Mikado V-Bar digital flybar system
last updated 5-6-2009
Version 3.6.16 - I do not have v4 yet...

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On the left is the Mikado head for the Logo 600. It includes the swash driver. The part number is #04042. This is installed on my Raptor 50v2.

3-28-2009
Hitec 6965 cyclic&collective
Futaba 9253 tail
Receiver battery: 2S A123 2300mah
Regulator: Turnigy TR-UBEC15
Current draw per 12 minute flight: average 195ma
Blades: CYE Radix 600mm
Collective range: -11 to +11 degrees
Cyclic range: 10 degrees
Headspeed: 1800rpm
My current VBar file:
All Banks: <
file> 6KB ultra mode (updated 5-5-2009)

First off I am just starting with this new digital flybar technology so I am not an expert. I have a lot to learn but I also have a lot of tips from a beginner point of view. So far I have run across many things that while simple, are confusing if you have no guide. The following are a mix of tips, suggestions, and guides.

1. Pre-Purchase
2.
Confusing items
3.
Tips
4.
Info - classic versus ultra, pitch gauge mod, problems, etc.
5.
Guides - bank switch, radio setup

Pre-Purchase, before you buy the VBar you should realize that despite the price, you will only receive four extension wires. These four will connect the collective, aileron, elevator, and rudder channels from your receiver to the V-Bar but you will need a 5th wire if you plan on using the 'Bank Switching' feature. Bank Switching is used so you can have the helicopter perform different at the flip of a switch. This feature is most commonly used so you can try out new settings but is also used to select between different flight styles. You can have one bank optimised for FAI flying and another for 3D. This 5th extension wire is not a normal extension (female to male) used to extend the reach of a servo, but instead it is a male to male wire. So make sure you order one when you get the V-Bar. I did not know this so I had to make one. See the next tip.

Multiple power connections - It is recommended that your power source should be connected to more then one place. Even though all of the positive and negatives are tied together, having two connections will help distribute the high current that can come from the use of high performance servos. In my case I needed a wire to connect the 'Bank Switching' channels from the receiver to the V-Bar so I made a reverse Y-connector. I did this with a standard 3" extension and a short male wire. I removed the signal wire going to the female connector. The signal wire was then soldered to the male connector I added so that the signal goes direct from the two male connectors. And the short male connector was soldered to the positive and negative wires of the extension. This worked out great but you do not want to do this if you are not proficient with soldering. This connection has to be reliable! This means doing things such as splicing into the positive and negative wires at slightly different locations. If you did the connections side by side and your insulation came loose then the positive and negative could touch. Your soldering skill also needs to be good. Solder should flow across the two joints, if it looks like a ball of solder sitting on top of the wires then you cannot trust this. You would be better off just buying a cable pre-made. Note: After initially writing this I now have a different regulator that has two power plugs to go to the receiver. I used one to go in the reverse Y cable and I put the other into 'Channel 4' of the V-Bar controller. So I have three places that power comes into my electronics, however two would be enough.

Pre-Purchase - rotor head. I looked for a technique to make the stock Raptor head work but I was not able to find one I liked. One technique would have been to leave the see-saw hub in place but lock it down to prevent it from moving. This would then provide the leverage but it would not solve the 0 delta requirement. With the TT metal grips I think the rotor grip plates could be modified or new longer ones made to work. For me, the solution was to purchase the rotor head for the logo 600 (part# 04042). This head is designed for a 10mm main shaft just like the Raptor. However the bolt hole is too high. You can see in the picture on the right the new hole I drilled 17mm from the bottom. I first drilled a small hole just to make sure it aligned with the shaft then drill it out to match the 3mm bolt. With the main shaft in the head block this helped guide the bit to make the hole on the other side of the head.
NOTE: The blade grips are for 14mm blades but it does come with 1mm spacers so you can still use 12mm blades. It uses 4mm bolts.

Pre-Purchase - Power source/regulator. You really want to make sure your power source is sufficient! Batteries that are capable of high current such as Nicds or 3rd gen Nimh. And if you use lipos with a regulator make sure the regulator is good enough. You can read more about this on my 2nd crash report. Basically I had a linear regulator that could not keep up with the digital servos so I had to buy a switchmode type regulator.

Confusion #1 - swash type. This is actually not that confusing with the Raptor 30/50/60/90 since your radio will already be set to the correct type. For those with a 120 eCCPM helicopter like the mini-Titan you need to change the radio swash type to a '1 servo' setup. The V-Bar will do the mixing itself for the eCCPM models.

Confusion #2 - trims. You will NOT use the aileron, elevator, or rudder trims on your radio. All trimming has to be done in the V-Bar. It would be good if our modern radios had an option to disable the trims.

Confusion #3 - Connection. This is a good example of something that is simple but just not explained. When you connect the USB cable from the computer to the V-Bar you will hear the typical Windows USB sound that means a USB device was just connected, but the "no Connection" will remain red. Do not worry, it does not mean the device is broke. The problem is that the helicopter needs to be turned on. I am not sure it matters but I always turn the helicopter on first and wait for the collective to 'bump' to indicate the VBar is ready before I connect the USB cable. 1st turn on the helicopter then connect the USB cable This indicates the heli is connected and ready for updates.

Confusion #4 - UP is DOWN??? This has to do with the 'Live page' - Elevator UP is referencing the helicopter going up aka nose up. This is very confusing. The Live page is suppose to be about the radio so terms should only be relative to the radio. In this case it would mean to pull the stick toward the bottom of the radio. I got this mixed up when I setup mine, to me elevator up meant move the elevator stick up to the top of the radio. They should have a picture of the stick position at the top and bottom of the bars. Or at least use words that are not common between channels such as say elevator forward, collective up, etc. Or maybe even say nose up for the elevator, just adding 'nose' to their label would remove confusion.

Confusion #5 - Easy setup Step 6 ERROR. With the Raptor it uses a mCCPM setup. Even though you set this in Step 1, if during Step 6 you adjust the 'Collective Travel' then it will immediately take on the behavior of an eCCPM setup. Meaning that as you move the collective stick on the radio you will see all three servos move (collective, aileron, and elevator).

Tips:
Tip #1 Connections - When connecting the extensions and servos to the V-Bar controller make sure that all of the ground wires are on the label side of the V-Bar. This is opposite to that of the Spektrum AR7000 receiver which has the signal wire toward the label. Note that the AR9000 is opposite of the AR7000. It will have the ground wires toward the label just like the VBar does. Click on the picture on the left to see a larger view of the AR7000 and VBar.
Tip #2 - Use a blank plug to protect from damaging the sensor. The V-Bar sensor plugs in on the right. On the left is a four pin connector. If you accidentally plug the V-Bar sensor into the four pin connector then you could destroy the sensor. This is an accident waiting to happen. I figured it would be better to prevent this by using a 'dummy plug'. If you look at the blue plug on the left you will see that I cut the wires off such that they are recessed in the plug so there is no chance teh ends of the wires could touch. To do this I removed each pin from the housing then cut off the wire at the edge of each pin and pushed the pin back in place.

Tip #3: Connecting VBar to Computer.

Safe to connect, computer will read from the helicopter
Computer is connected to the helicopter and settings you make will immediately be made to the helicopter.
CAUTION!
The heli is not connected. If you make changes in the program then you reconnected the heli the new changes will be sent to the heli.

Be careful about this. Luckily it did not cause a problem but I found out that any settings you modify are immediately sent to the VBar the moment you connect it. I brought my laptop to the field to make adjustments to my heli. After making some adjustments I put the laptop in Standby mode. After making a short flight I went back to the laptop to look over some of the settings. I made a change to one of the settings fully expecting that when I connected the heli to the laptop that the software would read the values from the VBar unit. However I found out that instead of reading from the VBar, it instead wrote to it. I was able to set the value back to what it was but from then on I was more aware of the state of the software. Basically if you start up the Vstabi USB program it will show 'no connection' with NOTHING to the right of that. When you connect the helicopter to the computer the red box will change to 'connected' and there will be a box to the right of that indicating that it is writing to the Vbar then will change to 'ready'. During this time it will not matter what settings you have made in the program. It will read from the helicopter and update the software on the computer to match the settings stored in the Vbar. Now this is where you need to be aware of the program status. If you disconnect the helicopter then later reconnect it without having closed the Vstabi program then any adjustments you made one the computer will immediately be sent to the helicopter. This can also be a convenient feature. After understanding how this works I now will make an adjustment on the laptop then I connect the helicopter for just a few seconds to allow the update and I am ready to go.
NOTE!!!: In doing the above technique, if you use bank switching then make sure the radio is set to the correct bank before you connect the computer. If you are not sure then close the VStabi program then re-open it for a fresh read from the helicopter.

TIP #4: English. When you install the Vstabi software it ask what language and if you select English the icons for the program will have the '-1 en' added to them. This will get the file menu and some other things in English however if you use the Vstabi Easy program then the descriptions on the left will not be in English. To fix this go to 'C:\Program Files\VStabi\images-en' and copy the images to 'C:\Program Files\VStabi\images'.

TIP #5: Tail limit 64. Some tail servos will go limp (like no power) when the limits are set too high. In most cases this happens with a value greater then 64. Test this out for your servo. If you find you need a higher value to get the full mechanical travel then move the ball on the tail servo outward one more hole and try again.

TIP #6: Cycli gain 100/109. This <link> describes setting the Cyclic Gain to 100 or 109. For the Raptor you do not use geometry correction so you set the Cyclic Gain to 100. For a 120 eCCPM swash you could use geometry correction so you would use 109.

TIP #7: Tail settings. I played around with different values and it can be very confusing. I had to go to Wikipedia PID Controllers to help me understand how this controller loop works. In the end I came up with Common Gain = 95, Acceleration=20, P=90, I=30, D=25. I would recommend using these settings for the Raptor and would also suggest at least starting out with these values for other setups. If that does not work then set D to zero and experiment with P and I.
NOTE: Do NOT set the Acceleration to zero. The tail will have a stuck feel after doing a pirouette.

Info:

Classic versus Extended versus Ultra
My impression after flying each mode is that Ultra is the mode that makes having a digital flybar better then flybar'd. In Classic mode the hover felt locked in but doing forward flght it had a ballooning tendancy. In Extended mode the ballooning action was gone but overall the flight characteristics seemed a bit disconnected. It had a feeling of being stable while the cyclic was near center and lost the stability when the stick was closer to the edges. It also had a high expo feel, soft in the middle with a quick non-linear change making it difficult to be precise. Ultra Mode - The best of it all. This is what I pictured a digital flybar to be like. Very stable, tracks great, rolls are better then I have ever done before, better in the wind, and less demand on the engine. Unlike the other two modes, Ultra has a stable feeling even when the stick is not in the center. It also has a more linear feel. Unlike with the flybar, when doing high cyclic moves like aileron tic-tocs and such the rotation rate does not have that decrease at full deflection. You know how quick the rotation rate is when you initiate it, that is the same response you have at full deflection. And in wind some moves would take a lot of power because of using a lot of collective to keep your position in the wind together with a high cyclic command. With the digital flybar it really does not take as much effort. Also it is more smooth in gusty conditions.

When you adjust the 'Performance Main Rotor - Cyclic Rate' it is changing the values of 'Paddle Steering Intensity' and 'Bell' on the 'Flight Parameter' tab. It will keep the Bell to PSI at a 2:1 ratio. Also note that if you had different values on the aileron and elevator then after you move the Cyclic Rate slider the aileron and elevator values will be the same.
When you adjust the 'Performance Main Rotor - Cyclic Gain' slider you are adjusting the
Hiller + Proportional + Bell.

Bubble level on pitch gauge - As you can see in the picture I added a bubble level to my pitch gauge. The first step is to set the pitch gauge to zero degrees and place it on the blade. Place a 2nd bubble level on the blade grip. Adjust the collective so bubble on the grip is level. Next using some glue such as Goop (link) stick a bubble level to the pitch gauge and position it so that it is level. Next take the gauge off lay it down so the level does not move out of position. As the glue sets up test the pitch gauge again. With the gauge at zero both the level on the blade grip and the level on the gauge need to be centered.

The Crashes ...
The first crash was due to having the aileron and elevator sensor direction wrong. Setting the direction seems like a simple thing but the problem is the default values for Classic mode are such that the swashplate hardly moves when you tilt the helicopter. In fact I did not see it move at all when I tilted the heli. I found I could see the swash move a little by doing a very quick tilt and I set the 'Sensor Reverse' base on the movement I saw. This however is what caused the crash. What I saw when the swashplate was moving was not the movement to compensate for the sudden tilt of the helicopter but instead it was the swashplate 'returning to neutral' after it had already moved in reaction to the helicopter tilting. The compensation was so minor and quick that I only saw the slower movement of it re-centering. This made my first hovers very interesting. I could see as I got it light on the skids the rotor would dart over to one direction. It seemed to be a random direction, or at least it did not appear to correspond with what I wanted it to do :) Not having a 'preset' to go by I thought this reaction was just some setting on one of the tabs that I needed to figure out. I made many short attempts and short hovers trying to get this thing under control. I went back and forth from the flying spot to my truck where my laptop was. It is a wonder I didn't crash quicker then I did. I had adjusted settings to the point that I could hover a foot or two off the ground but it all ended on one of the attempts when I was hovering about waist high and as it started its 'weird' behavior I set it down but the rotor tilted enough that one blade dug into the ground and cracked the blade. It also stripped the gears in one of the HS-635's that I was using. I kept replaying the events in my mind until I figured it out. When I would lift off it would be fine as long as I lifted perfectly straight. And it would hover but sometimes it would start drifting a certain direction and if I corrected too fast it would dart more back the other way. When I would correct fast for that it would dart even faster the opposite direction. This is what caused the broken blade and servo. But the good news was that I figured out the problem and I also figured out that if I change the Hiller values on the aileron and elevator to 99 then I could easily tell the sensor direction. With the Hiller at 99 then you can tilt the helicopter and the swashplate will move and stay at that angle for a few seconds.
The 2nd crash:
This one was not entirely my fault. I had bought this regulator the year before was using it before installing the VBar. It is from a company that many people send their radios in for repair and the regulator seemed to be doing fine. I installed it when I switched over to using the A123 batteries and continued using it after installing the VBar. The problem day came a few flights later after the previous crash. By this time I was flying around and all of a sudden the tail started spinning. I moved the rudder stick to stop it and it did slow down but the helicopter was also tilting back and left. I hit throttle hold and let it crash. As soon as I got to the helicopter I noted that the radio still responded but I could see that the tail control was full over. I could move the rudder stick to get the servo center but when I returned the stick to center the servo would dart off the other direction. Without turning off the helicopter I brought it to the truck and connected it to the laptor. I could see on the VBar Live page that the aileron, elevator, and rudder were not centered. This told me what I needed to know, the VBar experienced a brown-out. When power comes up on the VBar it remembers the position of the rudder, aileron, and elevator signals coming from the radio and stores this as the 'center' position. This is just like the Futaba gy401 does. That is why it is important that you do not use any of these trims on the radio. So at the time my system did a brown-out I must have been holding the sticks off center. That next day I carried my helicopter to work and connected the oscillascope to the output of the regulator. I have some videos of an oscilliscope that show how 'trashy' the output was. It was clear this caused the receiver to reset in flight which caused the crash. I replaced it with a switchmode type regulator and the problem was solved. The reason the regulator was working before is because I was not using digital servos. In the first crash one servo was damaged so I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and put my better servos in. They clearly are a little more demanding of the regulator and this unfortunately ended in a crash that took out another set of blades and this time a tailboom.

Guides:

Start Up: Just like with a Heading Hold tail gyro, do not move the helicopter until the unit initializes. After you power the helicopter up watch the swashplate for the sign that initialization is complete. You will see the swashplate bump up/down. This takes about six seconds.

Bank Switching: Some people have said that using the flight mode switch to switch banks has caused a crash. I do not understand how this could be any different then flipping an AUX switch while flying but for informational purposes I thought I should let you know. During my inital setup I used the flight mode switch to select the banks and never experienced a problem due to this type of configuration. Currently I only use the AUX2 switch to select banks. The reason is that after I got everything set the way I like it, I found Ultra Mode handles my ground manuevers, standard aerobatics, and 3D all so well that I do not have any need to have different configurations. I have the AUX2 switch set to toggle between Bank 0 and Bank 3. Currently all banks are identical but if I want to try something different I can use Bank 3 to experiment with. Here I will present both techniques. I will start with the simple one first:
=====
Bank Switching using the AUX2 on the Spektrum DX7:
Step 1: To get to the System Menu, hold 'Down' and 'Select' buttons while you turn on the radio. Use the 'Down' button to get to 'Input Select' and set GEAR to AUX2.
Step 2: Go to the normal menu, with the radio on hold 'Down' and 'Select'. Use the 'Up' button to get to [REVERSING SW]. Use the 'Select' button to get to 'ch 5' and set it to REV. by using the Adjust buttons.
Step 3: Go to [SUB TRIM]. Use the 'Select' button to get to the second page to 'GEAR'. Set the value to 0.
Step 4: Go to [TRAVEL ADJUST]. Use the 'Select' button to get to the second page to 'GEAR'. Use the AUX2 switch located on the front-right above the elevator stick to toggle between the top and bottom value for 'GEAR'. Set each side to 125%.
=====
Bank Switching using the flight mode switch for Spektrum DX7:

Step 1: To get to the System Menu, hold 'Down' and 'Select' buttons while you turn on the radio. Use the 'Down' b

Step 12: Mechanical setup - Centering. Click on the 'Flight Para' tab then click on "Adjustment Mode", this will set all servos to center. Now go to the 'Swashplate' tab and start in the K1 group. This is the Collective servo. Start with the 'Center' at zero. Install the servo arm as close to straight horizontal as you can. Use the 'Center' control to get it level. Do the K2 group next. This is the Aileron servo. Set the arm as shown in <this> picture. Install the arm as close to center as you can then use the 'Center' control in the K2 group if needed.

utton to get to 'Input Select' and set GEAR to GEAR.
Step 2: Go to the normal menu, with the radio on hold 'Down' and 'Select'. Use the 'Up' button to get to [REVERSING SW]. Use the 'Select' button to get to 'ch 5' and set it to NORM by using the Adjust buttons.
Step 3: Go to [SUB TRIM]. Use the 'Select' button to get to the second page to 'GEAR'. Set the value to -75.
Step 4: Go to [TRAVEL ADJUST]. Use the 'Select' button to get to the second page to 'GEAR'. Use the gear switch located on the front-left above the throttle stick to toggle between the top and bottom value for 'GEAR'. Set each side to 100%.
Step 5: Go to [PROG. MIX1]. If the screen has 'INH' with nothing else press the Adjust-Increase button once. Use the 'Select' button to move to each item. The first item is the Master channel. You use the 'Adjust' buttons to set this to GEAR. Press the Select button to get to the Slave channel and set this to GEAR. Press the Select button to get to the 'RATE' values. Use the Gear switch at the front-left of the radio to toggle between the two values.

***Here you need to make a decision. When you flip the throttle hold, do you want it to have the same as NORM mode or as Flight Mode 1?

*TH same as Norm* The top value needs to be set to +75% and the bottom to 0%. Press Select to get to SW: and set this to 'F-S12'.

*TH same as FM1* The top value needs to be set to -100% and the bottom to 0%. Press Select to get to SW: and set this to 'F-NR'.

TH same as Norm

TH same as FM1

Step 6: Go to [PROG. MIX3]. Use the 'Select' button to move to each item. The first item is the Master channel. You use the 'Adjust' buttons to set this to GEAR. Press the Select button to get to the Slave channel and set this to GEAR. Press the Select button to get to the 'RATE' values. Use the Gear switch at the front-left of the radio to toggle between the two values.

***In Step 5, which did you setup?

*TH same as Norm* The top value needs to be set to +100% and the bottom to 0%. Press Select to get to SW: and set this to 'F-S2'.

*TH same as FM1* The top value needs to be set to +75% and the bottom to 0%. Press Select to get to SW: and set this to 'F-S2'.

TH same as Norm

TH same as FM1

Step 6: To get to the System Menu, hold 'Down' and 'Select' buttons while you turn on the radio. Use the 'Down' button to get to 'Input Select' and set GEAR to INH.
Depending on what you chose in Step 5 this will setup the bank switching with the following:
Rate: +75, SW: F-S12 Rate: -100, SW: F-NR
Normal flight mode = Bank 1
Flight Mode 1 = Bank 2
Flight Mode 2 = Bank 3
Throttle Hold = Bank 1
Normal flight mode = Bank 0
Flight Mode 1 = Bank 1
Flight Mode 2 = Bank 2
Throttle Hold = Bank 1
 

========================
VBar setup Guide:


Mounting - Electronics:
In the pictures above you can see my normal setup with weather stripping foam tape on the bottom of the radio tray and the back. I have the battery pack (2-cell A123) mounted to the foam tape with double-sided tape. The VBar controller is stuck to the back foam piece. The AR7000 receiver is mounted on the corner of the battery pack to pick up the signal from the side and front of the helicopter. The satellite receiver is on the right side mounted with velcro to a plate that is screwed to the frameset. And you see the VBar sensor is mounted on the gyro platform of the Raptor. The lead coming from it was a little short so I put a 3" extension on it.

Rotorhead
As shown at the top of this page, the Logo 600 head block had to be redrilled for the main shaft hole. The swash driver took some experimenting to figure out where to mount it. I ended up with it at
7mm from bottom edge of the head block to the top edge of the swash driver. For the links to the blade grips, I used a 58mm rod with Rocket City links set to 70mm for total length as measured from each center of hole in the links.

Setup Notes: Do not use the 'Easy setup' due to an error in Step 6. With the Raptor it uses a mCCPM setup. Even though you set this in Step 1, if during Step 6 you adjust the 'Collective Travel' then it will immediately take on the behavior of an eCCPM setup. Meaning that as you move the collective stick on the radio you will see all three servos move (collective, aileron, and elevator). So instead of using the Easy Setup, use the Vstabi USB program and at the bottom/left click on 'Expert Setup'.

Step 1: Set radio swash type. Enter the System Menu, hold 'Down' and 'Select' buttons while you turn on the radio. Use the 'Down' button to get to [SWASH TYPE] and select '1 SERVO'.

Step 2: Set radio initial values. Enter the Normal Menu, with the radio on hold 'Down' and 'Select'. Go to [D/R & Exp] and set AILE, ELEV, and RUDD D/R to 100% each and EXP to LIN. Go to [PITCH CURVE] - NORM and set L=0, 1=INH, 2=50, 3=INH, H=100. Flip the flight mode switch to NORM.

Step 3: Unplug all servos from the VBar. Here you do connect the receiver to the VBar but you do not connect the VBar to the servos. This is necessary to prevent any damage to the servos due to incorrect servo frame rates. After some initial settings in the Control Panel (software on the computer) then the servos can be connected.

When connecting the extensions to the V-Bar controller make sure that all of the ground wires are on the label side of the V-Bar. This is opposite to that of the Spektrum AR7000 receiver which has the signal wire toward the label. Note that the AR9000 is opposite of the AR7000. It will have the ground wires toward the label just like the VBar does. Click on the picture on the right to see a larger view of the AR7000 and VBar.

Step 4: Connection. Start up the Control Panel. Click on the icon for 'VStabi 3.6.16 USB'. Now with your radio on, power up the helicopter receiver/vbar controller. Wait ten seconds then connect the USB cable from the computer to the helicopter. You will see this: . Next click on the 'Expert Setup' at the bottom left.

Step 5: Software. On the 'Preset Setup' tab click on the 'Expert Setup' button at the bottom left.
On the 'Swashplate' tab set the type to the one in the upper-left (red rectangle drawn around the selection in the picture on the left).
Just under this group is the 'Swashplate Servos' group. Here you choose the frequency of the servos you use for the Aileron, Elevator, and Collective. You do this by selecting 'Analog Servos' or 'Digital Servos'.
Next is the 'Geometric Travel Correction'. Click the 'Off' button. When you do this you will see that the 'Geometry Correction' boxes in the K1, K2, & K3 servo groups will change to 'inactive'.
Next go to the 'Tail' tab and at the bottom you need to choose the type of tail servo you have. It is important that you make the correct choice here. If you select a framerate higher then what your servo can handle then the servo will get hot in flight and could stop working.

Step 6: Hardware. Connect the servos. Channel 1 will go to the Collective servo. Channel 2 is the Aileron. Channel 3 is the Elevator. Channel 4 is not used but is a great place to plug in an extra power plug. It is good to have power connected both to the receiver and the VBar. And the last channel is obvious, it is for the Tail Servo.

When connecting the servos to the V-Bar controller make sure that all of the ground wires are on the label side of the V-Bar.

Step 7: Radio - reverse settings. Click on the 'Live' tab. In the radio go to [REVERSING SW]. Start with the Aileron. Move the stick to the right and observe the Aileron bar in the Live menu. The bar needs to go up. If not the change the Aileron direction in the radio. Next is the Elevator. Note that the top of the bar is labeled 'Down'. This should say 'Nose Down'. When you move the elevator stick toward the top of the radio (aka Forward) the bar needs to go up toward the label 'Down'. Yes, that is correct, up is down. As I said, if the label were changed to 'Nose down' then it would make sense. Next is Rudder, the Live page does not indicate what direction is right. I have ran it both ways and did not notice a difference. I ended up leaving it with right rudder moving the bar up. I chose this because on the Aileron bar, right is up. Next is the Collective. Move the collective stick up to the top of the radio and the bar should move to the label 'Up'.

Step 8: Radio - Sub-trim settings. Click on the 'Live' tab. On your radio center the trims for the Aileron, Elevator, and Rudder. The DX7 will remember separate trim positions for each flight mode so check all modes, Hold/Norm/ST1/ST2. Next go to [SUB TRIM] and set the Aileron, Elevator, and Rudder so that the numbers circled in the picture to the right are as close to zero as you can get. Next you need to do the same for the collective but first you need to center the collective stick. Flip the flight mode switch to NORM. Adjust the 'Hover Pitch' trim (at the front-left) to center it. Go to [PITCH CURVE] - NORM and on the bottom left you will see the IN and OUT values. Move the collective stick to a position that sets OUT=50. Go back to [SUB TRIM] and set the PIT. so the number on the LIVE menu for Collective is as close to zero as you can get.

Step 9: Radio - travel adjust. Click on the 'Live' tab. For each of the channels Aileron, Elevator, Rudder, and Collective adjust your servo end points to achieve as close to 1600 as you can. Go to [TRAVEL ADJUST] in the radio and use the 'select' button to get to each of the channels. On my DX7 I ended up with Aileron=108/108, Elevator=109/109, Rudder=109/109, and Collective=108/108.

Step 10: Software - servo direction. Click on the 'Swashplate' tab. Move the collective stick up toward the top of the radio and watch the leading edge of the main blades. The leading edge is the thicker side of the blade and the trailing edge is the thin side. When you move the collective stick up the leading edge needs to move up. If not then go to the K1 group and change the 'Reverse' check box. Next move the aileron stick to the right. The right side of the swashplate needs to move down. If not then go to the K2 group and change the 'Reverse' check box. Next move the elevator stick forward to the top of the radio. The front side of the swashplate needs to move down. If not then go to the K3 group and change the 'Reverse' check box.

Step 11: VBar sensor direction.
This part is tricky unless you know this tip - Temporally set the Hiller value to 99. This is on the 'Cyclic' tab. With it at the default setting the swashplate hardly moves in response to you tilting the helicopter. By setting Hiller on both the aileron and elevator sides you can then easily tell what direction the sensors are set to. So first remember both of the Hiller values then change them to 99. Tilt the nose of the helicopter down and watch the swashplate. If the front of the swashplate tilts up then it is correct, if not then change the 'Sensor Reverse' setting for the Elevator. Next tilt the helicopter down on the right side. If the swashplate tilted up on the right side then it is correct. If not the change the 'Sensor Reverse' setting for the Aileron. Double check that you have the sensors going the correct direction as this will almost certainly cause a crash if not correct. Remember nose tilt down, front of swash goes up, heli tilted to right, right side of swash goes up. Now that is correct, set the Hiller values back to what they were.

Step 12: Mechanical setup - Centering. Click on the 'Flight Para' tab then click on "Adjustment Mode", this will set all servos to center. Now go to the 'Swashplate' tab and start in the K1 group. This is the Collective servo. Start with the 'Center' at zero. Install the servo arm as close to straight horizontal as you can. Use the 'Center' control to get it level. Do the K2 group next. This is the Aileron servo. Set the arm as shown in <this> picture. Install the arm as close to center as you can then use the 'Center' control in the K2 group if needed. Same thing goes for the Elevator servo in the K3 group.

Step 13: Mechanical setup - level the heli. Level the frameset of the helicopter. Use a bubble level at the top of the frameset as shown in the pictures above. Place a magazine under the skids to get the heli level both fore/aft and left/right.

Step 14: Mechanical - collective links. Adjust the link from the collective servo to the collective pitch arm so that the indicator at the back of the collective pitch arm is aligned with the zero degree mark on the built-in pitch gauge. You can see which mark is the zero indicator in <this> picture. Next adjust the long links going to the blade grips to level a bubble level placed on top of the grips as shown in the picture on the right. I ended up with 70mm from center of the link holes.

Step 15: Mechanical - elevator centering. Set the main blades 90 degrees to the tailboom and bubble level on one of the blade grips. Rotate the rotor 180 degrees and check the bubble level. If it is centered when rotated to both the left and right side of the heli then the elevator is centered. If it is good on one side but not on the other then you will need to make two adjustments. One is the link to the elevator servo and the other is the long link to the blade grip. The first step is to adjust the link to the elevator servo so the bubble is off center the same direction. So if you see the bubble offset to the front of the heli when on the right side of the heli and offset to the back when on the left side then adjust the elevator link to acheive either the bubble centered on both sides, forward on both sides, or toward the back on both sides. If you got it centered on both sides then you are done. Otherwise the next step is to adjust the link to the blade grip. This will get one blade grip, move the bubble level to the other grip and do the same for it.

Overview:

blade grip on right
- bubble is toward
blade grip on left
- bubble is toward
solution
front front adjust link to blade grip
back back adjust link to blade grip
front back adjust link to elevator servo
back front adjust link to elevator servo

Step 16: Mechanical - aileron centering. Set the main blades inline with the tailboom with the bubble level on the front blade grip. In Step 15 you did two things, centered the elevator and set the blade pitch to zero degrees. So with this step the only thing that you need to do is center the aileron. The two links you will adjust for this step are the two that connect to the left and right side of the bottom ring of the swashplate. These two need to be adjusted equally. If you turn one link clockwise one turn then you have to turn the other one counter-clockwise one turn. Use these two links to get the bubble centered with the grip on the front and back side of the heli.

Step 17: Software. Click on the 'Flt Paras' tab. Next click on 'deactivate Adjustment mode' located at the bottom left.

Step 18: Collective Range. Click on the 'Swashplate' tab. Place the pitch gauge on a blade and set it to 11 degrees. Move the collective stick all the way up. In the K1 group, adjust 'collective' so the pitch gauge bubble is level at 11 degrees. Note this same adjustment can be done in the 'Pitch' group located at the bottom left. This will give -11 with the stick all the way down.

Step 19: Cyclic Range. On the 'Swashplate' tab set K2 and K3 'Distance' to 100. Go to the 'Cyclic' tab and at the bottom set 'cyclic gain' to 100. To measure cyclic pitch, start with the collective at zero degrees. Set the pitch gauge to zero and move the collective stick to a position that has the bubble on the pitch gauge centered. To check the elevator range rotate the main blades so they are 90 degrees to the tailboom. Hold the elevator stick full forward and then adjust the pitch gauge to level it again. The range you are aiming for is 10 degrees both directions. Adjust the 'cyclic gain' to get 10 degrees. Rotate the main blades to be inline with the tailboom then check the aileron range. This should also be 10 degrees. If not then it is probably due to having different servos on the elevator and aileron or having the ball a different distance from center on each servo.

Step 20: Tail setup - direction. Go to the 'Tail' tab. Move the rudder stick to the right and watch the tail control rod. The rod needs to move forward. If not then at the top-right change the 'Stick Reverse' check box. Next pick up the heli and rotate it so the nose moves left. Watch the tail control rod. It needs to move forward. If not then at the bottom-left change the 'Sensor Reverse' check box.

Step 21: Tail setup - center. Click on the 'Flight Para' tab then click on "Adjustment Mode", this will set the tail servo to the center position. Place the servo arm on the servo so the arm is straight up. If it is close but needs to rotate a little more then adjust the 'center' at the bottom-middle on the 'Tail' page.

Step 22: Tail setup - control rod. Adjust the tail control rod so the control lever at the back is 90 degrees to the control rod. Or another way to look at is if you imagine a line from the center of the ball to the center of the screw, that line needs to be parallel to the tail shaft. See the photo on the right.

Step 23: Tail setup - travel limits. As stated at the top of this page, there is an anomally with some servos that cause them to stop working if the limits are set too high (above 64). Click on the 'Flt Paras' tab. Next click on 'deactivate Adjustment mode' located at the bottom left. Now go back to the 'Tail' tab. Hold the rudder stick all the way to the right and adjust 'Dir A' or 'Dir B' to determine which one makes the servo move. Adjust the value for full mechanical travel. You should see the brass slider on the tail shaft just slightly go into the tail case. If the value is more then 62 then I would change the position of the ball on the tail servo arm. Go out to the next hole and try again. Once you get this correct then move the rudder stick full left and set this side. Again make sure the value does not exceed 62.

Step 24: Tail setup - piro optimization. Click the 'center' button, pick up the heli and rotate it. Note if the dot is not rotating the same direction then click on the check box 'Direction reverse'. With one full rotation the dot needs to rotate back to the top position. If not use the faster/slower buttons to adjust it. I ended up with +27 on mine.

Step 25: Tail setup - zero collective. In your radio go to the Pitch Curve Norm and move the collective stick to the middle so that the IN=50,OUT=50. Next click on the 'Set zero collective' button on the left side of the 'Tail' menu.

Step 26: Tail setup - default values. These are the values I changed from the software defaults: Acceleration=20, Rate=60, Common Gain = 95, P=90, I=30, D=25, Collective/Aileron/Elevator set to zero.

Step 27: Cyclic setup - default values.
Elevator acceleration=40, PSI=35, Bell=70, Paddle weight=75.
Aileron PSI=35, Bell=70, Paddle weight=75.
Common Deadband for Gyro = 4, Cyclic Gain=100.
For the cyclic ring I ended up with a value of 65. To set this correct you hold full forward elevator then type a value in the 'Cyclic Ring' field and press enter. If you do not see the swashplate move then try a lower value. Once you see the swash move then you know that value is too low so go back up until you get no movement. Take note of the value you ended up with and check the aileron next. Hold the aileron full right and try a higher value. If you do not see the swash move then set this back to the value you ended up with in the elevator test.

Step 28: Flight setup. You will start out in Classic mode to do trim adjustments so go to the 'Flt Paras' tab and click on the 'Vbar Classic' button. Disconnect and test hover the helicopter. This should be done when there is no wind. If the helicopter constanly drifts one direction then you will need to trim it. This can be done mechanically or by software. If you used a swash leveler during setup or you did the technique I gave in steps 13-16 then you know the swash is mechanically level so the drift is due to the CG being off. In that case I would use the controls at the bottom half of the 'Trim' section on the 'Flt Paras' tab. If you just 'eyeballed' the swashplate during setup then I would assume it is not exactly level and I would adjust the links going to the bottom of the swashplate. Before mechanically adjusting the links I would check the CG. If you find the nose is heavy and that is the direction the helicopter is drifting then I would use the software to trim it out. BTW: it is best to have the CG centered at the main shaft obviously but I know sometimes that is not the case with all the things we put up front now (vbar, receivers, lipos, regulators, governors, mixture servo and controller, etc.) Once you get the trim set for hover then do a climb out and take note if it remains level. On the Raptor it should but with a helicopter with 120 eCCPM you may find it needs some trimming. Use the 'Fine Adjustment' group to do this. Do an inverted climbout and again make the appropriate trim adjustments.
Check out the tail characteristics. If you find the pirouette speed is too slow or fast then on the 'Flt Paras' tab move the slider for 'Performance Tail - Rate'. If you find the tail wags then turn down the 'Performance Tail - Gain'.

Step 29: Ultra mode. Go to the 'Flt Paras' tab and click on the 'Ultra Mode' button. Move the slider for 'Performance Main Rotor - Gain' to 250. If you find the flip rate is too slow or fast then adjust the 'Performance Main Rotor - Cyclic Rate'

Step 30: Tip on Autos. With a digital flybar, the cyclic response is the same at 1600 as at 2200 since the electronics control the feel. With a flybar, the head response is sluggish compared to your flight mode head speed. As a result you get use to using more cyclic during and at the end of the auto. This change in response does not happen with a digital flybar. As a result I was over reacting at the end of the auto especially during the flar. I set my dual rate for autos to 80% and that solved my over reacting problem.