View Full Version : Newbie looking for a little advice
04-13-2012, 01:07 PM
I'm a newbie to this forum and somewhat new to heli flying. In the past, I have owned a Honeybee FP about 4 years ago. I purchased it as my "first heli" and went all out on it. Long story short, I couldn't even hover the thing at all. I ended up selling everything and got away from helis. Then at the end of last year, I was walking through a mall and came across a little helicopter stand for "UJToys"...bought one of their UJ420 3-channels (a real toy toy) and I guess it reinvigorated my desire to get back into helis again. Only, I think now I have my head on my shoulders a little more than I did back then. Apparently, the HBFP is harder to fly (according to most people) than a lot of 6-channels.
Anyway, I just purchased a new setup yesterday. :peace After a whole LOT of researching, comparing helis, getting advice from pros, etc. I finally broke down and got a Blade 120SR, some of the parts that break the easiest and a couple of extra batteries to start with (Tenergy 3.7V 500mah 15c SR120 battery R6L with mini and JST connectors). I know the 15C isn't too big of an improvement over the 12C (if I remember correctly) stock battery, but maybe it will help a little because I have read about the stock batteries heating up quickly when flying. I can get some with a higher C rating at some point.
I also got a Blade mCX Charger 4-Port 1 cell charger (EFLC1004)...I had read about this on a forum. Someone was using it to charge 4 of their SR120 batteries at the same time, using connectors to convert the battery plug to fit the Eflite charger . It apparently charges at 0.3A compared to the regular charger that does 0.7A, which to my knowledge, won't cause any problems other than charging more slowly. Yet they tested it against a stock charger and both took about an hour...yet it charged the 4 batteries at once and the compared batteries all flew for 5 minutes. They were puzzled, and so am I, by that. :confused: But otherwise, this seemed to be a good idea to get this rather than trying to charge each one.
I'm jumping from a 3-channel toy directly to the 120SR, so I know that it is going to take some adjusting and learning. But it seemed to be my best bet and I would rather dive right in rather than buy little "steps" up. I posted this because I am wondering about my upgrade options later on, when I get better at flying with the advanced swashplate settings. I have come across metal parts (http://www.xtreme-production.com/xtreme/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=46&keyword=&manufacturer_id=0&Itemid=31&orderby=product_sku&limit=50&limitstart=0) like flybars, swashplates and even an "extreme motor" while just browsing for future options. Of course, I have read a lot about it being a bad idea to upgrade to the metal parts, because that just transfers the energy from a crash to a weaker plastic part that could break and be more expensive than a cheaper part. I'm sure the added weight of the metal might affect it, too...which was why I was wondering about the extreme motor. I'm not sure if it would be worth it to get carbon fiber blades...
What are your takes on that?
04-13-2012, 03:08 PM
fix it when it breaks.
fly it again.
i just got mine, along with i got a rakonheli cnc alloy swashplate (i'll install that when the stocker separates, just like on my cx) extra blades, tail rotor, and boom and motor as well as some 600mah batts. oh yeah and a dx6i tx. don't worry about motors and metal parts until stuff starts breaking.
so far so good, i have crashed it really hard a few times and it keeps going, no parts needed yet. i did get ahead of myself and have calmed it down to hovers and minor manuevers until i get better at it.
it's a great little flyer for sure. i'd take my time and spend the first few batteries on just hovering. the 120sr needs very little input, push a stick to far too fast and that little sucker will take off, fast.
04-13-2012, 03:29 PM
I started heli's about 16 months ago. Went from a coax to a belt cp v2 which was murder. I spent about £600 upgrading it over 6 months inc a gy401 and carbon bits. Long story short it took me 6 weeks of hopping in the garden before I could hover it. Each time I tried a broke something but parts on a small heli are fairly cheap. Now I'm into my trex 550 fbl which I've had for about 6 months and loop it and all sorts. So don't give up. Practice on a sim if u can but enjoy it. It's a difficult thing to master but when you do it's a great feeling :)
04-13-2012, 05:14 PM
For what its worth I find the 120sr really hard to fly....really easy to hover. I enjoy my msrx way more and has taught me alot in preparing to move to colective pitch. I find the flybar on the 120 to be a constant fight to fly around the flybar.
I guess its because I did not go from the mcx2 to the 120 and went right for the msrx and learnd to fly on it...going to the 120 from the msrx really feels like a step backwards to me. The power to weight is slow in comparison and the flybar is a royal pain in the ass once you have gone flybarless.
All that being said I love the size of the 120 and although I have those complaints I will still try to work some things out on it. i have made some basic mod like trimming the blades and zip tying the motor and that has made it better. I am going to try all the extreme upgrades and see what happens while I wait for the 130x to come out.
04-13-2012, 08:09 PM
I too dropped out of helicopters years back with my Blade CX, there were no forums then and no place to go to for advice. Got back into it with a toy Syma S-107 I still fly around the house with. Got my 120sr, and it was a blast to learn on again. Since then I've gotten a MRS, and a MRSX, the flybarless is wicked, but I'm doing pretty with it outside. Yes, the 120sr flybar is a limiting factor, but it is relaxed flying at it best. It's big enuf to see, where the mrsx is small. I even strap on my 808 keychain camera on the 120sr to take excellent video. With the trex 250 skids/boom supports, trimming the blade ends for outside flying, and a xtreme BB motor on its way, it's still my favorite copter. I even got a workbench for this hobby. Any help needed, this is the place to be. Any questions, just ask. Good Luck. Rick
04-14-2012, 10:16 AM
The problem beginners face is, you cannot stop and think while flying!
Once you lift the helicopter off the ground, the helicopter is naturally unstable and requires the pilot to keep telling it where ( not ) to go all the time. These corrections are small stick moments and it takes a bit of flying time to get your head and fingers working, without thinking move thumb. It soon becomes like riding a bike, you just stop falling over and ride but your going to skin your knee the first few times.
Helicopters with a tail rotor
Say you set your new helicopter on the floor set all the trims in the centre and give it throttle. The helicopter goes up and left or slides left on the floor.
You see it, think about it, then it takes time to think move the right stick right.
Then you move the stick a bit. During the time you where seeing it, thinking move stick then move finger the helicopter was off getting into trouble. Your beautiful new helicopter is broken before you even moved the stick.
The main rotor blades are being driven clockwise by the centre shaft of the motor.
Now for every action there is an equal and apposite reaction so the outer housing of the motor is trying to spin the helicopter the opposite direction. That's OK as long as the helicopter is sitting on the ground.
The friction of the skids on the ground keeps the helicopter from spinning. But as soon as the torque of the motor becomes more than the friction of the skids on the ground the helicopter will spin out of control counter clockwise.
So we put a fan on the back of the helicopter that blows sideways and stop the tail from spinning.
Now we can stop the tail from spinning counter clockwise but the sideways fan blows the helicopter left all the time. We have no choice but to tip the helicopter just a little right in order to stop the sideways drift caused by the tail rotor. When in a hover the helicopter must be tipped right all the time or it will drift left. You cannot change this.
When the helicopter is sitting on the ground it cannot tip so just as the helicopter is starting to lift you must add just a little right aileron to stop it being blown left. This is tricky at first but becomes natural after a few takeoffs. Once up you can trim the helicopter so it does not drift so much but it will still need your constant attention or it will be off getting into trouble again and again.
The hard part of taking off with a tail rotor helicopter is spooling the helicopter up and just as it begins to lift, you must input a little right aileron to hold the helicopter in place and add power.
This is a delicate operation, not enough aileron and the helicopter drifts left.
To much and you flip over.
This is an acquired skill not hard, but will take a little practice before your doing picture perfect liftoffs! Just lift the left skid a ¼ inch off the ground and add power. As soon as the helicopter lifts off release the right aileron and climb away!
Why 4 Chanel coaxial helicopters make good 1st helicopters.
Coaxial helicopters have 2 motors and 2 sets of blades that spin in opposite directions. They cancel out the torque of each other and we don't need a fan at the back to stop it from spinning.
No fan on the back equals no blowing sideways!
In order to turn the helicopter we slow down one motor just a bit and the torque of the other motor turns the helicopter. Coaxial helicopters also tend not to wander and will correct themselves if you just let the stick centre. New pilots get a chance to think move the stick and learn how to move the helicopter around without the helicopter constantly wanting to take off in a different direction every 2 seconds.
A good place to start
Any good quality 4 Chanel coaxial helicopter would be a great place to start flying.
The Blade MCX2 is a very nice helicopter and will provide new or 1st time helicopter pilots with the necessary motor skills required, before attempting a signal rotor fixed pitch helicopter like the MSR.
This is where the inherent stability of a coaxial comes in. If the trims are centred on the radio when you push the throttle up, the helicopter will rise pretty much straight up. It may spin a bit, just land and trim it out with a little rudder trim. Then take off again, gently move the helicopter forward a little bit with the right stick.
Big stick movements make big helicopter moments.
Don't make big stick moments or corrections you will end up out of control!
After a few flights you should be able to take off, rise straight up and hover.
Turn left, right fly all over the room and land without the helicopter running into things
like lamps and walls. Practice takeoffs and landings fly around the room sideways nose in nose out
fly forward backwards try everything you can think of to challenge yourself and have fun!
This is teaching your eyes, brain and fingers to work together without you having to stop and think about it. Once you are comfortable move the rods from the short balls to the long balls on your swash plate! Now the helicopter will handle a little more aggressively.
You will need a good Fixed pitch trainer like an MSR or 120SR.
Learning to take off properly and move an MSR OR A 120SR around will take practice.
I highly suggest a helicopter you can fly every day in the house or garage.
Take a large peace of cardboard. 1 meter square.
In the centre mark a 12” square box out of green masking tape to set the helicopter in.
Keep the helicopters tail pointed at you at all the times. Tail control is paramount!
Make the helicopter stay over the cardboard.
Practice takeoffs and hover tail towards you. Move the helicopter around just a bit.
Tail always towards you. When it drifts away gently move it back over the cardboard.
Learning this simple skill will take time.
Don't rush it.
A well trimmed helicopter will make all the difference.
If the helicopter constantly wants to drift left. Land and move the aileron trim a click right.
If it wants to go ahead. land and move elevator trim 1 click back.
If it spins trim the rudder the opposite way until it stops spinning.
Keep trimming one click at a time until the helicopter settles down.
Don't forget that the MSR is a high performance indoor helicopter. Hit the gas and it's going past your head like a bullet. Gentle on the throttle stick.
This is a nice helicopter if you go easy, but quickly turns into an unmanageable beast if you start banging the right stick around be gentle!
When the helicopter moves it is not an emergency! Respond with gentle small stick movement
and the helicopter will do the same.
Take off Climb to 6 feet hover then move left a few feet slowly stop it and hover.
Move the helicopter back to the right and hover in front of you. Now move it right a few feet and hover. Always tail in. Bring it back in front of you hover power down and land softly.
Once you are comfortable moving the helicopter around a bit. Take off and assume hover.
Now rotate the helicopter from a nose position of 12 o'clock to one o'clock and hold the hover a few seconds then back to 12 o'clock. Then turn the nose left to 11 o'clock position and hold the hover a few seconds. Back to 12 o'clock and move ahead 10 feet hover and back hover. Do this simple exercise for a week before moving on to 10 and 2 o'clock for a week. Then 9 and 3 o'clock.
Take your time and enjoy flying the helicopter.
The most important part of this exercise is your patients and your willingness to practice takeoffs landings and hovering night after night until you can fly the helicopter without thinking about it.
No matter what you do, you will start out every flight taking off, hovering and you will end your flight hovering and landing. You may as well resign yourself to learning how to take off hover and land and do them very well.
After a few weeks practice you will be able to take the helicopter off hover when ever you want.
Fly it forward backward even hover with the nose at 9,10,11, 12 1,2 ,3 o'clock.
Now that you can move the helicopter around. Hover rotate the helicopter sideways and not loose control of it it's time to discuss turns.
Takeoff, hover,slow forward and land practice every day.
Then work on coordinated turns.
Forward flight and turns.
When in a stationary flight, hovering you can simply add rudder and steer the nose of the helicopter where you want it pointed.
While flying forward in order to turn your helicopter you need to do what is called a coordinated turn.
Imagine the helicopter is moving forward away from you.
You want to turn right.
Add a little right aileron and bank right. At the same time you must push the tail around behind the direction of flight with the rudder. Then you must add elevator up to hold the nose or the helicopter will slide down into the ground very quickly!
So it requires a little bank right, lots of rudder to push tail around and up elevator all at the same time to make the helicopter bank and come around to the right.
Bank left push tail around left behind and add up elevator
This is also an acquired skill it is not at all hard but will take practice to make the helicopter do graceful bank turns. Practice! Practice! Practice!
One of the most important things you can do is get rid of this peace of junk!
Throw it in the garbage can where it belongs! The good people over at HH make great helicopters but when it comes to pairing helicopters to radios. Big question-mark!
You will need one of these!
When you can fly the 120 well, start all over again with an MCPX it's a fantastic CP Trainer.
04-14-2012, 12:03 PM
+1 on stock tx. Get a dx6i at least.
Also from my experience I would get a.msrx before i got a mcpx if i never flew a flybarless heli before. The 120sr is too stable and won't get you at all prepared for the difference here...not saying you can't go straight to the mcpx but collective plus flybarless seems pretty drastic in one step and may lead to frustration. The msrx fills the gap between by being still a fp but gets you used to the characteristics of flybarless flight. There is no pendulum but also there is No self stabilization at all.
04-14-2012, 08:53 PM
Great post Imzzaudae, it helped a lot. I have been flying the MCX for a while and the LHS sold me the BNF 120SR. I'm using the DX5E till I can get a better one but hey, it works. I have been playing with the 120SR and thought something was wrong with it, on the floor it keeps sliding around and couldn't get it just hover like my MCX. Took it in the backyard on the grass and finally had enough balls to bring it up 3-4 feet. Seems a single rotor machine does need constant input from the sticks. Still learning and glad I didn't get that Walkera V120D0S CP.
04-14-2012, 09:21 PM
Glad to help! Now that you are up your nerves will settle down in a few flights you will be wondering what all the fuss was about. Bookmark this video and watch it a few times it will help you in a very big way as you begin turns.