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Old 10-12-06, 07:51 PM   #1
Voidbringer
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R/C Helicopters

Any electric r/c helicopter users in the crowd?

Recently I decided I needed a new and interesting hobby, so after ignoring my buddy who practically wants to duct tape me to a bike, I went with trying to build a heavy lifting but affordable helicopter, which by the way is like saying cheap carbon fiber.

The holy grail I want to build is a Logo 20 with HP300/30/A3 and similiar, fairly standard and high end parts. But total costs come to a painful $1800. Another option I was consider is the T-Rex 600, but I want to know what's other experience with these are.

Anyone know where to get cheap ellectronics for stuff like that? What's builds are you guys using? And thus the interogation ends.
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Old 10-12-06, 08:06 PM   #2
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Nitro RC plane owner/ Nitro RC car owner. I have heard from many people if you want to start the RC especially airborn you want to start off with a plane, because even pros who master plane flying have trouble learning heli's.I would say get a nitro heli right off the bat, dont even go electric with planes or heli's, but thats IMO.
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Old 10-12-06, 08:12 PM   #3
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I haven't touch RC stuff in a while, but when I did, I went through Tower Hobbies or something. They have a big catalog they'll mail to you, or, should be online by now.

Electrics are nice for short, everyone once in while fun, but if you want to play a lot, stick with gas powered engines
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Old 10-12-06, 08:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voidbringer
Any electric r/c helicopter users in the crowd?

Recently I decided I needed a new and interesting hobby, so after ignoring my buddy who practically wants to duct tape me to a bike, I went with trying to build a heavy lifting but affordable helicopter, which by the way is like saying cheap carbon fiber.

The holy grail I want to build is a Logo 20 with HP300/30/A3 and similiar, fairly standard and high end parts. But total costs come to a painful $1800. Another option I was consider is the T-Rex 600, but I want to know what's other experience with these are.

Anyone know where to get cheap ellectronics for stuff like that? What's builds are you guys using? And thus the interogation ends.
You could consider a RC Scale Aerostat! The Aereon 26 would make an interesting platform as a scale model, for example!
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Old 10-12-06, 08:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseysbest
I haven't touch RC stuff in a while, but when I did, I went through Tower Hobbies or something. They have a big catalog they'll mail to you, or, should be online by now.

Electrics are nice for short, everyone once in while fun, but if you want to play a lot, stick with gas powered engines
yes you're right, www.towerhobbies.com is the leading supplier for RC as far as i can tell. They have great prices and have whatever you need most of the time.
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Old 10-12-06, 09:18 PM   #6
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I've got a Blade CP, and I can barely hover the damn thing. Been flying R/C for 20+ years and I have come to the conclusion that if it's not a fixed wing, it's broke!

I'm also pretty unhappy with electrics. Stock batteries are poor performers, good batteries are expensive, and you'll want at least 3 sets of whatever you have. Stock chargers are poor performers, but you don't have to have 3 of them. The light weight needed for the other components tend to make them fragile, meaning easier to break. The money isn't in the sale of the basics, it's in battery upgrades, replacements blades, shafts, tail booms, and most hurtfully, the electronic mixers that will fry in a heartbeat.

If you're asking for cheap sources, heli's probably aren't for you. You will break things.
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Old 10-13-06, 06:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by twahl
Been flying R/C for 20+ years and I have come to the conclusion that if it's not a fixed wing, it's broke!
Stock batteries are poor performers, good batteries are expensive, and you'll want at least 3 sets of whatever you have. Stock chargers are poor performers, but you don't have to have 3 of them. The money isn't in the sale of the basics, it's in battery upgrades, replacements blades, shafts, tail booms, and most hurtfully, the electronic mixers that will fry in a heartbeat.
You will break things.
Collective Pitch is that much harder than fixed pitch? Food for thought I suppose, since I have no experience.
Breaking things is expected, happens with everything. I won't be using stock, but one of those expensive nice expensive batteries, NiMH so stuff doesn't burst into flames like LiPo's are prone to do.

Really want to avoid Nitro because it's basically an upside-down lawnmower. I'd have to take care of the engine, burn fuel, and be wary of stalls. I'd also need starters and the equipment that goes with the operation of a Nitro engine.
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Old 10-13-06, 06:49 AM   #8
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My advice: If you want info about electronic R/C stuff, find a group of hobbyists dedicated to electronics and ask them. People into nitro R/C are often misinformed, or have information that's simply out of date, when it comes to electrics. (Mind you, this isn't meant as a negative comment towards nitro-heads. . .) Electronic R/C airplanes and helicopters have made HUGE leaps forward in the last 5 or 10 years, and IMHO, are pretty comparable (or superior) to gassers in many ways that they weren't just a short time ago.
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Old 10-13-06, 11:09 AM   #9
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Collective is supposed to be easier, but I don't have any comparative experience.

Nitro care and keeping isn't bad really, and support equipment is durable. I just took my electric starter apart to clean the contacts for the first time, and it's 20 years old. But you have to decide what's best for you, and as SaabFan points out, electrics have come a long way in the last 10 years. Power and reliability are fantastic and they almost never annoy the neighbors.

I'm a casual flyer. I've flown a little bit of most things from aerobatics to pylon racers to hand launch sailplanes. The only thing in the hanger now is a high wing taildragger, and I enjoy it. If I sneeze, I don't lose the aircraft. I actually managed to land while taking a call on the cell phone once. I like the casual flying more than anything any more, although I am considering putting floats on it. Heli flight just takes more concentration than I like to put into the hobby any more.
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Old 10-14-06, 12:35 AM   #10
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I flew gliders and nitro planes for a number of years before getting into racing nitro cars. I got sick of having to leave home every time I wanted to work on the cars. I brought myself a cheap electric fixed pitch heli off Ebay. Cost just over $100. Took me about a week to get the thing off the ground without hitting everything in sight. Broke a few parts at first. Now I can fly for the whole battery pack and am learning more moves all the time. It lets me fly in my back yard and even sometimes in the loungeroom when the wife isn't home. If you have the basics of flying planes down then you should be able to pick up heli flying. Battery life is limited but I have a few packs and a quick charger so can fly as much as I want.
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Old 10-14-06, 12:55 AM   #11
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On a related note, I wonder how long it will be before civilian UAVs will come into use as a mobile camera platform for sporting events as long bike races such as the TdF.
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Old 10-14-06, 05:22 PM   #12
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There are already entrepreneurs using lightweight digital cameras mounted on electric powered airplanes for providing affordable aerial photography. The biggest target market is real estate agents selling high end homes. The electric platform is ideal because the power can be shut off, allowing for a vibration free platform. It's not much of a stretch to go to video feed for sporting events, in fact I believe that it was experimented with on a smaller scale with helicopters at some Nascar events.

I would think that with something like a bike race, you could cover it fairly well with live uplink. You'd need a two man crew though, one to fly with forward looking camera and one to provide footage and advise the pilot as to where he needed to be in order to cover the event. Remember that UAVs for the most part are either flying a pre-plotted course to a specific site or are flying a short distance within visual contact of the operator, to see the ground beyond obstacles that the operator can't see. A sporting event like an overland race is very dynamic, so it can't be pre-planned, and operating the UAV from a helicopter would be pointless. It could be efficient and cost effective though.
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Old 10-14-06, 05:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twahl
A sporting event like an overland race is very dynamic, so it can't be pre-planned, and operating the UAV from a helicopter would be pointless. It could be efficient and cost effective though.
I don't think it would necessarily be pointless. A UAV could be used for cost-effective multiple aerial viewpoints without needing more than a couple of controlling platforms. Yes, you might have to still use a single helicopter to provide a vantage point for the operators but it would still allow you to cram more multiple independent aerial cameras into the area. I also don't think you need to preprogram the flightplan into the UAV. Additionally, a high-loiter UAV with advanced optics can be used as an orbitting camera platform. The race routes are known.
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Old 10-15-06, 12:15 AM   #14
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I used to have shares in glider (sailplane) when I lived in the UK, and have done many hours of soaring. I still have I have a couple of RC sailplanes, which I haven't used for a couple of years. I've flown rotary-wing in a friend's simulator, but if you're new to RC, you might consider something like this - the app. is pretty good, and features numerous fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

It requires a fairly powerful PC to run the thing with any degree of realism, you also need a controller. I have it on one of my workstations, and it's great fun - not quite as exciting as the real thing, but I can fly 24 hours a day, with no complaints from the neighbours, and no expensive prangs. My favourite planes are the Sopwith Camel, the Gee Bee and the Pitts; but there are lots of planes from which to choose (various WW1 & 2, Harrier, Osprey, B17 and many others); they even let you modify the planes, or even design your own.

Tally-ho, chaps!

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