ALIGN TREX 250 DFC
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC BREAKDOWN
Align Trex 250 DFC Review
Align Trex 250 DFC – What To Know Before You Jump
Align Trex 250 DFC – My Mistakes
Align Trex 250 DFC – General Notes
Align Trex 250 DFC – Stock Tail Servo
Align Trex 250 DFC – Metal Main Shaft Bearing Block Upgrade
Align Trex 250 DFC – Head/Swash Links Setup
Align Trex 250 DFC – BeastX/AR7200BX Pot Settings
Align Trex 250 DFC – Final Build
Align Trex 250 DFC – BeastX Settings
Align Trex 250 DFC – Spektrum DX8 Settings
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – MANUALS
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – STOCK PART FINDER
BEASTX MICROBEAST – MANUAL
SPEKTRUM AR7200BX (BEASTX) – MANUAL
The Align Trex 250 Pro DFC Super Combo is a solid package overall. I was completely amazed when I received this helicopter. The package was super small and I thought to myself, “There is no way that there is a 250 size helicopter in this box.” Well there was a 250 size helicopter in that small box. There was absolutely nothing missing from the package, it was just so well packaged that the company was able to stuff it in such a small box. I have to be honest, this was my first real helicopter kit. I was completely overwhelmed once I opened it all and laid it out on my work bench.
Please bare with me, building the Align Trex 250 DFC was a serious journey for me. This was my first real build and although the journey was long (2 years), I’ve learned so much. Still learning for that matter. Why did it take me so long? I’ve said it before, “I’m no expert in this hobby.” I took my time and wasn’t in a hurry to cram all of the knowledge in my head. I didn’t want to update this page until I was also rid of tail wag which I did have and it discouraged me for a little while. Not to mention all of the other projects I’ve been working on to bring you information for.
I am seriously here to make mistakes as I learn and give those lessons to you, so you don’t waste too much of your money or time. I love to tinker and this was just the right project for me. Look there are tons of complaints out there about the Align Trex 250 DFC. There are tons of complaints out there about any heli that anyone flies. Gaui or Align? Blah blah blah, pick what you can afford and have fun. People complain about Blade all of the time, yet when they come out with something new it’s always back ordered for weeks. See what I am saying? I work with F/A-18’s in the Navy and let me tell you, objects aren’t meant to fly and it is a touchy business building them or keep them in the air. I haven’t flown a Gaui or anything other company. Align was my first choice and I went with it. If I could afford to fly it all, believe me I would. I’m not even at 3D level yet out of the simulator, but I can do things with my heli’s that blow my friends minds and I am having fun. That is all that matters. That’s all that should matter to you.
I am more of a mechanic at this point and that’s going to benefit me later. I like Align. Even though I got frustrated with the Align Trex 250 DFC. Even though I almost gave up on it, I didn’t and I am glad that I didn’t. I love the Align Trex 250 DFC and I love what it has taught me. I know without a doubt that right now, I’m ready to move up to a bigger heli because of it. Yes, I am looking at an Align Trex 450 but that will be another page. If you are reading this and trying to decide to move up to this from micros or skip it for a bigger one, that is your choice. I suggest getting this and here is why. Bigger is not always better. In this hobby bigger is more expensive. There is a lot to learn moving up to something like this or bigger. The Align Trex 250 DFC is the cheapest stepping stone. You are going to miss something and when you miss that something, you are going to break something. With this heli you’ll be glad you took my advice. Align makes some solid products even though they make mistakes at the beginning like every rc helicopter company does. Either wait for them to improve it like I do when a new iPhone or version of Windows comes out, or be the one to help them figure things out. I really should be a heli beta tester……..hello Align, Align!!!
I am going to warn you now. This is going to be a very long page, because I have a lot of information to give you. I have a lot of mistakes to share with you. The benefit of reading all of this, If you want the Align Trex 250 DFC then get it. I am going to show you what you need to know to get if flying as a new pilot. Right now my Align Trex 250 DFC flies as smooth as my Blade 180 CFX. I fly them together and I have a lot of fun with both of them. Actually, my Blade 180 CFX is my warm up for my Align Trex 250 DFC. I love it, it always goes to the field with me. You have to ask yourself a couple of things. Are you in this hobby to stay? Are you ready to move up and start learning the higher end of this hobby? The Align Trex 250 DFC is the stepping stone. It is a solid product that will teach you what you need to know before this hobby gets way more expensive. I am telling you, through it all I’m glad that I took this journey with the Align Trex 250 DFC. I am going to show you how to love this heli too. I tried a lot of options with it and I am going to share it all with you. You are going to know my final build and what actually works. I’ve done tons of research trying to figure mine out. Some worked and some didn’t. Finally, it is all going to be in one place. This is your place to learn what you need to know to move up to the higher end heli’s.
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU JUMP
The Align Trex 250 DFC is a real freakin’ build. A rc helicopter build is exactly that, “it’s a build.” This means you start looking at options and ways to configure a rc helicopter that fits how you fly and what you need to create it. It doesn’t have to be all Align parts. That’s the beauty of the build. I got mine with the 3GX Flybarless System. I can’t vouch for it yet, I got impulsive and jumped on the BeastX. BeastX is clearly the best flybarless system after all. I am not done with 3GX, just not going to rip my Align Trex 250 DFC apart now, just to try the 3GX. I will be testing it in my Align Trex 450 though…hint…hint. I would go with BeastX for this build, it is going to make things more simple, so get the Align Trex 250 DFC without the 3GX. See what I am saying? Even the BeastX part choked me up a bit and I will get into that too. I will give info on the 3GX when I get my 450, but my Align Trex 250 DFC is stuck with BeastX. I’ve kept mine mostly stock. Below are the parts that I have. That I am going to tell you about. What my build that works consists of. I hope this all saves someone some money. All parts listed below will be explained.
1. Spektrum AR7200BX (it has BeastX).
a. Spektrum AR7200BX USB Interface (updates).
2. KDE Bottom Bracket Upgrade. I got all of the KDE parts and they are top notch, but the bottom bracket upgrade is a must for this heli.
3. Align Tail Servo Mounts (H25023).
4. Align 42mm Tail Blades (HQ0423A).
5. Heli Option Swashplate Turnbuckles.
6. Lynx Omicron Gyro Pad.
7. Align Trex 250 Ball Link Pliers (not sure why these aren’t included)
OPTIONAL, BUT HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:
If going with straight BeastX Microbeast you need all of the above except 1. and 1a.:
As I said, these parts are explained throughout this page.
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – MY MISTAKES
Reading forum thread after forum thread was one of my biggest mistakes. There are so many opinions out there and complaints, yet no one really ever puts all of their information out there. I’ve learned that I have to pick and choose what I believe. You are getting all of my information. All of it. Laugh at my mistakes, because I’m going to tell you about them. Hey, at least I had a chance to try all of this stuff out for us……..right!
There were many threads reporting “brown outs” with the original ESC. “Brown outs” are losing power in flight. I didn’t think twice about it, didn’t even give mine a chance to “brown out.” I ordered the part and modified my ESC which did not help with the room issue with the Align Trex 250 DFC. It’s a small heli and you need to make use of every inch of space. Maybe this wasn’t a mistake. It works, but I never gave the original ESC a chance. You don’t have to worry about this now. Align listens and they fixed it. You will see this in my final build. Just learn from my mistake. What was I afraid of? I wasn’t afraid of anything, just listened. Wish I could go back and see what a “brown out” actually is in person. Anyway, directly out of fear, I ordered the suggested 10 AMP BEC to attach to the original ESC to prevent the “brown outs.” I soldered it all together to eventually realize that I didn’t like how much room that it took up. It does work though if you want to go this route. Here is the final result.
Since I didn’t like how much room the above setup occupied, I then went to the next option. The Castle Creations 25 Phoenix ESC. It’s a good ESC that can be programmed with USB instead of listening for low tone beeps during start up. There were some crazy issues using it with the Spektrum AR7200BX receiver. It works great with the BeastX Microbeast. Not really a mistake in a sense, but I eventually went with the updated Align 15A Brushless ESC (HES15P01) in the end so that I could give feed back to you all on that. This wouldn’t have been a mistake if Align hadn’t came out with the 15A Brushless ESC (HES15P01).
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – GENERAL NOTES
- Stock Screws – The screws that come with the Align Trex 250 DFC, strip very easily. It is important that you don’t over tighten them. Additionally, like every frame the screw holes will wear out as well. Especially the plastic screw holes. If you want to avoid this all together, then get the RC Screwz Align Trex 250 Stainless Steel Screw Kit (RCZALG007). There is no guide that comes with them showing you which one goes where, so you will need to compare the size as you replace your screws with them.
- Canopy – Before maiden flights after your build or any major change to the Align Trex 250 DFC or any bigger heli for that matter, remove the canopy. I learned the hard way, learn from my mistake.
- Gyro Tape – The Lynx Omicron Gyro Pad is a good choice. It is no surprise that the Align Trex 250 DFC has issues with vibes. The Lynx Gyro tape is thick and protects your receiver from those vibes really well. I chose Novak Mounting Tape to mount my Spektrum Satellite Receiver (when I was using it). Both are very good choices in tape.
- Servo Arms – When centering the servo arms, it is rare that you can get them all at exactly 90 degrees. You can buy a package or two of spare arms. Keep swapping them out until you have all of them at 90 degrees. I was able to get all of mine at 90 degrees with one package.
- The Align Trex 250 Special Washers (H25054A) give the small screws a better grip on the frame.
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – STOCK TAIL SERVO
There is a mounting plate for the tail servo where it sits straight up and down in the back of the heli. I got rid of the mounting plate and mounted my tail servo to the tail boom instead. This was to make room for the Spektrum AR7200BX. The stock pushrod of course was too long after that, so I had to make my own from carbon fiber. That was an easy process that was no big deal. Hey, this is a build right??? The pushrod is holding together very well too!!
Here is pictures of the mounting of the servo. This was before I changed to the Spektrum AR7200BX, but the mounting is still the same.
To make the pushrod you will need a hollow 3mm carbon rod and cut to 20 cm. Then clip off the ends of the stock pushrod a good 3 inches below the threads. Then CA glue them into place.
Here is what it looks like when finished.
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – METAL MAIN SHAFT BEARING BLOCK UPGRADE
The Align Trex 250 Metal Main Shaft Bearing Block (H25077). Will certainly become a necessity later on. The stock block is surrounded in plastic, which means that the screws will eventually wear them out and will no longer grip them.
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – HEAD SETUP
This is without a doubt one of the trickiest parts of the build. There are measurements all over the place depending on what arms and links you use, but mine are proven and will get you very close at least. One of the things that you should consider are the Heli Option Swashplate Turnbuckles or links. They are awesome because there is a small plate in the middle to grip with pliers or you can use a small screw driver to adjust the links without removing one of the ends to adjust as you would have to do with the stock links. Those turnbuckles have been a blessing and I highly recommend them!
Here is what I am talking about.
Measurements may vary depending on your setup and links that you are using.
Here are my final measurements:
Pitch Link (Left) – 14.6 mm
Elevator Link (Back) – 16.7 mm
Aileron Link (Right) – 25.7 mm
Head Link – Both Flush
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – BEASTX/AR7200BX POT SETTINGS
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – FINAL BUILD
This build took me quite some time and I hope that I’ve been able to help you with my mistakes and lessons learned. The Spektrum AR7200BX was definitely the best choice of receiver for this little helicopter. It will not fit with the stock bottom plate or tail servo mounted as stated in the manual. With the KDE bottom plate the Spektrum AR7200BX will fit without an issue. Here are my final pictures with notes.
I installed the empty tail servo tray in order to help with vibrations. With the Spektrum AR7200BX, the plastic anchors for the screws had to be removed.
I decided to try out orings to remove some of the slop. So far this was a good move. The orings can be found at www.oringsandmore.com.
Silicone 70 Orings:
Servo Arms – 2 (#005)
Swashplate Balls – 1 (#005)
Tail Pushrod – 1 (#005) (tail servo ball and tail lever)
Here is the rest
Here the Spektrum longer AR7200BX antenna I routed through the routing guides on the landing gear. The manual states that they should not be next to each other.
42 mm Tail Blades work best.
My Align Trex 250 DFC is mostly stock. Below I’ve listed what I purchased separately, but listed the servo specs as a reference during your setup.
My Align Trex 250 DFC Final Specs:
1. Stock Cyclic Servos (DS415M) – 200 Hz/ 1520 μs
2. Stock Tail Servo (DS425M – 333 Hz/ 1520 μs
Note: There are new stock servos so you may not get the same servos in your kit. When these servos die I will be trying the newer ones.
3. Spektrum AR7200BX (it has BeastX)
4. KDE Upgrade Kit AT250-KIT-V2
5. Align Tail Servo Mounts (H25023)
6. Align 42mm Tail Blades (HQ0423A)
7. Heli Option Swashplate Turnbuckles
8. Lynx Omicron Gyro Pad
9. RC Screwz Align Trex 250 Stainless Steel Screw Kit (RCZALG007)
10. Align Trex 250 Metal Main Shaft Bearing Block (H25077)
11. Align Trex 250 Special Washers (H25054A)
12. 250 Blade Clips H25H003XX
13. 42 mm Tail Blades
14. 15A Brushless ESC (HES15P01)
Align Trex 250 DFC – BeastX Settings
Before setting up BeastX, ensure that you update it. They have changed the website since I wrote the instructions, but the process is the same. The instructions can be found below. It works the same for the Spektrum AR7200BX, but you will need to go here to get the software. The update process is the same. The AR7200BX and Micro BeastX work the same exact way as well, so the same settings will work on both devices. With Micro BeastX you will need a Spektrum Satellite, which is why I went with the Spektrum AR7200BX. The AR7200BX is an all-in-one BeastX system for Spektrum radios and saves room since you don’t need a satellite receiver with it.
Again here are the pot settings. Set these first, because the dials are a bit difficult to get to once the unit is installed. Setting 1 is the only one that I had to change.
Here it is mounted on the KDE Metal Bottom plate upgrade using the Lynx Omicron Gyro Pad.
I will be doing some setup videos soon but for now here are the settings on paper. If a setting is not listed below then that is because that is a setting that needs adjustments.
Swashplate Servo Frequency:
B. Blue Solid (200Hz)
Tail Servo Center Position/Pulse Length:
C. Blue Solid (1520 μs)
Tail Servo Frquency:
D. Blue Flashing (333Hz)
Setting The Tail Sensor Direction:
F. Blue Solid (Reversed)
H. Red Solid (120 degrees)
Setting The Swashplate Servo Directions:
I. AILE & ELEV (Purple Solid)(Normal)
AUX3 (Purple Solid)(Reversed)
Setting The Swashplate Sensor Directions:
M. Elevator (Purple Solid)(Reversed)
Aileron (Purple Solid)(Normal)
Setting The Pirouette Optimization Direction:
N. Blue Solid (Reversed)
B. Red Flashing (Sport)
Swashplate – Pitching Up Compensation:
C. Red Solid (Medium)
Tail Heading Lock Gain:
D. Red Solid (Medium)
Stick Dead Band:
E. Red Flashing (2)
Tail – RevoMIX
F. Purple Solid (OFF)
G. Purple Solid (Normal)
H. Purple Solid (OFF)
ALIGN TREX 250 DFC – SPEKTRUM DX8 SETTINGS
These settings maybe too beginnerish such as the Expo, but these will get you in the air and flying stable until you start adjusting them for your flying style. The photos are displayed in the order of the menus on the radio to help with navigation.
Since this was my first build, I did take my time. The learning process with this kit is steep, but well worth it. I had so much fun with this build. I hope that I have been able to help someone out, because there were road blocks that I ran into and had to figure them out on my own. Next I am on to my Align Trex 450L Dominator build!!! HAPPY FLYING!!