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HelicopterBeginners Corner › Overwhelmed
04-12-2015 10:32 PM  34 months agoPost 1
jpendleton84

rrNovice

United States

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oh my goodness. I have been out of the RC game since 2000. Things have changed a lot it appears. I want to jump back into helis. My goal is to get an electric heli, that I can relearn to fly with.

I had a raptor 30 back in the day, but never got past hovering and parallel movement.

1. It looks like my XP8103 is pretty outdated at this point. What happened to JR, and who is Spectrum! LOL. Is JR still a good choice? I am thinking about an xg11mv, but I don't know what all the new lingo is yet.....dsm2, dsmx, xbus.....yadda yadda.

2. Are satellites only used with fbl controllers?

3. Is fbl the way to go? What is the easiest controller to setup? I have a MAC, so if software is needed I will need MAC support.

4. What heli? I have been looking at an Align 500L combo, but it comes with a controller. Is that controller acceptable for my purposes? Will it work with the JR stuff? I am open to other choices?

5. What type battery packs? Lipo or life?

6. What size battery should I expect to use on a 500 size?

7. What charger are you all using for these big packs?

8. Does the radio run off of the motor pack?

I apologize, because I know all this info is burried somewhere on this site, but I have been reading a lot this weekend, and I am on info overload. I need to hone in on some types so that I can focus my research efforts! Can someone point me in a logical direction?

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04-12-2015 11:46 PM  34 months agoPost 2
don s

rrElite Veteran

Chesapeake, VA

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I'll take a stab:

1) JR works, Spektrum works too (most of the time)
2) Most FBL units work with satellites, but satellites aren't exclusively used with FBL units
3) FBL helis are most of what's left out there. Easiest controller, not a clue. Mac compatible, no idea.
4) The Align combo stuff should work, and work with JR, but you are open to use whatever equipment you like.
5) Lipos for motor power.
6) 6S 3000-3300mAh Lipo
7) I use Hitec chargers but there are better units out there.
8) Power is sent to the receiver by the ESC, usually 5-6V.

E820, Raptor G4N, X50F/E, E620, Forza 450, and some planks.

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04-13-2015 12:09 AM  34 months agoPost 3
Fauropitotto

rrApprentice

Tampa, FL

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Dons beat me to it.

That's about as straight forward as you can get.

Here are some links to some vendors and websites that I've had good experience with.

Used helis and gear: http://www.never-crashed.com/

Chargers and charging supplies: http://www.progressiverc.com/

Major heli distributors and outlets:

http://www.amain.com/
http://www.experiencerc.com/store/
http://www.helidirect.com/index.php

Of course there are many others, be sure to browse around to get a feel for the multitude of new manufacturers and products (as well as the updated old ones)

Good luck with the information avalanche!

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04-13-2015 12:41 AM  34 months agoPost 4
Dan Minick

rrKey Veteran

Columbus, WI

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Personally I think the easiest controller setup for a beginner is the Vbar. You can sit right there with your mac and see what is going on. No beeps or lights to watch.

Team Synergy, Team FBL Rotors-------if its not broke...it will be!

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04-13-2015 02:03 AM  34 months agoPost 5
Gamb

rrApprentice

Belle Mead, NJ USA

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... goal is to get an electric heli....
Good choice, that is the way to get started these days. The power and durations are the same, if not better than nitros in the 500 - 600 class helis.

1. ...looks like my XP8103 is pretty outdated .... don't know what all the new lingo is yet.....dsm2, dsmx, xbus.....yadda yadda.
Your old radio was probably a 72Mhz system. The advantage with that is that as long as you were on the same channel, you could transmit to a Futaba, or Kraft, or JR receiver. That was also the biggest down side. You could not have more than one model up with the same channel at the same time. Now all radios are 2.4GHz technology, with variations on "frequency hopping" so that you can have any number of models up in the air without interference. Unfortunately, as a consequence, each manufacturer has made their system proprietary, and give them names like "FASST" (Futaba) DSM2, DSMX (JR / Spektrum}, HoTT (Graupner). etc. Because of this, the radio you choose, will more or less determine what models you can fly. E-Flite, ParkZone use the Spektrum DSM, others use their own. If you are planning on buying a bind-and-fly (BNF) model you have to make sure your transmitter is compatible, unless you are willing to buy a receiver to go with your radio, and switch out the receiver in your model. I personally like Futaba radios, but they have not done a good job of getting vendors to adopt their 2.4Ghz system; so I just bought a Spektrum DX9 so that I can use it with all my EFlite models.

2. Are satellites only used with fbl controllers?
"Satellites" are a way some receivers are designed to avoid interference or loss of signal when the orientation of your model changes. It has noting to do with FBL systems. Spektrum receivers have this feature, and I think a few others do to. Futaba has stayed away from "satellites" and made an ad touting this difference:

Watch at YouTube

3. Is fbl the way to go? What is the easiest controller to setup? I have a MAC, so if software is needed I will need MAC support.
Most models are going to FBL, and the FBL systems are getting cheaper. The FBL systems are mechanically simpler, and so easier to maintain. With the sophistication of todays computer radios, receivers, FBL systems, and PC / MAC setup software, they may actually be easier to setup than a standard gyro, listening to "beeps" as you move the controllers on your transmitter.

4. What heli? I have been looking at an Align 500L combo, but it comes with a controller. Is that controller acceptable for my purposes? Will it work with the JR stuff? I am open to other choices?
Good size choice. I would not get the transmitter with the model. Invest in a good transmitter up front, and get a "beater" model to learn on. Try the classified section here.

5. What type battery packs? Lipo or life?
LiPo. LiFe not ready for primetime in RC model use.

6. What size battery should I expect to use on a 500 size?
Depends on model, Stick to their recommendations. LiPo batteries have significantly dropped in price, and there are more vendors, so battery price will not limit your enjoyment.

7. What charger are you all using for these big packs?
Too many choices now. Look for one that will do at least a 6S (or even an 8S) battery pack. I have a Triton that only goes to 5S, so limits the batteries that I can charge.

8. Does the radio run off of the motor pack?

By "radio" I presume you mean the receiver on the RC model. Yes, most now run off the same battery. The battery voltage can vary depending on the model, and most servos use 5 - 6 volts (8.5 volts for the High Voltage ones). Many receivers come with a BEC (Battery Eliminator Circuit) built in, which can supply most modest servo requirements. You can get an external BEC to supply more power, if your servos demand it. Some people still use a secondary battery for their receiver and servo power, especially for more complex models, with lots of servos, and for redundancy.

My recommendation for you:
Spektrum Transmitter - Most compatible with more BNF models. I would suggest a minimum of 6 channels, but buy the best one you can afford. You don't want to end up needing to upgrade your transmitter when you outgrow it.
Buy a 450 - 550 class heli, preferable from the classified section, so that you don't spend too much on something you are going to crash anyway.

Obligator plug: Get a RC flight simulator.
Unfortunately, there are very few native Mac compatible RC flight simulators. AeroFly is the only one that I know of that runs on Macs. Phoenix, and RealFlight can be run with BootCamp or Parallel's desktop (I think - I don't own a Mac, so can't say for sure).
Welcome back to the hobby and Happy flying!

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04-13-2015 03:20 AM  34 months agoPost 6
Cobra 46

rrKey Veteran

Cambridge il usa

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Welcome back. Good luck !

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04-13-2015 04:50 AM  34 months agoPost 7
grim.the.grim

rrVeteran

Houston, Texas

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+++1 on the need for a simulator. As before when your were first learning to fly. The bigger the bird the easier to learn on. A 500, 550, or 600 are all great first heli's. The 11XG is A LOT of radio for a beginner but as with everything in this hobby, buy the most and best you can afford. If you plan on sticking with it.. You will definitely grow into the 11XG. Welcome back!!!

*** Real Pilots BEAT the air into submission! ***

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04-13-2015 04:53 AM  34 months agoPost 8
grim.the.grim

rrVeteran

Houston, Texas

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Almost forgot. A MCPX or similar small Heli is also a great trainner... Its like a real life simulator. Fly it over grass and if you lose it, just hit throttle hold. It is so light that it wall just fall to the grass, you pick it up, and start over. Great Heli to learn on because the are dirt cheap and don't break easily.

*** Real Pilots BEAT the air into submission! ***

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04-13-2015 10:41 AM  34 months agoPost 9
Gamb

rrApprentice

Belle Mead, NJ USA

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+1 on the Blade mCPX. It is a great trainer, and more fun than the simulator. I have one that I fly around the house on cold or rainy days. BNF version works with Spektrum. Get extra batteries from hobby king.

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04-16-2015 03:49 AM  34 months agoPost 10
jpendleton84

rrNovice

United States

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thanks everyone. there is a lot of good info here, that I am still working on digesting.

1. Is there something besides the MCPX that anyone would recommend?

2. So I take it not all bind and fly is Spektrum?

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04-16-2015 04:12 AM  34 months agoPost 11
rcflyerheli

rrKey Veteran

Granbury, TX USA

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My strongest recommendation is to go with the sim and at least a 500 sized heli.

IMHO, (and I have one) a MCPX isn't going to teach you to fly. The concept that they are light and can take a crash is far over rated in comparison to their difficulty in flying. They are not stable like a larger heli, and because of their size are hard to see unless you are very close.

Justmy $.02.

Goblin 700, Trex 700DFC, Gaui X7, Logo 690SX, Logo 600SX; Trex 470 Trex 500
Amain Team Rep

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04-16-2015 11:36 AM  34 months agoPost 12
Gamb

rrApprentice

Belle Mead, NJ USA

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I would continue to recommend the mCPX because it is flybarless, single rotor, collective pitch; which is similar to the larger helicopters. Yes, it is small, but it is also a lot more forgiving in a crash, and parts are cheaper. Because it is small, you do need to keep it closer, but that can also be an advantage; you don't have to go far to recover the heli after you ditch it. It is a bit more difficult to fly, but everything is going to be difficult to start with. You can fly it outside, even with a little breeze, but you can't go too far, because you won't be able to see it clearly to determine it's orientation.

The Blade mSR is another option, but it is a fixed pitch heli, so you use throttle speed to control altitude. Larger RC helis, and real helicopters use a near constant head speed, and change altitude by changing the pitch of the blades.

Bind-and-Fly (BNF) is a registered trademark of Horizon Hobby, which distributes E-Flite, Park Zone, etc. models. Here is a link with a little explanation:

http://rcvehicles.about.com/od/frequency/f/BNF.htm

http://www.horizonhobby.com/categor...1--1/bind-n-fly

http://bindnfly.com/

There are other variations on "ready to fly" which bind their brand of transmitter to a particular model, but then you are stuck with their brand of transmitter and what ever models they bind with. Tactic has a few of their own bind and fly models which they call "Transmitter Ready" or "TxR".

...and to confuse you more, Tactic makes an "AnyLink" module which supposedly lets any transmitter work with any brank receiver. Don't have one, don't know if it works.

Here is their link:
http://tacticrc.com/
http://tacticrc.com/anylink/anylink2.html

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04-16-2015 12:38 PM  34 months agoPost 13
doorman

rrProfessor

Sherwood, Arkansas

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Keep In Mind
For the XG11MV to work with any bind and fly, you will need a dsm2 or dmx module...
Personally, I do like the blade msr...with it's fixed pitch it makes you use your left hand,which will translate to your pitch later on your cp machine..the sim is the most valuable tool at this point..get it, hook up to the largest flat screen you have, and dust off those cob webs!!
As for which e-heli to get...500 and up is good info, but I have taught a LOT of new pilits to fly with a 450 machine...they can be slowed down and set pretty docile especially with the new fbl controllers..
But, whatever you choose, remember to have fun!!!
Take a peek at the JR Forza 450 or the NEX6 too..
Welcome back,
Stan

AMA 2918-Team JR, Spin Blades,,Castle Creations, Unique Aircraft

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05-05-2015 05:12 AM  34 months agoPost 14
gwong

rrApprentice

Langley, British Columbia, Canada

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I recommend you find and join a flying club.

Most club members are a helpful bunch.

Lipos need special handling as their chemistry are volatile if not charged properly.

Take your time and have fun.

Good Luck,

Gord.

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05-06-2015 08:06 PM  33 months agoPost 15
Simmer

rrElite Veteran

Massachusetts

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had an 8103 for many years, finally went to JR 9303X
TX is personal choice. Jr, Spectrum, or Futaba
Jr and Spectrum play nice together but do be careful with the receiver satalights. Older JR X9303's didn't have the X designation on the satalights and so you need to be careful to match correctly.

Futaba uses a different spread spectrum not compatible to JR or Spectrum

Spectrums are less money than JR but a little. Might be a little cheaper in design and build as a result.

Don't let anyone tell you electric has the same flying time. Your raptor 30 would go 20 plus minutes in the air. Your best time is going to be pretty close to 5 minutes for electric. Big difference.
the time to refuel a nitro helicopter and get back up is a few minutes... and you'll get 4 flights on a good receiver battery.
This could be 4 - 15 minutes flights with about 4 minutes between each.

Now if you buy 4 batteries (maybe 200- to 400 dollars for a 500 size which is close to a raptor 30, you can swap them out and go fly 4 flights or about 5 minutes and 2 minutes between flights.

THEN you have to recharge all 4 batteries and unless you have a good dual charger and can charge 2 batteries at once, you could be looking at 4 x 40 minutes apiece or 3 plus hours. (1/2 the time if charging 2 at once.) Some batteries will allow you to charge at a much faster rate again bringing down your charge time easily in half again to maybe 45 minutes but these batteries will be the more expensive ones.

Then you have to recharge after each flying day to make sure your batteries last a good long time. Add battery store charge as opposed to re charge, about 25 min per 6 cell battery on standard charge. Then of course your only stor charged. If you want to go fly you charge just before you go to the field or on the day you wish to fly. (if you stor charged your 1/2 charged so its about 1/2 the charge time normally.

If you want fast back to back flights with the least amount of time spend at home preparing your batteries stay with Nitro.

if you already have flying down pretty good, you wont mind the batterys because they do make a lot more power than nitro.

to me, its a lot of down time preparing you batteries.

the rest of the stuff.. If you had a raptor, you can use it or get a common heli like the Aligns. Parts are readily available and not too expensive. Electric or Nitro

I have a SAB500 and I use one 4400 6 cell battery. The ones I buy are about $110 apiece. I own 5 of these.

If you fly batteries you will need a good charger. Expect to pay close to or over 200 for a good charger you wont grow out of quickly. Do spend for the dual charger option to charge two batteries at once.

The throttle will slow and eventually the blades will stop but typically there is no switch with electric. Simply disconnect the battery.

Keep in mind always these lipo batteries have the potential to burst into flames if struck hard of shorted, or exposed to water.

Store safely and charge safely at all times. Serious consequences if you mistreat your batteries.

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05-06-2015 09:34 PM  33 months agoPost 16
Pistol Pete

rrProfessor

Seffner, FL

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Futaba has stayed away from "satellites" and made an ad touting this difference:
For what its worth...that video is misleading as spektrum also has receivers that do not need satellites.

AR400 and AR610...both which I use.
B]... goal is to get an electric heli....[/B]
Good choice, that is the way to get started these days. The power and durations are the same, if not better than nitros in the 500 - 600 class helis.
Agree on power but not on duration unless you're talking about something other than flying time. Then again there is the low head speed(LINK) aspect of it where it will almost double your electric flight time.

As for the 8103, yes it is outdated but if in a budget, you can get a 2.4Ghz module for it. (LINK) I did way back and worked well. It was a transition until I could convert all my models to spektrum (DX9)...slowly. The 8103 was demoted to SIM duty. Link was the first one I found and I did not get it from them.

And yes...+1 on SIM and welcome back to the addiction.

~~Enjoying the hobby one flight at a time~~

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06-06-2015 08:38 PM  32 months agoPost 17
Noobyflyer

rrVeteran

Clearwater, FL

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I like to paruze a sub forum of the heli I'm interested in. That way I can read a build thread and look at what others did that chime in along the way. You can pretty much get a good idea of the set ups that work well from the brave souls that went first on a build. You can also get pointers on what fixes make the kit better.

Some builds make it on to YouTube which really makes life easier watching someone else build the kit you want. Nitrokyosho on YouTube is a big Align and Goblin guy. His videos are very comprehensive and he has a plain way of explaining things for a new flyer/builder. And of course no one does it better than finless bob.

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