Are rotopods worth the money? - RC Groups
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Aug 19, 2005, 07:29 PM
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Are rotopods worth the money?

I'm thinking of getting a rotopod to learn on for my new Raptor 30. I've heard various stories about douls and woffle balls on what works best from learning to hover to more advanced flying. I'm a little straped for cash after purchasing my Raptor to get a simulator right now.
Any advice?

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Aug 19, 2005, 08:16 PM
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you cannot learn to fly a chopper

without training feet.........if you try without them YOU WILL CRASH I have not seen the roto pod type before but I would suggest you look for the type like the ones I have which are crossed fibreglass sticks with free spinning balls on the end, you cable tie the struts to the rods....the reason I dont like the roto pod is it seems to lift the heli way off the ground which can be unnatural....better to start off on the ground......if you want a piccy of my training gear I will upload it for you later
Aug 20, 2005, 09:20 AM
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tippy's Avatar
Originally Posted by coops2
...the roto pod is it seems to lift the heli way off the ground which can be unnatural....better to start off on the ground..
The rotopod can be configured in two ways. One is, as was said, with the heli up off the ground (about 4 - 5 inches) or it can be configured with the heli sitting on the ground. The white hub of the rotopod has 10 holes in it but only 5 legs. 5 of the holes are drilled with a slight down angle which causes the hub (and heli) to be elevated off the ground. The other five holes are drilled straight so that the rods are straight with the ground so the hub (and the heli) sit on the ground. I liked the one I bought and it has survived several students.
The rotopod may be a little over done for one use only. Once you progress past the need for training gear, they will end up in storage. If they were going to be used by several trainees, then they are well worth the money.

Good Luck
Aug 21, 2005, 12:19 PM
Registered User
The Roto-Pod is, hands-down, the BEST training device seen so far; and that includes, IMO, simulators. While sims are excellent in their own right, once you get a live, snorting machine in front of you, there is no reset button. A sim won't give you the knee-knocking sense of EDF that the real thing does. EDF (Emotional Debt factor) refers to that deep-seated knowledge of just how much money you've got tied up in the beast, and the dread knowledge of just how much in time and money will be needed to repair it if you dork the thing. EDF can turn a brave man into jelly, until he realizes that there really is no secret to these machines; just patience and effort.

Properly set-up and used (i.e., never get more than six inches off the ground), a Roto-Pod will teach one how to hover painlessly; and that includes nose-in hover. With a few tweaks on your program you can set your ship so it doesn't lift off when collective is applied; but the tail rotor will be actve and the ship will spin and pivot on the Roto-Pod so you can become accustomed to the reverse tail rotor and cyclic inputs in complete safety; with the machine firmly on the ground.

Most folks I see with Roto-Pods lock the plate down so it does not pivot and rotate. The device was designed and INTENDED to allow the machine to pivot and rotate; without that feature, it is just another set of dowels and whiffle balls. Some people cannot seem to grasp this concept.

As far as monetary value of the device, it will pay for itself if it prevents ONE crash. While I had a little bit of set-up help from an experienced pilot, I basically taught myself to fly helicopters with a Roto-Pod; to include circuits with that thing hanging underneath the bird. There were no sims back then, and I had NO crashes when using the Roto-pod (but plenty of close calls; the device really works as advertised).

I didn't crash until I had learned nose-in and, thinking I was hot stuff, took the training gear off too soon. But I never pranged my machine while it was on the Roto-Pod, and that record has remained intact through several newcomers I've trained since.
Aug 21, 2005, 02:51 PM
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tippy's Avatar
Originally Posted by Steve Campbell
... EDF (Emotional Debt factor) ...
Is holding your breath for 4 minutes straight and indication of EDF? The hardest thing that I had to learn when I started out in (real) RC helis was to breath while doing it.

I have to agree with your analysis of the rotopod. It's about the most useful tool you can get.
In the elevated position, you can learn how to articulate the heli in all axis without leaving the ground. This is great for learning how to keep the rotor disc level and controlling the tail. I used this setting when I changed pieces out and was not quit sure about my settings (ie gyro in the reversed direction).
Of course, the low setup was great for learning how to actually fly your heli around.

Aug 23, 2005, 03:24 PM
Registered User
Meh, just make a training gear from a hulla hoop and two sticks. You'll have it on for only a few fuel tanks anyways. (if you have spent time on a sim that is)
Aug 23, 2005, 08:09 PM
Registered User
It takes more than "a few fuel tanks" to get a good, solid grip on the basics of hovering. Both sides, nose-in, all are important things to have in the trick bag.

Yes, there are a lot of guys who jump right into circuits and flip-flopping. I've seen quite a few of these "sim progeny"; and most still cannot hold a sustained nose-in hover. That lack is going to bite them in the arse one day.

But hey; its a hobby. Do what pleases you; nothing else really matters.
Aug 25, 2005, 10:41 AM
Registered User
Yeah but once you can take off, land, and hover in one direction or more, you don't need the training gear anymore. just take it off. Then, keep practicing your hovering skills without training gear, you'll get the real feel for the helicopter. No pendulum effect.
Aug 25, 2005, 02:49 PM
Registered User
I think a few tanks is a bit optimistic on a $1500 heli.
Aug 26, 2005, 07:28 AM
Registered User
The pendulum effect is a stabilizing influence on the machine; which is the whole idea of training gear. Folks who get in too big of a hurry to ditch the "training wheels" usually become very good customers of their favorite heli parts-monger.

But like I said; do what pleases you.
Aug 28, 2005, 06:50 AM
Soil Penetration Tester
I would highly reccomend the rotopod. I placed a "Wanted" ad here on eZone and a member responded with 2 rotopods he was willing to sell for $25.00! One was complete and one had a couple of broken legs. I bought em and used one and gave the other to a buddy. Try it. You will probally find someone willing to sell his too.


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