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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

1st Weekend of Building

So the weekend, whilst also full of other distractions, saw me get quite a bit further with the heli. With sincerest thanks to heliwill10 on for giving me directions on how to fix my little problem with the tail boom and the drive belt.

It took a little bit of extra help from Android78 but I did get there in the end, and I will know for next time exactly how its all supposed to fit together, which is the aim of this little project anyhows. We love to learn.

Here is a pic of me with the successfully installed drive belt and tail boom. HOORAY!

So the next step was to start attaching the servos and all the other parts to make it go.

Initially this seemed easy enough, but ended up being fiddly and time consuming for me, even with the extra pair of hands and expertise provided by an excellent friend (I kept insisting I had to do everything myself). We got two of the servos in the right places, although there was some debate about which direction they should face and which end the heads should be at, but I'm pretty sure its all together and in the right directions now.

This picture makes it look like its got pigtails...

... and a side view

We did install the third servo at the back, for some reason I didn't take a picture of this. The third one, sitting at the back near the tail turned out to be the most difficult of all, first of all to determine which way it went in, and then HOW to get it in turned about a little tricky.

After about half an hour of trying to force it into a small space and then figuring out that it just wasnt going to go, we realised that we could actually pull the servo apart (dont worry I have spares just in case!) and then get it in that way.

Now, the next big question I face is where to put everything else. The motor speaks for itself, but the battery, the speed controller and the connector (oh man I hope I have that all right, or I'm going to sound like a ditz) all have to fit somewhere. I'm thinking battery in the nose in front of the motor, esc above that and the connector (that I affectionately refer to as 'that other thing') behind the motor in the back of the heli body.

I've been told that this might cause problems and that I should think about adjusting this configuration so, again, I look to you, good people of the interwebs and experts of the forum, to guide my decision making process with your words of wisdom and experience.

In the meantime I will keep building what I can, and this week I plan on breaking out the soldering iron and getting in some practice so when it comes to it, I don't accidentally solder all the connectors to the table by accident!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day Three: A little more success.. a lot more confusion

Okay, so I was marginally more successful this evening than last night, however I am slightly confused.

My contraption now looks like this

Note the screwdriver sticking out of the top.. thats to hold the drive belt so it doesn't slide back into the tail boom.. I have a feeling that the belt itself is supposed to wrap around another pinion located on the inner side of the heli body but for love nor money I cant get it to stretch that far and I'm not sure how hard I should be trying before it snaps. Any guidance would be appreciated in this regard.

Everything else seems to be coming up pretty rosy though, to my incredibly untrained eyes.

At the moment I'm assembling the chopper without tightening the screws too much or using any loctite.. which means I will have to go back and loctite it all once its completed, at least I will get very familiar with my little Heli in the process.

Because I'm having such trouble understanding the basics of even putting the body together, looking forward I am getting concerned about my ability to construct it properly with the motor and the servo's and gyro and everything. I'm not sure that I am using the most reliable plans.. and I am more than aware that I don't really know what I am doing. I'm finding it's often taking me several reads over the instructions to understand what is required, even down to knowing exactly which screws and tools to use.

This is so far out of my comfort zone, but I suppose that makes it just that much more exciting, especially once its all finished and flying!

So.. any helpful advice is always welcome.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Build - Day Two

Okay, so an hour a day... tonights attempt wasn't so successful, but it is because of my tiredness and lack of co-ordination. I couldn't hold a screwdriver straight to save myself.

I just ended up getting frustrated.

So instead of doing throwing my hands up in a passionate display of anger and sorrow I decided, since tomorrow is my night-to-myself-night I will plan and plot ahead so as to be extra organised and extra effective.

I have oogled my instructions, I have laid out all my tools and parts and I'm ready to go.

In addition to that I looked up a school here that teaches people to fly helicopters and I'm hoping and wishing that I will get the opportunity to do that soon. *fingers crossed* Never know what a girl might get for her birthday *hint hint*

Get ready, tomorrow is gonna be the awesome!

Right now though, sleeps.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Build Blog - 450 T-Rex Clone Helicopter

So.. it appears that this blog is going to turn into some sort of magnificently wonderful build blog for a new-found hobby.


Remote control Helicopters.

Because I don't know much about the mechanics of them I have decided, with the help and encouragement of my most wonderful friend, to build my own. As, you know, a learning experience.

So here you have it.

All the items used in the Heli were ordered from who, based on my limited experience, have reasonable prices and good service.

Tonight was the first night of actually trying to put together the Heli and after this experience I have to say I think its going to be a long and challenging process. Remembering that I have exactly zero experience with these sorts of things.

So if you read this, be patient with me, and don't laugh TOO hard when I get things wrong. And I WILL get things wrong. If you are going to pick on me, at least make it clever and quirky.

Anyway, on to the important things... Here is the initial mess!

Just like Laura Palmer, it's all wrapped in plastic, Twin Peaks style.

Initially I had planned on following the instructions provided by Mikey's RC, which you can find here:

When I finally got to the part where the build starts I realised that my Heli Kit wasn't completely pre-built so I had to take a step back, search the internet to source an instruction manual for my kit and break out my brand new Helicopter tool kit and start screwing.

The instruction manual I sourced, via the website where I initially bought my kit, seems thorough with a lot of exploded views, however the kit depicted it slightly different to the one I have, so I am figuring out things myself a little bit. Hopefully my special version of common sense works out and I end up with a Helicopter that's not built inside out or upside down.

After an hour I have ended up with this:

Now, before you say anything, the rotor head is lying on the table BEHIND the helicopter body. NOT out of the nose. The image is slightly deceiving. I do know that the blades usually come out of the top!

One of the things I took away with me after starting tonight is that tomorrow I'll be going out to buy a magnet so I can zap up all the screws I drop! It's just gonna make it easier in the long run.

At that point I ran out of oomph and plan to pick it up again tomorrow. The hope is to be able to find an hour a day to dedicate to the creation of my little 450, and then once complete, learn how to fly it upside down!

For now it will sit on the Kitchen table that doubles as my work bench and I will hope that the cat doesnt chew it.