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C1 - GENERAL
- What exactly is the Idle Up, or Devils switch ??
seems to confuse new helicopter pilots, but in reality it is a very
useful switch, once you understand it's full functionality.
thing to understand is that the name itself is somewhat of a
misnomer. It is really only called IDLE UP because the Esky
stock radios decided to call it that. On all other radios it
is labelled as the F-Mode Switch, which is far more correct....
thing I need to do here is to WARN all those of you that have
the stock Esky Radio system NOT TO
FLICK THE IDLE UP SWITCH ON TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS.
The result will almost certainly be disastrous, so
please read on before touching it.
So what is the
Idle-Up (Devils / F-Mode ) switch all about. ?
understand it we need to digress a little first and talk about
throttle and pitch curves.
provide at least ONE of each of these curves which are built in to
them. They control exactly how fast the motor runs, and hence
the rotor head speed, and the amount of positive or negative pitch
that the main rotors will have at any given point as you move the
throttle stick up and down.
curves are usually reasonably mild, and are designed to let a new
pilot fly and learn to hover successfully. a typical curve
will go from about -3 degrees to + 9 degrees. However, as you
progress, you tend to want to be able to change these curves to make
the helicopter more agile. That is where the IDLE UP switch
- The Esky radio
The pair of curves that are built in to this radio for the
IDLE UP mode are designed more for 3D flying, and therefore the
pitch curves provide far more negative pitch than any reasonably new
pilot can cope with. Typically you will see -10 to +10 degrees of
pitch. This means that when the throttle stick is pulled down
below half way, the helicopter actually starts to fly DOWNWARDS,
TOWARDS THE GROUND due to the negative pitch
Equally on the
Esky radio, the throttle curve is set to keep the motor running
constantly at around 80% of its maximum revs. That is actually
a good thing for real helicopters, who all use constant head and
engine speeds, but with the Esky radio as soon as you throw that
switch into IDLE UP mode, it spools up very quickly, EVEN
THOUGH YOU HAVE THE THROTTLE FULLY CLOSED. This
is because the stock Esky ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) does not
provide a Soft Start option, so the motor picks up speed WAY TOO
QUICKLY, and this often results in the teeth being stripped off the
main gear due to the sudden acceleration.
At the same
time as the head spools up, and because the throttle is still fully
DOWN, the helicopter has MINUS 10 degrees of pitch, which means it
is standing on the ground trying its best to pull itself down into
the ground. - NOT VERY NICE...
With radios such as the Spektrum DX6/7 and Futaba/JR, this
switch is usually called the F-Mode (Flight mode). Because not
can you can change the settings of both throttle and pitch curves
for normal flying, but the F-Mode switch provides an equally
configurable second set of curves. Some of the 7-9 channel
radios even offer a third set of settings as well via the F-Mode
cases, many pilots initially set both sets of curves to be exactly
the same, so that flick the F-Mode switch makes no difference, but
as you progress, you can then adjust the second set of curves to be
anything you want them to be, for 3D flying or even more gentle for
scale flying. Hence you can see that the term F-Mode is far
more fitting than IDLE-UP.
that you are not FORCED to have the excessive negative pitch range
provided by the Esky Radio, while still benefitting from the
modified throttle and pitch settings you choose.
The other thing that you can do with computerised radios is to use
the throttle curve to "copy" the behaviour of the Esky
IDLE-UP range by setting it to be a dead straight line at 85-90%
throughout the throttle range. However, when using these types
of radios you most often also change the ESC (Electronic Speed
controller) to a better one, and these will typically provide
what is called a Governor Mode. When using one of these, the
85-90% throttle setting is identified immediately by the ESC, and
the governor then takes over control of the spooling up so that it
is nice and soft getting up to full speed.
bottom line is .........
If you have an
Esky radio, use the IDLE-UP SWITCH VERY WARILY. It is best to have
the throttle at about 50%, but just before the helicopter wants to
take off, and then flick IDLE-UP ON. Once it is on DO
NOT SWITCH IT OFF AGAIN until the helicopter is firmly landed on the
computerised radio, set your curves carefully to suit your own
particular needs and preferences.
THIS EXPLANATION HELPS ... ?
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