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12-23-2007 08:25 AM  13 years ago
Topic Vote0Post 1
youthflyer

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Claremore, OK. USA

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mods
My son and I have found some very simple and easy to do mods that have enhanced the flight performance of our B400, and we thought we would share them. While all of these mods are not intended for the new heli pilot, the more experienced pilots will find them useful. I did all these mods one at a time so we would know what worked and to what extent. All mods were done after we had plenty of time on the stock machine as well.

The first thing we did was make sure that everything from the servo arms, swashplate, washout arms, flybar cage and mixing levers were all level at half stick and zero pitch on the blades. Dot not use any sub trim on the servos and get the servo arms as close as you can by trying different splines, and use linkage to level everything else.

Next, put the flybar directly over the boom and make sure your head block / grips are 90 degrees to the boom. If it is not, grab the mixing base in one hand and the head block in the other, and give it a gentle twist to correct. If it is out, it won't be much, and this will correct any swash timing issue it might have. The pins in the head block will tolerate a small amount of twisting easily.

To optimize the tail servo / gyro we moved the link ball down one hole (third hole up from servo arm mount screw) and we were able to turn the gyro up from 70% to 78%. The tail is now holding very well, even in fast backwards flight and backwards rolls.

Next, I stiffened the head dampening. I ended up with a total of .025 thousandths a side. I basically added shims until the thrust bearings got notchy and then removed one. This stiffened the head up quite a bit and gave it a more locked in feel.

Next, I installed a set of T-rex 450 5 gram paddles. They did help with cyclic authority but it was a rather subtle change. Nothing drastic.

Next, I installed a set of Radix 325 blades. The blade change made a big difference. The Radix blades were about 10 grams liter than the stock wood blades and 10mm shorter. To use the Radix blades you must use the included grip shims. I also added an extra .025 shim per side that are not included but had left over from another set. The total shim thickness is .065 on both sides of a single blade. The Radix blades are more expensive then the stock wood blades, so I would not recommend them for the new heli pilot. The stock wood blades are high quality and do work very well.

I don't particularly care for the canopy mount rod and how it slides back and forth while trying to install the canopy. I initially installed heat shrink tube on each side to keep it from sliding, but have since had to split the frames and cut it off to slide the rod out. When I put it back together I used some thin wheel collars on each side and gently snuged them down. If you use wheel collars make absolutely sure that the servo arms and fore aft bellcrack will clear them.

Next, I gave the belt a light coat of silicone spray to loosen the tail belt and allow it to run smoother and free it up. The silicone dries tack free and will not attract dirt.

Next, I installed a Thunder Power 2200V2 pack. The thunder power pack bumped the head speed up to 2900 which made the heli more nimble. I would not recommend the TP pack to new heli pilots strictly because of cost and the possibility of crash damage. The E-flite packs work very well, are cheaper, and work with the supplied charger.

Next, I flipped the grips and mixers. Flipping the grips puts the mixer on the leading edge and allows the blades to react quicker and more precise. Flipping the mixer gave us more direct input and more pitch / cyclic range. While flipping the mixer does make the heli more responsive, it does make it less stable. By doing this mod we have achieved 12+12, high unobstruced cyclic throws and still have some reserve throws. I was also able to move the points in the swash mix program to the 65% range. This allows the heli to respond to cyclic / collective pitch changes quicker for a given input. I definitely do not recommend this mod for the new heli pilot, but if you are an advanced pilot and want to play around, give it a try. I think you will find it really wakes the little heli up.

After doing all these very simple mods, our B400 is now crisper responding and has a more locked in feel. It will tumble, roll, chaos, piro flip all on axis and is more precise.

Horizon did not design the 400 to be this aerobatic right out of the box. They were more focused on giving the entry level to advanced pilots a RTF heli that was stable and flew well out of the box along with a heli that would be the next step from the CP and CX. I personally think they achieved their goal, but with just a little TLC, you can have even the next step beyond their design.

As with all mods, consider each one carefully. Some will benefit all pilots while others will only benefit the very advanced flyers.

Feel free to PM us with any questions.

Jim....

Update:

Over the past couple of days we have been experimenting with tail servos. The servos we have tried are, stock of course, Hitec HS50, E-flite S60 and the JR 3400G. All of these servos have performed very well for us as tail servos in our T-rex / E-flite G90 combo (how I get the G90 to work so well is another story, and our focus is on the 110. Those that have seen it, can't believe it). Our G90 / HS50 combo has proven very reliable and great holding power in the past but has not proven the same with the G110. The 110 does not like the HS50 at all, and in fact, was all over the place during aerobatics. My son had to fly the tail to keep it from blowing out. Out of all the servos we tested, the stock has proven very reliable, if set-up properly, and works well with the 110. For hard core 3D, the 3400G has proven bullet proof, works well with the 110 and holds extremely well. I personally hate to run a servo that size / weight on a small heli so we are putting the stock servo back in. For us, the 3rd hole on the stock servo seemed to be the sweet spot and that is what we are going back to. If my son feels that the 3400G is worth the extra weight I will put it back in. The ultimate combo would be the 770 / 3400G but, again, I try to keep the weight down on small helis. For the money, I would recommend staying with the stock servo and if you want to upgrade, go with the 3400G. The 3400G fits the stock frame without mods. Money well spent either way.

We have also been trying different cyclic servos. Servos tested, stock, HS65, JR DS285. The best bang for the buck is definitely the stock servo. They are light, fast, have the same torque as the 285 and have a tight gear train. They are not as durable as a HS65 or a 285 but even with a few extra gear sets on hand it's a great servo for the money. My son was doing some pretty wild crack flips and rolls with the 400 today and he was very pleased with the stock servos over the others. Enough to say, we'll keep these in and carry spare gear sets.

It's very easy to add several ounces of extra weight by using different servos, gyros and tail servos. The result is a small heli that fly's heavy and now is down on power. I hope this thread will allow the new heli pilots enough information to make educated decisions and not waste money. I'd rather see them use the saved money for extra batteries and be successful in flying helicopters.

We have ditched the Align paddles and gone back to stock permanently. They are one gram heavier put are crisper responding.

We are also experimenting with tail blades at this time to optimize the G110 / stock servo set-up. I think the rite set of blades will compliment the 110 / stock servo set-up.

PM questions are welcome and I will answer them as fast as I can.

Jim...

Update:

Got some video shot yesterday while it was sprickling. I need to thank my friend sonex128 for braving the cold and rain to shoot it for us.

Watch at YouTube

Watch at YouTube

Equipment used during that flight: TP2200V2, Radix 325s, stock gyro, stock servos, JR 3400G tail servo, T-rex carbon tail blades, grips and mixers flipped, stock paddles, stiffer dampening, stock motor & pinion. It will fly as well on the stock blades without the extra pop the Radix blades provide. The stock tail servo also does a great job, but the 3400G provides a more constant piro rate.

As I've mentioned before, with just a little TLC, this thing wakes up and is still very stable.

Jim....

UPDATE:

Heres some video of a box stock 400 except for Radix 325 main blades & TP 2200V2 batteries.

Watch at YouTube

Watch at YouTube

Watch at YouTube

I've also been asked how to get T-rex tail blades to fit the stock grips. Gently sand each side of the blade at the grip end untill they are the same thickness as stock. Just takes a few minutes, but be careful not to sand to much off.

Jim....
Jamie Robertson
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12-23-2007 04:53 PM  13 years ago
tutelar-rc

rrKey Veteran

Nobleton, Ontario - Canada

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Flight videos?
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12-23-2007 07:49 PM  13 years ago
dct

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San Angelo TX.

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Already trying to make it fly like a Trex 450!And using Trex parts too!
WOW this Great already to fly(( out of the box didn't last long.))
I'm get a kick out of all these people who think it will!
Oh,, it might ,, if you keep putting Trex part on it..
**Now doing Forward Flight And EASY 3d! And having a Ball !!**
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12-24-2007 12:12 AM  13 years ago
Wolfpackin

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Avon, CO

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Youthflyer,

Thanks for all of the great, usable information.

Looks like E-flite/Horizon did a great job with this heli.
It is exactly what I'm looking for...can't wait.
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12-24-2007 12:58 AM  13 years ago
dieselracer

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vista CA

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Already trying to make it fly like a Trex 450!And using Trex parts too!
WOW this Great already to fly(( out of the box didn't last long.))
I'm get a kick out of all these people who think it will!
Oh,, it might ,, if you keep putting Trex part on it..

**Now doing Forward Flight And EASY 3d! And having a Ball !!**
T-rex parts?? huh?? It already fly's similar to a trex. Flys like a trex on woodies with stock paddles, with the L motor on a 13 tooth. Tail needs some help. but holds very good.
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12-24-2007 04:21 AM  13 years ago
the_aviator

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San Francisco, CA

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I would just ignore negative and useless posts like that.

youthflyer, thanks for sharing and keep up the good job!
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12-24-2007 02:28 PM  13 years ago
AtomicFrawg

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Lafayette,La

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Mine flys great stock out the box. I hate to say it But I feel it flys better than a stock Trex. Cheaper also.

Chris
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12-24-2007 07:47 PM  13 years ago
youthflyer

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Claremore, OK. USA

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Thanks guys!

Chris, glad to here you like it.

We will have some flight video soon. I don't have a camera, so we have arranged to meet with someone who does.

Jim....
Jamie Robertson
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12-24-2007 08:02 PM  13 years ago
youthflyer

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Claremore, OK. USA

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I have contacted our local hobby shops to check stock of the B400. All three have them in stock.

Jim....
Jamie Robertson
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12-24-2007 08:17 PM  13 years ago
Chuck Bole

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Tulsa Ok. U.S.A.

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we'll get some video of Jamie smackin' that little sucker around this weekend.
chuck
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12-24-2007 11:56 PM  13 years ago
youthflyer

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Claremore, OK. USA

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Thanks Chuck!!

I can't wait to here the Synergizer spool up. I'll bring the ear plugs.

Jim....
Jamie Robertson
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12-25-2007 07:13 AM  13 years ago
Sonex128

rrNovice

Claremore, OK

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Jim,

Let me know when you guys are going out to fly this week or weekend. I would love to see Jamie fly the Blade 400.....
Brian J Bland
Claremore, OK
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12-25-2007 09:26 AM  13 years ago
youthflyer

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Claremore, OK. USA

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Will do Brian. PM me your number. Jamie wants to fly just as much as he can while he is out of school. Weather permitting, we will fly everyday.

Jim....
Jamie Robertson
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12-25-2007 10:09 PM  13 years ago
3DChopper

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California

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Has anyone come up with alternate servos that would work without modifying the frame. Hopefully using the stock servo arms too. I wiped two of my out, and main blades. Servo's won't be available until Jan 20th.
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12-25-2007 10:25 PM  13 years ago
dieselracer

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vista CA

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hs65MG are very close in size. They might just fit. They are really the only way to go IMHO. you will need to use a hs65mg servo horns though.
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12-26-2007 12:34 AM  13 years ago
dct

rrVeteran

San Angelo TX.

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Yep,, same servos I run on my Trex!!!

**Now doing Forward Flight And EASY 3d! And having a Ball !!**
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12-26-2007 12:37 AM  13 years ago
youthflyer

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Claremore, OK. USA

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JR DS285s fit perfectly. The HS65s will fit as well, but just barely. You will have to force the two rear ones in, but they will go. Make certain that whatever servo you go with, has the same servo arm hole spacing as stock. The servo arms on the two mentioned servos have the proper spacing. The JR 3400G tail servo fits the frame with no mods as well.

3DChopper, You can use gear set SPMDSP751 to repair your servos. That part number is a spectrum number and is available now.

Jim....
Jamie Robertson
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12-26-2007 01:50 AM  13 years ago
Wolfpackin

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Avon, CO

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youthflyer,

Do the DS285's use the standard mode on the gyro (like stock) or digital mode?
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12-26-2007 02:23 AM  13 years ago
PAHelinut

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PA USA

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Youthflyer Thank you very much for posting those mods!! Can't wait to try them out.
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12-26-2007 03:24 AM  13 years ago
youthflyer

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Claremore, OK. USA

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Wolfpackin, It is a digital servo but not really fast enough for a tail servo. But, if you want to try it, you would select digital on the gyro. I would highly recommend the JR 3400G if you want to replace the tail servo. We are experimenting with tail servos now with the 110G. I will post our testing results of different servos in my first post above shortly.

Jim....
Jamie Robertson
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