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Old Feb 08, 2012, 10:50 PM
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EXI 500 or HK500CMT

Well after weeks of reading, some threads over 300 pages, and listening to pros and cons as well as "Buy Align TREX, your going to replace the broken parts with Align anyways."
I've decided to start cheap, then if I get better in the next year or two go whole hog and get the TREX.

COMPATIBILTY
Which is most compatible with the stock servos and electronics as sold with the Align kits? I know any number of servos can fit and work, and I will probably build a "tame" helicopter to learn on, but would like to be able to install updated or better components later with minimal or in a similar fashion as the Align.

BUILD QUALITY
Just because I'm going "cheap" doesn't mean I don't want a quaility chopper. I look at it as a piece of mechanical engineerng and art, and it will spend as much time being admired and looked at as it will flying. The local shop has a used EXI 500 carbon with carbon blades for $150. (I can get new for $120 or less) I like what I see with the quaility of the metal and cast as well as the carbon fiber parts. Does the HK have this same quailty? All online places post what I call 'beauty shots' and they sometimes do not accurately represent the actual product.

XHELI vs. HOBBY KING
I'm afraid to buy from HK for some reason. I'm less so afraid of Xheli but what if anything I should be afraid of when ordering from either of these guys? Will I get my stuff, will it not be shipped from Hong Kong all smashed and I'll have to file a shippiong damage claim to replace my damaged stuff? Who has better customer service?

All thoughts are welcome. Thank you.
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Old Feb 09, 2012, 05:07 AM
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I bought the hk500cmt. My first large heli so nothing really too compare to.

Personally think they do fix and upgrade things that people complain about(eventually). Having read some of the Align threads they also have problems and I think the HK500ís are basically made by Align anyway. You can see they come from somewhere else not HK when you follow the postage trail. So think Align make all the basic TREX clones.

You will need to strip everything down and apply loctite(metal to metal screws),CA glue(metal to plastic/carbon Fiber), grease where required. The thing I find strange where people seem to complain about having to do this on HK heliís is when you go through the Align manual it says you must do this on the Align Heliís anyway.

Can just about guarantee you when you get it (hk500cmt) the canopy will be broken they do not pack it well but for teaching myself to fly it was patchable. You may be lucky and nothing is wrong. This was the only problem I had with my order. The canopy is nice but very thin and flimsy

I bought this setup for mine and so far
HK-500CMT 3D Electric Helicopter Kit

Motor - Turnigy Typhoon 500H Heli Motor 1800kv - Very happy with it scary power and speed.

Battery - Turnigy 3000mAh 6S 20C Lipo Pack - They are fine so far but in hind sight I would rather go for the Turnigy nano-tech 3300mah 6S 25~50C Lipo Pack or Turnigy nano-tech 3300mah 6S 35~70C Lipo Pack (Actually I have ordered the 35~70c so will see hopefully by end next week how it fits)

Gyro - Hobby King 401B AVCS Digital Head Lock Gyro Ė (When I put it on I had tail wag but then applied the hot glue fix (Fill the whole case with hot glue) and that stopped the tail wag. But if you prepared to spend the money go for the Futaba 401.

Servos - Power HD 3688HB Digital Servo 25g/2.8kg/.07s Ė Mistake they did not last (they have plastic gears which I think are not a good idea for a 500+) replaced with Turnigy MG930 Digital Metal Gear Servo 3.6kg and so far they seem perfect.

Speed controller - Turnigy Brushless ESC 85A w/ 5A SBEC - So far very happy with this. Many donít but I like the on-off switch it comes with.

Generally I feel the problems that I had where all avoidable.

My tail rotor bearing had a blow out. For the belt version the belt was just too tight. I tried to find out how tight it should be and was told when you press on it in should move 1/8th of an inch the problem with that is where (you cannot get to the middle due to the tail boom) and then how much pressure do you apply to get the 1/8th movement. Promise you can get 1/8th movement no matter how tight even if I need to stand on it . So here I think you need to go with a bit of gut feel. Loser is better basically it needs to all move freely not flap(to free of course and it will not move anything so letís say snug). If it is to tight the bearing is turning so fast and being pressed against the sides closest to the belt they just overheat and cannot last.

There is one issue I see others have and seems not to have been resolved really and that is my one tail rotor blade holder/hub seems a little lose. I did take it apart and re-loctite and tightened it up but it loosened up again. It is just loosens a little and then does not get worse. I am flying like this. I am wondering if it is not the screw bottoming out in the hub. It only happens with the one side. Others with this issue also seem to find it only on one side.

As far HK ordering goes I think they are fine I have had no issues. The only one was the broken canopy and I did not bother querying that. I have been ordering since 2009 15 orders worth over $4000. I received everything and most of the time within a week and a Ĺ. Do however expect delays over December and have allot of patients over the Chinese New Year period (they basically close) I have not had to deal with returning things. Always use Paypal as you can at least raise a dispute if it does go wrong. Even ordered my Futaba 10chg from them it arrived perfect.

So in short after all that, I think the HK500cmt is a good buy just get the right accessories and do what people suggest in the latest forums. They have real good solid advice. I am new to heliís so my advice is not solid (Sorry) but for what itís worth here it is.

By the way just look at the EXI here http://www.raidentech.com/exi500caedrc.html

Except for the paddles(look more like Align), the tail rotor servo push rod guides and canopy it is the HK500-cmt exactly. So itís made by the same people that make the HK500cmt.
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Old Feb 09, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Hk500-cmt..order from USA warehouse. The canopys are throw aways to keep the cost down to $108 shipped. Pick up a nice canopy on e-bay
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Old Feb 09, 2012, 11:25 AM
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another option is going with a tarot 500 kit
http://www.oomodel.com/tarot-500esp-...e-p-60747.html
i dont own one but from what ive read and what i see, they are align made and same quality. if you look at the parts from both youll notice that they are identical
however you go enjoy
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Old Feb 09, 2012, 11:41 AM
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i would try xheli . their in the USA and shipping back if anything is wrong wont cost you an arm and a leg . you also need to remember even shipping from the usa warerhouse,shipping will still be more than the exi .
i got 3 of their plastic versions and only upgraded some parts in the head and replaced the plastic tail to metal one . all in, cheaper than the carbon one . i personally like the metal frames , alot less likely to get static problems.

good luck, which ever you choose , their alot of fun
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Old Feb 09, 2012, 01:39 PM
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I think I've decided to go with the EXI 500.

Anyone know of any good promo codes for Xheli that can save me a few bucks?

Also at a minimum, what should I get (tools) with this from them? I'm not in rush to get electronincs or batteries at this time as I am getting a sim first to learn before I destroy my new heli. (If I have teh stuff to fly, I will have no will power and will fly it.. I'm weak that way......
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Old Feb 09, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Hex drivers, ball link pliers, Hemo stats work awsome in this hobby. blue locktite, Your going to need a soldering iron ( for your battery plugs and esc) blade balancer, tri-flow grease. ( bearings) I can go on and on. But those are the basics for now . What you thought mite be a cheap $400 hobby soon turns into a thousand. Or even thousands depending how deep into the rabbit hole you go.
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Old Feb 09, 2012, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Greenturtle View Post
Hex drivers, ball link pliers, Hemo stats work awsome in this hobby. blue locktite, Your going to need a soldering iron ( for your battery plugs and esc) blade balancer, tri-flow grease. ( bearings) I can go on and on. But those are the basics for now . What you thought mite be a cheap $400 hobby soon turns into a thousand. Or even thousands depending how deep into the rabbit hole you go.
Getting these with my heli:

http://www.xheli.com/18p37-toolbox.html

I own all the solder equipment I could ever need, and blue Loctite is easy enough to come by locally.....

I'm looking for this tri-flow grease......I've read the TREX manual and seen enough info about taking it all apart (fun) and placing the grease, lube, and CA on all the parts.
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Old Feb 09, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by broderp View Post
Getting these with my heli:

http://www.xheli.com/18p37-toolbox.html

I own all the solder equipment I could ever need, and blue Loctite is easy enough to come by locally.....

I'm looking for this tri-flow grease......I've read the TREX manual and seen enough info about taking it all apart (fun) and placing the grease, lube, and CA on all the parts.
I buy my Tri-Flow at the bike shop. A couple bucks for a bottle that lasts me years.
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Old Feb 09, 2012, 09:17 PM
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Had my cart all ready to go, and realized I didn't have rotor blades.....and of course Xheli is out of the ANY 500 sized rotor blades...

Where else can I get EXI at a decent price?
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Old Feb 09, 2012, 09:47 PM
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What is it about the EXI you prefer over the Hk 500-cmt ? To me they are identical Only the Hk cost less. If your stuck on the exi you can buy 430mm blades everywhere. I just bought a few cf 430mm blades of of e-bay. Do a thorough search and you can find them as low as 10 bucks.
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Old Feb 10, 2012, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by krauley View Post
another option is going with a tarot 500 kit
the only thing I see is the Tarot($200) is double the price of the HK500CMT($100). Think buy the CMT and when needed replace with Tarot parts.
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Old Feb 10, 2012, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Titansfire View Post
What is it about the EXI you prefer over the Hk 500-cmt ? To me they are identical Only the Hk cost less. If your stuck on the exi you can buy 430mm blades everywhere. I just bought a few cf 430mm blades of of e-bay. Do a thorough search and you can find them as low as 10 bucks.
I prefer the fact its coming from USA, and I've seen this heli first hand and was impressed. (went back the other day just to look at it) Everyone says the HK will come with a cheap/ broken canopy, so if I factor the cost of the canopy, its about the same. I know HK has "USA" whare house but none of the other parts are availble thru the USA wharehouse, so it would be two orders. I was also wanting to order a few other items, such as tools and I could save on shipping if I dont buy from multiple vendors. I DO like the fact the CMT has a TT over belt (Yes I know the pros and cons of this, but prefer TT) and comes with rotor blades....

I searched for blades on ebay last night. I must have been doing it wrong, cause i saw nothing for a 500 sized chopper. I'll change my key words and try again. I really do like the black and yellow carbon fiber blade EXI has....and for $6 seemed like a steal. But not available..

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmo1 View Post
the only thing I see is the Tarot($200) is double the price of the HK500CMT($100). Think buy the CMT and when needed replace with Tarot parts.
Heck , I'd buy the CMT and replace with Align part, unless Tarot parts are cheaper.....need to figure in shipping as well...
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Old Feb 10, 2012, 08:05 AM
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It wouldn't be so bad if I could still put the items I want in my cart at Xheli and pay for them and just have them ship it when its in stock, not sure why they can't fulfill an order later when it becomes in stock.

Sorry ranting because a CMT from HK will cost me $112 plus another $55 for a canopy fom Xheli along with the tool kit I want. $167 I don't see $26 in shipping, I'm spoiled with Amazons free shipping policies.
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Last edited by broderp; Feb 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM.
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Old Feb 10, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Alright, I broke down and bought the HK 500CMT TT (with rotor blades ) from Hobby King. ($113)
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...arehouse_.html

and my tools and canopy (Assuming the canopy in the HK kit will be broken) ($52.56)

http://www.xheli.com/18p37-toolbox.html

http://www.xheli.com/exi-500-canopy-b-09.html ( I hope an EXI canopy fits a HK chopper....)

Here I go, hope this turns out well.....
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