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HomeAircraftHelicopterHelicopter Main Discussion › Thoughts on coming back to the hobby after several years
04-08-2014 03:53 PM  4 years agoPost 1
sbalder

rrApprentice

Brighton, Michigan

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I've been lurking back here on Runryder after being away for several years. In late 2006 I moved into my "dream home" with full shop and private flying field and the last 8 years seem to have been a sad, stressful, and flightless blurr. My heli fleet has been reduced to one T-Rex 450 that has a broken landing gear from hangar rash and hasn't seen the air in 3 years. My R/C hobby morphed into CNC machining my own parts (see my gallery) and that turned into an all-consuming side business rebuilding industrial CNC machines. Add in the collapse and rebirth of the auto industry here in Michigan and the sudden death of my in laws and "fun" has been crowded out of my life entirely. Enough- my wife and I are downsizing to a smaller home on a nice piece of land and my business will go back to hunting the occasional "too good to be true" machinery deal. I want to build and fly R/C helis again, but not take that too seriously either as I once did.

A few observations on the sport after being away for so long:

+Runryder is still the best Forum for the sport and the best web Forum period- easy to use, search, and a great resource

+I am in shock and mourning the closing of Miniature Aircraft USA. Years ago X-Cell was the machine to aspire to. When I got back in the sport seriously I bought a 99SE Graphite and Futaba 9Z. This was simply the most beautiful thing I think I have ever owned. I will keep my eye out for an original X-Cell kit just out of fondness.

+It is sad to see the passing of other staples in the hobby (people, publications, companies), but there is no shortage of quality kits parts, suppliers, information, and technology. It seems no matter what these are still the "best of times" for the heli hobby.

+A lot of the great people from the hobby are still online. I really enjoyed reading a recent thread from Robert Gorham- maybe if I had lived on the West Coast the GMP Cricket I worked my a$$ off to buy in the 8th grade would have actually flown.

+I am concluding that the technology is now at a point where the helicopter design is less relevant than the electronics, blades, and choice of powerplant. People my argue this but I welcome my next (first) flybarless helicopter and really putting in the effort to program it properly. Before heli radios you had to mechanically mix linkages. The first heli radios were a field of little screw-pot adjustment dials. Digital radios took setup to the next level. Truly awesome where this sport is now!

-Steven Balder

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04-08-2014 04:16 PM  4 years agoPost 2
ZS-JAF

rrVeteran

Nazareth, PA

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Welcome back. There is a whole new learning curve to FBL units and setting speed controllers up. RR is still the best place for questions. Once you have that heli dialed in you are going to love the new stuff.

I have a 3D heli, I don't understand why it doesn't do 3D.

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04-08-2014 04:50 PM  4 years agoPost 3
Ladymagic

rrKey Veteran

South Korea

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Welcome back. And yes, alot has changed in the years past, but so much is still the same. I think you'll be able to jump back in right where you left off. Learning how to program FBL controllers has a bit of a learning curve, but it shouldn't take you very long at all to get it dailed in.

I'm not sure where you are at now with the hobby or what class you are looking to jump back into, but I would wait for a few more months for the release of some new stuff from JR and Align. They have some new boom supportless FBL designs that look very promising.

In any case, I'm sure you will be happy with whatever choice you make. After all, no matter what you fly the end result is the same: good times and pure heli fun.

Mellisa

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04-08-2014 06:13 PM  4 years agoPost 4
Pistol Pete

rrProfessor

Seffner, FL

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+I am concluding that the technology is now at a point where the helicopter design is less relevant than the electronics, blades, and choice of powerplant.
Look at Goblin and Mostro Avant. New designs. All others "practically" share the same layouts.

Most electronics, powerplants and blades seems to be leaning towards more power thus making helis louder and or more expensive. Choose your poison and welcome back.

Maybe you are the asnwer to MA owners.

Then theres multirotors and first person view or pilot view flights.

Indeed it seems you came back during the best time.

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

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04-08-2014 07:24 PM  4 years agoPost 5
Tyler

rrElite Veteran

Chicagoland area

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The used market has completely imploded. Gone are the days you can recover some of your investment on quality products when you decide to upgrade. Buy it as disposable or expendable merchandise. Aggressive low balling piranhas have flooded the classifieds.

Battery technology and chargers has advanced tremendously, but nitro is still less hassle and flies great. New people that didn't learn to fly on nitro are never satisfied with the power electrics deliver, but if you learned on nitro, rest assured that today's engines and models deliver fantastic output and better reliability than ever before.

Nitro is expensive and harder to come by. Good bye Wildcat!

The market and products change too quickly to keep several models. Stocking up on hordes of parts is less effective because designs change faster than you can crash. Brands quickly make parts obsolete so many nip spare parts in inventory become unusable.

Most models fly pretty much the same. Changing fly airless controller settings deliver he most dramatic variables between helicopters.

Enjoy things that money can buy IF you don't lose the things money can't buy.

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04-08-2014 08:30 PM  4 years agoPost 6
Ladymagic

rrKey Veteran

South Korea

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Look at Goblin and Mostro Avant. New designs.
I purposely left Avant out as you could leave the hobby again for another five years and this thing still won't likely be released....won't be a new design by then either. Nice heli though

Mellisa

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04-09-2014 12:46 PM  4 years agoPost 7
sbalder

rrApprentice

Brighton, Michigan

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Appreciate the feedback and insights. It seems like a lot of designs still get announced well in advance of when they are released. The standard answer for Miniature Aircraft releases was always "two weeks". Delays due to extensive field testing by reps who hammer the crap out of pre-production design is still better than the bad old days when a lot of kits came out that simply didn't fly. The only negative review I ever read in RCModeler magazine was Ray Hostetler's Hover column trying to get a Kalt Baron 30MX air worthy "Didn't ANYBODY at the manufacturer fly this thing before they released the kit?!?"

-Steven Balder

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04-09-2014 01:13 PM  4 years agoPost 8
Hotstart

rrApprentice

Melville L.I.

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Avant release
Avant has been released go to there thread here or the OTHER place. BUT as said above with the advent of all the good Fbl controllers they all fly basically the same. More about looks now then anything imho

Stop worrying about it just fly . Team Lynx ( the best products )// Mostro/goblin 700 & 570

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04-09-2014 03:27 PM  4 years agoPost 9
RM3

rrElite Veteran

Killeen, Texas - USA

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I would say that the biggest advice in this hobby about picking a brand, especially for the average flier...

stick to a brand that is offered by no less than 4 good online dealers or vendors you are familiar with and a Plus for LHS support.

for me that list is: Rons Helis, Esprit Model, Experience RC, A-Main Hobbies, Heli Proz.

That way your not stuck waiting on parts from one or two vendors and parts are plentyful and priced low due to competition.

then buy what you can afford to fly, crash, repair and makes you happy.

showing a preference will only get you into trouble, 90% of everything is crap...

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04-09-2014 08:10 PM  4 years agoPost 10
sbalder

rrApprentice

Brighton, Michigan

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RM3- That's good advice. One of the things that many appreciated about Miniature Aircraft was that they had a true retail parts support strategy. When I worked at a hobby shop in the late 80's we had every single X-cell part on the shelf and could make an ok profit margin on them. Before I left the hobby Heliproz, Rick's (Ron Lund), and our LHS (the Prop Shop) made it easy to get whatever I needed for my MA ships, plus a few direct orders to MA when necessary. Being limited to one manufacturer or retailer puts you in a bind when they don't have it. Not sure what someone is supposed to do when the manufacturer exits the business.

-Steven Balder

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04-09-2014 08:46 PM  4 years agoPost 11
michael88997

rrElite Veteran

Lewisville,Tx

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you never left.. just took a break .. everyone always comes back

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