ChopperAddict's Hints & Tips



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TIPS & TRICKS - How to make your helicopter "softer" with a DX6i or similar radio

Many fairly new pilots choose to purchase a better radio system than those provided by the likes of Esky and some others. However, these radios have a great many options, and can be really confusing to setup just to get the helicopter to fly normally.

There are many tutorials on setting the radio up, including one on the Tutorials page of this web site, so don't try to guess, read a tutorial, or even several.

Even when you have done so, you may still find that your helicopter is too twitchy for many pilots, especially when used with electric helicopters and by learner pilots.

There are however two quite easy things you can do to "soften" the helicopter down, which is especially useful if you are still learning to hover successfully.

The instructions below all apply to the DX6i , but most radios will be very similar

Trick 1

Go to the Adjust menu and then select the swash mix option.

You will find three settings there, to allow you to change the Aileron, Elevator and Pitch settings.

If your helicopter climbs and descends to quickly, making it harder to control altitude, then the setting you want to change is that for PITCH.  Just REDUCE the value in steps of about 10 until the pitch calms down to suit you.

If the cyclic controls are too twitchy, then do the same for the AILERON and ELEVATOR settings.

Make sure you note that some are positive and others may be negative values, but reducing them is to lessen the number shown, while keeping the same + or - sign.

Trick 2

Once you have the swash mix about right, you can soften the cyclic controls so that the stick movement around the centre position makes less changes to the servos, and then increases the more stick you apply.  This is called Expo (Exponential).

Again go to the Adjust menu, and select the D/R&EXPO settings.

You should not need to change the rudder setting, but you make the first numbers a value of say -20% & the second number reduced to 80% this will make the helicopter far less responsive to SMALL stick movements.  Note that we have the same difference in values (20).

Some radios use positive values to increase centre point expo, so please check your radio documentation to make sure you apply it the correct way..

It is pretty easy to test this by setting the elevator or aileron to say -50 and 50 and then watch the movement of the swash when you move the stick just a little bit forward and back.  If the swash plate hardly moves, you are setting the Expo the correct way.

You may still need to experiment with these settings, or the combination of them, but they are a great way to make your helicopter more controllable.

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