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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:20 AM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
8,452 Posts
Question
This has probably been asked a million times but....

... I'm going to ask it again anyway. Please accept my apology up front.

I just adopted a kid in our local Angel Tree project for this Christmas. Along with several things like a blanket and a hat and some gloves he's asked for an RC Helicopter. He's 13 years old and his name is Dylan. That's all I know.

I don't want to spend a fortune but I Id like to get him something better than those toys sold in the mall.... That is unless somebody here tells me those are pretty good for a 13 year old kid to learn on.

Thanks in advance,
Mike
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:38 AM
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jasmine2501's Avatar
United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
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I would get an mCX, and tape a note in the box telling where they can get parts and informing that it is a hobby quality machine. People often don't know the difference, and might think when it's broken, it's done. Include some spare blades with it.

http://www.horizonhobby.com/products...2-rtf-EFLH2400
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:51 AM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,432 Posts
If that's beyond your price range, A WL Toys heli or quad would be very good. Despite their price they are decent quality and very durable, especially the quad:

http://www.valuehobby.com/helicopter...ansmitter.html.

http://www.valuehobby.com/multicopte...opter-rtf.html

The quad can use parts from the Blade MQx, found at your local hobby shop.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:25 AM
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CaptJac's Avatar
Aachen Germany
Joined Dec 2007
1,974 Posts
Kids that age don't need a challenge - they need immediate gratification and success. For a 13 year old - if he like most 13 year olds - one crash and it will be all over. Start veeeery easy (like the 3 channel mall models) so he has a feeling of success. If he succeeds and shows the maturity to want to keep going - then it time to spend a little more money and move up to a hobby model.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 11:51 AM
Cranky old fart
Balr14's Avatar
Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,432 Posts
I disagree. 13yo boys learn very fast and those quads don't break. They are flying them like pros in a few hours. Coaxes and 3 channel stuff holds their interest for about 15 minutes. Of course, they have to have some interest to start with. If not, nothing is going to change their minds.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Steve_'s Avatar
United States, WI, Beloit
Joined Nov 2012
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My 15 year old picked up on my 4 channel heli right away, never having flown
a helicopter before. It would really depend on the child. Some would play with
a coaxial for several days straight. Others would be bored pretty quick.

But a slow moving coax is way cooler than a stationary (broken) 4 channel.
Both of my boys (15 & 19) and myself ALL crashed hard by the 3rd flight,
(you know, as soon as you start feeling confident, lol).
We have well stocked shops / labs for repairs. This kid does not.

I'm my opinion, given the nature of the situation, this kid needs as little disappointment
as possible. Get him the most rugged coax you can find.

Last, AND MOST IMPORTANT, factor in giving a box of spare parts with the heli as well.
Won't be much of a present if he doesn't have the means to buy replacement parts.
Remember, he asked for a hat and gloves along with that heli.

If this means you have to spend $50 on the heli to afford to include replacement parts, so be it.
In this case, maybe even a pair of $30-40 coax birds, just so he has one to rob for parts, might
be a good choice.

Also, include a cheap $5 tool set with small screwdrivers and needle-nose pliers and such.

Make sure you don't get one that charges the helicopter from the transmitter, those burn
through AA's like crazy. A set of energizers lasts one day.
It is possible he may not have direct access to a USB port either (many of the smaller
helis charge that way).
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 01:42 PM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
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Quote:
The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program provides new clothing or toys for children of needy families. A sponsoring company or corporation places a Christmas tree in a secure, high-pedestrian traffic area or lobby. The tree is decorated with numbered paper angel tags with the first name, age and gender of a child who will receive the gift. Contributors remove one or more tags from the tree and purchase appropriate gifts for the child or children described on the tags.
(emphasis mine)

That's why I suggested a good quality helicopter. The kid probably will not have money for repairs, so you need something that is extremely durable, and include some of the common parts. Personally, I would also fly the thing once to make sure it's not defective. Last year I gave Fox gliders to kids for a similar program - they need no-fuss stuff like that. The Angel Tree gift lists always include a few practical items, but IMO, you need to go overboard with the toys, and go ahead and spend a little money. Also, on the clothes - get designer stuff - get Columbia or North Face - they may need to use it for more than one season, and one of the most depressing things about my childhood was being teased for wearing K-mart clothes all the time. When I can make a small difference like that, I do my best. Don't believe any of the rumours - people don't pay anything to participate (but like all SA programs, you are expected to volunteer or help out if you can).
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 01:50 PM
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Steve_'s Avatar
United States, WI, Beloit
Joined Nov 2012
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A pair of these would be $60, and are fun indoors. That way spare parts are not an issue.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BLUE-SYMA-S1...item19d4634ab8

Here is a USB source to charge them, $5 for a pair

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AC-to-USB-Un...item4d0307d39f

Like jasmine2501 says, fly them first, and supply plenty of AA's,
( 6 rechargeable cells with a charger if possible ).
I can't count how many times as a kid I could not use a toy because of batteries.

It would run about $80 total, but would almost certainly provide enjoyment for the entire holiday.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:05 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
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In this case, I'm a member of the local Rotary club and we took over the local Angel Tree program 25 years ago. Actually, I wasn't a member back then so I should say, they took it over. Anyway, I just adopted another family of three children. It was one that nobody else had taken and I didn't want them left out. Money is a little tight for me at this point but I want to help just the same and I can afford a few hundred extra so that's what I'm doing. We'll see. Thanks for all the ideas, everybody!

Mike
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:21 PM
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Steve_'s Avatar
United States, WI, Beloit
Joined Nov 2012
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Well in THAT case,

An MJX-F45 with spare parts would blow his mind.
The Transmitter has an LCD like the big boys.
And the heli battery comes with a wall charger.
Probably $150 with spare consumables.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:25 PM
Time for me to Fly...
Mr. Wiz's Avatar
United States, MI, Fenton
Joined Jan 2000
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OK where do I find this MJX-F45?
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:36 PM
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Steve_'s Avatar
United States, WI, Beloit
Joined Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wiz View Post
OK where do I find this MJX-F45?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-MJ...item337cd1cc95

This one is $130 shipped, and includes a camera.

You can get it for $104 shipped without the camera.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brand-New-MJ...item337cd1ae76

Parts will have to come from overseas. Perhaps include a $30 pre-paid
credit card for ordering parts. You never know what will break, and it's usually the one
part you didn't order. It comes with a spare set of blades already.

Of the heli's in this price range, these seem to be the best bang for the buck,
and better quality than the Double Horse products that have become so popular.

Keep in mind, this is big enough to be dangerous if you are not responsible,
and needs a gym to fly indoors.

Chime in guys if you think this is a bad choice...
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:52 PM
FPV Noob KD0VMK
United States, MO, Platte City
Joined Jun 2012
431 Posts
I think a WL V911 is at least as durable as a coaxial. I've hit chairs, wrapped up the blades in hanging light fixtures, and dive bombed it straight into concrete from 20' up. It's darn near indestructible as long as you kill the throttle as you hit.

Stable enough for a first time flier, and fast enough to keep me entertained even after i've moved on to 250/450 class heli's. They're also around $40-$50 RTF. Sounds perfect to me.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:09 PM
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Joined Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
If that's beyond your price range, A WL Toys heli or quad would be very good. Despite their price they are decent quality and very durable, especially the quad:

http://www.valuehobby.com/helicopter...ansmitter.html.

http://www.valuehobby.com/multicopte...opter-rtf.html

The quad can use parts from the Blade MQx, found at your local hobby shop.
I agree - and I lean a little towards the V911.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:15 PM
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Steve_'s Avatar
United States, WI, Beloit
Joined Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlik View Post
I agree - and I lean a little towards the V911.
Yes, I suppose the F45 might be too big and breakable for a
first heli.

I dunno, maybe a pair of V911's ??
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