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HelicopterBeginners Corner › to build or buy used... that is the question
01-22-2013 03:37 PM  4 years agoPost 1
SharkBear

rrNovice

Virginia Beach, Va 23454

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Alright guys I'm ready to take the next step in heli flight. I need a little help deciding what that step should be. I have been messing around with a blade SR for about a year and a half off and on. I can hover and do some forward flight. After reading some post on here and talking to some guys at a LHS I have determined I need to go bigger, at least up to a 500. So I have two options in front of me as I see it.

option 1: Buy a hobby king 500 or 550 and build it. This way I know the ins and outs of its assembly. The issue I have with this is it would be my first complete build, makes me slightly nervous. Besides rebuilding sr after a crash and building and modifying some foamies and working on real helicopters I have no experience. Also I have no idea what electronics besides a 1600kv motor, 13-14 tooth pinion, 90amp esc and 10 amp bec. I've been told to use Futaba 9650 servos and align gp750 gyro with a align ds520 on the tail. In the effort to save some cash is there a cheaper "good" servo that will get me to but not cause my first crash and possibly my second?
Sub option: should I go fly barless from the start, I hear it is easier to fly?

option 2: find a good deal on an already built trex 500 and learn its workings as I put it back together after crashes.

I look forward to hearing everyone's advice.

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01-22-2013 03:48 PM  4 years agoPost 2
wrongler

rrProfessor

Brewerton, New York

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You will be farther ahead with the T rex, because that is where you are gonna end up anyway. hobby king helis are cheap for a reason, I bought a few when I first started and wish I had just started with Align.
After a few crashes you will know the Align heli quite well. Also there is lots of used parts up for grabs.

Bill Whittaker

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01-22-2013 03:56 PM  4 years agoPost 3
steph280

rrElite Veteran

Irvine, California

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+1. Go with Align and build it yourself. Even if I bought used helis I always tear it down and rebuild it. You can never trust somebody to tighten all the screws when there are carbon blades spinning 3000 RPM in front of your face.

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01-22-2013 03:56 PM  4 years agoPost 4
darren heaver

rrApprentice

rochester, kent, england.

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+1 wrongler just go for a trex as you will in the end. They are cheaper for a reason you will end up replacing parts with align parts as they break. But go with the kit as it will give you experience of the heli when you do have to replace parts.

" one day I will learn to fly till then I will just hover"

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01-22-2013 05:09 PM  4 years agoPost 5
craig1980

rrApprentice

lafayette, indiana usa

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Listen to the previous post and go with a good quality heli from the start and you will be thankful in the end.

Synergy N5C/SAB Goblin 700

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01-22-2013 05:21 PM  4 years agoPost 6
SharkBear

rrNovice

Virginia Beach, Va 23454

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I hear what you guys are saying. Unfortunately buying an align kit right off the batt is not really an option for me financially, could save and buy but justifying it to my wife will be a tough sell haha. she's just a silly girl and will always see that money as better spent on a vacation or date nights or some other silly girly stuff like that. Is the issue with the hobby king kits that they just dont with stand a crash? If so does that include the frame or just the boom, skids, main and feathering shaft? I was looking at the carbon 500 from hobby king. If I were to buy a frame only kit from someone on here or locally, are there some cheaper servos and such I could get away with for a bit and replace down the road. how are the hitec servos?

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01-22-2013 05:28 PM  4 years agoPost 7
SharkBear

rrNovice

Virginia Beach, Va 23454

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BTW I really appreciate the advice guys.

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01-22-2013 07:50 PM  4 years agoPost 8
fastflyer20

rrKey Veteran

N. Tonawanda, NY

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The HK (or any other clone) can have a multitude of different issues, soft metal, poor fit, inferior plastic, etc. I had a new HK tail explode on it's 5th takeoff, the heli ended up being a total write off due to this and many other problems. When pilots flying clones have a problem with a part, they will buy an Align part to "fix" the problem, not an easy or inexpensive solution especially of the failed part causes a crash.

There are some very good deals on the older used Trex 500's. Just budget some money to disassemble it and replace any worn bearings, etc. Then you will still have "experienced" working on it. Going through a used heli is a must no matter what the ad says. If you find nothing wrong, you at least have the piece of mind that it is OK to fly.

I have bought a few used helis and always find something that I felt was not up to snuff or I wanted to do it different. Look for a used heli with quality servos, it makes a big difference in flight and durability.

While I am a big advocate for the 500, the 450 is less expensive to buy and to maintain. Batteries and parts are significantly cheaper. It may be the best way to go for your second heli. And going FBL from the start is the only way to go IMHO.

If you don't have enough money now, save up towards it. As they say, buying twice is much more expensive. Also budget for batteries, a charger, etc.

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01-22-2013 08:01 PM  4 years agoPost 9
chris6414

rrApprentice

Sneads Ferry, NC USA

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Nitro maybe?

I went used when I was ready to make the jump. Heck all I own is used helos. Here is a cheap ARF Nitro that would take some time to outgrow. My first Nitro Hawk Sport is my favorite helo and economical on Nitro.

https://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/t723611p1/

Big and stable from what you are used to.

Century Hawk Sport, OS .32, Futaba 7C, GY-601 9251
Predator Gasser SE G-23, Fut 3010 servos, JR gyro/servo

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01-23-2013 01:58 AM  4 years agoPost 10
SharkBear

rrNovice

Virginia Beach, Va 23454

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I wanted to stay electric. Is there any benefit to nitro? especially for a noob?

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01-23-2013 02:10 AM  4 years agoPost 11
ICUR1-2

rrElite Veteran

Ottawa, Ontario

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Buy once not twice
if you have to save up for it do so
I wasted so much $$$ by trying to save money

explain to her it is like buying good sport equipment buy cheap and you get hurt.

I wanted to stay electric. Is there any benefit to nitro? especially for a noob?
IMO if you have ear for engine tuning you will get longer flight times for practice.

spending time, paying attention

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01-23-2013 02:33 AM  4 years agoPost 12
fastflyer20

rrKey Veteran

N. Tonawanda, NY

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For simplicity and low cost, a small electric is best. Nitro are more complex and fuel is $20-30 a gallon.

A bigger heli is heavier so crashes cause more damage and the parts are more expensive.

A rough summary based on size - ALL notes are based on FBL
250 Too small and quirky, just as expensive as a 450
450 - Very good learning size for $ value. Bumped around pretty good in 10+ MPH winds.
500 - Flies quite a bit better than a 450, but running cost is double a 450. Handles wind amazingly well for its size. It is one of my favorite all around heli's.
550 and 600 - Both have the same relative cost, blades start taking a big chunk of the repair cost. Roughly double the running cost of a 500 and expensive to keep running, fair amount of damage in crashes. Handle wind better.
700 - better have deep pockets, everything is expensive but they are a dream to fly. Sustain most damage in a crash and expensive to fix. Amazing even in strong winds.

Focus on a 450 or 500. It is better to get a quality heli in a size that you can afford to keep running even if you have a few crashes, which is inevitable.

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01-23-2013 04:16 AM  4 years agoPost 13
sewerfly

rrApprentice

el cajon CA USA

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I bought a cheap 500 EXI kit, I put good electronics on it and it flew awesome until about the 10th flight, I was hovering inverted when one of the bolts broke on the tail causing me to crash braking all my servo arms N gears was a total loss spent more than twice as much the hardware and meal parts are JUNK and I will never buy a clone again lesson learned.

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01-23-2013 04:24 AM  4 years agoPost 14
SharkBear

rrNovice

Virginia Beach, Va 23454

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Alright well you guys have me convinced, no clone and no instant gratification for this guy. Thanks for the help guys.

@fastlyer20- how much of a difference in running costs are we talking here, roughly.

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01-23-2013 02:11 PM  4 years agoPost 15
fastflyer20

rrKey Veteran

N. Tonawanda, NY

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Blades are a big part of the cost and while learning the less expensive blades work OK on the 450 and 500.

The 450 can use wood or cheap CF at $10-$15 per set plus $15-30 for a typical repair. High end blades are $40.

The 500 can use cheap CF at $22 per set plus $25-75 in crash cost. High end blades are $40-$60

The 550 and 600 need better blades so it is a big jump at $60-85 for blades and $50-100 in repairs. The cheap CF have tracking issues in the larger sizes, some sets work, some sets don't work.

A "typical repair" can vary but the most common parts that get damaged are blades, main shaft, feathering shaft, tail shaft, tail boom, tail fin, torque tube and gears plus any bearings that get notchie in a crash, usually main shaft bearing and main grip bearings. Canopies can often be repaired if you can deal with the look of it. From the list above, it varies with every crash, most crashes will not damage all of the parts, some are much worse with broken frames and electronics costing more than the estimates above. I would guess that it is 5 -10 light crashes for every heavy crash.

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01-23-2013 04:47 PM  4 years agoPost 16
chris6414

rrApprentice

Sneads Ferry, NC USA

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Nitro or electric. As big as you can afford. What is the Initial budget? Factor in replacement parts availability. I still recommend used. I have used cheap 550 blades from heli direct and HK for years with no issues. I prefer nitro as I can fly for almost 20 minutes with my Hawk. Tuning is not as intimidating once you get it. Cheap Raptor and Hawk 30s can be found cheap almost ready to go for under $300. My Hawk is over 12 years old and Century still makes parts that are backwards compatible from their newer models. To me that is important as I can't buy a new heli every 3-4 years when the next best thing comes out. Thunder Tiger is also a good company with great parts support lasting years. Align is another great company but their helis are just below JR with regards to price. You can usualy get "more" helo if you buy used and larger if you go with the 500-550 Nitros that are few years old. Plenty of help tuning a Nitro here. I'd even offer all the help I can with Tuning. Once you fly a larger helo, you'll never look at a 250-450 the same again. A 30 zize Nitro can get about 13 flights from a gallon of fuel. That is 195 minutes of flying (@15 mintues per)and depending on your receiver power set-up, that can be flown in one session. Just re fuel and go. Practice is key in becoming a better pilot and a used Nitro gives you that. That Hawk I linked comes with almost everything except a transmitter and starter. Used Electric 500-550s are going to be pricey as they are so popular now.

https://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/t723401p1/

https://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/t722098p1/

Raptor is Sold but goes to show the deal you can get used.

https://rc.runryder.com/helicopter/t718438p1/

http://www.rcuniverse.com/market/item.cfm?itemId=895620

Century Hawk Sport, OS .32, Futaba 7C, GY-601 9251
Predator Gasser SE G-23, Fut 3010 servos, JR gyro/servo

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01-23-2013 06:13 PM  4 years agoPost 17
SharkBear

rrNovice

Virginia Beach, Va 23454

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Chris, thanks for the info on nitro. I will have to consider that. I like that you can just refuel and go again and the flight times are longer, with each flight costing roughly only $2. There is a guy that flies from my LHS that swears by raptors. I might just go that route especially since there will be no additional battery costs. The biggest batteries I currently use are 3000 mAh 14.8v which from my understanding is not enough for a 500. I have ruled out a 450 simply because of size. Part of the reason I am going away from my SR is it was too easy to lose orientation. A 450 seems like a slight step up from that. Also I tried flying a furion 450 on my simulator and it did not go well.

Do nitros operate on the same amount of channels as an electric, 6 for flybar and 7 for flybarless. might seem like a dumb question but gotta ask, is there anyreason you cannot go flybarless on a nitro?

Thanks again for the advice fellas

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01-23-2013 06:15 PM  4 years agoPost 18
SharkBear

rrNovice

Virginia Beach, Va 23454

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Chris I see you are not far from me here in VIrginia Beach... might have to take you up on your offer to help with tuning.

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01-23-2013 06:42 PM  4 years agoPost 19
Nelson34

rrApprentice

San jose ca

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How about gas? I saw some Radicals were being sold for 199? Cheap to fuel but crashing and setup may be a bit much-but something to consider later down the line.
I have a Trex 500, really enjoy it but maybe look into something like the Blade 300. They are only 319.00 right now with 2 batteries. If you buy from Horizon web site-that's the final price delivered. It comes with a spectrum/beast gyro receiver combo that you can use later on a different helicopter if and when you outgrow the 300. It would be something you could setup, if it crashes it won't break the bank. Good size to fly at a park. Wifey may not think it cost to much too!
My dilemma with the 500 is I don't really want to invest in a charger, power supplies etc. It adds up fast! I prefer gas but fly my Blades way more. I have a underpowered charger that charges my batteries, just takes a lot longer than the higher powered ones.
I'm still learning to fly and having started with a electric 450, then a nitro 50 to gas-if money is a concern get either a Blade 130 or 300. Bigger the better. Even a used one would be good. I bought a used 130 and came with tons of parts for a great price and I fly it every day in my front yard practicing my flying. I'm considering a 300 since the price dropped. This is just my 2 cents and hope you find something! Just remember to have fun!

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01-23-2013 06:52 PM  4 years agoPost 20
chris6414

rrApprentice

Sneads Ferry, NC USA

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Same Channels, Minimum of 6. I can't talk to flybarless. Both mine have a flybar and never felt the need to go flybarless. More to program or misprogram. I still run a "used" Futaba 7C with PCM receivers. You just cannot go wrong with a Raptor. I have worked on a few and just rebuilt one for a friend of mine after a crash. Boom, main shaft, flybar, Spindle, grips, a few links and blades were all that needed replaced. Just a great bird and simple to work on and parts are cheap. Parts were under $100. If you have a crash kit(they sell them for Raptors) it comes with almost everything you need to get back in the air.

I am impartial to the Centurys for the rugged design and simple mechanics. The only thing with the Raptors is I noticed I cut about 40% of the cyclic throw off the swash to calm it down for new pilots. The Raptors were designed to take you from training to 3D so the set up range is pretty wide. I am just a scale sport guy so I keep my set-up mild. I am up for helping anytime. Not too many fliers down here that I have found yet.

Chris

Century Hawk Sport, OS .32, Futaba 7C, GY-601 9251
Predator Gasser SE G-23, Fut 3010 servos, JR gyro/servo

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