Radio Control Hobbies

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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 8:43 pm

Well if you pick up a CoAxial helicopter you can get one of them with a radio for a couple hundred bucks then figure on another hundred in parts while you learn to control it reasonably well.

The Blade 400 that I posted pics of is a different story though. It is really a beginner collective pitch helicopter. Price tag on it is 469 with radio add 50 bucks for a decent case to carry it in, 75 bucks for a spare battery and then get another 100 worth of spare parts just because when you buy it. Then after that figure every time you crash its going to cost you between 20 and 100 bucks depending on how bad it is. Helicopters do whats known as the dead chicken dance when you crash http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ys38sMZoSvI they flop around on the ground and spray parts all over the place. I will be into my Blade 400 close to 1,000 by time i learn to fly it reasonably well.

After the learning heli then you can talk about a 500 sized electric which is going to be 1,200 just to get setup or a 600 size which is even more money. Then if you want to get fancy you can get a 700 sized heli you dont even want to know what they cost. Just to give you an idea batteries for a 600 size heli run about 300 bucks each :o
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 11:08 pm

Heiwashin wrote::lol: How much are we talking to start out with a nice controller and something to learn with.*heli


An E-flite Blade CX2 is going to run you around $190. It is a coaxial heli that you can fly around the house. It is a good starting point, though there really isn't much of an upgrade path. You can get carbon fiber parts and stuff, but it is really a stand alone package. Parts are cheap so crashing it won't break the bank -- and you will crash it.

http://www.hobbyzone.com/rc_helicopters_e-flite_blade_cx_2.htm?ucroi_kw=blade%20cx2&ucroi_adid=27067&ucroi_google_type=GoogleAdWordsSearch&gclid=COvO4uvSnZMCFQYNswodoi6DwA

Once you have mastered the CX2, you can move on. By mastered, I mean forward flight and backwards flight, both tail in and nose in, sideways flight, banked turns (using both rudder and aileron), soft landing, etc.

I am just finished the step up myself. I would highly, highly recommend you pick up a simulator prior to getting a bigger heli. I picked up a copy of ClearView (http://rcflightsim.com) and it has been worth every penny. Once you have worked with the simulator for a while, get a real bird. What you get is up to you, but I highly suggest you buy something that has a full parts selection at your local hobby shop. It is painful enough to have to shell out money after a crash. Having the heli sitting broken for a week or two while you wait on parts is adding insult to injury.

My recommendation would be the Blade 400 3D. It's the same heli Hance has, and now I have. I got mine this morning and trimmed it this afternoon. I managed to get about two minutes of fairly stable hover by the second battery pack. It may not sound like a lot, but I think Hance will back me up when I say "That's really good for my first collective pitch helicopter." BTW, if you go looking you can find the Blade 400 for $399 now. As another side note, you can fly the Blade CX2 with the transmitter that comes with the Blade 400 so in that sense it makes a reasonable upgrade path.

Some other points... Go read RADD's school of rotary flight (http://www.dream-models.com/eco/flying-index.html) and decide if you can be that patient. Patience is the key here. Do your research. Learn how to trim the heli or find someone to help you. Definitely by a blade balancer. I'm still up in the air on whether a pitch gauge is worth it for a learner.

--SS
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 11:18 pm

I figured I post "Secret Squirrel's Air Force"....

This is my Blade CX2. It has a carbon fiber tail boom and aluminum rotor heads. Beyond that it's stock. It's quite fun and I can even fly outside on a very calm day. Don't even try with the stock tail, it's got to much wind resistance.

Image

ESky Honey Bee King II. It's cheap, but parts are hard to find. Also, it has a 72Mhz non-computer transmitter with it. The quality is not anything near the Blade 400. Like I said, it's cheap and you get what you pay for. I haven't flown it yet as I've been slowly rebuilding it. I don't think I'll ever fly it with the stock transmitter. I'll get another Spektrum receiver and use the new DX6i.

Image

My newest addition, an E-flite Blade 400 3D. I just got it today and all I can say is it is worth the money if you are really going to stick with it. To give you an reference for scale, it's sitting on top of a 17" widescreen laptop.

Image
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 11:27 pm

So what should i get? What kind of controller too, don't wanna buy anymore if i can just get a good one first.
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 11:38 pm

Aren't you listening? get a simulator first :D
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sat May 10, 2008 11:53 pm

No ones said what kind of simulators to get though :-?
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 6:53 am

Heiwashin wrote:No ones said what kind of simulators to get though :-?


When I was doing my research, I came up with the following:

RealFlight G4 (~$250): I suppose it could be considered the gold standard. It comes with a nice controller. It looks nice. It's what the local hobby shop will have running.

ClearView ($40): Much cheaper, but still quite good. It's java and has some quirks, but the flight dynamics seem quite good. You can find lots of third party models for it. No controller included but most radios can be used with a simulator. Or you can pick up one of the many USB controllers for sale around the web.

FMS (Free): It's free! It is also the most basic, at least in terms of visuals. Probably a reasonable start point considering it is free.


There are other to be sure, but those three seemed to top the popularity list.

--SS
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 7:01 am

Thanks alot, is it reasonable to use a normal gaming controller with good analog sticks?
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 7:54 am

Heiwashin wrote:Thanks alot, is it reasonable to use a normal gaming controller with good analog sticks?


No it isnt you wont learn anything. Just go to ebay you can pick up one of the esky usb radios for under 40 bucks. They are nothing fancy but they get the job done. Just search for flight simulator and then look under the radio control section. I have used almost all the different flight sims at one time or another and I would say get Real Flight or FS One they both work very well. I have tried Aero Fly Professional and would stay away from it. To me it feels way to slow as compared to real life.
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 2:05 pm

Heiwashin wrote:Thanks alot, is it reasonable to use a normal gaming controller with good analog sticks?


I used a Logitech Wingman rumble pad to check out the ClearView demo, but that is about as far as I would go. The general feel is so much difference that it's not worth it. I'd go with Hance's suggestion and pick up a used USB controller. I am using the transmitter from my CX2 my simulator controller. It does not however have idle up or any other switches on it.
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 2:09 pm

As a follow up to an earlier comment, I ran my 3rd and 4th battery packs through my B400 this afternoon. I still have a noticeable waggle in the tail and I have turned the gyro gain so far down that it barely holds the tail. I'm gonna have to look into it a bit. On the fourth battery, I got adventurous and switched over to "idle mode". The difference is quite noticeable. Elevator control is VERY responsive, but overall it is a much more stable bird with the higher head speed in idle up.

--SS
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 2:21 pm

Are you turning the gain on the gyro down on the gyro itself or in the DX6i menu ? The reason I ask is the controls on the gyro are disabled the only way to adjust the gyro is with the DX6. I have burned quite a few batteries through my Blade 400 but I am completely new to a collective picth heli so I am taking it slow hoping to keep the repair bills to a minimum :lol:
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 6:18 pm

Hance wrote:Are you turning the gain on the gyro down on the gyro itself or in the DX6i menu ? The reason I ask is the controls on the gyro are disabled the only way to adjust the gyro is with the DX6. I have burned quite a few batteries through my Blade 400 but I am completely new to a collective picth heli so I am taking it slow hoping to keep the repair bills to a minimum :lol:


I'm setting the gain on the DX6i menu. Right now it's set for 61%, which as I understand it, is 22% gain on the gyro in heading hold mode. Much lower and the tail gets very loose. I haven't tried rate hold yet. Maybe this evening.

This is my first collective pitch heli as well. As the wind has died down this evening I have been resisting the temptation to take it into the backyard and fly in a more open space. Right now I'm using the garage and it is forcing me to focus on fine control. :)

--SS
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 6:22 pm

About the "chicken dance"

Why doesn't anybody use one of the channels as a kill switch? Throttles getting stuck open are not fun, and you could save a lot of parts just by being able to kill it easily.
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 6:35 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:About the "chicken dance"

Why doesn't anybody use one of the channels as a kill switch? Throttles getting stuck open are not fun, and you could save a lot of parts just by being able to kill it easily.


The transmitter Hance and I are using has a throttle cut switch that will force the throttle to a set position (0% as it comes from the factory), however that only works for electric heli's and they don't suffer the stuck throttle like the video Hance posted. Unfortunately, most non-electric heli's are nitro based which use glow plugs and are very similar in basic functionality to diesel engines. The only way to stop one is to cut off the fuel supply. There is no ignition to kill.

--SS
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 6:47 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:About the "chicken dance"

Why doesn't anybody use one of the channels as a kill switch? Throttles getting stuck open are not fun, and you could save a lot of parts just by being able to kill it easily.


The transmitter Hance and I are using has a throttle cut switch that will force the throttle to a set position (0% as it comes from the factory), however that only works for electric heli's and they don't suffer the stuck throttle like the video Hance posted. Unfortunately, most non-electric heli's are nitro based which use glow plugs and are very similar in basic functionality to diesel engines. The only way to stop one is to cut off the fuel supply. There is no ignition to kill.

--SS

So why no throttle kill switch that throws a fuel valve shut? It would add about 30 grams or so and seems like it could possibly save hundreds, especially after looking at that stuck throttle video previously posted.
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 6:55 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:
SecretSquirrel wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:About the "chicken dance"

Why doesn't anybody use one of the channels as a kill switch? Throttles getting stuck open are not fun, and you could save a lot of parts just by being able to kill it easily.


The transmitter Hance and I are using has a throttle cut switch that will force the throttle to a set position (0% as it comes from the factory), however that only works for electric heli's and they don't suffer the stuck throttle like the video Hance posted. Unfortunately, most non-electric heli's are nitro based which use glow plugs and are very similar in basic functionality to diesel engines. The only way to stop one is to cut off the fuel supply. There is no ignition to kill.

--SS

So why no throttle kill switch that throws a fuel valve shut? It would add about 30 grams or so and seems like it could possibly save hundreds, especially after looking at that stuck throttle video previously posted.


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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 6:58 pm

what about "our product can do something the competition's can't!"
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 7:07 pm

SecretSquirrel wrote:The transmitter Hance and I are using has a throttle cut switch that will force the throttle to a set position (0% as it comes from the factory), however that only works for electric heli's and they don't suffer the stuck throttle like the video Hance posted. Unfortunately, most non-electric heli's are nitro based which use glow plugs and are very similar in basic functionality to diesel engines. The only way to stop one is to cut off the fuel supply. There is no ignition to kill.

--SS


Huh? I use a switch on my 9C to kill the engine on my Sceadu. All it does is moves the throttle servo back a few degrees from 0% thottle (idle) which chokes off the air through the carb.
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 7:10 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:what about "our product can do something the competition's can't!"


It's a "cooperative effort" 8)
I really don't know much about how much competition there is in the rc field but, it seems to me by first looks and guessing these things have pretty good profit margins. Especially at the higher end. Not sure who runs them either but if i was a single owner of one of these companies i wouldn't be worried about gaining more market share if profits were good.
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 8:34 pm

SnowboardingTobi wrote:
SecretSquirrel wrote:The transmitter Hance and I are using has a throttle cut switch that will force the throttle to a set position (0% as it comes from the factory), however that only works for electric heli's and they don't suffer the stuck throttle like the video Hance posted. Unfortunately, most non-electric heli's are nitro based which use glow plugs and are very similar in basic functionality to diesel engines. The only way to stop one is to cut off the fuel supply. There is no ignition to kill.

--SS


Huh? I use a switch on my 9C to kill the engine on my Sceadu. All it does is moves the throttle servo back a few degrees from 0% thottle (idle) which chokes off the air through the carb.


And there lies the problem. If the initial crash busts the throttle servo or linkage, you have no way to kill the engine since there is no ignition to shut down.

--SS
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Sun May 11, 2008 11:13 pm

That's why I was promoting a second device to kill the power :D
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Mon May 12, 2008 6:13 pm

SpotTheCat wrote:That's why I was promoting a second device to kill the power :D


Killing the power gains you nothing on a nitro powered heli you would have to shut the fuel off
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Mon May 12, 2008 7:31 pm

Hance wrote:
SpotTheCat wrote:That's why I was promoting a second device to kill the power :D


Killing the power gains you nothing on a nitro powered heli you would have to shut the fuel off

"killing the power" means "stopping power from being developed"
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Mon May 12, 2008 11:05 pm

On the starting off topic, luckily i have a friend that's already mastered the basic movements and has what he called a teaching controller, so he could take over if i was **** up. I'll take a trip to the store he picked his up at and keep these in mind this week.
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Tue May 13, 2008 8:27 pm

Heiwashin wrote:On the starting off topic, luckily i have a friend that's already mastered the basic movements and has what he called a teaching controller, so he could take over if i was **** up. I'll take a trip to the store he picked his up at and keep these in mind this week.


Also called a buddy box. Most radios can be used in this mode with another radio of the same type. Several (most?) radio manufacturers also sell what you are referring to which is a effectively a transmitter san the radio portion and fancy display.

--SS
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Tue May 13, 2008 8:46 pm

I have never used a buddy box but it is a good idea if you have a couple of radios that will work together. I have always used the pass the radio method. Who ever is holding the radio when the plane hits the ground is at fault. Just be ready to hand it to the instructor quick so its always his fault when you crash :lol:
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Tue May 13, 2008 9:39 pm

One of the objectives in our senior design project is to get an amateur behind the controls of our highly-loaded flying wing of death. We want to have linked controllers for that.
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2008 8:23 am

in all honestly, how much would it cost to get involved with something like this? My nephew is talking about getting into RC airplanes but I think the helicopters are much neater.
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Re: Radio Control Hobbies

Postposted on Thu May 15, 2008 9:36 am

Angie1313 wrote:in all honestly, how much would it cost to get involved with something like this? My nephew is talking about getting into RC airplanes but I think the helicopters are much neater.

Heli's are about 20x more complicated than planes (and more expensive maintenance-wise) from what I hear.
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