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F550 Flamewheel First Impression

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by ladykate, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. ladykate

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    Got my Flamewheel (RTF) from Helipal yesterday morning. Assembled it (was not really RTF but was 'almost'.) It arrived by DHL the next day after Helipal said it was shipped. That was awesome.

    1. Assembly was easy but it took a couple of hours or so to get it all together and working - the video Helipal links for you is quite good. You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJYrU5mkHDc - the pictures on there were exactly like mine. It was fairly quick to view and all the right information was there for the main airframe. There were lots of extra screws so I was worried about using the wrong size - however, it was obvious which ones to use. I was settling in for a long day but suddenly, I was at the end of the video and done. The monitor bracket was OK - I managed to lose a screw for it but I had an extra in my parts bin. The batteries were easy to charge but they did warm up a bit. The Devo 7 is already configured and bound - it takes 8 AA cells. The switches aren't labeled except for the factory labeling. Only two of them are configured. The pot on the face is used for the gimbal rotation.

    2. The iOSD was not updated and it was stuck with the USB connection facing the wrong way. I had to pry it loose from the airframe (it was on with double sided sticky tape and a little awkward to get to). Also, the flight data was outside the screen a little so I adjusted it while hooked in. While writing this, I realized I haven't logged into the NAZA - need to do that and upgrade as necessary. (edit: I did, it was up to date)

    3. The Deo 7 left stick is not spring loaded. Need to check if I can make it that way. First flight ended up landing in a snow drift because of my inexperience with this type and because I was wearing gloves (it was 3 degrees, -25 windchill). I brushed the left stick while checking the switches and powered it down enough for it to drop five feet into the drift. Anyone have experience with this transmitter and know if it can be changed to spring loaded left stick? Also, there seems to be a dead spot in the throttle at about 10 percent. The motors will power off if you raise the power too gently. This could be a real problem so I need to test it out more to be sure I am seeing what I'm seeing.

    4. While I was assembling it, one of the dogs wandered by, picked up the spare props and crunched through them. Ordered a new set of spares. ;-}

    5. The monitor is the Diversity innards monitor that many of us have. It isn't great on a bright day but it can be used.

    6. The gimbal buzzes a bit but it works fine. The gimbal tilt adjust is slow and easy - much slower than the Phantom.

    7. I put a lens adapter on the GoPro before the first flight. That was wise - the icy snow might have fungled it if I hadn't. Unlike the Phantom, the GoPro has a nice ground clearance (the kit has legs that extend the ground clearance nicely) and it is easy to hook a USB cable to it for offloading files and charging (though it charges while flying through the gimbal - same as the Phantom).

    8. As should be expected, I had to do a compass dance to get things into alignment. Works the same way as the P1/P2.

    9. I could only get 5 or 6 satellites out in my driveway. I thought there might be something wrong. When I took it inside the house and fired it up, it immediately found 7. Go figure.

    10. Lift off was tame, and very expected. Flying it was as simple as the Phantom. It is a little heavier and the airframe is more docile while flying. Landings were also easy to do. It was drifting a bit in GPS but that was most likely the satellite issue. It still worked well in stabilizing itself.


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  2. OI Photography

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    Nice, I was waiting to hear your first impressions. Welcome to the club :) Whatever you do, DON'T go online and check out all the millions of upgrades and other things you can add/do to your 550, unless you want to undermine your financial future.

    I assume you're using a setup with a 3S batt? Which one are you using for now?

    Maybe we can get Adam to add a section for 450/550 pilots (...who also own a Phantom, of course). If not, we should have a single thread at least, since there seems to be more of us all the time.
     
  3. ladykate

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    I have the 3s Storm battery (5500 mah). It is really cold here now (sub zero wind chills - less than 10 degrees actual) - I did a longer flight at dusk and it looked pretty tapped at about 9 minutes. I blame a lot of that on the cold, though. I was getting flashing red at about 7 minutes but it had plenty of power and easily made it to 9 minutes. When I saw it flashing, I brought it down to head height and walked it back to the house. OSD reading at touch down was 10 volts. It jumped to 11 when I cut the engines.

    I'm still having trouble getting enough GPS satellites. It only had 5/6 at takeoff. Once airborne it jumped up to 7 for a while and then I brought it down low and walked it around the neighborhood and it was mostly on 5 or 6. Am considering operating on it and rearranging the GPS module. My P2 will get seven if I hide it in the oven (not really - but it does lock on easily).

    A Phantom/550 area would be great. I would love to hear from others about their experiences.

    Oh... and I really need to fix the throttle - I need something that springs to 50 percent. If I decide to use this for video, I don't want to concentrate on the throttle all the time.
     
  4. FangsCPO

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    I'm waiting for mine to arrive also. I just got the e-mail from Jacky Lee. I'm confused...what do you mean the throttle isn't spring loaded. Is it like the original Phantom Version 1? Good idea on seeing if the Administrator can create a thread for F550s.
     
  5. OI Photography

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    Yeah the current DJI controller with dual self-centering sticks is the exception to the rule in the world of RC transmitters...most ship with the throttle stick that doesn't self-center. Many models have kits or ways to change that, but the default setup has been that way for a while.

    I PM'd Adam and asked him about the separate section, keep your fingers crossed.
     
  6. rmklaw

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    I have a P2V, a new P2 and now an F550. The F550 is soooo stable and lots of fun due to how much you can spend on upgrades. Reminds me of my boat...A bottomless pit. But I love it and keep adding on to it.
     
  7. PJA

    PJA

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    I've joined the club also. I have the f550 Flamewheel waiting to be built...

    I'm an original Phantom 1 owner since last March (2013)...

    It would be nice to have a separate thread for Phantom and f550 owners on the same forum...
     
  8. FangsCPO

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    Ladycate - what did you mean by the switches weren't labeled?

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
     
  9. Nidge

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    If you can't beat them, join them. I received my F550 yesterday, along with Naza V2, H32D gimbal, and a Datalink groundstation.
    I'll be fitting it with a FrSky system with a Turnigy 9XR but I intend to replace the 9xR with a Taranus.

    Previously, on my Phantom, I've been using the all aluminium GLB gimbal but this H32D gimbal is really a little object of desire so I intend to mount it so it's easily swappable between the quad and the Hex.

    I'm really itching to put all this stuff together but it'll be a while yet as my health isn't the greatest and with the concoction of drugs I'm taking there's a high probability of it turning out as an Ikea book shelf than a sophisticated flying machine :)

    Regards

    Nidge
     
  10. ladykate

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    The labels from the factory are FMD, MIX and AUX2 for the three switches that are used (AUX2 is a potentiometer) . They correspond to GPS/ATTI/ATTI, OFF/CL/HL and the bottom gimbal lever on the Phantom controller. This is explained well in the video but both three position switches are on the right so it takes a second to think about it when going from the Phantom to this.
     
  11. ladykate

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    It looks like I figured out how to make the left throttle spring work. My Devo 7 is now centering like the Phantoms do. The manual implies there is a spring or other gizmo that has to be transported back and forth. After sending inquiries to three places (with no answer as yet from anyone) I decided to open it up and study it a bit. Duh. The reality is that the spring rocker that makes the sticks center is just held up by a retaining screw. Back that screw out and the rocker engages and causes the throttle to center. The throttle has a little drag dialed in so that can be fixed but I left it 'as is' for now.

    Here is a picture:

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  12. FangsCPO

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    Good info! I never had my throttle centered on my Phantom controller so i'm use to it not being spring loaded centered.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
     
  13. WReimer

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    I've been into flying fixed wings and heli's for years. When I first got my Phantom with the sprung throttle stick, I thought they had forgotten to take the spring out! It took a while to get used to it, but it's nice to have with a multi. When I got my 550, I just added it to my Hitec Aurora 9 as a new model, so the transmitter is like an old friend.
    Ladykate, you could get a label maker and label your switches the way you want, or go cheap and use some masking tape and a pen. It won't take long for you to get the hang of what function is where. You're going to love your 550; it's a great machine. Quite a bit more ability, more lift capacity and really not so large that you have a lot of adjusting to do to get used to the size
     
  14. ladykate

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    Yes, labeling the switches would be dead easy. However, the solutions I've seen were pure ugly and, realistically, there are only two switches you are worrying about so labeling really isn't necessary. It was just an observation that they were not named correctly.

    I flew it this afternoon - the left throttle spring-to-center makes it dead easy to hang and photograph stuff or to slowly pan across a field - or, for a clutz like me, to walk the airframe alongside me back to where I want to land. I'm obviously not deft at the stick so I end up jockeying the throttle or accidentally bumping it. I am just a quad guy so I gotsta go with whut I no.

    I'm still getting about 9 minutes out of a flight - but it is still chilly out and I have a couple of minutes of warm up each time so I think it will get 10-11 minutes in normal condition with the configuration I have.
     
  15. FangsCPO

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    Regarding upgrades........is there a way to add some additional lighting? I like how my P1 is well lit at night. I would like that same feature for my F550.
     
  16. OI Photography

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    Yeah I've looked at and/or tested numerous lighting options for the 550, there's a lot of different things you can use that will work fine. If you just want some simple colored LED's like on the Phantom, many hobby outlets online sell some version of the "light strips" like these: https://www.commonsenserc.com/index.php ... es9fmb1g92

    They come in single-color sections of 3 LED's each, and you can use 1 or more sections together. Takes some basic soldering to add the power lead to the light strip, but you can also get them already wired and ready to go: http://www.gothelirc.com/shopdisplaypro ... ED+RTF+Kit
     
  17. FangsCPO

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    Perfect!! Thanks!!! This is why we need a dedicated thread to F550s here.
     
  18. FangsCPO

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    Order placed!

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
     
  19. ladykate

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    I like the option of taking power off the balance connector - ordered a couple of the male connectors. Want to put some orientation lights on mine - and really like the ability to turn them off. The bright Phantom lights are a distraction in some cases (night video of fireworks is a fer instance).
     
  20. OI Photography

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    I wanted something a little more subdued as well, and the ability to switch on/off from the Tx, I eventually found a setup that worked. I'm using this controller: http://www.atlantahobby.com/Store/pc/vi ... tegory=597

    It's connected to two red LED's on the tip of each front arm, and 2 white LED's on the tip of each of the 2 rear arms:
    http://www.atlantahobby.com/Store/pc/vi ... tegory=597
    http://www.atlantahobby.com/Store/pc/vi ... tegory=597

    Had to use one 12" extension/splitter in each arm to do it: http://www.atlantahobby.com/Store/pc/vi ... tegory=597

    The LED's are also available flashing, and in green: http://www.atlantahobby.com/Store/pc/vi ... tegory=597

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