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Old Mar 15, 2009, 12:45 AM
Ship first, Improve often
L0stS0ul's Avatar
Virginia
Joined Apr 2005
5,008 Posts
Mini-Review
SNHobbies Flasher 450 SE Build/Review ($135 All Metal Heli)

This is a build/review thread for the $135 shipped SNHobbies Flasher 450 SE V2 found here:
http://www.snhobbies.com/product_inf...roducts_id=461

I saw the price on this kit and I just couldn't pass it up. Shipping was prompt and the heli made it's way to me in about 7 days from Canada. I purchased the kit with the ESC and Motor. The kit comes with a 13 tooth pinion which the manual recommends for 3D flight.

The kit is marketed as a 100% T-Rex SE V2 parts compatible. After tearing it down and looking it over real well I'd have to say this is an accurate statement. The only part I've seen that's noticeably different from the align kit is the head button. Even the anti-rotation bracket is the latest design.

I did this build thread as I went so it gets a bit wordy in places. I've done a condensed review thread of it here if you just want to see the important stuff. I will continue to do my stream of consciousness build/review here

COMPONENTS USED

WHAT'S IN THE BOX

RC Helicopter: Unboxing the Flasher 450 SE Kit (1 min 49 sec)


DOCUMENTS

The Flasher 450 SE manual that is included contains all of the information you need for this helicopter.

FLASHER 450 ACCESORIES/REQUIRED ASSEMBLY TOOLS

To assemble and maintain a Flasher 450 you'll need a few basic tools and such
  • Ball link pliers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Small Screw driver set
  • Hex driver set - I use the align hex driver set. It seems to work the best with these screws.
  • Pitch gauge
  • Soldering iron
  • Heatshrink
  • Small cable ties
  • Loctite (BLUE works well for all screws)
  • Triflow, Silicon (RC Car Shock Oil) or other light oil that doesnt wreck plastic
  • Ball link reaming tool - Recommended but not required

COMPATABILITY WITH TREX

Almost all parts are compatible with a Align TREX 450 SE V2 accept for a few notable exceptions.

COMMON ISSUES
  • Be sure to check all metal to metal screws for thread lock.
  • The newer kits come with a solid blue washout base that is sloppier than the original washout base. It's best to replace this part as it causes a lot of slop in the rest of the head. A $15 solution is to replace the center hub and washout base with the EXI ones. EXI metal center hub and EXI Metal washout base . The TREX PRO washout base will also work for around $8 but requires you to file down the guide pins so it moves freely on them.

FLIGHT VIDEO

I'm no pro pilot but here's how the heli flies for me.

RC Helicopter: Flasher 450 SE V2 (3 min 40 sec)
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 12:49 AM
Ship first, Improve often
L0stS0ul's Avatar
Virginia
Joined Apr 2005
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The Teardown

So the first thing I did was to tear down the main frame and look for anything out of place.

Taking out the first screw I immediately noticed that there was 0 thread lock anywhere on the lower frame screws and I would need to go thru all the screws on the frame with a fine tooth comb. I did eventually find a little thread lock on a few screws on the top frame but the vast majority had none.

The bottom plate was also not fitting well with the bottom frame and I had to sand the frame halves a bit and clean up some flashing on the plate to get it all to sit flush without the frame bending.
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 12:53 AM
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L0stS0ul's Avatar
Virginia
Joined Apr 2005
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Starting in on the tail

So once the frame was back together and everything was thread locked I decided to tackle the tail. After what I found with the frame I was expecting to find no thread lock here as well and I didn't find much.

Only one screw had thread lock on it and most of the screws were actually a little loose. The tail blade holders did have a small amount of thread lock on them but they too were already quite loose. I also had to sand down the pitch control arms a bit as the pitch slider was not very smooth. Once I tracked the stiffness to the pitch control arms sanding them cleared everything right up.

Other than that the tail looks to be in good shape and is nice and smooth. Overall quality is very nice.
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 12:57 AM
Ship first, Improve often
L0stS0ul's Avatar
Virginia
Joined Apr 2005
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Installing the tail assembly

The kit comes with a Carbon Fiber tail boom. Installation was trivial. I used a string to pull the belt thru the boom and then installed the belt on the belt pulley. I then did the rest of the tail installation with the two fins, boom braces and servo mounts. This part went without issue.

I also installed the skids at this point as well.
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 01:06 AM
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Virginia
Joined Apr 2005
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Installing the Head

So next I decided to tackle the head. So far the kit looks identical to a t-rex v2 and I must say the metal quality and parts quality is about as good as I've seen with align stuff.

Starting in on the head I did run into my first problem real problem. The screws for the anti-rotation bracket were nowhere to be found in my kit. I just grabbed some screws from my parts bin but that is something to note. So far these two screws are the only missing parts I've found. It would have been nice if there was a spare parts bag included with the heli.

The head install is pretty straight forward. I decided not to do a tear down before installing it. I've found that, for me, it is easier to take heli heads apart when they are mounted instead of just flopping around.

First you install the main gear into place and then slide the pre-assembled head and main shaft thru the guide bearings. Lock the main gear with the set bolt and then tighten down the upper collar and you're done. Nothing complex here.

Do note that inside the bag that had the head assembly there are 2 tiny washers. They do not show in the manual where these go but these are spacers that are used between the flybar cage and the flybar rocker. They are needed.
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Old Mar 15, 2009, 01:18 AM
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L0stS0ul's Avatar
Virginia
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Finishing up the build and getting ready for electrics

So the next thing to do is to go over the head and check it for assembly mistakes. I found similar issues with missing thread lock. Some parts, like the flybar cage did have enough then other screws were just sitting loose. One annoying thing is that everywhere else on the kit they use hex screws but on the head they switch to philips head screws. I found several screws that look like they were already stripped from the factory assembly. Not bad enough for me to not be able to work them but definitely noticeable.

This was when I found the really interesting thing. I went to take the main grips off and neither side had any thread lock at all. I also noticed that one side came off with only a few turns of the screw driver. I pulled the grips and actually sat confused for a second. I could not tighten down the grips without them binding. So I pulled all of the bearings out of the grips and went over them really well. That's when I found that one grip had the following setup:

bearing -> bearing -> bearing -> washer -> thrust bearing -> washer

It's supposed to be:

bearing -> bearing -> washer -> thrust bearing -> washer

Yup, I found an extra bearing in one of the main blade grips. Once that was removed the main grips went on without issue.

It got late tonight so I didn't finish tearing down the rest of the head. I did take a look at the main blades that it comes with. They are pretty well balanced out of the gate. About on par with anything else I've had. They are pretty heavy though.

Overall I'd have to say that the quality of the kit is extremely good. The metal is really good quality as well. If you do buy one of these make sure to tear it down all the way but for $130 shipped ($160 with motor/ESC) this is one heck of a deal. It only took me a few hours to go through and thread lock it and I found no horrible manufacturing defects other than the extra bearing in the main grip. The biggest thing I've found is missing thread lock which is pretty common on these types of helis.

This thing is most certainly 100% v2 t-rex compatible. I've not found anything yet you couldn't use a t-rex part for.

Tomorrow I'll start the electronic installation but I'll be waiting for my hyperion tail server to show up later this week before I can fly it.
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 12:18 AM
Ship first, Improve often
L0stS0ul's Avatar
Virginia
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Didn't get much done on the heli today. Was working on my HoB Texan but I did tear down the rest of the head. I didn't find anything else to note other than the lack of thread lock. Just make sure to go over every screw on this heli for thread lock if you buy one.

Servo should be shipping out tomorrow so hopefully by Wed. I'll have it and be able to get the electronics in. If the weather holds out I hope to take it down to the field and see how it does.
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Old Mar 16, 2009, 02:17 AM
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Joined Jul 2005
285 Posts
nice build thread!

same flasher as mine.... the only thing ive changed over the year, is i put a microheli pro cnc tail on mine. way better then the stock one.....
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 01:31 PM
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Oklahoma
Joined Dec 2004
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Yea I'm glad i did not buy a helie last year.

Plan on getting one. Next month.
The pc version for practice is on the list also.
Left the ideal of a HK 450 $35.00 version after seeing these.
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Old Mar 17, 2009, 03:08 PM
crashs come easy patience dont
bad400's Avatar
USA, MI, Shelby Township
Joined Jan 2009
2,875 Posts
that is a good looking heli.
are the servo mount`s easy to get to?
does it seem to have plenty of room in the frame?
does all that carbon&metal cause any interferance to the reciever?
i like the fact that it comes with the ice cold motor, i hear they are the ones to have these days
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Last edited by bad400; Mar 17, 2009 at 03:14 PM.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 12:09 AM
Ship first, Improve often
L0stS0ul's Avatar
Virginia
Joined Apr 2005
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It's identical to the t-rex so all the same issues with servo mounting exist. You can mount them on the outside but your geometry won't be right so you have to take the frame apart a bit to get hs-65's in there.

I've got no issue with space in the frame. Enough room for everything I need. I'm using spectrum and have no issue with interference so far but I've not had a chance to fly the heli yet. Hopefully my tail servo will arrive tomorrow. It shipped on Monday. I mean this heli is a 100% identical to a V2 t-rex so I am expecting the same results as that. I'd not be surprised to find out this was even made in the same factory and the real t-rex. It's that close.
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 01:22 PM
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Spring Valley. MN
Joined Jun 2000
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I was looking at one of these, thanks for taking the time to do a review LOst
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 02:05 PM
Nothin says hate like a .308
proraptor's Avatar
Anaheim, CA
Joined Mar 2009
276 Posts
Wow thanks for the step by step review....Very good read
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 04:15 PM
Tassie Electric, Heli, Glider
ChrisJ800's Avatar
Hobart, Australia
Joined Oct 2002
2,629 Posts
Based on eBay specs (which could be inaccurate), this heli is up to 100grams heavier than a CopterX. Does that seem right?
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Old Mar 18, 2009, 07:03 PM
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L0stS0ul's Avatar
Virginia
Joined Apr 2005
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The empty weight of my heli, no motor or electronics, is 13.8 ounces. The only thing I've changed is I have align 325 woodies on it instead of the stock blades. The stock blades are very heavy. I've not weighed them though. SNHobbies lists the empty weight at 15.8 ounces. The blades could be that much heavier than the align blades. When I get a chance I'll weigh those components for comparison.

I've never weighed an empty t-rex so I can't compare it to that. My dragonus SA was 14.25 ounces empty and that was an all plastic head/tail and aluminum frames. That puts this all metal heli at almost a half an ounce lighter than my dragonus.
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