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120/140 Swashplate Setup & Levelling E-Book
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120&140 CCPM electronic swashplate setup is by far the most intimidating and miss-understood technical setup process that most people face in this hobby. There are just so many things to set correctly.
By far the most heavily illustrated e-book of the bunch with over 80 actual photos to help illustrate the many steps. In fact, once you go through the process, it is fun and really not difficult at all.
From the smallest micro electrics to the largest turbines; if your heli has a 120 or 140 CCPM swashplate and you are intimidated by the setup process, this e-book will answer all your questions, and perhaps several others you didn't even know about.
Excerpts from the Swash Setup & Levelling E-Book...
Chapter 1 - Introduction:
I am going to be making four assumptions that are required to properly set up an electronically mixed swashplate:
1. You have built your RC helicopter correctly and have used the recommended servo & swashplate pushrod measurements from the instructions to get your swash in the “ball park” or at least playing in the same city. If you have a RTF, or used heli that came all built, the pushrod lengths should be good; it wouldn’t hurt to double check them though.
2. You have a computerized radio with RC heli software that supports the type of CCPM swashplate (120 or 140) that your heli uses.
3. You are familiar with your computerized radio and the menus/programming adjustments related to RC helicopters, specifically : The pitch curve menu - The sub-trim menu - The servo direction menu - The ATV (adjustable travel volume) or servo travel adjustment menu - The swash type & mix menu
4. You know how to use a RC helicopter pitch gauge
Chapter 2 - Procedures & Tools
I follow a simple 5 step process when I set up an electronically mixed swashplate. The examples I am giving with steps and illustrations are shown on an Align T-Rex 600 ESP RC helicopter and a smaller E-flite Blade 400 RC heli, both with 120 degree CCPM swash mixing and paired with a Spektrum DX7 computerized radio. 120 degree mixing is the most common and I honestly can’t think of many (if any) 400 size machines that use 140 mixing. Some of the bigger birds out there use 140 degree CCPM; so if by chance you have 140 degree swash mixing, the procedures I have will be identical – the only difference is...
The second and less known tool is called a swashplate levelling tool. You can build your own (we will get to that in Chapter 3) or purchase one. The best I have found to date and the one I’m using as an example throughout this guide is manufactured by a company called Trueblood Engineering. Trueblood Engineering makes several different versions of their levelling tool for different sizes and types of RC helicopters with 120 degree swashplates.
Chapter 3 - How To Build A Simple Swash Levelling Tool:
The tool I have built here will work on most swashplates, from 400 size electric helis up to larger 600 electrics and 30-60 size nitros, perhaps even larger. It of course depends on the specific swashplate, but you will get a good idea of how to size your homemade levelling tool no matter what size machine you have...
Chapter 4 - Servo Setup - Direction & Interaction:
Finish up by rechecking all interactions to make sure the swash is moving in all directions correctly. Congrats – you just completed the most difficult part of swashplate set up as far as I am concerned (getting the servo direction and interactions setup correctly), levelling the swashplate will be child’s play.
Chapter 6 - Levelling The Swashplate:
Don’t worry – this one is easy with the help of our trusty computerized radio – specifically the servo travel limit screen. Right now you have a swashplate levelled at mid stick, the question is will it stay level at minimum and maximum pitch values? Give it a try, move the collective stick on the radio to full low and see if the swashplate is still level. Now try moving to full high, again is it still level? In both cases the answer is most likely NO!
Chapter 9 - Recording Your Values:
Here is the chart with all the values I have programmed for the Trex 600 I just set up so you can get an idea of what I record and how easy it is. On the following page, I have included the same chart I use. Just print off as many as you need (pg 45 of the document) if you feel they will help. I usually tuck them into the manual that...
Chapter 1 - Introduction ... Page 3 Chapter 2 - Procedures & Tools ... Page 6 Chapter 3 - How To Build A Simple Swash Levelling Tool ... Page 9 Chapter 4 - Servo Setup - Direction & Interaction ... Page 14 Chapter 5 - Servo Arm / Linkage Centering ... Page 22 Chapter 6 - Levelling The Swashplate ... Page 29 Chapter 7 - Setting Collective & Cyclic Range ... Page 35 Chapter 8 - Setting Up Your Pitch Curves ... Page 41 Chapter 9 - Recording Your Values & The Swash Chart ... Page 44 Chapter 10 - Conclusion ... Page 46
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