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Old Jul 12, 2011, 07:39 AM
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HobbyKing Quality: F9F-2 Blue Angels EDF Fighter

Just purchased one of these and initial price and quality looks good!

However, the proof is in the pudding....

So, I will be posting more about my experience with assembly, quality, and hopefully first flight... with photos!


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Last edited by tracknoob; Jul 22, 2011 at 02:18 PM. Reason: Make title more accurate
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 01:10 PM
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I just pulled the trigger too. My batteries are on back order so Im looking forward to your report.

Dan
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 05:54 PM
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I just pulled the trigger too. My batteries are on back order so Im looking forward to your report.

Dan

Well, not good.

I was hoping to rapidly add some photos and info, but unfortunately, on the second test spool up in the house, without even getting it out for it's maiden, the ESC torched itself. I mean, flames were literally shooting out of the back!

After contacting HobbyKing for a replacement, they told me I needed to test it further to prove it was bad -- well, a picture is worth a thousand words

* EDF and ESC uncovered:


* Split heat shrink from excessive heat during initial failure:


* Failed ESC:


* Failed ESC, after trying again, per HobbyKing instructions. Heat desoldered this wire, and much smoke came out!:


* The heat burnt my countertop:


* Heat even melted and moved transistor!:



Shockingly, I am still having a dialog with HobbyKing who now says that because I disassembled it (per their instructions) it is not warrantied. Talk about a Catch 22!

In addition, they claim that to make a warranty claim, even with the photos, they need the product to be returned, so if they want to whole plane back, (or even the ESC, really) it just doesn't make sense.

Their prices are good, but I wish I had read the comments on this item -- apparently many other people also had the same problem!

Buyer beware!


Here is the HobbyKing page for the Jet:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=16612


I am having a similar amazingly low quality issue on a scale helicopter fuselage from HobbyKing, as well. It looks nice, just like the jet, reading the comments illustrated a huge problem -- the entire frame needs to be reglued before you try to actually fly with it, or it just falls apart. Unfortunately, I almost wrecked my B400 finding this out, and only THEN read all the comments that could have saved me grief.

Check comments at this link:
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=18063



And finally, I had ordered some of those Spektrum park radio receivers from HobbyKing a few months ago, and just ate them, when they would not stay bound. Apparently it is documented here on RCG that they put a part on upside down that caused this issue LAST YEAR, yet they are still selling stock populated with the bad part, and so once you remove the bind plug, the radio doesn't do anything.

So the moral of this story is that low prices are good, but sometimes it's not a bargain at all if you are just getting junk, or even wrecking your model or having a fire due to horrible QC or design.

From now on, before I put a single item from HobbyKing into an online cart, I will carefully read all of the reviews, and only then make my choice.

I will definitely report back here if HobbyKing refuses to make good on replacing this obviously defective part.


EDIT TO NOTE: OMG! I can't believe it -- it looks like HobbyKing has removed DOZENS of comments that were truthful, informative, and not even universally negative about these two products! The people giving the information were merely helping prospective buyers understand what to anticipate, but now all the comments for the helicopter fuselage are completely gone!
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Last edited by tracknoob; Jul 18, 2011 at 06:13 PM.
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Old Jul 18, 2011, 06:28 PM
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Wow, what arough experience. Do you think the esc was faulty or under rated for the f
or the job? That stinks that HK wont stand behind their stuff. Definetly post what happens.
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Old Jul 19, 2011, 10:03 AM
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Wow, what arough experience. Do you think the esc was faulty or under rated
I think a lot of people just learn to put in a bigger ESC when dealing with Hobby King stuff, since their ratings seem very optimistic. I'm not sure whether it is just undersized for the motor in this model or I got a bad one, but there seem to be a lot of people who experienced the same thing.
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Old Jul 22, 2011, 01:26 PM
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Anymore on this? It really looks like a nice bird. I would definitely like to add it to my fleet.

I had tons of issues with faulty HK parts, so I know exactly how you feel. May I suggest that you talk directly through the "chat" option on the website? that was the only way I managed to get somebody that remotely understood what was going on.
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Old Jul 22, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Anymore on this? It really looks like a nice bird. I would definitely like to add it to my fleet.

I had tons of issues with faulty HK parts, so I know exactly how you feel. May I suggest that you talk directly through the "chat" option on the website? that was the only way I managed to get somebody that remotely understood what was going on.
Nothing to mention -- I just keep sending them a message every few days telling them I am not going away, and they have decided to use the cold shoulder approach and just clam up. The thing is, they kind of have you over a barrel in that so much of what they do sell does work, and is cheap compared to what you can find locally or US hobby stores, so if I don't order from them, am I cutting off my nose to spite my face? Take a look at my latest pending order. Who is losing if I don't place that order? Sure they don't get the money, but it also is not possible for me to get those parts for that price, at least any where I know of. That is what makes this so maddening. My sense of pride and of propriety tells me to stick to my guns. My sense of pragmatism tells me to read my own post, and decide if it's really worth it for a $6.97 ESC....

I am seriously ready to listen to any comments -- agree, or disagree.


Sadly, I think eventually I'm gonna cave before they do. I mean seven of those cool voltage monitors to keep up with my pack voltage real time, for 14 bucks? I've already bought two and love them.


I even put one on my DX6 to both keep up with the voltage, and as a much needed way to remind me it's on, seen even from a distance:


And to check the flight packs without removing canopy, just look right through the windscreen:




Three of those Orange-rx FASST compatible receivers for 80 bucks? Already bought two and they are perfect (notice what's controlling Baron 20 in pic above).


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Old Jul 22, 2011, 02:59 PM
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I hear you! Been there and understand EXACTLY what you are saying... but try the chat, it really speeds up the process.

Have you considered replacing the ESC and flying the bird? hopefully it is a good flier. Check the balancing of the fan before you put it up. I hear HK fans are notably out of balance...
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Old Jul 22, 2011, 04:13 PM
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I hear you! Been there and understand EXACTLY what you are saying... but try the chat, it really speeds up the process.

Have you considered replacing the ESC and flying the bird? hopefully it is a good flier. Check the balancing of the fan before you put it up. I hear HK fans are notably out of balance...
Talk about the ultimate eating crow -- looks like I need to add that ESC to my next order, don't I?

Me:

"AAAAArgggghhh....Never! I will never cave! [moments later] Oh, look, kewl parts.......[zombie-like] Must have parts....ppaaaaarrrrttsssss"


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Old Jul 22, 2011, 04:35 PM
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Most of HK's esc I have bought have very "optiimistic" specs...I have 4 10 amp esc's that get hot and cut out pulling 7 amps on the meter..and a 20 amp that gets hot and cuts out with 12 amp draw...I usually double the amp draw when picking an esc from them.
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Old Jul 22, 2011, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by micro_doc View Post
Most of HK's esc I have bought have very "optiimistic" specs...I have 4 10 amp esc's that get hot and cut out pulling 7 amps on the meter..and a 20 amp that gets hot and cuts out with 12 amp draw...I usually double the amp draw when picking an esc from them.



That's about what I figured to 'derate' them to.
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Old Jul 22, 2011, 05:28 PM
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I am with you 100% on your stance. It grinds my gears to no end when this kind of nonsense happens. Unfortunately HK doesnt seem to have the sense of obligation to their customers to stand behind their products that other vendors have. If it was me, I would make myself as big of a nuisance as possible. I would flood their email system, chat their socks off and also post the info on every vendor forum I could. If you still get no results, you can walk away with the knowledge that you did everything you could.

Good luck.

Dan
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 11:51 AM
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Update on the F9F --

Put in a bigger, higher quality ESC, that I of course had to buy myself, but then I immediately heard screeching from the fan assembly even on the bench... I saw where the *very* thin walled plastic fan housing had been 'egg-shaped' by HK pushing into the chassis with wires not properly routed during original assembly...you could see the deep and extensive scuff marks on the fan housing interior, even though I have only run it up less than 10 seconds total time myself.

NOW it all makes sense, including the original overloaded ESC right our of the box!

Unfortunately, with tight quarters, and trying to preserve pins for connect/disconnect ESC, not much room at all to work in there, so with taking out the original and putting in a replacement ESC, I ended up with wires in front of the unprotected fan.... I hot-glued everything together and the fan now runs up well, but those unprotected wires in front of that high RPM fan.... ugh.... I *could* take everything all apart, trim wiring, remove connectors, leave the motor hardwired to ESC, and reroute it within the intended recessed channel in the foam, but I am so tired of messing with this cheapo little EDF, and that routing is like building a ship in the bottle, once the wires are trimmed.... so I did a crazy fix I'm not proud of, but one that was easy and quick enough, and I think robust enough -- I looped a long wire tie around the wire bundle, and tightened it, leaving the tag end uncut...then I put a bead of hot-melt along the inside of the air-duct, and carefully routed the wire-tie end into the channel of glue. After it cooled, I snipped the excess end of the tie, and it lies almost flush, and the wires, while still there, are definitely being kept from being ingested when this thing gets underway.

This $89 jet now has about $400 worth of sweat, labor, and extra parts in it, and still hasn't been maidened yet, but looks like it has been through heavy combat. They say what doesn't kill us makes us stronger... I just want to see this thing in the air some day... maybe once I get a little more experience with my UM Champ in the coming days.











PS: Hobbyking just did *another* bait and switch on me regarding batteries... argh! I love most of my interactions with Hk -- they sell some cool stuff, at great prices, but woe unto you if you don't carefully inspect and fix the stuff you get for MANY weak spots, or if you just happen to get crap quality from them, or a bait-n-switch, because you are on your own -- they will NOT listen or correct for poor quality without a laughably out of the question mandated return -- the shipping cost is always more than the item would cost to purchase all over again.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 05:41 PM
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Track,

I admire your spirit of perseverance. I understand completely when it comes to this type of model. I get very excited when I think Im getting a solid model at a great price only to have the wind taken out of my sails by problems like this. I like your mod and I bet this thing finally flies great.

I recently bought a similar scaled/quality F86 duct fan second hand. It looked great and was excited to fly but when I spun the impeller by hand, its waaaaay out of balance. Its a shame that this area is such a weak point on these models. Of all the areas to skimp on, this is one I wouldnt have done. I would have gladly paid a few $$$ more for a better quality fan. I concur about the shape of the fan being anything BUT a circle. Now I have to chose to start dumping money in or fly it as is. One of my biggest pet peeves is getting a plane out of the box only to find I have to now start spending just to get it to fly decent. Thats one of my biggest turnoffs when it comes ot ARF's. AAarrrgghhh.

To top it off, I still have not received mine yet. The model is showing in stock but the batts are backordered. I (like a fool) took HK at their word (stating that the batts would be in stock in 30 days, although in fairness, HK didnt say WHICH 30 days). Im thinking I'll probably have it in my hands just in time for the 2012 flying season. Thanks for nothing HK.
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Old Aug 30, 2011, 10:38 PM
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Track,

I admire your spirit of perseverance.

...

The model is showing in stock but the batts are backordered. I (like a fool) took HK at their word (stating that the batts would be in stock in 30 days, although in fairness, HK didnt say WHICH 30 days). Im thinking I'll probably have it in my hands just in time for the 2012 flying season. Thanks for nothing HK.
heh heh

Patience (and other projects to keep you occupied) is a virtue!

One more tweak to it, and I really d othink it will be ready -- it's clear that the control throw is very scanty, and I think a loft of it has to do with the tortured routing of the guides, leaving pressure on them, and the micro servos have only so much torque...

So I will fiddle with that -- don't know if I can relieve or straighten them in some way, but I am not going to try to maiden this thing with less than full control throws -- learned that lesson on my first attempt at launching a glider, where I had applied decals after control check, and failed to slice them to allow control surface movement -- crash due to the decals holding the aielerons captive to to the wing!

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