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Old Feb 19, 2013, 12:01 PM
ASJ
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United Kingdom, England, Holmfirth
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Help!
Reccommendations on a beginner-ish heli

Hello,
Sorry for this elementary level question that has probably been asked a million times, but having scoured the Internet for information I am inevitably more unsure than I was before I started so need some first-hand advice.
Now before I start I will give you a brief summary of my experience. I started in the model world about 20 years ago building free flight gliders, then control line, then RC gliders then RC powered fixed wing. I then tried my hand with helicopters with an MFA sport 500, if you are not familiar with this heli it was a 4 channel fixed pitch .40 size IC, underpowered with no gyro, and only came in kit form. As you can imagine that pipe dream didn’t last!!! Then I took a break from flying to concentrate on cars and boats and In the meantime had a couple of “Gadget” helis, Picoo-Z etc. Recently with the advent of electric models I have rekindled my interest in RC flight, I have a couple of brushless planes, and now I am older, wiser, and a little more co-ordinated, I would like to have another dabble with helicopters, but the issue I have is the choice available these days is bewildering.
Initially I thought I wanted a 4ch midsized (40cm ish) coaxial, that I could use indoors and out on calm days, however looking into it, and reading up on the pros and cons, I am not sure this is still the right choice. Also I have been using clear view flight sim to try out different helis and get an idea of my skill level but I am not sure how realistic this really is, and whether it gives an accurate representation of the characteristics of each type. Using clear view I have found the coaxial Blade CX to be rather mundane, and seem to be able to fly it around easily with no problems, my concern is that if this is true to life then it offers no real challenge to me, and therefore will not advance my skills any further. The single blade fixed pitch models offer different degrees of difficulty, the blade 120 SR seems to offer similar stability to the coaxial but with improved manoeuvrability and a bit more challenging, it seems to offer a nice mix of comfort and challenge for me at the moment. The Blade MSR seems to be a bit more twitchy than the 120 SR, presumably due to its smaller & lighter build, but largely similar characteristics, and anything in the CP range which I assume stands for collective pitch, just seems impossible at the moment.
What I do know is I want:
4ch hobby grade model, 2.4Ghz Radio (I use a DX6i on all my other models) with Gyro (not sure if they even come without these days) , Lipo Batteries, small enough to fly in doors about the house but capable of going around the garden in calm weather. Easily maintainable with good supply of spares / upgrades, well supported, I’m not too Fussed about branding, happy to have one of the lower budget Chinese models / clones as long as the parts and support are available, and the quality is sufficient for it to do its job.
And finally for budget, i’m looking in the region of £50-60 ish, I know its not a massive amount but as I said I already have the DX6i so if I could get something in the BNF range or similar that should save a bit of money.
So my question if you have not guessed already is what would you recommend?
And is clearview accurate enough to make a judgement?

All help greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Alex
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 12:06 PM
Cranky old fart
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Germantown, WI.
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A BNF MSR or MSRx would be a good place to start. The 120SR is a little big for indoors, but easier to see outdoors. A BNF MQx quad would be a good alternate choice. They have a very wide performance range and are better training and more durable than a conventional FP heli.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 12:59 PM
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My Roadmap for learning to fly RC helis is here
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1829340

Not everyone agrees with me (but many do). You will see I strongly suggest you skip any FP. It seems like a good step between coax and CP but it really is not. You can't comapre models by the simulator, especially a low-end one like Clearview. They do not capture many of the effect found in the real models. For example, TBE and pendulum effect in the 120SR are not captured by the sims but are annoying to deal with in the real model.

A small coax may be mudane but hey are fun and useful for learning orientation. Then skip to a micro CP like the mCPx.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 02:26 PM
Cranky old fart
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Germantown, WI.
Joined Oct 2007
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You had a bad experience with a 120SR that exhibited problems nobody else has reported, so now all FP helis are bad.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
You had a bad experience with a 120SR that exhibited problems nobody else has reported, so now all FP helis are bad.
Its true I had a bad experience but its false that nobody else has reported it. Pendulum Effect (PE) and Toilet Bowl Effect are well documented and widely discussed. A few simple google searches will verify this. In fact John Salt of rchelicopterfun.com wrote an entire book about the 120SR and the msr and msrx and these topics are discussed in detail.

FP's are not "bad" but in my opinion they don't help make the transition from coax to CP. They tend to teach bad habits because you learn to counteract their behaviors rather than learning to fly a helicopter that does what its told. They don't do well outside at all. Any CP can be set to operate as an FP but without the PE and TBE. So why bother? Plus with a CP, you can step into the realm of higher stability offered by constant headspeed. No FP can do that.

I know the FP's have there fans but I just don't think they help learn to fly CP. If that is one's goal, I feel, my Roadmap is a more direct path to that end.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 03:21 PM
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Here, I did a search


Blade 120 SR- Fixing TBE (Toilet Bowl Effect) - YouTube
► 2:32► 2:32
Blade 120 SR- Fixing TBE (Toilet Bowl Effect) (2 min 32 sec)

Jan 10, 2012 - Uploaded by arxxmach4
There are many many reasons for TBE but for me, this solution has worked. Link for the article (bottom of ...
120 Sr wobble TBE symptoms? - YouTube
► 1:56► 1:56
120 Sr wobble TBE symptoms? (1 min 56 sec)

Apr 22, 2011 - Uploaded by Elhungarian
Blade 120 SR- Fixing TBE (Toilet Bowl Effect)by Adam Reynolds 27,008 views · 19:43. Watch Later Worst ...
Blade 120sr - Shaking and Toilet bowl effect. - YouTube
► 2:57► 2:57
Blade 120sr - Shaking and Toilet bowl effect. (2 min 57 sec)

Jan 25, 2012 - Uploaded by rednexRC
I think my blade grips are causing the problem,im gona put on a old pair of grips see what happens.
More videos for 120 sr tbe »
120 SR TBE - HeliFreak
www.helifreak.com › ... › Blade Helicopters (eFlite) › 120 SR
9 posts - 8 authors - Jan 8, 2012
I picked up the SR 120. I have had a blast with it, but I sometimes have a hard time with what I belived is described as a a toilet bowl effect.
120SR TBE when trying to fly forward‎ - 5 posts - Mar 29, 2012
SR 120 Toilet Bowl Effect - Solved!‎ - 17 posts - May 24, 2011
Fix for Toilet-Bowl Effect (TBE) and vibration‎ - 10 posts - Mar 12, 2011
Horrible TBE!‎ - 12 posts - Sep 20, 2010

More results from helifreak.com »
120 SR TBE ISSUES...!!! - Electric RC Helicopter
www.electric-rc-helicopter.com › ... › Eflite Blade helicopters
11 posts - 5 authors - Aug 20, 2011
I didn't get a chance to fly it last night due to the rain but, I'm going to try and find some of that evaporating silicone spray today.. Don't know ...
Irratic Blade 120 SR : Electric-RC-Helicopter.com
www.electric-rc-helicopter.com › ... › Product Discussion
15 posts - 7 authors - Oct 8, 2011
Blade: 450 X, mCP X, 120 SR, mSR X, CX3, mCX2 ... Toilet Bowl Effect (TBE) is generally caused by the flybar being "out of phase" with the ...
120 SR TBE problem - RC Groups
www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1564465
5 posts - 3 authors - Dec 29, 2011
Pilot in MO. Plane and Heli Abuser. Pilot in MO's Avatar. United States, MO, St Louis. Joined Aug 2010. 275 Posts. 120 SR TBE problem ...
Brand new Blade 120 SR, Massive TBE!‎ - 15 posts - Jan 14, 2013
Toilet Bowl Effect - FIXED IT!‎ - 10 posts - Jan 27, 2012
Blade 120 SR Problem‎ - 15 posts - Sep 22, 2011
120 SR TBE Thread‎ - 3 posts - Mar 23, 2011

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Toilet Bowl effect
www.rcdiscuss.com › ... › RC Helicopter Discussions for Beginners
10 posts - 8 authors - Sep 11, 2010
Do you have to use excessive trim to keep heli from drifting? My 120SR had TBE out of the box and it was caused by swash not being leveled ...
Blade 120sr TBE
myrcguide.com › RC Helicopters › 4ch FP and Co-Axial Helicopters
6 posts - 3 authors - Jan 24, 2012
I've just bought a brand new Blade 120sr with my first proper Tx - a DX6i. Set it all up as per Mr Salt's instruction leaflet (after a lot of hair-pulling ...
Blade SR 120 - is TBE normal out of the box?
www.rcuniverse.com › All Forums › RC Helicopters
Jul 7, 2011 – Status: offline, Good Day, I'm learning to fly my first single rotor heli the Blade SR 120. However, it will not hover for more then a second or so ...
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 04:34 PM
Cranky old fart
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All that proves is there are a lot of people out there who need to understand heli physics a lot better than they do. Most of those statements are something like this: "My 120SR had TBE out of the box and it was caused by swash not being leveled". That's complete nonsense and is impossible.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 06:22 PM
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There is really no point to you and I arguing in front of the OP. We are both entitled to our opinions. I have a path that I believe makes sense that skips FP's. Feel free to tell the OP why he should do whatever you think makes sense.

But FYI, I didn't vet the google search to make my point and filter it for explanations or cases of TBE. I just typed in "120SR TBE" and copied and pasted the results screen. TBE and PE are real and caused by the physics of the 45 degree flybar. Have you read John Salt's book? If you want to discuss TBE and PE, lets take it to PM or start another tread.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 03:50 AM
ASJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhodesengr View Post
There is really no point to you and I arguing in front of the OP. We are both entitled to our opinions. I have a path that I believe makes sense that skips FP's. Feel free to tell the OP why he should do whatever you think makes sense.
.
Aggreed! So getting back on topic.....

I understand your rational regarding jumping straight to CP, and I can see how a CP can be setup as an FP, and in the right training environment, with the patience and commitment I totally agree it makes sense to cut out the middleman where possible. However one of the factors that makes me feel confident to skip the coax phase and jump straight to single rotor is the stability that comes with the FP/ 45° Degree fly bar system. I know it’s not a true characteristic of rotary wing aircraft and that the purists think it hinders progression, but coming from a fixed wing background, being able to let go of the sticks and have it sort its self out, does seem appealing, especially when its heading towards Granny’s priceless Ming vase !
That’s not to say I’m totally off the idea of CP, just concerned that I don’t have the space at home required to learn it safely, and the commitment to making a journey out to a suitable flying site when the urge takes you might soon dwindle. I’m far more likely to use the thing if I can just pick it up and have a blast round the living room and back garden when I feel like it.
Now i see the MSR-X and the MCP- X heli both employ the same AS3X flybar-less stabilising technology, What effect does this system have in generally? does it make the helis as stable as a 45 degree flybar, and does it work to the same degree on both helis? in essence i suppose i am asking How stable is it possible to make a CP heli for the beginner?
Also are there any other manufacturers that make DX6i compatible BNF models besides E-flight and ESky?
Thanks,

Alex

P.S. the 120 SR may not exhibit TBE in Clearview but the CX Certainly Does!
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 08:57 AM
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TBE is caused by a harmonic imbalance between two rotating parts. Usually one part is too tight, too loose, or has too much slop for the other part. The interaction between these parts creates a sustainable sine wave. It can be difficult to find if you don't understand what causes it or where to look, which is the case 90% of the time. TBE is far more common in coaxes; they have a lot more parts that can be effected, plus there is interaction between the rotors that can also cause it.

TBE is much more uncommon in single rotor micro sized FP helis, because they have few parts. Most reports of TBE are something else entirely. Most beginners don't really know what it is or how to identify it. You can find plenty of reports of TBE for the MSR or 120SR because they sell thousands of them, more than any other model by far and most of these reports will be wrong. Horizon discontinued the MSR when they brought out the MSRx, but had to bring it back by popular demand.

Both the MSR and 120SR have some pendulum effect when stopping movement. The head design (45° offset head with Bell-Hiller linkage) does not damp movement, it simply smooths it and provides some stabilizing. The much more common 45° offset Bell head provides considerable movement damping, so there is less pendulum effect. The MSR and 120SR have far better performance. Good pilots with a DX6i have looped both. You will never get a 45° flybar heli to loop. You prevent the pendulum effect by applying a small amount of counter movement, which is basically what you have to do all the time with a CP heli. People who complain about it don't like it because it doesn't handle like a coax or 45° flybar heli they are used to. Well, neither does a CP heli.

The MSRx is a flybarless FP heli that was supposed to replace the MSR. It responds much faster than the MSR (few parts, less rotational delay) and has it's own handling anomalies. Flybarless control systems work better with CP helis because head speed is higher and more consistent. I would buy the MCPx V2 or Blade Nano before the MSRx. The MSRx works fine with the basic controller. The MCPx or Nano needs the DX6i.

The DX6i works only with Blade helis and those that have separate receivers. It does not work with most Esky helis and you probably wouldn't want one anyway.

It bears mentioning, but most people are buying micro-quads for learning now. They have completely replaced the coax and largely replaced the micro FP heli as the aircraft of choice. They are more stable, more durable and have a huge performance range. They respond faster than any CP helis and have more movement authority and can do everything but fly inverted (for now). Some people don't like them, but it's the most versatile training tool you will find.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASJ View Post
Aggreed! So getting back on topic.....
However one of the factors that makes me feel confident to skip the coax phase and jump straight to single rotor is the stability that comes with the FP/ 45° Degree fly bar system
My whiole point is that the 45 degree flybar system does not feel stable when you fly it. For that matter, the 90 degree flyabr on the 450 3D didn't feel that stable either. They give a form of stability but it is soft and mushy so you kind of chase the stability around over correcting until you learn how to compensate for the fly bar's attempts to self stabilize.

Skip right to single rotor but skip right to CP. The mCPx V2 is now the same cost as the 120SR.

I also own an mSRx. It flies better than the 120SR but has its won set of issues. Circles easy to the right but gets all weird if you circle to the left. The AS3x feels much more stable than any flybar espepcially in the mCPx. It corrects on a much faster time-scale so you don't feel like you are chasing the stability around. ASX3 is not as good as the BeastX found in the 300X on up but much better than flyabr.

I guess you are just going to have to see for yourself.

Does Esky make heli's that bind to DX6i? Any helicopter that has a seperate RX can be made compatible with Spektrum radios by chaning the RX. Either a Spektrum brand RX or Hobbyking sells the Oragne RX ($6) that binds to Spektrum. I use them in my Flying Wings (Popwing, Superfly, Assassin, etc).
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:19 PM
ASJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
Both the MSR and 120SR have some pendulum effect when stopping movement. The head design (45° offset head with Bell-Hiller linkage) does not damp movement, it simply smooths it and provides some stabilizing. The much more common 45° offset Bell head provides considerable movement damping, so there is less pendulum effect. The MSR and 120SR have far better performance. Good pilots with a DX6i have looped both. You will never get a 45° flybar heli to loop. You prevent the pendulum effect by applying a small amount of counter movement, which is basically what you have to do all the time with a CP heli. People who complain about it don't like it because it doesn't handle like a coax or 45° flybar heli they are used to. Well, neither does a cp
So let me get this right, the 45deg fly bar offers lost of stability and performs pretty much the same as a coax.
The 45 deg offset bell head offers some stability and damping so doesn't have pendulum effect but is slightly more agile than a coax.
The 45 deg offset bell-hillier head offers the stability but not the damping, and is therefore more agile than both of the above but more stable than CP

So how can I tell them apart when looking at different models?

Regarding Esky BNF, it seems what they call BNF actually means separate receiver, so you can use whatever radio you like.

Thanks.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:45 PM
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There are only two variations, the 45° offset flybar and the 45° offset head. There are only two 45° offset head models currently being sold, the Blade MSR and 120SR. They can be identified by having paddles on the flybar, because the paddles are used to predict and influence head movement, in this head configuration. All other FP helis use the much more gentle 45° offset flybar, which is identified by weights instead of paddles on the flybar. In this configuaration, the flybar can not be used to influence head movement, only kill it, hence the weights.

The 45° offset flybar uses a Bell linkage on the head and provides extreme stabilization and movement damping. It's meant to be a very easy to fly entry level heli, that flies very much like a quick coax. They won't teach you much and the jump to a CP heli is quite large.

The 45° offset head uses Bell-Hiller linkage and provides less stabilization an no movement damping. It is a very aggressive performer, for a micro sized FP heli. They will teach you a lot more, making the jump to a CP heli easier, but still no picnic.

The micro-quad will get you ready to fly a CP heli better than anything else.

There are still some old 90° flybar FP helis around, but they are hard to find and get parts for. They are about the most difficult type of heli to learn to fly, but once you learn with one of these, nothing else is much of a learning effort.

BNF version of ESky helis simply mean the transmitter is sold separately. It may or may not mean they have a separate receiver. Their cheaper models do not. In any case, ESky products are only available in a few markets and are very difficult to get parts for. I would not recommend buying any of them, if you live in the USA.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:48 PM
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Bell Hiller

This may help.http://www.rchelicopterfun.com/bell-mixing.html .
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:57 PM
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I would not put much stock in his explanations. They are highly inaccurate. He has no concept of any heli physics.
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