Yay so I Sunday night I finally sat down and really got some work done on this baby:
First off I have had this for months and months and not had a chance to build it up too much. It is a cheap $30 airframe kit from china called an HK-450 "450 size" helicopter:http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=14516
So thats just the airframe. I had it assembled in an afternoon, but no electronics installed. Sunday I installed 3 of these servos for the cyclic control. Together they control the pitch of the main rotor blades: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=10977
Went ahead and installed the radio. It is a Spektrum "compatible" receiver unit. It was only $6 but folks are saying it is reliable. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=11965
I had already installed this motor before FC. It was like $7 dollars back when I got it before FC, but China's neodymium export restrictions drove up the price a little bit. Some folks are saying they are getting away with only a 25 Amp Electronic Speed Controller, but others said they had a tester on the motor and it was drawing closer to 35 amps. In hind sight, I should have gotten a better motor. Hopefully this littler guy will hold up. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=6263
Of course any electric R/C model, be it a car, plane, or helicopter has to have an electronic speed controller or ESC. These ESC's are plugged directly into the battery and provide power to all of the electronics in the model, especially the flight motor. It has a special circuit in it that provides a carefully regulated 5V current to the radio receiver that in turn distributes that power to the servo's and the gyro. This one is a 45Amp ESC that is a but heavy, but gets good reviews and is probably way more power than I need. This will not overpower the motor though. The motor will just draw what it needs. The 3 blue wires go to the DC brushless motorhttp://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=11618
And finally the Gyro. This was also already installed before FC. It is normally connected to the back of the airframe above the brace for the tail boom. They call it a heady hold gyro. It keeps the heading of the helicopter on the same direction at all times so that the pilot doesn't have to do it. If you want the heading yo change you just apply rudder and the gyro allows it to happen. A good gyro can make or break (sometimes literally) how well a model can fly. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=9092
Finally I had to solder some of my high current connectors together. First I soldered these XT-60 connectors to some adapters for use on various things and then soldered one of them on the ESC so I can plug a battery into it safely. I love these XT-60 connectors over the Deans Ultra plugs because they are so well thought out and easy to work with. Even at about $3 for a 5 pack of pairs they seems very high quality. I also use shrink tubing over the solders. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=9572
I also needed to solder together these high current bullet connectors to connect the ESC to the 3 wires of the brushless motor. After soldering, I use enough shrink tubing to cover the solderings and all of the connector that does not go into it mating pair so when together they are completely covered. If they shorted out during flight it would be an instant crash and a blown ESC at the minimum. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=68
And I finally got to use "Mr. Jig" a snazzy little aluminum wonder that holds my connectors and bullets while soldering. Super happy I got this. Before I was using "helping hands" but this is much easier. http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/uh_viewItem.asp?idProduct=17626
And finally last night, got on my awesome Spektrum DX7S that reveille_d
got me for Christmas and slowly figured out what servos needed to be programmed to do what, set their home positions and such. There is no users manual that comes with these Chinese helicopters so its some guess work.
Finally got the rotor head initially setup so the swash plate moves in the correct direction based on my cyclic input from the right stick on the radio. The swash plate is the 3 pointed thing at the bottom of the rotor head assembly, it has the peg that goes through the tall anti-rotation bracket. It can be moved by the servos via its outer ring, but its inner ring spins with the main shaft providing movement to the mixing assembly above it. This gives you the control. Pretty amazing little assembly really.
If anyone has any questions feel free to ask. Assuming this post didn't out you to sleep. :D