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Old Feb 22, 2013, 05:56 PM
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United States, CA, Livermore
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Originally Posted by Sakuji View Post
I would also add that the Msrx is very good as beginner heli and also allows the noobie pilot to jump into CP helis once ready.
Well I didn't include in my Roadmap for I reason. I own one and didn't like it. I bought it after I was quite experienced so in a good position to evaluate it. In fact, I bought with the intent on using it to teach one of my kids.

Like other FP's it has some odd behaviors like turns easily to the right but not the left. FP's are really a fork in the road with a big DEAD END sign at the end.

In response to some others above, I am not saying my Roadmap is the only path to take but it is a valid plan of attack if your goal is to get to larger helicopters. I have long substantiated arguments for each step. I didn't follow my Roadmap because I didn't know better at the time and hind sight is 20/20. I am trying to give others the benefit of my mistakes. Some of the other vendors out there may seem less expensive in the short term but you end up with a pile of radios you don't need or want in the end if you buy the cheapy RTF setups and you just don't see many guys flying 500/550/600/700's with Devo radios.

My Roadmap is not inexpensive and is not intended for folks that are highly budget constrained. It is based on mainstream brands for the reasons stated. Done right, this is a very expensive hobby but some money can be saved by following the warning "Buy cheap, buy twice"
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:06 PM
My other addiction!
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Marysville, Ca., US
Joined Jan 2007
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I voiced one really very slight disagreement regarding building vs. RTF but we can agree to disagree on that one. You've been flying helis, what, about a year now? Which helis do you fly now? 450? 500? Maybe a 600? The only slight problem I have with your approach is your participation in nearly every other beginner thread now is "See my roadmap for what you should do" and a link to here. You are thus representing yourself to the beginning pilot as THE EXPERT and your way is THE WAY. And I don't happen to believe that yours is the best way for all circumstances. Now you have said "I am not saying my Roadmap is the only path ..." but that's on the second page. Maybe if your response to a beginner thread was "here's a link to what worked for me" I would say yes, that's valid help to a beginner, it presents one way to proceed, yet leaves the beginner open to other avenues.

Just my 2p on the subject, and the last I will comment.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:47 PM
Cranky old fart
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Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
21,486 Posts
I think a lot of experienced pilots disagree with this 'roadmap", as well as most beginners. Coaxes are dead. Get used to it. They have been replaced by far more durable and capable micro FP helis and quads.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:57 PM
RTF (Ready to Fragment)
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United States, WI, Beloit
Joined Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldog5046 View Post
The only thing i would disagree with is the surface choice. I was one of those idiots that went and bought a 450 expecting to be able to fly it from the off, something i quickly discovered was it was much less expensive learning to hover/takeoff/land over a smooth tarmac surface.

Why? because the heli will be able to slide around and isnt so prone to tipping over. Also, when you clip a rotor on the tarmac it doesnt get pulled in like if you do in on grass which means alot less money for repairs.

Just my 2 cents though...
+1, I learned to hover a HK250GT on "blacktop" as we call it, and
the included plastic blades that everyone tells you to throw away
saved me hundreds of dollars in heads, belts, blades, and so on.

The plastic blades "skim" the ground and don't catch. You can slide
around, and get a feel for it before you take to the air.
Beware of cracks, though. I hit a crack while flying sideways at
under 10 Mph and it ripped the skids clean off.

Of course more than 2 feet off the ground, it does not matter,
you will break something major.

But for just getting started, if you keep it under 1 foot, the
hard surfaces can be forgiving.

This only applies for small helicopters, obviously. Larger models just
have too much momentum and kinetic energy to dissipate.

Big helicopters have inelastic collisions
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 12:05 AM
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United States, CA, Livermore
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Originally Posted by norcalheli View Post
The only slight problem I have with your approach is your participation in nearly every other beginner thread now is "See my roadmap for what you should do" and a link to here. .
Its really simpler than that. I just found that I was typing the same advice over and over. So I put in one place after doing a somewhat more complete job so I could reference it rather than typing it over and over.

I am not exactly the only one pounding on to every beginner thread either. I see the same guys arguing their view and disagreeing with me (in some cases) in about every thread I offer advice in.

I fly mostly my 550 now and sometimes my mCPx. My 450 and X2 need some work but I've been building a fleet of flying wings most recently.
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Old Feb 23, 2013, 01:23 AM
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MsrX

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhodesengr View Post
Like other FP's it has some odd behaviors like turns easily to the right but not the left. FP's are really a fork in the road with a big DEAD END sign at the end.
Mainly bcoz yours wasn't set up properly or used a programmable radio trimmed properly? There's a whole thread over at HF proving this odd behavior can easily be corrected. Vids over at youtube like what tntburnette posted showed how capable an MsrX is. I don't think i've seen an mcx2 do that. Now with just a flick to a different set up on the radio, my 9 year old girl can fly it easy almost like a coaxial.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 10:47 AM
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I'd like to chime in from a absolute noob perspective. I attempted to fly simple airhog style helis for years with no success. So I gave up for quite some time. After getting into planes I wanted recently to get back into trying helicopters. So my quest began. I opted to forgo the fp and went straight to ncpx after tooling around with a coax for a bit. For me this was a huge mistake! I now have a ncpx that is thrashed and never really got to fly it for any reasonable time. What I'm now learning on is a msrx. I found that setting up the msrx for a noob was far easier and more forgiving. If I had a pc a sim would have been the best option but tablet life kinda puts a hold on that. As I'm sure most realize this roadmap is a guide not a one size fits all. Just for anyone out there reading it, realize that you may end up buying the cp heli twice as I will eventually have to do. Thanks for the roadmap though I have found it useful!
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by a51zombie View Post
I now have a ncpx that is thrashed and never really got to fly it for any reasonable time!
Nice post zombie. I do think the mSRx works better than the 120SR.

I am just curious. When you first got your ncpx did you fly outdoor over grass or indoors and did you use beginner settings on your TX (not the ones in the manual). Its not just getting the heli. It has to be set up right in the TX and hoave have to be outdoors. to be following my roadmap. I do agree that the DX6i is not the most user friendly setup when you first get it. Its a lot for a newb to take in.

As I said before, I wrote my roadmap in hindsight. When i first got my mCPx, I could not wait to try it and it was evening so I tried it indoors. I hit a chair and broke it righ away. Then i found the videos on beginer setting and then went outdoors.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 12:24 PM
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United States, CA, Mountain View
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Thanks for sharing your roadmap! I think the high level flow is very useful for noobs.

I actually went down the same path, with some variation on the helis (JXD 333 coaxial instead of a Blade... bad because the controls are different! But good cause it got me hooked). I bought a DX6i for use on a sim thinking mCP X in the future. Spent time on the sims. Started reading up on flying theory, CP setup, etc. Ended up getting two HiSKY FBL100s (CP) for Christmas, and found it such a cheap way to learn!

So yeah, I'm currently on your step 6! Was looking at the 450X for my next step.

Question: The large heli thread had a reco to go with Century helis. Have you considered that option?
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 12:36 PM
Will work for JR/Spektrum
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Canada, BC, Sechelt
Joined May 2008
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I've done something a little different and I think it's paid off for me.

About a year ago, I picked up a micro coax. This actually helped me learn what the controls would do given any heading, was slow enough that I could pull back from any walls if I reacted fast enough, and if I dumb-thumbed it, shrugged off wall hits and crashes.

Then I went to a 180 size fixed pitch that was a little quicker and a little more aggressive, and I started to fly with a club during their indoor gym days. This helped me learn what I call "bird quirks", how to deal with buffeting, and fine tuned my depth perception. I considered the MCPx/Nano but after seeing how easily I lost track of them in the gym by simply watching, I knew I needed something a little bigger and something I could actually see.

Now i'm on an even larger 250 size collective pitch that I was able to set up on my own to be ridiculously tame. Of course, spool up and the window between the heli getting light on the skids and actually lifting off still scares me a little bit, but i'm sure I'll get over that in time.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 04:20 PM
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I flew it in a huge room with carpet at first. Well attempted anyways.... I thought I used the beginer setting that are posted all over that is supposed to make it more like a fp. But I think I had it wrong and my first attempt caused me to smack into ground breaking a grip. So after messing around I got it up in the air and into everything else. When I finally broke down after replacing a bunch of parts and tried it in my living room (I know awful idea) it was lights out!!!!! I trashed it when I shoulda called it quits. I figured I was all in and just gave up keeping it nice. That's how I learned to fly fixed wing. I just learned by crashing. FAAAARRRRRrrrr different learning curve in this game! Now the msrx is a lot simpler it seems and it has taken some nasty hits with little problem. And for me the tx setup seemed more simplistic leaving less room for error on my part. For someone with limited time to devote to learning I have found the msrx a better option. At most I can fly for 20 mins at work and after spending time with my wife and baby daughter I might have energy for another 30 every few nights. Now if I had the time to devote it might be a whole different story.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by sparkyjohn View Post
Question: The large heli thread had a reco to go with Century helis. Have you considered that option?
The best thing about the 450X is that it comes with the AR7200BX which is Spektrum RX and BeastX FBL in one package. Once you learn how to do the setup process, you can use that controller on any FBL helicopter, inculding 700's. There are of course others (skookum, vbar, helicommand, etc.) but BeastX is one of the easiest to setup and is pretty much set and forget.

I don't know much about Century. I've looked at their wesite a few times. You might want to check out the model specific subforums on Helifreak.com.

If you are interested in beigger heli's 450 and up, Align is the "go to" starting point. Lots of top brands after you get go bigger than 450 but Align has models 450-800, electric and nitor, FB and FBL. You can't go too wrong with Align.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by a51zombie View Post
I flew it in a huge room with carpet at first. ...and tried it in my living room (I know awful idea) it was lights out!!!!! .......I thought I used the beginer setting
OK so just to point out the obvious, you really weren't following my roadmap. I know you are reading all this after the fact. But the outdoors part and the TX setup part are really crucial. That's why I updated my post with more details about where to find the real beginner settings.

There are plenty of ways to have fun with RC helis including FP's and quads. My roadmap is really oriented as one possible fast track path to large CP heli's benefiting from my 20/20 hindsight. If that is not one's goal, then it may not be the right road to take.
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 09:26 AM
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Oh absolutely. I realize I didnt follow it, but it was similar. Using the term indoor isnt really fair for my first flying. The room is easily 3 stories high and maybe 2/3rds the szie of a football field. Its a warehouse portion of an old manufacting plant. So for all intents it could be outdoors. Room is large enough for me to loose orentation if it far enough out. Part of my point is that setting up a cp isnt easy, so learning basics on a fp which easier to dial in might be a better option for some. When doing many things skipping a baby step isnt the best option for everyone. I wouldnt suggest anyone going from a moped to a nitrous eqqupied gsxr1000. But for some its viable. For me, and people like me id say a fp would save some headache, frustrations, money and far wife whos far less angry about the whole thing. The roadmap to me is just another "route" to get to the destination. For me id bet even now if I followed it id still have issues. Maybe im just slow idk.... lol
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Old Feb 25, 2013, 04:24 PM
My other addiction!
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Marysville, Ca., US
Joined Jan 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkyjohn View Post
Thanks for sharing your roadmap! I think the high level flow is very useful for noobs.
...
Question: The large heli thread had a reco to go with Century helis. Have you considered that option?
The Century Swift NX is a great heli to introduce you to the larger sized birds. It is a true 550, in that Align's "500" uses 425 mm blades, the Swift uses 520 - 550 mm blades. That gives you a rotor span of close to 4'. (530 blades on the Swift is 46 in. rotor diameter) The NX is the current model of the Swift 16, which is the one I fly. Unlike Align T-Rex helis, which have a head designed specifically for 3D, the Swift head design allows for gentler, smoother flight. It can be set up for aggressive 3D, but can also be set up to fly more like a scale bird. Power systems range from 4s to 8s, with 6s being the most common. Mine is set up on 4s, with an 1100kv motor, and gives me a solid six to seven minutes of flying. They are great helis, designed in the US, parts manufactured in China. From the Swift they go on up to the big boys, up to 90 Nitro and some of the best looking scale fuselages you will see. They are based in the SF bay area, and their retail store is www.heli-world.com.

HTH
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