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Other › Century NEO 660 or FlameWheel 550?
01-30-2013 07:00 PM  5 years agoPost 1
surferguy

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Buxton, NC USA

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Century NEO 660 or FlameWheel 550?

That is the question.

What to buy?
After all of my reading and researching it looks like they are comparable in many ways. Century is lighter, Flame looks like a less complicated build. (less parts). But what about the Century ESCs, props, and part reliability? And there are NO videos of the Neo 660 flying that I can find ANYWHERE!

Weather conditions:
I live on the coast of NC and we have a 15mph wind on the regular. Of course I dont fly when its 15+ but Im just saying. I wonder which setup would be better in my environment. High salt and moisture are everywhere here. I would be over water at times...

Waterproof version:
Mid February Aquacopters is rumored to release a larger size waterproof hexa version of their frame. All items would be safe inside the shell.

Hmmm.

I was going to go ahead and order my NAZA with GPS and have that ready. I just cant decide which hexa to buy?

Century, Flamewheel, or the possible Aqua?
Darn... Any suggestions?

Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx

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01-31-2013 01:44 AM  5 years agoPost 2
Joel Rosenzweig

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Marlborough, MA - USA

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I have a DJI F550 among others. I have the Naza with GPS installed, and it is wonderful. I don't know anything about the Century NEO 660, but, what's great about the DJI equipment is that because they are so popular now, you can get parts very easily. I think it's great that I can go to my local hobby shop and get everything I need without having to mail order it. So, if there's a local shop near you that sells the DJI, you'd have the same advantage.

The other thing is, these multi-copters seem to breed on their own. I suspect that most of us have many more than 1. :-) So you may start with the F550, and then grow your fleet from there. I don't think you can go wrong no matter what you do. Perhaps you'll be inspired to try some other equipment and learn new things along the way. It's a great time to be involved in the hobby.

With respect to water ... and salt water. Well, I don't think that any equipment that we are flying with in the hobby is really protected from salt water. I don't think you want to get the electronics wet, with any water, period. At least, not while its powered on. That's usually bad. If someone makes a waterproof / salt water proof multi-copter, and that's really important to you, then it might be worth playing with. But I'd suggest getting experience with something less expensive first.

Joel

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01-31-2013 02:19 AM  5 years agoPost 3
surferguy

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Buxton, NC USA

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Joel,

Yeah I doubt anything is salt proof. However they are flying in and out of pond water with these.

Check out their site...
http://aquacopters.gostorego.com/

Let me know what you think. Yeah I hear you about the available parts thing. But where I am now its all mail order for me. :/

Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx

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01-31-2013 03:02 AM  5 years agoPost 4
Joel Rosenzweig

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Marlborough, MA - USA

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It looks like the motors are still exposed. I think that if they were exposed to water while running, it would be bad news for your ESCs, and the motor.

In any event, if you like that, go for it!

If you have to mail order everything, you still want to consider parts availability.

Sounds like you are interested in the water proof version.. so maybe go with that and see how it goes.

Joel

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01-31-2013 03:30 AM  5 years agoPost 5
Sidneyw

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Huntersville, NC

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It seems using Phantom body and made it water-proof. Now, there must be some work around the motor.
But, it must not be GPS ready. I am getting one in a few days.

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01-31-2013 03:32 AM  5 years agoPost 6
surferguy

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Buxton, NC USA

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No these were out before the Phantom...

Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx

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02-01-2013 02:07 AM  5 years agoPost 7
Joel Rosenzweig

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Marlborough, MA - USA

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You could do what I do when I am faced with these sorts of 'dilemas'. Buy both!

Joel

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02-01-2013 02:20 AM  5 years agoPost 8
surferguy

rrApprentice

Buxton, NC USA

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Joel,

I like your style man!

Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx

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02-02-2013 02:21 AM  5 years agoPost 9
saitoflyer

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L.A. CA

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Just a simple question. Why would you want to fly under water? Why is water proof necessary?

is that a new heli? Oh no honey, its the same one w/different stickers.....

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02-02-2013 02:23 AM  5 years agoPost 10
saitoflyer

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L.A. CA

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Get the Dji 550. If its so popular then they must be a reason. I have had about 5 450/550 total and they all fly excellent. 550 is better for lifting but I think 450 flat out flies better.

is that a new heli? Oh no honey, its the same one w/different stickers.....

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02-02-2013 06:12 AM  5 years agoPost 11
surferguy

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Buxton, NC USA

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I was thinking about waterproof in case of a failure.

Where I live is pretty much water everywhere. At some point it will be over water during the flights. If I plan to do cool AV stuff.

Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx

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02-02-2013 06:13 AM  5 years agoPost 12
surferguy

rrApprentice

Buxton, NC USA

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Hey I was looking at this...

LEt me know if you think this is weird.

Look at the photos of the 660... See where they have the Receiver
mounted? Looks like its on top of two stacked ESCs. is that safe?

Hmm. See here.

http://www.centuryheli.com/products...html?pageid=880

Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx

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02-02-2013 06:15 AM  5 years agoPost 13
surferguy

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Buxton, NC USA

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450 flys better?

I want one for AV stuff. I need smooth flying...

Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx

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02-02-2013 08:49 PM  5 years agoPost 14
R Hudson

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Denver, CO

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Then the 450 is not the way to go. The 450 is nice for sport flying but if you want to do aerial stuff the F550 is very hard to beat for the price. I had a nicely dialed-in F550 with NAZA GPS until recently. It is quite stable compared to the F450 in all modes and you have more lifting power for a camera and gimbal if you choose to use one. I flew with a Photohigher AV130 on 4S with Graupner 10x5 props and a Sony Nex5n and I got solid 7:30 flights with enough battery left over so it was not overly-discharged.

Sorry, can't comment on the NEO.

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02-02-2013 11:11 PM  5 years agoPost 15
surferguy

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Buxton, NC USA

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Cool.

Hey did you see that there are extension plates for the 550 motors on the Century Page? Looks like it will effectively stretch out the motors a good few inches.

Dunno if that would help stability or not. Interesting option though.

What do you think?

Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx

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02-03-2013 05:19 PM  5 years agoPost 16
R Hudson

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Denver, CO

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I never tried the extension plates myself but they do allow use of larger motors and larger props for higher lifting capacity. From what I read the vertical performance was quite a bit better but getting oscillations tuned out during slow descents was a bit more involved. Obviously getting maximum performance involves tweaking gains, testing, etc. but the stock F550 with Graupner 10x5 props will lift the weight of an AV130 and NEX5N camera with no real troubles.

The rig you get should be based on whatever weight you anticipate carrying. The NAZA likes heavier disc loading for good performance but you don't want to push it into a major overamp situation or you may be sorry.

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02-06-2013 05:02 AM  5 years agoPost 17
surferguy

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Buxton, NC USA

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Oh I was just looking at getting a GoPro Hero 3 for my filming. Simple but nice.

Ive heard lots if issues with 550s and the jello effect. How true is this with a stock 550 and a standard gimbal setup?

Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx

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02-06-2013 03:48 PM  5 years agoPost 18
R Hudson

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Denver, CO

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You are going to experience potential jello effect with any multi. There are steps to take to help eliminate it. First and foremost you should make sure that your props are balanced. Even Graupners are not always perfectly balanced. Then move on from there. Props may solve it or you may need further isolation to eliminate jello. Some folks balance their motors as well. It is trial and error. For some it is accomplished quicker and for others it is a constant battle.

Personally if you are only planning on a GoPro 3 you don't necessarily need a 550. An Phantom, F330, and F450 will carry a GoPro3 no problem. Like I said, it depends on your goals. If you wanted to start with a GoPro and then move to something bigger (that happens with quite a few people as they realize that the fisheye look can get old) then an F550 may be a better choice but if you are standing firm on simply using a GoPro the 550 really isn't necessary. It just becomes a matter of preference at that point.

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02-06-2013 04:02 PM  5 years agoPost 19
surferguy

rrApprentice

Buxton, NC USA

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R,

Thank you. Your probably right about the fish eye look. I do want to be able to capture stunning stills. For the price of the GoPro I could start out with a decent digital camera. The smaller ones have a pretty decent MGPXL still and video these days.

Maybe with that in mind the 550 would be effective for a larger payload. I dont think I want to have it carry something as large as a Canon T3i for the risk of a crash is to much to bear.

I've been looking at gimbals but many of these seem to be in the $200 to $500 range. Which I think is a little high.

Btw, what battery(s), sizes should I order?
I was going to order a AR8000 today as well.

What do you think?

Ps. Thanks for your time and thoughts.

Trex 700 V3, TRex 500, Blade 130x, Blade Mcpx

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02-06-2013 05:48 PM  5 years agoPost 20
R Hudson

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Denver, CO

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An AR8000 is fine. I used an AR-7010 as it was enough for what I needed. Having the 8th channel may be nice though.

The price of the gimbal is relative. For stills alone you don't necessarily need an expensive gimbal but for video the gimbal becomes astronomically important. I had a Photohigher AV130 which sells for $800 alone and for what it did I thought it was well worth the price.

Pucker factor can be a concern. I sent my F550 up with the AV130 and my NEX5N and 16mm lens. That, to me, was a reasonable amount of money to fly but it is nothing at all compared to a full-blown Cinestar flying a Rec Epic.

Starting with the GoPro and building confidence is a good way to go. Eventually you care less about the money in the air and care more about the footage you can acquire by taking bigger risks (not bad risks involving things like flying close to people).

As far as batteries there are many options but I personally liked the Zippy Flightmax 4S 5000mAh 40C batteries. They had enough capacity for 7:30 flights with the AV130 and NEX5N without getting to the point where the capacity was diminished by extra weight. They were reasonably priced too.

With a GoPro on an F550 you could expect roughly 9-10 minute flight times with those batteries on good 10" props.

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