jabs on the cyclic sticks and see if the heli rebounds. That method kinda works in a way but I feel it is not the best indicator for tuning the bell gain.
- There’s no "magic number" for Bell Gain, I’ve seen people referencing setting the Control Rates to achieve around 85% of self-tune Bell Gain. That may work for some beginners and sport flyers, but for 3D that method does not work well.
- I usually start with 55, 55 as I feel it gives a neutral feel for most helis. I will then proceed to fly my routine and see how the heli "reacts" to my cyclic sticks. What I'm looking for is a balance "reaction" feel, not too fast, not too slow. Then I will check if the there is any rebound during hard stops and tic-tocs, mostly with elevator. If there is some rebound, I will decrease bell gain.
- When I adjust Bell Gain, I usually use the same value for both elevator and aileron, just to make things simple.
- I find my Bell Gain usually end up around 50-65%.
- A lower bell gain will slow down the "reaction feel" of the heli to your cyclic stick, but it will make the heli fly better in hard maneuver (less bobbing/overshoot) To counteract the "slow" feel, you can increase the Cyclic Accel to speed up the stick center feel.


Hiller Gain
- So Hiller Gain is the "locked-in" power of your heli. The higher it is, the more locked-in the heli feels in the air. However too high Hiller Gain will cause the heli to shake /wobble in hover and/or during 3D.
- I always leave the default value of 50, 50 and only adjust the overall Hiller Gain with my radio through my GEAR channel, or you can use the Lock Cyclic Gain function.
- For most sports flying, Hiller Gain is pretty easy to tune, just increase the Hiller Gain and if you see the heli wobble or bobble during your flight, then just back it down a bit.
- To fine tune it for 3D, I usually do fast continuous elevator and aileron tic-tocs, or pirouetting tic-toc, if the heli wobbles during the maneuver, decrease Hiller Gain until you get a smooth transition throughout the maneuver. I find fast continuous maneuver is the easiest way to fine tune Hiller Gain for 3D.
- I usually end up about 50-60% Hiller Gain on my big helis (600-700) and about 30-50% on small helis (250-500)



Damping Gain
- I always start with the default value of 18, 16 for Damping Gain.
- The only time I tune the Damping Gain is when I get slight bobbing/rebound during elevator hard stops that I could not get rid of with Bell Gain and Hiller Gain.
- So if you experience some slight elevator rebound, reduce elevator Damping Gain. Aileron hardly needs adjusting.
- Do note that damping gain is propositional to the hiller gain i.e. if you increase hiller, damping increases as well.


Tail Drag Comp
- As explained in the basic tuning, Tail Drag Comp helps keep the heli level throughout the pitch range.
- Tuning is pretty easy, just do a full pitch climb out and full pitch descend, and adjust tail drag comp so the entire heli remains level throughout.


Hiller Decay
- The explanation in the basic tuning basically covers how I tune the Hiller Decay.
- To recap, the lower the hiller decay, the more "heading hold" the swashplate has and helps keep the heli stable in high winds.
- However low hiller decay can cause some oscillation during 3D.
- I like higher hiller decay because it makes the heli feel smoother in maneuver and transitions. For 600-700 size helis, I prefer around 140-165%. For smaller helis, I like using 165-200%.


Cyclic Accel
- As mentioned above in the Bell Gain tuning, low Bell Gain slows down the "reaction feel" of your heli to your cyclic sticks. So to counteract the slow feel, I increase the Cyclic Accel to help speed up the cyclic feel.
-Cyclic Accel is the acceleration of your cyclic. It does not affect the sensitivity or range of the cyclic. Imagine the Control Rate is the top speed of a car, and Cyclic Acceleration is how fast the car can accelerate to that speed.
- So the higher the Cyclic Accel, the faster the cyclic moves.

I think that’s about it for Advance Tuning. I will work with Skookum to rewrite the flight tuning part of the manual as the current guide now is kind of outdated.

Tx Settings
Just some notes with regards to TX settings, the only things I adjust on my TX are (I'm using a JR9303)
- GEAR channel for overall cyclic gain (gain value adjusted thru end points) and switching between Cyclic 1 and Cyclic 2
- AUX 2 channel for overall tail gain (thru end points) and switching between Tail 1 and 2
- Aileron and elevator expo (if needed to smooth my cyclics out)
- Throttle curve
- Pitch curve
- Throttle hold
- And if using Skookum governor, throttle end points to set up the esc or throttle servo

The rest of the values are set as default and all other tuning are done in the setup software.
Feel free the share this around and I will try to help answer any questions you may have. Thanks!

EXPO
- So the Expo in the TX basically lets us adjust how sensitive or non-sensitive we want the center sticks to be.

STICK DEADBAND
- Stick Deadband does not effect the cyclic sensitivity and range as well. Basically it creates a dead zone in the center of the stick. So if you move your sticks within the deadband (let's say 2%) the servo will not move.
- Deadband helps remove any unwanted small movement in your sticks when you fly and also make sure the heli stays stills when you leave the sticks center. This is because the stick pods in our radio can drift with temperature and it can sometime make the servos jittery in the center, which can effect the heli, so setting deadband will help.
- Also some digital servos really buzz when left in neutral, deadband will help remove it.
- I usually set my deadband from 0% - 2%, and leave it as is.

Don't forget to join our Skookum Facebook page,

https://www.facebook.com/groups/211297015669437/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Skook...63657117006535

I often check Facebook and will be faster for me to answer any questions




thanks to alvin chai and georgi once again!!
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Last edited by georgi UK; 12-31-2012 at 05:41 AM.. Reason: remote edit
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:16 PM   #2
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=] appreciate the time you have spent here Alvin, believe me, this is valuable documentation for so many users! thank you!

Chief, thanks for posting! this thing is nailed!
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:16 PM   #3
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Nice guide.

Quick Question: does sk720 work well with hard mount too?
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chenlixyz View Post
Nice guide.

Quick Question: does sk720 work well with hard mount too?
That depends on how smooth your heli is (vibrations) and whether or not you use the self leveling feature on the 720.

The 720 has accelerometers for leveling which the 540 does not. It's the accelerometers that are very vibration sensitive and the 540 doesn't have to worry about this.

If SL isn't important to you, then yes you can stick her down firm.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:40 AM   #5
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I know I have p!#$ ed and moaned about the issues I have experenced trying to tune a 720 and now a 540 from elevator bouncing to ugly toc tocs but guess what.......... my 7hv and now my 6hv are flying like I want. Equal or better in many cases to any fbl unit I fly along side. For me the key was turning of the auto tune bell gains and running around 50. It flies unbelievably well! Just shows RTFM is not always the way to go. Looking forward to seeing a rewrite. skookum all the way now for me and with easier tuning and there for easier access to the best flight performance this little box can give you I think a lot more people will be trying this brand. This guid has made me a very happy boy in deed! Many thanks alvin!

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Old 12-12-2012, 02:10 PM   #6
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You're welcome! Glad everything work out great for you
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the thread and thanks Alvin :beer:

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Old 12-16-2012, 01:48 PM   #8
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Outstanding!
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:39 PM   #9
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Awesome guys...
I was looking for such info for years
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Old 12-25-2012, 02:12 AM   #10
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This is a great guide for every SK user, thanks a lot Alvin!
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:36 AM   #11
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It's so good that I'm translating this into Dutch.

Soon available.
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Old 12-30-2012, 07:21 PM   #12
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Wow, great guide guys.

I too had a wobble issue on my 450 and damn, having self tune bell gains enabled was causing it to set too high!

I always wondered why such a guide was never included in the documentation that us newbies understand....
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for a great guide. Really helped.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
I always leave the default value of 50, 50 and only adjust the overall Hiller Gain with my radio through my GEAR channel, or you can use the Lock Cyclic Gain function.
Hello,
Not a SK user, but planning on getting one soon...

You seem to imply with this statement that the overall gain = the hiller gain. I do not believe this is correct. You are leaving the hiller gain at 50% and adjusting the P gain (regular gain) through the Tx.

They are two different gains. The hiller gains likely refer to the integral gains in a PID controller, and the adjustable gain is the proportional gain.

Cheers
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:12 PM   #15
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this is what skookum themselves recomends to do and has worked for alot of people. there may be updates and changes to it soon though its very accurate right now. going to go over it with georgi and alvin soon.

thanks for the input either way. let us know what works out for you. thats how things progress
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Old 02-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #16
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I'm struggling !

Goblin 700

This was the setup that I have just tried and in addition to the Elev bobbing, I now cannot hold a hover for more than a fraction of a second before it takes off forward and slightly to the right.
Last night I updated to the latest firmware and dialed in the settings seen in the image below - I have progressively reduced the Elev Dampening and with each step I've not seen any change in the bobbing.

Getting disappointed and despondent - seeing as I did the FW update, I will go through the full setup and this time not using the wizards, but the advanced UI which will allow trimming of the cyclic servos at mid, low and high stick.

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Old 02-10-2013, 12:58 PM   #17
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try contacting some of the mentioned people georgi uk alvin chai or skookum.

i would make sure that the swash is level through low high and mid stick and the cg first off. then spool up the heli on the ground at low-mid stick and watch to see what the swash is doing. and after that is it the same with all blades off?
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIEF-X View Post
try contacting some of the mentioned people georgi uk alvin chai or skookum.

i would make sure that the swash is level through low high and mid stick and the cg first off. then spool up the heli on the ground at low-mid stick and watch to see what the swash is doing. and after that is it the same with all blades off?
Thanks - hopefully they will offer advice here.

Bear in mind that at the start it was hovering and flying great with the exception of the bobbing , so unless the FW update upset the swash level, it should be spot on, not to say that I'm not going to check it all again.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:13 PM   #19
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use the wizards and go through full initial setup after any firmware updates from what ive experienced with my helicopters and the beastx, sk540, and sk720

hope this helps cause thats the only way you know everythinks "solid"
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:23 PM   #20
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usually when i start a new thread stateing my problems these guys and many others are there to help out quick. its hard to see your problem when posted in a sticky thread. some here are just looking for people to help
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