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Old Dec 06, 2012, 04:48 AM
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Is FBL for beginner / novice?

Hi All,
I want to move up to 450 class and consider the build to be a good thing while l'm busy with Pheonix.

I read the review on TT Mini Titan 325 v2 FBL and had decided to build the kit version with stock motor, esc and gyro.
Having read more about FBL on this forum, am l right in thinking it's not a good move?
I formed this opinion as the FBL cannot be gently lifted into the hover but must be jumped from the ground.
FB heli with paddles can be gently lifted. Or so l have read....


Apart from the TT MT325v2 (new kit), my other choice is a used Align 450 belt tail with alloy blade & tail grips and stock electrics in an alloy case (already built). It's in a shop and has had minimal use, spare blades, boom and 6 batteries. AU$400 complete - good deal??

What other 450 electric would be a good choice ?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 08:41 AM
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We've seen this question before, and you may well end up more confused than when you started out. The previous threads on this subject have typically ended up split 50/50

With that being said, I see no reason at all why you should start with a FB heli first. Modern FBL units have become easy to set up, and work well. Parts count and complexity of the heli is reduced with a FBL heli and the head is easier to setup with fewer linkages. Crash repair is also easier with the less complex head.

Don't worry about having to "pop" the heli into the air with a FBL unit. The earlier versions were more prone to this issue than the newer, popular units. You can lift a FBL heli off just as gently as a FB version.

BTW, Thunder Tiger is an excellent brand and makes very good helis. You will learn a lot of valuable lessons building a kit yourself and will understand how the heli components work together. It's good info because you are going to need the skills for crash repair anyway.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 08:52 AM
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I will second what Xrayted said. I'm a big fan of Thunder Tiger, too. I like their design and quality a lot better than Align or it's many clones. I would make one additional suggestion though. Start with a Blade MCPx or Walkera Genius. They are far more durable than any 450 size heli and can sustain lots of crashes with little or no damage. Another good option is the Blade MQx or V929 quad. They will teach you a lot about flying a CP heli, because they have response that's faster and more movement authority. They are incredibly durable and simple. I've been crashing an MQx for 6 months with no damage other than one motor replaced. They are very cheap training

One other comment, if you start with a flybarless micro (MCPx, Genius, etc) they do require more effort to take off; that's true of most micros.
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Old Dec 06, 2012, 09:11 AM
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Not sure why you would want to 'jump' the heli, i'm a beginner and i've been doing hover practice with a 450 FBL Sport. Maybe it's just from all the practice with the GeniusCP but it's noticeably slower. It turns and rolls quick, but it takes forever to actually move, that means it's easier to bring back under control if it starts drifting. Spooling up, and then gently lifting straight up isn't that hard.

FBL heads are a lot simpler in construction so it's easier to keep them maintained as well as less parts to break if... or rather... when you crash. So it may actually be easier for a newbie.

Price wise, i'll have to tell you that you'll have to prepare enough money to buy two helis. I've had a lot of people buying helicopters thinking that it's all they need. Not realizing that they also have to buy a lot of extras in order to maintain it. Spare parts for crashes, pliers, screwdriver sets, drills, adhesives, lubricants, zip ties, threadlockers, balance/angle/measuring tools, etc. If you're going with FBL, you'll also need a USB cable for the 3 axis gyro. They all add up.

To get you started on your parts bin, i recommend that you also order two tailbooms, two tailshafts, four main shafts, three feathering shafts, and three sets of main blades.
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 02:55 AM
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I've read here several times about having to jump a fbl heli off the ground, and don't understand it. I was ready for it when I got my first fbl (a T-Rex 550e), but with the MicroBeast fbl unit I found I'm able to lift off slowly, getting a feel for it while it's light on its skids, just like I do with my flybarred 500.
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
I will second what Xrayted said. I'm a big fan of Thunder Tiger, too. I like their design and quality a lot better than Align or it's many clones. I would make one additional suggestion though. Start with a Blade MCPx or Walkera Genius.
Thasnks for the comments.
I have a DX7s Tx, so the mQX is no problem. Can the Walkera Genius be changed to take a compatible receiver?
If so, which one?


Forgetting the Tx for a moment....
Walkera Genius CP or Blade mCPx. Which heli is easier to pickup, have fun, more durable etc.

Might see if Santa has spare room on the sleigh !
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Old Dec 07, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Genius electronics are all in one module and not compatible with Spectrum. I had a Genius and have an mCPx. That should be a clue. If not, the Genius is quite durable but has very short flight times (3 min) that get worse (30 sec) because stock Walkera batteries suck. Aftermarket batteries usually need the connectors changed because Walkera uses non-standard. The Genius is obsolete, so parts will probably become a problem. The MCPx is a bit bigger and a little easier to fly, a bit more durable, a lot longer flight times and parts are available at most hobby stores. In short newer Walkera stuff usually isn't too bad, but is usually a hassle dealing with finding parts and doing the necessary upgrades and I hate hassles.
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Old Dec 08, 2012, 03:51 AM
Get to the choppa!
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I think they are slightly easier when learning how to hover and do basic maneuvers, but more difficult to setup. The degrees of how much easier and how much harder are debatable, and depend on your choice of products, but that is the just of it.
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Old Dec 11, 2012, 04:29 AM
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i started with a FBL heli and IMO its only helps
there are tons of places to get help with setup so that isnt some thing that should keep you away
the MicroBeast is a great FBL controller for some one starting out very easy to setup and the default setting work 90% of the time
then there are helis like the mSR X, Nano CP, mCP X, and 130 X that need 0 set up
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 05:43 AM
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Santa did a bit of research and brought a nano CPx.

Decided not to go mCPx due to tail issues (read about) and nano being ok to use indoors.
mQX was just too ugly although may be ok. Couldn't get used to orientation on Pheonix either.

Now to buy a 450 kit while getting the nano to do sport flying. A Mini Titan 325 v2 FBL is grabbing my attention .....
Thanks for all your help.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muttlee View Post
Santa did a bit of research and brought a nano CPx.

Decided not to go mCPx due to tail issues (read about) and nano being ok to use indoors.
mQX was just too ugly although may be ok. Couldn't get used to orientation on Pheonix either.

Now to buy a 450 kit while getting the nano to do sport flying. A Mini Titan 325 v2 FBL is grabbing my attention .....
Thanks for all your help.
You have a great plan. Practice on the sim and in real life with your Nano, and then move up to the 450 which you will find easier than the Nano because the larger helis aren't as quick to move around on you.

The MT is also a high quality heli, so you won't be dealing with component issues.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 09:53 AM
just gotta mess with it!
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Not just an urban myth

Quote:
Originally Posted by abenn View Post
I've read here several times about having to jump a fbl heli off the ground, and don't understand it. I was ready for it when I got my first fbl (a T-Rex 550e), but with the MicroBeast fbl unit I found I'm able to lift off slowly, getting a feel for it while it's light on its skids, just like I do with my flybarred 500.
You might do that a hundred times or more with no problem. Then, for whatever reason, you might have the heli try to tip over and you have to be quick on the sticks to stop it. I don't know what the mechanism is - but if your trim is out, the controller will see a command to, say, input right aileron. With the skids on the ground, nothing happens, so the controller tilts the swash further to the right. It's possible that taking off from grass can cause this same kind of effect, if the grass catches on a skid. Even though I mostly fly off tarmac, I still take no chances and lift off more abruptly than I would with a FB heli, and don't dawdle with the heli light on it's skids. It's not as if you have to hold full negative and then go full high collective to spring off the ground. I reckon just one tip over on a 550 could be fairly pricey.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 01:58 PM
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Thanks 2Doggs. I'm not arguing that it doesn't happen, but why should the controller "see" a command if none is given? I fly off grass, and my 550e with MicroBeast reacts just the same as my flybarred 500 on the ground -- I get it a bit light on the skids and it tilts left, right, back, and forth, and moves the tail, in accordance with my commands. Maybe flybarless software has advanced over the past couple of years so that a quick leap is no longer needed.

I'll try getting off the ground quicker next time I take my 550 out, but I'm not sure I'm going to feel comfortable doing it.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 02:57 PM
just gotta mess with it!
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Like I said, you don't need to really jump off the ground, just don't keep the heli light on the skids. I don't think it's anything that's affected by recent advances in FBL controllers.

Bad setup can certainly cause the swash to tilt. You can simulate that with the tail when a gyro is set to HH. If you give a small rudder input, with the heli on the bench or on the ground, the slider will go all the way to the limit, since the gyro is seeing an input but nothing is happening, so it keeps moving the slider to the limit.

If your setup is perfect, and there's no trim error, you should be fine, but I still prefer to err on the side of caution and lift off reasonably quickly. I've experienced the swash tilting a couple of times. I can't be sure, but it might have been due to less than perfect setup after a crash rebuild, but in any case I don't take any chances.
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