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Dec 20, 2014, 03:00 PM
Team Drone Art
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Mini-Review

Daryoon's Editorial on the HiSky HCP100








Forewords.
Not a typical review thread.










The Good Stuff First!
Concluding summary at the beginning.



For those of you who are not yet owners of the HCP100 and stumbled upon this thread…this concluding summary is for you.

__The HiSky HCP100 (previously known as the HiSky FBL100) is a worthy candidate for those looking for a 100 class, collective pitch R/C helicopter they can fly with abandonment. It puts a check mark next to each item I deem essential in any hobby grade model: quality of design and construction, good flying characteristics, spare parts support, and the ability to use your preferred programmable radio transmitters. The last factor alone may set it apart from similar class helis such as the WLToys v977 and the SkyArtec Wasp Nano CPX.

__The overall layout of the heli takes on the familiar mechanical designs of the Blade mCPX. A time tested and proven design among the hobbyist community. Another added benefit is that some of the hop ups, cnc machined parts developed by third parties for the Blade mCPX can be utilized on the HCP100 with little or no modification. This sound mechanical design allows a good foundation for the flight electronics and software programming.

__The flybarless flight controller system of the HCP100 does an apt job in holding it's head and compensating for the wind. Making it good for outdoor flights. Even under slightly breezy condition. That said, the gain on the gyro appears to be set a little high, causing a noticeable tail wag under certain situation, with no ability to manually adjust and fine tune the gyro setting directly. Therefore, selection of tailboom length and/or tail rotor will allow some mechanical adjustment of the gyro "gain." Certainly not a deal breaker but having the ability to tune the gain via a radio channel would have been appreciated.

__Another negative point against the HCP100 is the fact that CCPM mixing needs to be done via the transmitter. This forces added level of complexity in getting your radio working properly with the HCP100. Competing Helis such as the aforementioned Blade mCPX has the CCPM mixing programmed into the flight controller, which greatly simplified radio programming. Having said that, an area where the HCP100 comes out on top is the use of a more power main motor and a larger, 7mm tail motor. This combo makes the HCP100 feel like a more powerful heli out of the box. The 7mm tail motor helps to hold the tail a lot better than a stock mCPX. In fact, upgrading a stock mCPX to a 7mm tail motor is one of the popular mod.

__As with any hobby grade models, spare parts availability and price is a big consideration. This is one big advantage to Horizon Hobby's Blade Heli line. In that one can usually walk into the local hobby shop for spare parts. The negative side is the price for the spare parts are often high for what they are. This is where the HCP100 becomes a value to own. HiSky manufacture the heli and it's various rebrands, so we know spare parts are interchangeable between the various models: WLToys v922, HobbyKing FBL100, HiSky FBL100. The competing branding ensure replacement parts are both available and affordable. This allows pilots to push their skill levels because a broken 3in1 RX or say, a tail boom isn't as painful as the same scenario with a Blade branded product.

__Finally, the HCP100 has the option of binding to a HT8 or WL6 module. Which will allow you to bind the model with your Futaba, JR, Spektrum, Walkera programmable radio. And as an added bonus, the HiSky protocol has been deviated. So the opensourced Deviation firmware can directly control the HCP100.

The following pros and cons list helps to summarize other things that comes to mind:









Editorial.
My personal opinion and overview.



__HiSky is becoming a force to be reckon with in the hobby industry. Their current releases are competitive and they continue to refine and improve upon them. As evident by the release of newer style canopies to replace the less popular "pelicanopy" shape and more robust main frame. Both examples based on feedback from the user community here on RCGroups. Their existing line up containing 80 size CP and FP, as well as 100 class CP and FP makes their flybarless porfolio more diverse than their competitors. Including big names like Blade Helis, who do not have a 100 size, flybarless fixed pitch heli.

__Looking at the immediate future, HiSky just release their second generation v2, accelerometer equipped fixed pitch heli. And will follow with a 60 size CP heli with accelerometer as well. Shortly thereafter, a brushless variant of the HCP100 and bigger 130 class CP helis are slated. All, with the new accelerometer support that can be turn on and off. Poise to beat big names like Blade Helis to the market with the next gen tech in micro CP helis.

__On top of all that, HiSky has the forward thinking to embrace the opensource community by promising to allow their protocol to be ported to great projects such as Deviation.





Inside the Box.
A look at what you get for your money.



__In regards to spare parts, HiSky is thoughtful to not only include upgrades such as high visibility blades and rotor, but even little things such as a full set of replacement screws that even top tier companies such as Blade fail to include with their heli. On these micro helis, dropping and having to search for these miniscule screws can be infuriating. Having a full set of extras included is a godsend.

__The compact charger is capable of simultaneously charging two lipo cells. And because it's design to be charged via USB, you can charge your lipo on the go, wherever you have access to a USB plug.

__With the latest Ready to Fly (RTF) kits, HiSky introduced the H6 series of programmable radios transmitter (TX). They come preprogrammed with all of HiSky's currently flybarless helis. And are available in your choice of black or white. The H6 feels pretty decent in the hands. Not too small and not too large either. It's a good kit TX that is better than the RTF TX included with heli packages such as the v911.

__The H6 transmitter is smaller in size than the Spektrum DX4i RTF radios that comes with Blade mCPX helis. The sticks and gimbal feels about the same to me. But what sets the H6 apart is it's programmability. You can set your dual rates, expo and custom pitch and throttle curves. So it's definitely a better radio than the DX4i imho. For those who wants something a little better, there is the HiSky X-6s radio as well.
Last edited by Daryoon; Dec 20, 2014 at 09:29 PM.
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Dec 20, 2014, 03:00 PM
Team Drone Art
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HiSky HCP100 Overview part 2






Details.
The OCD Nitty Gritty.


__Let's take a closer look at the heli. A good idea for any new heli coming off the assembly line, and traveling half way around the world. We end user are the best quality control agent.

__First off, some photos of the canopy and the color blades and rotors next to and under the same light as a WhiBal card. For those who has a calibrated monitor and understand how to use the grey card and black/white points. They can see a more realistic rendition of the colors.


Next, a look at the board without the canopy.
The board looks well manufactured and laid out. I like that the status LED is centrally located. This means the faint glow of the LED through the canopy will be evenly diffused. Some helis has the LED off to one side of the board. And thus, the glow of the LED is lopsided and uneven.
Sometimes I wish the manufacturer would include LED on the back of the board, or on each side. So the whole canopy will glow up at night. Although I suspect the PCB board will create a break in the glow itself and I would have complain about that.
I like that the servo and motor connectors are now color coded. This is something relatively new they introduced at the factory and helps when you're putting your heli back together again.

One of the point of failure on other heli is the junction of where the battery leads solders to the RX board. It makes sense because we're often tugging at the battery leads, plugging and unplugging the battery. HiSky strengthen this junction by the use of a plug and through hole solder into the PCB board. Making it a sturdy point.
__Unfortunately, the second point of weakness in the battery leads did not get this extra attention to detail. That is the solder joint between the wire lead and battery connector. I have read instances of where the heli would intermittently lose power. One possible cause of the intermitten power lost and board reset is due to a broken solder joints. However, because it is still held in place by the heatshrink, it made it hard to figure out the source of the problem.

__I personally like to remove the factory heatshrink and the brittle leadfree solder that companies observing RoSH rules must adhere to. Apply my own 60/40 leaded solder for a more robust joint. Then follow by an additional layer of heatshrink as shown in this following photo. If you don't like soldering too much...at the very least, add the extra layer of heatshrink like the following photo showcase. I either use tweezers, pliers or scissors to stretch a heatshrink, slip fit over the connector. Move it into place and heat shrink. This creates a tight, protective layer that is much needed at this highly stressed point.

__Moving rearward, you can see where the tail motor wire exits the frame. There is a grove there that allows the wire to exit without being severely pinched. Since you are here, you can see if the boom has any play. If so, I like to pull the boom out, and put transfer light coating of CA glue to each side of the boom. Let it air dry completely. Then reinsert into the frame. You notice that HiSky moved away from using enamel wires. This was in response to the community on RCGroups, who feels that the enamel coating chipping off the tail wire causes shorts that in turn burns tail motor FETs.

It's also a good idea to check and ensure the tail motor wires are not going to get caught in anything spinning. I like to take up the slack by routing it under the canopy post like the following photo.

__The following photo shows the tail section. The rotor has more pitch than the rotors on competing micro cp helis. However, the 7mm motor drives it well for a good tail hold. The rotor and the tail fin are both made of carbon impregnated plastic. So it's stiff and rigid. The tail rotor does not have the annoying habit of losing it's pitch like the mCPX tail rotor. However, the downside is, both rotor and tail fin can break more easily.

__Looking at the bottom of the HCP100, you can see the main gear is friction fit and slips onto a "D" keyed carbon fiber main shaft, and is snugged up against the lower bearing of the main frame. This system is design so in the event of a crash, the main gear will slip and prevent the torque from fracturing the main shaft. It's best practice to quickly check that the main gear is snugged up against the bearing after each crash. And that the flat part of the gear matches up with the flat part of the main shaft like so:
Here is a photo that shows the main gear has rotated out of place. This can create an uneven meshing with the pinion gear. But I personally haven't experienced it on the HCP100 itself.

__Moving up towards the head. I'll just mention that the linkage from the swashplate to the blade grip is smaller on one end versus the other. So if you ever find it difficult to insert, try flipping it around.

__At the top of the head, you will find a location to install the rotor head cap that is included in the bag of spares parts. Or can choose to leave it off. Some people commented that the head allows them a location to quickly slow or stop the blades after throttling down with their finger. Others mentioned that the head cap allow them to do inverted floor sweep, trick maneuvers. While some just feels like it finishes up the head by closing the hole at the top.

And here's a quick weight comparison of the stock HCP100 with and without the stock 300mAh lipo.










Before the First Flight.
Important things to be aware of!



1. Binding:
I find that the heli likes the radio or HT8 module if you're using that, to be in really close proximity to the heli for the initial bind. Even touching the heli with the antenna is a common way to ensure a you get a good bind. Bad binds would result in the servo movements being laggy or jerky. It's doesn't seem to be a common problem on subsequent reconnects between the paired heli and radio. But it's something to keep in mind for those who are having difficulty binding to the heli for the first time. Or for those binding between multiple radios.
2. Full throttle up and unexpected liftoff:
It is always the recommended best practice to remove the blades before binding your programmable transmitter to the v922/FBL100 for the first time. Not getting the throttle channel set up correctly have surprised a few owners with their heli flying upwards at full throttle upon successful bind between heli and module.
3. Insert lipo battery and quickly set on surface:
It is important to allow the heli to initialize it's servo without movement. So upon connecting the lipo battery, set the heli on the ground as soon as you can. This will ensure the gyros are initialized properly so you get a nice, stable flight.







Transmitter Programming.
FlySky TH9x, Spektrum, Futaba, etc

Some member created post with help in getting your transmitter set up.
Here are my Deviation file for the Devo 7e based on Gordonzo's settings.
Last edited by Daryoon; Dec 20, 2014 at 05:42 PM.
Dec 20, 2014, 03:01 PM
Team Drone Art
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Gallery










More Great Images
Photos I've seen shared online.


Here are some notable images of the HiSky HCP100 I've seen shared at various places on the interweb.
Last edited by Daryoon; May 19, 2015 at 11:24 PM.
Dec 20, 2014, 03:01 PM
Team Drone Art
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FAQs and Specs









Parts Compatibility Matrix.
Known compatible parts from other manufacturers


Here are parts that the community have found to work with the HCP100.





Weights and Measurements.
Because every gram counts.


Will update with a list...

skids:
  • weight: 1.13g
  • mounting pegs: 2 x 1.5mm spaced 30mm apart
  • battery tray opening: 18.3 x 6mm

frame:
  • weight: 2.62g
  • bearings x2: 3 x 6 x 2.5mm

Pinion:
  • teeth count: 8t
  • mod: 0.3

Main Gear:
  • weight: 0.38g
  • teeth count: 63

3-in-1 RX:

Tail Motor Mount:

Tail Boom:
  • weight: 0.60g
  • length: 127.45mm
  • thickness: 2mm square
Last edited by Daryoon; Dec 23, 2014 at 12:07 AM.
Dec 20, 2014, 03:02 PM
Team Drone Art
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Mods, Repairs, Maintenance






Mods.
Because most of us can't leave well enough alone!


Brushless Mods


Radio Mods


Durabilities Mods
  • Additional upper tail brace
  • Solid tail boom



Carrying Cases
  • Grisnjam:







Maintenance and How tos.
One day...I will have time to write some up.



Servo
  • On older servos, check to make sure the wire has hot glue applied to prevent them from shortening out:



Tail Boom



Tail Motor
  • Preventing tail motor wire from getting cut



Main Frame
  • Using mCPX Frame:



3-in-1 RX



FETs (MOSFET)



LiPo Battery
  • Photo of the battery seated properly:



Dressing it up
  • Paper Canopies






Files and Downloads.
Useful files download links.




Official HiSky HCP100 Manual


Phoenix RC Sim Model

Last edited by Daryoon; Dec 21, 2014 at 01:02 AM.
Dec 20, 2014, 03:03 PM
Team Drone Art
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Thread OP

WHERE TO FIND and BUY






Where to Buy.
Some of my fav places...

Below are some places I know off that carries the HCP100 or it's variants, the v922 and FBL100.
They are also a good source for spare parts too. In case that's what you're looking for.








Last edited by Daryoon; Dec 20, 2014 at 05:57 PM.
Dec 21, 2014, 02:57 AM
Against Helicopter Cruelty
Heli Pad's Avatar
Thanks, Daryoon, for putting out such high quality review.

The technical details are very comprehensive and the photos are pure eye candies.

You should be proud of your work, truly.

HP
Dec 23, 2014, 05:01 PM
Please call me Dana
dteel's Avatar
Awesome job on the review Daryoon!

There are a lot of the photos that will not display for me here at work. Will try again once I get home but you might have a problem with your links (or my work connection is just being blocked).

You voiced many of the same feelings and thoughts I have about this helicopter. Your review was right on in my opinion.
Dec 23, 2014, 05:14 PM
Team Drone Art
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Thread OP
Hi Dana,
Can you access my blog: www.hacksmods.com

It's possible that your work proxy server doesn't like the word "hack" in my domain name.

In the future, I will move the images resources to RCG server. That way, when my blog no longer exist...at least these thread will not lose all the pictures.

Take a look at this thread again when you get home. I think you'd be pleasantly please at the way it looks once the pictures are inline and viewable.
Last edited by Daryoon; Dec 23, 2014 at 05:56 PM.
Dec 23, 2014, 05:41 PM
Please call me Dana
dteel's Avatar
I get the following warning:

Access Denied by NETWARCOM Policy BLOCKED By Category

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess it's because the site name contains the word "hacks". I'll just take another look once I'm done for the day and at home.

Thanks for getting back to me!
Jan 14, 2015, 10:56 AM
Fueled by coffee & LiPo
JW57RC's Avatar
Thank you, this is great stuff! I just got my HCP100 and the info presented here is very much appreciated. The first flight sessions did NOT end with 1000 pieces moving quickly away from each other - none, actually! - in large part because of your Devo .ini and comments.

Thanks once again for sharing your insight!
Jan 14, 2015, 02:55 PM
Team Drone Art
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Thread OP
You're welcome.
Jan 14, 2015, 09:42 PM
Please call me Dana
dteel's Avatar
Even better when I can see all the pictures! Once again great job! I have two of these little helicopters and I love them! Need a new tail boom on one, split it tying a flip. I have three or four spares on hand so it's just taking the time to do it.


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