Hello everyone! I am new to the forum... Piccolo? - RC Groups
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Mar 16, 2002, 01:03 PM
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thazy2's Avatar

Hello everyone! I am new to the forum... Piccolo?

My friend and I are thinking about buying the piccolo (2). Im not new to heli. I have an Kyosho ep conept w/ a PCM radio which I have flown 4 times and crashed 4 times. Ever since, its been hanging on the wall, alittle affraid now. I have a simulator now which I have log at least 100hours on. Im quite good on the sim but Im still alittle afraid, actually alot affraid. Nonetheless I would like to fly indoor but the EP conept is alittle too big. The piccolo would be perfect! I have been reading alot of post and still have some questions. If any of you can help me w/, I would ever be so greatful... thanks in advance.....

What is the most BASIC radio that i can use to fly the piccolo w/?
Does it need to be a heli radio or will a basic 3-4 channel will work?

The picco board, the impression Im getting is that it comes w/ gyro, servo, speed controol, and reciever. Am I correct?

If I were NOT to go w/ the picco board, what gyro, servo, speed control, and reciever would be required to meet he requirement of this heli? Please be specific as to part number, brand, size, were to purchase, and price(estimate).

Once again, thanks for your input and valued advice....... : )
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Mar 16, 2002, 01:14 PM
Giddy up!
Sal C's Avatar
I just bought my Piccolo today (and Picco board). I had one two years ago but like you I was afraid to fly it. I had absolutely no r/c flying experience and someone recommended I try planes first. Very good advice, so I sold the Piccolo & I got hooked on planes. But I did gain the experience of building one. Now I'm back to give it a good try.

Th Picco board is a combination gyro and dual speed control (one for the main rotor and one for the tiny tail rotor). The board has mixing built in and does not require a radio with mixing. A simple 4 channel should work fine. On my first Pic I bought the Picco board with rx, I had trouble trying to find the right crystal and it was a pain. This time I bought the Picco board without the rx and plan on using a Hitec Feather rx that I have lying around. It's less expensive too. Sorry but my knowledge of helis stops at this point. I like you have been logging time on a simulator. Good luck.
Mar 16, 2002, 01:36 PM
Registered User

The Piccolo is a great little heli, but are you sure that is what you want. I admit, the piccolo is a tough SOB but I think you would like something a bit more stable but just as strong for about the same price. Have you considered the LMH Corona( http://www.litemachines.com/PricList/KitPrice.html I would get just the kit and get you own electronics)? If you just want a tough trainer, I would get that.

If I were you this is what I would get the following electronics:

*3x Hitec HS85MG servos www.servocity.com

*Brushless motor with brushless controller(Ill let others recomment this

*CP2400 battery packs(Ill let other recommend cell count) www.eflightpacks.com

*Futaba GY240 gyro www.helihut.com

If you want the Piccolo I would get the following:

*2x HS55 sub micro servos www.servocity.com
*2x 7cell(8 cells for more umph) 750mah NiMH battery packs www.eflightpacks.com
*any 4 CH micro reciever[I like the Berg mini 6(6 ch) www.rc-direct.com ]
*Deans micro polarized connectors
*GWS PG-03 gyro http://www.dreamhobbies.com/dreamhome.htm
*Aluminum center hub http://www.geocities.com/pierrehollis/mh2.htm
*Aluminum Swash--light one(if you want to dish out the doe) http://www.geocities.com/pierrehollis/mh3.htm

For Piccoboard setup--
*2x HS55 sub micro servos www.servocity.com
*2x 7cell 750mah NiMH battery packs www.eflightpacks.com

Seperates setup(brushed)
*2x pixie 7p contollers http://www.fxaeromodels.com/Motors/escs.htm
*If you want a motor bettery than the one in the kit get the Orion Elite modified motor.

Seperates setup(brushless--I like this one the most)
*Astro 010 Mighty Micro and the variable contoller www.astroflight.com
*Pixie 7p for the tail http://www.fxaeromodels.com/Motors/escs.htm

Hope this helps

Last edited by Eco8gator; Mar 16, 2002 at 01:39 PM.
Mar 16, 2002, 01:58 PM
Registered User

Piccolo servos

Should you decide to go with the Piccolo and use the Piccoboard get HS50 servos. Some People using HS55's have found that their higher power draw can cause problems with the Piccoboard which reacts badly to insufficient power. This typically happens when the batteries get low and both servos are operated at the same time.

If you want to fly inside get the Pic, outside get the Corona
Mar 16, 2002, 02:21 PM
Our Daddy and Heli Junkie
Fred Bronk's Avatar

Welcome to the EZone !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want to fly outside, Corona or LMH!

For inside, Picollo.

For inside and out, Hornet.
Mar 16, 2002, 03:01 PM
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Gary_Canada's Avatar
I am very new to choppers as well and have recently purchased a Picccolo and piccoboard so I can give you some first impressions of a new picco owner.
Some guys in the club have the Hornet and here some differences I noticed:

The head on the Hornet seems stronger and the paddle setup seems better. I am constantly readjusting the control arms on the flybar and paddles on the Picco. I now have the screws tightented about as much as possible and things still seem to get out of alignment very easily.

There is no battery mounting tray on the Picco. The Hornet has a good tray that allows you to move the battery back and forth for adjustment. With the Picco a rubber band to hold the battery between the front legs is about it. I have since made a battery tray from dowel (does not look too great but it works). Flight performance has improved since I am able to move the battery back.

Even though my Picco balanced and the paddle/bar is centered about as good as I can get there still seems to be some wobble that I have not been able to remedy.
Both Hornets that I have seen fly seem to be much smoother and more stable. I have had a more experienced heli person (Hornet owner) and thinks that the Pic is a bit more wild to control. This is with the control throws reduced. The flying was done in a gym with both 8 cell nmh and 2 cell li-ion (very light).
The paddles on the Hornet have an airfoil to then and the main blades are not undercambered as in the Pic. This may result in a higher rpm on the rotor. The Pic has flat paddle bars and very undercamberd main blades.

The assembly guide for the Pic is not the best. There should be large pictures to go along with each step as the head assembly can be a bit much for a person new to choppers. I did see the assembly and flying guides to the Corona (another club member just bought one) and they look great.

I have not given up on the Pic and I eventually will get it working properly and post back my experiences.

If I was to start from scratch again I think I would go for the Hornet.

Mar 16, 2002, 03:24 PM
Registered User
pgoelz's Avatar
Check out my Piccolo web page (below) for more than you ever wanted to know about the Piccolo.

I too recommend HS50 servos... and I think they are a gram or two lighter than the HS55s?

For 7 cells, I'd stay with NiCds. For 8 cells, you can use NiMh. This is not a hard and fast rule, but there are issues either way and for starting out I'd stick with a tried and true combination. I have a section on batteries on my site.

The stock Piccolo flies OK in still air but can become a handfull in moving air (over a couple MPH). The stock Hornet has MUCH higher head speed and a different blade design, which tends to make it more stable in moving air. However, there are a couple very simple modifications you can do to the Piccolo to raise the head speed and vastly improve it in moving air. Again, my site....

For basic indoor flight, you do not need ANY modifications. Start with a stock setup and use 7 cell packs of Panasonic AAA NiCd cells (from DigiKey... see my site) and you should be able to fly well for about 4-5 minutes. The cell type is important. Sanyos work for some people but I had noticably better performance from Panasonics.

If you are new to helis, I'd recommend the Piccolo if you are attracted to flying in the house. If that does not turn you on, the Corona would be a good choice. The stock Hornet is also a good flyer, but the higher head speed and slightly more fragile blades and mechanics makes it easier to hurt it in a crash. My Piccolo has absorbed some amazing crashes with NO damage, and if you do break something you can usually fix it with a drop of CA and a bit of ingenuity. And as rugged as the Piccolo is, the Corona is probably even more rugged.

And don't completely overlook the dangers of a miniature flying lawn mower. While they are too small to do really serious damage, the faster the blades go the more damage they will do to themselves and anything they hit. If you are new to electric flight and helis, BE CAREFUL.
Mar 17, 2002, 02:40 AM
Registered User
jk's Avatar
having both Hornets and Piccolos, i would recommend the Hornet. it flies alot better (more stable and responsive) than a piccolo and is alot stronger than most people give them credit for.IMHO, if you start with a Piccolo and then move up to a hornet (as i did), your piccolo will collect dust.
Mar 18, 2002, 12:26 PM
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thazy2's Avatar

Wow, thanks for all the responce guy!

I have been doing much reading for the past several weeks on the Piccolo, Hornet, and Housefly. and wow, that housfly is small!

On all three brands, various modifications are REQUIRED just to make it STABLE for flight by nonexperts. I have been reading so many mode pages and links and now Im totally confused as which one i should purchased and w/ which upgrade.

can someone please explain exactly what is NEEDED for the fallowing to make it stable for normal easy to learn flight:




I will be flying this 75% indoor and 25% outdoor.

Do all of the helis offer a collective pitch upgrade?

Is there a heading hold gyro thats made for these mini heli? if so, which brand and where?

The Futaba brand mentioned earlied in this thread, i believe, is for large helis and not micros.

Once again, thank you very very much.
Last edited by thazy2; Mar 18, 2002 at 12:29 PM.
Mar 18, 2002, 01:08 PM
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jk's Avatar
the Hornet, by far, flies the best out of the box. it needs little or no modification.

the Piccolo also will fly well stock, but mods help it quite a bit, especially outdoors.

IMHO the Housefly needs quite a bit more modification (new motor, blades, gears at the minimum)to make it fly even close to as well as the other two.
Mar 18, 2002, 05:27 PM
Choppa Nutta's Avatar
If you havent yet check out JK's web link loads of info on pics and hornets. very informative.

by the sounds of things thazy2, the pic might suit you best to begin with, it has a lot slower head speed and the head detaches on impact, the lowest scary factor of all those suggested so far and a practical heli thats a confidence builder in many respects. I found it cheaper to repair than my hornet too, which is always a consideration.

also the picoboard has the cheapest option I've seen for a HHgyro. I personally would get one and build it stock and if break anything maybe replace it with one of the fancy upgrades, so you dont have to lash out alot in one go.

If you buy seperate bits and pieces to do the job of the pico board you will need a mixer as well, which might be a bit of mucking around, I like the Piccolo for its simplicity and as a beginner simple is great, less mucking about and more flying/practice.

after you get comfy think about a Hornet or by the sounds of things better to get a Corona for out doors when you get good at pottering about the house with the pic, that way you got one for indoors and out, so if its to windy you can still fly

Anyhow as Cilla Black says, the choice is yours
Mar 18, 2002, 05:31 PM
Registered User
Just a thought from a relative newcomer to heli's. Ive got both Piccolo and Hornet. Both can fly fine out of the box. In standard form the Hornet is more precise and is much better outside.

I was overwhelmed by all the mods I read about for these but remember, none are needed to learn to hover and none will obviate the need to develop your heli flying skills, there are no silver bullets !

However, for learning to fly a heli the Pic is my choice. The low head speed and detachable rotor system makes crashing a pleasure Having to realign arms is a 60 sec job and is much easier than buying yet another set of spares.

I use the Pic purely inside, the Hornet is ok inside but, (in my experience), generally suffers more in crashes and it's high head speed inflicts more damage to whatever it hit's than the Pic does. As a result I'm not nearly as happy flying the Hornet in confied spaces, (say less than a double garage).

Both have a strong following but the Pic BBS really is one of the best when it comes to support.
Mar 19, 2002, 03:27 PM
Registered User
I was in almost the same position as you tried flying heli's years ago but crashed a lot. The partucular model I tried was notoriously difficult (The Sky Lark) electric back in 1986.

My situation is slightly different because I am in a wheelchair and so am particularly concerned about being hit by the model as I cant dodge easily.

I saw a demo of the Hornet and it scared the bejasus out of me! the head speed is really fast!!

The piccolo looked great but although robust in terms of survivability it looked like it was still a very twitchy model. This is confirmed by most here too in comparison to 30 or 60 sized heli's. I also had to consider the problem of trying to retrieve all the bits after a crash from my wheelchair and the piccolo is designed to come appart in a crash to avoid damage so this was likely to be a regular event.

In the end I got a Snelflight Hoverfly
Available in the US from creek hobbies (address at the above website)
This is rarely mentioned here as it is not yet widely distributed in the US but if the idea is to learn to fly helicopters cheaply and safely this is a great wee machine. It does not use batteries, it uses a very thin tether that you just dont notice in flight. It uses three motors on the rotor tips which can change speed very very fast and these act as cyclic and also of course as they respond so quickly also as collective. The rotor head spins at only 300 RPM and it is very quiet as there are no gears. it has a gyro stabilised tail rotor and in every way I am informed by those who have flown both , behaves remarkably like a larger 30 sized helicopter because of the high rotor mass.
In any case I am delighted with mine. I have had many spectacular crashes including into myself usually when trying to practice nose in hover or fast circuits of the living room that are well beyond my skill (I have only been flying it for a couple of weeks.) It has so far sustained no damage. some folk recommend getting a pack of 5 spare blades at $10 which I did but mine have not broken yet.
The Hoverfly is about half the price of a piccolo ready to fly. You can use it with a basic 4 channel TX or with a full heli TX or with its own little control unit if you pay an extra 20 dollars for the TX1 version.
The point about the Hoverfly is it is easier to fly than a piccolo but as hard to fly as a 30 sized heli so it is an excelent trainer. you get hours of flying and never have to reach for the cyano bottle ot the battery charger. Unlike a simulator though it is a real heli and you get real throat gripping panic when you mis control it. no simuator can really induce that. I never ever give opposite commands flying nose in on the computer sim but I still panic and do it with the hoverfly. I like the sound it makes too the slow 300 RPM rotor makes a the right rythm of a real heli and the moror whine sounds like a turbo engine. I have even put a scale body on mine made of paper (Im competely nuts of course).

I will get a piccolo or maybe even a hornet or corona one day though but when I do I will be confident that most of the extra expense I will have will be for mods rather than spares.