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  1. #1

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    Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    This post is heavy in images. I've resized all the images to forum friendly sizes, but they'll still take some time to load, so please be patient!

    Hey folks, finally got my hands on the T-rex 600CF kit! I know alot of guys have been salivating over this helicopter for a while now, looking at those tantalizing pictures on the Align homepage and contemplating selling off one of their kidneys to buy one.. But maybe I can save some vital organs yet! Or, maybe encourage you to sell off more than one vital organ.. But hey, whatever..

    Naturally, my helicopter actually arrived at my doorstep yesterday, but I was, at the time the mailman arrived to deliever my package, out flying my X-400. Ironic? Perhaps.. but it was all for the best, anyways. I'm sure attempting to start a helicopter build from over eagerness after working 8 hours is a bad idea, anyways. So I awoke fresh this morning, went to the post office and picked up my kit.

    The helicopter comes packaged in a very attractive, sleek black box. On the back has the helicopters name, on the front, there's a picture of the helicopter it's self, along with, interestingly enough, the signatures of Jason Krause, Duncan Osbourne, Alan Szabo Jr and Danny Szabo. It seems Align is eager to show off it's newly aquired pilots .

    Back of the Box


    Front of the Box





    Upon opening the box, my initial impression was "woah..".

    Everything is nicely packaged, every bag part is labeled so you know what's what, and smiling up at me was the beautiful Fibreglass canopy finished in gleaming gelcoat. Align did a good job packaging and securing everything. The tailboom is at the bottom of the case, snug under a cardboard holder to prevent potential shifting and damage to what is, essentially, the most fragile part of any helicopter kit shipped in the mail.



    Inside the box




    In the bottom right corner of the box is the small box compartment housing all the electronics that come with the kit if you purchase the combo set as I did. This is where I got my first true, unexpected surprise from Align. Every piece of electronics included in the kit is already assembled for you and ready to go!. All the connectors have been installed, everything was heatshrunk and ready to be pluged in. The ESC even came with a freakin' ferrite ring already installed on it!
    This speaks volumes about Aligns production values. I'm extremely thrilled with the kit so far and I haven't even opened the first bag yet!



    Shot of the included electronics.




    With my kit came the RCE-BL75G ESC, an RCE-B3X external BEC w/ Voltage regular, the 7.4 1100 mAh receiver pack, and the RCM-BL600L Brushless Motor.

    I'm aware that Align motors usually aren't at the high quality end of brushless motors available for helicopters of this size, though they're always more than adequate for the model (it's certainly no NEU motor after all) but even then, it's hard not to be impressed when holding this motor in your hand. It's hefty, the magnets are strong enough that the shaft can't be turned by hand and it just looks like a very nicely machined unit. The case has heat dissapating fins built into it. Like the last few Align motors, this one also appears to have a fan built into it to aid with cooling the motor.
    As with most motors made by Align, the motor is of an Outrunner design, but placed inside a static case to make it look like an inrunner. If nothing else, the motor looks mean!



    Two shots of the motor.






    Finally, I know these forums are populated mostly with micro heli flyers, especially T-rex and X-400 users. Because I found it amusing, i've included a picture below of the beautiful T-rex 600 canopy side by side with my Eco-8 canopy, and finally, my X-400 canopy, just so you can get an idea on the scale of this helicopter compared to others. My eco-8 is (approximately) a .30 size electric heli, the X-400 is the same size as the T-rex 450 (actually, that's a T-rex canopy that I use on my X-400 )



    T-rex 600 Canopy, Eco-8 Canopy, X-400 Canopy lined up.




    Starting the Build
    I browsed over the entire manual, read the usual safety pre-cautions, went over the helicopters layout in my mind, and then proceeded starting with the build. My first complaint thus far is that the manual is laid out in a rather confusing way, which isn't helped by the often confusing english translations. It doesn't cause any major problems, but does induce some head scratching in a few areas.

    The manual starts you off with assembling the blade grips. You need to install the main head bearings, and then the thrust bearings. In my case, the head bearings were already installed for me, so all I had to do was the thrust bearings.

    Image of my grips, with bearings installed already for me.


    I've never enjoyed assembling thrust bearings, and the T-rex 600 didn't prove to be an excepetion. The kit comes with a small packet of red grease to be used throughout the build. I applied the grease to both sides of the thrust bearings as can be seen below, along with making a mess of my fingers and just about everything I touched.



    At this point in the manual, you place a washer infront of the main grip bearing, then the thrust bearing piece. Apparently, one of the sides of the thrust bearing is a tiny bit smaller in diameter than the other one. This caused my first head-scratch moment as the manual doesn't really explain this, other than to say that the one with "a smaller ID goes first". To the naked eye, both sides look identical with almost no noticeable size difference. It took me a few tries to realize that one of them fit inside the nook inside the blade grip while the other one wouldn't.
    Suffice it to say I did finally manage to get them both in there .

    After this, it was just a matter of attaching the ball links to the blade grips. This is something new to me that i've seen. The balls are attached to a self-threading screw. The manual suggests using some CA on the tip of each screw before screwing it in, so I did that. Just be sure you use a slow setting CA, otherwise you'll be fighting against the quick bond while screwing in the ball, and you won't get a good solid bond. Also make sure not to get any CA on the ball it's self.

    The assembled blade grips.



    Next comes the main rotorhead and installing the feathering shaft, and finally, the blade grips. Upon looking at the parts that came in the rotorhead bag, I noticed that i've got two different sets of head dampeners. A black set and a white set. The black set is labeled "use for 3D flight". Upon experimentation I found that they are stiffer than the white ones, presumably to give the helicopter more snap in the air and make it more aggressive on the cyclic response. I opted to go for the white ones since i'm not quite a 3D pilot yet and would actually prefer the machine to be more soft in the head.


    Head dampeners next to the gun-metal grey rotorhead.



    I'm relieved to see that Align has dropped that annoying baby-blue anodized metal. I've never cared for it, or any of the other bright aluminum anodizations that you get with so many of the upgrade parts. The gun-metal grey is a nice matte color that looks much more appealing to the eye and really gives the helicopter a more serious look. The mast is machined superbly, it's absolutely solid in construction, and the silver burnishing at the tips really makes it look good. I also dig the Align logo at the very top. I'll have to get a head button for it though. It just looks like something is missing without it .

    I greased the head dampeners and installed them into the rotorhead. There's two for each side, which is very good, plus a copper washer that goes inbetween the blade grip and dampeners. The whole head should be very snug from the looks of it without any slop.

    Head with feathering shaft and dampeners installed.


    Next on the list is to install the blade grips into the rotorhead. Now it seems i've hit a snag. The screws for the blade grips uses a 3 mm hex driver, and it just so happens that I can't find mine, so I have no way of installing the grips. Now that my build has come to a screeching halt, i'm going to run to the hardware store and hope they have the right size!

    ..

    Right then, on with the show. $2.99 later and i've got myself a new 3 mm hex driver. Installing the blade grips was a pretty straight forward process. Make sure to use loc-tite on the screws as we're screwing into metal here. I have noticed that the blades seem a little tight in their rotation. I'm not sure what's causing the binding, I plan to revisit the head later on and see if I can loosen it up some and make sure everything is sitting properly, but for now, i'll leave it.

    The assembled head with grips.


    Next in line is the Flybar see-saw holder. This is pre-assembled by the factory, you simply need to attach it. Again, a straight forward process. Using loc-tite on the bolts here aswell going into the rotor mast. Then you attach the upper mixing arms. The bearings are already installed on these from the factory, all you need to do is install the balls. Pay attention in this part as there are two different ball screws here, one goes on one end, one on the other. Be sure to use CA to lock the links in place. A self tapping screw along with a washer fastens each mixing arm to the see-saw holder.

    Flybar see-saw with mixing arms attached.


    Next comes the flybar seesaw it's self. This also comes partially assembled from the factory, though I still dissasembled it and put loc-tite on all the screws since it's obvious it wasn't done by the factory. Here is also where you assemble and attach the two small ball link arms. Be sure both are the exact same length, and make sure when pressing the ball links onto the ball, that the "A" on the link is facing outwards.

    Assembled flybar see-saw.



    Then we stick the flybar through the seesaw and see-saw holder, and fasten it down using two grub screws on either end. The flybar has too small indentions on either end to lock it in place.




    Next they tell you to attach the flybar paddles. I decided not to do this since they'll only get in the way, and they'll need to be fine tuned later on during setup. I did however, take the oppurtunity to put the stickers on them, as they are pre-lightened from the factory.

    Without stickers


    Stickers added



    Now we move to the bottom mixing arms and hub, aswell as the swashplate setup. The base mixer and hub was already assembled. Though I unassembled it and applied loc-tite where nescesary. Not much to do here other than install the ball links and put it on the rotorhead.

    Lower mixer with hollow main shaft.



    The swashplate is again, a beautiful piece of machined metal, with the same gun metal grey color and a very nice align emblem on it. All that was nescesary here was to install the balls, using, of course, loc-tite on all the threads. The swashplate required absolutely no work it was smooth as butter straight out of the box. Very impressive!

    Swashplate



    Finally, we go about attaching everything together, and assembling all the nescesary arms to connect the head together. Again, it's important to make sure all your connecting rods are the same length.




    More to come later on tonight!






    I will update this thread on a regular basis as time permits with images and various comments throughout the process. Untill then, enjoy!
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

  2. #2

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Building the body.

    When starting the body, the first order of business that they tell you to do is to assemble the main auto-rotation gear. However, mine was already assembled from the factory. I went over to check all the screws to make sure they were snug, and went on to the next step.

    Auto-rotation gear.





    Now we begin the main frame assembly. It essentially consists of the two sides, the bottom base plate, and then various pieces that go inbetween to solidify the entire structure, including bearing blocks, the tail housing, motor mount, etc.

    Main frame layout.


    Speaking of bearing blocks, I was impressed with the bearing retention system used here on the T-rex 600. The bearing fits snugly inside a small crevice between two halves of the bearing block, and then is pressed together. This is much better than the simple pressure fit system used in alot of helicopters. There is absolutely no way these bearings will ever come out, short of breaking the bearing block it's self. The main shaft is supported by 3 seperate bearings. The top two bearings are the same inner diameter, whereas the very bottom one has a slightly smaller diameter to fit the slight step down on the main shaft for the main gear mount.

    Bearing mounting system.


    Then we do the usual screw thing to attach the bearing blocks to one side of the frame.





    Now i'm going to skip ahead a bit since there really isn't much involved with the base frame assembly other than doing a whole lot of screwing.

    Once you've got both sides assembled, you should end up with something that looks like this.



    That's basically it for the base frame installation, now we get to installing the tail housing, aswell as accessorizing the main frame with various electronics mounts.


    The tail housing is a huge, beefy piece of molded plastic that could probably withstand a bomb blast. Also included in this hardware bag is the tail pulley and tail belt, as they both must be installed at the time you assemble the rear tail housing.


    Tail contents.



    First we need to get the tail pulley ready. This can be seen below, already assembled from the factory.




    Here, you need to use the included metal-to-metal R34 glue to fasten the bearings to either end of the tail pulley shaft as can be seen in the below picture of the completed assembly.




    Next it's installed into the tail housing, be sure at this point to also put the tail belt around the pulley, otherwise you won't be able to put it in after the housing is assembled.

    Pulley in the tail housing (no belt yet)



    After pressing the two halves together with the tail pulley AND the belt inside, we get to the fun part of screwing the whole unit into the main frame. A whopping 12 self-tapping screws is used to hold the tail housing in. Let's just say my hand is rather sore right now..

    Tail mounted into the main frame.





    Next on the list is the main motor mounting plate. This is machined from aluminum and polished to a gleaming silver. One side is flat, while the other has ridges running all along the back. I believe they we're put there to allow the motor breathing holes so as to allow the internal fan air-intake space. Without them, the intake holes would be completely covered and ineffective. Obviously, you'll want to make sure the ridges get installed facing the motor it's self.

    Main motor base mounting plate.


    Installed in the helicopter



    At this time, I also installed the various mounting trays for the electronics at the front and rear, including the battery and gyro mounts. This helicopter is definately well thought out, with plenty of room for all your radio equipment, while keeping the noisy electronic parts away from the sensitive equipment. (Gyro and RX at the back, Motor, battery and ESC up front).

    Fully accessorized!


    After getting the main frame assembled, we install the elevator and aileron/pitch arms. This is another area where the manual gets everything backwards. This was something that SHOULD have been done without the top bearing block installed (while assembling the two frame halves would be a prudent time to do it). As it is, to install it properly I needed to remove the upper bearing block so I could get my hex driver between the frame to screw in the elevator control arm. Not a deal breaker, but a pain in the ass still, especially since I had semi-set loc-tite on all those bolts. At anyrate, I finally got the thing together. I know alot of people have been replacing the push/pull control arms with metal ones. I personally see no real reason to do this. They're solid, with zero flex in them, and they move cleanly and easily.

    Control arms.





    Now we come to installing the skids. My kit came with two different skids. The black standard ones, and the white "3D" ones. I'm not sure what exactly it is that makes these skids "3D" though, if you look at the below picture, you'll see that they do have a slightly lower profile.



    Since I dig low profile skids, I decided to use the white ones rather than the taller black ones. The skids mount onto the bottom four blocks of the main base plate using a bolt and lock nuts.



    Next comes the straight forward process of installing the skids them selves, which are also held in place by grub screws to keep them from shifting (good idea!). I also took the time to install the rubber shock absorbers and the end caps for the skids. Simple, straight forward assembly on the skids.


    Finally starting to look like a helicopter!




    Moving onto the tail

    First things first, you need to install the tail boom. However, it's a good idea to assemble and install the tail servo mount, aswell as the rod guides for the tail pushrod. The servo mount is a nice two section setup, consisting of the servo mount it's self, and then two plastic brackets that clamp to the boom.

    Servo mount and brackets.



    The brackets clamp on using two bolts. The rod guides simply slide onto the shaft.

    Assembled shaft with rod guides and servo mount.



    Now that we've got these items attached, we can stick the boom into the body. Don't bother screwing in the front tail housing yet, as you will need to adjust belt tension later on when you install the rear tail housing. Make sure that the right end of the boom is going into this side of the helicopter. The boom has a small notch cut into it that matches up with a notch inside the forward tail housing.


    Boom installed on the helicopter


    At this point in the manual, Align also says to fasten down the tail rod guides. The method they use for this is rather bizzare. Instead of using a clampable rod guide with screws, they tell you to stick a small piece of tie wrap under the guide to tighten it up against the boom. This doesn't seem like a very effective method to me. I'm sure it works fine, but it just seems...odd. I'm going to see if I can come up with a better method of keeping the rod guides from moving.

    They want me to stick tie wraps under this?


    With that done, we can move on to assembling the rear tail housing. This is by far the easiest tail i've ever assembled. With only 3 major parts to put together, and only 3 screws at the back and 2 at the front, it was a breeze to put together.

    Tail Parts


    You start by placing the tail shaft (with gear already installed) into the left half of the tail casing (through the bearing, of course). At this point, you also need to wrap the tail belt around the gear. It's important to make sure you put the correct direction of twist into the tail here. If you twist the belt the wrong way, the tail won't spin in the right direction. If I remember correctly, it's a clockwise twist on the belt. With the belt installed, you can proceed to install the other half of the tail gear.

    Tail housing installed.



    Next on our list is the tail it's self. This consists of the main hub and blade grips (bearings installed already!) aswell as carbon fiber tail blades (a nice surprise, didn't notice that on the product feature page!).

    Tail hub and grips (blades not shown)


    Installing the grips is a simple and straight forward process. This is one area in particular where you want to MAKE DOUBLE SURE YOU USE LOC-TITE! This is a high stress, high vibration area. Forget loc-tite here and you'll find your self without a tail blade real quick.
    Simple screw each grip into the rotorhub. No washers or anything are nescesary as the hub is built in with the nescesary lip to prevent bearing friction.


    Assemebled tail hub.


    Now we can install the tail blades into the grips.

    Carbon Fiber tail blades and tail hub.



    Here you want to make sure you have the blades installed properly. The leading edge of each blade should be facing the same direction as the blade grips connector. See picture below.

    Blades installed into the grips.



    With the tail hub done, we can move on to the pitch slider. You'll have to forgive me at this point, my camera was running low on batteries so I was spreading out the ammount of pictures I was taking during the build.

    The tail pitch slider is, like many of the smaller more complex parts of this helicopter, already assembled for you from the factory. Satisfied that everything was tight, I went about preparing it.

    Pitch Slider



    The T-rex 600 uses an interesting system for the tail pitch changes. Instead of using ball links as is common with many helicopters, the pitch slider is connected directly to the blade grips using two small arms, which rotate on small brass bushings. This is one thing that I wasn't thrilled about. This is one area where I think bearings rather than bushings really should've been used. The tail certainly moves smooth enough, but not bearing smooth. Perhaps we'll see an after-market part for this.

    I should also note out another problem I had during assembly of the pitch slider. In the manual, they tell you it's already assembled from the factory. This is true except for one part, the ball at the bottom of the pitch slider (can be seen in the photo above). This you must install your self, and the ball they provide has treads that are too long. The end result is screwing it in ends up pushing up the plastic underneath the bushing inside the pitch slider, making it stiffer in it's rotation. I ended up pulling out the ball link and taking it to my grinder to shorten it a bit. Once this was done everything was fine. Hopefully it's addressed in future revisions.


    Tail assembled and ready to go!




    Once again, when assembling this part, you want to make sure the leading edge of the upper blade is facing the back of the helicopter, otherwise you installed your blade grips backwards (I did this the first time around by accident, whoops!). The lock nut for the blade grips should be on the inside of the grip facing the tail case. The tail blades should have their serial number on the outside.

    With the tail assembled and ready to go, we can move on to finishing off the boom. The first thing we'll do is assemble the tail braces. These are two carbon fiber rods, aswell as four very nice looking end pieces machined from polished aluminum. Use CA to fix them to either side of the carbon rods. Make sure, of course, that they're lined up with eachother. On one end, they install through the main frame aswell as base plate. On the other, they screw into the horizontal stabalizer.

    Tail brace installed




    After installing these along with the horizontal stab (they kind of go hand in hand, if you install one you gotta install the other ) we can install the vertical stabalizer. This also doubles as the rear clamp for the tail case. Two bolts go through it and then through the tail case, with lock nuts on the other end.


    (Yes, i'm aware my tail blades are backwards in this picture, please ignore it )


    That's it for the tail. The helicopter is almost finished!


    Helicopter with completed tail.



    At this point, the build is basically finished. It's just a matter of slipping in the rotorhead and installing the main gear.

    The main gear gets affixed to the main shaft using a simple bolt with lock nut on the other end.


    Main gear installed.


    Once the main gear is installed, you can tighten down the upper retaining collet. Here you're going to want to move the main gear up and down untill you get it mating at the right height with the tail pulley gear without the upper main gear grating against the lower tail pulley gear. Once you've got the height just right, tighten down the two grub screws on the collet, making sure to use loc-tite on each.

    Main shaft retaining collet.


    And finally, here's a picture of the installed rotorhead.


    The helicopter is essentially complete now. Naturally, you still need to do all the linkages that will connect the elevator and aileron control arms to the rotorhead, and then the links from the servos to the control arms. As I don't have my servos yet, I haven't done this part of the build, and will leave it untill i've got my electronics installed. It'll make things easier to install if I don't have to dodge around linkages to do it.


    I am extremely satisfied with how this helicopter went together. With the few niggling problems aside, it was an absolute joy to assemble. It's also a sight to behold. I really like the color scheme it's got going for it. If it flies even half as good as it looks, i'll be a happy man indeed!

    Again, I just want to say how impressed I am with how much thought Align put into the layout of this machine. There is a total of 3(!) different locations that you can use to mount your batteries. The front lower plate. The front upper plate (which also swivels to allow your battery to fit regardless of it's size). It also comes with hook and loop strap holes on either side to allow easy mounting of dual packs (as i'll be flying with) rather than trying to pile them all up at the front. This was a brilliant design decision and I'm extremely happy that i'll be able to side mount my packs rather than forward mount if I need to.

    There's a small spot dedicated to the gyro at the top back. A tray at the rear for the receiver battery, and a tray at the bottom for receiver it's self. Align also leaves ample room for motor and servo installation, so you don't need to dodge around things trying to screw stuff in.

    I'm going to end the build thread here for now, untill I get my electronics. Then i'll finish it off, and post the initial flight tests and videos (of course!)

    High Resolution Images
    Click to open any of the below images in a new window.

    T-rex 600 1

    T-rex 600 2

    T-rex 600 3

    T-rex 600 4

    T-rex 600 5

    T-rex 600 6

    T-rex 600 7

    T-rex 600 8

    T-rex 600 9

    T-rex 600 10


    Comparison Photos vs X-400

    T-rex 600 Comparison 1

    T-rex 600 Comparison 2

    That's all for now folks! If there is any specific images you want to see, let me know and i'll try to get them up
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

  3. #3
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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    nice write up, and thanks for taking the time to do it and post the phoos..... nice to see up close how that trex 600 is a nice bit of kit....Wonder how long till they come out with an SE version?!
    active in the hanger: TT Rare Bear (YS140), H9 Funtana (saito 180), DP Ultimate (YS 63), Trex SE V2 (Align 430LF)

  4. #4

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    If there is an SE version, there won't be much in the way of upgrades, since the kit comes with alot of stuff in aluminum already. You could get the mixing arms, aileron control arms and probably the tail case/tail assembly in aluminum, other than that, everything else is solid.

    I suppose even a front tail housing unit in aluminum would be possible, though really not nescesary . Oh, and the blade grips of course .

    I'll continue the build thread today, just got off work and now i'm on vacation, yeeha!
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

  5. #5

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    EXCELLENT Tread mate!!!![8D][8D] Keep those pics a'commin. This is excatly the type of build thread I've been looking for, detailed explanations and lots of comprehensive high quality pics. keep up the good work.

    BTW: would it be possible for you to post a pic of the canopy on its own?

    thanks....ICE.....(ACE on the other forum )
    If at first you don\'t succeed never try skydiving!

  6. #6

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Credence,

    Just an absolutely outstanding post. My commondations to a superb job. Excellent pictures and verse of each step.

    I can see that you are a man of patience, to take the time, not only to built your dream machine, but to take the additional time to take pictures and explain in detailed, what and why your doing each step.

    We all appreciate your dedication to the forum and the hobby.

    Best in all you do,

    Dave / Choppersrule

  7. #7

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Thanks for all the kind words!

    I have no choice but to be patient though. I don't have my servos or receiver here, so it's not like I can rush through the build and go flying! .

    I just finished the build now. I'm going to do the remaining pictures and writeup. Thankfully, the whole tail assembly was incredibly simple to put together (as far as tails go), so there wasn't really much to do.

    I managed to drain my camera batteries right down to the last ounce of juice. Once they're charged, i'll take some high resolution photos of the whole helicopter, plus some of the canopy for you iceman101.

    Check back in an hour or so .
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

  8. #8

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Alright. Second post has been updated with the rest of the build, including the high res images. If anyone is mildly interested, there is aproximately 74 images used in this build thread. 62 of which are actually on this page.


    That's alot of pictures!
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

  9. #9

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Thanks alot Credence, when do you think you'll have the required electronics? also does this heli use standard sized servos or the minis? and finally which batt packs are you going to use.
    I an looking into this as my second heli (current one is a T-rex 450 SE V2), but I'm holding out for a few months first.....looks like a good one so far; I'm just concerned with what the flight times will be like.

    Thanks again....ICE
    If at first you don\'t succeed never try skydiving!

  10. #10

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Iceman01, yes, it uses standard size servos. In the last high res pictures you can see the helicopters size next to my X-400 which is the same size as your T-rex 450 SE.

    I'll be using digital servos all around. Not gonna be cheap, but if i'm gonna spend the money, I may aswell get good stuff. I hope to make atleast a chunk of it back by selling off a bunch of stuff I have here right now, including my Eco-8, a JR XP6102 transmitter which is on eBay right now, plus a few other things.

    I plan on running HS5625S's on the cyclic.
    http://www.greathobbies.com/products..._id=HITHS5625S

    GY401 w/ S9256 on the tail. Gonna stick with standard PPM modulation right now on the receiver end. Never had any trouble with it. I'll be using an 8 channel Hitec receiver.


    As for batteries, i'm a dealer for the Electric Power line of lithium batteries, so i'll be getting two 11.1 volt 4400 mAh packs through my supplier. They'll be connected in series and each pack will be strapped on either side of the helicopter. I suspect flight time will be in the 10 minute range. I just need to see if I can get my hands on some of the blue align connectors. I could switch it over to deans, but I think deans connectors are only rated for 55 amps? Maybe someone knows. I think in normal flight the helicopter pulls only around 40 amps, but it's better to have the extra room.

    Also, I plan on using some cheap Century Aerotech wood 600 mm blades for the first few flights and general sport flying. I don't need fancy carbon blades right now. For those who aren't aware, the t-rex 600 does not ship with main blades.


    EDIT: Just did some searching, looks like deans connectors are rated up to 100+ amps. Looks like thats what i'm using!
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Got all my stuff ordered. Should hopefully be here by the end of the week some time .

    Only thing i'm missing now are the batteries.
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Very nice write-up!

    I won't have time to finish the one I am working on (installing the radio gear) for another week. You may get to try yours first.

  13. #13

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    ORIGINAL: cptsnoopy

    Very nice write-up!

    I won't have time to finish the one I am working on (installing the radio gear) for another week. You may get to try yours first.
    We may be tied neck and neck . I'll still be off by another week or so while I wait for the lithium packs. Getting ready to put my next inventory order in. It will be on that shipment. Untill then though, i'll basically have a nice helicopter that can't fly .
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

  14. #14
    Aluminium Cloud's Avatar
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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Hi Credence!

    I am in the preliminary stages of upgrading from my piccolo pro (i want something a little bigger, more stable and less temperamental). I was looking at the Raptor, but i am a fan of electrics so the idea of going nitro is a little hard to swallow. When i saw the Trex i immediately noticed how similar it was to the raptor, and when i read that it has similar flying characteristics, i was even more intrigued. I am interested in sport flying, and maybe mild 3d down the track

    I am still looking into a CCPM 450XL or SE, but can't ignore the 600 seeing as i was looking for something .30 size. I guess you have a few flying hours clocked up on the 600 by now, and so i have a couple of quick questions

    1) Whats the best flight time i could expect with mild flying? (i am not interested in trashing it just yet)

    2) I can fly my pic pro without too much stress, and hold the skittish little bugger over one spot (give or take) in the hover. Its a year old and still on its original main blades (so im pretty gentle). Would i be better moving onto the 450 first or is the 600 within my reach?

    Money not really a problem, just want a good stable flyer (more so than my pic pro) that has a reasonable (10-15 min) flight endurance

    Thanks for your time!


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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Credence, I noticed you found the ball/stud threads were too long to screw into the tail slider also. I did just what you did and added a bit of ca glue to hopefully help hold it in place. I have read of one instance where that ball has come out in flight causing a bit of a stressful landing. I will be looking for the upgrade to that weak link as align puts them out. I was going to use a cf rod tail control rod as I thought the tail control rod guides in the kit were too loose on the tail boom. after sliding the tie-wrap under the guide ring and using a bit of ca to hold the ring solid onto the boom I am not so worried about it now.

    Aluminium Cloud,

    I think that most people find the bigger 30 and 50 size helicopters easier to fly than the 400 and 450 size. The bigger helicopters are much easier to see and the tend to be much more stable. The downside is the money factor. It can cause you to be more nervous because you know how much more money you have invested in the bigger helicopters and that can lead to some stress related mistakes. Another rule of thumb to think about is that if you can fly the smaller helicopters it is pretty easy to move to the larger helicopters. If you learn to fly the larger helicopters first, it is harder moving to the smaller helicopters than moving up in size. The guys that are working the trex-600 hard in flying are getting 4 to 6 minutes. You would most likely get 7 to 9 minutes but I have not seen any reports from guys flying it mildly. I get a good solid 8 minutes from my eRaptor conversion using a 9s-2p setup (33.3 v X 4200mah) flying rolls, loops, tic-tocs, inverted and high-G turns. Not as hard as the good pilots on the batterys but harder than low-G figure eights.

  16. #16

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Hi Aluminum Cloud, I actually have not logged any flight time on the 'rex 600 yet. I'm still waiting on my radio gear to get here. In terms of physical mechanical setup, it definately looks like it will be a real winner. There is zero slop in the head and tail. Everything feels very precise. From what i've read online from others that HAVE flown it, I gather that the T-rex 600 is better quality (in build) than the Raptor 50 is, and suposedly a better flyer too. Since i've never flown a raptor, I obviously can't confirm this, but it seems to be agreed upon by most.


    As for flight time, assuming you're using the 4400 mAh pack, my best guess at flight time WITHOUT hard 3D and aerobatics is about 10 - 12 minutes, give or take. 6 to 8 minutes if you're really tossing it around. Hovering in one spot will shorten run time, forward flight will increase it. It's all relative.

    If you can fly the piccolo pro without problems, moving up to a .50 size helicopter like the t-rex 600 will be an absolute walk in the park. No kidding. You really won't believe the difference in stability size will make on bigger helicopters. Your skills honed on the piccolo will be more than adequate. You will get much further in your flying ability on the bigger machines.

    If you've got the money, and you've got a place to fly it, I would absolutely suggest the T-rex 600 over the small T-rex 450. The price difference (if you get a good setup) isn't that big between the two. Align's initial kit pricing is very agressive. The lowest i've ever seen on an electric model of this size. You really can be up and flying this thing (minus the transmitter) for about ~$1500.

    The only killer, even now, with these heli's is that the batteries ARE expensive compared to something like the t-rex 450. If you want two consecutive flights on the t-rex 600, you're looking at $500 in batteries. Still a heck of alot cheaper than other models with steeper power requirements, but it's not cheap compared to smaller helis, no matter how you slice it.

    I will update this thread however when I get my stuff in, and again when I do the first few flight tests (which I plan to videotape).


    Charlie,

    The Tiewrap system does seem to work, but it just seems like an inelegant solution to me. I really wish they'd used tight fitting rings, or even clamp systems.
    Wonder if heating the rings causing them to melt/shrink a bit would work? Or ruin them?!
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    for the ring on the tailboom maybe u could put heatshrink on to hold them in place? crazy idea, but it could work. u never know. or maybe just wedge something in between the ring and the boom like thin layer of plastic and add a bif of CA glue to hold it in place.

    well credence we cant wait to hear ur brilliant solution to this problem and we also will be looking forward to more news about the heli. thanks for all the info u have told me so far. also i finally worked out how it uses the 3 servos. i found it a bit wierd since i only saw mounts for 2 servos but then after seeing a few pics i spotted the other mount.
    If you can\'t beat RC, then build RC!

  18. #18
    Aluminium Cloud's Avatar
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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Credence, Cpt Snoopy thanks for your reply

    I have to laugh at myself now... i went to post with such haste before, and somehow got it into my mind that this thread was 6 months old already!! I was googling the 600 when i found my way back to the good old rc universe and i didn't look at the dates properly [sm=spinnyeyes.gif]

    I downloaded a couple of videos... it looks like such a great machine! I actually thought the kit would be more expensive! If its half as good as it looks in your pictures, it has to be a great buy! Yes, all the other bits do drag the price up, but i remember not all that long ago my local hobby store was selling nitros second hand for similar amounts! But what can you do when you have an addiction? You know what they say, all the good things in life are either fattening, illegal or expensive

    So, im sorry for jumping the gun! All the best with that great new bird you've assembled! I'll just have to sit back and monitor this thread quietly now, along with all the others who will no doubt be doing the same

    Cheers,

    Dan

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    ORIGINAL: Aluminium Cloud
    But what can you do when you have an addiction? You know what they say, all the good things in life are either fattening, illegal or expensive


    If that isn't the truest thing i've ever heard, I don't know what is..
    $600 for the helicopter, ESC, Motor, BEC and receiver battery is a steal. Align is poised to hit it big with this one, I think .
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

  20. #20

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Electronics arrived today along with the blades. I'll continue the rest of the build thread tommorow (too late and i'm too tired tonight!).

    Keep your eyes peeled .
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

  21. #21

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Electronics Installation
    For the electronics, I decided to go all Hitec since, well, i've always used Hitec and never had any problems, so why break a good trend? . I've always found their products to be excellent quality for the money.

    8 Ch Supreme receiver, 3 HS5625-S digital servos, plus the Align mounting hardware.


    For mounting the servos, align provides all the screws and nescesary washers, aswell as the mounting brackets and spacers. This is an area to make note of in your instructions depending on the servos you use. For both aileron servos, align tells you to use a small black spacer on either end on the outside to ensure there is clearence between the servo arms and the bellcrank. Naturally, I followed the instructions and used what they suggested. Well, aparrently my Hitec servos are a bit taller than the ones Align used while writing the instructions, as I later realized that my servo horns hit the inside of the canopy when it's put on. As such, consider the spacers they give you OPTIONAL. You may, or may not, need them, depending on your servos and your clearence. And, as before, the manual here gets everything backwards. In order to install the servos, it once again became nescesary to remove the main shaft and upper bearing block, otherwise I had no way of getting my hands inside to hold the mounts while I screwed and (later on) attaching the servo arms and linkages for the elevator.

    Fitting the servo with the spacer (which I aparrently didn't need!).


    Basically, you go through the servos mounts, through the spacer and frame, then into a plastic mount align supplies you with, using a self-tapping screw.

    Installed servo.


    Installed servo outside.


    Installed servos



    At this point, I went about centering all trims and beginning the setup for standard idle up flight. While fitting on all the servo horns, I ran into yet another servo problem. Align leaves VERY little clearence for the elevator servo horn. As it was, I had to grind off nearly half from one of the ends of the servo horn to keep it from hitting the anti-rotation arm and thus, stalling the servo. Since I didn't just want to leave it half on one end, I ground down the other end to atleast make it look balanced .

    Shortened servo horn


    Installed on the servo. Notice the lack of clearence.


    Another annoying problem out of the way, I moved on to the linkage assembly. The numbers align gives you in the book seem pretty close for all the linkages. Naturally, you'll need to make adjustments depending on the servos you decide to use. Most of my measurements were only off by a few milimeters. It is, of course, important that you not only get everything here as straight as possible, but as closely matched as possible too!

    Linkages for the bellcranks done.


    I then fitten the linkages from the bellcranks to the swashplate.




    With the tedious task of linkage and servo installation done, I was ready to move on to electronics. As I stated earlier in the thread, everything is well thought out for electronics installation, with ample room for everything. The way I chose to install my electronics is simply one method you can use, since you could easily reverse everything and really put stuff wherever you want.

    Gyro installation



    ESC Installation


    ESC Wiring


    Receiver and receiver LIPO battery


    When mounting your reciever, I STRONGLY suggest running the antenna through a bit of fuel tubing before running it through the antenna tube. If your receiver wire comes into contact with anything metallic, or carbon fiber, it will glitch and cause interference. On a frame entirely made of carbon fibre, it's a good idea to do all you can to avoid interference!

    Antenna routing


    All the electronics installed!



    Another handy feature align built into it's frames are small holes which you can use for routing and strapping down your servo wiring using tie-wraps. You can see them in the below pictures. This is great as it keeps the wires away from the gears and other moving parts, and makes everything look alot neater.






    And finally, a shot of the nearly finished bird.


    Next up will be the pre-flight setup (pitch and throttle settings, aswell as fine tuning of the linkages). And of course, the initial flight tests! Probably not for another week or two though as I still need the batteries. Gotta piece this thing together slower than i'd like since money isn't exactly abundant..
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

  22. #22

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Hey Daniel,

    why don't you just throw some ballast in that thing and run a hot wire from some car batteries in series? I want to see it hover!!!

    I brought my brothers over to tinker on, I still have to run the servo wires and secure the radio gear. We have batteries in the form of Hyperion 3s-2100's (16C) we will try the 6s-2p first and if that does not last long enough or it appears to be hurting the batts, we will add two more and use 6s-3p until we can get a better motor setup to run 9s-2p or maybe even 12s-1p.

  23. #23

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    I have two 2200 mAh 15C packs I could use, but at 2200, I don't know if they'll be able to keep up the amp draw. I'd be afraid of damaging the packs. The voltage will probably sag considerably under load and heat the packs up nicely to boot. I'd feel alot better with the room 4400 packs would give.
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.

  24. #24

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Hi Daniel,

    I finished securing the radio equipment onboard and got 4 2100's plus the rx lipo charged. I tried pluging in the lipo battery with the step-down regulator on the rudder servo and the rudder servo did not respond. I measured the voltage out of the step-down and it was .05 volts. I am anouncing it doa. So I grabbed a freshly charged rx pack and set up the swash for +/- 10 degrees. We took all blades off and range checked the beast in 45 degree changes of heading and the worst range (pcm receiver) was 39 paces with the best being 48 paces. All of that was done with the rotor head spinning at 2000 rpm. So for now it looks like it out to work ok. We decided to use the 4.8v 1100mah rx pack instead of the Align regulator setup since the tail servo is a 9254 and is limited to 4.8v. After getting the blades back on I went outside to do a little hovering in the street under the street light. I found that the wind had picked up from a nearby thunderstorm so we had to cancel the first flight until another time. The only thing that was a little surprising is how much noise the gear-train makes. Other than that it looks like it will perform nicely.

  25. #25

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    RE: Align T-rex 600 Build Thread - Pics inside!

    Good to hear charlie. Thanks for the info on the tail regulator, i'll have to check mine aswell then. I've got a 2000 mAh NIMH pack sitting here that I can use. Hopefully mine isn't cooked!
    Daniel
    True Northern Hobbies, Inc.


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