Oct 31, 2012

BeastX V3 Tuning Guide

I recently collaborated with Stefan from BeastX to help go through some of my previous recommendations in the Tuning Guide. I gained a lot of understanding on the parameters and found there were some definite cases of misunderstandings due to language barriers and wording in general. We discussed the differences in tuning large vs. smaller models as well and specific things in flight to look for. I went back out re-armed with this info and was able to drastically increase the performance of my helis. Especially the tail. Please take the time re-read through this paying very close to details as there are quite a bit of things that have changed and been re-worded. 

BeastX V3 Tuning

First things first!! I’ve had far better results with using either the 3M Gray 4011 double sided tape or the 3M 4010 Clear mounting tape. There is a bit of concern that too firm of mounting on nitro models could potentially cause long term damage to the electronics within the BeastX unit but so far no one has been able to confirm this. I currently run a single layer of either one on electric models and two layers on nitro models. I will continue testing thicker mounting options for nitro applications and post results once I have them. I have yet to run into a situation where the heli flew better with the stock tape but unfortunately have seen dozens of situations where cyclic drifts, rolling on lift off, bad wobbles under load, etc. have all been corrected by replacing the stock tape. It’s very easy to transfer vibration through the multiple wires coming in to the BeastX so if you’re going to try the stock tape I suggest being very careful with not securing the wires too closely to the unit and strapping the unit down very tightly with velcro. 

Tail Setup/Tuning:

1. Dial #3 in middle position and Parameter D (Heading Lock) to Red.

2. I personally start with rudder ATV’s at 100. Drop to 85 if you’re a beginner.

3. Parameter B (Control Behavior) to Transmitter mode

4. Rudder expo to 20% (personal choice)

5. Parameter F (Tail RevoMix) to OFF, Purple

6. Fly and immediately check pirouette rate and adjust via ATV’s or Dual Rates if needed. Keep in mind to not get into the “high speed piro” mode until after your done tuning the tail so try to keep it under 105 ATV for now. Don’t worry about your expo just quite yet as long as it’s comfortable enough to fly for you. Fly and find maximum tail gyro gain (adjusted in TX). Perform fast backwards flight if possible. Hurricanes and funnels work the best. Giving to much rudder and sliding the tail through a hard bank turn will help if you can’t do backwards flight. Adjust right to the point of slight oscillation then back off 3% in the transmitter. Note: You can NOT accurately adjust this parameter in a hover. 

7. Flip into Rate mode (approx 30% Rate mode gain works fine) and adjust your tail rod length to remove drifting in a hover.

8. Reset your tail endpoints in Setup Menu E.

9. With the gyro gain you found in step 6 perform fast forward flight and do full stick throw pirouettes. Piros should be smooth and at a consistent rate with no sling-shotting or whipping. If they’re not consistent then raise Parameter D and try again. If you don’t get any sling-shotting then perform a 360* piro and immediately go into a 360* piro the other direction. What you’re looking for is how the tail acts during a quick reversal in direction. If Parameter D is too high the tail will stop, hesitate, then quickly jump back into rotation. You will actually hear this stutter or hesitation in the sound of the tail blades. Once you have raised Parameter D high enough to hear this then go back down one light. The best tail performance will be at the highest setting possible without getting these inconsistencies during reversing directions.

10. Recheck the main tail gyro gain then set your expo per personal preference.

11. Finally, adjust the tail stop characteristics by using Dial #3. Perform fast piros while hovering and quickly release rudder. Observe how the tail stops. If it continues to slide to a stop after you let go then increase Dial #3. If it bounces back then decrease Dial #3. When it gets close listen to the tail blades when you stop. If you can hear them “bark” when the tail stops your just a tad too high on Dial #3 and back it down just a hair.

Tail tuning notes:

I know the lack of RevoMix is a shock to some but what I found was that activating the RevoMix was actually causing a lot more problems than it was fixing. By de-activating it I was able to raise my tail gain, and run Parameter D at a higher setting. This resulted in a perfectly consistent piro rate and stops in both directions. Hard piro/collective maneuvers didn’t have any negative tendencies and yet magically I had absolutely zero tail kick. This was something that I found the manual was not very clear on and only in talking with Stefan did I uncover that VERY RARELY is RevoMix needed. 

Watch your governor gains on electric models. A governor gain that is too high can definitely cause a tail-kick that can be very hard, if not impossible, to overcome. Tune your tail with your governor gains lower than normal and work up to the highest possible gain that doesn’t produce and negative tail effects. 

I’ve found Parameter D to be very important on electric models to tail performance. Due to the largely overpowered systems we use now it’s critical that this gain be ran as high as possible without causing “whipping” in pirouettes. This setting greatly depends on tail blade size and tail ratio so time spent on this step will greatly pay off if you want all that’s possible for tail performance. 

Any inconsistencies in tail stops from left to right piros are usually caused from the heli not being setup for a neutral tail in a hover or having RevoMix activated.

For all you old-school guys coming from the rate mode gyro days do NOT get the BeastX’s wording of RevoMix confused with the revo-mix you know from the past. It’s a completely different thing and is merely a language difference in terms.

Head/Cyclic Tuning:

1. Control Behavior should be in Transmitter mode already

2. Start with ATV’s or Dual Rates at 100/100 for AIL/ELEV if you’re an experienced pilot and about 85% if you’re a beginner. I usually start about 20% expo. It’s really a personal preference though.

3. Both Dial #1 and Dial #2 in middle position.

4. Parameter menu E (Stick Response) on Red flashing LED. 

5. Parameter menu C (Pitching up Behavior) to Red LED.

6. Bring heli into a hover for about 5 seconds. Any oscillation, shudder, or wobling in the head then lower Dial #1 in small increments until it’s gone. Note: If your tail is bobbing up and down then make sure you’re running enough headspeed for your head dampers. Increase if needed.

7. Fly heli and set your Flip/Roll rates via ATV’s or Dual Rates in the transmitter. Watch for any large bobbles or coasting when letting off the cyclic. If it bobbles reduce Dial #1. If it coasts or slides to a stop when you let go of the cyclic increase Dial #1.

8. Fly in fast forward flight and give moderate sized positive and negative pitch pumps with NO cyclic input. Watch the heli and look for a “dolphin” type movement. If it pitches up and down as you pump the collective (it will literally look like a dolphin swimming) increase Parameter C (Pitching Up Compensation) one increment at a time until it goes away. Note: In most instances you won’t need to increase this parameter from the default setting so if it flies fine at the default setting then just leave it there.

9. Dial #2 can be a little tricky to adjust below a certain skill level so as long as you get done with the tuning and don’t have any negative tendencies on the cyclic then don’t be too worried about it. What I do to adjust it is tic-tocs on either axis. When you switch directions quickly the cyclic should have a nice smooth transition. If Dial #2 is too high then the heli will accelerate quickly on the cyclic after a quick commanded movement, hesitate for a second, then start moving again. It makes for a very glitchy feeling. The initial movement after a direction change will be overly aggressive but will “pull back” that speed after a split second then continue with the correct rotational speed. If Dial #2 is too low then the cyclic will have a very disconnected feeling and be very laggy. This dial is very dependent on the size and weight of the heli, servos, and blades so if you switch to a different set of blades don’t be surprised if you need to make small adjustments to it. 

10. Cyclic Response (Parameter G) is basically like that “paddle” feel that many talk about. Increasing this will make the model very responsive to your commands and give a very “connected” feeling. If you get to the point where the heli just doesn’t feel as responsive as you’d like around center stick but you can’t reduce your expo any more (or… you’ve reduced your expo to the point where you’re seeing your small corrections that you usually don’t see) then increase Cyclic Response. If you feel like you need more expo but you’re starting to surpass 30% then decrease it. Cyclic response will not affect your flip and roll rates and it is NOT the same thing as expo but to a lesser experienced pilot can feel somewhat similar so don’t get them confused or you’ll be chasing your tail. Myself, from general flying experience, I know that I’m about a 20% cyclic expo guy in general. I like a pretty fast flip/roll rate but like to dull it down just a tad around center for the precision. So, I know that if I get down to around 15% and it still feels a little slow around center then I just go right back to 20% expo and increase the Cyclic Response. 

11. Dial #1 is more how “tight” or locked in the cyclic feels. While you can definitely get too high or too low on Dial #1 and cause some negative tendencies generally speaking it’s more of an adjustment that will depend on how you like your cyclic to feel. Some people prefer a much more rigid and locked in cyclic so running this gain as high as possible without negative tendencies (elevator bobbles during tic-tocs, etc.) is what you’ll want to strive for. If you like a “looser” cyclic (more like a flybar heli) then try decreasing Dial #1. If you get to the point where the heli isn’t tracking well, feels slightly unstable in FFF, or you get that weird feeling like it’s just not stable in a hover then you’re too low. There’s quite a bit of variation in how you can make the heli feel when you combine multiple adjustments of Dial #1 and Parameter G so feel free to experiment. 

Head Tuning Notes:

600 and 700 class helis tend to be very forgiving on the adjustments and it’s not uncommon to be able to get quite high up in the adjustment ranges before you notice anything bad. Smaller helis tend to be much more sensitive so when you make adjustments do them in small increments. 

If you can’t get your pitching up compensation (Parameter C) to dial out any dolphin action then you’re looking at either a mounting tape, blade, or servo issue. Stock tape can cause this. I’ve seen a couple situations where the cheapo blades or even some flybar blades not dial in well. Servos that are too weak for your application can cause this too.

Get as much cyclic pitch as possible in your setup menu L especially if you’re flying hard 3D. 

If piroflips feel very robotic and don’t flow well then decrease Dial #1 a couple notches.