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Old Aug 23, 2009, 05:09 AM
If it flies, I will CRUSH it!
Crushalot's Avatar
Raleigh, NC
Joined Feb 2009
474 Posts
Mini-Review
Comprehensive Review and Mods for the new Walkera CB180Q FP Helicopter

Thought I would start a new thread so we can start fresh with this review I prepared after a few days flying the CB180Q helicopter. Feel free to post up any more questions you have. We could also use this thread to talk about upgrades and modifications. For any newcomers there are 2 other threads with various bits of good information and lots of pictures and also some gripes and grumblings which is why I started this review in a new thread, but the info collected there is here:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1087418
First thoughts post: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...&postcount=266
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1096173


Here is the review for the Walkera CB180Q 4 channel RC helicopter -

Overview:

The helicopter looks really nice with it’s scale fuselage and the gold CNC parts plus the flybar weights are chromed with a gold hue as well. The fuselage is the same as the 5#4Q3/5G4Q3 which is a pretty tough plastic, but does crack on hard crashes. If you didn't like the colors, you could use a 5#4Q3/5G4Q3 fuselage which comes in the standard blk/wht but also a few other color combo's. The only changes that would be needed are a few minor trims around the top opening for the servo/swash connecting rods and also the back of the tail would be cut off at the last panel separation which removes about the last 30 mm of fuselage to allow for the CB180 tail gearbox assembly. The landing gear is sturdy and attaches to the battery tray frame just like in the 5#4Q3/5G4Q3. Sadly, retracts would not be possible on the CB180Q because the battery is directly above the front wheel, so there is no space. The user manual is lacking as is usually the case with the Walkera heli’s. There is a misprint about the gyro sensitivity adjustment as they mistakenly repeated the sentence from above it about adjusting the ext pot. Also there is still no exploded diagram or frame/fuselage/tail disassembly instructions.
The battery tray in the CB180Q is great. It is really big and allows for not only bigger battery options but a nice range of COG adjustments. The stock battery is kind of heavy at 56.5 grams. I have some 15C 1000mah batteries that fit in the tray and are only 53 grams. I also tried some of the even smaller batteries such as 850mah and 900mah 15C and 20C's. I like them the best, because both 900mah 15C's and 850mah 20C are at least 10 grams lighter than stock. I like the Outrage 850mah 20C at 43.3 grams the best. I was still getting plenty of fly time and with this heli being brushed motors, better to stick with slightly shorter flights anyway. After a 7.5 minute flight (on Outrage 850 - discharged to 3.76) I recorded 120F on the main motor, not too bad. The fuselage is in the way so I couldn't get a reading on the tail motor from my IR thermometer. Before we get onto the details I will mention that I did perform an under load, dry break in on the motors before flying the heli. I had always did dry break in's on my carbon brushed motors because I notice a slight boost in efficiency and longevity. This only really helped on the larger motors that actually have carbon blocks. Search the forums for more info on brushed motor break in as it is completely personal preference as some don’t buy into it, but I have seen the results and some very good testing data about it. Since this fuselage is a pain in the but to remove, I was not going to disassemble the heli to remove the motors to run them through a dry break under no load like I normally do, so instead I just binded on a fresh lipo and sat the heli in an open area. Moved trim to the far left and then increased the throttle to about 10%. This should be enough to rotate the main rotors but not the tail. I keep it running at that slow speed for about 20 minutes. Did a quick temp check and barely warm so I proceed to phase 2. Moved the rudder trim back to the right some so that the tail rotor spins up, then increase throttle to about 22% – 25%. Kept it idling like this for about 15 minutes and then under control some slow increases up to but no more than about 40%. Battery only discharged by 40% total and motors still barely warm. This process allows the brushes in the motor to conform to the commutator under low voltage conditions so that the contact is greater and thus the motor will operate more efficiently.

First Thoughts:
I will start off by saying I was slightly disappointed with the helicopter right out of the box. Although the heli was nicely packaged and looked beautiful, I was expecting more agility and also would have been nice if the heli flew nice stock, right out of the box. Not the case here. The first thing you might notice is that on mine and at least other member here, the elevator servo bellcrank rod was not adjusted to the correct length and so you needed to use almost max trim to get a hover and then you had no more servo travel for forward movement. Disappointing, but this is an easy fix. Lengthening the rod length by giving it about 4 or so CCW turns does the trick. You do not have to the remove the fuselage to do this.
At this point you have a decent beginner setup that you could easily start with this heli rather than go the co-ax route.

Tuning and Flying:
Here is where the fun begins my friends. Tuning this heli has turned out to be pretty easy and I am really getting to like this heli very much. First thing is, unlike past Walkera 4CH 4n1 units that had to be used with a 2401TX or a 2801TX in 2401 mode, the RX-2423 in the CB180Q/D allows you to bind in 2801 mode so you have access to the advanced settings. Before this making changes in the advanced settings for a 4 channel was a pain because you had to make settings changes on the model in 2801 mode and then change it to 2401 mode to bind. I would assume they may have done this due to feedback after the 2801TX was released or it may be tied to the release of the new 4/6 channel 1 model digital 2402TX. Either way it a great improvement and it makes dialing in the heli much easier and still allows changing battery packs without a re-bind, although until we get a good brushless mod running, or you have spare motors to burn through, I wouldn’t run batteries back to back without allowing for a motor cool down.
First settings changes I found very helpful are turning the extent pot on the RX to max (on mine flat edge of pot dial at about 9 o’clock) to increase the amount of default servo travel. Next I turned the travel adjust on all four cyclic controls to 140%. This config is right at the point where the servos start to max out so I wouldn’t advise going any higher. This setup also provides much more cyclic authority while flying. Also thanks to the tip from Xrayted that setting some negative expo also adds to help out the cyclic crispness. I like about -8% to -10%.
The rotor disk now has a lot of travel (and now we have good control too) but the weighted flybar negates/counteracts some of this, as is the purpose to provide a co ax like feel of stability where the rotor disk will recover on it’s own due to the centrifugal force of the flybar. However the weights on the flybar are heavy and prevent quick changes of direction and finer level of control. I found that the stock flybar weights are 5.1 grams each. I installed a set of weights from a 5#10 that are same shape, but just slightly smaller at 3.7 grams each. It’s also nice because they have the same thread and screw right on so they are nice and interchangeable. I found this modification made huge difference in fine control and allowing quick direction changes and also helped with the speed of forward flight.
Nice quick forward flight is finally possible and the heli flies really well now. With the weight reductions from the smaller battery and flybar weights I am flying 16 grams lighter than stock and I’m sure this helps a little with the speed of the heli. In addition to that weight loss, I didn’t install the guns and that alone gains you 2.2 grams of additional weight savings. I like the stabilizer fins and they only weigh 1.5 grams for both so as long as it’s not too windy I keep them on. I would pull them off flying in windy conditions, not so much to drop the weight but too keep the wind from catching the fins and blowing the tail around. This makes for some nice flying at 19.7 grams lighter than stock.
Another easy modification that is helpful and badly needed is yet another low point on the heli. The blade grips are ok, but the blades attach by a soft recessed head screw and nut on bottom. I found it was a pain for changing blades and adjusting blade tension because the screws were so soft and stripped easy. Just replace those 2 screws with blade holder screws from a 4G3. Nice chrome dome top screw which looks nice and now you can use your nice hex wrench for tightening without fear of striping it.

Flybar Mixer Head Adjustments:
I tried all the different holes available on the mixer arms and could tell a noticeable difference that moving the ball links out, does get you some nice sensitivity gains on the cyclic controls. Based on how fast it is setup is from the above modifications already, I found that the 3rd hole is crazy and makes it too easy to overcorrect and cause a crash. I like the middle hole with the above setup.

Future Possibilities:
If you still wanted more deflection from the servos, you could upgrade the servo arms to the longer ones with more holes. There is enough room inside the fuselage for longer servo arms especially on the elevator servo, so that could be a possibility for even more forward speed.
Blades – I would think it is just a matter of time before finding some nice upgraded blades fro this heli. I have been using the CW set of blades from the 5G4Q4 which are the same width but about 11mm shorter. As spares are not yet available I will soon (waiting on an order) be trying some blades from a 53#Q3 which are the same size.
The stock blades are 6.7 grams each and are about 204mm in length and 30mm wide at the widest point. I know the AIRY AX-07 blades will fit, but they can break just as easy as stock blades if hit right so the search is on for some better upgraded blades.
Let There be Lights! I have the Xtreme LED light set and battery monitor kit installed on one my 5#4Q3 helicopters, and I feel that would be a nice upgrade for this heli too as it really adds to the scale appearance.
Brushless! Of course brushless motor upgrades will be done with this heli eventually.

Durability and Spare Parts:
Overall the heli seems pretty durable. The fuselage has held up well even after taking a few hard crashes, in which it only suffered a few small cracks in the plastic fuselage.
Blades unfortunately, seem to be a sore spot for this heli. I have broken 3 sets of main blades so far but the largest issue was breaking the tail rotor. The tail rotor seems to be kind of weak and breaks easily in a crash. I have now broken 2 blades from the tail rotor but have been continuing to fly by using CA to re-attach them. Since they have broken off a few times now, they are not CA’ed perfect and this creates a lot of vibrations from the tail rotor being way out balance. The performance gets noticeably poorer with the repaired tail rotor as the gyro acts up a little from the vibrations, but it is flyable.
One other thing I notices was the vertical fin had a lot of play and would shake during flight even though the screws were in tight. I found by adding 2 little o rings (from MIA head dampening kit for 4#3B) as washers really secures it tight and the rubber rings act soften any vibrations coming from a shaking vertical fin.
So right now it seems parts aren’t available yet, but when they are I will need some spares ASAP. I would advise others that these might be good spares to get with your heli:
Tail rotors – Get a bunch, they should be cheap
Main Blades – Get a few, they should be cheap
Flybar – The flybar did bend on me in a crash but easily bent back.
What I have found form flying the 5#4Q3’s is the fuselage will eventually need to be replaced after a mess of hard crashes.


Conclusion:
While I have this heli setup to the point that I enjoy flying it, it still leaves you wanting more. It flies very much like a co-ax, and I would prefer the traditional head and flybar paddle setup as a trade off for the stability. It is still a neat little heli than can be setup to perform really well and be a fun outdoor flyer that surpasses the performance of a co ax.

Where can you buy the CB180Q helicopter?
Well there are a few places that have them in stock right now but unless you pay extra for EMS shipping it would take a while to arrive. There are a few places in the US that will have them in stock real soon along with parts. I’m sure there are other places that have them for sale but here is a short list of some of the vendors selling the CB180Q/D:

RCHobbyhelicopter.com – Nice thing about buying here is the ability to pick from the barebones setup or either of the 2 TX options as well, including the new 2402TX. John should have them in stock in about 8 days and is great with answering questions or helping you out with a problem.
Terence at chinesejade.com – Offers them barebones but only has the Q model, no D yet.
Rick at clubheli.com says he going to wait and see on this heli but for now will not be carrying it.
RC711.com - Has stock now but shipping can take a while.
Helipal.com – Has stock now and also sells the AIRY AX-07 blades.
Xheli.com – Stock coming soon.


I will be posting some video’s including some outdoor flight action next.

Hope this helps everyone

Ryan
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 05:10 AM
If it flies, I will CRUSH it!
Crushalot's Avatar
Raleigh, NC
Joined Feb 2009
474 Posts
Video's

Here is a video of some indoor flight action with the stock configuration:
Walkera CB180Q Second Flight Indoors RC Helicopter (3 min 19 sec)


Here is a video with some more indoor flight after the modifications from the review:
Walkera CB180Q RC Heli Indoor Flight after modifications (3 min 7 sec)


Here are a couple videos of some outdoor flight action. Hard to open it up to test the true forward speed because of the size of my yard. Also remember that the tail rotor is glued together for these flights and that is why the tail acts funny a few places and makes more noise than normal:
Walkera CB180Q remote control helicopter Outdoor Flight (3 min 14 sec)

Custom Walkera CB180Q - Outdoor Flight 2 RC Helicopter (2 min 55 sec)



Hopefully the weather will be better this week and I can take it out to the park and get some video of the heli in some wide open spaces.

Ryan
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 05:31 AM
SRB Quark, CB100, V911, Hub X4
London, UK
Joined Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crushalot
Well there are a few places that have them in stock right now but unless you pay extra for EMS shipping it would take a while to arrive. There are a few places in the US that will have them in stock real soon along with parts.
Just to confirm, I ordered mine from CJ last Sunday, and received it yesterday (Saturday) in the UK, so it took 6 days, which is not bad. I didn't pay for EMS shipping, just standard shipping included. I didn't have to pay any taxes either.
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 05:52 AM
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Hmm a lot better than mine. Are the out door flights using the 5g4q3 blades and weights?
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 09:19 AM
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Blue Bell, PA USA
Joined Sep 2008
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I do realize I am comparing apples and oranges, but it sounds like I am better off waiting and putting my money towards the 4G6 (which current rumor says a September 1 release)? I must say I am kind of disapointed... I was really hoping the CB180 would perform as well as it looks!
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 09:40 AM
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Hilton (Rochester), NY
Joined Mar 2008
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Just as not everybody flying an FP or CP heli is going to run out and invest $300 for a Spektrum set up, not everybody with a Walkera heli is going to invest the big bucks for a 2801 either. The write up sounds as if it's a necessity with this heli.
Now that you've had it for a while, is that shaft-driven tail going to make it or should it have been a direct drive tail? It sounds as if it's adding to the noise level too. Do you think it has adequate power? I'm wondering how this would stack up against the new Esky HBFP coming out?
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 09:50 AM
The END.....ha!
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Australia, SA, Edinburgh
Joined Aug 2009
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Wk-2801e

Just wait till it comes out with a 2801 or buy one if you have several walkera 2.4 products like I did. What else am I gonna do.. spend it on alcohol and loose women.... I wish. But it would be nice if it came standard with the programable 4 chan rather than the old dip switch 2401...

From what I see it looks like a nice capable helo once tweeked. Not too big... not too small. Nice work on the review Ryan

Mark
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebtomato
Just to confirm, I ordered mine from CJ last Sunday, and received it yesterday (Saturday) in the UK, so it took 6 days, which is not bad. I didn't pay for EMS shipping, just standard shipping included. I didn't have to pay any taxes either.
I have to ask you, after spending mega bucks for a, supposedly ideal, super stable Quark, why did you get one of these? Have you been able to get it to fly better than your other post says?
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 09:59 AM
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The Netherlands, NB, Eindhoven
Joined Aug 2009
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Hi Ryan, thanks for the nice review you've done

How are you able to film and fly, did you strap a camera to your cap/head or what? I know about a fellow photography forum member who did the other thing: take pictures from the heli with a custom built DSLR gantry: http://www.eosdigitaal.nl/forum/view...7eb4b8532a326e

Anyways, your movie clips really stir up my enthousiasm, my CB-180Q should arrive any day, it left Hong Kong yesterday, coming from RC711.com. I am only a heli n00b, so I hope the stability of the Q will help me out learning to fly it!
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 10:00 AM
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Hilton (Rochester), NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCV6
Just wait till it comes out with a 2801 or buy one if you have several walkera 2.4 products like I did. What else am I gonna do.. spend it on alcohol and loose women.... I wish. But it would be nice if it came standard with the programable 4 chan rather than the old dip switch 2401...

From what I see it looks like a nice capable helo once tweeked. Not too big... not too small. Nice work on the review Ryan

Mark
As with all heli's being flown under REAL conditions, I'm interested in how it is in wind/ a nice breeze. As I pointed out above, the new version of the HBFP is coming out and is a 300 size heli with a beefier frame and, now, a 3 cell battery. The extra weight on that one might add to the stability and ability to take some wind. We always have wind where I am until just about an hour before losing the light.
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 04:15 PM
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.............
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 04:40 PM
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United States, NY, Rochester
Joined Sep 2008
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Nice review. Here is what I got from it as far as people deciding weather to buy or not. If you are a good flier, dont bother. Just get a CP heli. If you are fairly new but can fly a coax well than this is the heli for you without a doubt. Cheaper than a Quark also. The reviewer is a little advanced for this heli. Myself, I get bored easy with a FP heli now. Some may be real good fliers but get this heli anyway cus it is cheap for a scale heli and looks sweet. As far a the HBFP coming out, I havent seen it yet but if it is similar to the last model, this heli will be easier to fly and a better choice. I am sure the HBFP will be cheaper but they are cheaper made than a Walkera. Just look at a HBFP compared to this heli. Like night and day.
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 04:54 PM
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I wish my tracking page with USPS would update. Its been in the same place since yesterday morning.

Hopefully monday or tuesday.
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 05:31 PM
SRB Quark, CB100, V911, Hub X4
London, UK
Joined Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kodak_jack
I have to ask you, after spending mega bucks for a, supposedly ideal, super stable Quark, why did you get one of these? Have you been able to get it to fly better than your other post says?
Very good question. I got one because I like to test new helicopters (all the excitement about receiving the parcel) and I like to see it by myself, I don't trust reviews, particularly from resellers.

If I don't like it, I can always sell it on ebay. I bought several Walkeras in the last three months, flew them once or twice, and then sold them on ebay for the same price purchased or more.

I am afraid the same will happen to this one very soon. it's a very nice and stable helicopter (unlike the other previous Walkeras), but there is no point keeping it since it can't compete with the Quark: it has no forward speed, can't take any wind at all (see my video where the 3mph wind comes towards the nose, and the heli does not move at all), and becomes very unstable suddenly when picking up speed (the Quark is much more predictable). It will become also boring very quickly, due to its coax behaviour. The fuselage will make it a nightmare to repair, the removal of the fuselage is poorly designed. It's also a bit too big for me (I knew the dimensions when I ordered it, but seeing it is different) and can't really be flown indoor, but will be limited outdoor also. For people who don't want to invest $400 in a Quark, who can't afford one or are making a point not to buy one, it's still a nice purchase.

Even if I was keeping it, I would end up flying the Quark all the time. I have invested a lot on the Quark: many additional batteries, landing gear, LED etc.

Regarding your comment on the "supposedly ideal, super stable Quark": the Quark is the only helicopter I never see negative reviews about.

The main issue with the Quark is the tail noise, and this is getting resolved by Hirobo this month.

My next experiment will be to purchase a CB100, since I need something to play indoor in winter, the size of my Lama2, and the CB100 looks nice on paper. Otherwise, I will buy the Quark CP when it's released.
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 06:33 PM
If it flies, I will CRUSH it!
Crushalot's Avatar
Raleigh, NC
Joined Feb 2009
474 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishfiend
Hmm a lot better than mine. Are the out door flights using the 5g4q3 blades and weights?
Stock blades with the 5#10 weights. Conditions were low wind (1mph, gusts to 3mph) but it was actually misting during some of the outdoor flight. It was stormy all day. Seems to me it just takes some mod's and setup config to get this heli to fly well outdoors.

Quote:
How are you able to film and fly, did you strap a camera to your cap/head or what?
I've included a pic of the rig I use to shoot my video's. Kinda crude but it works.

Thanks for all the comments guys. Basically I think this is a basic/cheap fun little flyer for the park and front yard and is able to fly in much windier conditions than a co-ax when setup properly.

Ryan
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