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Old Jul 17, 2014, 11:46 AM
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Review: Walkera TALI H500 Hexacopter

My initial thoughts on the TALI H500.

I received my white TALI H500 this morning from Multi Copter Warehouse, assembled everything, installed the GoPro Hero3+, installed the Immersion VTX, programmed and tuned the Devo F12E to my liking and read over the guides and manuals during the day. This evening when I got home, I decided to take the bird for s quick spin to get the gist of what was really going on with this flagship from Walkera.

First and most importantly, this machine is not for the new rotor flyer but if you have flight time under your belt with a Phantom or similar bird, you should be fine if you go slow and do not get in a hurry. It's not because of the aircraft, it's because of the Devo12FE. I have been flying Phantoms and this bird is like a Bentley compared to the Phantom. It is sleek, Kingly and mysterious yet it is not a "Yay. Let's let go of the sticks and hover" type toy like the Phantom is. That's good and bad. Let me explain.

1. It's super easy to assemble and setup. I had no issues un-packaging everything and following the quick start guide. Yes, when the Chinese try to write English instructions, it can be challenging however if you can stop and process each step, it's a breeze. I was amazed how well everything was packaged and boxed.

2. It is very graceful and responsive, yet not overly sensitive. Mentally, flying a bigger bird is a little more intimidating but it did not overwhelm me as bad as I thought it would. It did leave me a little nervous at times, but that is to be expected. I remember feeling the same when I sent my FC40 on it's maiden voyage.

3. It's very well equipped. I love the dual 12v power ports on the belly as well as the USB and data port for the G-3D gimbal. Keeps it clean underneath. It is very well laid out and all the ports have nice fitting rubber covers.

4. Retractable gear. It's nice to not worry about framing them and the cool factor is.....well.....cool. Just remember to cycle them. It's easy to get caught up in the logistics of the flight and forget. They do automatically come down if you activate RTH, which is comforting.

5. LED's. Yeah, who wouldn't love bright LED's on the upper and lower part of the shell. It is so easy to see them, even in bright daylight. It screams with color in the darkness. The one thing I didnt like was that you cannot see the blue GPS LED's from the top side of the shell, only the red and green.

6. Flight modes. As with anything rotor, manual mode (Mix 0) will be overwhelming if you have never flown manual. It literally almost had me shat myself a couple of time. Altitude mode (Mix 1) is setup the way GPS based flying should be. Return to home (Mix 2) works just as iust should. It politely comes home and lands without a fuss.

7. Devo F12E transmitter: I really need more space to express how much I really like this controller. Everything from the interface to the 5" FPV screen to the ease of menu navigation, it's all around my favorite radio. I am still unsure whether or not I like or dislike the throttle not having a centering detent spring. It is hard on AA batteries so I suggest a rechargeable pack, especially considering the FPV monitor is taxing the battery as well. If not, AA's will eat a hole in your wallet.

8. Charging: I have always loved the IMAX6 as I feel as it is a great charger. Nothing really to say more.

9. G-3D gimbal. I'm on the fence but overall I think it's very nice. I hope Walkera stays on top of firmware updates for it. In terms of stabilization, I'd say it fairs equally with the Zemuse H3-3D.

10. iLook+ camera. Mehh, it's ok. I am not crazy about the Photo or Video selector switch on the side but the quality of footage appears to be on par with the Vision+. I can't say a whole lot because I immediately installed a GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition as soon as I unpackaged the bird. Maybe I will spend some time with the iLook, maybe not.

11. Flight time: Semi aggressive manual flying, I got approx. 18 minutes. Normal flying and cruising in ALT mode, I got 24 minutes.
Overall, I personally rate this machine a 9 out of 10. It flies well, responds well, is packed full of all the features that are needed in a semi-pro grade bird. I did not push the "distance" envelope but I will when I have more time under my belt.

Thanks for taking the time to read and if I missed anything, ask and I will respond by updating my review. The hardest thing for me now is going to be finding a carrying case.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 12:04 PM
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Good morning RCG members.
Thanks,
Chris
Looking forward to it. Tell me Chris, is this supposed to be a "pre-production" or "Production" model you're getting?
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 12:05 PM
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This is a production quality unit as far as I am aware. Nothing I have been told leads me to believe otherwise. I am also about 90% sure that most people will be pleasantly surprised with the build quality of this unit. Walkera has been monitoring DJI's customer base complaints (and praises alike) very closely and incorporating the "What not to do's" into the H500.
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 12:10 PM
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This is a production quality unit as far as I am aware. Nothing I have been told leads me to believe otherwise.
Great. Please take some clear pictures of the internal for us, to see the level of the quality, wiring and etc.
I would like to see a close up picture of the wires that go from ESC to motors and perhaps you can confirm it's wire gauge.

Thank you in advance!
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 12:14 PM
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Unfortunately, I cannot publicly disclose any details inside the shell during my review. Once the dealers are stocking the item, that will change.
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 01:39 PM
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Unfortunately, I cannot publicly disclose any details inside the shell during my review. Once the dealers are stocking the item, that will change.
I understand, but FYI, the inside of pre-production is already in public. So, I don't see why the production version can not be disclosed or revealed?

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2203180
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 01:49 PM
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Unfortunately, I cannot publicly disclose any details inside the shell during my review. Once the dealers are stocking the item, that will change.
If you want people to take you review serious you should show the inside... Whats so secret to hide anyway?
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 02:04 PM
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I understand, but FYI, the inside of pre-production is already in public. So, I don't see why the production version can not be disclosed or revealed?
Ghostmaster, take it serious or don't. I'm not looking to do anything but provide a real users opinion on the machine. I'm not trying to persuade you to buy one. (Hopefully you are not offended)

Ben, I'm sure it's not top secret but I just agreed to do flight testing and review the hex from an end user's standpoint. My review will be aimed more towards the flyer, not the tech guru who carries around an oscilloscope and RF meters.

More in depth reviews such as ESC's, wiring and other internal issues will come at later dates by those who are looking to cater to the technically minded individual. If it comes up in conversation though, I will see what the dealer says. I don't have a problem opening it up as long there is no warranty issue (considering it's a factory built item) because when it's all said and done, this copter stays with me.
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 02:12 PM
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Ben, I'm sure it's not top secret but I just agreed to do flight testing and review the hex from an end user's standpoint. My review will be aimed more towards the flyer,
I'm sure we will appreciate your feedback.
Thanks!
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 02:19 PM
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I understand, but FYI, the inside of pre-production is already in public. So, I don't see why the production version can not be disclosed or revealed?

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2203180
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I'm sure we will appreciate your feedback.
Thanks!
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 03:29 PM
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Hey Chris - brilliant- where can we read your other reviews you mention in the post.
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 03:54 PM
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Hey Chris - brilliant- where can we read your other reviews you mention in the post. I only ask because as a complete beginner I am a little concerned about reading reviews from someone who can't even keep a 350 bound.

If that sounds offensive, forgive me I am just a noob. Cheers!
Thanks for the comment Rapid.

Since you referred to yourself as a "noob", it makes me feel relieved to expound on that alone. Once you have been around RC for as long as I have, you realize that anything that floats or drives is usually recoverable. GPS controlled multi-rotors are a different story.

A lot of the DJI flyaways (over 120,000 documented cases from what I have read) are due to improper calibration, being in too big of a hurry to take off, etc. However, I have over 100 hours on the DJI Phantom platform with zero issues until I did a firmware update recently that appears to have been the un-explainable culprit. Even after years around RC aircraft, I still have a pre-flight checklist. Unfortunately a GPS enabled multirotor that loses TX/RX connection at less than 1000' away, and suddenly flies into the distance without responding to a single ATTi or Manual commands is a head scratching event. If you have a preventative suggestion for the next time, I am all ears. I'm not too old to learn from a noob.

In closing, my personal goof up was not putting the Enduro Pro GPS tracker on it for that particular flight. We live and learn. I'm not sure that being concerned is real important here because again, it is a review that will cost you what you invest into it, which will likely be nothing. (No harm, no foul).

At this point, I feel at liberty to write off you "...if you cant keep a 350 bound: comment as what you described perfectly...............noob.

Safe flying.

PS, as far as product reviews, I am not a paid promoter and nor am I a professional reviewer. I guess since I have 42 years of life experience in many areas, I simply get asked from time to time to handle and review different things, not just RC related. Most recently the new "Glock 42" handgun, a 2,000 round endurance test which was sponsored by Protective Measures and Atlanta Arms ammo. I'm not a big Youtuber or handy-cam kinda guy so I rarely make videos on the ground.
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 04:29 PM
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how can i subscribe ( sorry for noob question).. i really want to buy Tali H500 and looking forward to your tests...thank you
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 07:21 PM
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how can i subscribe ( sorry for noob question).. i really want to buy Tali H500 and looking forward to your tests...thank you
In the "Edit > Go Advanced" options of your post.
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Old Jul 17, 2014, 08:41 PM
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Update. The item is now in the hands of our broker. We are trying to divert it from going to NY before it heads to me. If so, it will eliminate a couple of unnecessary days. No promises as of yet though.
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