||The latest Esky helicopters (such
as the Belt CP and the Honey Bee Kings) are now being
supplied with the EK2
0704B gyro fitted, that provides both RATE and
HEADING HOLD features, whereas the older Esky gyros only
provided RATE mode.
Now it seems that setting
up gyros is seen by many to be a bit of a black art, and rightly
so, as it seems that every gyro has to be setup in a different
way, and even mounted in different orientations.
As the Esky EK2 0704B gyro
is one of the most used gyros by "newer" pilots due to
it being fitted to the types of helicopters that many
"newbie" pilots use to learn to fly helicopters, I
felt it really was time to spell out exactly how to set this
gyro up, as it is certainly somewhat less than obvious to most
Firstly, this particular
gyro should be mounted horizontally, as shown in the image
above. The typical position is on top of the boom clamp at
the rear of the frame, immediately behind the main shaft.
You will see that the gyro
has a connecting socket on it below the main connecting wire
that goes to the receiver, which is where the servo connects to
The main connecting wire
is a little different to most, in that it actually has FOUR
WIRES instead of the usual three wires. The reason for
this is very simple, as you will see if you look at the other
end of the lead, where you will find TWO SEPARATE connecters to
go into the RX. However, one connector only has a SINGLE
YELLOW wire in it.
It is this yellow wire
connection that lets you switch the gyro between RATE and HH
mode using the switch on the front of the Esky TX, and also to
set the gain on the gyro using the knob on the top right of the
2.4 Ghz TX's. (NOT on 35MHz TX's)
You must ensure that the single YELLOW WIRE
connects in the
same position as the white wire on all other connections.
Now you will almost
certainly assume that BOTH of these wires need to be plugged in
before trying to setup the gyro. SURPRISINGLY YOU
WILL BE TOTALLY WRONG
In fact it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to REMOVE the
from the receiver BEFORE trying to set up the tail.
The reason for this is
that if the yellow wire is left connected, it will allow the
gyro to be switched, but it also blocks you from changing
the "gain" on the gyro itself, which you are going to
want to do a bit later on.
NB - Almost all gyros need
to be setup in RATE MODE, not in HEADING HOLD, and disconnecting
the yellow wire forces this gyro into RATE mode.
diversion here may be useful :
Rate mode means that
the gyro simply "damps" the amount of swing the tail
IT DOES NOT keep the nose pointing in the same direction.
However, when in Heading
Hold (also known as HH or AVCS)
IT DOES TRY TO KEEP THE NOSE POINTING IN THE SAME DIRECTION,
(once setup correctly).
A quick way to tell
what mode any gyro is in when it is all connected up is arm the
helicopter (DISCONNECT the motor leads if necessary for safety)
and then swing the tail around in both directions.
If the gyro is in RATE
mode, the servo arm will always try to return the centre
If the gyro is in HH
mode, the servo arm will NOT try to return the centre position.
The same rules applies
if you move the rudder stick fully left and right.
diversion (suggested by senoj_nai - thanks for
So perhaps before we start
getting into it all,
it would be helpful if I try to describe exactly what we are
trying to achieve ?
The first thing you need
to understand is that the tail rotor blades cannot be set at a
central (no pitch) position when the rudder lever is centred,
for they need to be applying some force to counteract the
rotation of the head when in the neutral position.
As you can see from the
images below, your tail blades will look "something"
like this in terms of the angle of the tail blades, and you can
also see that the pitch control slider is no longer centred on
the shaft, it is offset inwards toward the boom.
This is what we are trying
to achieve in the first stage of the tail setup, before we have
ANY INPUT FROM THE GYRO WHATSOEVER...
However, we also need to
ensure that once we achieve this, the servo horn on our tail
servo must STILL BE PERPENDICULAR to the servo.
have not done the full mechanical setup before :-
CLICK HERE to check out my detailed
tutorial on the basic mechanical setup
which you must do FIRST OF ALL
OK then, let's go ahead and do it
Although we do not need it
yet, the first thing I like to do is
to turn the gain on the gyro right down as far as
it will go so that it does not effect our mechanical setup. You
need to do this on the TX itself if you have the Esky
2.4GHz TX, so turn the knob on the top right fully
anticlockwise to set the gain to it's minimum setting.
Also check the gyro and
set the LIMIT to maximum, and the DELAY to minimum. We will
re-adjust these later.
The second thing is to disconnect
the single yellow wire from the receiver. This will also DISABLE
the gyro switch from having any effect, and place the gyro in
WARNING - YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE THE ROTOR
BLADES SPINNING QUITE FAST
SO PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU STAY AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE
FROM THE HELICOPTER AND ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES
Make sure that the
helicopter is securely tied down to the turntable, and that the
turntable cannot move, apart from going around of course.
You will be surprised at how much lift, and vibration the
helicopter can and indeed will generate while you are doing
Now to set up the tail,
put the helicopter on a turntable (if you have one), and the
first stage is to slowly spool it up to see how much the servo
needs moving, and in which direction, so that the helicopter
will hold at a reasonably steady heading at around 50%
To adjust this you need to
move the servo back and forward on the boom until the tail holds
as steady as you can get it. Don't forget to pinch the
mounting screws each time or it will move by itself.
Once the servo position is
correct, and the servo horn is still perpendicular to the servo,
adjust the gain on the gyro all the way up, and then swing the
helicopter left and right by hand to check that it is operating
the tail servo.
SETTING THE GYRO
DON'T BE TEMPTED TO EXCEED 50% THROTTLE ON A
The next thing to do is to
reconnect that single yellow wire to the
RX. It goes into Channel 5, next to the main gyro
connector. Once this is connected, make sure that
you disconnect and then reconnect the LIPO so that gyro can
Make sure that you
have the gyro switch in the '1' position,
which is DOWN, so that the gyro is in RATE MODE
Now turn the gain knob on the top right of the TX clockwise
to about the 12 o'clock position, and spool the
helicopter up to no more than 50%
throttle to see if it holds the tail, keep increasing
the gain until the tail holds by itself, or it starts to
"wag" by itself. If it wags, reduce the gain a little
until it stops. I
recommend that it is always worth while disconnecting the lipo
each time you adjust this so that the gyro centres itself again
after every change.
The final change you can
play with is the limit control on the Gyro itself. This
controls how far in total the servo arm can move, and can be
used to adjust the amount of throw the gyro makes to soften its
effect. Do not change the DELAY unless you really think
you need to, as it is normally only necessary to do so if using
a very fast, expensive tail servo.
Now to check the gyro
really is working as you hope, make rapid throttle changes and
see if the tail holds without wagging.
experiment with the delay setting if you wish, but that is
really only provided for those of us that are using really
powerful and fast servos to hold the tail, so for the stock Esky
servos, or even servos such a the TowerPro SG90's, you will
almost certainly want the delay set to the lowest setting
Now the gyro switch will
switch it between RATE and HEADING HOLD modes.
the gyro switch settings on the 2.4GHz Esky 6 Channel TX are :-
0 = HH
1 = Rate
is back to front from most other TX's...
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANY
FURTHER ADJUSTMENT FOR HH MODE, although you may well find that
you need to use the rudder trimmer to adjust for the dreaded
servo creep when in HH mode.
However, if you do need to
make any other adjustment to the gyro gain, MAKE SURE YOU SWITCH IT BACK INTO RATE MODE
BEFORE DOING SO, OR THE CHANGES YOU MAKE WILL BE IGNORED (Thanks
go to hindsight for this additional tip)
A few more tips and
Before connecting the LIPO, always make sure the
gyro switch is in position 0
so that it is in HH MODE. This gyro should ALWAYS be
initialized in HH mode
When the gyro has finished
initialising, and when it is in HH mode, The RED LED LIGHT
should be ON. You should never need to fly it in RATE mode to be
honest, so always ensure it is position 0, which is HH. The ONLY
time you need rate mode is to set the gyro up initially.
It is PERFECTLY NORMAL for
the red LED light to blink when touching the rudder stick, it
simply means the gyro is working. It should blink, but it should
also go solid again when you are not touching the rudder.
To check the mode easily,
move the rudder stick in one direction, and check to see if the
tail slider stays in approximately the position you moved it to
when you centre the rudder stick again ? (remember: if it does
stay put it MEANS IT IS IN HH mode, if it centres immediately,
it MEANS IT IS IN RATE mode)
It is NOT NORMAL if your
gyro blinks when moving the cyclic stick.
there is to it.......