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Old Jul 12, 2011, 05:24 AM
2011 - Year of the clones!!!
Frank_fjs's Avatar
Australia, SA, Adelaide
Joined Nov 2010
2,759 Posts
Mini-Review
GW Xieda 9958 - Review



Since MyRcMart are selling these for $30, I thought I'd grab one and see what one of the cheapest 4 channel single rotor helis has to offer.

http://www.myrcmart.com/index.php?cu...45_193&sort=2a

Packaging:

Packaging is great. The kit is housed in a two piece foam tray, which fits everything snugly, and the cardboard box is solid and has a carrying handle.

Included is:
  • 9958 helicopter
  • 2.4GHz Transmitter
  • 1 x 150mAh Li-Po battery
  • 1 x USB charging cable
  • 1 x spare set of main blades
  • Instructions (really bad Chinglish)
The Helicopter:

Weighing in at 32.4g (battery included - 27.7g minus battery) the 9958 is built well, a lot better than I was expecting for the money. The canopy is stiff and strong, the landing skids are flexible and everything fits together nicely. It's a nice heli to look at. Oh, and yes the head assembly is very similar to the MSR's.

I don't like the main shaft collar, as this can't be adjusted. The main shaft is steel and has a hole where a screw inserts though the collar and the shaft, fixing it in place. My 9958 has slight vertical movement in the shaft and I can't eliminate this as the collar is fixed in position. I also don't like the fact that the motors will require soldering if a replacement is required.

The canopy is held on by 8 rubber rings, which are identical to the ones used on the Solo coaxial. So, one slides onto the pole first, then the canopy slides on, then another ring slides on the outside to hold it in place. These are easy to lose and can slip off in a crash.

There's a red LED on the PCB that gives the canopy a nice glow.

I've banged it around a fair bit with no damage, it's very durable. However, there are several key weak points that need to be addressed. The ball joints on the main blades are very weak and will snap off by simply applying enough pressure to pop off the linkage. The upper rotor head assembly also has a weak point. There are two holes where the pins of the main blades slot in, the outer shroud of these holes is also weak and will break with a minor blade strike.

The TX:

This really surprised me, the TX is a decent size and feels nice in your hands. It takes 6 x AA's, is 2.4GHz, can charge a Li-Po via a USB jack on the bottom, it has digital trims and a dual rates mode which is activated by pressing down on the left throttle stick. You can also hold down the left throttle stick when when turning the TX on in order to invoke a binding process.

A beep is sounded when a trim button is pressed. As you go one way the pitch of the beep rises, it lowers in the other direction. I had a nice melody of Mary had a little lamb going at one point. Midpoint is indicated by a longer sounding beep, and two quick beeps indicates the end of trim. The rudder trim does not behave in this fashion though, it just plays the same beep sound no matter the situation.

Flight Performance:

The first thing that stands out is that the 9958 is super smooth and quiet. It's insanely fast and has no problem cutting through some wind outdoors. Pirouettes are conservative, but more than enough and climbing power is beyond adequate. The tail holds well and flight times are great, I'm reaching 7 minutes.

Now the bad. Mine seems to have a mild TBE, so I can't really achieve a stable hover. It's not uncontrollable, it just means I need to work the sticks.

Cornering is a little tricky, I can't get it to bite in and perform nice banked turns. The tail tends to slip, I'm wondering if it's underpowered.

It isn't as responsive as a Solo Pro, basically, it feels like it's sliding on ice, you really need to counteract every movement.

It's a fun heli to mess around with, especially given the price, but its flight performance isn't on par with my Solo Pro or CB100. I did find it much better than the 9C002 though. The 9C002 is more stable however and will corner better, it's just so damned slow and I ended up getting bored of it very quickly.

UPDATE: After spending some more time with this heli and getting used to it, I've found that it can corner reasonably well, you just need to alter your flying style.

The way the 9958 flies takes some getting used to. In full forwards flight, the nose really dips down and the heli begins to swoop towards the ground. You need to increase the throttle substantially to keep things in order, or apply a little backwards elevator. When you approach a turn, the heli will swoop upwards. It's kind of like a pendulum effect, the heli is always swooping up and down, I've seen videos of the MSR flying outdoors and it seems to behave in the same way. It's almost as if you're flying in an invisible bowl. To corner fast and successfully, you need to take corners wide, apply less rudder and more aileron.

This thing has momentum and doesn't respond to input immediately, you need to fly it accordingly. You need to be thinking a few steps ahead, and you need to start to perform manoeuvres before you want them to happen, if that makes sense. Once you get used to this style of flying, the 9958 is a blast.

Battery options:

The 9958 uses an identical connection to that of the E-Flite micros (mCX, MSR etc). The Turnigy Nanotech's available from Hobby King work well with this helicopter. I've tried both the 130mAh and the 160mAh and both performed well.

Pros:
  • It's damn cheap. Spares are also very cheap.
  • Very quiet.
  • Long flight times.
  • Good quality components for the price, well constructed.
  • Very fast flyer.
Cons:
  • Weak main blades and upper rotor head. Buy plenty of these as spares, you'll be needing them.
  • Spare parts are cheap but not widely available or heavily stocked, they seem to sell out fast. Packaging is bland as well, they come in a plastic zip lock bag with no labelling.
  • It doesn't corner nicely. Takes some magic with the sticks to obtain a nice corner, even still it doesn't bank and bite into corners as well as it should.
  • Mine has mild TBE and a slight pendulum effect.
  • There are no safety features incorporated. The USB charging cable does not have a voltage cut-off circuit, instead it's incorporated into the battery. The heli will power up if the throttle stick is raised upon turning it on, and if you loose signal between the TX and the heli the heli will continue to fly.

Here's a crappy indoor and outdoor video. Towards the end of the outdoor video you can really get an impression of its speed, take note that I'm only using half stick travel. If I had more room I could of get her going a lot faster.

9958 Indoors (4 min 4 sec)


9958 outdoor flight (3 min 18 sec)


9958 Outdoors Take 2 (3 min 33 sec)
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Last edited by Frank_fjs; Aug 03, 2011 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Updated review with additional information as I've now spent more time with the heli.
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 09:07 AM
Registered User
Argentina, Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata
Joined Jul 2011
12 Posts
Great review, it would be great if you can make a video "unboxing-like" where you show all the pros and cons on the heli itself.

I'm waiting for mine, but it just leave hong kong, so still have to waiting some weeks.

Thanks to your review i will order another charger for the extra batteries i've ordered.
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 10:37 AM
Brosol
Brosol's Avatar
Canada
Joined Dec 2010
1,111 Posts
So the 9958 is like a toned down MSR. It has a the same type of head like the MSR but uses round flybar weights instead of paddles. Would the 9958 benefit using a paddle flybar design like the MSR? Oh and good review.
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 05:37 PM
2011 - Year of the clones!!!
Frank_fjs's Avatar
Australia, SA, Adelaide
Joined Nov 2010
2,759 Posts
I don't really have any MSR parts to test with the 9958. The 9958 has more weight and a less powerful tail than the MSR, but it's equally as fast in forwards flight, it just doesn't corner well.

I think the best upgrade at this stage would be to add a more powerful tail motor, and perhaps to experiment with different tail rotors.

I will weigh the heli again today minus battery, as I don't think it's all that heavy. The battery seems to account for a lot of the weight due to the built in voltage protection circuit.
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Old Jul 12, 2011, 05:48 PM
Brosol
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Canada
Joined Dec 2010
1,111 Posts
I saw mod where someone appears to have used a tail boom & motor from a Solo Pro 260A.
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Old Aug 03, 2011, 11:37 PM
Registered User
Joined Feb 2008
204 Posts
Thanks for the review!

One question though: You mention that one of the 9958's pro's is that it is very quiet. However, it sounds as loud as a vacuum cleaner in the indoor video. Is it really that loud?
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Old Aug 03, 2011, 11:40 PM
2011 - Year of the clones!!!
Frank_fjs's Avatar
Australia, SA, Adelaide
Joined Nov 2010
2,759 Posts
No, it's very quiet. I was using a cheap digital camera to film, which has a nasty microphone.
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Old Nov 23, 2011, 09:12 AM
Registered User
Ranandar's Avatar
Kentucky
Joined Dec 2008
497 Posts
Maybe I just got a lemon, but mine has some serious issues making it almost un-flyable.
There does not appear to be any tail gyro. I spend half the battery just trying to stabilize the rudder. There is way too much exponential in the rudder control making this all the more difficult. Out of the box the trim was way off. I had to make considerable adjustment to the linkage. Once everything is set it flies like you would expect with a 45 flybar. I can get hands off hover with minimal TBE. Getting there is the problem. Note that this is NOT a MSR clone. MSR parts including the main blades will not fit this model.
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Old Nov 24, 2011, 01:29 AM
Did you check the FAQ already?
SoloProFan's Avatar
The Netherlands
Joined Jul 2010
13,289 Posts
The mSR blades won't fit, but the mCX ones will. As well as the mSR flybar. Check this thread for more details: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1536792
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Old Nov 24, 2011, 10:22 AM
Turn 'N Burn
trooper8's Avatar
S. Cal
Joined Jan 2007
585 Posts
This is true "4 ch" ?
forward/back
left/right
throttle
rotation?
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Old Nov 24, 2011, 10:38 AM
Indoor RC Hotdog
dafremen's Avatar
Joined Aug 2011
270 Posts
Yes. This is a true 4 channel heli. A badass little 4ch heli, in fact.

daf
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