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Old Jun 05, 2013, 07:09 PM
Amateur copter crasher.
United States, OH, Worthington
Joined Dec 2012
135 Posts
Mini-Review
The UDI U13A Camera helicopter.

Yesterday I received my U13A. I wanted a stable, easy to fly camera heli.

This is a "typical" coaxial, in that it uses a horizontal tail rotor for forward and rear flight. Throttle up/down is on the left stick, and yaw/rudder/aileron is on the right stick. This is a 3 channel copter. This copter uses a 2.4 gHz control system. No toy infrared or interference prone CB 27 mHz.

This copter has a front spotlight, as well as some "party lights" that flash along the tailboom. Perhaps, as a later mod, they could be adapted to nav lights, or be useful for nighttime recovery efforts. The last light by the tail is red, so I could paint over the others to have a rear nav light.. I dunno.

The camera has a capability to take still shots as well as video. Sound is not supported. The manual states a red LED for motion video. I see the led lit all the time, except when filming. Then the light blinks. The manual states a yellow LED for stills. What is actually there is a green LED. You have to press the still camera button to put it into camera mode, THEN press again to take a pic. In video mode, all you need to do is press the video button

I am still getting used to this chopper; but it seems stable as most coaxes are. The gyro stabilization is great. If you move the tail, it moves back to where it wanted it to be.

My only issues were, it can creep a bit forward or backward. This can be easily corrected. All you can trim is the rudder which is stored in the remote. Oddly enough, there are trim buttons for other trims; but they are glued in place. Also, the display has provisions for 4 channel trims. Evidently, this controller is used on 4 channel helis, with the other functions enabled. There is no "fast forward flight" It is slow..... but this is a camera platform, not a performance heli. It is designed to be slow and stable.

Wind is the enemy.... this heli is light and the dual rotor disc is like a sail. I took the heli up on its second flight and it got caught. To make matters worse, a large tree blocked my view. For some reason, the video got corrupted

How I found the chopper was ingenoius..... I noticed the upper left antenna icon had no bars.... As I moved closer to the copter, the bar went full scale and beeped. By homing in, I found the undamaged copter in a ditch beside our road.

Somehow, someway, the copter communicates back to the heli! I was not aware the copter had a transmitter. This is technology someone needs to investigate. All my other helis never lose a full scale receiver signal, as expected, since they should be one way.

Anyway, the video below is a short test video. As you can see, the video is pretty darn good, with only slight. "jello effect". The big tree before landing was the one i discussed in my flight overview. My 6 year old recovered the copter.



Hopefully, this was informative.


Udi U13A First test flight (0 min 30 sec)
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Last edited by jwilkers; Jun 08, 2013 at 04:24 PM. Reason: additional details.
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Old Jun 12, 2013, 07:08 PM
Amateur copter crasher.
United States, OH, Worthington
Joined Dec 2012
135 Posts
My copter is down the road in a tree.... A Very tiny branch... With severe weather coming, hopefully the wind will allow me to recover it. Too bad the video camera wasn't running.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 04:24 AM
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Joined Apr 2013
43 Posts
A nice helicopter with camera designed for multi-role use in the commercial world, prized by corporate executive’s for its luxurious interior. The appearance of this rc helicopter is nothing short of stunning. It sure looks very cool with all the scales and spinning tail blade.The thing to remember with RC heli's. Anyway thanks for sharing it really a nice information and video is also very good.
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 09:34 AM
Cranky old fart
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Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,480 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwilkers View Post
How I found the chopper was ingenoius..... I noticed the upper left antenna icon had no bars.... As I moved closer to the copter, the bar went full scale and beeped. By homing in, I found the undamaged copter in a ditch beside our road.

Somehow, someway, the copter communicates back to the heli! I was not aware the copter had a transmitter. This is technology someone needs to investigate. All my other helis never lose a full scale receiver signal, as expected, since they should be one way.
All 2.4 ghz protocols are bi-directional. They don't have a dedicated sub-channel, so transmitter and receiver have to talk to each other to agree on which sub-channel to use (among other things).
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Old Jun 13, 2013, 10:29 PM
Amateur copter crasher.
United States, OH, Worthington
Joined Dec 2012
135 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
All 2.4 ghz protocols are bi-directional. They don't have a dedicated sub-channel, so transmitter and receiver have to talk to each other to agree on which sub-channel to use (among other things).
Oh, ok.... thanks for the info....

Still up in the tree Storms didn't kick it down.
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 03:42 AM
http://linparts.com/
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http://linparts.com/index.php?main_p...6#.Ub15pqxNuL0


UDI U13 RC Helicopter parts
U13 U13A RC helicopter Parts
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Old Jun 16, 2013, 11:40 AM
Amateur copter crasher.
United States, OH, Worthington
Joined Dec 2012
135 Posts
Thanks! Good to know a parts supplier!
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Old Jul 05, 2013, 03:30 PM
Amateur copter crasher.
United States, OH, Worthington
Joined Dec 2012
135 Posts
Well, my original u13a is still in a tree. I ordered and received another one. Perhaps, in the fall, when the leaves fall, my copter will be released and returned to me. At that time, I can report on its durability after surviving months in a tree
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Old Jul 05, 2013, 04:01 PM
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Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,480 Posts
You may wish to try a small quad, like the V959, before populating all of the area trees with coax helis. They handle wind much better.
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Old Jul 08, 2013, 06:34 PM
Amateur copter crasher.
United States, OH, Worthington
Joined Dec 2012
135 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
You may wish to try a small quad, like the V959, before populating all of the area trees with coax helis. They handle wind much better.
Maybe so... the 13A cannot even handle the slightest breeze.... forward and reverse flight sucks..... maybe a stronger tailmotor may help.... but unsure.
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Old Dec 01, 2013, 01:27 PM
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On a windless day, and launched from a wide open field, this cheap little UDI 13A coax heli can be flown up to 500 feet high, until it is little more than a speck in the sky, where it is capable of taking some of the more stable aerial footage I have ever seen shot from far more expensive rigs.

I like this ugly little helicopter, and I was pleasantly surprised at the sharpness of the stills I obtained from the video footage that it took at ridiculous heights that I would never dare fly my 450 sized single-rotor helicopter.

Provided one does not cut power too fast during emergency descents, it is almost impossible to crash the UDI 13A coax heli. That said, I did have to crash-land it a few times to avoid losing it to wind currents, but its small size meant much gentler impacts, and it still flies fine after all that punishment.

All told, this little heli is well worth its cost, at a mere $55 on the net.
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Old Dec 01, 2013, 01:35 PM
Amateur copter crasher.
United States, OH, Worthington
Joined Dec 2012
135 Posts
I treed one... bought another. Then the original Treed one fell to earth..... Then re-treed it.

Got it back. Just need to replace one battery and a tail motor on the other and both will be fine. They do take amazing pics!
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Old Dec 03, 2013, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwilkers View Post
How I found the chopper was ingenoius..... I noticed the upper left antenna icon had no bars.... As I moved closer to the copter, the bar went full scale and beeped. By homing in, I found the undamaged copter in a ditch beside our road.

Somehow, someway, the copter communicates back to the heli! I was not aware the copter had a transmitter. This is technology someone needs to investigate. All my other helis never lose a full scale receiver signal, as expected, since they should be one way.
Your mention that there might be a transmitter on board the UDI 13A, sending back signal strength data, got me curious enough to try and check my heli's RC control transmitter's display in the upper left corner of the screen, to find out how dependent the transmitter-displayed signal strength bar-graph is on distance to the helicopter.

I haven't yet experimented over about 100 yards but so far the signal strength indicator remains at full scale regardless of distance to the helicopter. It just occurred to me that there might exist an obscure button-press sequence on the transmiitter, that would enable the heli to start sending RF signal-strength data back to the RC control transmitter's display screen.

As a means of locating the heli when it drops into thick foliage, I can see the usefulness of a locator beeper aboard the helicopter, that can be sounded by pressing a transmitter button, but on such a small helicopter as the Udi-13A, adding any more electronics would probably weigh it down and cut flight times.

Anyway, while I pondered all that, I went ahead and ordered another one of these helis while they can still be found, to have a spare handy for that one day when a tree exerts its magnetic force on my trusty, well crashed Udi-13A.

If its alright with you, JWilkers, I'd like post to the odd aerial shot here, in what is probably the only Udi13A discussion page anywhere on the net, just to show the clarity of pictures this unassuming little bird is capable of taking

I just now stumbled on a whopping 65 user reviews on the Amazon website, for this diamond in the rough, the Udi 13A, and those opinions range from satisfaction to outright jubilation over the pictures this bird takes, and the rock solid stability of its flight. Here is the link to that review page.

http://www.amazon.com/Camera-UDI-U13...owViewpoints=1

After reading these reviews I decided to snag a couple more of these little helis before a customer stampede ensues, and the price gets hiked by the manufacturer in response.
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Old Dec 03, 2013, 04:51 PM
Amateur copter crasher.
United States, OH, Worthington
Joined Dec 2012
135 Posts
Sure.... post away.... A lot of times people imbed youtube links of videos... I haven't ever used my second controller; but both copters seem to have a signal going to the receiver. I really need to get off my lazy butt and get my repairs completed... I have the parts.
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Old Dec 05, 2013, 05:39 AM
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Looking through the Amazon reviews of this heli, I spotted an ingenious fix that costs literally one penny, and enables the UDI 13A to fly under perfect control in winds up to ten knots.

One of the UDI 13A users commenting on Amazon came up with the idea of taping a coin to the nose of the helicopter, as a cheap and easy means of forcing the heli to fly with a slightly more pronounced nose-down attitude that makes all the difference in the world when flying outdoors in wind.

With that 3-second fix, I no longer have to chase after the heli as the wind blows it away at high altitudes, because I can make the bird claw its way to a stationary hover against a constant wind, with just a touch more down elevator input on my transmitter. The added nose-down attitude will also mean better images taped by the camera, which will be looking down a little more directly than the heli did without that added coin of ballast taped to the nose.

Finally, I discovered that emergency descents are much more controlled when the nose is weighed down with that coin, so I can drop the heli much faster when the wind really picks up, without the danger of the blades getting tangled up as they did before I added the weight, if I cut the throttle too fast.

I had to repeat this tip here, just in case anyone has been put off buying a UDI 13A because of all the complaints about its inability to hold stationary hover in even gentle winds.

This coin fix works perfectly, with the only minor drawback being a slight reduction in flight time due to the added weight. I am now looking at using a smaller weight than a coin, and moving that weight forward to the very nose of the heli, so as to hopefully achieve the same nose-down flight atttude with less weight added than that of the coin.
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Last edited by hover_hound; Dec 05, 2013 at 05:56 AM.
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