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Home✈️Aircraft🚁HelicopterBeginners Corner › A newbie helping newbies (please read)
04-01-2012 07:52 PM  7 years ago
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Sirgijoe

rrNovice

kalamazoo, MI

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A newbie helping newbies (please read)
As the title states, take my experiences good and bad and learn from them with me!<lol>.

I hope that my mistakes, and my gains can help other newbies to this hobby save money in the long run, and help them keep in this sport we all have learned to love.

This will be a growing forum post I hope, to share the things that I experience along the way.

if you would like to get to know me better, and what got me into this hobby in the first place, I strongly urge you to read my very first post on this forum! http://rc.runryder.com/t680335p1/

Sorry in advance for the long post.

A few things I have learned

Simulators are extremely helpful, use them. I personally prefer Realflight, but a lot of my friends prefer pheonix. tit for tat, use what you like. you can even download free simulators if 200 dollars for a training aid doesn't sit well with you, but just remember you get what you pay for. the physics in the higher priced models will help you learn better then a free sim, but something is better then nothing. I started out with free sims < the one I prefer the most out of all of them I tried, which is probably all of them, was Heli sim >

I started out with a 3ch helicopter < great for kids, but probably should have started out with a fixed 4 ch for control reasons > I got so used to flying my "to" safe 3 ch around that when I upgraded to a 6 ch 450, it took me what seemed like forever to forget the 3ch controls so I could actually even attempt to fly it.

Which leads me to my next point.

When you start out, start small, and upgrade small. get used to flying before you start worrying about crashing with a bigger, more expensive machine.

Saving money doesn't mean to buy the cheapest parts. Actually buying the cheapest parts " in most cases " will result in horrible accidents or crashes, actually causing you to spend way more money then you would have in the first place. For example, When I first decided to build my HK 450. I started going as cheap as I could from the start, thinking that I was going to crash it anyways, so I would crash the cheaper stuff and then when I got better buy better stuff. THIS IS WRONG. every time I have crashed, it was not due to my experience, it was due to cheap electronics failing. think you will be saving money by buying that 5 dollar servo instead of that 40 dollar one? Not when that servo fails and you crash resulting in 50 + dollars of damage.

Do you want to know why pro's < and by pro's I mean seasoned flyer's > don't crash that often? it is because they buy QUALITY RELIABLE parts.

With that being said, I feel the need to say this. You will crash, maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, but eventually you will crash. Crashing isn't necessarily a complete bad thing, we learn from our mistakes, take that out of each crash you have, don't be scared to crash, because by doing that you are actually making yourself scared to fly.

Flying is about fun, do what you want, not what you think your friends or other club members want, but always take into consideration their advice. If you like to scale fly instead of 3d fly, then scale fly, don't feel pressured into trying to do things you do like to do, or have the skill to do yet. start out small, if it takes you 50 + packs to get hovering down, then so be it. we all learn at different paces.

Got a special person in your life? then make them feel welcome to be involved with the hobby. In my case, I would ask my wife to fly on the sim once in a while, just for fun, and she would fly for a minute, even if it was a 20 second flight, I would let her know she did good. eventually she would fly for 5 minutes, then 10, soon 30 minutes, and as we speak, she is currently in the process of building her first plane from scratch out of foam.

My whole point is, if she likes the hobby, then it makes it 2000 times easier for me to stay in it, not to mention that to be able to enjoy something you love, with someone you love, will make that something you love way better. Now, when I need a parts its not " you seriously need more parts " its " hey order me some landing gear and a servo while you on there please ".

Remember that you are never alone, chances are, there are at least 30+ people that live within 5 miles of you that also enjoy this hobby, and to be honest, I have yet to meet someone in this hobby I couldn't get along with. Most people in this hobby are good people, tha are willing to help newbies out, and could possibly become a great long term friend.

the last tip that I will give out for now is probably the most valuable, Take a few hours, to go through this forum, and read random threads, The amount of knowledge shared here is huge, and could possibly save you hours of heart ache in the long run, and make this hobby what it was meant to be in the first place, a stress free enjoyable time
Helicopter flight: A bunch of spare parts flying in close formation.
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04-02-2012 02:33 AM  7 years ago
bigdog714

rrVeteran

Rochester, MN U.S.A.

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This is a good thread. You bring up a lot of good points that many of us have tried to do here for many years.

If you read enough here you will see that there a number of veteran pilots that can help you with basically anything. There is a lot of information that floats around this forum that's based on opinion instead of fact!

Buying a sim is the best investment you can make, it has a re-set button, I still haven't found it on my Futaba 9ch Super even with the Spektrum module!

I have a Blade CX that I fly around my family room, and I spend most of the time hovering it face to face, its great for orientation, and since it moves much slower than my regular helis its actually more of a challenge just because by the time you visually see you made an error, you've lost position.

If I had it to do again I wouldn't have waited as long as I did to move to a 50/600-90/700 class helis, they are way more stable. I don't even own a heli smaller than a 50/600, but I also live in the country and have plenty of space to fly my nitros. Don't misunderstand me, I have had 42 helis and only 8 or 9 of them have been nitros, I just love the sound, and the flight times!

Its a great hobby, and I am very happy that I do this for fun, the people are fabulous, even the airplane guy's! LOL!!!!
MD 800
Logo 600SE
Logo 14/500 Carbon
Ballistic 700
HD 500V2
Hirobo 50E
Avant 90E
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04-02-2012 02:44 PM  7 years ago
taxus812

rrApprentice

Conecticut - USA

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I’m 8 months into this hobby and I can concur with Sirgijoe. The biggest shock\deterrent for me starting out was the cost of good equipment. My natural reaction was to look for cheaper parts. With limited knowledge the hobby you have NO possible way to judge what bargain basement stuff will work and certainly do not yet have the skills to recover if it fails. Someday once you gain experience, and know what you are looking at, you may play with cheap stuff laughing when it turns into a hole in the ground. (as to why people manufacture cheap stuff is another discussion)

Instead of going cheap I offer an alternative if you need to keep costs down. Look at the used market. You can get good quality equipment that may just be last year’s model very cheap.

Hook up with a mentor here, someone you can ask “hey does this look like a good deal?” and “Is the seller ok?”. This has helped me a LOT. both of my current birds are built from almost new, decent quality, used equipment for about the same costs as buying the new low grade stuff.
Man is so anxious about his future that he does not enjoy the present. - Dalai Lama
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04-23-2012 06:40 AM  7 years ago
bonedaddy465

rrNovice

scottsville Virginia

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Being a newbe myself I agree 90% of everything all have said except two things. Buying used gear may be a bargin, but check to make sure there was no recalls or anything on the items first. Also I've been in the RC hobby for 15 years and have built over 120 cars trucks and boats. I can tell you all about trucks cars and boats, but I was in the dark about helis, until Christmas.

I don't like getting used gear as you never know what you are getting. just because the guy says it's almost new, doesn't mean it wasn't new and in a crash. Try to buy new with warranty when you can.

I sort of disagree with a lot of seasoned pilots on here about starting with 450 collective pitch birds. Why? 1)You are going to crash it, period no matter how careful you are. It's just not cost affective for the beginner even if they are more stable. I'd rather pay 15.00 to fix my MCPX than 100.00 to fix a 450.

If I can get my blade MCPX flying and not crash it for 50 flights, I'll go to the bigger birds, but not until. This is just me, being prudent and careful.After all they say the smaller birds are harder, than this might be a good thing. After I master the MCPX, I should be able to go to the Walkera 4f200 I have with not much trouble, and then the 450. Increasing the cost and size of the bird as I have flight time.

I'm 50 years old and am intimidated by the larger birds right now, because of my lack of experience. That and the thought of hurting someone or property damage if I goof up. I'd rather hit a car, house or even person with the MCPX than with a 450 carbon fiber bladed buzz saw.

What it comes down to is being comfortable with your ability. If you are comfortable with the smaller birds to begin with, start there and go up. I too started with a 3 channel toy at Christmas, Now I have 12 helicopters ranging from the 2- MSR, MSRX, 2-120SR,2-MCPX Walkera CB180z, Walkera 4f200, Hk 450 2- Align 450SEv1's

I buy them in twos, hop one up with aluminum parts and fly the other one for practice. I just love to build on them.
The only fear in life is that of being human!!
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04-23-2012 07:01 AM  7 years ago
MichiganFlyer

rrElite Veteran

Lansing,MI

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I have 3 450's and they(wife and 2 boys) have one. I have three so I can share 2 with them.Friends don't encourage friends to fly helis! It can cause part shortages.
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04-23-2012 01:52 PM  7 years ago
highrpm

rrApprentice

Shelby Twp,Mi

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I started with the MCPX and crashed a lot,but gained my forward flight skills quickly. When I wanted to start flying outside in more than 5 MPH wind,I started looking for a larger heli. I too was looking at a 450 and was a advised to go to a 500. I just crashed it after about 50-60 flights cost me $30 bucks in parts. thats not too bad for a more stable wind tolerant heli IMHO
here's what I replaced
Main gear
Flybar
linkage rod ball link
landing gear
Wood main rotor Blades why use carbon fiber if we are just hovering and doin figure eights???
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04-23-2012 10:18 PM  7 years ago
HeliSam

rrApprentice

Michigan

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I agree with hovering with the wood blades however you will notice the difference between woodies and carbons when you do circuits. The carbons are way better at circuits than woodies.
Sam
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04-28-2012 04:30 AM  7 years ago
bonedaddy465

rrNovice

scottsville Virginia

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I'm afraid of wooden blades after a video I watched on you tube. The guy put wooden blades on a 450 and didn't calculate his head speed right. The whole helicopter exploded. Wasn't anything left but bits. cut every servo wire and sent all the parts ballistic. Cut the frame in half, boom in half. Not but a couple pieces could be used again. I'd rather have foam ones on a mcpx, at least they won't shatter. With all the technology today, I wonder why anyone would use wood ones at all. Wood can warp, split, splinter even covered as they are. I know so can fiberglass, but fiberglass is at least stronger and can hold up better with high head speeds.The only fear in life is that of being human!!
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04-28-2012 08:42 AM  7 years ago
courtjones

rrApprentice

florida

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good topic
Very good points, this is a wonderful hobby.
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04-28-2012 08:55 AM  7 years ago
MichiganFlyer

rrElite Veteran

Lansing,MI

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Running 3400 on my 450 with glass blades and no problems.Friends don't encourage friends to fly helis! It can cause part shortages.
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04-28-2012 01:08 PM  7 years ago
highrpm

rrApprentice

Shelby Twp,Mi

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I was simply making a case for a larger heli. The wood blades are certainly not my favorite choice because I notice them during forward flight, As for them exploding...I just inspect them for any imperfections between flights. When you crash the $6 woodies,they are supposed to brake so that you could possibly save other parts.
Do we need all that crazy head speed if just learning FF? ask the scale pilots about head speed
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04-28-2012 07:03 PM  7 years ago
bonedaddy465

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scottsville Virginia

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I'm new to the helicopter part of the hobby, but I'd wager a guess you probably don't need real high head speeds for normal flight or scale flight. Maybe a little more for scale models, due to weight and lift ratio,depending on your gearing. But for beginners with a pod and boom heli and normal flight absolutely not.

The guy I was talking about obviously didn't know what he was doing. I think the limit on wooden blades is about 2300 to 2400 rpm and this guy was running at 3800 rpm. When he spun her up and got to about 60% throttle and the pitch kicked in the chopper really imploded, looked like it just sucked all the parts in and blew them out everywhere. I was amazed at the damage it did just with wooden blades. These new Brushless motors really put out some torque compared to the ones I used in boats ten years ago. They relied on higher rpm's to overcome the lack of torque. I still can't get over the sizes of the new brushless motors. So small and yet as powerful as ones four times there size ten years ago.

This can be a scary hobby when things like that happen. I saw another video of a fellow that was hovering his 700 about five feet off the ground and 15 feet away from himself. It appears a small part came off the head and went into the rotors, You can imagine what happened next, yep, chicken dance city on the ground. Real funny looking when they do that. I believe I would have cried. For some of us 1400.00 is a lot of money to lose.
The only fear in life is that of being human!!
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04-29-2012 02:17 AM  7 years ago
Bladecpnitro

rrApprentice

Ga

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I've had pretty good luck with cheap servos, motors and esc's but not gyros. The best thing I ever did was put a Quark gyro on my EXI 450. I still use a 15.00 Emax 9257 rudder servo. The cheap T -Pro 90 servos worked fine but usually in a crash 1 or 2 will loose their 90 degree center and I've found that once they do that you can't trust them any longer. You might as well put a new T-Pro 90 on.

I used those up to 287 flights and switched to a Chinese made MG servo similar to a Hitec 5065.

I tell you what its always best to check the function of your servos before you lift off the ground especially if you've been working on it. I did the stupidest thing I've ever done in my RC history this morning. I was going all through my head getting it setup level mid low and high stick after putting new cyclic servos, CF blades main and tail new boom, main gear, main shaft, feathering shaft brand new KBDD paddles for faster flipping. ( Man do they flip) New painted canopy,

Anyhow, somewhere in trying to get high or low stick leveled with 11 degrees of -/+ pitch on the main blades, I had flipped over to swash mix accidently and I happened to be adjusting aileron at the time, I look down and see aileron numbers moving, I caught it, and thought whoa! I better set that right back where I had it. I proceeded to put it back on 70 not realizing I had taken the negative out of it. So now my ailerons or reversed and I don't realize it.

I finished it all up excited to take it out and give it a whirl, spool up raise of the ground give it a little right aileron to take it out of my fenced in yard and it immediately flips over on its left side beating the ground like a shot duck. I couldn't believe it.

Ruined my new CF Blades, main gear, bent the flybar and the boom a little. After I got done being ticked off I put it all back together with some heavy Align plastic blades on it and got 3 flights in this evening. Man I like those KBDD paddles, they flip amazingly quick. For the 1st time I need about 10 + expo on elevator and aileron.

I'm doing long looping figure 8s coming back nose in inverted and pushing over forward, upright forwards and backwards loops now and today I did my first vertical nose up 360 spin. After that I took the SR up and did all that same stuff too.

So the day started off bad but ended in Triumph. Oh it didn't hurt the canopy, not a scratch.
If its fixed don't break it.
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04-29-2012 04:52 AM  7 years ago
Manny1776

rrVeteran

Melbourne, Florida. USA

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Good post:-)Fly High, Fly Fun, Fly Secure.........Fly 3D!!!! Bavarian Demon USA Team
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