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Old Jan 14, 2005, 12:04 PM
Aspiring novice...
North Central Oro Valley
Joined Dec 2004
143 Posts
XRB SR Lama mini-review by total novice pilot...

YoooHooo! My XRB SR Lama arrived last night. I carefully unpacked the very well made and well packed box, began charging the battery and assembling the XRB (landing gear struts, training gear etc.) I dabbed a touch of Krazy Glue on the bottom of the rear struts to hold them in place as they seemed a bit loose to me. I also removed both sets of blades and balanced them on the included balancer (I've never balanced a blade before or even seen anyone else balance them so I had to take it slow to understand the procedure). I don't think I got the first set properly balanced although they were probably reasonably close.

I set the heli on my kitchen floor (after the kids were in bed) and proceeded to apply small amounts of power with the training gear attached. If I had this to do over, I think I would probably want to conduct this test without the training gear because the rubber grommets holding the training gear on somewhat defeated my rudder spin test I think, but I was too inexperienced to realize it at the time.

By the time the first few spin ups were done, without really lifting
off the floor, I thought the whole thing was way out of whack so I began making what I thought were modest adjustments to the Tx trims. Now I know that this heli was (and still is) almost perfectly
adjusted out of the box and flies quite well with the Tx trims adjusted barely off their centers.
My advice to any new owners is, adjust the Tx trims only one single tiny notch at a time.

After a few lift offs of a few inches on the kitchen floor I though I could fly the thing if I had more room so I re-located to our family room. I lifted off a couple of times a foot or two off the carpet before I crashed and broke a blade.

I replaced the broken blade and lifted off again but accidentally gave a bit too much throttle and sent the heli sailing across the room over the coffee table, over the sofa and perilously close to a sliding glass door so, instinctively, I chopped the throttle and the thing dropped like a rock missing the coffee table by perhaps two inches and shearing off every single blade on it.

I was mortified! Upon inspection however, the heli appeared to be completely undamaged. Finally I made a good decision and decided to go to be and sleep on my utter ineptness as a heli pilot.

This morning I recharged the battery while replacing the four main blades and decided to re-locate again, this time to our two car garage. I moved both vehicles outside and placed the heli in the center of the floor.

First I practiced lifting off a couple of feet and then landing again without chopping the throttle. This seemingly simple maneuver was complicated by my radical Tx trim adjustments of the previous night and the heli repeated tried to escape the garage and careen into either my Blazer or my Dakota. Finally in frustration I decided to reset the Tx trims to center position and start over trying to set the Tx trims while practicing landing from a couple of feet up. To my surprise, the heli popped up into a near perfect hover with the Tx trims centered. It had been pilot error all along, not a problem with the XRB SR.

There was (and still is) a slight tendency to rudder left that I was able to adjust for with a very slight adjustment of the Tx rudder trim. Before coming in to write this, I successfully hovered within a six or seven foot wide rough circle for several minutes. I was so exhilirated I felt compelled to write this review!

At this point I am utterly convinced that Hirobo has developed a helicopter that even an absolutely green, inexperienced novice can fly with a little practice and a two car garage to practice in.

I'm still getting confused by anything other than a tail in hover so I land immediately if I get confused and momentarily can't get the tail back in towards me again, but that was happening less and less until it didn't happen at all my last flight which, as I said, was about three or maybe even three and a half minutes long.

The trick seems to be to learn how to use both sticks in coordinated control of the heli and this is something that I can clearly see is going to take some continuing practice.

But boy is the learning fun!
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 01:57 PM
Live to ride... and fly!
Tres Wright's Avatar
Forney, TX
Joined Mar 2002
15,165 Posts
Very good report, especially for those who may be completely new to the R/C hobby. I want to expand on one of your points, the issue of trimming. Learners have a fear (not unfounded) of flying higher that 12" because they're concerned the higher the heli is, the more likely something will break in a hard landing. This is true, but ironically it is very hard to fly within 12" of the floor because of a condition known as "ground effects" (GE for short). Basically it's turbulence created by the rotors blowing air down which then gets kicked back up by the floor right back into the rotor. Helis don't like GE, they tend to sideslip around unpredictably. I've noticed my SR can also develop a nasty wobble while in GE too. It's a waste of time trying to trim out a heli while flying in GE because it's very unstable. It's OK to fly in GE when you're learning, but don't try trimming. Wait until you've built up enough confidence to fly 3' or more above the floor, THEN trim it out. This gets you up into clean air where things are more predictable. It's also easier to fly because the heli doesn't get kicked around.

On the blade breakage, some people laminate their blades with fiber tape and have reported much longer blade life. I taped tiny carbon fiber rods on the leading edge of my blades and that helped a lot.

Good luck with your learning process, you picked the right heli
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 02:58 PM
Ken
DAYGLOW's Avatar
ST Athan, South Wales
Joined Sep 2004
224 Posts
Well done Lurker.
Good report,
Your last line was the best line, "But boy is the learning fun!"
Ken
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 04:31 PM
I hate waiting for parts
Mike_Then's Avatar
United States, NC, Garner
Joined Apr 2001
6,972 Posts
Sounds good Lurker!

My biggest problem was understanding and trimming the tracking and pitch angle of the blades. Once I got that sorted out, mine wil maintain a pretty good hover with minimal control inputs. I have years and years of car and plane experience, but aside from what my wife calls "The Piccolo Experience", I have no chopper experience except for my XRB.

I'm on my 4th charge and can take off from my living room floor and land on my coffee table. I can also fly it from my living room to my kitchen, and back again. I was extremely frustrated during the tuning process but a good night's sleep to get a fresh perspective (and get rid of the frustration) will do wonders.

Keep at it! It takes time (as I'm realizing) but you'll get the hang of it!
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Old Jan 14, 2005, 11:58 PM
Registered User
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Joined Oct 2004
145 Posts
Congratulations! What you've just accomplished in 2 days would have taken weeks and $$$, a few short years ago on a gasser!
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Old Jan 15, 2005, 12:43 AM
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OlatheFlyer's Avatar
United States, KS, Wichita
Joined Dec 2004
106 Posts
I just got mine tonight. All I can say is WOW! this thing hover's great. Only flew one pack and will have to learn how to trim tommorrow, but so far I am impressed.
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Old Jan 15, 2005, 12:28 PM
Aspiring novice...
North Central Oro Valley
Joined Dec 2004
143 Posts
Total greenhorn driving an XRB, the saga continues...

Thanks for the comments everyone and thanks to Tres for the excellent tips on trimming the XRB. His suggestions are spot on.

After my 7 year old son watched me fly it in the garage a couple of times he begged me to take the XRB to a nearby, tiny, neighborhood park and fly it there. Since there was absolutely no perceptible wind and I was emboldened by my amazing successes the last coupld of battery packs, I foolishly decided the additional room in the park would make flying the XRB even easier and more enjoyable.

We relocated to the park and I set the XRB on a concrete park bench for take off. Using the same techniques I had developed in my garage I proceeded the lift the XRB a couple of feet into the air. Unfortunately the XRB seemed to have a mind of its own and it continued to soar upwards 6 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet, 20 feet and maybe a little more while I gently and slowly pulled back on the throttle a tiny amount at a time. My anxiety had skyrocketed and I was very fearful that I would pull back a little too much and the XRB would drop out of the sky like a stone just as it had done in my living room the previous night.

By the time it finally began descending it had travelled some 50 feet laterally and was headed towards the open desert on the other side of the fence bordering the park. I managed to get it oriented more or less towards me and applied forward stick to bring it closer. This more or less worked as long as I applied full forward stick except that the XRB again climbed higher, this time possibly as high as 35 or 40 feet.

I began to have visions of it soaring up into the jet stream and ending up in DAYGLOW's garden or somewhere so I chopped the throttle what I thought would be just enough to bring it downwards slow enough that I would be able to re-apply throttle before it crashed, but instead, once again, I over did it and the XRB dropped in a sort of semi-controlled crash into the dead dry grass of the park about 10 feet inside the fence. Whew! Well, at least I wouldn't have to chase it through a half dozen varieties of cacti.

Amazingly only one 'A' blade had broken. My son was jumping up and down and whooping to beat the band having thoroughly enjoyed every second of this hair raising flight. As I trudged forlornly home, my son begged me to do it again almost every step of the way while I had become utterly convinced that the XRB is primarily an INDOOR flying machine.

Since I am now on my final set of 'A' blades and my replacement blades aren't going to arrive until Tuesday, I think I'll limit my flights to my garage for the weekend.

Sorry DAYGLOW, I don't want my XRB to visit Wales before I do...

Despite all of the excitement, I haven't had this much fun in years!
I'm hooked! This afternoon I've been thinking more and more about what a Lite Machines Corona would feel like in that park... I think I'll take my XRB for a tour of the garage while I contemplate it.

RC_Lurker
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Old Jan 15, 2005, 01:42 PM
Ken
DAYGLOW's Avatar
ST Athan, South Wales
Joined Sep 2004
224 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by rc_lurker
Thanks for the comments everyone and thanks to Tres for the excellent tips on trimming the XRB. His suggestions are spot on.

After my 7 year old son watched me fly it in the garage a couple of times he begged me to take the XRB to a nearby, tiny, neighborhood park and fly it there. Since there was absolutely no perceptible wind and I was emboldened by my amazing successes the last coupld of battery packs, I foolishly decided the additional room in the park would make flying the XRB even easier and more enjoyable.

We relocated to the park and I set the XRB on a concrete park bench for take off. Using the same techniques I had developed in my garage I proceeded the lift the XRB a couple of feet into the air. Unfortunately the XRB seemed to have a mind of its own and it continued to soar upwards 6 feet, 10 feet, 15 feet, 20 feet and maybe a little more while I gently and slowly pulled back on the throttle a tiny amount at a time. My anxiety had skyrocketed and I was very fearful that I would pull back a little too much and the XRB would drop out of the sky like a stone just as it had done in my living room the previous night.

By the time it finally began descending it had travelled some 50 feet laterally and was headed towards the open desert on the other side of the fence bordering the park. I managed to get it oriented more or less towards me and applied forward stick to bring it closer. This more or less worked as long as I applied full forward stick except that the XRB again climbed higher, this time possibly as high as 35 or 40 feet.

I began to have visions of it soaring up into the jet stream and ending up in DAYGLOW's garden or somewhere so I chopped the throttle what I thought would be just enough to bring it downwards slow enough that I would be able to re-apply throttle before it crashed, but instead, once again, I over did it and the XRB dropped in a sort of semi-controlled crash into the dead dry grass of the park about 10 feet inside the fence. Whew! Well, at least I wouldn't have to chase it through a half dozen varieties of cacti.

Amazingly only one 'A' blade had broken. My son was jumping up and down and whooping to beat the band having thoroughly enjoyed every second of this hair raising flight. As I trudged forlornly home, my son begged me to do it again almost every step of the way while I had become utterly convinced that the XRB is primarily an INDOOR flying machine.

Since I am now on my final set of 'A' blades and my replacement blades aren't going to arrive until Tuesday, I think I'll limit my flights to my garage for the weekend.

Sorry DAYGLOW, I don't want my XRB to visit Wales before I do...

Despite all of the excitement, I haven't had this much fun in years!
I'm hooked! This afternoon I've been thinking more and more about what a Lite Machines Corona would feel like in that park... I think I'll take my XRB for a tour of the garage while I contemplate it.

RC_Lurker
Hey Lurker, You keep posting!
I have not laughed so much for days! I'm not laughing at you, it's just the way you wrote it i could "see" it.
The problem is, as you found out, it's so light it blows away with the merest of breezes. You can be sure that above 15 feet or so there will be some breeze. you gotta keep it realy low.
In ff it produces more lift somehow so you have to be quick on the throttle to back it off a little.
At least your son enjoyed the flight
How's your heart rate? It sure lets you know you are alive don't it?
I Will be checking my garden for debris over the next few weeks
Glad you are having so much fun
Ken
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 09:58 PM
Registered User
CANADA!
Joined Jan 2005
56 Posts
AHA HAHA it reminds me of my first flight with my XRB 2 mins after i got it from the hobby store........scared away 3 birds,scrashed my M3 and broke 4 blades.........

IT WAS FUN.......I fly the real deal for the OPP so i though i would be good at somthing that was 1/10th it's size....but i arnt
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Old Jan 16, 2005, 10:13 PM
Live to ride... and fly!
Tres Wright's Avatar
Forney, TX
Joined Mar 2002
15,165 Posts
==My son was jumping up and down and whooping to beat the band having thoroughly enjoyed every second of this hair raising flight.==

LOL! Great story! Glad to hear the damage was minimal, that was a close one! Some people have reported success flying outdoors, but it's got to be really calm and even then it can be callenging as you discovered. I was surprised at how much mine got bumped around indoors when the heater came on!

==.......I fly the real deal for the OPP so i though i would be good at somthing that was 1/10th it's size....but i arnt ==

LOL! You don't have to deal with that pesky orientation problem in the big ones at least
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 03:01 AM
beginner XRB SR
Joined Jan 2005
1 Posts
miss-adjustement ....

Hi guys,

I just found about this amazing discussion group by luck. I just received my XRB SR this morning. I am new to the RC heli (never used a joystick before !! )
I made a huge mistake (I think) trying to adjust the helico F\R and L\R movement from the helico itself instead of from the receiver. Now my XRB is out of control, is there anyway to return back to the factory settings ?? is it normal that it tends to go to the right or left before leaving the floor ?

Thanks for responding, and by the way, is there any nice book I can buy that will make me learn more about the basics of maneuvring a RC helico
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Old Jan 27, 2005, 09:05 AM
Registered User
Guelph
Joined Aug 2004
209 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratata
Hi guys,

I made a huge mistake (I think) trying to adjust the helico F\R and L\R movement from the helico itself instead of from the receiver. Now my XRB is out of control, is there anyway to return back to the factory settings ??
I, too, made a mistake by turning those trim pots on the heli body. After a couple weeks of flying with the tx trims set to about 50% right and back, I thought it would be nice to do some subtrim on the xrb, and recenter the tx trims... A quarter turn of the fore/aft trim pot and the heli wanted to pull straight back. Stupid me, I tried to fly it anyway, with full forward cyclic, and managed to snap a piece of the landing gear in a bad landing. Lucky, I turned it exactly a 1/4 turn, and could put it back without difficulty.

If you don't remember where your trims were, I think that you'll be able to get it well within a 1/4 turn just by gripping the battery holder in your hand (from beneath) and applying throttle. I could *easily* feel that the xrb wanted to go backwards, but was foolish enough to try and fly it. Check for the xrb's inclination, adjust a trim pot, check again etc. You should be able to get it flyable again just doing this, and use the tx trims to tweak it back into a good hover.

Good luck!
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