From the day I first saw a Mikado Logo 800 XXtreme at the field I wanted one. The challenge of building and flying such a large helicopter was immediately attractive. Not to mention the sound it made as those large blades beat the air into submission.
However the build was not all as sweet as it could have been. As usual there were challenges with the market, the kit and of course my understanding. So, having struggled through all the above challenges and wasted plenty of valuable time on some simple and some silly issues; some of my creation and others not; I thought I’d write them all down so if they helped anyone else, even slightly then that’s a good thing.
- Avoid the YGE160HV speed controller. the Logo XXtreme kits previously came with the YGE 160HV ESC pre-programmed to function with vBar Governor. This speedy also had three mounting points milled into the PCB specifically to mount to the XXtreme. This is termed the OEM version of the ESC. It appears that the YGE 160HV has been changed. Most likely due to an issue with the PCB mounting tabs snapping off. The new version (V5) comes with no mounting tabs what-so-ever. Additionally, it has no heat sink available for it. So essentially it represents quite a nightmare to both mount and cool. Keep clear of this ESC and go with the YGE 200HV or other brand ESC instead.
- You’ll need to make your own mounting solution for the YGE200HV. If you choose the the YGE 200HV ESC you are still faced with a mounting problem. Yes even if it’s the OEM version from Mikado. In essence the helicopter has a three point mounting system nicely built into the carbon fiber frame but the YGE 200HV has four mounting points cast into the heat sink. (I’ll also note that the heat sink is a shabby looking unit rather than svelte X shaped one you used to get for the earlier version YGE 160HV). It will still be much better than the 160HV V5 though.
- Go with Mikado OEM version of the YGE 200HV. I have now used both OEM and Non-OEM YGE ESC’s with my vBars. Both are good ESC’s. However for expedience, buying the Mikado OEM version makes setting up the vBar Governor a doddle. I’m no guru by the way, so if you are a guru then maybe this piece advice is not for you. Either way, it will take the guess work out of configuring the ESC for vBar Governor. I highly recommend using the vBar governor by the way. My experience with it has been excellent.
- There is RPM limiting on Mikado OEM YGE ESCs. 132,000rpm. Make up your own mind if this is an issue in your build.
- Regarding the Pyro 800-40L (14 poles) with Mikado OEM YGE I am advised by Mikado that this shouldn’t be an issue as there is still sufficient headroom.
- Buy more than one set of batteries. Sure this a pricey thing to do but one flight just won’t be enough. Once you get that big head spooled up you will want to keep it going.
- Buy additional battery plates to go with extra batteries. This will save so much time at the field. Even on day one.
- You will need:
- Additional Velcro for the additional batteries and the receiver battery if you are running one.
- Additional rubber edge guard for the carbon fiber frame. The amount provided in the kit wasn’t enough for me. I was really particular about clearing the path for cable routing. I figure it was cheaper to buy more edging than fix the helicopter after a crash because of a shorted wire.
- A very large swash leveler. One with a big hole in it. The main shaft is awesome and fat at 14mm. My universal swash leveler was to small so I had to get one specifically for the 14mm shaft. See the Trueblood one on the Mikado USA website.
- A large pitch gauge. The Mikado/VStabi configuration wizard method of folding the blades to the side to determine zero pitch and other head setup geometry won’t work on this big bird. The blades are far to heavy. You’ll definitely need a pitch gauge. The Edge 813mm main blades that come in the kit are 65mm wide. Neither of my standard plastic pitch gauges opened far enough to accommodate them. In the end I went with the RClogger Digital Pitch Gauge 2. This turned out to be an excellent purchase for fast and precise Helicopter setups. Now I fight with my OCD over 0.01 degree offset from perfect instead. Not a bad problem to have.
- Larger ball link pliers. The balls on the ball links are extra large on this helicopter. The penalty for using standard size pliers is a lot of scratched balls. So you will need to either:
- Buy a set of ball link pliers and enlarge them to fit this birds big balls. :o), or
- Buy a set that will do the job specifically. Like these.
- Be sparing with the CA. If you’ve not built a torque tube before then be very sparing with the CA when installing the bearings. Very sparing. To much CA and you risk gluing up the bear itself. Also remember to wrap your tape in the correct direction so it won’t unravel.
- Be aware of this potential issue when mechanically tuning the tail. You may get lucky and not experience it. I was not so lucky.
- Logo 800 XXtreme specific firmware for vBar. Yes, there is a version of the vBar firmware specifically for the Logo 800 XXtreme. To the best of my understanding this version has been tuned to cater for the additional mass of the helicopter. To obtain the firmware you must register your vBar with VStabi.info and contact Mikado to request it. You may also have to purchase the Pro License. They will make the firmware available to your vBar serial number for download and installation via the PC software.