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HelicopterMain Discussion › My FMA Co-Pilot wishlist
04-29-2004 05:51 PM  13 years agoPost 1
Supertoyz

rrApprentice

Colchester, VT

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I just finished installing and setting up the new FS8 co-pilot system in my Caliber 30 and had to get my thoughts out. While everything I've read about this system sounds great the fit and finish or presentation of the product is questionable.

Since I've never flown a plane and have no idea how the copilot installs on them my comments are directed towards Heli's only.

Let's start at the tail:

The sensor array is in a decent plastic housing that mounts on the tail boom. FMA wants you to use two pieces of servo tape and a wire tie to secure it to the boom......questionable at best. I would have been much happier if they included some kind of mount that clamped onto the boom like the horizontal fin mount, or even better make the sensor itself part of a mount....the Z sensor could even be built in.

The connecting wires themselves seem like very cheap ribbon cables that are difficult to hide and handle. Something more like servo wire would be desireable.

The Z-sensor has no case and is simply a small curcuit board with two sensors shrinkwrapped in a piece of clear plastic. This makes it not only cheap looking but hard to mount. Putting it in a case like the main sensor would be nice and incorporating it into the main sensor itself would be even better (for Heli applications only, this obviously wouldn't work on planes)

The receiver is also shrinkwrapped and has no plastic case of it's own.

The switchpanel is OK, the nuts that are used to mount it didn't fit on mine and they would slide right over the threads......of course it's an impossible to find size and I'm stuck waiting for them to send me replacements. Ideally I'd love to see them move the trim pots (gain) from the receiver to the switch panel. Since the receiver is wrapped in foam and shoved in a hole and the switch panel is mounted in an easilly accesible place it would be so much more convenient to have the gain adjustments mounted right on the panel.

There you have it, I hope the system performs as well as you guys say it does. I'm excited to give it a try tonight. I suppose if it does all FMA claims then my minor gripes are insignificant, however they could easily make a good product much, much better for little added expense......I'd have happily payed more money for a product with the items I described.

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04-29-2004 06:53 PM  13 years agoPost 2
DeadFox

rrNovice

Chicago, IL

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Supertoyz- Excellent review- I have many of the same issues. About a year ago, warlock1174 made mounts for the fma sensor to go onto the boom. I e-mailed him recently about these (They are made of high quality plastic, and custom fit to the boom diameter.) much better than zip ties! Anyways-- he said he no longer made em. I have a raptor 30 and used the horizontal fin mount for my copilot. Had a few extras lying around. It required cutting the horizontal fin to the octagonal shape- and that was it! I haven't flown with it yet, as I am still in the setup stage.

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04-29-2004 07:40 PM  13 years agoPost 3
Supertoyz

rrApprentice

Colchester, VT

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I'd spoken with Warlock before I ordered and was aware of his mounts and the fact that he was no longer making them. I then planned on using my horizontal fin as my mount until I received the unit and discovered the wire wasn't long enough to reach. I think I'll order another OEM horizontal fin mount and use that for mounting the co-pilot........

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04-29-2004 08:13 PM  13 years agoPost 4
davemartin88

rrApprentice

Leesburg, VA

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I have the original copilot version and did the same as others suggested, cut down a horizontal fin to mount the copilot sensor unit and it worked great. This was using the stock connector and although it does look a bit flimsy, I've had a few crashes (where nothing could have helped, let alone copilot) and the cable has held up well. I have ordered the new integrated copilot/receiver combination and I'm expecting it any day as I want to mount this in a second helicopter-- wondering now if they are supplying a shorter cable than with the original unit.

I have to agree about some of your other comments, the packaging of the original unit leaves a bit to be desired, the sensor is fine but the portion attaching to the reciever is flimsy and had to tape it together. Once it was wrapped in foam and all the rest, it was fine but could definitely be improved.

WIth all this said, the original unit works great, I've used it as others have done, had it turned on full time for a while, then turned the equalization down, and now have it on a switch to turn on if I get in trouble.

Will be interested in your results on the integrated unit, the other feedback I've seen has been pretty positive once they got past a bit of a range check issue.

Dave MartinLeesburg, VARaptor 30 V2 and VE

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04-29-2004 08:30 PM  13 years agoPost 5
DeadFox

rrNovice

Chicago, IL

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I'm curious- I am having problems with my setup. Will the fs8 receiver work with any rx crystal? Reason I am asking is I am getting no response from any of my digital servos with my JR rx crystal.. fma claims that this receiver is compatible with digital servos.

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04-29-2004 08:39 PM  13 years agoPost 6
Supertoyz

rrApprentice

Colchester, VT

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From what I've read you need FMA's crystal.......I bought the FMA crystal and my JR digital servo's are working fine.

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04-29-2004 08:48 PM  13 years agoPost 7
DeadFox

rrNovice

Chicago, IL

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ok- good to hear that. Another thing to add to the list- when purchasing the fs8 from fma- it would be nice if they included a crystal with their receiver- so a drop down list with the channel you would like. This would have saved me a couple weeks of downtime.

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04-29-2004 09:01 PM  13 years agoPost 8
Supertoyz

rrApprentice

Colchester, VT

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I agree, if they hadn't asked me when I placed the order I would have assumed that I could use my existing crystal.

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05-05-2004 10:54 AM  13 years agoPost 9
Juvaknin

rrVeteran

ISRAEL Jerusalem

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Supertoyz
well.. it's works Good for you??
you fly with that FS8?

**Raptor 50SE, GY601, Futaba **

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HelicopterMain Discussion › My FMA Co-Pilot wishlist
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