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Old Nov 10, 2012, 05:56 PM
RC is healthy for your brains!
Italy, Lombardy, Milan
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Economic complete kit for a Hobby King HK 550 FBL (purchase list thread)

Dear Community,
I have recently registered into this wonderful forum and have read many threads so to learn better the bits and pieces, but I felt like I could still open a new thread so to specifically address my query.

I am an engineer (both electronic and mechanic), 36 years old, from Italy.
I am fascinated about helicopters, I have trained thoroughly on the PhoenixRC for 3 months and would like now to give birth to a Hobby King 550 FBL, mostly for the fun of assembling it and then also for some easy, tamed flight (no world class 3D, not really split-hair precision F3C). Those times will come later in my learning curve. In my opinion, it's also better to learn how to assemble a unit by starting with a HK model instead of an Align one.

I am mostly interested now just towards pleasant and realistic flight manoeuvres (scale flying?), as I am much more interested in overall flight time instead of sheer power, so to say.

With this in mind, would you feel happy to suggest me a complete purchase list, based on Hobby King supplies only?
I am very very keen on sticking with the Turnigy brand whenever I can. Secondly, I would like to reach something like an "absolute minimum" cost target.
Of course this will put my heli into a complete different ballpark against a genuine Align 550 FBL, but this is also precisely the point.

I am aiming for a reliable helicopter that is capable to fly. Then of course the time will come to restart all over and surely buy the latest Align 550 FBL, perhaps in a year from now.
I focused on the 550 strictly because of its size: it is big enough so to make a stand and deal with inertial masses too when flying, and it still fits into my 2004 BMW Z4 trunk!

Truly thanks for your time, I am pretty sure that I will be able to get various recommendations that will kick start me into finalising my Hobby King order!
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Old Nov 10, 2012, 07:41 PM
ich liebe Rc Hubschrauber
Dejavu*Xion's Avatar
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http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1709244
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 02:06 AM
RC is healthy for your brains!
Italy, Lombardy, Milan
Joined Nov 2012
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Hi Deja thanks! I went through that contribution during the past week and read it again today. It is interesting and also handled by reliable hobbyists, but it is not truly what I am looking for. It's more of a guided, commented list of the necessary electronics to buy, besides the 550 kit, so to complete the unit. And always aiming to the cheaper side, balancing with a minimum of quality and reading comments on the suggestions.
I am also coming out with a list that I would like to be evaluated but I am waiting for a couple of answers first just to see in which ballpark I have aimed at.
Actually if you have some recommendations please shoot, I would be extra happy to get your view!
Thanks!
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 02:55 AM
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.Superfly. Don't be tempted to skimp on quality for the electronics in the 550. FBL helis, particularly larger ones such as the 550 depend on good quality strong servos. Being direct servo to swash all flight loads from the head go directly to the servos. As you are probably more than aware, model helicopters have the capacity to kill in the blink of an eye. If you look at my thread you will see the electronics I have used, nothing too expensive and yet not bottom of the bargain bucket either. My model has turned out to be a very nice reliable model, yet still a significantly lower cost than the genuine Align helicopter.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 04:47 AM
RC is healthy for your brains!
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Joined Nov 2012
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Hi Paul thanks for catching up with me! You actually made me think a lot with this call, it was very useful.
I am shaping a priority ranking now, and so (if you would like to double check with me please) I came up with this focus:
All 4 servos first;
ESC and specifically also BEC second;
batteries third.

Assuming of course that I am pushing towards a nice 2.4, no issue, GHz system like FrSky for example.
I have read your thread and found it great. If you have time to highlight about your favourite servos from Hobby King, I would enjoy the hint!
Can I also ask what do you think of this?

http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...rnal_UBEC.html

Alternatively, would you recommend a completely separated BEC unit? Excuse me if I focus on Hobby King all the time but I wouldn't know where else to aim for a supplier. I am in Italy, maybe you can also point me to your favourite website?
Thanks!
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 05:19 AM
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I'll try to help if I can. You will need some fairly quick high torque servos for the cyclic controls, I'm using Hyperion DS20 FMD's on my cyclics and a Hyperion DS20 GCD on my tail rotor. Great servos and available from many online stores. Mine came from Robotbirds and FastLad performance here in the UK. Both stores will ship internationally. Neither I have mentioned are particularly expensive but they are not low end budget either.

For the esc I would buy one of these (I did) http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...ontroller.html or this one http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...ontroller.html. Both have a built in SBEC, although I have disabled this function and am using and external Castle Creations BEC Pro. Although this adds to the cost, it's not a huge amount to pay for peace of mind. I'm not familiar with the ESC you have linked to so I'm afraid I cannot comment on it except for a 550 I would consider 70ampa little low as it doesn't give you much head room.

Don't forget you'll also need an FBL controller. I and many others are having success with the Tarot ZYX and ZYX-S controllers. There are others available such as the recently introduced Hobbyking Robird G31 unit. The ZYX and ZYX-S units are both less expensive and work very well. Both are easy to set up using John.N.Z software located elsewhere within these pages. The Tarot units will help keep your budget low and afford you more change to spend on batteries etc.

For the motor, I cannot recommend the Turnigy T600 motors highly enough, I have both the 1100KV version (in my 600) and the 1400KV version in my 550. Remember if you go for the 1400KV version you will need to buy another pinion 13 tooth to keep the head speed in check.

I'm using the Zippy Flitemax 6s 5000Mah packs and also the Turnigy 6s 5000Mah packs from Hobbyking. I've had no problems with either and to date they are proving to be very reliable.

I used to be a Futaba flyer years ago, with the advent of 2.4Ghz I moved across to Spektrum and despite the experience of others have never experienced any issues. Again I have no experience of the FrSky equipment so if you don't mind I'll reserve the right not to comment on it.

You will also need blades, Hobbyking have a reasonable selection available but I'm using standard Align 520 D blades which are reasonably priced but they are more expensive than Hobbyking blades.

I hope I have been of some help to you. I have posted basically what I have chosen, others may come along and give their preferred choices. In this hobby if you ask information from 10 people you are likely to get 10 different answers. What works well for one person may not work well for another.

Paul
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 07:16 AM
RC is healthy for your brains!
Italy, Lombardy, Milan
Joined Nov 2012
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Absolutely Paul, you have been very thorough and helpful, I enjoy all this! The Hyperion suggestion is great, I have also found a generic website that helps to compare specs:

www.servodatabase.com

I will keep in mind all your concerns about the ESC dimensioning and the BEC split.
I was already all focused towards the ZYX myself, as I read many strong reviews for it. I still have a question though:
Could I use, instead, a KDS flymentor for a controller? I noticed that some people achieved good results using the flymentor AND the ZYX in series, but my point is actually, can I program the KDS flymentor to act as if it was the ZYX module, and leave the ccd camera a a second option for later?
Somehow I did not understand why this is not commonly attempted because I always understood that having 3 axis gyro is all you need. What is it that I am missing?
Great sunday of learning for me Thanks for the UK web shops, too!
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Hi SuperFly,

I got almost everything I needed for my build from HobbyKing. You can see a list of what I got from HK at the bottom of this video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=lvBDtSZpzZ8


I am very happy with the YEP ESC. The soft start is great.

The parts that I did not get from HK are a battery strap and replament drive gears for the tail rotor. Those parts came from this E-bay vendor.

http://stores.ebay.com/chunqianguan

The most important part (the orange ball on the tail) is from a fishing bobber that I got from Fleet Farm. I don't think you will find any Fleet Farm stores in Italy though.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 10:15 AM
ich liebe Rc Hubschrauber
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United States, NV, Las Vegas
Joined Aug 2012
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My turn and my .2 cents. ...Paul is correct on every point given, But here is another take. A separate BEC is not necessary. Is it a wise idea ? YES. But not necessary.
I only use them on my larger builds. ( 600 + size) I'm assuming your fairly new to the hobby only because you spoke of the kds flymentor. I'll give my .2 cents on that in a sec. You can wire up your electronics no different then a 450 or 500. Separate bec not necessary. Just be sure and buy an ESC with one built in. For some rookies this is the easier route to take keeping the wiring confusion to a min for the time being. Again they are a good idea, (Its like insurance ) But not necessary.

About the KDS flymentor: I have never been a fan of these. I actually think they hinder a persons progress. Keep in mind they only work about 3 feet off the ground, And are really only good to learn how to hover around. Your Sim alone will teach you this feat. In the first few days, ( again assuming your a rookie ) just use training sticks . Most ppl that install a kds end up unhappy with them and try to resale them within a month. IMO it was kinda gimmick for kds to put these out.
Electronics I recommend for a 550 build.

Cyclic servos x 3: Align DS615 http://www.ebay.com/itm/ALIGN-T-REX-...item5d360d8239
Tail servo: Align DS655 http://www.ebay.com/itm/ALIGN-DS655-...item1e73b38c8b
ESC: Hobby wing 100amp w/built in bec http://www.ebay.com/itm/HobbyWing-Pl...728#vi-content
Motor: Turnigy T-600 1100kv. ( frame mod nedded ) http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...i_1100kv_.html
FBL controller: I'm ignorant in this area To date I'm a flybar guy.......I very much agree with Paul in dont skimp when it comes to electronics In a larger heli. It will only let you down and leave you aggravated.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 10:31 AM
RC is healthy for your brains!
Italy, Lombardy, Milan
Joined Nov 2012
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John, Deja, you are making my slow sunday afternoon nice and informative Yes I am a rookie, I take good hints about the KDS unit then, I will be very happy to focus on the acclaimed ZYX instead (I do love programming electronics with computers). And your video John is useful, in the next few days maybe I will write up a list of what I came up with, better sized for the 550 scale, and I will ask you some feedback ok?
Those Hiperion servos seem to be really high quality... I also like the idea of the MI technology used for position tracking, instead of a potentiometer. I found some of those too in the big list of HK.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 11:55 AM
RC is healthy for your brains!
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John let me take another minute of your time. I checked your servos, very interesting. Very very interesting actually!
I have copied the list of your selection here:

Cyclic and tail HK15158A Digital BB/Coreless Mini Servo 25g.
ESC Hobbyking YEP 80A (2~6S) SBEC Brushless Speed controller.
Motor Turnigy 500 H3126 Brushless outrunner 1300KV.
Batteries are two Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 20C Lipo Packs in series.
The flybarless controller is a ZYX-S 3-Axis Flybarless System.

The original suggested pick from Align (for its 500 FBL model that is, coming from the assembly manuals) are units capable of doing 3.7 kg/m at a speed of 0.13 s/rad, while you settled for 2.8 at 0.07. Surely faster units (double the speed actually) but giving up a third in terms of available torque.
Would you say that in all honesty the helicopter is flying peacefully as if nothing really was changed?
I ask you this because I am going to be extra keen on dropping aggressive 3D peak performance for something more discreet, cheaper in the good sense of the term.
I also liked the fact that you fixed two batteries in series (I am going to do the same), and I find the YEP ESC units very interesting! Also the "super brain" units are nice, but then a separated BEC will be mandatory. Pushing the budget up beyond purpose.

My next question (after some more reading) will be how to try and settle with a moderate Head Speed, while still avoiding wearing out the ESC with overheating...
Wow, I love this hobby! And I love your contributions
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .Superfly. View Post
John let me take another minute of your time. I checked your servos, very interesting. Very very interesting actually!
I have copied the list of your selection here:

Cyclic and tail HK15158A Digital BB/Coreless Mini Servo 25g.
ESC Hobbyking YEP 80A (2~6S) SBEC Brushless Speed controller.
Motor Turnigy 500 H3126 Brushless outrunner 1300KV.
Batteries are two Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 20C Lipo Packs in series.
The flybarless controller is a ZYX-S 3-Axis Flybarless System.

The original suggested pick from Align (for its 500 FBL model that is, coming from the assembly manuals) are units capable of doing 3.7 kg/m at a speed of 0.13 s/rad, while you settled for 2.8 at 0.07. Surely faster units (double the speed actually) but giving up a third in terms of available torque.
Would you say that in all honesty the helicopter is flying peacefully as if nothing really was changed?
I ask you this because I am going to be extra keen on dropping aggressive 3D peak performance for something more discreet, cheaper in the good sense of the term.
I also liked the fact that you fixed two batteries in series (I am going to do the same), and I find the YEP ESC units very interesting! Also the "super brain" units are nice, but then a separated BEC will be mandatory. Pushing the budget up beyond purpose.

My next question (after some more reading) will be how to try and settle with a moderate Head Speed, while still avoiding wearing out the ESC with overheating...
Wow, I love this hobby! And I love your contributions
.Superfly. are you aware that the 500 and 550 sized helicopters are very different? The 500 uses mini sized servos throughout, where the 550 utilizes full sized servos. Additionally the 500 uses a significantly smaller motor than the 550. Look at the photo of 3 of my helicopters, you can see the size difference between the 500 and 550 clearly. The small one is front is a 450.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 12:07 PM
ich liebe Rc Hubschrauber
Dejavu*Xion's Avatar
United States, NV, Las Vegas
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Batteries are two Turnigy 2200mAh 3S 20C Lipo Packs in series A good Battery set up would be a 6s 4400mah-5000mah 30c -40c. ( I like 5000mah in my 550's) Only thing that will change in the 2200mah 3s 20c will be it is now a 6s battery. 2200mah nor 20c will double. ther by giving short flight times and batterys that will easily puff At 20c if run to hard.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .Superfly. View Post

My next question (after some more reading) will be how to try and settle with a moderate Head Speed, while still avoiding wearing out the ESC with overheating...
Wow, I love this hobby! And I love your contributions
The general idea is to govern your head speed by the use of a suitable sized pinion gear. This allows you to run throttle as close to 100% as possible for maximum efficiency, thus avoiding overheating the electronics and promoting early failure. I use a rotor speed calculator on my smart phone but calculators are available to download on line.
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Old Nov 11, 2012, 12:21 PM
RC is healthy for your brains!
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And back to you Deja, and Paul. Speaking about motors now. For what I managed to read, besides the end tip blade peak tangential velocity (also worsening while flying at full speed in forward direction, surely), dealing with subsonic limits and the like, the general, easier reference would be to have a head speed rotating below 3000 rpm.
So then with the factory gearing, pinion and kv specs I can get the correct range of selection for the motor. Yet...

Yet (as I would like to explore with your aid) is it possible to achieve good power savings, so to enjoy longer flying times and smaller, lighter battery payload, by feeding lower currents at all times?
I have read around that the ESC units tend to overheat when controlling, governing partial loads.
So what would you suggest? A lower kv?
I am keen on going in the burden of changing the pinion only if it saves current consumption (and here is where I got a bit lost in my learning today).

To clarify the confusion in my mind: I would aim for instance towards a stable 2300 rpm. What would the function of the governor be then? Is it different than using the throttle control on the radio? And how can I avoid overheating the ESC while still running the motor not at full throttle (precisely: governing it)?

Well, a rookie shows its status by the type of questions he asks, I must admit
Many many thanks!
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