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Old May 08, 2012, 08:40 PM
Tom
United States, AZ, Tucson
Joined Dec 2011
255 Posts
First flight, disappointment grows

First, the battery either sucks or the motor draws way too much current. Without even having it airborne the whole time, it was run down after six minutes and the motor was HOT. Maybe it's a bad motor drawing too much current that is creating a number of problems. I have a spare motor, will try swapping it in tomorrow to see if there is any difference.

Got some fairly calm winds this afternoon so took it out to put it through its paces. Sluggish is the only word I can come up with that appropriately describes the behavior. It is slow to lift off, slow to climb and slow to respond to the controls. Forward flight is leisurely at best and it has insufficient power to combat even a 5mph breeze. Couldn't head into it and couldn't even slip sideways against it with full aileron. Although I'm sure scale has something to do with it, I'd say that the 9116 is twice as fast to do everything as this copter.

I tried both batteries in it since it ran down so quickly (stock is 1300mah, the "ugprade" is 1500mah) and performance was no different, ran maybe a half minute longer on the bigger battery. I'm sure some of this could be conditioning the batteries for a few cycles and perhaps the run time will extend but I don't think for a second the performance is going to improve.

I've never flown a 9104 so don't know what its flight characteristics are like. Suspect if that's what you started with, it probably seemed fast and responsive but if it's anything like the 9117, it's got to be one boring machine.

I flew the 9116 back to back with this, just to make sure I was clear in my mind what the differences were. The 9116 is faster and more challenging and has a much higher fun factor. It's the right size for a cheap helicopter, just don't think DH can go to the bigger size without some significant engineering that includes new shafts, swash plates, motors, servos and servo links. Trying to use molded ball link ends in a helicopter this size is creating some of the response issues - just too much slop. And that little swasplate seems to bind up on the shaft because the servo throw has to be so large to get any response at all.

So, money spent, lesson learned . Now that I've completely shot down the 9117, if anybody wants to buy a slightly used one, keep your eyes on the classifieds here. I know I must have been a salesman in another life .
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Old May 08, 2012, 10:53 PM
I need a bigger shed..
sammyc's Avatar
Australia, TAS, Launceston
Joined Nov 2011
1,498 Posts
Are the batteries 2 cell? A heli this size really would need 3 cell I imagine, but by the sounds, not a hope of the electrics handling more voltage.
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Old May 09, 2012, 03:55 AM
Eugene
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Australia, VIC, Delacombe
Joined Oct 2006
918 Posts
Thanks for the review Tom,

IMO the swash plate is the problem and also the motor it sound like it is under powerd it was suposed to have a 380 motor like the 9101 has.

The swash plate is way small for this size heli thats why it binds and is shugglish.

So you would need and 380 or 390 motor and a larger swash plate and a good Li-Po battery to suite as a replacement.

IMO the MJX-45 is a much better buy.

http://www.mjxtoys.com/F-45-info.asp?ProID=1770

And you can buy it here this is where I brought mine I have now flown it 300+ flights with no repairs or failures and I am very happy with it and I brought the onboard camera with it and it works very well it is controled by the TX and you can also take single photo's with it as well I get about 15-20min flight time and when you setup the servo's and raido to 100% and do the servo arm mod to get more throw its fast and manuverable and a challenge to fly but easy to recover if you get into a tight spot.

The mods can be found on this thread.
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1597711

Link to Buy one good seller 4 days to Australia

http://www.aliexpress.com/product-fm...olesalers.html

Here is a video of it flying.

MJXF45-mar16-12.wmv (3 min 40 sec)


For more video's just search youtube.
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Old May 09, 2012, 04:29 AM
still a lot to learn!!!!
Auflyer's Avatar
Australia, NSW, Laurieton
Joined Jan 2012
306 Posts
Interesting reading!!! I have a 9101 380 motor ready and a 2200 mah battery ready to try. Whilst it disheartining to read the poor reviews I'll reserve judgement till it gets here. If all else fails mod it till it works. I'm curious about the issues regarding lack of power as I have never heard it complained about in the 9101 thread
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Old May 09, 2012, 07:32 AM
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seefest's Avatar
United States, MA, Bristol
Joined Sep 2009
1,561 Posts
Flew mine yesterday and this morning. Mine is fine on power and my motor didn't get hot. It is sluggish though. I got around 7 minutes on the 1300 mah pack which is about normal for most electric helis.
I did experience a problem with linking with the transmitter initially, then it finally will not link at all now. It's going back to RC Roanoke.

The F-45 looks pretty good all except the faux carbon fiber look frame and blades??? Looks really cheap. Any other color combos without the carbon look available? I guess its nothing a little paint can't fix.
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Old May 09, 2012, 07:56 AM
Tom
United States, AZ, Tucson
Joined Dec 2011
255 Posts
Well, put in the spare motor from a 9104 (new) last night and took it out first thing this morning before the winds start kicking up. No improvement so it's not the motor that is the issue. I think trying to power something this size with a 2 cell 7.4V battery is probably an exercise in frustration. A 2200mah battery would likely burn the motor up during the first extended flight as the replacement motor got just as hot as the original.

It may be that my expectations were way too high as I thought for sure that it would perform at least as well as the 9116 with the added advantage of size for orientation purposes. The durability, flight times, performance and reliability of the 9116 have kind of set the bar for me and the 9117 comes in under the bar pretty badly. Others may be very happy with it but I just don't see the electronics holding up long term.

And yes, I'm sure it could be modded out to fly better but you're still dealing with transferring power through a suspect PCB. Although I guess in reality that a more efficient 380 motor would actually not draw any additional power and may actually be easier on the system while giving better flight characteristics. Then, of course, you're probably going to have to upgrade the tail motor as well.

I'm anxious for Eugene to get his and do a side by side with the MJX. In the world of "toy" helicopters, it is perhaps the one to buy. However, you soon start getting into the price range of an actual hobby grade 4ch FP.
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Old May 09, 2012, 08:37 AM
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Joined Jan 2012
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My $ 0.02 The MJX flies very well with a 7.4 v 1500 ma battery for at least 8 min if you don't push heating. Yes you can extend flight times but the motor may become more of an issue. As far as the "toy grade" vs "hobby grade"
I have some hobby grade helis as well as these "toy grade". The hobby grade
are not more durable and cost much more in parts. The game is changing whether you want to admit it or not. If you want to fly hard and not have
large repair bills is up to you. Keep in mind we are talking FP and once you go to CP that is a complete new world. The micro helis have really started to shake up the RC world.
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Old May 09, 2012, 08:41 AM
Eugene
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Australia, VIC, Delacombe
Joined Oct 2006
918 Posts
Hi Tom,

The 9101 runs the same battery and 2 380 motors so the 9117 should easly run a single 380, but even a 370 should get the 9117 working fine but something is wrong with it if it wont.

Maybe it's the PCB as the 9116 only runs a 180 motor, but people that have done the mod to the 9104 arn't complaining about it being sluggish etc.
All we can do at this moment is to wait for other people to get theirs and get them to compare it.

As for the MJX-45 the quality is way above the DH range and the perfomance is as well, like I have said over 300 flights with the F45 and no problems with it either.
It responds very well to radio input and range as well it even has a factory reset if you don't like any changes you have made.
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Old May 09, 2012, 09:16 AM
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Joined Jan 2012
518 Posts
I have a DH 9118 a spare 9118 PCB so I will take a look at all of this together and see If I spot something. Maybe using the 9118 pcb is the answer but
as already been pointed out the 9117 has poor mechanicals.
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Old May 09, 2012, 09:38 AM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,486 Posts
If I'm not mistaken, the F45 weighs a lot less than the 9117 and uses a 90 swashplate, not the 120 version used on the DH helis. Those two things will account for sluggish handling and lack of power. The HBFP V2 weighs much less than the 9117 and uses a 3 cell with a 370 motor. You may think the F45 frame looks cheap, but all that 9117 stamped aluminum has a weight penalty.
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Old May 09, 2012, 10:01 AM
Eugene
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Australia, VIC, Delacombe
Joined Oct 2006
918 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by freezywilly View Post
I have a DH 9118 a spare 9118 PCB so I will take a look at all of this together and see If I spot something. Maybe using the 9118 pcb is the answer but
as already been pointed out the 9117 has poor mechanicals.
The 9118 PCB is a 3ch board and won't be any good as it can,t run 4ch's only 3ch's, so the only PCB that will work is a 4ch PCB which is the 9116 or a compatable 4ch PCB that can bind with the DH TX or another compatable TX

How right you Balr14 the F45 has a very strong light weight frame and weighs less than the 9117.
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Old May 09, 2012, 10:02 AM
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Joined Jan 2012
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Your going to love this. I just put the f45 and the 9117 on my scale.
The f45 with training gear 458 grams
The 9117 with training gear 460 grams
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Old May 09, 2012, 10:09 AM
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Whizgig your right I forgot
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Old May 09, 2012, 10:14 AM
Eugene
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Australia, VIC, Delacombe
Joined Oct 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freezywilly View Post
Your going to love this. I just put the f45 and the 9117 on my scale.
The f45 with training gear 458 grams
The 9117 with training gear 460 grams
Well there isnt much in it is there 2gms only yet the F45 is not far off from my 450 in speed and is so stable in the air.
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Old May 09, 2012, 10:34 AM
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United States, MA, Bristol
Joined Sep 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
If I'm not mistaken, the F45 weighs a lot less than the 9117 and uses a 90 swashplate, not the 120 version used on the DH helis. Those two things will account for sluggish handling and lack of power. The HBFP V2 weighs much less than the 9117 and uses a 3 cell with a 370 motor. You may think the F45 frame looks cheap, but all that 9117 stamped aluminum has a weight penalty.
Looks like the F 45 is stamped aluminum as well with faux carbon look. Should have just left it bare.

http://www.rcpartsbox.com/mjx-rc-f45...are-parts.html
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