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Old Aug 23, 2002, 07:11 AM
Registered User
Austin TX
Joined Aug 2002
6 Posts
Noob needs help, Piccolo?

Hey y'all.
I have been a balsa basher my whole life, and always thought heli's were expensive crashes waiting to happen. I have never flown a heli before, but I do fly RC and full scale, as well as being familiar with heli flight. I am dying to try these micro heli's now for almost a year, and want to get the right one to learn on. I have been wanting this little Piccolo for a while, and see there are several versions as well as multiple upgrades that could be had. I would like to know a few pointers so I can justify spending money I don't really have (plastic is a good thing).

1) Which heli to buy? I want small and robust, as well as cheap to fix/resistant to crashes.

2) If the Piccolo, what do I need? I think the picoboard with out the reciever is the way to go, but am I wrong? I have several battery packs that should work (and can frankenstien about any pack that I might need).

3)Do you recomend getting collective upgrade, or other upgrades to start, or just go with the standard setup at first?

Anyways, long for the 1st post but thanks for the input in advance.
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Old Aug 23, 2002, 09:40 AM
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Gil Weiss's Avatar
Bensalem, PA.
Joined Sep 2001
480 Posts
My background is similar to yours . . . 20 years of flying fixed wing RC aircraft. I took the plunge last Spring into helicopters. This forum is my best resource and has insured my success to date. I bought a simulator (CMS10) which helps greatly. I then bought an ECO 8 which I have built but not yet flown. I wound up getting a Piccilo to "learn on" based on what I read here regarding crash resistance.

From my experience, I recommend the Piccolo with the following additions:

Head Stiffner
Swash Ball
Anti Rotation Link
Main shaft collar
Aluminum Hub ( keeps the bearings on)
Training Gear

A Swiss fellow, Chris Rigoleth makes some of these parts. Check out his web site and Helihobby or MicrHeliMods.

I taught myself to hover pretty well and I am know venturing into nose in hovering and some "flying around". Most of my "hard landings" ( I never really crashed) knock off the rotor head with no damage. You need to make the ball joints loose as you will read. I have split the tail boom which is easy to fix with cyanoacrolate glue.

Check out the Ikarus BB and Paul Goetz's web site. A vast amount of helpful info exisits there.

I have gotten the feel of a fixed pitch bird and realize a collective pitch heli would be easier to fly, but more costly to fix. The simplicity of the Pic with fixed pitch is a big plus in my opinion to the newbee. I will say that transitioning into helicopters has humbled me and puts an experience fixed wing pilot back at the bottom of the learning curve!

I am using Artronics RD 6000 radios (have had wonderful success with Airtronics since my RC career began in 1982) and a standard Picollo 7 cell 250 mah Nicad pack.

I hope this helps . . . Gil
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Old Aug 23, 2002, 05:23 PM
A man with too many toys
United States
Joined Feb 2001
18,054 Posts
Micro helicopters are harder to fly than larger ones. I have an ECO8 that is much easier to fly than my Hornet. The ECO8 has no upgrades and is always ready to fly. It seams that I am always tinkering with the Hornet and it is often down for repairs (mainly gears).

If you have a sim and are good on it you can fly a micro.
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Old Aug 23, 2002, 06:00 PM
Should get a life
Tom Cardiff's Avatar
Muncie,IN USA
Joined Mar 2002
209 Posts
They are expensive crashes waiting to happen but the Piccolo is the easiest/cheapest to fix.A little carbon fibre and CA will get you back in the air 9 times out of 10 (not an exageration).
It has a very low head speed with FP which makes it the only Micro I would feel safe trying to learn with inside a house or garage.
The Ikarus BBS is THE source for piccolo info and help.A really great bunch of guy's.
You should print out the stuff on Paul Goelz
web site and use it as a guide while you are setting up your Piccolo.
They are a lot of fun,ask on the Picccolo board which is the best setup to start with,include the stuff that you have already(radio,micro servo's gyros) and you'll get great advice and the cheapest prices.
Here's the links.

Ikarus BBS

Paul's Site
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Old Aug 23, 2002, 07:01 PM
Our Daddy and Heli Junkie
Fred Bronk's Avatar
In Heli Wonderland
Joined Aug 1999
22,803 Posts
Welcome to the EZone !!!

The Piccolo is a nice little first heli, but as others said micros are not the easiest to fly.

Start with a SIM if you can, it pays for itself even with the little ones.

The best way to set up a Piccolo is with a Pico board and a GWS RX.

The few mods needed are easy to do, but it will fly fine as is.
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