Mounting your Gyro


Mounting your gyro is a very important part of the installation.  You should already have identified the gyro type and determined which axis you are mounting it in and know the orientation of the gyro installation. If not, refer again to the following 2 PDFs. as well as the table for GYRO TYPES.
Orientation of how a LABEL UP gyro mounts
Orientation of how a LABEL SIDEWAYS gyro mounts
Questions? See the RCGroup link on main page to post questions.

Now you need to physically attach it to an internal surface of the airplane. You need to find a surface that is in line and flat. A surface that is perpandicular to the axis you are trying to control. For example, a Rudder surface should be parallel to the horzontal stab. An aileron Gyro can also be parallel to horizontal stab if you are mounting a square gyro 90 degrees.  If the axis of rotation of the gyro is not matching the rotation axis of the surface you are controlling then error can occur and control will not be optimum.
Some other things to consider

1) Keep the gyro away from things that can vibrate. Further from the motor is better. If you are mounting into fuel powered airplane, think about vibration isolation (see more info later on this page).
2) The gyro should be placed on a stiff surface.  If you are controlling the ailerons for example and the wings are foam and held on with rubber bands, you may want to use more rubber bands or possibly mount it onto the wing itself if practical.
3) Keep Gyro an inch or more away from the RX. Some Gyros will interfere with some RXs.
4) Make sure your mounting method does not allow for the gyro to come loose.  

Lets now take a look at choices for the mounting adhesive. Most gyros will come with some sort of foam tape.  For 90% of installations into helis, those pilots will just take the gyro and then tape and mount it somewhere behind the main mast.  For airplanes, we have to think about the mounting surface and how the supplied foam tape may not have been designed for it.  Both Foam and plywood or even Balsa wood does not allow for most adhesives to stick well to them.  If the gyro is heavy enough and other factors such as temperature cycling, vibration, humidity, etc. the tape can come apart and if that happens in the air, you could have an uncontrollable plane in your hands.  In the reference PDF I show some options for mounting. Use this PDF as a reference only. There is no: "if this then do this and this is your only choice". Think about your situation and how it may apply here.  On RCGroups you will get lots of opinions and i"m just giving you mine which is based on my own experiances as well as things I learned from others.  In general, my mounting method follows the expense of the airplane, how big it is and/or how dangerous it may be if it becomse uncontrolled.
(refer to the numbered illustrations in the reference PDF for below comments)
1) Illustration 1 is the most basic mounting.  Many of my planes are like this.  If I am mounting to plywood and I have an inexpensive light plane , I"ll clean the plywood surface then use 3M Indoor/Outdoor tape to mount the gyro. I won't use standard gyro tape as it does not always work well to adhere to plywood. the 3M Indoor/Outdoor tape is pressure senstive just like most adhesives. Apply at room or warmer temperature and PUSH down and it will stick really well. I've never had the 3M Indoor/Outdoor tape fail me to date.
2) Illustration is 2 what I typically do with foam. I like to cut a piece of plywood or preferably plastic sheet, rough up the side that goes to the foam and then epoxy it in place.  This gives the foam tape a better surface to stick to.  Once again 3M Indoor/Outdoor tape is what I use most of the time.  If I used a plastic sheet then I may use a gyro foam tape.
3) Illustration 3 is what I resort to if a) I have a vibration issue I'm trying to isolate or b) Im mounting the gyro on a gas or nitro powered aircraft.  This is what I have found to be very effective vibration isolation w/o causing too much isolation that the gyro can't sense the movement.  I will use the 3M Indoor/Outdoor tape once again as the foam tape.  Some people have used foot gel inserts instead of Zeal tape to success but I have yet to try this.
4)-6) Illustrations 4-6 show what some people have done who are afraid of a gyro seperation. Note that when you secure the gyro, you have the chance here to remove some of the gyro vibration aspects you aquired with foam tape. Don't make what you secured the gyro with more stiff than the tape if you are conserned about vibration isolation..

NOTE: DO NOT USE any of the white foam 3M Scotch mounting tape with the green/white release paper that you see at the hardware store. It has a long history of comming off in flight.

3M Indoor Outdoor tape at Home Depot (This holds well but does not offer much if any vibration isolation like Align or Futaba gyro tape)
Zeal Tape
Align Gyro tape with Metal Mounting plate
Align 3GX tape (equivilant to 3M Indoor/Outdoor tape)
Futaba gyro mounting pads (decent vibe isolation)
Skookum Anti vibration mounting kit