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Heli-Max 1SQ Review


Retail Price:RTF: $99.98 Tx-R: $79.98
Weight with battery:1.1 oz (31.2 g)
Rotor diameter:2.16 in (55 mm)
Length:5.7 in (145 mm)
Width:5.7 in (145 mm)
Height:1.37 in (35 mm)
Transmitter used:Futaba 9CA Super
Battery:3.7v 250mAh LiPo
Available from:Tower Hobbies and your local hobby shop

The 1SQ from HeliMax is a lightweight, agile mini-quad that comes as either a ready-to-fly (RTF) package or a transmitter-ready (Tx-R) package that requires a Tactic AnyLink 2.4GHz adapter to bind it to your transmitter of choice. The 1SQ is surprisingly stable for it's small size, yet is more than capable of high speed flight maneuvers, and precision landing challenges. This little quad holds a solid hover thanks to a gyro configuration that HeliMax has dubbed TAGS, or Triple Axis Gyro Stabilization. Let's take a closer look at the 1SQ.

Kit Contents

In both versions, the 1SQ comes with a 3.7v 250mAh lipo battery, usb charger, and a pack of spare propellers. The RTF version comes, as the acronym suggests, ready-to-fly with a Heli-Max TX410 4-channel 2.4GHz radio as well. My review model was the TX-R version, so I chose to pilot the 1SQ with a Futaba 9CAP and Tactic AnyLink adapter.

The lightweight polycarb canopy has a unique look, and seems to be inspired by the lines of a formula one car mixed with a spaceship, mixed with a bird of prey. It attaches easily by gently pushing down until it snaps onto the boom.

The 1SQ features composite G10 booms attached to a moulded plastic center section. The booms slide onto plastic channels and each one is held in place with a single philips head machine screw. That same screw is used to attach the printed circuit board containing the gyros, motor controllers, and 2.4GHz receiver, to the center section. The circuit board is mounted above rubber isolators to reduce the effect of propeller vibrations on the gyros. On the bottom of the center section is a plastic cage that holds the 3.7 volt lipo battery. The cage hold the battery tightly so theres no need for hook-and-loop material. When pulling the battery out after a flight, grip the plastic tab on the end of the battery and don't pull from the wires.

At the end of each boom resides a brushed motor fit snugly inside in a plastic motor pod. The pod is injection-moulded plastic with a small arm that extends out another inch. Each motor has a rubber cap that acts as a shock absorber of sorts, but more importantly functions as a grip that prevents the 1SQ from sliding off uneven surfaces. If you're like me, you'll try to land the 1SQ on anything and everything, some not the most ideal surfaces. The bumpers do a great job of holding the little quad on whatever you touch down on.

Helimax has included a usb charger and 3.7 volt 250mAh LiPo with the 1SQ, regardless of what version you buy. The charger will work in a computer usb port or with a 120v wall adapter. When the batery is plugged in, the usb charger begins charging, which is indicated by a solid red light. Once it's fully charged, the red light will begin to blink slowly. The charging cycle takes about an hour at most.

AnyLink 2.4gHz Adapter

Im sure most of you reading this review have seen the ads on RCGroups.com about the Tactic AnyLink adapter and found yourself wondering about the link quality, range, and overall value of this mysterious little black box. Frankly, until I received my unit, I questioned it's usefulness as well. However, I can say confidently that the Tactic AnyLink provides a solid, glitch free bind between your transmitter of choice and any airplane equipped with a Tactic receiver, or in this case, the 1SQ with an integrated receiver.

Connecting the AnyLink adapter to the transmitter is a simple process. Just attach the included hook-and-loop strips to the back of the transmitter and on the back of the AnyLink unit, and stick them together. It should be noted that the hook-and-loop is a very strong industrial-type and is quite difficult to separate once its together. Since I used my Futaba 9CA Super, I used the supplied connector, and inserted one end into the adapter, and the other into the trainer port on the back of the transmitter. No further AnyLink programming was required with this combo. For Spektrum or other brand radios, please refer to the anylink manual, available HERE


After I went through the AnyLink setup and a quick programming session with my Futaba 9CAP transmitter (and set the gyro gain to 38% in AVCS mode), I plugged in the freshly charged LiPo, placed the 1SQ on the floor of my office, and advanced the throttle until it broke free of the ground. The little propellers were much quieter than I anticipated, making the 1SQ especially good for indoor flying without disturbing your significant other! While hovering in the ground effect, you could hear each motor working quickly to keep the quad as level as possible in the dirty, turbulent air. As I advanced the throttle a little bit more, the 1SQ lifted up a few feet and all the props began to hum in harmony as it sat there, almost motionless in a solid hover.

After some indoor sortees, which amounted to landing and taking off from any flat surface I could find, I took the 1SQ outdoors and into the breeze to test its performance and handling. Right from takeoff, I noticed the 1SQ handled the moving air quite well as I applied just enough aileron to hold it steady, with it exhibiting a slight tilt as it pushed back against the breeze. The 1SQ is very agile and responsive, even when you give it some room to pick up speed. With hard forward stick input given, it will tilt forward and begin to sink as the thrust used for lift is transformed into forward flight. Adding and reducing throttle is a constant requirement when hovering, changing directions during forward flight, and basically any movement that trades hovering thrust for directional thrust, and this is standard for any rotor driven aircraft.

Gyro gain settings

With my Futaba 9CAP, I used a switch to program two gyro gain settings. At 15% gain, the 1SQ is very stable and perfect for learning to fly, or just easy hovering without over-controlling. At 38% gain, the 1SQ is very agile and fully capable of flips.

Flip the 1SQ

To flip the 1SQ, quickly apply throttle and push forward on the elevator (you can also push back or left/right aileron). As soon as you push forward, drop the throttle to zero which will kill lift and allow the 1SQ to flip quickly. As soon as it rolls, apply throttle to stabilize. It takes time to get it right, and the quicker you do the stick combo, the tighter the flip with minimal loss of altitude.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery


The video below was taken in my basement, and shows me flipping the 1SQ.


The Helimax 1SQ is small, lightweight, and fully capable of carving turns, fast flight, flips, and precision hovering, thanks to the TAGS onboard gyro stabilization system. It's available ready-to-fly with a 2.4gHz transmitter, or sans-transmitter in a Tx-R version for those that want to use their personal tx. With a price tag under $100, you get a lot of quad for the money. The durability factor is high, as I crashed many times learning to flip, and never even broke a propeller.

I would recommend this little quad as a starting point for anyone wanting to learn how to fly quads, or even helis because the stick movements are identical to that of a fixed-pitch helicopter.

Available in RTF or Tx-R versions.

  • Exceptional performance from such a small quad.
  • Extensive testing and no broken parts yet...


  • None worth noting.


A big thanks goes out to RCGroups.com member bsbauman and Andrews421 for their piloting skills during the photo and video shoots. Thanks to HeliMax for supplying the 1SQ for review.

#2 DismayingObservation Jan 31, 2013 03:27 PM

This is some of the most fun you can have with a hundred bucks. I got mine at the AMA expo from the Hobby People booth. Trouble is, it didn't work properly out of the box and Hobby People cheerfully exchanged it as a warranty claim. The new one works flawlessly, is almost eerie in its stability and will even shrug off light winds. I haven't tried a flip, though.

Yet. :D

Tell you what, Matt: I was going to go ahead and review it myself until I saw you'd already done so. Marvelous job!

#3 GWRIGHT Feb 01, 2013 06:40 AM

The higher you have the gain the more control authority you have, so flipping is better at higher gains. However, you reach a point where it becomes so nimble it's difficult to fly. I'm up at 80 on the gain (almost unflyable at full rate on the "cyclics"), then ATV's for ail/ele reduced to 70 and ail/ele expo up to 70. It's really smooth and easy to fly, extremely stable, yet wildly nimble when you really push the sticks.

#4 CSpaced Feb 01, 2013 08:05 AM

Gratuitous 1SQ videos!

Heli-Max 1SQ @ Orlando Heli Blowout 2012 (7 min 43 sec)

Heli-Max 1SQ with RJ Gritter (8 min 17 sec)

#5 Matt Gunn Feb 01, 2013 08:15 AM

feel free to post a link on CR if you want! :)

#6 MogusMaximus Feb 01, 2013 12:18 PM

Great review!

I just got my 1SQ and Anylink yesterday, however I can't seem to get it to work with my Futaba 8J. Did you have to change any settings on your Futaba to get the Anylink to connect with the quad?

#7 matiac Feb 01, 2013 01:17 PM

I'm LOVING my 1SQ! Right now it's my favorite thing to fly in my hangar! As was said, "most fun you can have with a hundred bucks!

#8 Matt Gunn Feb 01, 2013 01:19 PM


Originally Posted by MogusMaximus (Post 24001802)
Great review!

I just got my 1SQ and Anylink yesterday, however I can't seem to get it to work with my Futaba 8J. Did you have to change any settings on your Futaba to get the Anylink to connect with the quad?

I didn't change any settings on the tx, but I did have to bind the AnyLink it to the 1sq. Did you do that?

#9 MogusMaximus Feb 01, 2013 01:20 PM


Originally Posted by webdr (Post 24002404)
I didn't change any settings on the tx, but I did have to bind the AnyLink it to the 1sq. Did you do that?

No! How did you do that?

#10 kallend Feb 01, 2013 01:22 PM

I bought 3 of them before Christmas - one for me, one for my son and one for the son of a colleague at work.

Lots of fun, very robust, easy to fly!

#11 DismayingObservation Feb 01, 2013 01:42 PM


Originally Posted by matiac (Post 24002379)
I'm LOVING my 1SQ! Right now it's my favorite thing to fly in my hangar! As was said, "most fun you can have with a hundred bucks!


I mean, really. How many models go from raw, rank beginner to an advanced modeler so readily? Even someone with a large custom-built quad should grab one (or more) simply because of the fun factor. That and the fact a quad large enough to serve as a camera platform isn't terribly practical for indoor use. :D

In the meantime, I've purchased two additional batteries and the JST adapter. I can now easily charge the batteries with my Triton EQ. I tried a different JST harness which I happened to have and while it worked, it wasn't a very firm connection at the battery.

That second USB charger Hobbico sent as a way of checking whether or not an undercharged battery was causing the intermittent operation of the first model certainly comes in handy. Speaking of which, it's possible to plug that little charger into an AC-to-USB adapter from a smartphone. Works perfectly.

#12 MogusMaximus Feb 01, 2013 01:45 PM


Originally Posted by MogusMaximus (Post 24002407)
No! How did you do that?

OK, I found the bind button (I didn't see it anywhere in the instructions). Thanks!

However, the throttle seems to be backwards. The left stick in the fully down position is full throttle, and if I push the left stick to the top, it cuts the throttle.

The right stick doesn't work at all.

Any ideas?? I'm using a Futaba T8J heli.

Edit: I've fixed the throttle issue. It was set to reverse on my Tx. Still no idea why the right stick isn't working.

Sorry for all the ridiculous noob questions. I'm brand new at this.

#13 Matt Gunn Feb 01, 2013 02:02 PM

you lift off and the sticks wont make the quad move? Or your moving the sticks on the ground and nothing happens (its supposed to be like that)?

#14 MogusMaximus Feb 01, 2013 03:04 PM


Originally Posted by webdr (Post 24002818)
you lift off and the sticks wont make the quad move?

This. The left stick now works after I reversed the throttle setting, but the right stick has no effect when the quad is in the air. I move it all around and it has no effect.

#15 Matt Gunn Feb 01, 2013 03:37 PM

whats your gyro gain set to?

your transmitter is in heli mode h1, right?

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