HC3SX with DX8 build log
This is for a set up with the HC3SX, DX8, Spektrum satellites. I will add/edit this log as I go along hopefully to help other folks. Thanks to heli21 for the diagrams!
In the software Mouse Hovering over areas in the window will bring up hint boxes. Make sure to click "write" after any changes. Caution! Loading a file while you are on the ALL TAB will overwrite the settings on all pages. Go to the ALL TAB to save and load your setup.
1st problem I ran into was even though I downloaded the latest software from the HC site it was not, I got V4 instead of V5. So when I tried to hook up the SX it said "usb detected" and "select device version" HMM there is no place to select device version and you see "software version V1.3". You need the right version to work with the SX, the Sx was firmware 114, so i needed V5 software.
Before I could any further I needed to hook up the ESC wire to the HC3SX to power it up and this is where there is nothing in the documentation for the DX8 with satellites. The HC3SX documentation shows "input for sum.-/pwm-signal" not sure what that was the next one down shows "throttle output...." which made think that was some output. Luckily I found these images that show how to hook up the HC3SX using satellites with a DX8. The wire from your ESC goes into the the 3rd port down with black/brown wire on the left. IF you are using only 1 satellite it goes on the USB port side!! Input power (from a BEC or receiver pack is typically run to the head servo 4 slot on the HC. If this slot is not available or you want to run 2 input power leads you can use any of the servo slots or the USB slot to power the system. You cannot use the slot labeled as Output 2.
Now hook up the usb and power up the ESC. Downloaded V5 for HC3SX and now I finally got this screen! Everything is functioning, it says Version 5 and I can now select the right device(yellow). You are now ready to go through the "start setup"
Step 1> in DX8 select setup menu>swash type> 1 servo normal. Make sure all travels are 100% and subtrims 0, no mixing.
Step 2> HC3SX clear settings
Step 3.1> Select servo types, digital or analog, and spektrum/jp satellites. Click "write" to send settings to HC3SX.
Step 3.2> Bind satellites, select which type, hit bind. Turn off rx and tx, turn back on rx, hold bind button on tx and turn tx on. You should see the "BINDING" on the DX8, sats blink red, then go solid red and then beeps on the esc. Power off both then power back up normal, Tx then Rx. You should be bound and solid red on the RX Sat.
WARNING> have read some posts about a glitch where the wrong frame rate might cause a glitch, do some searching for this
Step 3.3>here you assign channels that come from your tx. Would have taken a lot of experimentation but found this handy diagram. Works perfect on my DX8. Make sure to click "write" after changes. "Fail-safe (PPM&Sat. only)" sets up a fail-safe for when you loose signal to the heli. Hover mouse over "Fail-safe (PPM&Sat. only)" for further explanations. I could not get it to work.
Step 4.1, 4.2, 4.3> Here you make sure that all sticks on your tx match the screen moves, adjust directions by going to tx Servo Setup>Reverse and adjust the directions if wrong.
Next adjust sub trim (same menu on tx) so aileron/tail(rudder),elevator,pitch and tail gyro/head gyro(these are defined by what channels/switches you defined in your tx) all say 0. I got stuck here as i did not see the little > under "Elevator" and the software would not let me continue. Once i sub trimmed it to 0 i could go to next.
Then go into the tx and Servo Setup>Travel> select each function and adjust the travel so it goes to the little bar before the end when you move the sticks. To adjust travel go to TX>Function List>Servo Setup>Travel, select say Rudder(tail) then scroll down to the 100% 100%. Move the rudder stick left and it will select the left 100%, adjust as necessary, move rudder stick right and adjust. Repeat for al others.
"If you have expo set on the TX it will later show up on this page as the movements not going to the end of the bar"
NEVER use any Tx trims again after you set the centers in the Diagnose page (with trim or subtrim, no matter).
It should look like this.
Step 5>software totally shows wrong servo hookup for DX8 with satellites. Use this diagram to hook up the servos.
Servo 1> left aileron
Servo 2> right aileron
Servo 3> elevator
Step 6.1> Here the tx sticks are disabled and servos arms are centered. You want to get your servo arms 90 degrees to the servo so if needed take off the arm and readjust so it is as close to 90 as possible. I disconnected each servo to do this. Now use the blue arrows(highlighted) to fine tune them so that the servo arms area perfect 90 degrees to the servo.
Step 6.2> Now adjust the adjustable linkages (from servos to swash) so that the swash plate is level and the arms and linkages are at 90 degrees. Now work on the adjustable linkages from the swash to the head so that you get zero degree pitch. Also adjust the tail rod so that you have 3-4 degrees on right rudder, meaning the tail slider should be a little bit towards the tail boom giving some pitch to correct against torque of the main blades.
Step 7.1> On this screen you choose the way the HC3SX is mounted and the swash type. Mine is mounted upright and with sockets to the rear.When setting the orientation, "socket side” refers to the connector socket on the HC. For example; if the HC is mounted in the front of the helicopter with the connector socket to the rear, the correct setting is Rear. I have a "Tri (120)" swash and main rotor turns right(clockwise)
Step 7.2> Now its time to get all the servo arms moving in the right direction for the expected stick movements. Start with the collective stick (left stick, pitch) and play with the + - switches to get it right. All servo arms should move up when moving stick towards the top and all arms should move down when moving stick towards the bottom of the tx. Adjust "direction reverse" to get aileron and elevator moving correctly. Adjust the tail direction so that when you move the rudder stick to the right the tail slider should move towards the tail boom. You have to press "write" for any adjustments to work. DO NOT USE THE REVERSE SWITCH IN THE TX.
Step 8> This screen is where you set your collective pitch and how much the servo arms will travel. You will need a pitch gauge and not sure but on all the other setups I have done you wanted the blade holders paparallel with the boom. When your collective stick is at 0 you should now have 0 pitch, a level swash with the servo arms at 90 degrees. Now move the collective stick all the way up, + pitch, and set your pitch with the "coll.pitch travel" to +11 or what ever you use. Now go negative pitch and it should be close to the same, if not adjust your linkages/servo arms again. Aim for between 70 to 100% for "coll.pitch travel"
"coll.pitch offset" says "setting must remain at zero for acro models!" I have read that folks say to get this mechanically is better as if you use to much of the "coll.pitch offset" it might bind the arms on one side when they travel.
"Servo Travel" Align the main blades parallel with the tail boom and set the collective stick on the TX to center. Move the aileron stick on the TX fully to one side and set the cyclic pitch to 8 deg using the Servo travel slider. Align the main blades 90 deg to the tail boom and set the elevator cyclic pitch in the same way as with the aileron. If aileron/elevator travel is less than 50 you need to shorten the cyclic servo arms. If the travel is greater than 100 then you need to lengthen the cyclic servo arms. You should be between 60 and 100.
Hover mouse over "cyclic phase or sinus linearzer" for explanation, left mine at 0 & 5
Step 9> Sets the travel of the limits of the tail, hover mouse over the settings for hints, says you are looking for equal travel and not hitting the end blocks. The "tail gyro default gain" is where you set the gain in the software once you enable horizontal stabilizer and assign the channel and switches on the tx.
Step 9.2> I loaded the GY 520. Left settings at default.
Step 9.3> Loaded the ACRO Setting. Left settings at default. This is where you will set the head gain later for the HORIZON TAB (SELF LEVEL)
Step 10> Applies to turbine helis
Step 11> Check swash that swash movement is correct when you tilt the heli forward/backwards/ and roll left/right. Swash should want to remain level.
Go to Horizon Tab and make sure "Rigid Gain" is selected (image below), this will give a normal Gyro like the Beastx and VBar when your tail and head gains are above 20%, HC recommends 50% on both for maiden.
Go to Diagnose tab and make sure you have 50% on both head and tail gyros for first test flight. This is done through the channels/switches you assigned on the tx. You should see the bars move as you adjust them on the tx.
Save your file
Light on HC3SX should be AMBER. Have the tail gyro and head gains set to 50% on the TX channels you have (it should read this on the "Diagnose" Tab in the software). Mine was RED but with some help from Danny I got it to go Amber. I had the head and gyro gains at 0%!!!!!!
Test that servos move in correct directions with the sticks on the tx. Hold the heli and tilt it forward/backwards, right/left and the swash should try to stay level.
So, there are exactly 5 points you need to check and then it will surely work.
1) Centres in the Diagnose need to be correct.
2) Servo horns must be centred too, as good as possible regarding the linkage to the servo, and fine trimming in the Trim page in case. This MUST result in mechanically symmetrical ways.
3) Check your heli's balance. It MUST be balanced or a little nose heavy. Nothing else is allowed. (The same as without FBL system, but now 100% necessary.)
4) Even if 1-3 is perfect and your swash is as level as you can ever get it with all the high-tech equipment these days, do not think that every heli will hover perfectly with this ultra-leveled swash setup. A lot don't. So, assuming 1-3 is perfect and the swash level, now lift off and hover, see if and where the heli drifts and, in case, adjust this with the rods from servo to swash. In your case this would be a bit front and left.
5) Light on HC3SX should be AMBER
Fly a bunch and try to figure out best head and gyro settings using the tx to adjust them. Once you get it dialed in it is time to try and set up the Horizontal Stabilization and Rescue.
Normal Gyro, Self Leveling and Rescue Modes
First some clarification on the terms> Rigid, Horizontal and Rescue modes
- Rigid- This is like a standard gyro like the Beastx, VBar, 3g, etc. This mode helps to stabilize the helicopter but will not self level the heli.
- Horizontal- This is the self leveling mode. SL
- Rescue Mode- this is self leveling with collective pitch added
LED Display when powered up ready to fly, pay attention to this!
- Red(RATE MODE)- Rigid with head and tail gyro gains below 20%
- Amber (NORMAL GYRO/HEADING HOLD)- Rigid with head and gyro gains above 20%
- Green- Self Leveling
- Flashing Green- Rescue Mode
To set this up go to the Rigid Tab and enter in the head gain that you have found works best. Click write. The head gain is now always adjutsed on the Rigid Tab. This setting should now show up on the Diagnose Tab, CHECK THIS!
Go to the HORIZON TAB and click on HORIZON and ACRO for regular flybalrless type helis.
Assign switches/toggles/buttons on the TX to be set up for the 3 modes. If you look around there are a million different ways to do this from very simple to complex.
One is to set a 3 way switch to the 3 modes. The HC3SX will interpret the gains/travel set at each position to the mode. So 0% is Rigid(regular gyro), more than 20% is Self Leveling and less than -20% is Rescue.
Rigid is always set at 0%. In SL the HC3SX will interpret the % to how fast the SL works so 30% will SL way slower than 100%.
I am trying a very simple setup first where I use the GEAR SWITCH to go betwwen Normal Gyro and SL, tail gyro is still set through Gyro switch.
In the DX8 go to System Setup>Switch Select>Mix:Aux2 (Note MIX in the DX8 is really the GEAR switch!). Next go Function List>Servo Setup>Travel>AUX 2> and set one position to 0 (reg. gyro) and the other position to any setting above 15 for SL. At the Diagnose Tab you should now see this at work as you switch between 0 & 1 on the Gear Switch, Hor. Channel should read 0 when you are at the position for reg gyro and then anywhere above 15 for SL. You will also see the green lights in the "Stabilisation active" box cycle and it should cycle between AMBER(regular gyro) and GREEN(SL) on the HC.
UPDATE 4/20, Setting up RESCUE MODE
After some testing with Gear Switch set to Regular Gyro and SL it works quite well, you can vary the travel on the tx aux 2 channel to change how fast the SL works. I found that anything above 25 or so for SL is not good for flying and trying banking or pirouettes, it will always try to SL and you end up fighting it. I ended up with the SL at 17 and it works excellent, you can try new manuvers without fighting the SL yet when you let go of the sticks it SL. SL set to a real high # might be good for folks learning to hover and basic flying.
I am now trying the Rescue Mode. I also have this setup on the GEAR SWITCH where postion 0 can be Rigid or SL(depending on travel setting) and pos 1 is RESCUE. In the DX8 go to System Setup>Switch Select>Mix:Aux2 (Note MIX in the DX8 is really the GEAR switch!). Next go Function List>Servo Setup>Travel>AUX 2> you will change the values here.
I wanted this set up so on the Gear switch the down positioon could be SL or Regular Gyro and the up position would be Rescue. Thinking that i could pop it up when the sh**** hits the fan.
Make sure the aux 2 in the tx is not reversed. Go to Function List>Servo Setup>Travel>AUX 2. You will see the values you want to change at the bottom expressed as %. Set the Gear switch to position 0 and the right #% should be selected, adjust to the # if you want, 0% for normal gyro and anything above 10% for SL. Now flip the gear switch up, RESCUE, and set that value to the #% you want, the higher the stronger the Rescue, which is SL with positive collective!
Now on the HC when not hooked up to the PC it should show a Solid Green or Amber, Sl or Reg. Gyro, when the Gear Switch is down. Flip it up and it should show Blinking Green, Rescue. Hook the HC to the PC and go to the DIagnose Tab. It should show this for the Gear switch down. The hor. channel will show the values you have in the tx, you can watch it change as you change it the tx.
Now flip the gear switch up and you should see this. The hor. channel will show the value you have set for rescue in the tx when the gear switch is up. This is expressed as a NEGATIVE value even though the travel % you set in the tx does not show negative, this really through me off at first. Just know that a negative # is rescue and a positive # is SL on this page not nesecarly on your TX.
I tried a real small value at first for Rescue, 30%. Went into a hover and hit the Gear switch up and the heli went to Sl and positive pitch and did a real slow climb. I increased it to 60% and it climbed out faster. Play with the settings and use what you want. HC recommends 100% but i have seen folks settings on the forumns at all settings.
Some examples I found for programming switches on DX8 for Rigid, Horizontal and Rescue modes.
In your switch menu assign AUX2 to the GOV switch. This makes the aux/gov toggle your autotrim trigger
GYRO CH. set to:
POS 0 = -75.0%
POS 1 = +65.0%
POS 2 = 0.0
CH= Gear SW= Gyro
This assigns the Flap/Gyro toggle for your flight mode
POS 0 = HOR mode
POS 1 = POS mode
POS 2 = Off
You can adjust your gains in both the HC software or the Gyro ch in your TX.
To use the Gear(Mix) and Trainer switches on the DX-8 to switch between Rigid, Horizontal and Rescue modes use the following settings to give:Gear(0): Rigid mode and with Trainer pressed: Rescue mode
Gear(1): Horizontal mode with gain set on Aux2 ATVIn Switch Select:Trainer to Aux3
Mix to Aux2Reverse Aux2 channelSet these Mixes:Mix1: Aux3 to Aux2 Rates: -100%,0%,0%. set to modes N12H
Mix2: Aux2 to Aux2 Rates: 0%,50%,0%. set to modes N12H