To quote the Geico commercial, "it doesn't work like that."
This is my first for setting up a heli. Correct me if iam wrong but isn't center stick neutral or zero pitch? As you move the stick up for positive you increase throttle along with pitch. And from center stick down you increase negative pitch along with throttle.
You DON'T set throttle to "idle" with the throttle stick centered. You don't start at idle with the stick centered and increase speed as you go to full positive, or full negative collective.
And no, ESCs are NOT programmable in the way you think they are. You don't pick throttle positions and assign motor speeds in the ESC settings. With ESCs you don't GET idle with the throttle stick centered.
Motor speed is determined by throttle stick position, as modified by the throttle curve.
If your radio has throttle curves, set that back to its "reset" or new model setting. This would allow you to have a straight line (0 to 100%), going from zero throttle at low stick to full throttle at high stick, and linear control from no speed to full speed.
The ESC should have a programming step that calibrates the ESC throttle range to the transmitter throttle range (you tell the ESC where low throttle setting is, and where high throttle setting is. Figure out how to do that with your radio, then follow the calibration steps.
For collective pitch, it is good practice to set up your mechanics such that at middle stick (using a 0 to 100% straight line pitch curve) your swashplate is level, in the center of its travel, and such that the blade pitch is zero degrees. That is an optimum mechanical setup, and has nothing really to do with "3D" setup. It just makes the mechanics work better.
With mid stick, level swashplate, swashplate centered in its travel, and zero degrees pitch, you should then set the overall collective pitch to its full negative and positive range -- perhaps + and - 10 degrees. At this point, your mechanics is setup for what ever you throw at it.
NOW -- if you're a beginner, you may want to do the following.
Find a pitch gauge, and know how to use it. For your transmitter "normal" flight mode, set the stick to full negative collective. Find the pitch curve for the TX normal mode, and using your pitch gauge and the normal mode pitch curve, set low collective stick setting to achieve -2 or -3 degrees of pitch.
Move the stick to center, and again using the pitch curve and the pitch gauge, set mid-stick collective to about +6 degrees.
Move the stick to full positive collective, and using the pitch gauge and pitch curve, set full positive to something like +9 degrees.
That should take care of the beginner for a while who's learning to hover and get into forward flight.
Your corresponding throttle curve would be as follows. I will assume you have a 5-point throttle curve (meaning there are five points as you move the throttle stick where you can set the throttle to be what you want it to be at that stick position).
AT low throttle, set the curve to "0". This is the motor idle (not turning position. For throttle points 2, 3, 4, and 5, set the throttle to 85% for each point.
Your throttle curve for a 5-point throttle would be 0 - 85 - 85 - 85 - 85.
This allows you to have the motor stopped at low throttle, and as you advance the throttle, the motor will rapidly come up to 85% throttle, and remain there as you go to full throttle and full collective.
With that setup, you'll have a collective range of -3 to +9 degrees, and the motor will come up to speed and stay there throughout the majority of the actual flight range.
Next, you would want to select flight mode 1 (Idle up 1), and again using the pitch gauge and flight mode 1 pitch curve to set the pitch to go from about -6 degrees at full low collective, +6 degrees at mid stick, and + 10 degrees at full throttle/collective.
The throttle curve for this mode would have ALL throttle points set to 85%. That's right, a straight, horizontal, flat line at 85% throttle.
For your idle up 2 setting, you'd choose a pitch curve that at full negative (low stick) pitch, you have - 10 degrees, at mid-stick you have 0 degrees, and at full positive stick you have +10 degrees.
The throttle curve for idle up 2 would be a flat line at 95% for all positions.
That should do for a healthy "beginner" setup. You will be doing most of your initial hovering, flying in Normal mode. As your skills advance, you can switch to idle up 1 or 2 after you have taken off and established forward flight.
Set your throttle hold pitch curve to match the idle up 2 pitch curve.
The drawback you'll find to the above setting is that if you're hovering and switch to idle up 1 or 2, you'll find the helicopter will "jump" up or down and scare you as you flip the mode switch. If you're in forward flight, however, the transition between different flight modes will be relatively smooth.
As your skills further increase, you'll probably want to set the pitch curves in all flight modes to simply be the same -- straight lines from full negative pitch to full positive pitch with zero at mid stick.
Setup as above, with the TX in normal mode, at low throttle and low throttle trim) the motor isn't turning, and you have -2 or -3 degrees of negative pitch.
If you increase throttle trim to its mid-point, the motor should start to turn, you'll still have the -2 or -3 degrees pitch. As you further increase throttle, the motor will spin up rapidly to a constant 86% setting, and your pitch will increase. You'll be hovering at about 3/4 stick.
The slight amount of negative pitch at low throttle assures you that you can get your heli down to earth once you are in forward flight. If you don't have a slight amount of negative pitch, you will find that the heli is difficult to get down out of the sky in forward flight.
When hovering as a beginner, you really don't want to have a lot of negative pitch available because when you panic and chop throttle, you can drive your heli into a big smoking hole in the ground. That is why I recommend the -2/3 degrees of pitch at low stick, +6 at mid, and +9 or +10 at full, for "normal" mode. You will do almost all of your initial flying in this mode. The other two setups (idle up 1 and idle up 2 are there and set up to allow you to take advantage of them as your skill improves.
But, in the end, you will end up with all pitch curves being identical in all modes, and simply full negative to full positive, with 0 at mid stick.
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