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HomeAircraftHelicopterFlybarless Rotor Head SystemsSpirit › First setup on Jeti and Spirit
04-12-2015 05:25 PM  3 years agoPost 1
Eury

rrProfessor

Dover NH

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Bought a couple of the Spirit FBL controllers a couple weeks ago after they became available stateside. What drew me in was the way they integrate with the Jeti radio system so you have full access to all features and settings of the Spirit right from the radio.

Due to work, it took me a bit to finally get a chance to set one up and fly it. Decided to start with my X3 because I'd heard great things about the governor in the Hobbywing 50V3 and the Spirit doesn't have governor support yet, plus if I pile it in from a stupid mistake I've got all the parts and they are cheap.

Setup:

The Spirit comes in a tiny red anodized case. It is a bit smaller than the Ikon that it replaced. I stuck it down with clear 3m tape, same as I use with everything else. The only thing that stands out to me here as something I don't like is the vertical placement of the plugs. The wiring never is as neat with vertical plug as horizontal. It can be mounted vertically, so I suppose I could get around it like that, but I'm Goldilocks and want it just right.

Setup is through the computer if you want to use the wizards, or could be done in the transmitter with the Jeti. Since this is number 1, I went with the computer so I could use the wizard. A nice touch here is that it supports Mac, so I didn't have to go into parallels to run the software. I hooked it up using the supplied interface cable after installing the drivers. It opened right up and I loaded the newest firmware. Went through the wizard with the help of the manual with little difficulty. Setup is pretty standard, although there are fewer steps and less hand holding than an Ikon. Using the manual cleared up most confusion.

The first issue I came to was that it wasn't responding to throttle form my Jeti using EXBus (like sBus, except supports full telemetry and signal over a single port and cable). The manual said that you have to run the throttle through the receiver, not the Spirit itself, and the firmware update contradicted that and said it'll work with the unit itself. Good thing because I don't have a servo port on the RX I am using. Had to jump out of the wizard to tell it to use CH1 for throttle, or I could do it right from the TX. I changed it from the Device Explorer in the TX.

Second was where to plug each servo. 1,2,3 are for the 3 swash servos, but it doesn't say which one it expects to be pitch and which one it wants Ail. I did some reading on forums and they say to just try them each way until you find the combination that doesn't require reversing. Fair enough. It would be nice if it said so in the software.

Next it has you setup pitch range, and show it what the max Cyclic is, then tell it what 6deg is. Easy. It also gives you the ability to level the swash at top middle and bottom. Tail setup is what you're used to, piro compensation is done by rotating the machine and watching the swash, same way the CGY-750 does it.

In all, setup was easy. Outside the wizard you are able to adjust every parameter you can think of, I left it all stock. Reprogrammed the ESC using the sticks (wish I knew where the programmer box I bought years ago went), and it was ready to fly. Threw on the old cracked canopy and went out.

Flying:

Impressive. From first lift off it felt better than the Ikon I took off did after tuning it for a few packs. Super locked in and stable, yet responsive. Feel wise it's between an Ikon and vBar. I like it. I had a slight tail wag at higher head speeds, jumped into the radio and remotely tuned it out in seconds on the first pack. I flew in front of my house, so nothing too crazy, but some high speed passes, sideways loops to test the tail, backwards, tick tocs showed that it was locked in and flying VERY well. I haven't tuned it at all aside from tail gain, and I'm not sure how much I will tune it. It feels great as it is.

Rescue is fantastic. I've had a Bavarian Demon before, and there is no difference between the rescue of the 2, which makes sense knowing that Spirit licensed that technology. Hit that switch, it no longer loses any altitude and it starts climbing. I tried it from inverted, knife edge, and a few things in between and it always leveled out perfectly (to upright or inverted, whichever is closer) and starts heading up. I've been fine with how the Ikon works just leveling, but this is easier and better. It is always perfectly level, and climbs at a rate I choose.

Something I didn't realize it would do until after I flew it and went to look at the signal and voltage logs on my radio is that it also sends back vibration levels as telemetry. I was able to graph the vibration it was experiencing in flight over time right on the radio. I knew my X3 was smooth from looking at it, but seeing the graph on the TX confirmed it with real numbers.

So what do I think? As soon as they have finish the governor support, I'll be switching everything over. I've got one more on the shelf for my Synergy N5c, and I'll be ordering another later today for my DT520. I really like this unit.

Nick Crego

Citizen #0168

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04-13-2015 05:22 AM  3 years agoPost 2
Chuck Bole

rrElite Veteran

Tulsa Ok. U.S.A.

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Nice write up. I have one installed on a Synergy E9 with a flybar just for the heck of it. Plan on going through the setup tomorrow evening and get it flying by the weekend. If i have as favorable results as you have i can see it on a E7 or two soon after.

chuck

Team Synergy Field Representative / Thunder Power

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04-13-2015 11:58 AM  3 years agoPost 3
Eury

rrProfessor

Dover NH

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Nice! I saw in the software that you can put it on a fly at Heli. Not sure how it interacts with the flybar, but the tail gyro and rescue are great. I'd love to hear about your results.

Nick Crego

Citizen #0168

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04-13-2015 04:23 PM  3 years agoPost 4
Phoenix NOTAR

rrApprentice

Tallahassee, Florida USA

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Nick,

Very nice write up for the Spirit system

I have also installed a Spirit (ver 1.10) on my Gaui X3 using a Jeti DS-16 radio and Castle Creation 50 ICE2 lite ESC. I am using "UDI", and I had no issues with the throttle connecting to the system, but I did have some issues with the channel assignments matching the transmitter/receiver and the Spirit system. After some trial and error I got all the channels to function correctly. Esprit told me some others have also had this issue, and they are looking into the cause.

I have noticed that the throttle stick does have a sort of "dead zone" on the "bar slider" in the computer software from about -100" to -60% of my transmitter stick movement. But the Castle ESC functions just fine for spool-up, Normal, Idle up 1, Idle up2 and fast re-spool-up if the autorotation switch is toggled, so this "dead zone" has no effect for me.

I am not understanding one comment you made in your first post:
Second was where to plug each servo. 1,2,3 are for the 3 swash servos, but it doesn't say which one it expects to be pitch and which one it wants Ail.
The user manual I downloaded for the Esprit site in mid March clearly states / shows that Channel 1 is for Aileron servo, Ch 2 is elevator servo and ch3 is pitch servo. If your comment was for which ch (1 or 2) is for the left or right side of the helicopter, I agree it is not shown, but that is just a matter of reversing channels until the collective pitch works correctly.

The only other comment I would make to anyone for a "scale" heli application, is that the "rate" gyro does not function correctly at this time, and from what I have been told it will need a firmware revision to get it to work correctly. But if you are using the bail-out function it may not matter anyway.

Sandy

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04-14-2015 06:06 PM  3 years agoPost 5
Eury

rrProfessor

Dover NH

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Just out of curiosity, why would you choose to use UDI over EXBus? You give up the remote setup, right?
The user manual I downloaded for the Esprit site in mid March clearly states / shows that Channel 1 is for Aileron servo, Ch 2 is elevator servo and ch3 is pitch servo. If your comment was for which ch (1 or 2) is for the left or right side of the helicopter, I agree it is not shown, but that is just a matter of reversing channels until the collective pitch works correctly.
That's exactly it. Every other controller specifies which servo is which (left or right), this one doesn't.

Nick Crego

Citizen #0168

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04-14-2015 06:20 PM  3 years agoPost 6
Phoenix NOTAR

rrApprentice

Tallahassee, Florida USA

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Nick,

Yes, I give up the remote set-up , but I get to keep my MUI current sensor monitoring the battery volts, amp draw and capacity .

I did not realize this when I got the Spirit unit, and I want the telemetry more then the remote set-up for now. I will be able to have my "cake and eat it too" in May if I want to get the new Jeti "REX" receiver that will be able to run EX bus AND have additional telemetry ports.

In the real world, I have not had to tweak the Spirit very much at all, so I have not missed the remote set-up/adjustments yet. I just used the "X3" settings that were in the software drop down menu, and all has been pretty good so far.

Sandy

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04-14-2015 06:22 PM  3 years agoPost 7
Eury

rrProfessor

Dover NH

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Yeah, I'll be buying some REX receivers when they start shipping as well. My Goblin has a Mezon on it and I wouldn't be able to lose that telemetry.

Nick Crego

Citizen #0168

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