A tail holding master: the Spartan Quark gyro

6:11 AM giovanni 0 Comments

I have to say that I am still in the learning process with my Blade 400, and what I found to be quite frustrating is that the tail doesn't hold at all.

The most diffused opinion and suggestion I found on internet is that both the stock servo and gyro are not adequate for the job and should be upgraded as soon as possible.

After reading here and there it seems that one of the best gyros out there is the Quark, produced by Spartan RC.
At the moment Hobbyking sells it for relatively cheap, so I went ahead and pressed the "buy" button.

The installation was very easy, and the programming steps are illustrated in the manual, which you can download here

I also had a look at Finless Bob's video channel on Helifreak, where he illustrates step by step how to properly set this gyro.

But these are my impression on the gyro and how I installed it on my Blade 400:

The box is well made, it feels like you bought an expensive product (which you actually did) which is finally going to lock your dancing tail. There is a seal on the front of the box to make sure you have a NEW product.

Inside the box you will find the manual and all the elements, well padded in red foam. There are several sticky foam bits: some thin, 1 mm thick for low vibration applications, and some 3 mm thick, for nitro birds and high vibrating helicopters.
Then there is a metal plate to further isolate the gyro from vibrations...and the gyro itself.

The gyro itself is very simple and EXTREMELY tiny, 20 mm square by 10 mm tall. It only has one button to enter the programming mode and that's it. This means that all the settings will happen on the transmitter menus.
The plugs are three: one red to go to the gain channel, one black to go to the rudder channel on your RX and another to receive the rudder input. 
NOTE: the red plug is also used to connect the gyro to the USB advanced programming unit which you have to buy separately. 

My Blade 400 vibrates as way too much for any tiny foam layer, so I went for the high vibration situation, with a thick layer between the helicopter and the metal plate, and a thin layer between the metal plate and the gyro.

I also fixed the gyro rotated by 90°, with the wires coming out on the side. This is to make it easier to reach the programming button, which you will need a lot at the beginning.

Now, as soon as the rain stops I will be testing the Quark out and report immediately my impressions.

EDIT as of May 2013:
This gyro left its Blade 400 which shook itself to death once and for all, to land on a T-Rex 450 Pro. Well, not only it tamed down the crazy tail of the B400, but made the 450 Pro a wonderful machine. The programming is dead easy, and the control is mad. The authority is incredible, and it really makes flying flybarred helis (anyone left?) a pleasure. If someone like me is old school enough to fly with a gyro...well, this is your best bet. Make sure you frequently check Spartan's website as they often have sales...