Blade 180 CFX
BLADE 180 CFX BREAKDOWN
Blade 180 CFX Review
Blade 180 CFX – What Is In The Box
Blade 180 CFX – Micro Deans Swap
Blade 180 CFX – O-Ring Mod
Blade 180 CFX – Main Shaft Play
Blade 180 CFX – Servo Saver Mod
Blade 180 CFX – Spektrum DX8 Setup
Blade 180 CFX – Spektrum DX8 Binding
Blade 180 CFX – Tail Setup
Blade 180 CFX – Updating The AR6335 Software
Blade 180 CFX – After Updating The AR6335 – Advanced Settings Menu NEW!!
Blade 180 CFX – Astroid Designs Upgrades
Blade 180 CFX – Torque Tube Replacement
Blade 180 CFX – Lynx Upgrades NEW!!
Blade 180 CFX – Tail Case Movement Fix NEW!!
Blade 180 CFX – Torque Tube Slipper Clutch NEW!!
BLADE 180 CFX – MANUALS
HOW I FINALLY GOT ONE (COOL STORY)
This heli has been back ordered online for weeks and I have been waiting to get my hands on one. Then it dawned on me that there is a local hobby shop near me. Granted the first time I went there they did not have a huge selection of helicopters, but I did get my first Blade mCP X there. I looked online and their site said that had them in stock. I took a stab in the dark, called, and sure enough the person that answered the phone said that they had a few. Bam, I am in there. The next day I make the half hour drive. Surprised the building is closed up. I call to double check the address and sure enough they have moved. Not even a block down the street and I am impressed by the new location. I start getting excited as I walk through the door.
I take a right and there are Go Pro Cameras…NICE!!! I go left to the other side of the building and there are rc airplanes and cars…OH HELL YEAH! One more isle over and I am in rc heli heaven, this is such a great surprise that I almost forget what I am there for. So much Blade and Align on the shelves and in the glass cases. Oh yeah, they have at least eight Blade 180 CFX’s on the shelf. Picked up two extra batteries and I was off to my house to start writing this page. I am sorry for the over excitement, but I have not seen something like this in person in my area since I have gotten into the hobby and it is so refreshing to know that I no longer have to wait for online orders to show up on my door step all the time now. If you live in the Lemoore, CA. area and have not checked out the new Visalia Hobbies in Visalia, CA., get moving! I love how this hobby can surprise and excite me like it does. Thank you Visalia Hobbies for my new Blade 180 CFX!!!
BLADE 180 CFX REVIEW
My first impression of this the Blade 180 CFX out of the box is pure excitement, before I have even gotten it in the air. I would not recommend ever flying an advanced heli like this out of the box, but technically you could fly this one. I would still look it over first. My tail was spot on and the swashplate was off only just a little bit. Of course I have not flown mine yet, it is still sitting on my bench with the servos hanging off since I want to fix the obvious, then fine tune it as I start flying it. Out of the box I programmed my radio and spooled it up just to make sure everything worked and it did. This heli is very well made.
You can tell right away that care goes into the Blade 180 CFX with the way the wiring is laid out and zip tied very nicely, so nicely that I do not want to remove it. The frame seems very sturdy and made of carbon, not plastic like the Blade 130X. Actually the frame is just a smaller version of the Align Trex 250 type frame which is extremely impressive. I was very glad to see that they did not copy the tail setup from the 130X. Some time has gone into creating this beauty. I love how the canopy looks even though it is quite flimsy. The canopy mounts are very well made, so you will need to be very careful when removing the canopy.
All of the servos are really secured to the frame, but I foresee them being a pain if you are using the servo saver mod. It will take a little longer to reset the servo arms after a crash than it does the Align Trex 150. These are not complaints, just observations. Every rc helicopter has it’s own little quirks and I am sure that the Blade 180 CFX is no exception to this rule. I have been reading that this is the best micro rc heli out there and I am sure that it is going to provide some stiff competition (since opinions differ). Hell, I still have fun with my Blade mCP X’s after all. I really love how this heli is put together and I cannot wait to get it into the air, because I expect it to be as fun as my Align Trex 150’s.
BLADE 180 CFX – POST FLIGHT
I decided to change things up by doing a first impression before flight and my thoughts after. The good news is that the Blade 180 CFX is more fun than my Align Trex 150’s. However, I am a bit more careful with my 180 CFX. I have to say that the Blade 180 CFX is what the Blade 130X should have been. This helicopter is a blast to fly and very responsive. In the air it flies so smooth that it is a whole other class of micro heli’s. It definitely lives up to all of the hype that it has been getting and if you are deep into this hobby, I am wondering why you do not have one yet…hint…hint. Despite it’s size the Blade 180 CFX reminds me of my Align Trex 250 in flight, but turns like a Blade 130X. It really is unlike anything that I have flown so far and I look forward to flying this every time I go flying. This first of it’s kind helicopter is definitely going to make me a better pilot and offer me more experience as it will you.
I will never insult Blade, because of what they have brought to the table with this hobby. They do try to bring us a quality product with the cheapest possible parts. I have been reading about many of the Blade 180 CFX’s weaknesses and I am here to confirm some of them. I just want you to be well informed in the case that you do not have one yet. I want you to know what to expect. Let’s face it, everyone of my helicopters has some small issue that annoys me. None of them are absolutely perfect and the Blade 180 CFX is no exception to the rule. The canopy is so very flimsy, in fact it is the worse canopy that I have seen so far. It is the first canopy that I have ripped more than once just taking it off the frame in order to install the battery. Mine is jacked up and I have not even crashed it yet. Add one to your crash kit and make sure you have supplies to tape and glue it back together. I stopped pushing the grommets all the way on the canopy mount. The canopy is quite secure if you just push the grommets on the the widest point of the canopy mount and just letting it sit there.
Be careful from flight to flight. The rudder blades do not return to center on their own and you will need to center them. The rudder blades do fold in quite a bit and may strike the tail boom and other parts if you do not center it before spool up, so adding rudder blades and main blades to your crash kit maybe a good idea. The issue the torque tube issue that everyone has been talking about is worse than I thought. Today, 30 December 2014 on my first flight I needed to make a small adjustment after taking off and when I landed, my rotor blades made contact with a small weed bush on the ground and that was enough to break my torque tube. I could not believe the torque tube is that touchy but it is. I need to locate a replacement, so expect a walk through on changing it. Definitely add torque tubes to your crash kit. Another thing that I noticed, main motor was causing a lot of vibration. It seemed out of balance so I had to put a small amount of tape on one side to even it out which actually did help. To find the sweet spot you will need to take all of your blades off (including the rudder blades). Put your tape on in a random spot on the side of the motor. Spool it up and if your heli is still vibrating like crazy stop/repeat until the vibes are at their lowest. I was not able to get rid of all of my vibes, but toned it down quite a bit.
Lastly here is my suggested crash kit:
1. Main Blades: 180 CFX [BLH3402] – $9.99
2. Rotor Head Linkage Set: 180 CFX [BLH3405] – $7.99
3. Stock Canopy: 180 CFX [BLH3409] – $14.24
4. Landing Gear: 180 CFX [BLH3419] – $6.49
5. Torque Tube (2): 180 CFX [BLH3425] – $7.99
6. Tail Blade Set: 180 CFX [BLH3437] – $14.99
BLADE 180 CFX – WHAT IS IN THE BOX
The helicopter is fully assembled and I would have been able to fly it out of the box. It comes with the instruction manual, one 450 mAh battery, and a plastic bag full of spares. Take note that there are no spare blades or swash links included.
The plastic bag contains zip ties, one phillips screw driver, velcro, two sided mounting tape, hex wrench (will fit most of the screws), three main shaft shims, and binding plug.
Here is some shots of the heli.
The tail gears are a blessing and nothing like the nightmare that the 130X has. I am not so worried about having to work on this.
The canopy is flimsy and the rip that I am showing you happened the first time I took the canopy off. This is nothing that CA glue will not fix, but be careful. Once the repair glue dried, I reinforced the entire inside with more CA glue.
There is only enough velcro for one battery, so ensure that you have more handy if you buy more than one battery.
This is my heli at center pitch and as you can see the swashplate was not level out of the box, but it is not off by much. It would be flyable.
I would also like to note that the my main blades (bullet blades is all that comes with this one and only one pair) needed to be balanced and that my tail blades did not.
BLADE 180 CFX – MICRO DEANS SWAP
Of course the JST connectors have to go. I always feel like I am yanking on the wires too much when I disconnect them, so I am going to go with micro deans on my Blade 180 CFX. I am not doing anything different than I did with my Blade 130X, Blade mCP X, Blade 180 QX, or Blade mCP X BL (initially). Please read through them before doing this for the first time.
WARNING: This modification will void the warranty on your ESC.
There is not much room as far as the wires go on the heli side so clip them as close to the JST connector as you possibly can.
The batteries on the other hand had a lot of room to work with on the wires. On the battery please make sure you cut and solder one wire at a time on the batteries. If both exposed wires touch at any time during the process you could start a fire. I prefer to solder and heat shrink one wire before I move on to the next just to be extra safe. Also remember to match up the wiring properly as in the picture below. Notice that the black wire on my heli is soldered to the micro dean’s pin side, that means that your batteries need to be soldered with the red wire on the micro dean’s pin side. Additionally, if you are setting up a charging harness that the harness needs to be wired the same as your heli (black wire on the pin side).
BLADE 180 CFX – O-RING MOD
There is quite a bit of slop in the head, swashplate, servo arms, and tail. I decided to go ahead and add O-rings to mine as usual. Below are the O-rings that you need and where to put them. Orings and More keeps changing the site links so I am not going to link every oring. Here is the page and all you have to do is find the size listed below.
I tried a size up and this size fits best. There is still more slop than I like, but it is not going to get any better than it is.
SWASHPLATE: The middle part that rotates.
SWASHPLATE: Where the servo arms connect to the swashplate.
The back of the swashplate is a little stubborn. You will need to remove the swash guide, then carefully pop the servo arm off. You will need to slowly raise it to get the servo arm off.
You will need to remove the pushrod in order to install the oring onto the rudder guide. #003 fits onto the rudder guide ball without taking it off but this size is too big and the pushrod would not stay connected to the ball during operation. I had to add #002 onto the ball and that size is too small to just slide on, so you will need to remove the ball to install the oring.
Here is the rudder guide with the #003 oring and as you can see it is way too big.
RUDDER GUIDE BALL:
RUDDER GRIP ORINGS:
BLADE 180 CFX – MAIN SHAFT PLAY
My heli had a lot of play in the main shaft. To test for play, grip the head (blade grips) and push up/down. If the main shaft moves up/down, then you have play. Here is how you remove it. You can do this with or without the main blades installed, it does not matter.
1. Disconnect the servo arms from the swashplate.
2. Remove the screw from the main gear at the bottom of your main shaft. Once the screw is removed grip the main gear and pull on the blade grips until the main shaft comes all of the way out of the main gear and heli frame. Remove the main shaft slowly, mine had one shim on it and you do not want to lose it. The shim will be sitting on the top bearing.
3. If your main shaft already had a shim on it, leave it. Add one of the three included shims from the spare bag.
4. Reinstall the main shaft and push it back into the main gear. Gently push the main shaft up/down. If there is still movement, then install another shim. Repeat until all of the play is gone. I had to install all 3 shims from the parts bag (totaling 4).
BLADE 180 CFX – SERVO SAVER MOD
I have read a lot about the servo saver mod being a need to do mod for the Blade 180 CFX. A lot of folks are even saying that the metal servo gears is a necessary upgrade. For now I am just going to do the servo saver mod and will be upgrading to the metal gears later depending on how it all goes. I spent quite a bit of time determining the best route to do this since the servos are positioned the way they are on the frame. At first it seemed that I was going to have to take one side of the frame off to get to the forward servo. This is not something that I wanted to have to do every time I crash to reset the arms, so I kept looking at the setup. The good news is that you do not have to remove the side of the frame. However, you will need to unscrew both servos on the side to get to the them. You can reach the forward servo arm with the left servo removed. Anyway, I removed the arms and carefully split them down the middle.
Here is the view of the forward servo with the left servo removed.
There is not much space on the back of the servo arms and the O-rings are a bit difficult to get on initially. Once you get it on, quickly put the arm back on the servo to keep it secured. Here are the O-rings that fit: www.oringsandmore.com
#006 (main and tail servos)
Since this is apart of my initial setup, I took this opportunity to set zero pitch and ensured that my arms are centered at 90 degrees before putting the screws back in. You should do this and re-level your swash after to ensure you still have zero pitch set. You should know how to do this before moving on to a helicopter such as the Blade 180 CFX, but in case you do not you can read in detail how to do this on the following pages. It is the same concept.
Do not tighten down the servo arm screws super tight. They just need to be hand tight. If the slit you made on the servo arm is opening up, then the screw is too tight. Loosen until the slit closes.
BLADE 180 CFX – SPEKTRUM DX8 SETUP
I am not going to walk through finding all of the menus on the DX8. You can find detailed instructions on my Align Trex 150 DFC page. I am still tweaking my settings and will post my file when I get it dialed in. For now here are all the screens that matter and the settings that I am starting off with. Pretty much as per the manual at this moment.
Swash Type: 1 Servo Normal
Sw Select: It should look just like mine. You will need to change Gov: from Aux2 to Inh, then change Trainer: from Inh to Aux2.
FOR THE THROTTLE TRAVEL SETTING IN NORMAL MODE PLEASE GO HERE.
FOR THE THROTTLE SETTING IN NORMAL MODE PLEASE GO HERE.
Not sure why this curve is not linear as the other two are. I eventually set all three modes to 0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%.
This is the setting that the manual suggests. I have been getting 5 minutes for normal flight.
BLADE 180 CFX – SPEKTRUM DX8 BINDING
The process of binding the Blade 180 CFX to my Spektrum DX8 Radio was really easy. Just make sure you setup your radio for the Blade 180 CFX and have the correct model in your radio selected before binding.
1. Ensure that your radio is OFF. Get the included bind plug.
2. Install the bind plug into the binding extension on the right side of the 180 CFX.
3. Connect the battery to the 180 CFX. There will be a series of beeps then the light will start blinking on the AR6335.
4. When the light is blinking hold down the Trainer Button on your radio, then power the radio on while holding down the Trainer Button.
5. After three seconds release the Trainer Button and wait for the main screen on your radio to appear.
6. Now that the main screen is displayed on the radio, the 180 CFX is bound.
7. Disconnect the battery from the 180 CFX.
8. Remove the bind plug from the 180 CFX.
9. With the radio still on. Plug the battery back into the 180 CFX and make sure that the swash and everything works. If they work then, disconnect the battery from the 180 CFX and turn off your radio. Always power down the heli first, and then the radio. You can put the bind plug away, ensure that you put it in a secure place, you do not want to lose it. Now you are almost ready to go flying!!
BLADE 180 CFX – TAIL SETUP
The last thing you will want to check before you take your baby flying is make sure that your tail servo is centered. At Zero pitch on your radio the servo will center. Make sure the arm is as close to 90 degrees as you can get it then adjust the push rod until the tail pitch slider is in the center of the boom. The picture below is not center. The slider is too far right, here I just wanted to illustrate the way it looks. I was unable to use this view to center it. I had to go off of the rudder blades. Keep adjusting the pushrod until the rudder blades are flat.
BLADE 180 CFX – UPDATING THE AR6335 SOFTWARE
There are a couple of things that you need to do before you update the software on your receiver. The Blade 180 CFX does not come with the necessary cable included in the box so you will need to obtain that separately. The cable you will need can be found here: AS3X Programmer – SPMA3065. You will also need to create an account on the www.spektrumrc.com website, because you will need to register you AR6335 before you can get the software. Receiver update is a pain in the butt, but it has to be done, so once you have a cable follow the steps below.
1. Once you have the cable and account created at www.spektrumrc.com, then you are ready to continue. Next you will need to find the serial number for your AR6335. Chances are you do not want to rip your heli apart to get it, so here is the alternative route. Go to this site and you will see the following page. You will need to download the updater software which can also give you the serial number of your AR6335. You will also use this software to update.
Download and install the installer.
2. Once the updater software is installed there will be an icon on your desktop if you chose that option. If not you will need to find the updater in your Start menu.
3. Once you have located the updater, plug in the programmer cable into your USB port and wait for the driver to install, then open the software. You will get a warning if you open the updater without the cable connected.
4. All you will need is the home window.
5. Now you will need your Blade 180 CFX and connect the programmer cable to your heli. You will not need a battery for this process.
6. Once the programming cable is connected the serial number of the device is displayed in the window. Copy it then go to www.spektrumrc.com and register your AR6335.
7. When your AR6335 is registered it will show up on your account page like below.
8. Next click on Download Updates. Under the product that you wish to update.
9. On the next page download the newest version to your computer and remember where you save it.
10. Now go back to the Spektrum Updater from earlier. Look for Update File and click Choose File next to that.
11. In the next window locate the SAX File that you just downloaded and open it.
12. Now in the window Choose Folder has been replaced by your SAX file. Next click install.
13. The Spektrum Updater will now install the file onto your Blade 180 CFX successfully updating it.
14. Once the update is complete you will see Finished in the status window and the current updated version.
15. Now it is safe to disconnect your Blade 180 CFX, connect a battery, and ensure that your heli is functioning properly before flight. HAPPY FLYING!!!
BLADE 180 CFX – AFTER UPDATING THE AR6335 – ADVANCED SETTINGS MENU
Things have gotten a bit clearer on the advanced features for the Blade 180 CFX. I wanted to wait for the actual manual to come out before I posted this section. With some of the past firmware versions it was possible to access the Advanced Settings Menu, but the settings wouldn’t save if something was changed including setting up the servos at center, that’s why I tried to set zero pitch the way I describe above. It did the job until I could get the AS3X Programmer – SPMA3065 cable. To solve the “saving” issue the Blade 180 CFX’s firmware needs to be updated to the most current firmware, then settings can be saved. There are a few confusing parts of the manual, but there are plenty of videos out there explaining it all. On top of that I am giving you a picture walk through since I can double check servo centering and zero pitch. I have also changed some of my DX8 settings as I’ve been playing around with this AWESOME HELI!!
1. First we need to setup the Trainer/Bind button which is used to enter and exit the Advanced Settings Menu. With the DX8 go into the System Setup menu and go to Sw Select. Aux2 has to be set on the Trainer switch as shown below.
2. Go to the Trainer menu and make sure that is set to Inhibit.
3. Leave the System Setup menu and go to the main screen. Click the roller to enter the Function List menu. Go to Servo Setup and ensure that Aux2 is Reversed.
4. Now let’s make sure that the Trainer/Bind button is doing what we need it to do. Go to the Monitor menu. Locate Aux2 (AX2) toward the bottom of the screen. Without pressing the Trainer/Bind Button the indicator for Aux2 (AX2) needs to be positioned on the left as shown below.
5. Now press the Trainer/Bind button on your radio and the Aux2 (AX2) indicator will move all of the way to the right. This is what we need it to do in order to enter and exit the Advanced Settings Menu on the Blade 180 CFX.
NOTE: The Trainer/Bind button can also be checked in the Servo Setup menu. I am just in the habit of using the Monitor menu.
ADVANCED SETTINGS MENU – SERVO CENTERING/SWASHPLATE LEVELING.
Before getting into this, remove all three servo arm links and make sure that they are adjusted to the same length, then put them back on.
1. Turn on the radio.
2. Connect a battery to the Blade 180 CFX and wait for the heli to initialize.
3. Press the left radio stick to the bottom left corner and the right radio stick to the bottom right corner.
4. Holding the sticks down, press the Trainer/Bind button. The swashplate on the helicopter will jump up indicating that you are in the Centering menu. This will hold all servos in their center position. This is the point that you want to make sure that all of the servo arms are as close to 90 degrees as you can get them (including the tail servo). Once they are all 90 degrees reinstall their screws and check to see if the swashplate is level. If it is level then you are good. If the swashplate is not level, press the right stick (left/right) to cycle through each servo one at a time. The servos will twitch as they are selected. Once the servo you need to adjust is selected, push up on the right stick to move that servo up or down to move it down. Adjust each servo until your swashplate is level. This is a good point to check the tail servo arm for 90 degrees and adjust the pushrod to center the slider on the tail.
5. When everything is level and centered, push and hold the Trainer/Bind button until the swashplate jumps putting the heli back into normal mode.
6. Flip on Throttle Hold.
7. Go to the Pitch Curve menu and ensure that you have a Linear Curve (o%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%).
8. Move the left stick until you have 50 in and 50 out. This is how you know that your radio stick is exactly centered.
9. The main blade on the Blade 180 CFX should be centered. If they are not centered, move the left radio stick up or down to line up the blades. If you have to down to center them, then the swashplate needs to come down more. If you have to move the stick up to line up the blades, then the swashplate needs to go up more. Adjust all three servo arm links the same amount of turns (up/down) until the main blades are even to each other.
Clockwise on the links = down
Counter-clockwise on the links = up
Adjust the swashplate until the main blades are parallel with each other as shown below.
10. Now that the main blades are even, let’s check the pitch. You may need a pitch gauge to set certain pitches to suit your flying style. The important thing is to make sure that you have equal pitch when the left radio stick is up (positive pitch) and down (negative pitch).
This picture illustrates left stick up – positive pitch
This picture illustrates left stick down – negative pitch.
11. Use a ruler on the blade tips to measure the distance in positive and negative pitch. The measurement needs to be equal. A good place to start is to make sure that the distance is 6 cm which will give you 11 degrees of pitch. In the picture above I have about 6 1/2 cm positive pitch and 7 1/2 negative pitch. Now we need to go back into the Servo Setup menu and adjust the Pitch Travel.
NOTE: This menu maybe confusing if you are new to this, because if your left radio stick is down only the right value will be selectable and changeable. I’ve had some friends freak out thinking that they can’t adjust the other setting. Here is how the adjustment works. When the left radio stick is centered you can adjust both values at the same time. If you want a different setting for each value, which is what I am going to need.
Press the left stick up to select and change the right value (positive pitch) using the scroll button.
Press the left stick down to select and change the left value (negative pitch) using the scroll button.
12. Adjust each value and measuring the main blade distance until you have 6 cm in both positive and negative pitch.
Here are the settings that give me 6 cm (11 degrees) of equal positive and negative pitch.
If you are looking to change the Castle Creations 15A Blade ESC it will take a little work. First you will need to get the Castle Creations Quick Connect cable ($14.95). As you can see the the Quick Connect cable has standard servo connectors. The ESC does not, so an adapter will need to be made in order to connect the ESC up to change the settings. I will be doing this eventually. Horizon assures that the defaults are fine and for me they are right now. I just wanted to take a moment to give you some of my tried settings for the default governor settings. There is a lot out there guiding us to start and land our Blade 180 CFX’s in Normal Mode, but the heli’s motor doesn’t start in Normal Mode with the default radio settings listed in the manual. There is a reason for it and here are the settings that you need to change.
If you look to the top of the page, I posted the default Throttle Travel settings from the manual. These settings are the issue.
With the default Throttle Curve for Normal Mode combined with the Throttle Travel settings above, the Blade 180 CFX will try to start but won’t because of the governor. You can either make the Throttle Curve 25% all of the way down or you can readjust the Throttle Travel settings. Due to the Soft Start in Normal Mode it will be better to readjust the Throttle Travel settings. It’s your call. Keep reading for the settings that I have tried and that work.
OPTION 1: My Preference
I don’t see a reason at this moment to mess with the ESC or Receiver settings, so I am not going to adjust them. I like the helicopter the way it is right now. Here are the official on how to adjust the Receiver settings.
BLADE 180 CFX – ASTROID DESIGNS UPGRADES
Astroid Designs has a few upgrades for the Blade 180 CFX that I would like to point out. The AR6335 is initially mounted with just tape and zip tie. With this you will never really know if your AR6335 is as level as it can be which is important because the AR6335 is the Blade 180 CFX’s brain. If it is leaning even a little then your helicopter will do the same. Astroid Designs has created a mounting plate to ensure your AR6335 is flat. I highly recommend this product which you can find here. When I installed mine the added security is a plus. It really does feel much more sturdy and straight. Here is how I installed mine.
1. Remove the left part of the frame taking note of the screw types and where they go. Here is a picture of the wire routing for reference when you put it back together.
2. Once you have the left part of the frame removed, start disconnecting the AR6335. Ensure you tape and label each connector. This helicopter is small and the tape labels will help you when putting it all back together. If you take your time and look carefully you will be able to make out the number for each connector.
Here is the AR6335 removed so you can see the numbers labeling the connectors. This should help you with reference.
3. With the AR6335 removed, Astroid Designs suggests removing the outer wrapper and gluing. I left the wrapper and used Novac mounting tape to secure the AR6335 to the mount. This is your choice, I just did not want to remove the wrapper in the case I need information off it. I really believe this mount is a good investment. I also used Novac mounting tape to reinstall the AR6335 on the mount.
I also got Astroid Designs servo mounts which I feel are very sturdy and will add in protection and security. Remove the screws. Take the small tabs and put them away.
All you need is the screw, washers, and Astroid’s carbon upgrade.
Install them like so.
BLADE 180 CFX – TORQUE TUBE REPLACEMENT
I finally found some torque tubes, which are pretty much sold out everywhere. Guess I got lucky here. There are two ways to do this. One long way and one longer way. You can loosen the boom supports and all of the other hardware on the tail boom and remove the entire tail boom. However, I am going to show you the short way. This really was a quick job. Took me about 10 minutes.
1. The only thing holding the tail case on the 180 CFX is the tail fin screw. Remove the fin screw and fin.
2. Pop off the pushrod.
3. Slide off the tail case.
4. Remove the torque tube. Ensure you tape the tail boom a few times to get all of the debris out. As you can see, mine got pretty torn up from just a very small weed patch. Here is the damage to prove it.
5. Get your replacement torque tube (it is already greased).
6. Push the replacement torque tube back into your heli. The side that the bearing is closest to, goes toward the front.
7. Reinstall the tail case and line it up.
8. Put the fin back on and reinstall the screw tightly.
10. Now spin the main blades with your fingers and make sure everything turns in the back as it is supposed to and your are done.
BLADE 180 CFX – LYNX UPGRADES
I was looking at the Lynx Torque Tube for the Blade 180 CFX and decided on more than that of course. All of the Lynx Upgrades that I got are very sturdy and top notch. Here is the breakdown on what I’ve got so far. I decided to hold off on the head for a DFC head, because I’d be surprised if there isn’t one in the works. There is not much detail on the main blades and tail blades. Neither sets needed to be balanced at all. The only change was with the main blades. I am not sure if it will change with the Lynx Main Grips, but with the stock grips use of the blade holder for storage is impossible.
Blade 180 CFX – Lynx Torque Tube
There is no change with the installation of the Lynx Torque Tube for the Blade 180 CFX from the stock replacement which I’ve detailed above. The main reason I wanted to try the Lynx Torque Tube is because of the second bearing, they are better bearings too. The stock torque tube is made completely of plastic and the Lynx Torque Tube has a very sturdy carbon fiber shaft. The ends are aluminum and very well molded. The ends are also secured by aluminum pins so this should really last longer and take a better beating than the stock tubes. I truly feel that this was a good investment in an upgrade. Installation was a breeze!!!
NOTE: The Lynx Torque Tube is not greased or oiled. You will need to apply.
Blade 180 CFX – Lynx Swashplate
Side by side comparison with the stock swashplate. As you can see, they are the same size. There are only to balls for the head links as opposed to four on the stock swashplate. I am sure this is to save on weight. However, I was surprised that there were no orings with it. The orings that are mentioned toward the top of the page fits on the Lynx Swashplate like a glove. The build is very sturdy and you can feel the difference in the bearing movement. The Lynx Swashplate is very smooth. I also like the fact that this swashplate can be disassembled and repaired.
NOTE: The Lynx Swashplate’s dimensions must be a little different. I had to lower my servo links two turns to regain zero pitch after installation.
Blade 180 CFX – Lynx Anti-Rotation Guide
This was a simple upgrade and I will admit that it was a bling thing, but the Lynx Anti-Rotation Guide is a little longer than the stock guide. The Lynx Guide does come with it’s own screw as well.
Blade 180 CFX – Lynx Canopy Mounts
I liked the canopy mounts that Lynx produced for the Blade 130X a lot. They did improve the canopy installation process for that heli and the same goes for the Blade 180 CFX. The Blade 180 CFX Lynx Canopy Mounts are not flexible at all like the stock mounts. They are rounded on the ends instead of pointed. Which really does make stock canopy removal easier and not having to pull on the canopy as much to get the canopy off. You will need to remove the servos for this swap.
Here is the side by side view.
I mentioned before how the stock canopy mounts made it difficult to remove the top screw for the right servo. Lynx took note of that too, because they fixed it.
Blade 180 CFX – Lynx Tail Blade Grips
I decided to go ahead and jump on the Lynx Tail Blade Grips for the Blade 180 CFX and during installation the positive investment in this upgrade chimed through. Installation was way easier than I thought it was going to be, because I started having flashbacks about the drama involved in doing any modifications to the Blade 130X tail. It’s as simple as removing two screws and slapping these bad boys on. The bearings are definitely an upgrade and the Lynx Tail Blade Grips move way more smoothly. The blades also seem to be held much more firmly. There are a few things to notice, so I am going to do this in steps.
1. Remove the stock screws one at a time, pulling off the stock blade grips as you go.
2. Here is a side by side view.
3. Here are the screws, washers, and bushings that come with the tail grips. It may be hard to tell the difference between the bushings and washers. The bushings are shown on top and are a bit thicker than the washers which are shown on below the screws.
4. I went on and put the washers on the screws just to be safe, not wanting to mix them up.
5. Slide the bushings onto the tail bar.
6. Install the grips, then washers and screws. Be careful not to get locktite on the bearings. You need locktite, because you can’t tighten the screws down very much and the locktite will ensure that your screws won’t back out in flight. Only tighten the screws hand tight. Once you get them on, move them around and actuate the tail unit. If the movement is tight, you will need to back off the screws little by little until there is equal loose and smooth movement.
Here is the final product so far…….I am sure there will be more to come.
Update 05 February 2015: I had a chance to hover my upgraded Blade 180 CFX around the backyard today and I can tell a difference in smoothness with these upgrades. The tail holds and is very smooth. The swashplate movement repeats the tails smoothness. I can’t wait to get this in some space and open her up!!
Unfortunately, none of these upgrades solved the vibe issue with the Blade 180 CFX. I spun it up without blades and the vibes are exactly the same as before the upgrades. Not much of an issue for me since I love the Blade 180 CFX and how it flies. I do expect flight to be way smoother, but there will be more to come on that when I get a chance to test it out this weekend.
BLADE 180 CFX – TAIL CASE MOVEMENT FIX
I’ve been brain storming on ways to fix the tail case movement that happens when the tail servo is actuated. I’ve considered trying plumbing tape or adding two more screws to it. The only thing that I didn’t want to do is CA glue it. Today I decided to try hot glue before getting drastic and that seems to have done the trick. I want to get some test flights in to see if the glue will hold up, but I have to say. I’ve been torquing it pretty good with my hands and the case doesn’t move at all right now. It also helped some of the vibrations. Not a lot but a little. Please don’t use the hot glue that can be found at Wal Mart. I’ve tried it and that stuff is trash for this hobby. I am using the Arrow brand that you can get at Lowe’s or Home Depot. It’s heavy duty hot glue and still comes off easy with alcohol in case you need to make a repair.
You need to hold the case where you want it while gluing to keep it straight. No need to remove the fin, that would make it harder to hold it in place while gluing. I put a blotch of glue on the top. Waited for that to dry, then didn’t have to hold it anymore.
BLADE 180 CFX – TORQUE TUBE SLIPPER CLUTCH
Here is a video on how to make the torque tube slipper clutch for the Blade 180 CFX.