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Old 07-07-2012, 09:50 AM   #1
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Default New toy

I finally lost it. A couple of days ago a friend and I were talking about how small this town is and how there is really nothing to do.
I took a look at robot kits. I make good money but for me the cost versus what you can do with them is prohibitive.
RC cars. Nope! Last one I put any serious money in to smacked the side of my house doing a killer clip. "Killer" meaning the model was totaled out. Too much sand in the parking lot on top of that. Gets in the gears and wears them out.
RC planes. Still looking into that. A nice foam model, electric with a camera would be nice.
RC helicopters. Whoa Nelly! Fly indoors... Inexpensive(relatively speaking)
I have seen some at ThinkGeek and other places online that go for like $50.00usd. Not a bad price for something to take my mind off the job.
So a quick check of local hobby shops and I find there isn't any in this small town. So off to Wally World. They have the AirHog rescue model. Less that 50.

I got it home and and the battery had a charge on it so I pressed my luck and put it in the air. Crash, Bang, Boom. On the floor more than in the air.
I finally noticed it's nose heavy and the crane hook was swinging around changing the center of gravity making it hard to control. The weight to lift ratio was more in favor of the lift. In other words the body is way too lite for the power the rotor applies.

So snip, snip and the crane string and hook was no more. Test flight. Still a little hard to control. Remember I said it's nose heavy and the body is way too lite. To kill 2 problems with one solutions, I added one jumbo paper clip to the end of the tail boom. Quick flight showed the center of gravity was now centered under the rotor shaft where it should be. Still it was too lite. A tap on the throttle would send it to the ceiling where it would hit then lose lift and crash. Sense this is a very low end model I had to figure out how to adjust the thrust to weight ratio myself.

Again I went to something handy. Not wanting to make it too heavy and also not wanting to throw off the CG, I went with the jumbo paper clips. One on each landing strut.
Another test flight and bada bing, bada boom, it flies damn near perfect.

Now I'm looking at some higher performance models that are electric and can be flown outdoors. Some of the online shops I looked at have some models that have advanced features like a gyro. A solid-state gyro is small enough to fit on the main board. The mainboard serves as the radio receiver, rotor mixer, rotor speed control, and several other items needed including the gyro.
Prices are more than reasonable for the size and capabilities of the helicopter.

I'm hooked...
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: New toy

good story. i hope you don't trash the next chopper you buy.
i have a cheap chopper with gyro. it's fun to fly around with it. i also have an offroad RC car. that is a fun toy as well.
but i recently had a crash and the antenna was riped in half. so i need to solder it back together some day.
i find it only fun to play with when i am aggressive with it by making some jumps and going fast.
i don't use it too much anymore. i have gotten a motorcycle. it is much more fun then the RC car. ^^
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: New toy

With helicopters you generally get what you pay for.

I had a E-flite Blade CX2 to start with, beautiful machine, survived millions of crashes, fast, awesome.

My brother had a Walkera 5G4 (Same as a Century Lama, same factory), stables as anything, you could drink a cup of tea and eat a biscuit and it'd still be hovering there.

I now have a Twister 3D Storm, my brother has a E-flite Blade 400, pretty much the same machine, different cases. Both great machines.

However, I have a 2m foam glider and a couple of foam normal aircraft, and thy're great, I reckon gliders are fantastic to mount cameras on!
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: New toy

Ooh, RC helis are quite fun. I never really got into them (was more into airplanes) but my brother used to mess with them a lot. If you're ever in Baton Rouge, stop by Hobby Towne. The staff there are extremely knowledgeable and very willing to help.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:53 PM   #5
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I got a Blade 120 SR last week. So far gone through:
1 set of main blades
1 tail boom
1 tail rotor
An hour of putting her back together after planting her derrière in the asphalt this morning.
The air currents around here are somewhat odd at times. Just before the sun clears the trees but still light enough to see, the air is pretty still. That's when I grabbed her and went flying. I practiced hovering and some forward flight.
Then the sun cleared the trees and the currents started up. She was about 30 feet up and being pushed toward the side of the building next door. It sits up on a hill from us so the air slides across the parking lot here, up the hill, and right up the side of the wall. Baby was more or less getting carried along for the ride.
I snapped the nose around to face the building. I then pulled back on the stick to make her fly backwards toward me. I let down on the throttle and she did a tail plant in the pavement. When you're looking at the heli from the back, the control movement matches what the heli does. That why I had it going backwards. But too much reduction on the throttle and the battery running down made for a bad combination.
The impact snapped the tail rotor motor mount off the boom in such a way it couldn't be fixed. The boom and the mount come as one piece with the wiring already installed. So an hour later with it all put back together, I discover the wiring is labeled backwards.
Fixed that and went flying.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:37 AM   #6
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That is an expensive hobby. For the kind of money hobby shops want you to spend, I could build a state of the art desk rig.
I'm hanging it up. Too rich for my blood.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:22 PM   #7
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Give RC planes a try if you want something cheaper. There's a fairly large 3 channel one called "red hawk" that sells for like $70. It's not as good as some of the more expensive planes, but it's great fun to fly. Plus, pretty much every part on that thing can be repaired with elmer's glue, epoxy, or a trip to the local hardware store. I doubt I ever replaced any parts in the ~1 year that I flew that thing. The parkzone J3 cub is amazing as well, though quite a bit more expensive, especially now that it's brushless.


There's also this program called flying model simulator. Get a cheap chinese usb rc transmitter and play that for a while. The flight models aren't perfect, especially for helis, but it lets you learn a lot about how orientation, proper control, etc. Run it on your TV or a projector if you can.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by setishock View Post
That is an expensive hobby. For the kind of money hobby shops want you to spend, I could build a state of the art desk rig.
I'm hanging it up. Too rich for my blood.
But that means you have to sit at the desk all the time, instead of flying!

Get a co-axial first, easier, breaks less.
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Old 08-03-2012, 05:56 AM   #9
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Cracked up my airhog first. Then the venom ocean rescue. So I scored a blade 120 sr. Gone thru blades like they're going out of style.
Ok so I stepped back and got a double horse 9053. Flys pretty well in calm air. Knocked off an inch on one blade so I replaced them all as a precaution. Now I have a severe vibration on the top of the main shaft. On my 120 sr I stripped the drive shaft down and discovered the locking screw for the drive gear was almost backed out. After I tightened that down and put it back together it flys great.
Going on the assumption that may be the case on the 9053 I took the blades off and spun it up. Not much. Just enough to see if the shaft was still vibrating. I heard a tick like something hit my tool tray. When I got it stopped I discovered the pin the blade holders swivel on was gone. OOPS!!!.
So now my big bird is sitting on top of the file cabinet. In order to get that one little pin I have to buy the whole top shaft assembly. Around 15 bucks. That's crazy.
I figure I'll get a wire at home depot or when I get a chance to get up to the hobby shop 50 miles away. I'm fortunate that the bearing sleeve didn't go bye bye with the pin. At least I know what size wire to get.

The only thing that would keep me connected to this hobby would be figuring out how to hack in to the onboard computer. With out the little computer rc heli's would require a much higher skill level to fly. With the computer mixing the main and tail rotor controls some of the entry level heli model are relatively easy to learn to fly.
Some of the more advanced machines have microprocessors doing a lot of the work and most of them are programmable. Well you can select settings but you can't actually get in to the nuts and bolts of the software.
That's what I'd like to be able to do. Combining my skills with computers to be able to set up different programs for different flight conditions. Say it's a little windy on the day you want to fly. You'd upload your windy conditions program and the heli's would know what main rotor and tail rotor mix to use. On a clam day you load up your calm day program and fly.
Even have one for 3D flying and stunts.

But since the makers of the boards are careful to erase the part numbers, you'd be guessing which chip they are using. On my blade it looks close to what Parallax uses for their stamp products. If it is I can program those all day long. Nothing to those.
But it's just a pipe dream. The hobby is cost prohibitive. Useless you have deep pockets better find something else to do.
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Old 08-04-2012, 11:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: New toy

No need to hack, flick the flight mode switch, if you have a decent transmitter you can do all the changing you want.
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