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allupndown

Senior Heliman

U.S.A.

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Hi all,

Can I get some advice on the different VBar units available ?

I'm still in a learning curve with FBL. I only have experience with the BeastX 7200 as a first and only. Been on hiatus and besides the BeastX plus going all electric leaves me with a lot to learn yet.

Got out of helis for about 6 years and went Synergy E5 about 2 years ago. That set up was sold off to get more into 700 size scale and just starting to round up build parts.

I'm not familiar with Vbar and looking for recommendations on what's what and add on stuff that's VBar related, what I need to connect to a PC etc.

Currently using the DX9 TX

Thanks

09-11-2016 04:21 AM
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cudaboy_71

Elite Veteran

sacramento, ca, u.s.

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The only one you really need to stay away from is the version one vbar. It's an aluminum billet sensor (not to be confused with 'silverline' which is a dark gray plastic sensor). That one is/was only upgradable to version 4 of the software. And, to be honest I haven't even seen those for sale in a couple of years.

After that came the black plastic sensor units. They're compatible all the way up to version 5.3 if you're using the DX9, or version 6 if you ever upgrade to the Vcontrol. The units are fine. But, the vibration filtering is not as good as the blue, silverline, or latest version NEO.

The blueline was next; then the silverline. All essentially the same hardware and functionally the same units. The silverlines will be a few years newer than the bluelines.

For the above: the black, blueline and silverline only the sensors are different. The head unit that you plug in the servos and patches to are interchangable.

Now, backtrack a bit. Back at the introduction of the black vbar they also introduced an all-in-one unit called the minivbar. Had all the function of the full sized unit, but the sensor was integrated in to the head unit. There was only one component. This meant it was more suited to electrics over nitros because isolating the sensor was trickier. Also, there were fewer ports and it made using 7 channels challenging. It can be done. But, for all intents and purposes mini-vbars are for electrics.

As you might guess, when the bluelines came out, there was a blueline version of the mini-vbar as well. Not much change between the black and blue aside from the aforementioned vibration filtering of the superior sensors.

There was never a silverline mini-vbar.

About midway through the black units' life cycle, software was upgraded to v5. This was the introduction of express and pro versions of the software (and also the setup wizard). Prior to that there was only one version of the software. Once v5 software was shipping, you could purchase the hardware with Pro (at a premium) or express software pre-loaded. The express version lacked a lot of the features, like governor and expert settings you could tweak. For US$35 per unit you could upgrade to pro later if you bought the base unit that included express; or for the same price you could upgrade your older units from v3 or v4 to v5. Again, this was a per unit upgrade.

Then, the whole line got overhauled. The latest version is the NEO. It comes in two forms; either with integrated Vcontrol antenna (v-link) or without. To use your DX9 you'd be able to use either v-link or non-vlink. But, unless you have the intention of upgrading to the vcontrol radio in the future, the vlink is wasted money, and will have two antennas you have to deal with mounting or hiding that serve no purpose.

All NEOs are sold as express now. MikadoUSA offers upgrades to Pro or Pro/Rescue if purchased direct. But, globally I don't think that's a Mikado option. They're usually just sold as the base express units. If you do buy the express version you can always upgrade the features you want. I don't recall the exact breakdown. But, for US$99 you can get Pro features with Rescue. NEO is the only hardware that supports rescue. So, if you want that feature NEO is the only option.

The specific software for PC or Mac required for each unit from black through NEO is available online at Mikado's website for free when you register your unit.

[edited for clarity and Ron's corrections below]

if it ain't broke, break it.

09-11-2016 04:55 AM
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Ronald Thomas

rrMaster

Gainesville, Fl, USA

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Pretty good description, a few things though:

(1) All units after 4.0 came with express software, you didn't have to purchase it.

(2) You can purchase a NEO with Pro or Pro/Rescue loaded if purchased at MikadoUSA

(3) You can use either a VLink or Non Vlink NEO with any transmitter (DX-9 included).

Nice write up!!!

Team MikadoUSA 480XXTreme, 550SX, 600SX, 700XXTreme, 800XXTreme!!

09-11-2016 11:23 AM
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THX1138

Elite Veteran

Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo

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Nice history recap :-)

Lou

Just give me five dudes and two flashbangs...

09-11-2016 01:34 PM
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allupndown

Senior Heliman

U.S.A.

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Wow ! Ask and ye shall receive lol

I sincerely appreciate the very detailed explanation.

Thank you Cuda and thank you Ronald T for the adds. Very helpful !

09-12-2016 02:12 AM
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allupndown

Senior Heliman

U.S.A.

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Now that I have a much better understanding of the VBAR units, I'm probably going to buy the NEO non-vlink. After watching countless you tube vids, the NEO seems to be lower head speed friendly and has 9 fully functional channels which for a scale project seems ideal for lighting control if desired.(please correct me if I'm misunderstanding) and it appears the USB port is a standard mini male jack but it looks like the neo comes with a cable.

Of the pics I can find, I can't see any ports for the Spektrum sats. I guess the sensor port can be used for and external gyro but other than redundancy, is it a good idea to run one ?

Lastly, how does the pro rescue work ? I've seen demos and have to assume it's switch activated via the TX.

Thanks in advance

lots of assembly required

09-16-2016 11:13 PM
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THX1138

Elite Veteran

Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo

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I can say for sure there are two ports on the side for spektrum sats. The USB is a standard mini USB. As far as the external sensor... mikado says it is for high vibration environments, i.e. Nitro. Everyone I've talked to says the Neo alone is more than fine even on nitro models. Hope that helps :-)

Lou

Just give me five dudes and two flashbangs...

09-17-2016 01:01 AM
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cudaboy_71

Elite Veteran

sacramento, ca, u.s.

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Ports on the side of neo are ALSO for telemetry with a Vcontrol, FWIW. They might even work for telemetry on the older units, too. By the time i got the ui sensors I was already completely converted to neo.

if it ain't broke, break it.

09-17-2016 01:16 AM
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allupndown

Senior Heliman

U.S.A.

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Ok thanks for clearing these items up for me guys ! Just to be sure, the only way to upgrade to the pro bundles if I ever decided to is direct from mikado USA ? Seems like everyone except mikado is out of stock atm but $60 cheaper on average than buying direct .

lots of assembly required

09-17-2016 02:05 PM
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cudaboy_71

Elite Veteran

sacramento, ca, u.s.

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Just to be sure, the only way to upgrade to the pro bundles if I ever decided to is direct from mikado USA ?
I'm not sure what MikadoUSA offers. The first I heard of getting the upgrades from USA was when Ron corrected my statements above. And, I think he implied that you may only get them at time of purchase.

I've always upgraded my units on the German website directly after they're in my hands. It usually ends up being a little cheaper if the Euro is weaker than the dollar (which it has been for the past couple of years)...e.g. the $100 fee for Pro/Rescue in $USD ends up about $90 and some change after the exchange rate.

if it ain't broke, break it.

09-17-2016 02:15 PM
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allupndown

Senior Heliman

U.S.A.

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Ok that makes sense. Thanks again for all your help. The vbars seem to be a great FBL controller, especially the NEO !

lots of assembly required

09-17-2016 02:56 PM
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djtommyboy

New Heliman

Cherry Hill

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I just switched this weekend from BeastX / DX8 to all Vbar and Im amazed. I got the Neo's W/ Vlink to make it easy for me. I cant stress enough how great this system is to fly with. I LOVE it

11-14-2016 01:45 PM
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Ronald Thomas

rrMaster

Gainesville, Fl, USA

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I'm not sure what MikadoUSA offers. The first I heard of getting the upgrades from USA was when Ron corrected my statements above. And, I think he implied that you may only get them at time of purchase.
You can do it when you purchase or at home.
I've always upgraded my units on the German website directly after they're in my hands. It usually ends up being a little cheaper if the Euro is weaker than the dollar (which it has been for the past couple of years)...e.g. the $100 fee for Pro/Rescue in $USD ends up about $90 and some change after the exchange rate.
Correct

Team MikadoUSA 480XXTreme, 550SX, 600SX, 700XXTreme, 800XXTreme!!

11-14-2016 02:53 PM
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