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HelicopterAerial Photography and Video › AP2000 Capabilities?
09-15-2007 03:45 PM  10 years agoPost 1
madmcphil

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Portsmouth, UK

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I have searched on here for the capabilities of an AP2000 and Heli command 3A but most of the posts are setup related.

I am doing aerial photography from a Gasser and so will be at altitude for long periods of time. Now from what I understand the heli-command will be of little use as its only effective to about 3 meters in altitude.

I cant find anywhere what altitudes the Spartan AP2000i is effective at. I know it is operated differently to a heli-command (heli-command uses optics like your mouse for stabilisation).

Can anyone tell me if the AP2000i is what I'm looking for to stabilize a heli at altitude (pitch/roll/altitude). The AP2000 does say is great for aerial photography on the website but does not give explanation to as why its good or how it can be of help.

I'm after an experienced answer if possible.

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09-15-2007 04:58 PM  10 years agoPost 2
chopper jockey

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uk

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Hi, Just to remind you, "altitude" is defined as vertical distance above sea level. Presumably your question relates to "height" , which is defined as vertical distance above a known point, usually the ground.
Also you do not state at which "height" you may wish to be operating at.

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09-15-2007 05:18 PM  10 years agoPost 3
madmcphil

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Portsmouth, UK

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AP2000 Capabilities?

operating between 0 feet - maximum of 350ft from sea level! My question makes it obvious I know what altitude is!

Got anything useful to say about the AP2000i?

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09-15-2007 05:25 PM  10 years agoPost 4
Insight Aerial

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Will work just fine for you.

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09-15-2007 05:30 PM  10 years agoPost 5
madmcphil

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Portsmouth, UK

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perfect!

Thanks for the quick reply.....

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09-15-2007 06:04 PM  10 years agoPost 6
rerazor

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Mich.

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AP2000i does attitude hold using IR signals to see the different temperature difference on the horizon.

Ap2000i does NOT do Altitude hold. This is the function we all want.

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09-15-2007 06:15 PM  10 years agoPost 7
madmcphil

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Portsmouth, UK

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: AP2000 Capabilities?

Thanks rerazor....

So perfect for stabilization (roll,pitch) but not altitude. Guess I will have to live with that! Saw this for at least gauging altitude thought it was quite interesting

http://www.scalesoaring.co.uk/Artic.../Picolario.html

Renschler Picolario Talk Vario
Variometer
Altimeter
Aircraft Battery monitor
Interference monitor
Flight recorder

Hey, do you know how accurate the AP2000i is.... how much does it drift on a calm day and how much it would drift on a windy day. I live near the coast so I get lots of windy days...

Thanks again...

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09-15-2007 08:49 PM  10 years agoPost 8
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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stabilization does not mean no drift. It will fly level and go with the wind not quite as bad as a ballon. If it is a constant breaze from the same direction you can trim it to stay pretty good but not perfect.

Ace
What could be more fun?

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09-15-2007 09:29 PM  10 years agoPost 9
G0KPE

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Newbury, Berks - UK

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HeliCommand 3A being misunderstood

Hi there,

I am not sure why it is the case, but there is very poor understanding of the HeliCommand 3A in this forum. Sure it has the 'toy' function of 'position hold' up to about 3 metres maximum using optical means but it also has as standard what is called 'horizontal mode'. This uses an electronic triple-axis gyro with accurate attitude control and artificial horizon generation.
What is often misunderstood is that this works at all altitudes. I regularly take my Mikado Logo20 to 300 feet plus in comfort, with the HeliCommand 3A making things very stress-free.

I do not use the position hold mode at all. My HeliCommand 3A lives inside the canopy and I just use 'horizontal mode'.

What is particularly useful is that I can take off and land with the Helicommand active with trees and buildings nearby, obstacles that ordinarily fox infra-red based systems such as my General Laser Stabiliser which I have on another model.

Another big feature for me is that it has a built-in heading-hold tail gyro function removing the need for a dedicated tail gyro.

A note about drift in the wind. All stabilisers will level the heli out but this does not stop it drifting with the wind, so there is still pilot input required to maintain position and height.
The one exception that I know of is the Carvec system with its barometric pressure sensor and GPS options. Umfortunately way outside my budget, but on all accounts an astounding system.

I think my HeliCommand 3A is great. It has been completely reliable and I highly recommend it to others. Have a look in my gallery for pics of it installed on my Logo20.

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09-15-2007 11:09 PM  10 years agoPost 10
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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I haven't tried the HeliCommand but I really think that the Position hold was meant for a beginner to land the heli. This is an assumption on my Part but holding position during landing is what is required especially for a beginner with butterflies in his stomach.

Ace
What could be more fun?

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09-16-2007 09:54 AM  10 years agoPost 11
madmcphil

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Portsmouth, UK

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thanks G0KPE

I read your post with interest. Its quite amazing that these companies AP2000 and Heli-Command don't market their products with more information.

I mean if they wont hold position above 3 meters and they continue to drift at altitude.... exactly what is bolting this £350 gizmo to my bird going to do? Suppose will help with disorientation issues when you have been looking up for lengthy periods of time preventing the heli from rolling or pitching excessively. Seems expensive though. I'm already running a G611 gyro so no need for the in built one on the heli-command...

I just want a system that will ease the pilots job making for great aerial pictures. I like the idea that the heli-command wont be upset by surrounding obstacles... that could be a selling point on its own.

Just wanted to also say thank you to everyone that helping here!

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09-16-2007 10:22 AM  10 years agoPost 12
G0KPE

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Newbury, Berks - UK

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Hi madmcphil,

What a device like the HeliCommand or an infra red based stabiliser does, is make your flying much smooter when flying high. At a couple of hundred feet up, it is easy to get disorientated, for example by clouds moving behind your heli. In the past I have found that I was over-doing my corrections which resulted in an untidy flight and often poor pictures.

The addition of a stabilising device will give you confidence that the heli is level when you go centre-stick on the cyclic. You will still need to add small inputs to keep the heli at a height and in a position that you want, but the overall flight is much smoother and you will be getting much better pictures.

I agree that the marketing of the HeliCommand in particular, could be much clearer. Re cost, when you take out the cost of a dedicated tail gyro (not needed), in your case the G611, the HeliCommand is perhaps not that expensive?

Hope this is useful.

Carl

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09-16-2007 10:55 AM  10 years agoPost 13
madmcphil

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Portsmouth, UK

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A big thank you

Hi Carl,

Thank you for your advice and explanation. This is exactly what I wanted to hear. Your knowledge and information has been very clear and precise.

Thank you. Got a Heli-Command 3A on order! After all its clear photos and film I am after. Thanks again for the help.

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09-16-2007 01:20 PM  10 years agoPost 14
BigguyOz

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Forster, New South Wales, Australia

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madmcphil, put simply, the AP2000i was absolutely the best investment I have ever made in helis! Drift shmift! If the only thing I need to worry about when the heli is a dot in the sky is compensating for drift, it is golden! Compare this to realising at the last moment that your heli is plummeting to earth upside down carrying your expensive camera equipment...

Sure it would be nice if it also autmatically compensated for drift, but this is why trim buttons were invented.

I have had the misfortune to have my pilot hit throttle hold when the heli was about to disappear below the treeline. I had set up throttle hold to also dial in maximum AP2000i gain (as well as 4 degrees negative pitch). Despite the auto auto () landing on concrete repair costs were only $10 (alright, the camera broke as well), but I was truly expecting a garbage bag job.

No way on earth would the heli have landed exactly on its skids without the stabiliser.

$US240 was cheap IMO!

Tony Stott

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09-16-2007 01:35 PM  10 years agoPost 15
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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Re cost, when you take out the cost of a dedicated tail gyro (not needed), in your case the G611, the HeliCommand is perhaps not that expensive?
I think this is stretching the truth a bit. If a person feels he needed a G611 it is doubtful he will be happy with the internal gyro of the HeliCommand. I think HeliCommand should have offered just a stabilization feature without the optic hold feature on their low-end device. That would have made it way more competitive against the APi.

Ace
What could be more fun?

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09-16-2007 04:22 PM  10 years agoPost 16
BigguyOz

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Forster, New South Wales, Australia

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At around $US240 for the AP2000i with FMA IR sensor and about $US70 for a GY240 (all you need for AP flying), the Helicommand is hopelessly overpriced if it does cost Stg350. I have not read anywhere of anyone who has dumped an AP2000i for a Helicommand....

Tony Stott

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09-16-2007 04:48 PM  10 years agoPost 17
AceBird

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Utica, NY USA

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I have not read anywhere of anyone who has dumped an AP2000i for a Helicommand....
People have chose to go with the Helicommand instead of the APi to get away from IR. If Spartan ever does come out with inertial sensors you don't believe it is going to cost what the ir sensor cost do you? Spartan doesn't even make the ir sensor because they can't compete with FMA on the sensor. I would love to have the gyro manufacturers make a three axis sensor that could be used with the APi then you would have direct competition with the HeliComand.

Ace
What could be more fun?

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09-16-2007 09:58 PM  10 years agoPost 18
BigguyOz

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Forster, New South Wales, Australia

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That may well be, but I repeat that I have not read anywhere of anyone who has dumped an AP2000i for a Helicommand....

Tony Stott

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09-17-2007 03:46 PM  10 years agoPost 19
kookboy

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Vancouver, BC

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That may well be, but I repeat that I have not read anywhere of anyone who has dumped an AP2000i for a Helicommand....
I may be the first to have both but will not give up the AP2000i just yet.

I had a pair of Logo 10's with Ap2000i's and sold one of them. Now I am running a stretched Logo 10 with an AP2000i and have an ERaven that will be using the Helicommand 3A which I have on order.

I tried out the Helicommand Rigid recently and it felt just as locked in as the AP, but with an additional benefit of being able to launch/fly around tight obstacles with the stab working 100%.

With that said, I found it very difficult to justify the double cost for the Helicommand 3A when compared to the AP2000i.

I had some extra funds and bought one because the resale value overseas is good. If for any reason, my Raven won't like it, I will sell it overseas as they are selling like hotcakes there apparently on the ger/euro forums.

Jesse

... But honey it was only $$$

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