Welcome to my RC Helicopter Diary. This is a diary of my RC helicopter flights and observations. Entries are in reverse order so start from the bottom and work your way up..


22nd Jan to 31st Jan:

Have run some more batteries through it and still not nearly as stable as before the modifications and I have been getting a little disheartened. Thinking back to some "first principals" I suspect that there is a fundamental design flaw in the CNC parts so will look into the options over the next couple of days with regards to a fix as a further rebuild is required :-( . Will also hunt for my original swash plate as that's gone missing (it really can't have gone far as all the other bits from prior to the upgrade I have to hand).


21st Jan 2007:

Rebuilt lama using the CNC upgrades and also some other modifications (will be documented on my mods page here). Unfortunately flys really badly, not sure why..


17th Jan 2007:

Couple more batteries, getting ok at this but a bit worried about the skids. Will not fly until re-build.


16th Jan 2007:

Ran a few (4) more batteries through with only a couple of minor crashes. As I can now hover pretty well I thought I'd try a few tests. Gyro is out as it still takes a lot of left trim to keep stable right through the flight. Also the there is a difference when pirouetting in that one way is faster than the other (should be equal). When I do the re-build I'll adjust the "4 in 1" controller to fix these (could also be a motor). Also slight vibe on the hover so when I dismantle I'll re-check all the shafts etc. for straightness although it could be a blade out of balance. Otherwise I can see a marked improvement on my flying ability and flight times. Almost landed on a small table however running low on battery put paid to that first attempt. Second attempt, managed it! I have to learn to "panic less" when getting close to things (walls, sofa etc.) and control my way out of a sticky situation. Had a particularly nasty crash at end of battery 4, got too cocky and hit the wall, braking the landing skids :-( Also noticed that the central shaft had slipped down and the collar was higher up the shaft giving some vertical movement (not good). Need to re-build soon...


15th Jan 2007:

Another battery flying around the lounge. Max was here and noted that my flying had “drastically” improved. Couple of blade strikes but nothing too much. Again no visible damage to the blades but tape looking a little worn so decided to replace the tape. On taking it off, noticed that the blades were actually quite badly chipped and the tape had just hid it... Back to the drawing board on that.


14th Jan 2007:

More sim time this eve and installed new blades (complete set). Covered the leading edge of the blade with tape (hint on heliguy forum), so lets see if that helps. When Max went to bed put another battery through it. Much better now, have stable hover and can move it forward / back etc. and land more or less where I want to. Couple of blade strikes but nothing too bad and no visible damage to the blades.


12th Jan 2007:

Max picked up the bits from the post office and all OK. Tried flybar on the CNC shaft and, like dr_g noticed some sideways slop but didn’t look like more than on the standard kit. Will have to measure when I do the re-build.


11th Jan 2007:

Some more flying (1 battery worth). OK but a couple of hits and one demolished blade. No more “B” blades so grounded :-(


10th Jan 2007:

Well, the parts from Heliguy were attempted to be delivered (recorded delivery notice). No sign of the bits from Maplin or buzz flyer (hopefully tomorrow). Will ask wife to pick up parcel (maybe) or pick up myself on Saturday.


9th Jan 2007:

Received e-mail from Joel asking whether I wanted a replacement tail. As I already purchased the “unbreakable” one I replied to say it’s not a requirement, but I e-mailed him to let him know about how the original one was broken as an FYI rather than anything else (he is in contact with the manufacturer. about the quality of the tail anyway). Got e-mails about dispatch of orders from Heliguy, Maplin and buzz flyer so will be lining up a date to re-build the Lama (probably after my workbench is installed in the Garage). Plan is to: -

  1. Work out current draw at maximum load (to get the correct amp fuse although I have ordered a 3 amp and 5 amp).
  2. Check alignment and travel of the servos at default.
  3. Work out servo travel using only the trim.
  4. Check whether the skids are indeed flat (90o) in relationship to the shaft.

Then dismantle and install the upgrades: -

  1. CNC upgrades
  2. Heatsinks for motors (including cut outs for air flow)
  3. Self resetting fuse

Lastly work out all the correct alignments of the parts to the shaft etc.


8th Jan 2007:

Purchased additional blades from BuzzFlyer and purchased the full upgrade kit from Heliguy. Did some more flying and control again improved. Max had a go as well and she had reasonable control, skating around the floor and even lifting off for a small hover or two! She could be good at this! I sent an e-mail to Joel explaining about the original (and busted) tail and I also ordered a couple of bits from Maplin (fuses).


7th Jan 2007:

Checked and adjusted swash plate. Was significantly out of true (not sure whether this was the case at delivery but surely must have been). Adjusted several turns on the links and all seems a lot better in that I can hover and have more control over the chopper but it’s not 100%, maybe half a turn or so. Went through one battery and all was well but I did ding another rotor blade. Will HAVE to order more of these. Weight bar keeps swinging off the shaft so need to consider CNC upgrade. Not sure as to whether buy the whole lot or a bit at a time but will check the Heliguy site for costs and availability. All in all, a better experience.


6th Jan 2007:

Tied the copter to a small table, turned on the controller and plugged in the battery. Checked out the servo movement and all looked OK and then pushed the throttle stick up and the blades seemed to turn ok. Also the controls seemed to work ok and the (lower) rotor disk moved in the directions I would expect it to. Blade tracking also looked fine. Built basic training gear and attached to chopper. Took for a little test “skate” but will try a bit more later. Ran through 2 batteries and had some luck (and one broken blade). I think that the swash plate is not 100% correct as when I spool up, the tail goes down and I have to apply a lot of up elevator to correct got a couple of hovers and went more or less in the direction I wanted but a very calm day outside may be better. I’ll look into the swash plate issue tomorrow once the batteries are refreshed.


5th Jan 2007:

Charged up the two LiPo batteries in readiness for some testing at the weekend. Also got hold of some ping-pong balls to make training kit (some say you don’t need it with this copter but I will err on the side of caution after trying the sim).


4th Jan 2007:

All arrives. Try FMS sim “Wooo”, quite difficult. Load up a lama model I downloaded so at least I had a point of reference but probably flies differently than mine.. Fitted the crash resistant tail to Lama (needs some sanding as holes do not line up). Try some more on the sim


3rd Jan 2007:

Order Esky Lama V3 from heliguy.com. Also buy extra battery / blades / crash resistant tail and sim at same time.