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Old Jun 19, 2012, 03:08 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
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How a T-Rex 600e Pro went from a scale project to an FPV project

During the Memorial Day weekend, I was bombarded with emails from hobby-related websites about Memorial Day sales. One caught my eye: 10% off all merchandise from Esprit Model. I've been wanting to do another scale heli and I already had the fuselage picked out... an RC Aerodyne 700-sized JetRanger in a news chopper scheme (with a tailboom extension kit of course). I headed to Esprit Model and saw the T-Rex 600 Pro was already marked down 20%, and another 10% off was too good to pass up. I ordered the heli and was happy about saving so much money. It came with 12s motor, Castle Ice HV 80 ESC, servos, gyro, voltage regulator, etc., what's not to like for that price?

A few weeks went by and I hadn't even taken the heli out of the box yet. I'm the kind of guy that likes to have everything I need for a build, and since work was really slow this past Friday, I ordered the batteries. Two 6s 3300 45C packs and a 2s 2200 45C for the radio. I started making phone calls to both Esprit Model and RC Aerodyne about gear ratios and pinions to bring the head speed down for scale flight. When I got RC Aerodyne on the phone, they asked me, "Which heli do you have again?" I told them the T-Rex 600e Pro. They told me, "Due to the total redesign of the head, that heli won't fit in that fuselage. The rotor blades and flybar will hit the doghouse." Um, what? Total disappointment on my side. I asked which fuselages will that heli fit? He said, "None of them." I thanked him and hung up.

By this time is was 4:30 PM EST. I tried calling Esprit Model back, but no one answered the phone. I only wanted to ask if they had a 600ESP kit somewhere they would be willing to do a swap maybe, since my kit was still NIP? So I called RC Aerodyne back and said, are you sure they won't fit anything and they confirmed that no, it wouldn't. I was upset (not at anyone in particular of course; just at the situation) but glad I found out before buying an expensive fuselage that had no mechanics. The guy said something about "that's why we recommend folks go with the Chaos helis". Of course.

I was pretty bummed about this so I decided to sell the 600 Pro and buy the fuselage I wanted plus a Chaos 700. Every Chaos kit is out of stock (both 600 and 700), at least the kits I would be interested in. I put the 600 Pro for sale on here and was just about to put it for sale on another heli forum when inspiration struck!! I had been trying to find a Blade 400/450 to do FPV with, and had trouble finding one in my price range. Why not simply use the 600 Pro for FPV?! It's bigger and more stable than a Blade 400/450, and will better carry all the electronics that are required. I called a flying buddy and he said heck yeah, that sounds like a blast. So I had my solution!! I ordered batteries, camera, transmitter, antennas, and a flight stabilization system for my heli and finally started assembly last night.

So that's how a 700-sized scale build turned into an FPV build. I'll do the JetRanger build eventually, but it will have to wait. Just wanted to share... sorry for rambling!
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 07:20 PM
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Fresno, California
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That will be a cool project, I'll definately be watching for it. I'm working on a 600 Huey. I was wanting to setup the door gunners for fpv. Setup the cam and mini gun up on pan and tilt on separate tx/rx.

I don't know how much fpv you have done but Alex (ibcrazy) has some awesome threads with tutorials on how to build your own antenna's for the fpv equipment.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 09:22 AM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
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Thanks JT, yeah, I'm really excited about this build. I got the head completely built and balanced last night and I'm going to start on the frame Thursday night.

I've got an EasyStar that is my FPV ship. It's got some of IBCrazy's SPW/CL antennas which have drastically increased my range. I ordered pretty much the same setup for the 600 heli. I'll probably document the FPV part of the build in another forum since it's not exactly a scale build but it's gonna be fun. I'm looking foward to it.
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Old Jun 20, 2012, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Then View Post
Thanks JT, yeah, I'm really excited about this build. I got the head completely built and balanced last night and I'm going to start on the frame Thursday night.

I've got an EasyStar that is my FPV ship. It's got some of IBCrazy's SPW/CL antennas which have drastically increased my range. I ordered pretty much the same setup for the 600 heli. I'll probably document the FPV part of the build in another forum since it's not exactly a scale build but it's gonna be fun. I'm looking foward to it.
Awesome, ill keep an eye out for it!
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