ARK X-400 Newer Version Review - RC Groups
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May 10, 2005, 10:19 AM
2 Turbos...Nope 1 Big one
skeppley's Avatar

ARK X-400 Newer Version Review

Recently received the newest release of the X400 heli from rc-toro. I am fairly impressed with the quality of this heli, for the low price. I got my order in before the mad rush of orders and price hikes, and paid a mere $109 for the unassembled kit.
The good news:
The newer version has NO problems whatsoever with any of the balls or links binding or being too tight. Or any flashing on the plastic parts needing trimming. The balls fit perfectly and operate smoothly with the full ball bearing support on all the linkages. The tail slider also moves freely, and the belt drive is a very nice design. The boom fits perfectly, and has slits where it meets the frame to keep from twisting, and a hole at the rear where the tail gearbox fits to keep the box from twisting The main blade grips rotate smoothly and went together with no problems, as did the entire head assembly.The frame is flawless, and all parts fit spot on with no modifying required.There are bearings on everything that moves, a great additition to a low priced heli. The assembly took 1 day of building the heli on and off at work between phone calls, and finishing up the linkages at home the same evening. Waiting on 2 servos to complete and fly, which i will be picking up later today.
The bad news:
As mentioned in a few other threads, the main gear is a bit out of round in this kit also, so adjusting the mesh with the pinion must be done when it's at the tight spot on the gears. The small gear that drives the tail belt also seems a bit out of round, so the belt tension must be adjusted in the same fashion. Some of the directions are a little vague, but anyone with some plastic modeling experience, or with heli building experience can easily figure it out. If you have big fingers, it can be difficult to get some of the small nuts on the inside of the frame while holding all the pieces together, and trying to hold a screw and screwdriver at the same time.Same with some of the servo mounting spots. I had to use a very thin long nosed needle-nose pliers to get some of the retaining nuts into there small area. The only other minor problem i noticed was the swash fork, or whatever that part is called that keeps the swash from rotating, it is very tight on the metal rod that comes out of the swash, so it will have to be slightly widened, or the metal rod dremeled down on it's sides a bit, to prevent binding.

Without actually flying this bird, it looks to be a great value for the money. You get alot of great options, with no need to upgrade right away to make it work properly. I'm not sure how the metal frame will hold up in a bad crash, however there are already CF frames on the way, and ccpm conversion is coming shortly also, from what i have read.

Well, I will try to get the rest of the parts in later, and run the gears in a bit, and give some flight reports.

Below are some photos i snapped:

Last edited by skeppley; May 10, 2005 at 10:43 AM.
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May 10, 2005, 10:22 AM
2 Turbos...Nope 1 Big one
skeppley's Avatar
Some main frame pics
May 10, 2005, 10:24 AM
2 Turbos...Nope 1 Big one
skeppley's Avatar
Size comparison to Shogun and 3D pro
May 10, 2005, 12:30 PM
loving turbos
turbolover's Avatar
Style! How did you get the "newer" version and where did you buy it?
Any more details please: Gyro, Servos, Motor, Pinion?
May 10, 2005, 12:47 PM
Registered User

More Detailed images


Thanks for your review.

Here is additive new images of ARK X-400.

I 've been flied most of micro Heli including MS Hornet Series and Zoom. T-rex, so far as my experience, X-400 is the most advanced Micro Heli ever released.

May 10, 2005, 01:05 PM
Registered User

Hovering Test

Here is a hovering test movie.

Hovering Test

Have fun!
May 10, 2005, 01:07 PM
Registered User

Maneuver Test

Ok, following is a X-400 Maneuver Test(Indoor) flown by Y.S.S who was Korean F3C Champion.

Maneuver Test
May 10, 2005, 01:30 PM
That tree again!!!!
thanhTran's Avatar
Darn!, I paid $190 for this kit
I got some problem with the ball links. A link a lone is not that bad. However, when putting all of them to the head, they are a bit tight to move freely.

May 10, 2005, 04:10 PM
2 Turbos...Nope 1 Big one
skeppley's Avatar
Thanks for the added,completed pics rolandpark. I was still trying to figure out where to mount all the electronics. Those gave me a better idea.
May 10, 2005, 04:58 PM
That tree again!!!!
thanhTran's Avatar
The price for some parts of X400 is actually more expensive than that of TREX I believe.
For example: with TREX you can buy a bag of balls, a bag of ALL linkages, or a bag of 4 spindles. For X400, you have to buy one this, one that, each costs about $1.50 to $3 or more. the Wash out base of TREX is only 2.60 and it has the brass colar inside while X400's costs $5.79 (at deetee)

May 10, 2005, 08:47 PM
Member 120mph Club
ATIS's Avatar
Skeppley, nice fleet. Is the CP mechanical or do you need a 6 ch RX?
May 10, 2005, 09:07 PM
2 Turbos...Nope 1 Big one
skeppley's Avatar
She flys....and flys very well.
Just wanted to get her up and flying, so i through in some extra parts i had laying around so i could decide if it was worth buying the good stuff:
Himax 4200 with 8 tooth pinion
2 HS 55 servos
2 GWS Naro Std servos
Berg Rcvr
GY 240 Gyro

I spooled her up at 1/2 throttle without the blades on, to break in the gears and belt drive, and moved the cyclic in all directions to loosen up the swash and get everything meshing well. Completely ran out a 1320 pack in the process, and things started smoothing out nicely.
Slight vibes from the out of round main gear, and probably could use a tail balance and flybar balance.
Put in a fresh pack, spooled up again, and balanced the flybar by feel.
Now, i'm itchin to get her flyin, and daylights running out here in PA, so i put on the main blades, (which are identical to a set of rex blades i have), and take her outside.

Well, she flies GREAT! Main blades and tail are not even balanced yet,and the pitch curve isnt even setup yet, but it hovers hands off forever. I turned the gyro gain up to 80% and still no tail wag...nice and steady. I cant believe that it is so smooth without even being properly tweeked yet.

I take her up for some circuits and figure 8's, no problem. Do a few piros, great. Bring her nose in, and she just sits there, no drifting, asking me what to do next, as she stares me in the face. This thing is stable, yet when using the outer holes in the servo arms, it is VERY QUICK, and touchy too....
Stable and Quick never went together in any of my other helis, it was always a tradeoff of one or the other.

After the flight, i make some adjustments to the linkages, move all the arms to the center hole on the servo arms for a more precise, less slop control(Remember there are GWS STD servos on there, not very accurate) This helped give much better control, and used the entire arm swing of the servo without having to dial out the rates.

Well, ran a few packs, and with that setup above, i got 9 minutes flying with a 1320, and 13 minutes with a 2100 TP pack. So far everything looks good. I will balance everything, route the wiring, and mount the speedo, and receiver properly, instead of having a flying bundle of wires dangling around, and do some more flights this week and see how well everything stays together....NOW, what motor to run?
May 10, 2005, 09:22 PM
2 Turbos...Nope 1 Big one
skeppley's Avatar
Hi ATIS! How's everything in Iraq? Stupid question, i know (duh). I have a berg5 in there now, using channel 5 as channel 6 for the pitch. Dont need channel 5 with the 240 gyro,no dual rate switch to worry about. I still have all the FP helis, but they sit on the shelf alot now that spring is here, and i can go outside without losing a finger due to the cold When you get back, your welcome to try out any of the helis you like. Its the least i can do to pay you back for protecting my butt(he,he)

Talk to you soon...
May 10, 2005, 10:18 PM
Member 120mph Club
ATIS's Avatar
Now I WANT an X-400!!! AAHH the cold, thats why I joined the get out of Michigan. 9 years in Cali reassured me I made the right choice. Now I have to debate ordering one, and having the wife send me the Optic 6 and battery charger. Will take a good month to get everything from the wife and at least 2 to get the heli (if its in stock). Mail coming here is VERY SLOW, even "priority". I will keep the G2 going for now, but they just built a large hanger at my next base that we were going to use but have been told not to unpack which means its empty.... life is cruel....
May 11, 2005, 04:34 PM
2 Turbos...Nope 1 Big one
skeppley's Avatar
After an entire day of flying, i got the slop in the elevator Thanh had talked about in another thread. I built up the hole in the arm with some rubberized CA and also used a longer screw so it tightened down harder. I wish they had a CNC piece for here that wouldnt flex or open up after use.

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