|Jun 15, 2011, 12:54 PM|
Jiuchon 9C002 Review - Fixed Pitch Single Rotor
The Jiuchon 9C002 is a low cost, self stabilizing, 4 channel, single rotor micro helicopter available from HeliPal.com.
It is aimed at the beginner pilot and despite its low price point of $59.90USD, it offers some decent features.
The helicopter is available in three color schemes (black, silver and red)
What's in the box
Mine was packaged with the following items:
The instruction manual declares that 2 pairs of main rotor blades are included but I would speculate that they changed this specification, as I only received one pair. HeliPal.com mention the inclusion of a spare tail rotor blade, though this isn’t mentioned in the instruction manual (under the included items check list) nor was one included with my helicopter. Others here who also bought this helicopter have indicated that they did receive a spare tail blade, which was placed in the empty slot to the right of the LiPo battery.
Packaging is of good quality and more than adequate to protect the product in shipping. All the components are housed within a two piece, moulded plastic shell, which slides into a nicely decorated box. The box has a hard plastic handle at the top which is handy if transporting the helicopter around.
As you may have noticed, the physical styling of the transmitter resembles that of a Blade RTF transmitter. It utilizes a 2.4Ghz protocol, offers a dual rates mode, digital trims and has the ability to charge the helicopter’s Li-Po battery. There’s also a little compartment that slides open at the rear, which is empty. It appears that this is where a pull out charging cable may go, but it is not used on this TX.
The TX is basic, small and light. It fits into your hands nicely and the sticks have a responsive feel to them. It is powered by 4 x AA batteries. When the batteries are running low the red LED will flash.
The manual declares that the TX will work with any Jiuchon product (they also have a micro coaxial model available.)
Binding is pretty straight forward:
As a test, whilst holding the helicopter in my hand with throttle applied, I turned off the TX. The red LED on the helicopter turned off (to indicate a loss of signal) and after about 1-2 seconds the helicopter cut off power. This is reassuring as if the worst does happen and you lose signal (perhaps from flat batteries or interference) the helicopter will not fly off into orbit never to be seen again.
Trim buttons are digital and beep when pressed. A longer double beep is used to indicate the midpoint of trimming. There are 20 clicks of trim (from centre) in either direction, once you have reached the endpoint no beeps are sounded.
The dual rates switch is labelled with a 'Q' and 'S' (perhaps indicating Quick and Slow) and is pretty self explanatory. With the switch positioned to the left (marked as Q) the helicopter has full movement authority. With it positioned to the right (marked as S) the servo throw is reduced by 50%.
If you wish to charge the helicopter’s LiPo from the TX, there is a little plug at the bottom of the TX where you can inset the helicopter's LiPo battery. The plug is keyed to prevent incorrect insertion and the battery simply slides into this plug. A green LED at the bottom of the TX will turn on to indicate that the battery is charging, it turns off to indicate that the battery is charged. The TX needs to be switched on for charging to occur.
A USB charging cable is also included. It is very similar to the ones included with 3 channel toy helicopters and works in the same way. When plugged into a USB power source, a red LED on the plug illuminates. The LED turns off when connected to a battery and illuminates again to indicate a full charge.
If you ever need to bind a different TX to the helicopter, there is a little button on the RX that you can press to invoke a binding process. I tried this out of curiosity and basically with the heli turned on, you press the button (I used a small screwdriver to get to it so that I didn't have to remove the canopy) and the red LED light on the RX will begin flashing. At this point you only have a few seconds to turn on the TX and the heli will re-bind.
I tried to bind a Nine Eagles TX to the helicopter without success.
The 9C002 shares many design similarities with the Nine Eagles Solo Pro. The head components are all interchangeable, including the flybar, flybar linkages, main blades, main blade linkages, top head assembly, swashplate, swashplate guide, main shaft collar, main shaft, main motor (with the exception that the motor of the 9C002 does not plug into the receiver, it is soldered in) and main gear.
The landing skids and tail boom are also interchangeable however the 9C002 uses landing skids that do not have a battery connector built into the battery holder. Instead, a connection identical to that of the Blade micro helicopters is used (mCX/MSR) and this runs via wires that are soldered into the receiver. So although the landing skids of a Solo Pro will fit into the 9C002 frame and vice versa, some modification will be required regarding the battery connection.
The tail boom is a similar story, they are interchangeable between the two helicopters in that they fit into each other’s frames however the 9C002 tail motor wires are bare and are soldered directly to the receiver whereas the Solo Pro utilizes a plug.
Where the 9C002 is different is in its electrical system. The main point of interest here is that the servos are separated from the main receiver board. Another minor difference is that the canopy is held in place via screws and the landing skids seem to be more durable.
The battery slots into a holder on the bottom of the skids and fits in nicely. To power on the helicopter, you simply plug a cable from the helicopter into the battery.
Overall, everything is put together nicely.
In the air:
Regarding flight performance, despite the similarities in design, the 9C002 feels and behaves very differently to the Solo Pro. The 9C002 is smooth and forgiving. It has a gentle feel to it; it’s in no rush to get anywhere and is generally quite docile. You can get it moving if you keep the momentum going though, for example when exiting a banked right hand turn you can pick up some nice forwards speed.
Climb out is adequate but did leave me with a feeling of wanting more. A hands free hover is obtainable once the helicopter is trimmed correctly.
Turning in either direction is easy. It does tend to lose altitude a little bit at times, so you need to work the throttle. Due to the relatively slow movement speed, it doesn’t bank very aggressively but I was still able to perform some nice, banked, sweeping right hand turns outside. I think that this helicopter needs slightly more forwards speed though, as there are times in certain flight situations where the helicopter will come to a complete stop, even with full forwards elevator (like when exiting a turn and the helicopter is trying to fight the stabilization of the flybar.)
In a tight indoor area, the 9C002 behaves and can be flown like a 3 channel coaxial, but with greater speed and responsiveness of course.
The tail is responsive and holds reasonably well but may require occasional trimming throughout flight. Pirouettes are slow and steady, it is very hard to get into trouble even with stick bashing.
The extra weight of the 9C002 shows. It is neither as fast nor responsive as a Solo Pro, and flight times are shorter.
It is easier to fly than a Solo Pro and much more predictable, but this comes at the cost of performance. This isn't necessarily a bad point, as the helicopter is targeted towards a beginner pilot.
Power is available for a solid 5 minutes, which is nice. You seem to have a constant supply of full power up until the 5 minute mark, from which point a slight loss of power is noticeable and you can obtain another 30 seconds or so of flight. When the battery is nearing depletion, the main rotors drop their power and the tail starts to spin. It is still easy to perform a controlled landing in this situation.
Charging was done via the included USB charging cable connected to a mains powered USB adapter.
I haven't had a chance to perform extensive testing but I did perform one flight on each battery.
- Turnigy nano-tech 130mAh
- Turnigy nano-tech 160mAh
- Turnigy 160mAh
Here are the results:
Very happy with the performance of the Turnigy 160mAh. It outperforms the stock LiPo, fits perfectly into the battery holder, the weight and power of this battery seems to be ideal for this helicopter and at $1.69 great value for money.
The Turnigy nano-tech 130mAh just doesn't have enough power for this helicopter, simple as that.
The Turnigy nano-tech 160mAh provided adequate power, about the same as the stock LiPo, but seems slightly too large and heavy for this helicopter. A reasonable choice if nothing else existed but you would be much better off spending the extra and going with the Turnigy 160mAh.
Strangely, the servos have a lot more travel available that isn't utilised. I think that if you could somehow manage to get the servos to travel closer to their endpoints you would obtain a lot more speed from the helicopter. I doubt that this is possible though. I tried fiddling around with the TX buttons as well as the binding button on the RX in an attempt to gain access to a secret sub-trim/endpoint/gyro gain mode but had no luck. If you're after some more forwards speed, one thing that you can do that is quite easy is to insert the battery in backwards, thus shifting more weight to the front of the helicopter. Just slide it under the canopy first, then slide it back into the holder. The plug is long enough to still be able to reach the battery even when inserted backwards.
Regarding the flybar, I noticed that the weights are a little larger than the ones on the Solo Pro flybar. I think if you fitted a Solo Pro flybar (direct fit) you would obtain sharper response and perhaps a little bit more speed. I bought an Xtreme flybar for my beloved Solo Pro but really didn't like the way it performed. I tried it with the 9C002 with the large weights, and it performed about the same as the stock flybar. I then fitted the medium sized weights and saw a slight improvement. Not a drastic difference, but the helicopter felt a fraction more responsive without any ill side effects and the helicopter remained stable. I can't try with the light weights as one of them arrived badly threaded, so I can't get the little grub screw in to attach it to the end of the flybar.
The 9C002 is by no means a high performance model; it doesn’t claim to be and isn’t advertised as such.
It offers some nice features at a low price point and given its mild mannerisms, it is ideal for a beginner wanting to step up from a 3 or 4 channel coaxial, especially those not confident in their abilities or who wish to learn at a relaxed pace.
I would not recommend this helicopter to pilots who already have a similar micro sized single rotor helicopter such as the Solo Pro or MSR and are looking for an increase in performance, as the performance of these helicopters is far greater than that of the 9C002.
I would highly recommend this helicopter to someone after a relaxing and stable flight experience. If you have never ventured beyond a 3 or 4 channel coaxial, you will enjoy the 9C002. It is nearly as easy to fly (as a 3 or 4 channel coaxial) yet offers far greater performance.
Hope you enjoyed the review - happy flying!
|Jun 15, 2011, 01:28 PM|
Thanks Frank, many compliments!
Nice and exhaustive review with professional touch. It answers most of the questions a beginner (and not only) may have about this little flying machine.
|Jun 15, 2011, 02:04 PM|
Sorry about the crappy video, kind of rushed it and need a better camera. The hat-cam thing just isn't working for me.
|Jun 15, 2011, 02:19 PM|
|Jun 15, 2011, 02:56 PM|
I do like its gentle flight behavior....good for a novice. I like to see how it compares vs the GW Xieda 9958. I wonder if it would benefit performance with a Bravo SX motor?
|Jun 16, 2011, 12:57 PM|
I updated the review a little bit.
- Added some minor information about the TX (binding and trimming.)
- Now that the battery has worn in I am receiving a full 6 minutes of flight.
- Experimented with the Xtreme carbon fibre flybar for the Solo Pro.
About obtaining more performance, I don't think a more powerful motor will do much. I think the main reason for the lack of speed is the servo travel, it is very limited. There is plenty of room for the servos to travel before they hit their endpoints, but they don't come anywhere near it.
The next thing that will help is adding a lighter flybar. The weights on the JC flybar are larger and heavier than those of the Solo Pro, so fitting a Solo Pro flybar would most likely provide a more crisp response. I have tried the Xtreme Solo Pro flybar with medium weights and noticed a slight increase in response with no loss of stability.
Shifting the battery forwards towards the front of the helicopter increases forwards speed. You can do this by sliding it in backwards (i.e. from the front of the skids as opposed to the rear).
I guess the last thing you could try is some weight reduction. Not sure where you could strip weight though. The Solo Pro skids look like they will be lighter and are a direct fit. You might need to modify the battery tray a little though.
|Jun 17, 2011, 03:35 AM|
Glad to here about that turning impediment .I thought it must be me .and have you found that when moving backwards the model shakes and wobbles a little??.
I think you have been lucky with you 5-6 min flights as I can still only get about 4 min with the supplied lipo .But if you think that that is poor ,I got a few from Himodel [130 x 12C] and they only give me 3min flights.I have a shipment of lipos on the way from H/king,but they have been sent by Swiss Post and are some were between Singapore and the Moon. I did get a spare Tail rotor,you can see the space beside the lipo in the plastic pack were yours was supposed to be, and don't you just love the instructions?
|Jun 17, 2011, 03:41 AM|
Yeah, I have the wobbles too, I know what causes it, too much play in the blade grips. My Solo Pro does the same thing, you can fix it by removing the main blades and adding a thin layer of tape around the poles on the main shaft, which the blades slide into.
I too have an order from HobbyKing that was sent via Swiss Post and is travelling half way around the world before it will get to me. I ordered the Turnigy NanoTech 160mAh's, will let you know how they work.
|Jun 18, 2011, 12:47 AM|
If anyone is interested, HeliPal have the 9C002 as their deal of the week, $39.90.
|Jun 18, 2011, 07:36 AM|
I was a bit confused when I checked shipping cost for Italy and it was $ 21,97 (package weight 1,14 Kg), too expensive in my opinion.
|Jun 18, 2011, 07:56 AM|
That's pretty standard. They use registered airmail, that's just what it costs.
I wouldn't have thought the package weighed that much though, I thought it would have been around 600g (so about $15 shipping). I can check if you like.
|Jun 18, 2011, 08:06 AM|
I also thought that weight (1,14 Kg) was unrealistic, but can I expect a shipping cost reduction if you prove a 600g weight and I write to them?
|Jun 18, 2011, 08:23 AM|
They might also be charging for labor and packaging materials, it's not uncommon.
You could try to send them an email and ask if they can do you a better deal on shipping, can't hurt to try.
I'll weigh it now for you...
|Jun 18, 2011, 08:38 AM|
All up weight, including packaging (separate cardboard box that the product was placed in) is around 620g.
As I said though, HeliPal might be boosting up the weight as a simple way to charge for cost of packaging and labor. Send them an email, they might be able to work something out for you.
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