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Old Jun 09, 2012, 10:16 AM
If it aint broke, tweak it!
Ufdah's Avatar
United States, MI, St Joseph
Joined May 2012
40 Posts
Rave
Hobby Zone Champ First Experience

Well, yesterday marked my first day back into the hobby of RC airplanes after about 20 years off. I got a Champ for my birthday and a spare battery! Last night I took it to the local park and had a blast! I ran one battery through it and was completely surprised at how long such a tiny battery lasts. I'm sure I had over 10 minutes of flight time with at least 5 take offs and landings. I popped in the spare that I had and flew around for a couple minutes and decided to take it up above the trees and glide it back down. When I got about 200' directly overhead the plane completely quit responding to control input and drifted into oblivion with the 5-8mph wind... Talk about a sick feeling

I spent an hour this morning looking for it and finally gave up. When I got home I decided to call Horizon Hobby to talk to their support rep to see what the range on the plane is, 200' seemed a little short. Before I knew it they were setting up an account for me and arranging to send me a new Champ for free! That's what I call product and customer support! I anxiously await the arrival of my new little park flyer and might have to start working on building my E-Starter in the mean time...

If you are on the fence on whether to get a Champ I wouldn't hesitate. It was a ton of fun, I was able to ROG and land on asphalt within the first 5 minutes of flying and I was doing loops a little bit of inverted flight on my first outing. And with the confidence of having a company like Horizon Hobby behind you you can feel confident that if you have any problems they've got your back!
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Old Jun 09, 2012, 10:50 AM
Yes, I am from Texas.
United States, TX, San Antonio
Joined Sep 2011
38 Posts
Yeah these guys are great. I really don't like the range of the plane. My cuts out about the same distance also. My receiver/transmitter was having some issues also when I got mine, it was cutting out and back in the whole time I had it randomly for a few seconds. I lost control of it for about 15 seconds and pretty much totaled it. Called up horizon hobby, not expecting them to replace the whole plane but maybe the receiver. They said the would send me a totally new plane. I was like wow, thats great customer service and also at the same time the mark up must be pretty high on these little planes if they are able to replace them that easily, regardless I will be buying from them again.
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Old Jun 09, 2012, 11:04 AM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
Joined Apr 2011
4,880 Posts
The solution to the cutout problem is to ........I hate to say it, get a better Spektrum TX. I fly my Champ with my Spektrum DX5e and have never had a problem.
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Old Jun 09, 2012, 11:44 AM
If it aint broke, tweak it!
Ufdah's Avatar
United States, MI, St Joseph
Joined May 2012
40 Posts
I'm looking for a DSM2 or DSMx module to install in my Turnigy 9X tx. That should take care of the range problem...
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Old Jun 09, 2012, 12:31 PM
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If and when you correct with a better Tx, the stock rx will go a third of a mile or more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEs2uTRYStA
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 12:07 AM
A Snickering Hound
Muddie's Avatar
United States, SC, Myrtle Beach
Joined Jan 2012
210 Posts
Not to hijack the thread but I bought one of these today as my very first RC airplane (have a few months stick time with quads). Haven't flown it yet but was thrilled to see this thread pop-up. Always nice to have verification you made a good choice, and the information I picked up about the stock tx might save me headaches down the road.

Hope to maiden tomorrow wind-willing!

Bob
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 12:22 AM
If it aint broke, tweak it!
Ufdah's Avatar
United States, MI, St Joseph
Joined May 2012
40 Posts
That's great Bob! Yeah, I'd just recommend keeping it within 200-300', really it's such a small plane that you don't need to fly it very far away. If in doubt just do some distance tests on the ground to see how far you can get; one more handy use for cell phones...
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 10:13 AM
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United States, CA, Oceanside
Joined Apr 2011
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The best place to fly the Champ is to fly her in the confines of a basebal field if you use the stock TX. I use my DX5e so I can pretty much fly it anywhere on a windless day.
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 10:47 AM
A Snickering Hound
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United States, SC, Myrtle Beach
Joined Jan 2012
210 Posts
Thanks for the advice guys. I'll keep it close with the stock radio until I get comfortable with it, then re-bind to my regular tx. I live about a mile or so off the beach, so I rarely see a windless day, but early morning / early evening it's not too bad.

Thanks again!
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 06:51 PM
A Snickering Hound
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United States, SC, Myrtle Beach
Joined Jan 2012
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Well I was able to take my first flight today and it was a blast. Granted, this was my first-ever flight with an RC airplane so from a bystanders perspective, it may not have looked pretty!

The area next to where I live is a pretty wide-open space that is a combination of grass, asphalt, and a small retention pond in one corner, but plenty of room for the Champ. The area is lined by tall trees which kept the wind to a bare minimum.

The Champ is pretty quick compared to the slow-fly quads I'm used to, but once I got the hang of it it was just a load of fun to fly. Yes, some nose-in's occured and a little scuffing but this little guy gives you a lot of bang for the buck in terms of entertanimnet.

As I was getting ready to head back to the house, my son (grad student) asked if he could fly it. I figured he couldn't do much worse than I in terms of piloting skill so I said "of course!". His first attempt didn't make it off the ground, which brought a lot of laughter to all of us (my 9 year old daughter was on-hand too). His second flight started out great with a perfect take-off and smooth ascent. He let the Champ travel out a bit before beginning a left turn, then all of a sudden I saw it nose-in to...... remember that little retention pond? I could not believe it, but I couldn't be upset as it could have very easily happened to me during a couple of my flights.

We found it floating on its back and it took about 10 minutes for the wind to blow it within reach. As we fished it out I could still hear the little clicking noise it makes when the battery is plugged-in. I unplugged the batter which was not wet at all, brought everything inside and dried it all off. All I really noticed being wet was the outside of the Champ but who knows what got wet inside the fuselage. We'll give it a day or two to dry thoroughly and give it another go. The LHS where I bought it said they carry all the spare parts so if anything is needed I shouldn't have to wait.

All in all an adventurous day to say the least, but I can see this is going to be an airplane that I am going to love to fly for quite awhile!

Bob
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Old Jun 10, 2012, 10:19 PM
Picture a worm wearing goggles
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United States, CA, Roseville
Joined Feb 2012
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Just a quick tip for the new champ flyers.... A quick wrap around the nose with some clear packing tape will help hold the nose together in a nose in crash and greatly reduce the chance of crumpling on impact. Happy flying!
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 04:51 AM
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Congrat's

the stock Tx is good, it's portable. Depending on the traffic. It is better to get a trusted TX

wit hte stock tx flying in video below

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK7IBAB8JHI
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Old Jun 11, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Joined Jun 2012
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I fly my Super Cub RTF with the supplied DX4e which loses contact at about a half mile. My wife's Cub is 50' up in a tree because the wind carried it out of range. Bye bye to that one! I like the little Champ but it is way too small for my old eyes to see so I fly a super cub...but not in the wind anymore!
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 06:00 PM
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DeBary, FL
Joined Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottytunes View Post
My wife's Cub is 50' up in a tree because the wind carried it out of range. Bye bye to that one!
Not lost at all! Just go get it! You need 5x10' 3/4" PVC plus couplers. (Maybe 1" at that height.) Offer a couple of neighborhood kids a few $ to come with you to do the heavy lifting. Couple two pieces together, and push it up the tree. Add another coupler/pipe. Push, add another pipe. Lather, rinse, repeat. You can 'steer' the pipe up through the branches by waggling it different ways while pushing.

I've put 30' of PVC up twice, solo. It's not heavy but the worst one was 6 hrs over two days in FL summer heat, very tiring. (Dang pine trees let the pipe fall out very easily so I had to rinse/repeat maaany times, but it worked.) Also did 20' twice, and those were actually easy.

Also, in the wind, trees move around a lot. They're -know- to drop planes after a storm.

Short answer, don't give up. As long as you know where it is, it's still recoverable!

Edit: Ahhh there is the vehicle issue. I've got a Jeep Grand Cherokee which took the 10' pipes -exactly- diagonally from the passenger-windshield corner to the back corner on the driver's side. Regardless, the point is still that the plane isn't 'gone' it's just out of reach.
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Old Jun 12, 2012, 07:06 PM
in the beginning...
bm2thirsty's Avatar
United States, MO, De Soto
Joined Mar 2012
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lol i got tired just watching that video
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