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Nov 18, 2019, 09:23 AM
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Thread OP
Help!

Getting into RC helis


Hey everyone, I am slowly getting into RC helis. I am already using accurc as a simulator. I have a Futuba radio I am using for now. It is a discontinued model but works fine with the sim. However I want to start accumulating the equipment I need to get flying for real.

My first big purchase will be a new radio. I am looking at a frsky transmitter. I like the idea of learning OpenTX. The ability to program seems interesting. However I am not quite sure which model to get.

I am thinking of a 400-600 series electric flybarless Heli to start with.

So long story short, if anyone can help with the transmitter selection it would be appreciated.
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Nov 18, 2019, 10:51 AM
Registered User
If it were me, I'd get a Spektrum DX6 G3 transmitter and a Blade heli with SAFE mode.

At this stage, you want to keep things as simple and plug-and-play as possible, so you can focus on flying and getting stick time and not on getting the transmitter to talk to the receiver, or ESC programming or whatever.
Nov 18, 2019, 02:52 PM
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Thread OP
Ok. That’s some good advice. Thank you
Nov 18, 2019, 04:34 PM
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Shoveopoly's Avatar
Can't go wrong with a Blade 230S v2. Great heli to learn on.
Nov 18, 2019, 05:02 PM
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Helique's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prawnik
...At this stage, you want to keep things as simple and plug-and-play as possible, so you can focus on flying and getting stick time and not on getting the transmitter to talk to the receiver, or ESC programming or whatever.
+1
I switched from a big-brand radio system to FrSky/OpenTX a few years ago and will never go back. The flexibility in programming is unsurpassed. That being said... I already had a couple of years experience building and flying several Helis up to 450 size. I think what Prawnik suggested is good advice. Learn to set up, fly, tune, and maintain/repair a Heli before jumping into the OpenTX world. After which, if you’re still curious about OpenTX, be prepared to spend a few weeks behind the computer to get a grasp on it, but, as any OpenTX user will tell you, the reward is worth it.
Nov 18, 2019, 05:16 PM
And You're Not
Another great thing about the DX6 G3 & Blade 230s V2 is that you can download the heli set up from the website, install it on the TX, and you are programmed.

Not to say you won't want to delve into programming/settings/functions and all that as you progress - it's something you'll eventually need to understand - , but you can be up and running pretty quick this way. Get in the air, learn the system as you go.
Nov 18, 2019, 05:42 PM
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Thread OP
Awesome. Thank you all for your advice so far. Seeing as how it’s winter now I think I might learn as much as I can through feed back here and wherever else I can find info. Maybe even delve into the OpenTX programming. But great advise so far with the Heli selection. That is my next task to find something I can learn on and go from there.
Nov 19, 2019, 01:58 AM
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RV1TD's Avatar
I was in your position just a few months ago so can relate.
Note: I have never flown an R/C airplane, heli, or sim before.

First I purchased and read John Salt's book series to learn about HOW these helis work and how to properly setup. I highly recommend you read them too.

I purchased a DX8 G2, a WS1000 USB dongle (there is a new version: WS2000) and RealFlight 8 (RF9 is out now). I played with the sim for about two months to learn the basics of collective pitch helis. I bought a Blade Nano S2 and had a lot of fun learning and crashing a lot. I can't believe I haven't broken anything on it yet! The Nano S2 really helped me transition from the sim to real world. Based on a friends recommendation, I purchased the 230S V2 which is a fantastic heli! SAFE mode is awesome and makes it so easy to learn CP helis. I am really happy with how quickly my skills progressed since flying the 230 for the past few months. I recently purchased a used Fusion 270 on RCGroups with Spirit FBL which I've had a lot of fun with too. I am getting better with flying in all but nose in orientation and am working hard on that in the sim.

Jump in and have fun, this is a great hobby!
Nov 19, 2019, 11:06 AM
Registered User
To amplify what I wrote earlier - unless you are blessed with lots of time, a wide open space for flying, and good weather year-round, get a heli that you can easily fly indoors around the house.

For most houses/apartments/living spaces, that means no bigger than 110mm or so blades.

That way you will be able to fly any time you have ten minutes to spare and some batteries charged. A larger copter requires a more dedicated space, and that means less flying. Flying is what you will need if you want to progress. The sim will carry you only so far.

Talking Blade helis, that means an Nano S2 or an MCPS (which is a little bigger). You can also look for a used Nano CPS. I would avoid the MCPX-BL 2, not because it is a bad helicopter, but because it is way too powerful for flying indoors at this stage.

The other reason I like the Blade nanos and micros is because you will crash. You will crash a lot. Not only are the little Blade copters tough little customers, but parts are plentiful, often no further away than your local hobby shop.

When you crash bigger and more powerful copters (and again - you will crash, it's not a question of "if" but of "when?" and "how badly?"), they tend to break parts. They also have a lot more potential to hurt people.

That doesn't mean that you will never break a Blade nano - you will become an expert helicopter mechanic long before you become an expert pilot. But they are easy to fix and you will be able to spend more time flying and less time chasing issues.

Once you have learned to fly the little Blade copters well, then start thinking about open source transmitters and bigger and fancier helis.
Last edited by Prawnik; Nov 20, 2019 at 11:13 AM.
Nov 19, 2019, 12:49 PM
Jesus Freak
AtTheCross's Avatar
OpenTX transmitter is EXTREMELY powerful! Go with that.

Super cheap Jumper T12 Mid range Jumper T16, upper end Horus x10s or Horus x12s

I have the Jumper T12 and the Horus x10s If you go with the Horus, you will also need a multi protocol module to run non FrSky protocols including Spektrum

Get the xk k110 dirt cheap and bullet proof great to learn on in my opinion. Some will say it's harder to learn on a micro, but I found that once you're fast enough to fly a nano you can pretty much fly anything
Nov 22, 2019, 10:27 AM
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Steve_'s Avatar
Wow. Came on the forum grumpy and ready to crush any questionable advice.

[ Leaves even more grumpy ]

Nov 23, 2019, 11:06 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by RV1TD
I was in your position just a few months ago so can relate.
Note: I have never flown an R/C airplane, heli, or sim before.

First I purchased and read John Salt's book series to learn about HOW these helis work and how to properly setup. I highly recommend you read them too.

I purchased a DX8 G2, a WS1000 USB dongle (there is a new version: WS2000) and RealFlight 8 (RF9 is out now). I played with the sim for about two months to learn the basics of collective pitch helis. I bought a Blade Nano S2 and had a lot of fun learning and crashing a lot. I can't believe I haven't broken anything on it yet! The Nano S2 really helped me transition from the sim to real world. Based on a friends recommendation, I purchased the 230S V2 which is a fantastic heli! SAFE mode is awesome and makes it so easy to learn CP helis. I am really happy with how quickly my skills progressed since flying the 230 for the past few months. I recently purchased a used Fusion 270 on RCGroups with Spirit FBL which I've had a lot of fun with too. I am getting better with flying in all but nose in orientation and am working hard on that in the sim.

Jump in and have fun, this is a great hobby!

Yes I have read all his books. Great info. I have also read most of his website.

He is the one who got me thinking of a frsky transmitter.
Nov 23, 2019, 11:08 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtTheCross
OpenTX transmitter is EXTREMELY powerful! Go with that.

Super cheap Jumper T12 Mid range Jumper T16, upper end Horus x10s or Horus x12s

I have the Jumper T12 and the Horus x10s If you go with the Horus, you will also need a multi protocol module to run non FrSky protocols including Spektrum

Get the xk k110 dirt cheap and bullet proof great to learn on in my opinion. Some will say it's harder to learn on a micro, but I found that once you're fast enough to fly a nano you can pretty much fly anything

Yeah I have been thinking of frsky Taranis. Just heard about the jumper transmitters.
Nov 24, 2019, 07:32 AM
Registered User
Check out the XK K110 , there cheap and cheap parts. Motion RC is a USA website that ships quick and there a ton of advice on this website on it. I did just get a bnf one for $63.00 total from bangood.com.just takes longer to ship. The RTF version comes with a decent Futaba based tx.
Nov 26, 2019, 01:10 AM
Grumpy old git.. Who me?
JetPlaneFlyer's Avatar
I'll just add a word of caution to the Open Tx argument.

Sure it's very powerful and Open Tx radios represent great 'bang for buck' but Open Tx is also a very steep learning curve. There are no proper manuals supplied and the Tx unlike 'mainstream' brand radios has no pre-set defaults for a heli, so you have to set it up from first principles. The programming is also complicated and to most people not at all intuitive. To compound the challenge the uptake of Open Tx in the heli community is still relatively low, so you might struggle to find people to help you when you do get stuck.

If you are happy to do your research, watch endless Youtube videos and source help online you will get there and I dare say you will learn to love it... However if you want something that's simple to setup with minimum of frustration and effort, has good manuals, manufacturer support and simple to use pre-sets for common heli configurations, look elsewhere. Overall Open Tx felt to me like a computer science project, potentially very interesting and challenging for sure but ultimately i didnt want or have time for a science project, I just wanted to fly my helis.

As for the heli itself... this depends on your experience. Bigger definitely flies better and are easier to work on, but also represent a bigger investment. one of the first decissions is if to buy a kit and build it or a 'ready to fly' heli such as a Blade. Building and setting up is a big part of the enjoyment for most people but not simple to do if you have no experience.

My biggest single piece of advice would be to find a flying buddy or club. Not only does having an experienced fllying buddy make the learning curve much less steep, it makes the whole thing a lot more fun. If you find a flying buddy then there is a strong argument for getting a radio that he/she is familiar with so they can help you with setting it up.


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