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Sep 23, 2015, 11:49 AM
Lynx/Oxy Team Pilot
Thread OP
Discussion

What I learned in my first 3 weeks in the RC Helicopter hobby


I just started 3 weeks ago and learned many lessons the hard way.


I bought an align trex 450 and dx6i on craigslist RTF. Previous owner said it was good to go and parts are readily available..... I had been wanting to get into the hobby for some time already had a simulator and was flying on that. It was a good deal from what I could see and took advantage of it.

ALWAYS check the setting in a radio regardless of whom your buying things from. I powered it up for the first time ready to use the heli hit the throttle hold switch and BOOM the heli took off for the sky. I admit I didn't do it correctly the first time but that time I got lucky. The previous owner for some reason had the throttle hold set for 50%. If I would have been checking the swash plate or some other adjustment I would have ended up in the hospital. Needless to saw broke some parts on the deal

The Trex 450 i found out was an obsolete and parts are hard to come by and what parts I can get come from Hong Kong. Always check to see what model the heli is I took the guys word even though he didn't know what model it was.

I attempted to fix it at this point and found out that the swash plate and other items were either way off balance or mounted correctly. Always go over the heli and check for balance and proper setup....


To sum it up from one beginner to a potential new beginner go over your stuff before your first flight. Look into what you are buying buy it from some where reputable or someone on here with good feedback. Join a club if you can and get someone to help you through it all.... I was trying to buy a heli on a deal and ended up spending way more than I would have if I would have bought a nice one on this forum or another......
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Sep 23, 2015, 12:56 PM
Tarot 550/600 & OMPHobby UK
Smoggie's Avatar
Yeah, you have to be very careful buying second hand helis. You can get some great bargains but you do need to know what you are looking at so for a beginner it's a very risky business. As a beginner you would really want to see it flying before buying, that at least proves it all works..

Good luck getting yours in the air.
Sep 23, 2015, 01:11 PM
Lynx/Oxy Team Pilot
Thread OP
Yea guy said he hovered it and thats about it... I took him for his word. Its been torn apart and put back together. Waiting to tear into the head I have ball link pliers on order but they must be on the slow boat from amazon.... Going to hopefully check the swashplate and then I think I need to check the pitch of the blades... I am not 100% sure but do I need to check the angle or something on the flybars haven't gotten that far yet.


My wife shocked me yesterday knowing I was really frustrated she ordered me a trex 450 dominator 6s with Gpro. Needless to say Im really excited about that! Trying to decided whether I should stick with a DX6i or jump to a DX9 or Taranis at this point.
Sep 23, 2015, 11:49 PM
Tarot 550/600 & OMPHobby UK
Smoggie's Avatar
The DX6i should fly the 450L Dominator fine. The older Align 3GX had an issue with channel assignment which meant that when using satellite receivers you needed a 7 channel Tx but I'd expect that they sorted that out on the Gpro.

The Taranis is a very advanced radio but is also very complex and non-intuitive to program.
Sep 24, 2015, 12:43 AM
Cá bhfuil Micheál?
spykez's Avatar
One of the first lessons I learnt starting RC helis was I needed a dremel to cut out really bent flybars, lol.

Here's the thing. I ... didn't know what a dremel was till I started this hobby. Even bigger lol.

Funny, what you remember. Welcome to the madness.

And I agree a DX6i and a Spektrum sat receiver SPM9645 is enough. Buy a DX9 when you're ready.
Sep 24, 2015, 04:12 AM
Rotor Controller
CaptJac's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lycokayaker
Join a club if you can and get someone to help you through it all.... I was trying to buy a heli on a deal and ended up spending way more than I would have if I would have bought a nice one on this forum or another......
Joining a club and getting someone to help you through it all - are words of wisdom and experience. Trying to do it on your own is a crash looking for a place to happen. Forums are great for helping you sort out problems and finding answers but where the real learning occurs is out on the flying field. Follow your own advice to a flying club. The guidance of a qualified instructor is indispensable. It takes many hours of flying to become anywhere near proficient. You don't really attain proficiency - you only get better. It takes hours of practice and those hours are 5 minutes at a time and limited to weather conditions and availability of time - which usually means an hour a week if you are lucky. Helicopters move too fast to think about them - you have to be on "automatic" - and that automatic only comes with hours and more hours on the sticks. Simulators accelerate the automatic because you can fly day or night rain or snow. Some say simulators are boring compared to the real thing - and they are right. Simulators take a lot of discipline and hard work and the novelty wears off in a few hours. But nothing develops automatic response (muscle-memory) faster than a simulator. Good luck - fly safely - my message box is always open if you need help.

captJac
Sep 24, 2015, 07:11 AM
Lynx/Oxy Team Pilot
Thread OP
Yes agreed..... I am a stay at home father and hoped to do this while my kids napped however the learning curve is not going fast enough for me even with the Sim. I am thinking I need to join a club and get help from an instructor.

I have the Trex 450 SA could I just make it flybarless by adding this head?

http://www.aligntrexstore.com/450DFC...QN_p_1990.html


Whats the standard for joining an club and getting help from an instructor. Do you pay the instructor? Tip? Beer? Any help would be appreciated.
Sep 24, 2015, 08:50 AM
Rotor Controller
CaptJac's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lycokayaker
Whats the standard for joining an club and getting help from an instructor. Do you pay the instructor? Tip? Beer? Any help would be appreciated.
There are more than 1000 AMA sponsored flying cubs in the US. They are there to help you - that is what they do. Here is an AMA LINK to find one in your area. You are required to have AMA insurance to fly at any of their clubs - cost is about $50/year. Most clubs have a modest membership fee. They have a staff of qualified instructors and they don't charge for instruction or take tips - they give tips. Tips on how to hold your transmitter - and how to hover - and how to fly. They will have you "buddy-box" - meaning they connect their transmitter to your transmitter and if you get into trouble they can take over the controls with a flick of the switch. This allows you to concentrate on practicing instead of worrying about crashing. After an hour or two of instruction YOU will be flying your helicopter instead of your helicopter flying you. What a great feeling that is! Wherever you fly - or however you fly - fly safely. Those 450's can be fast and mean and you don't want to be hit by one.

captJac
Last edited by CaptJac; Sep 24, 2015 at 08:56 AM.
Sep 24, 2015, 10:53 AM
Tarot 550/600 & OMPHobby UK
Smoggie's Avatar
A club is the best way if you can find a good one and can hook up with a friendly instructor who is available when you need him.

The problem with some clubs is heli instructors are thin on the ground and it can be hard getting access to one. Even instructors like to fly their own helis so even when an instructor is at the field you can end up doing a lot of standing around waiting, and not much flying.

I'd advise to visit the club and see how the land lies before joining. if there are a number of clubs in your area visit them all and see which one seems most helpful. I've taught a couple of guys to fly who had no luck at all with the local club here. They just ended up stood around all day!
Sep 24, 2015, 11:11 AM
Rotor Controller
CaptJac's Avatar
Talk to someone who is in an AMA sponsored flying club - not someone who heard someone say something. The instructors I've had at the AMA flying clubs have been top-notch and without their help I would have never gotten off the ground.
Sep 24, 2015, 03:10 PM
My other addiction!
norcalheli's Avatar
I am IN an AMA chartered club, and until I joined, they had no one who even flew helis, let alone an instructor. What's true of the densely populated parts of the nation doesn't always follow to the more sparsely populated areas. If you can get in a good club that is not biased against helis, AND they have an instructor for helis, then by all means take advantage of it. Can be a bit inconvenient, though, if the nearest instructor is a two hour drive away.
Sep 25, 2015, 04:29 AM
Tarot 550/600 & OMPHobby UK
Smoggie's Avatar
Yeah, being an AMA club doesnt guarantee they will like helis and even less does it guarantee they will have a heli instructor and even less so that he is actually ever at the field when you can get there. Some do of course and if you can find one like the club CaptJac experienced then great....but not all are like that.

That's why i'd advise to check the club out first before stumping up fees. Joining the AMA would be a good move anyway as I'm assuming it works like the BMFA here in the UK and gives you insurance cover. it also saves you money when you do come to join a club as the AMA membership fee is already paid.

The other option if the club turns out to be impractical is one of the new generation of flybarless controller with 'self level' and 'rescue' functionality. That's like having a virtual instructor that you can activate at the flick of a switch to get you out of trouble. The self leveling can also make the heli much easier to fly during initial training phase.
It's not as good as a real human instructor but the next best thing. The 'Spirit' FBL controller is about the best/cheapest option that has this feature.
Sep 25, 2015, 05:55 PM
My other addiction!
norcalheli's Avatar
JPF,
You're right, AMA here provides insurance and a standard set of safety rules. They are trying to convince our FAA that their 80 plus year safety record is good enough. Time will tell if our FAA will agree.


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