Let me know which helicopter you have, which radio you are using, and if you are using the 3GX system connected to an external full-size/feature receiver, or if you are going to use just satellite receivers with it.
This information is important, depending upon how you have your receiver installation. IF you are using SATELLITE receivers plugged into the 3GX unit, you MUST use CHANNEL 7 (AUX 2) to control the tail gyro gain. Channel 5 will control a governor (nitro ship setup) if you use it. This CANNOT be changed. If you use a Spektrum transmitter, make sure you set the default Gyro and Governor channels appropriately. JR radios have the correct default setting.
If you use a separate full-feature receiver, you can wire the governor and gain controls as your transmitter defaults happen to be set.
If you are flying a six channel radio, YOUR ONLY OPTION IS TO USE AN EXTERNAL FULL FEATURE RECEIVER, AND WIRE ITS gear CHANNEL OUTPUT TO THE GYRO GAIN INPUT. As the default for the 3GX using satellites for receivers, for gyro gain is channel 7, you would be unable to control gyro gain from a six channel transmitter (it has no channel 7). Wiring the GEAR channel output of your external receiver allows you to use the GEAR channel (channel 5) of your TX to control gain.
-----What follows is quite long, but if you understand the setup process, this whole mess takes about five minutes to perform:
Setup is not too difficult, if you have ever set up a heli prior to going flybarless.
The receiver (either satellites -- 1 or 2 depending upon helicopter size, or full-feature external receiver) must be connected before you'll be able to do anything.
If your heli uses CCPM swash control you'll set that feature in your transmitter ON.
If you are using satellites, I'll assume a JR or Spektrum system, you'll need to use the binding plug on the 3GX connector (lower right corner, horizontal connector). Go through the usual binding process.
If you are using an external full-feature receiver, bind the receiver as you normally would. In either case, make sure your throttle is set where you want it to go in fail safe operation.
The servo on the left side of the heli needs to be plugged into the PIT output, the servo on the right side of the heli needs to be plugged into the AILE output of the unit.
Once you get to this point, you're ready to go through the setup process.
Hold down the button on the 3GX unit (transmitter ON) while you plug in/turn on the receiver. When the LEDs in the five-LED row begin to sequence, let go of the button, you'll end up in DIR mode.
DIR mode bypasses the 3GX system altogether, this is where you set up your heli to get the three servos moving correctly, the swash moving correctly, ZERO degrees pitch at mid collective stick, swashplate level, a pitch range of +/- 12 degrees, and cyclic range of 8 degrees. Note that the +/-12 degrees overall pitch range is a suggested value, and it varies with the helicopter you're setting up. The 3GX software explains this in a little more detail (at least to the recommended values).
Before you exit DIR mode, you'll have all servos and arms correctly set at neutral, all trims will be set to zero, your swashplate will be level, and you will have zero degrees of pitch with the collective at mid-range. You'll most likely have +/-12 degrees of overall pitch control, and 8 degrees of elevator and roll cyclic travel. Your servos and swashplate will move in the correct directions.
The PITCH value in the SWASH MIX menu is where you set the overall collective pitch range, the ELEV and AILE numbers are where you set your 8 degree cyclic pitch travel.
If you have all of that, push the 3GX button once. You will tell the 3GX unit what your elevator travel is here. Move the Elevator stick from neutral to full down (forward), and back to center.
Push the 3GX button again. Now you will set elevator correction direction. Tilt the nose of the heli down. The rear of the swashplate should tilt down as well (opposite direction from nose tilt). If it doesn't, use the elevator stick to change direction. Double check to make sure the swash tilts correctly before moving on.
Push the button on the 3GX again, you'll be setting the aileron travel limit. Move the aileron stick full right, then back to center.
Push the button again. You'll now tell the unit which way to correct for roll cyclic. Tilt the heli to one side and watch the swashplate. If it tilts down in the same direction as you move the heli, use the aileron stick to change correction direction. Make sure the swash moves correctly before moving on.
Push the button once again, you're done with the "DIR" setup stuff.
It's time for rudder parameter setup.
With the system powered up and initialized, hold the 3GX button down for a couple of seconds until the green status light begins to blink. For the following steps you'll need to do something at the transmitter during the first ten seconds, or the unit will time out and go back to normal mode. If it does, hold the button down again for a couple of seconds to get back into the rudder gyro set mode.
The first parameter you'll set is neutral pulse width. Use the rudder stick (left or right) to select the correct mode. The status LED will be Green for 1520 usec neutral, and Red for 760 pulse width neutral servos. It's best to have the rudder servo unplugged for this setting, as if you choose the wrong value, you can run the servo to one end and fry it before you know what happened.
Push the button once, you'll next set Analog/Digital servo mode. The rudder stick again is used (left or right) to select the mode and the Status light will be RED for Analog, Green for Digital servos.
Push the button again, you'll be setting Normal/Reverse gyro correction for the gyro. Again the rudder stick will be used to make the selection (left or right). Most helicopters these days require that the rudder servo PULL the pushrod forward, to the nose of the heli to make a right turn. Double check with your heli kit to be sure). If your heli needs a PULL forward for right turn, then pick up the heli, turn the nose to the LEFT while watching the tail rotor servo. If it pulls forward, you're good to go, if it pushes to the rear and you need to revere it, use the rudder stick to select the correct normal/reverse correction direction. Double check before moving on (but you can easily come back later to fix this if you screwed up along the way.
Push the button again, you're going to set the rudder left/right travel limits. Normally at neutral rudder your tail pitch slider simply wants to be centered. Adjust the linkage as needed. Left and right limits are easily set in this mode (don't forget, if you don't do something with the rudder stick, the 3GX will time out and go back to normal operation mode. To get back here, hold the button down till the status light begins to blink, then push the button till the LIMIT light is blinking. Move the rudder stick to the left while while watching the pitch slider. You want to max out throw but not mechanically stall the servo. You can move the rudder stick to the right if you overshoot, and go back left until you just begin to reach max left travel. Let the stick go to neutral, wait for the status LED to flash red, then move the rudder stick to the right, again watching the slider and stopping just before the slider bottoms out. Center the rudder stick, wait for the status LED to flash red again, and push the button.
You're now going to the DELAY (Large/Small) using left/right rudder stick. Helis 450 and smaller will be SMALL, and you'll want a RED status LED. Helis 500 and up want to be LARGE heli mode, the status LED wants to be green. There is a good chance your DELAY value will end up at 30. We can fix that later. Zero is the best setting if you have a fast digital servo.
Push the button again, you're going to set whether the 3GX is right side up, or upside down, using the rudder stick (left/right) and watching the status LED. If upside down, you want a RED status LED, if right side up, you'll want a Green status LED.
Push the button again, you're done with rudder parameter setup.
The last major setup step needs a linear 0 to 100% throttle curve and a linear - full pitch to + full pitch, pitch curve. Set the collective/throttle full low, turn on the transmitter. Hold the 3GX button down when you apply power to the 3GX. Watch the row of five LEDS closely. They will sequence through each of the five LEDS, and then all five will light up. Let go of the push button when all five LEDs are ON. Move your throttle stick to full high position, the 3GX will reset, your servos will move momentarily as it does. Move throttle/collective to full low and turn the system off.
You just calibrated the governor/pitch settings. You need to do this step whether or no you actually use the governor.
That is the basic setup process for initial stuff (DIR mode), rudder gyro parameters, and governor/pitch calibration.
The 3GX unit flies pretty well in most installations with the stock settings. You may need to turn down the two gain pots on the 3GX body when you go to hover. Start with both at 12 o'clock, the slots are vertical and centered in the two adjustments. Hover, if you find oscillations in pitch and/or roll cyclic, land and turn both pots down until the oscillation stops.
The following adjustments require a PC, the 3GX PC software, and the USB dongle that came with the FBL controller.
Plug in the USB connector, apply power, and fire up the PC software. Find this menu:
and note the number in the RUDDER DELAY box, and the Large/Small indication. Go back to the rudder delay setting step (push the button, hold it till status begins to blink, then push the button till the DELAY LED is lit).
Move the rudder stick until you see "0" in the Rudder Delay box, and make sure you still have Large/Small properly set. Stay in that menu for about 30 seconds till the SW times out. This will make sure the delay remains at zero where you set it (the SW seems to have a bug where it loves to go to a Delay of 30 if you exit normally.
When you go fly, from a hover, apply full collective and watch for two things to happen.
1. The nose of the heli may yaw left or right.
2. The tail of the heli may move up or down.
If the nose turns left, increase the Collective Pitch Torque Precompensation number in this menu:
If the nose turns right, decrease that value.
If the tail drops upon vertical acceleration, increase the Collective Pitch Elev Precompensation in this menu:
If the nose drops on vertical acceleration, decrease the value.
While you're there, if you are using EXPO on your transmitter, set the Cyclic Pitch Expo slider here to ZERO.
can be set from this menu, or by using the transmitter control sticks. Since you're probably already here, check the aileron and elevator travel limit to make sure you don't have excessive aileron or elevator travel which can cause binding in the head. Set the two numbers appropriately.Whenever you change a value in the setup menus, always WRITE the value to the 3GX. The number in the box will change from Red to Black when you do.
If you made it this far, you should have a heli that behaves well with the 3GX system.
* Making the World Better -- One Helicopter at a time! *