|Oct 20, 2007, 12:09 PM|
New Walkera 4#3 Pros and Cons
I realize there is already a thread on this newly released helicopter but I felt that new readers needed a place to come and read the pros/cons and perhaps see a few videos of this helicopter in action. If you are in any way like me, you get tired of reading the same old post and sometimes bickering of fellow modelers who may or may not disagree. I will try to compile as much detailed information, as well as suggestions and updates as I am able. Be advised that this particular thread will be edited daily as new information comes my way.
The Walkera 4#3 is a new release sub-micro helicopter released during the later part of September 2007. It is a full function 4 channel fixed pitch helicopter with bearings throughout and a motor driven tail. It comes as a RTF (ready to fly) package. More info may be seen here: http://www.walkera.com/en1/particula...pn=Z24%2330104
To date, several helicopter modeling enthusiest have obtained this model and to my knowledge, all were amazed at the quality, appearance and mechanical function of this helicopter.
Walkera 4#3 Pros:
1. The walkera 4#3 is a true sub-micro (palm size) helicopter with a RTF weight of around 46 grams.
2. Uses a single cell 3.7v 400mAh lithium polymer battery,(included).
3. Flight times on most setups average 7-10 minutes per charge.
4. Comes neatly packaged in it's own carrying case for easy transport.
5. Walkera electronics seem to have improved some.
6. Can easily hover/fly in a medium sized room.
7. Reported to have been flown outdoors in a light wind.(though personally, I wouldn't try it. Why would you need to? Find a highschool gym and save the outdoors for a larger heli.
8. Stabitlity?.... Much better than one would expect from this size helicopter. Comparable maybe to that of the Micron V2 or better. (dependant upon setup)
9. Most have found this model helicopter to be just what they have been looking for; I know I did. And ready to fly right out of the box.
[B]Cost[/B]:? USD prices found me paying $125.00 shipped to my door priority mail.
Walkera 4#3 Cons
1. The walkera head....
There were some reports from fellow modelers that there was binding in the head and that it would not pivot freely. Some even tried removing one ball link to see if that would free it up some with mixed results.
2. The walkera head....
This is the real aquiles heel of this helicopter. It is most of the time very easy to break in a medium to hard crash. Replacement requires that the end user (you) remove a very small pin holding the main gear to the main shaft and slipping the main shft from its bearings.Removal of the swashplate, a few ball links/flybar etc...
(Note) There is already work on progress on the possibility of manufacturing heads from aluminum by one of our 4#3 owners.
3. Some have reported that plugs were not making proper contact and there was concern over there being bad solder joints or faulty servos.
4. Parts support:
Since this is a new item, the owner may find it difficult at time to find the parts needed. That is not to say that support isn't coming or that there is no one out there selling them, just that most places at this time may be out of stock.
On the other side of the equation:
The Tx that comes with the walkera 4#3 works fine, but may be of little or no help to new comers wanting to get into the RC helicopter world. Plainly said, though is is a wonderful little Tx, it offers no programming features for Dual Rates or Exponential. I cannot speak for all modelers owning the 4#3 but this helicopter cries for these features.
Discussion is ongoing even as I type this about the possible/probable use of another radio contianing these. As is, (I may be wrong) the only way at this time is to swap out the walkera electronics. About using a different Tx:
Spainman posted other PPM Tx's CAN work, if they have enough channels. The 4 we need and 7 more set at -40%.
It seems Walkera did this to prevent us from using other Txs, cos otherwise their Tx's use just generic PPM..
Once I know more I will edit this and place all new information here.
For your entertainment here are a few links to 4#3 videos:
Walkera 4#3 Parts Vendors
There are more, I know, and when I find them I will post them here.
Anyone caring to contribute to this compilation, please IM with your ideas/solutions and answers.
My makeshift Mini Review
I should probably start by saying that I am fairly new to RC Helicopters, coming from a plank background for more than two decades. Years ago I bought my first helicopter called the Sport 500 sold by Hobby-Lobby. After much frustration and replacement parts I could finally manage a semi controled crash landing....Needless to say I sold it for pennies compared to what I paid for it and returned to planks. Last year I again took the plunge into the RC helicopter realm purchasing a Walkera #4 FP and after a couple hundred dollars in parts later I was finally able to takeoff, hover and land without breaking anything. Since that time I have owned many helicopters, some are....Walkera#4,Dragonfly,Colco Thunderbird,PiccoZ,Smartech Skylark,Falcon 40,Blade CP, BladeCP Pro,Shogun V1 and V2,Trex 450SX and SE,Micron V1 and V2,SJM400 CF Pro, 2 Hirobo Shuttles, and now the Walkera 4#3.
With that said, I really liked the price of the walkera, but got away from these FP types because of tail motor issues and faulty electronics. For the past 8 months I have been soley flying mini and gas powered models and with belt or shaft driven tails.This new Walkera 4#3 is quite the refresher course.
Opening the box
Upon opening the box I found everything neat and tidy, with nothing out of place. Packaging was top notch and all parts were in proper order. Removing the 4#3 from it's container was an easy task and As I began to charge the battery I found myself salivating. Overall appearance and size of this little gem were exactly what I had hoped for. Now let's see if the electronics worked as they were suposed to and if it would in fact actually fly.
Charging with the stock charger
The battery didn't take as long as I thought it would to charge, I didn't really time it but it couldn't have been more than 20-30 minutes or so with the supplied charger. Batteries for the Tx came supplied thanks to RC of the North as well as an extra set of main blades and another main motor.
Maiden flight and then some
After completing a charge on the 3.7v 400mAh lipo pack I slid the battery into it's holder between the landing gear. It slid in easliy with little friction to hold it in place. Next I wanted to assure myself that it did indeed balance directly beneath the main shaft. I then turned on the Tx and assured myself that all trim tabs were in their neutral possition and that the throttle tab was lowered fully. I plugged in the lipo and was rewarded by a slight twitch of the tail rotor. I wasn't sure if everything had initialized so quickly so I gave it another 10 seconds to be sure. Moving the right stick I was rewarded with proper cyclic movement of the swash with no binding. I began to advance the throttle until the 4#3 became light on it's feet and finally lifted off at around 50% power. This thing had my fingers tied in knots trying to keep it under control for the first few seconds of the maiden flight. After what seemed and eternity, maybe 5 seconds my mental and visual training took over and I managed to find a fair hover. (There was nothing wrong with the walkera 4#3) It was all pilot error, over controling it with every move. (remember, I have been flying much larger and heavier collective pitch models)and I had gotten used to banging the sticks around a bit. I have flown the 4#3 more than 20 times today and had some minor spills, and the 4#3 has held up nicely. Though I would not suggest it be for the complete beginner, anyone with any FP training that can takeoff, hover and land may be capable of flying this heli (may use training gear until comfortable). I have found that after each flight that the main motor does get hot, and I would definately suggest a heatsink to help in the longevity of the motor. Flight times have averaged 7 minutes or so.(very good for a model this size running on a single cell lipo)The tail motor has only gotten slightly warm and should last for quite some time if you don't pull the wires out of the end bell. I also think that if a person could use a computer radio with dual rates and expo it would tame this heli down a bit. All in all, Out of a personal score of 10 out of 10 I would score this particular heli a 8. I will definately be watching for the realease date of walkera CP version. I just have to have it!!!!
So for those of us that have the walkera 4#3,my hat goes off to you. We are in the elite of the elite with this helicopter and my deepest thankyous to Walkera/Japan for this one of a kind model. Two thumbs up!!!
A toast to large living rooms and highschool gyms....Many enjoyable flights to everyone.
Main motor should have a descent heatsink.
Spare head assemblies should be ordered at time of purchase.
Another lipo or two to keep you flying.
and ofcourse, extra main and tail motors, they won't last you a lifetime.
*** Please do not respond here* Maybe we can make it a sticky....
ImagesView all Images in thread
|Oct 21, 2007, 09:21 AM|
Todays Conclusions and addons....
Other links to sites containing discussion of the newly released Walkera 4#3.
I know there are more out there and some will be added later today, please be patient.
After reading up on a few more pages I have concluded that no matter what the issue, we as modeling helicopter enthusiest will overcome any and all obsticles placed in our path. We will soon have a fix for the weakest link on the 4#3 and the sun will shine down upon us.....
Keep checking back....
|Oct 22, 2007, 09:11 PM|
For the past week I have been waiting for a pair of head assemblys that I ordered from overseas. My 4#3 being down with a cracked head has given me some time to search for alternative motors/replacements. It seems there was a delay in my shipment due to the fact that parts vendors seem to have shipped there head parts back to the factory as they were seen as unsatisfactory. Here is the response to a email I sent questioning the status of my order after paying for 1-4 day delivery and not getting any info.
Dear sir, We are sorry that as the quality of the 4#3 parts is not satisfactory, we have returned them to the manufacturer. We believe the back order would arrive soon, so we could then send you the order. If we have any news about your order or the 4#3 parts, we will contact you again.We are sorry for the late shipmentThank you. Best Regards,eHIROBO.com
That was this morning:
Perhaps walkera have seen this and have improved on this part? only time will tell.
Tonight I have recieved this:
From: eHIROBO (email@example.com)
Sent: Mon 10/22/07 7:04 AM
To: Frank Hawkins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
eHIROBO------------------------------------------------------Order Number: 13411Detailed Invoice: http://www.ehirobo.com/shop/account...er_id=13411Date Ordered: Thursday 18 October, 2007 Dear Sir, Thank you for your order! Your order has been shipped out by UPS. The tracking number is " 1Z4R42990440805491 " . You can click the following link to our shipping page to check the status. http://www.ups.com/WebTracking/trac...R42990440805491 If you still have enquiries, please feel free to contact us again. If you have technical problems or you would like to share your experience in flying RC helicopters, please visit Walkera supporting forum: http://www.walkera-heli.com/forum/ Thank you again for your order. Hope that you would give us continual support. Your order has been updated to the following status. New status: Sent Please reply to this email if you have any questions.
Other companies seem to have followed suit in this matter.
Here are a couple sites that may contain a replacement tail motor.
Possible Replacement Tail Motors
|Oct 24, 2007, 08:26 PM|
I finally recieved my set of new heads from Hong Kong today. (bad news is that they won't be making improvement changes to their heads soon). Anyways, shipping was prompt once they were set in the mail. 2-3 days to my door, so I must give them 2 thumbs up on shipping. I just finished the rebuild and have the 4#3 charging so we will see how it goes after the replacement.....
Working on the 4#3 requires small hands,calm nerves, a magnifying glass and a good set of tweezers.
After allowing the battery to charge for the alotted time, I plugged everything in and gave it a whirl....after about 1.5 minutes total flight time I landed due to a lot of squirlyness and the 4#3 tipped over. The result was ANOTHER broken head.
Walkera really needs to rethink this part, or manufacturer a upgraded component. I feel there are a lot of hobbiest that own this heli and all love it. But with the head assembly breaking if you breathe on it hard....? I don't think any of us bought it for a hanger queen....and that is essentially what it is while we wait for parts. I guess I am going to order another dozen heads.
|Oct 27, 2007, 08:21 PM|
New pics and Vids
Here ae a few new pictures of my walkera 4#3. I kinda thought I would show some in flight pics as there doesn't seem to be many out there yet.
Video will be posted shortly:
I am still awaiting news on the production of a alumimun head for this model. When I know more,(for certain) I will post it here.
ImagesView all Images in thread
|Oct 28, 2007, 09:07 PM|
Inherant Stability and issues thereof
Trying to make the walkera stable in a hiver takes a few step not uncommon in any type of heli setup.
1.Firstly we must make sure that all servos are set to 90 degrees and that our swashplate is level on all axis.
2.We want our trims set to neutral and or throttle trim set to zero.
3. Make certain out blades are balanced ant tracking on the same plane.
4. make certain the our flybar is of equal lengths and our paddles have been balanced and rotating on the same plane and angle as well.
5. Balancde the tail rotor.
6 balance the heli as perfectly as possible under the main shaft by sliding the battery or by other mean.
Due to it's size, I would think it difficult to find a hands free hover, but if you have checked all these items and have the right conditions, you may find a hand free hover for a few seconds.....However due to the size of the 4#3 don't expect that condition to come easily.....
|Jan 05, 2008, 10:07 AM|
Great review for us not in the know.
I have not flown a 4#3 even though I sell them, and its parts on my web store so I appreciate the time you have spent on this.
On that note, people should be aware that Walkeras turn around time for an order is 20 working days from payment which means 4-5 weeks including shipping. We are out of most of the breakable parts like the rotor head and main blade holders. We didnt know what the interest would be in this little heli so I didnt over order parts when we first stocked the heli. However I have ordered many parts this time so hopefully people wont have to order from China. We ship from Utah.
I have not heard officialy of the CP 4#3(4G3) from my sales rep. Curious where you found the pic of the 4G3. It looks neat.
Also, Walkera has been in mass production of the 4#3 and a new 2.4GHZ edition. I have ordered a dozen of the 4#3, 2.4GHZ editions and they will ship with the parts in 4 weeks. If anyone wants to wait that long you can sign up for our store newsletter for an announcement of their arrival. www.highvolt-heli.com
From what I can see, this is the little heli that everyone wished the picooZ was. Or what everyone wanted after owning the picoo.
Keep up the good work on this thread. I hope you are able to condence all of the info from the big thread to a more readable format. Thanks Apache
|Jan 05, 2008, 11:21 AM|
Great review! I actually spent some 16+ hours reading the other thread out there on this heli and this thread sums it up very nicely. I'm going to wait for the metal head before I purchase this heli. Walkera could sell alot more stuff if they would just work on quality control and listen to their customers more (or just read the boards!). They do have neat stuff but with motors burning out... It just seems they are more worried about getting products out the door than building a good rep.
I have heard their products are getting better though so that is good to hear.
They really need to make their helis so we could use different tx and just sell the helis without their tx.
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