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Old Nov 14, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Coaxial vs. Fixed Pitch for first helicopter?

Hello:

This is my first post. I have been reading up on ideas for a good first helicopter and have gotten stuck between the coaxials and the fixed pitch 45 degree machines. I am well away of the differences in how the two are built and operate. I am just hoping you can give me some guidance to help me choose between the two. Thank you very much.

Wrong Way
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Old Nov 14, 2010, 01:57 PM
Fly Runaway Fans
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2009
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Stock coaxials have a narrow performance envelope. The same thing that makes them 'fly themselves' limits what you can command them to do, like dealing with wind. Their advantages are that they are at the bottom of the price structure, and that 'flies itself' is real handy while you're learning full orientation (nose side, nose in).

For an orientation platform, you need spend no more than $20-40 for a 3ch palmcopter. Even when you've (quickly) outgrown it, it's still fun and you're only out what a couple sets of blades cost for a 100-200 scale singlerotor 45* like MSR or SR120. The catch with the 3chs is, the rudder is on the wrong side compared to 4 and 6ch 'serious' machines. But no need to worry too much, if my creaky reflexes can switch between them I'm sure your much-better ones can.

The 45* SR machines are a compromise. They have more authority/less limitation than coaxials, almost as much innate stability, but the compromise has artifacts. They cost more, but they'll take you further. MSR has 4 levels of response built in so it can advance with you. It's a very well-received model, seldom is heard a discouraging word. Eflite/Horizon has the strongest support in the value market. You can buy MSR without a transmitter and get a DX6i or above that will take you anywhere you want to end up.

There are other perspectives and everyone has different priorities, so don't just take my word on anything.
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Old Nov 14, 2010, 01:59 PM
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Germantown, WI.
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I think the small 3 and 4 channel coaxes are pretty good sources of entertainment, but don't help you learn how to fly a heli. A larger 4 channel coax of 15" - 20" length will give you a much better feel for the physics of helicopter performance. The self-stabilizing single rotors are likely to keep your interest longer and get you a little closer to flying a conventional heli. But, they require careful shopping. If it has weights instead of paddles on the flybar, it has a head design that will make the heli behave almost identically to a coax, so you may be better off buying a coax for cost and durability. If you are going to buy a self-stabilizing single rotor FP heli, make sure it has flybar paddles. It will take you further.
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Old Nov 14, 2010, 02:31 PM
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Thank you very much for responding. The more I read, the more I feel nudged toward a fixed pitch machine. The one I have been focusing on is the Blade 120 SR. Everyone seems to really like it, and I think it is a good fit for me because:

1. My house is a chalet with a fully half of the floor plan open to 2 stories, so I can fly it inside without some of the worries associated with going bigger than a MSR;

2. It is a bit more robust than the MSR, so I can graduate to flying outdoors on calm days, and;

3. My local hobby shop carries Blade.

If I may, I would like to post another question. The price difference between the RTF and the BNF is $30. Would it be wise to put the $30 savings toward a better radio? The shop I am dealing with has a DX5e for $60. This would put me $30 over RTF. Would this be a wise move? Or is a 5 channel an unnecessary upgrade since it sounds as though, if I progress, a 6 channel will be in my future?

Again, your opinions are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Old Nov 14, 2010, 03:33 PM
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Germantown, WI.
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The 120SR BNF is a fine idea, but go for the DX6i, DX7 or DX8 right away. Then you won't need to buy another radio later on. The DX5 is a waste of money.
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Old Nov 14, 2010, 03:56 PM
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Hi Balr:

Thanks for your response. I guess I am a little hesitant to jump into such a pricey radio at the start. Is the 5 channel I mentioned really a waste of $30 over what comes stock with the 120 SR?

And what about using a simulator? Can I use the stock radio with a sim, or must I get something upgraded?

Again, thanks for the input.

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Old Nov 14, 2010, 04:51 PM
Quit asking ???s, get a Quark!
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If you want to advance in this hobby, you will need a 6 channel transmitter eventually, so why waste the money on a 5 channel.
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Old Nov 14, 2010, 04:55 PM
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The DX5e can't be used for anything else, so why waste the money? A good sim, like Real Flight comes with it's own controller. Phoenix also has different high-end controller options you can use. The biggest mistake most people make with this hobby is trying to do it cheaply. That will greatly increase your learning time and frustration. A DX6i or DX7 has very good resale value, so you aren't risking real much.
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 01:09 AM
smoking crack is cheaper
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Joined Nov 2009
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Plus you can use the DX6i or 7 for the Phoenix sim so muscle memory will come faster due to using the same controller for the sim as the bird. Step up and bite the bullet, that extra money saved from buyin the BNF will help nicely on a used DX6i which you can score for about $100 bucks or maybe less if you're lucky. Then when you're ready to step up to a collective pitch heli, you'll aready have the radio to use for it, again with the muscle memory for that exact controller and it's feel. I did feel a little bad when my radio (DX6i) was more than my heli (mSR), but I know it's an investment that will last many of my future models of r/c's
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 04:07 AM
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Good advice, gentlemen. Thank you. A brand new MSRP-priced 6 or 7 channel radio, in addition to the purchase of the heli, is out of the question right now. But a DEAL..? Hmmmmmmm...

I have poked around on ebay a bit, as well as my local craigslist. Nothing yet. This may take a while.

In the meantime, how bad are the stock radios in general? And if anyone knows about the one that comes with the Blade 120 SR RTF, what are your thoughts?

Thank
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 11:09 AM
All flight is 3D.
various parts of NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
I think the small 3 and 4 channel coaxes are pretty good sources of entertainment, but don't help you learn how to fly a heli. A larger 4 channel coax of 15" - 20" length will give you a much better feel for the physics of helicopter performance. The self-stabilizing single rotors are likely to keep your interest longer and get you a little closer to flying a conventional heli. But, they require careful shopping. If it has weights instead of paddles on the flybar, it has a head design that will make the heli behave almost identically to a coax, so you may be better off buying a coax for cost and durability. If you are going to buy a self-stabilizing single rotor FP heli, make sure it has flybar paddles. It will take you further.
What if its a flybarless heli ?
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 12:07 PM
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Flybarless?

I have seen this term many times, but have no idea what this is. I have tried searching for an explanation, but I couldn't find anything basic, like "What is it?" and "What does it do? and "What is it good or bad?"

If anyone could point me to a link, I would like to learn about it.

Thank you.

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Old Nov 15, 2010, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Wrong Way View Post
Flybarless?

I have seen this term many times, but have no idea what this is. I have tried searching for an explanation, but I couldn't find anything basic, like "What is it?" and "What does it do? and "What is it good or bad?"

If anyone could point me to a link, I would like to learn about it.

Thank you.

Wrong Way
flybarless .. is exactly that .. a heli without a flybar ..

The flybar is ( for lack of a better term ) a stabilizer .. to over simplify, the servos move the flybar , which in turn adjusts the pitch of the blades.

flybarless is more efficient ( less parasitic drag on the head ) and a much simpler head ( read less linkage ) and also makes the head more responsive. Which can be both good and bad. flybarless can also put much more strain on your servos as any forces placed on the blades need to be directly overcome by the servos.

while in theory a flybarless heli can be flown without any additional electronics , most folks that go flybarless use some sort of 'electronic' flybar ( 3 axis gryo system ) to make it more controllable.

a quick google found this
http://www.collectibles-articles.com...and-Outs/17046

which seems to touch on the major points pretty well ..
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 02:13 PM
Fly Runaway Fans
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jan 2009
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4ch stock radios are perfectly adequate for an aircraft you couldn't well see beyond 30 yards.
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Old Nov 15, 2010, 02:41 PM
smoking crack is cheaper
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North of Seattle
Joined Nov 2009
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"Adequate" being the operative word. Will it work? Of course it will. It's just better with nicer equipment. Everyone who's flown an mSR with stock radio who's moved onto a DX6i said that it is a night and day difference, even before adding custom maps for heli mode programming. You can get BNF's shipped to your door for $89 new. I've seen used mSR rtf's go for less than that, so that way it'd be a foot in the door so to speak (although used heli's can be a crap shoot as to if it still flies right). I have heard of people having issues with losing their bind (connection between transmitter and heli) with stock radios, but this is not the norm; but it does happen. You can always just get a used (or new) rtf to save some cash now and see if the sport is for you, whether it's mSR or SR 120. Both are excellent machines and if you decide to upgrade later, you "might" be able to sell the tx for fifteen bucks or something to put towards a radio that will grow with your r/c collection. Trust me, I know how you feel about the cost of the radio, my radio was $149, and the heli (had I not got batts and charger too) would've been $89; but I also knew for a fact I would be buying more heli's later that would also use it. (so in my head I just divide the price of the radio by the r/c's it controls and it seems much easier to swallow, haha)
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