Have not flown much outside of the sim for a few days now. I have two builds and 1 repair going (Blade SR, no hurry) and the weather has been crap.
The Ricco (micro CP) had a few build mistakes from me and after waiting on parts I'm finally ALMOST done. I've misplaced two bearings for the tail and have them on order to complete it. There's a learning curve on this build and I'm not QUITE there yet. Plenty of help over at the Ricco thread though.
I decided to re-buy an EXI t-rex clone in the 450 class. I like the 450 size and feel my donated mini titan needs shelved until I can find a worthy cause to donate it to..kind of pay it forward.
Before the fire my main trainer was an EXI 450 SEV2 clone. I liked the kit enough for $70. With quality electronics it was fantastic actually. I've been eying the 450 Pro for some time and decided to get the EXI copy of the pro for $80. The TT doesn't bother me at all.
The kit arrived two days ago and it was great. You get the heli, spares, crap canopy, zip ties, double sided foam for mounting..it's pretty complete for a clone. I went with the same Turnigy Typhoon 2218 I used to have on a Rhino 12t (have the complete 450 set), Futaba 9257 on the tail, Spartan Quark gyro, HS56Mgs on the cyclic and an Align ESC (Yge will replace this soon)
Hardware was ok. Screws are a little soft so don't over tighten. As usual the head and frame needs checked for loctite. Mine had 4 screws with loctite. You WILL regret not taking the time to remedy this by applying some loctite to all screws mating with metal...and that's almost all of them here on the Pro.
Kit goes together fast, head setup was easy, wiring routing was a tad difficult but I got it going and looking PRETTY clean.
I did a 1-2 minute test flight. It spooled up and had a lower sound than my old 450..I actually liked it..probably the geared drive train. The bird popped up into a nice hover with the tail holding solid. Popped it up and down a few times without incident. It was pitch black out so I couldn't slide it around.
The tail behaved odd and I believe my 9257, which has taken some damage, needs tossed. My Protos really needs a full size like a BLS251 or a 9254 so I may take the Protos' 9257 and put it in the Pro and put a proper full size in the Protos.
I plan to do some test hovers tomorrow when it's daylight and figure out.
Oh..what the tail did was:
Hover, about 80% throttle on the ESC it slowly piro'd left. Not my typical gyro issue and it seemed like the servo just sort of tweaked.
Maybe the Quark is getting vibes (tail looked a little vibration laden...I think the tail blades are chuck..I didnt balance them yet).
As far as training goes I'm still practicing forward flight, figure 8s, upright orientations and nose in inverted. When I popped the Pro up I was 100% confident in my flying and the tail twisting it side in didn't bother me one bit.
Really getting in a groove now.
*edit* I just realized as I wrote this I did not check my gyro gain and set it to sensible defaults. I'm using end points on a Spektrum and have +/-100! Definitely can't speak much on the tail until I put some sensible starting points in here. Finless Bob shows a 450 Pro tail grip issue where you have a lot of throw one way and not the other. center with everything 90 is also off. The solution is to flip the tail grips and I will also do this.
Last edited by rballz; Nov 19, 2010 at 12:43 AM. Reason: Tail edit
As always, lots of info, and as always a good read. I'll make sure to post up some of my misadventures in training...(if my radio and heli ever arrive...I mean dang, how am I to train for a 4ch fp to run outdoors so that I can train to run a 6ch cp?? haha, dang shipping times, seems like forever) It really sounds like you've got a really good handle on what it takes to put together a quality heli out of a solid clone and I'd imagine good parts(I have no idea but they sound good to me, haha. Keep'm comin, always lookin forward to the updates!!
Aside from my short 450 Pro maiden I have not flown in 11 days.
I have logged about 1 hour of sim time since then though. Still practicing slow stationary piros, slow figure 8s both ways, upright orientation, flips, and nose in inverted.
I'm captivated by the micro heli market right now. I believe that bigger is better being that my Protos swinging 425 mm blades (which I now consider small still) is leaps and bounds easier to handle than my 325mm blade swinging 450 Pro and Mini Titan.
Still people tend to gravitate to the micro forums here..countless people trying to find the smallest collective pitch helicopter to learn on. I've flown my dad's old CP Pro (horrible), my Blade SR (horrible due to the head and tail motor), and my now burned up in the fire HB King II.
Why do people chase the smallest CP helicopter? Cost perhaps? Not for me.
For me it's finding a training helicopter capable of aerobatic flight that is also perfect for indoor gym and front yard flying. A lot of us are chasing that dream and either end up with twitchy high head speed high rotor disc loading helis OR worse yet the same twitchy high hs helis with crap design and components.
Now that I have built my LAHeli ricco up to the point of just needing to solder the bullets I picked up today on my YGE-18 ESC and doing a maiden I think I have found the PERFECT micro trainer to 3D heli. The perfect indoor gym bird right out of the box. Perfect front yard flier.
The Ricco SE boasts CF blades at 270 mm, larger than the SR, but a frame and profile that's smaller. Light disc loading. Torque Tube tail. CF tail blades. Brilliant head design. Awesome frame. Everybody that's chased the perfect micro that builds and flies the Ricco can exhale and say 'I've finally arrived!'.
It's a boutique heli. Expensive, 2 US dealers, cheap replacement parts, somewhat difficult build compared to others on the market.
Amazing to me are your variable head speed options. 2000 rpm on a 300 sized heli? Capable of 10-20 minute flight times? Capable of upping to 2700-3000 rpm head speeds yet hardcore 3D can be done at 2600-2700 head speed? We have a 2000-3000 head speed variance option and the bird can handle them ALL.
Again, this boutique micro is NOT cheap.
$200 for the kit (SE with blades) + electronics
I went cheap on cyclic servos (hs-55s which I hate) and with my Spartan Quark have about $400 in this. I could have went much cheaper with a used 401 gyro, mks ds480 on the tail, and cheap ESC (I fly YGE ESCs) but this heli is just TOO important for me.
Main rotor diameter s not THAT much smaller than a 450 so this heli will likely be my main trainer. Capable of small area flying - yet it flies big..can't beat that.
Check the ongoing build/discussion thread
Youtube LAHeli Ricco videos. See how BIG this little guy can fly.
This deserves much more attention.
I ran mine up without main blades tonight at probably 2700 rpm with no vibes (the tail is hard to build and improperly done can induce vibes at high head speeds so I'm proud) and have my head setup perfect so far so I have no doubt it will fly as good as the videos.
Knowing my luck, with all the hype I've just fed this bird I have not YET
flown, something will go wrong.
Should have a maiden report (weather is bad here now, freezing rain) within the week.
Sounds like a cool bird. I'm heading over to that thread now.
I finally received my Phoenix Sim, DX6i and mSR (all new, didn't wanna chance used parts for my first non-coax). I find the sim is very difficult, but will be doing some online training with CapJack to help that. I did notice, that when I set up the sim, all of my stick inputs registered when calibrating it for the sim, yet when it asked me to toggle the two switches, there was nothing showing on the screen saying they were doing anything..??? Is that normal?
As for my sim training, it's tough. I must get online at my friends house who has high speed internet to see if there's any updates, or more aircraft. I know I should be on a bigger heli, but I was trying to practice the mSR on there, but on my laptop screen, I can't maintain any orientation as it's too small to see, haha. I have tried the other heli's too on the sim, but with very limited success; so I decided it was time to charge up my batteries and try out the mSR.
First battery, it really takes some getting used to as I'm used to three channel coax's (which I am not going to fly any more to help unlearn three channel controls). I was crashing every few seconds. My living room is small, about eight by twelve foot flyable space (just to keep it safe). Then I was able to control it just long enough to start trimming it out. The hard part of all this I fly in the same room our fireplace with stove insert is. There is no fan whatsoever on the woodstove insert, but with the temps outside in the teens, the fire is kept pumpin which really induces a ton of variance in flyable air quality. I'm always correcting for the river of hot air swirling.
Second battery, got my first few good hovers in.....getting excited. Started moving it around a little bit and bringing it back.
Third battery, I think I got this little bugger handled! Ok, well not really, but I can hover, my orientation is good since I'm used to the little coax which is about the same size. I'm really having fun sliding it sideways since that is something my coax couldn't do being just three channels.
Fourth, fifth and sixth batteries. More of the same, nose in, tail in, sideways hovers, moving around the room slowly and not making much in the way of turns while moving as I don't wanna get outta shape and lose control. Just takin it slow, havin a good time.
Word to the wise....no practicing at two a.m......my girlfriend woke up because it sounds like a dentist drill to her and she hates that....and she had to work the next day...oops. I've also run through almost another six batteries, but was cut short to go do turkey day at my girlfriend's sisters house. A white Thanksgiving for us here in Western Washington is rare. We had between six and eight inches, so I loaded up the quad, snow gear and a sled. We towed kids and adults around her five acres for hours upon hours and late into the evening. Not enough snow to break out a knee-board for behind the quad, but the sled was a hit to say the least. Now, the temp is up over forty degrees, the snow is melting, our pipes have thawed and now we've got plumbing work to do....this is a whole thread unto itself though.
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