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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Parts for HBK2 - Ptitsa


I had enough problem with my Honey Bee King 2. Well, I have decided to change the name for HBK2 to Ptitsa. *smile* *smile*

I have thinking for quite sometimes, what the name should be, now I found it. Ptitsa.

With the slope at the main rotor head and even at the servos movement, I was not able to fly the helicopter, not even make it hover at one spot in a controlled manner.

Due to that reason, I have ordered a complete set of metal rotor head for Honey Bee King 2 (or Honey Bee Belt CP) and 3 servos as well. I have chosen the normal and cheap Hitech HS-55 Sub micro servos which are the same size as the original servos, with the assumption that they will be better in quality and will be able to last longer.

I got all the parts on Saturday morning [27-Jun-2009]. Right in the evening I started to put the parts together.

3 new servos on the left and metal head parts on the right

Started with the servo, I begin to take out the original servo and put in the new one, one by one. Once I have put in the 3rd servo, I tried to power it up. Hmm.. unfortunately the servos' horn was not centered and moved aggressively to their center position (which was way up or down compared to the helicopter). I need to take them out and center them. In the process of doing so, I discovered that one of the servo is not working properly. It only move in one direction. I will need to bring thing back to the hobby shop and get a replacement.

The original metal head set, I have an upgraded metal swash plate

After that I decided to continue with the head assembly. I was thinking very hard, how should all these parts put together. I felt confident to figure out myself without the manual and started to disassemble the original parts. I was able to put most of it together except for the new metal blade grip. This is because it needs 2 of the smallest Allen Key (I only have one). Furthermore it was already quite late, about 3.30 am, and I was not confident enough on the correct direction for the parts in central head assembly and their linkages to the blade grips. So I decided that I need to find a reference. Lucky for me I found it using Google. The full instruction manual is available here ( About 8MB in size.

On the next morning, I continued to assemble the parts by referring to the diagram. Lucky for me I found a small Allen Key in my tool box, with it I was able to fit in the main blade grip too!

Now, what left is only one problematic servo, which need to be replaced. However, I noticed that the plastic linkage (reused from original parts) have some slopes too. Probably I will able to get replacement for these linkage as well.

Hope that Ptitsa will be flying soon.



Saturday, June 27, 2009

Torii Quick Test Flight

[This test flight was done on Friday 20-Jun-2009]


I had conducted a quick test flight to confirm if the clutch is ok and Torii still able to fly with the existing clutch.

I was about 6pm Friday.

I prepared for the test flight as usual. I was pretty confident that it will be able to fly. I have tighten the screws, the gears and clutch should be engaged properly. Also I have adjusted the swash plate to ensure it is level - manually using my eyes.

I was able to start the engine without any problem. Incresed the throttle slowly while checking the control response. All are ok. Lifted off and bring it to hover at about 1.5 m hights. Checking the control response again. Everything is ok. I need to adjust the trims to make it hover easily. It need trim backward and to the right quite a bit.

Testing Torii doing climb revealed that the tail did not stay in the same direction. Sudden increase in throttle and blade pitch for the climb will make the tail drift to the right. I suspect this is due to low headspeed which resulted from to much of main blade pitch value. Tested this few times, found the behave consistently as mentioned.

I did a number 8 flight before taxi it to the trees area. Landed safely. Alhamdulillah.

Conclusion: Clutch and gears seems to be ok. Need to observe in more aggressive flights.



Monday, June 22, 2009

Fixing Torii


As per my previous posts, both of my RC Helicopters are grounded. I have ordered replacement metal rotor head for HBK2 and did some fixing for Torii.

For Torri, I have bent feather shaft or spindle bar, broken vertical tail fin and suspected clutch issue.

Splinder bar, new and bent

Here is where splinder bar located, it holds both of the main rotor blade grips together.

Still have the problem with blade grips bearing, however it still can be reused.

From Remote Control Helicopter - 2009

glueing the vertical tail fin

During the checking and taking out the upper part of the frame, I discovered that there are quite number of screws has been loose. Looks like I have been flying Torri with loose screws. And these screws includes the screw for engine to engine Mounting and the mounting bracket to the frame, these are very critical parts!

While I was trying to open the clutch bell, I have used excessive force at the metal turbo fan and has broken one if its blade. Ouch!! The clutch bell seems to attached to the engine shaft very very tight.

I have tested the engine (and clutch) without the upper part of the helicopter and it seems to work fine.

It was quite tricky since I need to adjust the throttle level manually using my hand, instead of from the controller and the servo. Minor movement of the level give big adjustment to the running engine. After trying for about 7 times, I satisfied that the clutch should still be working. That means the crash was due to the loos screws at the engine, it has allowed the engine to moved resulted counter gear slipped out from the clutch bell gear. This is what I believe happened.

I assembled everything back, ensured all screws are tight and did a quick test. It was on Thursday 18 Jun. The engine started ok, and the clutch seems to be ok too. How do I know? I can see the engine started to rotate the main blade when I increased the throttle. However this time I was not able to take off, the trim was too much off the center. I remembered that I did not really ensure the swash place is really level. So after the test session, I spent some times to level the swash plate. Now it should be able to fly. :)


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Torii Story Continues


In parallel with fixing and flying HBK2, I still continue to maintain my Torii as well. Yes, no way I am going to just put it aside.

[4-Jun-2009 Thursday]

Well, before I went back to my home town in Kelantan, I did a quick flight for Torii to make sure the engine (and other parts as well) are still good. I did not even add up any more fuel into the tank, instead I just continue to uses the existing fuel inside Torii where it still have the header tank full.

Started the engine no problem, I increased the throttle, took off and bring it to hover. I think it was just about 30 seconds of hover, then I landed, where the full was almost finished!

[10-Jun-2009 Wednesday]

Today was still on leave, did some shopping earlier with my family. At the late evening, I took a time to fly my Torii.

During engine start up, I have mistakenly connected the +ve and -ve starter wire incorrectly to the battery, resulted that starter run backward! I just realized this after a few tries, luckily have not damage any part yet! Hmmm I need to be more careful next time. I have not made this mistake before, but if not careful it can happen again.

Then, started the engine ok. As usual, did on the ground control check, then took off success fully, did in-flight control check, everything is just fine as usual, switched to idle-up mode and continue flying. Did a few figure 8 flights.

Just before the take off, when the engine was running high enough, I notice there was high pitch knocking sound, something like ting ting ting, very rapidly. However I did not suspect anything serious.

After the figure 8 flights, I continued with stall turns. However, on the third stall turn, when trying to recover during Torii started to drop I noticed that the engine suddenly running at high pitch, the main rotor is not speeding up to level out Torii's flight. Oh my god, remembering may 2 previous major crashes with the same simptomps I quickly initiate auto-rotation (in the panic state), managed to slow down the rate of descend when Torri dropped to the ground. I was very hard landing, with broken vertical tail fin (again!) and bent spindle bar. Luckily there was no other damage.

Here is the photo at the hard landing location.

The engine was still running after the hard landing, I was able to try out and it seems that the clutch was slipping. I'll need to confirm this further.



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Honey Bee King 2 Fix and Successful Lift Off


[4-Jun-2009 Thursday]

Continuing from the damage state of my Honey Bee King 2, here were the fixes I made:
1. Replaced of fly bar
2. Replaced the broken piece of bell control arm set
3. Replaced the main rotor blade
4. Glued the broken front skid

As the size permit, I was able to brought it back to my home town in Kelantan which is about 450km from my house (I drove there).

[14-Jun-2009 Sunday]

At my home town, Kadok Kelantan, I did the test flight.

I have it prepared, everything was ready, I utilized a big space where we used to play badminton/sepak takraw/ tennis at my mothers house.

I slowly increased the throttle, taking my own time and have the feeling of how the tail response. The response is not really consistent, however the gyro was able to hold the tail at the same direction at high rotor speed. I increased the throttle further and have the HBK2 light on its skid and then have it tilted to its right, standing on its right skid, balancing it with my stick control. I hold it for a while to ensure that is was really stable.

Then I continued to do the lift off. Yes, it was a successful lift off, however I do not brave enough to fly the helicopter above 6 inch! I don't feel the control was stable enough, it was quite erratic. Landed and did another take off till the battery low warning buzzing out.

Yes it was a successful lift off for my Honey Bee King 2!

[8-Jun-2009 Monday]

On the next morning, I was ready to test out the HBK2 again. This time I was more confident and hoping to get it flying higher and probably holding at hover for longer time as well.

Same location, I made all the setup. Did the lift off, however suddenly I found that HBK2 move very erratically. I was not able to composite for the movements. My attempt to correct it either not enough or I did over correction to the flying, resulted it crashed to the near by small trees. :(

I have only the main gear and main blades damaged.

I guess I was just over confident.

After some checking, I noticed that some pitch/roll movement of swash plate did not return back to the 'normal' position after I released the stick. The return position when I move up compared to move down the stick is different. This must be the reason why I could not hover correctly and crashed.

I will continue to investigate why is such thing happening.



Wednesday, June 3, 2009

HBK2 Strikes Back


It has been very long time I left my Honeybee King 2 RC Helicopter alone. I decided to fly it again. Why? It is because the size it much smaller and easier for my to bring along when I go back to my kampung.

I have fixed the broken part much earlier, that was middle see-saw like part which holding the fly bar at the top of rotor head. However after I fixed that I part, I realized that both of my Lipo battery sets has damaged and not usable.

Last week, I went to battery shop at PJ to get a new Lipo battery. I also bought new AR6100 Receiver so that I can use my DX7 Radio Transmitter with this HBK2.

Yes, because of the small size, I was able to bring the HBK2 back to my Kampung at Parit Pulai and I able to do the fixing over there. It took me quite of effort to put the new receiver and to figure out the corrent connection and setup at my DX7, especially to get the 3 main servo to response in correct direction for forward-back, left-right and blade-pitch.

After completed with the configuration, I proceed with the first test flight. It was quite shocking for me to discovered that I have configured the throtle the other way round. Luckily, no harm and no damage occur from there. My second discovery was, the main gear was already damage and not touching the motor enough. After a few test without any successfull lift off I decided that the main gear need to be replaced.

I went to the hobby shop last Monday (1-Jun-2009), bought 2 set of main gear, 1 set of main rotor blade and fly bar as well. I need keep some of these, the parts that frequently got damage/broken even in a simple crash.

I was able to put the new main gear last night.

In the test flight at about 11pm, at first I noticed that the lots of movement on the tail. I made adjustment to the gyro, reducing the gain from 85% to 40%. Yes, no more vibration at the tail.

I did the lift off. However, the tail seems to be drifted quite a lot to the right, I counter the movement with manual rudder control, however, after a few seconds it crashed!!

Lesson learn:
1. I should not have reduced the gyro gain to much
2. I should not continue with lift off before I confirm there is good tail control from the gyro

Luckily I have all the broken parts and should be able to fix it soon.

Well, HBK2 did strike the ground.. so HBK2 Strikes Back. .. errmm but I prefer for it not to strike any more thing in the future :)



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