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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:23 PM
Registered User
Australia, VIC
Joined Dec 2011
1,107 Posts
Discussion
My first 450 heli - 3/4 of a year latter

Hi guys , I thought it time to talk about my first 450 helicopter :

Kit was a $35 Post Payed Ebay Trex 450 Clone - alloy frame and mostly plastic head and tail ..

Everything is pretty much stock and original except the servos , originally I went with the HXT900's , but being 100% noob , and the heli having a tendency to be attracted to the ground [ with some velocity ] and nearby objects [ Washing line , fence , shed , back wall of house , the lemon tree ] , I found myself needing lots of servos [ cyclic ] to keep flying or crashing as the case was at the time . Enter the TG9e , cheap , smooth and dont jitter like a nervous cat in a room full of rocking chairs .

$35 Kit = Surprisingly good , and still flying . About a month ago it started behaving a little strangely , after some careful , examination , I came to the conclusion there was too much slop in the head [ this after about 7 months of abuse ] . So pulling the head off , I simply re-fitted and re-threadlocked the head , and now its fine again . The only other thing was the tail rotor assembly , it was rough as guts [ bearings were shot ] so a replacement was put in , and now , sweet . This kit has been to heck and back , taken some serious crashes and bounced back [ one in particular was from about 30 meters altitude ]
I cant complain about spending $35 on this kit - it deserves to retire - but is still my go to back yard flyer , and flies really well ..

$10 Motor = KV3680 from Ebay - man this motor has been a really solid performer , I wanted to get another but currently not available on ebay . For $10 its astounding value .. Last ones I saw were about $14 [ and id pay that ] , good power , not overly noisy , and runs cool .

Esky Gyro - This was a really good gyro , I say was , because its been through so many crashes , its not really holding the tail so well any more . I just today tightened up the internals , a bit of tape to stop the board moving , and some super glue , its tight again - but its really windy outside , so hopefully a chance to test ASAP . [ Yes I would buy another ]

HK928BB Servo - Tail / , works , what can I say , doing a really good job for sunday flying [ not recommended for 3D or Hot Dogging ] But for a little more $ you can buy a bigger better servo ...

TG9e Servo - Cyclic / for $2 a pop , geez I just dont know what to say , the ones I have had , not noisy , smooth , center well , and have been jitter free . If your a crash noob [ noob still crashing ] think TG9e .. Sure you can pay more , but then crashing becomes more costly .. My theory was a simple one , crash as cheaply as possible . When you stop crashing , then buy better gear or maybe more costly gear .

ESC = HobbyWing Pentium 40 - This has been a solid performer , never an issue .... Dont remember what I payed for it , but it was not expensive .

Radio = Flysky - CT6B / Ok , some people simply hate these with a passion because you need to program VIA PC , ok I concede that its annoying . But once you get past that , there a cheap - solid transmitter that get the job done .. I payed $50 shipped for mine , and its hard to do better [ ok HobbyKing version ] , but finding a mode 2? , so I had to pay [ wanted mode 2 ] and no regrets .. I have a mode 1 computer Tx here , and its cheap , easy to program , but I hate mode 1 , love the Tx just hate the mode .


Wow , this heli has the most hours on it from all of mine , maybe 3 times as much as the next one , maybe more . Has destroyed more parts , rotor blades than all the other heli's combined , and its still flying . Its been a while now since I have crashed it , and I have been playing with flybar weights [ Up to 5 hanging off each side ] and pictured is my ideal set up , really tames the heli , and does not overly effect responsiveness . Just makes hover more stable and slows down the wandering .. Now I have time to take my hand of the Tx to swat away an annoying fly , without the extra flybar weight , this migh have resulted in a crash .. Responsive or unstable ? Ask a P51 pilot ! its the same thing !

If your a noob , responsive = unstable
If you can fly , unstable = responsive

Apples and oranges !

So that is the short of my first 450 heli , its been a heck of a ride .. and its not over by a long shot ..

For my end of school / Christmas present , Ive gone for a Flybarless kit , ok , still cheap until you factor in shipping , Ive also ordered some 335mm [ VS 325mm ] blades [ glass and carbon ] , I already have a 3 axis gyro , and enough spares to put it in the air ..
+ I have a two other birds sitting in the wings , but they can wait , I already have a squadron , and I need to thin the heard ..

But I have wanted to try flybarless for some time , and it is christmas after all and havent I suffered enough going to school for 2 years [ mature aged student ]

Youth is wasted on whippersnappers !
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 06:59 AM
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War Horse's Avatar
United States, FL, Hernando
Joined Sep 2012
1,460 Posts
Nice write up, also thanks for the flybar tip, I may just try that myself, hovering my B450 gives me a worn out feeling after a few minutes, kinda like I just ran to the mailbox...... I'm old too
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 08:17 AM
FPV Noob KD0VMK
United States, MO, Platte City
Joined Jun 2012
572 Posts
So if money weren't a concern...would you still recommend the TG9E over the HXT900? They're only about $1 different from hobbyking...but if I can save $1 per servo and they're just as good, I'll start buying TG9Es instead. Alas, they're always out of stock.

Glad to hear another successful clone noob story. I went virtually the same path...HK450V2 for $30, GA250 gyro, cheap hobbyking digital servos (yes, even the tail rotor), cheap turnigy motor, cheap HK 50amp ESC. The entire heli was the cheapest of the cheap, and I'm amazed at how well it flies. Like you, my philosophy was "crash as cheaply as possible". After 3 tail booms, 4 landing skids, 3 or 4 flybars, and multiple servos, mine still flies great after taking some abuse.

Once I stop crashing I will likely move up to a name brand bird...but for now, I'd rather crash a $30 airframe than a $100 airframe.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:07 AM
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Joined Apr 2010
1,025 Posts
Wish you two had posted in this thread while it was active. Seems like I was the only one who crashed (or at least admitted to crashing) during the learning process.

I have the same atitude, chubbs. If I screw up and crash, an align part will break just as fast as my EXI parts. As long as I'm breaking the stuff, I'll replace it with EXI parts. When I start wearing out parts instead of breaking them, I may start getting Align parts.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:17 AM
Get to the choppa!
RFDelie's Avatar
United States, PA, Pittsburgh
Joined Sep 2012
358 Posts
Karlik I crashed three times, but it had little to do with learning. Once was a gust of wind and a power line, another was a failed servo and the third was an unfortunate feathering shaft failure (the screw came loose).

Anyway, if you want I have an esky gyro I could sell you for cheap. msg me if you are interested.

That copterX digital flybar scares me. $29.00! Let me know how that works out for you.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 05:34 PM
Registered User
Australia, VIC
Joined Dec 2011
1,107 Posts
Hmmm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubbs View Post
So if money weren't a concern...would you still recommend the TG9E over the HXT900? They're only about $1 different from hobbyking...but if I can save $1 per servo and they're just as good, I'll start buying TG9Es instead. Alas, they're always out of stock.

Glad to hear another successful clone noob story. I went virtually the same path...HK450V2 for $30, GA250 gyro, cheap hobbyking digital servos (yes, even the tail rotor), cheap turnigy motor, cheap HK 50amp ESC. The entire heli was the cheapest of the cheap, and I'm amazed at how well it flies. Like you, my philosophy was "crash as cheaply as possible". After 3 tail booms, 4 landing skids, 3 or 4 flybars, and multiple servos, mine still flies great after taking some abuse.

Once I stop crashing I will likely move up to a name brand bird...but for now, I'd rather crash a $30 airframe than a $100 airframe.
If money was no concern ? well

But if the choice was HXT900 or TG9e - Id chose the TG9e , its personal choice , I mean , the other decent servo is the HK15178

For me it comes down to whats in stock ? TG9e or HK15178 , especially as I buy 10 at a time . My back yard is murder , far more room in the front yard , though I am gravitating towards the park now , and there is one local that people seem not to use at all , so plenty of empty space and surrounded by trees to stop a wayward RC .. So must start going there .. I have been checking parks out , and some are close to major roads [ a no no ] and some have lots of pedestrian traffic [ another no no ] , so need space lacking both .

Crashing - Yeah - did a lot of that early on - partially due to the restrictive space I was in [ back yard ] but it does force discipline when mistakes are punished harshly . Was probably a bad time to start flying , going to school n all , just didnt have the time to go anywhere , but was good to just grab the heli , walk out the door , and have a go on the 450 , was a nice distraction .

Now that I have more time , summer is here , yesterday was a brilliant heli day , unfortunately also a record setting HOT day [ 39.5 Celsius ] in my suburb .
I did do a battery in the evening , but too hot for electronics [ still over 30deg C ] .

With summer here , they are predicting some serious warmth .. So I hope there will be some nice [ we get so much wind these days ] wind free - light breeze is ok - days that are not scorchers ..

This year , been windy as all hell , probably one of the windiest years on record .
And with the end of the world just around the corner , not much time left for flying .
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 06:45 AM
FPV Noob KD0VMK
United States, MO, Platte City
Joined Jun 2012
572 Posts
3 crashes seems to be the magic number to get past the worst of the learning curve. I've had 3 also (well, perhaps 3 1/2, but I'd call that last one a landing ). First I lost it in the sun, lost orientation. Second I was practicing side-in hover and dumb thumbed it. Third, I was practicing autorotations without having a clue what I was doing. Rather than autorotating, it just dropped like a stone from 50' up. Oops.

So the causes of my crashes have been pilot error, pilot error, and pilot error. Despite the horrifically cheap components on my helicopter, they are still better than the man at the sticks. Which is in my opinion, the best argument to be made for a cheap clone. A $1000 helicopter wouldn't have prevented any of my crashes...I would just be poorer because of it.

Anyone who tells you they didn't crash during the learning curve is in denial.
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