Xpert KD1 servos


For the several years, I have been using BK servos exclusively. I actually purchased my first full set of DS-7001 cyclic servos and DS-7005 tail servo, only a couple of days after their release in 2013. 

I have been very happy with their performance and reliability, and I am certainly not switching brands for any other reason than to try something new. 

I have been using the Xpert KD1 servos now, for about a month, and I`m kind of still getting used to them. But I am really liking them so far. One of the coolest things about them, is how they start up. When the electronics are initialized, the servos actually chime. Kind of how an ESC chimes through the motor when you plug it in.  Then...instead of quickly "jumping" to center, they slowly move to center. 

They also have overload protection, which shuts the power off to them in the event of power overload. Probably one of the most thought out part of these servos, is the ability to be unplugged at the servo body. No more unwiring the whole helicopter to change servo gears, or to do maintenance checks. 

They came to me very nicely packaged, with two different lengths of servo plugs and a few stickers. The cases they came in even have little slots that hold the servo in place. 

They are very well made, and look great too. But they fly even better. These things are fast, very smooth, and have way more toque than I`ll ever need out of a servo. I have 30-40 flights on them so far, and I`m really enjoying flying them.  As I get more comfortable with them, I`ll have more input to share. So stay tuned in for that. 

As always, Happy and safe flying. :) 

Scorpion Tribunus 14-200A ESC and HKII4525-520 motor


Back in August, while attending IRCHA 2017, I purchased a couple of things for my Gaui X7FZ helicopter. Both of these items were brand new releases, and being a loyal Scorpion user, I just had to have them on my helicopter.

The first item purchased was the newly released Tribunus 14-200 amp ESC. I had been using a Hobbywing 160amp ESC on my X7FZ, and it worked great. But it was a bit too large to fit properly under the narrow canopy of the X7FZ.

The Tribunus 200, is smaller, lighter, and has has excellent data logging. Not to mention that is a snap to set up. Which I`ll get into later in this post.

The second Item purchased was the newly released Scorpion HKII4525-520kv motor, to replace my trusty HK4525-520kv motor. I know...it took me two months to blog about them. But I wanted to fly them for a while, so I could give good honest feedback about them.

So now it is October 2017, and it`s time to give my opinion. So lets begin.

The Tribunus 14-200 amp ESC:

The Tribunus 14-200, like every other Scorpion product I have purchased, was perfectly packaged in the reusable metal boxes that everyone knows and loves.

The ESC itself is finished in the traditional Scorpion gold and black, and is beautifully done. The connecting (throttle control and BEC) cable plugs into the body of the ESC, via a Futaba style servo plug. I think this is a nice feature, because it allows the user to change the length of the cable, without the need to actually cut or modify it. All you do is use a shorter, heavy duty male to male extension cable. Great Idea, Geoges. :)  Another really nice feature is an additional BEC (marked slave) output that can be plugged into the receiver or plugged into an external governor.


The very first thing to do when setting up a brand new Tribunus 14-200A ESC is to update the firmware to the latest version. Which can be downloaded after registration is complete.

Setting up the Tribunus 14-200A ESC is very simple, and the instructions are very clear.  It took me only 15 minutes to have mine ready for the first flight. Below are a few screen shots of the setup program. I won`t get into much detail about setting it up, but if anyone wants a thorough setup explanation, Go check out Bobby Watts` video on youtube at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioq1fXwq5vA

Here is the first screen shot of the setup software. In this tab, you can name your ESC (how cool is that?)  This is also where you set devise mode, BEC voltage, motor rotational direction, and communication protocol ( the transmitter you are using) One more feature that I think is a great idea, is the ability to set up a mAh counter in the Tribunus 14-200A ESC. You can actually tell the ESC how many mAh to take from the batteries, and it will automatically reduce the motor`s power by 50% when it reaches the predetermined capacity. No more over discharging packs because a timer was not set corre4ctly. I use a Jeti transmitter, with an MUI sensor, which does the same thing. So I have not yet experimented with the one in the Tribunus. But it is nice to know it`s there if I want to use it.

In this Tab, you set things like soft start and governor gains. Like I said, these are just screen shots to give the reader of this blog an idea of what the programming software looks like. If detailed setup information is needed. Please see Bobby`s video in the link I posted above. 

The setup software can be downloaded here http://www.scorpionsystem.com/downloads/ along with the V-Link II driver, which will WILL need to program the ESC. The V-Link II can be purchased from most online retailers where the ESC itself was purchased. It would be nice to see the V-Link II included in the box with the ESC, but the fact that is is not, is not a deal breaker.

The Scorpion HKII 4525-520 motor:

What can I say? Georges hit the nail right on the head again with this beautiful motor. This motor comes with the longer shaft already installed, and the motor can has a very unique design that I have never seen on a motor until now. Instead of just being round, like most motor, it has "scallops" I guess you could call it. Machined into the circumference of the can.( see photo below) I don`t know what they are for (probably cooling if I had to guess?) But it definitely looks nice.


I`m not a snack 3D pilot, but even I noticed a considerable difference in torque compared to the HK4525-520. The HKII4525-520 also seems to run much cooler than my HK4525-520, but quite a bit.

My HK4525-520 ran roughly 200 degrees F, and the HKII4525-520 seems to be holding at around 140-150 degrees F after a flight.

The Tribunus 14-200A ESC stays rather cool as well. Considering I do not have a fan on it, and I rarely fly without the canopy on.

I definitely have to give the Tribunus 14-200A ESC and the HKII4525-520 motor a huge two thumbs up. This is definitely the perfect setup for any 700+ size helicopter, and will provide plenty of power even for the most demanding 3D pilot.

Gaui X3L Build


I have been thinking about getting an X3L for quite a while now, and for Christmas this year, my husband decided to get me one.
I received it from FedEx yesterday (12-23-16) but I didn`t start the build until today (12-24-16).

The X3L has a very low parts count, and it goes together very quickly. The quality of the kit is everything you would expect from Gaui, and the fit and finish of the parts is fantastic.

The manual, is a little different. It`s just a folded piece of paper with the instruction printed on both sides. Not what I`m used to, but it was not difficult to follow it by any means.

Upon opening the parts bag, I noticed that all of the hardware bags are numbered, and labeled with the diameter and length of the screws. Which saves time by not having to measure and separate them.

The build started with the main bearing blocks/servo mounts, and the frame stiffeners. This was a simple process, involving pushing the bearings into their housings, and installing a carbon fiber plate to hold the bearing blocks in place.

Frames, motor mount and the tail book mount were next to go on. Along with the frame stiffeners.

Once The frame was built, it was time to get it on its feet, and install the landing gear. I`m really not a fan of the fin style landing gear, so I`ll most likely be putting standard X3 skids on mine. Like most, I fly on an all grass flying field, and I`m a little concerned that the fins will catch the grass on takeoff/landing.

With the landing gear installed, it was time to get the main shaft, head, tail belt and the main and auto rotation gears in place. This step can be a little tricky, because there are a couple of spacers that must be put in the top of the auto rotation sleeve that contact the upper main bearing. One of the spacers is .05mm, and the other is .01mm, and it is very easy to damage them while trying to slip them into place. I used a dab of clear silicon grease to hold them onto the sleeve while I slid the assembly into the frames. Then I used a 1.5mm hex driver to reach in from the top of the upper bearing to line them up so I could slide the main shaft in.

Installing the head was nothing special. it came pre-assembled, but I never...ever rely on the factories putting loc-tite, grease...ect. in the parts when they assemble them. So I always take everything apart and redo it myself, so I know it`s been done.

Moving on. The tail boom, and tail boom cover were next to go on, and I must say that this step is a bit of a pain. You have to put the tail boom on, put the push rod on, and then install the cover. Here is where it gets fun. being a belted tail you have to push the boom in a little to keep the belt loose while installing the tail output shaft. This leaves you only about 1/2" of tail boom sticking out from the rear of the boom cover, and it`s not enough to get hold of to pull the tail boom back out to tension the belt.

* Tech tip* Once you get the tail box into place and the output shaft is through the belt..install and tighten the two screws which hold the vertical fin on, and use the tail box as a "handle" to slide the boom out to where it needs to be.*

Once the boom is pulled out, you can loosen the vertical fin screws, push the tail box in to where is needs to be and pin it. Then the belt can be tensioned, and the tail rotor can be installed.

The whole airframe  build took only a few hours, and all that is left now are the electronics. The airframe with Zeal 360mm carbon fiber blades and the Gaui stock tail blades weighs in at 1.49 pounds.

This was a fun little build, and I can hardly wait to get the electronics in it and get it test flown.

Charging case volume 2


Last month I blogged about my new charging case, and how excited I was to build it and put it through its paces. The charger is working 100% flawlessly, and I could not be happier. But it was missing something. I was wasting the potential of this awesome piece of equipment, by charging only one battery at a time per channel.

Therefore, I decided to get with the program and start parallel charging. I purchased a couple of EC5 parallel board kits from Progressive RC, and got busy installing  them when they arrived on of all days.....Halloween.

I assembled the boards, and set them in place to make sure everything was going to work the way I planned before I mounted them in. Thankfully I did that, because the case lid would not close completely because the EC5 connectors were too high with the boards assembled.

No problem! I just disassembled them, and put the EC5 boards beside the balance boards and now the lid closes, and all the connectors are easy to get to.

In addition to the boards, I purchased four 12" balance lead extensions from Progressive, and build four 12" charge lead adapters to go from the EC5s on the boards to the XT-150s on my batteries. The last thing I did, was to add an on/off switch....which I should have done in the beginning. Hind sight is always 20/20, I guess.

Building this case has been a lot of fun for me, and has definitely been a rewarding experience. Who knows what I might decide to add to it in the future....maybe a tablet?

Charging Case


For four years, I have been using a Dynamite Ultra Duo battery charger to keep my machines flying. The Dynamite charger has been a wonderful piece of equipment, but it recently gave up and needed to be replaced.

Instead of buying another Ultra Duo, I decided to get with the program, and build a real charging case. The project started with a Plano brand handgun case from Walmart, which is very similar to the more expensive pelican cases. They are high quality cases and I use them for everything...battery cases, transmitter cases, and charger cases and more.

Next came the power supply and charger. My husband noticed I was looking at them online, and took it upon himself to order a charger and power supply for me for my birthday....how cool was that?

The charger is a Revolectrix Dual powerLab PL8, purchased from Progressive RC. The power supply is a Juice Box (made by Strick Model Products) 1800 watt, 75A, 24volt power supply.

I received the charger and power supply in a few days, and immediately got to work on the case. For the deck lid, I used 1/4" sanded birch plywood. I carefully cut the deck lid out to the shape of the case, test fitting and trimming until I had a perfect fit.

Next, I measured the charger and fans so I could start laying out the holes I would need to cut to mount everything in the deck. Once all the holes were cut, I covered the plywood deck with carbon fiber vinyl wrap which we purchased on Amazon.

Now came the installation and wiring of all of the equipment in the case. That was actually the easy part. Since the charger is flush mounted in the deck, I had to install banana jacks in the deck to be able to plug in my charge leads. I used 60mm 24v fans, which work amazingly well at keeping the air moving through the case,.

The power supply was very easy to secure. I just made a couple of aluminum brackets, padded with loop side self stick velcro to clamp it to the bottom of the case.

I think it turned out fairly well for my first attempt at building a charging case, but I`m sure I will be making a few changes as I discover better ways to do things. So far, it seems to be working great, and I can`t wait to use it at the next helicopter event.

Here is a list of all the components I used:

Case: Plano Gun Guard

1/4" birch plywood

Carbon fiber vinyl wrap

FMA Dual PowerLab PL8X2

Juice Box 1800W, 75A, 24V power supply

Two 60mm 24V cooling fans

Two sets of banana jacks

Two standard balance boards 2s-6s