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550 Class Electric Helicopters 550 Class Electric Helicopters manufactured by Align, Tarot, SYMA, Airhog, Chaos, HK and similar.


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Old 03-04-2012, 09:59 PM   #1
Hooks
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Default What upgrades do we really need on a 550e

Hi Gurus

I just purchased a 550e v2.1. Looks great, I haven't put it together yet as I am enjoying my 450 3gx to bits at the moment, instead I have been cruising the HF forums.

After reading a lot of posts I get the feeling that I have to replace the ESC, BEC, tail mechanism 3gx unit etc etc. Will it work well for me out of the box? I have a few KDE parts for it and a DFC head upgrade ready to go, but was not going to touch the electronics
Am I wrong here? Please, can some pilots with experience chime in here with their experiences. I am just getting into 3D and fly plank type aerobatics. My "smack down" is more like a "gentle paddle down" (sort of erotic really) - if flight style changes the electrics replacement issues.

With eager anticipation - Hooks
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:20 PM   #2
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I'd change the tail servo to either a DS650 or if you have the money a Futaba BLS251. The esc on the V2 isn't too bad but if you fly on warm days or push the heli it may become a issue so consider upgrading to a CC Ice 100A. I used a Pro BEC in mine set to 6V with 150+ flights without issue. The 3GX is fine but I'm a Vbar person myself so I won't go into comparisons.

Plenty of upgrades available but those were the first few I opted for.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooks View Post
Hi Gurus

I just purchased a 550e v2.1. Looks great, I haven't put it together yet as I am enjoying my 450 3gx to bits at the moment, instead I have been cruising the HF forums.

After reading a lot of posts I get the feeling that I have to replace the ESC, BEC, tail mechanism 3gx unit etc etc. Will it work well for me out of the box? I have a few KDE parts for it and a DFC head upgrade ready to go, but was not going to touch the electronics
Am I wrong here? Please, can some pilots with experience chime in here with their experiences. I am just getting into 3D and fly plank type aerobatics. My "smack down" is more like a "gentle paddle down" (sort of erotic really) - if flight style changes the electrics replacement issues.

With eager anticipation - Hooks
I read too many stories of the stock esc failing on the bench or within a dozen or so flights. When I got my 550 I also bought a cc100 esc and cc bec pro. Could very well be that the oem esc would work fine, but upgrading it gives me piece of mind. Seems some have no issues and others have had them smoke and either cause a crash or had the oem esc fail on the ground and take out all the electronics. Either way it's cheaper to get the upgrade.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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I'm one of those who runs it bone stock with no issues. I say build it, run it and see what you think after a couple of flights, then make a decision. But hey, it's your money.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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I have the Original V1 Flybar 550E (circa 5/2010).
It's mostly stock except the 600M and GP780 were replaced with the 600MX and Spartan Quark. I also added a CF tail pushrod that back then was not original equipment.

Even that dinosaur flys quite well...I know, hard to believe.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:03 PM   #6
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I swapped out the 3gx unit for the full size vbar, added a bec pro, edge 553 fbl blades, kde anti rotation bracket (to better mount the sensor) and the metal tail links because the stock links I got were a little warped. All other parts are stock but I'm going to pitch the stock esc very soon though because or heat issues, just can't decide between the cc 100 or yge vbar.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 42Pilot View Post
I'm one of those who runs it bone stock with no issues. I say build it, run it and see what you think after a couple of flights, then make a decision. But hey, it's your money.
I think that there's a good number that are flying it stock, just like you.

The stock equipment will work for many, myself included, but I believe that some components such as the ESC and it's internal BEC are marginal, and more advanced pilots may exceed the capabilities of these components.

The ESC works, but in my opinion it's not too refined, but this can be improved by running flat throttle curves.

If I was to advise on only one upgrade out of the box, particularly for the FBL version, would be to add an external BEC, like the CC BEC Pro.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:20 PM   #8
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Aside from the beast x and cc 100 esc. Mine is stock. I just finished building today and maidened it. I was surprised at the align 620 tail performance.(no 3d for me) I kept raising the gain with no ill affects. I am only running the castle esc because I got a good deal on it used. I had good luck with the 70 amp esc on my 500 for a while.
I also have a dfc head sitting on standby but I wanted to try it with the stock head first. I am very pleased with this heli. I popped it up off the ground the first time and it just sat there waiting for input from me.
When I get ready to start upgrading I'll probably start with main bearing blocks. These seem like the only part that isn't over built.
Also the elevator servo rubs a little on the anti rotation bracket and I've read that the kde part addresses this problem.

Great choice on the kit. You will enjoy it.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:25 AM   #9
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Upgrade every thing just in case
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:40 AM   #10
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I just finished building mine and my not by choice upgrades ( The Align ESC smoked on about the 7th power up and took the 3GX and motor with it) So my upgrades and the first 2 are ones you need to do right away 1) CC ICE 100 2) CC BEC Pro 3) AR7200BX 4) DFC FBL head upgrade 5) KDE Motor mount 6) EDGE 553mm FBL blades. Learn form us who's ESC have smoked and DO NOT USE the stock ESC and add a BEC first thing. The others are nice to have but not needed right away. I do think the BeastX is 1000% better than the 3GX however.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:20 AM   #11
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I got 3 550s
Awesome helis
I got 2(built new) with external batteries with align bec's and works great and just got a 3rd one flying I bought used that I put a castle bec pro on and it works well too.
I agree with not using the internal bec,But that being said I have a friend that has 2 550s he built new and he has been using the plain stock internal bec without a problem and between the 2 helis has over 300 flights logged without a hitch or a glitch
I did have a bad crash though because I put too small of a bec on one of them originally and had a brown out,I had used the castle 10amp,(Don't do that )
I do agree though with Tomlog
The beastX is what he says 1000% better than 3GX,Ok wel maybe 983% better at least

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Old 03-05-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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Perfect timing for this thread since I have a question for you guys.
I am in the process of dusting off my 550 v1 for the new season and have had a couple of people warn me about the v1 tail grips failing.
I see that there is a V2 tail grip assembly out for the 550 but is it necessary?
My sloppy v1 grips seemed to work well last season without issue.
In terms of my 550 upgrades. I have been flying my 550 v1 stock including the v2.1 3g system 600m motor. I was really happy how it was flying and the 3g never gave me any trouble. I did end up going with a CC Pro BEC though.
But for this season I have ordered a Beastx and compass Tracx head for it and am looking forward to gettting back to the field with it.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:49 AM   #13
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the v1 grips are the same as what has been used on the 600le and 700le for years. never seen or heard about these grips failing. i've had 550s, 600s, and 700s with the v1 grips. the v2 grips are a little tighter.

two 550s, v1 and v2 stock esc, 3gx

microheli bearings on tail.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:09 AM   #14
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Honestly thatís what I thought as well since I didnít remember seeing anything pop up on here about it.
Thanks for clearing that up.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #15
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yeah a different esc is a must. my align esc burnt up in my house while plugging it up
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
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yeah a different esc is a must. my align esc burnt up in my house while plugging it up
Interesting. I have two of them, one in a FB and the other in a FBL. Both have worked perfectly for a fair bit of flying (150+ flights each). I have a friend with two of the stock ESCs. His seem to work just fine as well. Go figure.

As they say, YMMV.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:44 PM   #17
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I wonder if the built in bec is the culprit for the stock esc's burning up.. Knock on wood, mine is working fine with the CC bec pro..
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imrerun View Post
The beastX is what he says 1000% better than 3GX,Ok wel maybe 983% better at least
In what way? You're talkin a big improvement even if its 100% better. But better in what way?
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:31 AM   #19
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I too have not had any trouble with the stock ESC. I flew my 550 stock as FB and FBL for many flights. I've even flown the stock ESC with a Scorpion 4025-1100 and low gearing (but I added a Castle Pro BEC) without magic smoke. I now run a HW 100A with external gov.

One of the 'must have' upgrades I have made is an aluminium battery tray. In two crashes I've tacoed two TP packs from hitting the ground. Hopefully this will add some protection.

Hands down the best upgrade I've made to my 550 is replacing the stock frames with $18 Tarot 2mm frames. It's made the frame so much more rigid.

There are other nice-to-have options but these are the best IMHO.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:18 PM   #20
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I too have not had any trouble with the stock ESC. I flew my 550 stock as FB and FBL for many flights. I've even flown the stock ESC with a Scorpion 4025-1100 and low gearing (but I added a Castle Pro BEC) without magic smoke. I now run a HW 100A with external gov.

One of the 'must have' upgrades I have made is an aluminium battery tray. In two crashes I've tacoed two TP packs from hitting the ground. Hopefully this will add some protection.

Hands down the best upgrade I've made to my 550 is replacing the stock frames with $18 Tarot 2mm frames. It's made the frame so much more rigid.

There are other nice-to-have options but these are the best IMHO.
Where did you get the frame from?
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550 Class Electric Helicopters 550 Class Electric Helicopters manufactured by Align, Tarot, SYMA, Airhog, Chaos, HK and similar.

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