Dump the gyro or not?

Hello Friends,
I was given a JR ERGO 30SS nitro heli. I would like to put a Pixhawk Lite on it.
I’m not sure if this is a dumb question. I’ve asked it in several places and the best answer I get is, I think so.
I think so too, but I need more conformation.
The question is, If I put the Pixhawk on this heli, can I get rid of the gyro that’s on the heli now?

Hi Jerry,
Wow. A JR ergo! That was my first heli but it was a 46 size. Nonetheless I really got a lot of use out of it. I installed a pixhawk on mine and I did not use the gyro that came with it when I had bought it. I even removed the flybar and the mechanical mixing unit and converted it to an electric motor when I switched over to the pixhawk. However that requires some know how and stronger servos. You can fly it with the flybar using pixhawk and ardupilot. What kind of flying are you going to do with it? Stunt, autonomous…

Thanks Bill, That’s what I needed to hear.
I haven’t flown a Heli for at least 10 years. That was a 450 with FlyMentor. My first flying thing. So I will be flying this one veeeery carefully. I don’t do tricks. The motor and throttle were froze up when I got it. Otherwise it’s in great shape for being so old. It runs great now and will fly as soon as I get a battery for the JR 8103H transmitter that came with it. What concerns me most in thinking about the future of this thing is Parts. So we shall see. I’ve been building and flying Quads. And planes and a rover and a boat. These pixhawks are so much fun. My first quad was with a Rabbit FC then on to MegaPirate on a Crius AIOP V2.
Thank You my friend for coming to my rescue.

If you’re going to use ArduPilot for anything more than a glorified data logger, you’ll need to eliminate the stock gyro system. It could certainly be integrated with custom firmware if there were a compelling reason to do so, but I doubt that’s the case.

Of course, Bill is the trad-heli whisperer, so do whatever he says :rofl:

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Wow, there are lots of reasons for using Ardupilot for sure, Data logging is a good one. so are the flight modes and autonomous flight. All that and more turns a thing from something that just flies around in circles into an autonomous flying robot. Too Cool. Never put it on a heli so we shall see.
I’m happy to get rid of the gyro. It’s sits in the perfect place for the flight controller.

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Yes, it is pretty cool. So I did as you had said, I put the flight controller on the tray behind the main gear. Do not use the jello mounts for the flight controller. use either the 3M foam that I think is 5mm thick or you can also get away with thin double sided foam tape which I think is closer to 2.5 mm thick. You can mount the GPS puck on the tail boom just behind the main frame. I had some thicker pieces of scrap plastic that I drilled a hole big enough for the tailboom and used the top as a flat spot to hold the puck.

If this is a flybarred heli, do not enable the H_FLYBAR option. It is only intended for ACRO and in my book it is not that useful. Just keep it set to zero. Then you will want to set the ATC_RAT_PIT_P, ATC_RAT_PIT_D, ATC_RAT_RLL_P, and ATC_RAT_RLL_D to zero. The flybar will provide the rate stability in the pitch and roll axes. The FF gain is the one you will have to get right so that the desired and actual pitch and roll rates match well. You could set the I gain to the same value as the FF gain but I have been setting it a little lower than that. But we can talk more about this as you get ready for first flight.

Make sure you put an RPM sensor on this so you can use the internal governor of ardupilot. You will have to tune the throttle curve initially in order to use it.

Be sure to look through the traditional helicopter wiki if you haven’t already. If you have any questions, post here and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Thanks for all the info Bill and thanks for being here.