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250 Class Electric Helicopters 250 Class Electric Helicopters manufactured by Align, Tarot, SYMA, Airhog, Chaos, HK and similar.


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Old 04-01-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
outcrydrummer
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Default exi 250 budget build???

Hey everyone. I bought an exi 250 kit for a backup bird budget build. The kit was pretty inexpensive but obviously comes with no electronics. Is there a list of budget electronics that work with the 250 out there? I searched this forum but with no luck. I have some 450 stuff I'm not using and unsure if it would work with the 250. I dont do any 3d. I just like to float around zip here and there and what not.
Some of the stuff I have on hand that I'm not using is :
Mystery F2632 3800kv motor, thinking this wont work cause the 250 motors are 3400 kv right?
xmhobbiesg401b gyro-heard this will work just kind of big
Hitech HS-56HB servos x4- was thinking these would work for cyclic servos but probably crap for a tail servo.

well guys let me know what you think please. I dont really have to use any of this stuff but would be nice to be able to use a little bit of it. A budget build list would be awesome if someone had such a thing

Thanks lots guys,
Sgt Thomas
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:00 AM   #2
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Oh yeah, I also have a spare turnigy 30amp esc but I think the 250's are a 15amp
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:31 AM   #3
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Interesting you should post this, Drummer...I have been thinking about strarting a couple of threads. One would be a "budget build" 250 and the other a "dream build, money is no object" build.

I thought it might be fun to compare the two. Perhaps this thread can become the budget build thread?

Since you have both the Align and EXI versions, how would you compare the quality of the EXI? I might just pick one up myself. Heck, at those prices, one can hardly go wrong, assuming the quality is not total garbage.

In any case, to answer your questions. What I would do in your case is just try what I have, see what fits and works, what does, go for it, what doesn't, replace it with a budget part that fits. Not sure on the motor. I think you are fine with those servos on collective. I have an Align DS420 tail servo I'd be willing to sell you super-cheap for this build. It's not a perfect t/r servo, but it works pretty well, assuming you get most of the slop and drop out of your t/r system.

As for the ESC, I think it's always OK to use MORE amps, just not less...assuming the thing isn't like half the size of the T-Rex 250, LOL.

Keep us posted!
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:52 AM   #4
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Default budget 250 build

Will do. I'm thinking of just using the hitechs I have for collective and the gyro I have attached on the bottom of the tailboom dealio. I will probably just try to find a used tail servo motor and esc on here. I havent received the exi yet. I will definitely let you know how good or bad the quality is.
I also agree that there should be a budget build 250 sticky!!! At a price of around 70 bucks for the exi kit its a steal. It's just the electronics that cost a ton, especially If you go with the align electronics. If you get an exi kit and use align parts it's almost as expensive as just buying the 250 kit from align that includes all of it lol. Just trying to get something going for a sub 300 dollar 250 build
I will have to see how the xmhobbies gyro works as compared to the align standard gyro.
If anyone has any input please chime in
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:09 AM   #5
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The Hitec servos will work fine on cyclic, the kv rating seems fine on the motor (most are upgrading to a scorpion 3900kv), but you need to check if the physical size will fit into the 250. The gyro will fit, but make sure that it doesn't touch the tail braces or frame. Some have had success with this gyro, so investigate their set ups, especially what tail servo they are using, for there has also been some tail drifting reported when this and many other gyros have been used on the 250. The Turnigy esc should work, but is a bit heavier than stock. If you Google HK250 you should find a bunch of good information regarding cheaper set ups on 250s. Good luck, and happy flying.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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lol i am going the "money is no object" way with my bird(though it definitely is!), as you can see in my sig, whenever i find a part i can upgrade i do, though i have most of them covered, the only plastic piece in my heli is the bottom plate, wich is the better than aluminum performance wise, as i have recently been told by several pilots.(i love having my theory's confirmed!)
the problem with a clone is you save about 20 to 50 bucks on the airframe at best, 250se airframes can be made...just buy the supercombo and sell all the electronics on ebay as new, or buy the airframe from someone who does the same, i know of a few ebay hobby shops that do that...either way the super combo comes with about 300 dollars retail, worth of electronics(motor/esc included) with a supercombo going for 360 shipped your really not saving a lot by buying a clone, in any, and you end up with an earlier version without the mods that make the se so nice! the only way you can save money over the real deal is to buy super cheep servo's and gyro and motor and esc, well i do know of some 7 dollar mg servo's that are said to be decent but they are too big for this heli, and clone gyro's are based on the 401 and are enormous, too big to fit in a 250 comfortably either, hell they wont even fit in the new 450's! not to mention a 401 clone pales in comparison to the stock gp750... and with motors you get what you pay for, there is a reason so many people pay a premium for scorpion when clones with similar specs are half the price.(one of wich is that clone companies exagerate and outright lie about the power output and consumption of their products!)

i have learned the hard way that electronics aren't the place to skimp on, if you strip a gear on an align 410 a 4 dollar kit from helidirect will have it good as new in minutes, cheep motors just don't have the punch they advertise, esc's have a fraction of the programing options that the nicer ones do (my last one didn't even have a soft start!), gyro's don't hold as well and are twice as big and heavy, and tail servo's are painfully slow and don't center well.

exi heli's aren't terrible, i swear by the spares, but i wouldn't think of buying one till they start cloning the se version, because you just aren't saving as much as they like to make you think. the align supercombo's are quality heli's with quality electronics and quality spares, at a really great price, IN MY OPINION they are the best possible value and the best way to get into the hobby
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:11 PM   #7
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Ahh..so the EXI clones are clones of the ORIGINAL 250, not the SE, eh? OK...good to know.

Actually, you CAN get a 250 SE kit from Align that has only the motor and the ESC, no servos or gyro. That might be the best way to go for buying the frame toward an ultimate SE. You could then just sell the motor and ESC on ebay. Personally, I *like* the motor and ESC...but I'm not a hot-shot flyer (yet...LOL) like my man Seth I don't know why Align doesn't offer a bare-bones frame only kit for the 250 SE. That, of course, would be the way to go for someone wishing to go with a super bird.
I, too, am slowly but surely building my own "ultimate SE". I have heard mixed opinions on the bottom bracket, which is one of the reasons why I, too, have not replaced it. One thing that bothers me is that we all know that if you increase the strength in one area, you are simply going to pass the energy down the line to the weakest point. ANYthing can break or bend, too. A $7 vs. $30 part...well...not so sure. I would assume that you get some stiffening with the aluminum bottom plate, but you suffer a weight penalty as well. I don't know. I know the guys who have the bottom plates like them...but my heli is flying fine as is. I'm basically going with the "replace as I break it/need it" method. I'm also trying to stick with Align parts, though I know there are pros and cons to this as well.

Seth, what are you getting from your Castle ESC that you wouldn't from the Align one? I'm assuming that with the Castle, you have a lot more programming options as well as its ability to run more power? Obviously, the Scorpion motor is just SUPER powerful compared to my motor...but again, for me, the stocker is fine.

At this point, I'm teetering between buying another 250 SE and totally blinging it out...or buying a 450 PRO. It's pretty obvious the pros and cons for both these decisions...so I'm just going to have to see what happens.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:16 PM   #8
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Well I agree with you seth, just dont have the money to sink it a combo kit from align. It's hard to drop that much at once on a spare bird. I'm really just trying to build a budget bird to kind of mess around with from time to time. I like the exi's a lot. I do agree that nothing compares to the align stuff though. If I were to use my 450 motor and esc wouldnt it be the same as using a smaller motor and esc with less power? If its good enough for a 450 I thought it would just be over kill on a 250. But I would think that the extra power would compensate for the extra weight of the motor and esc right?
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:04 PM   #9
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yes you can get the kit with just the esc and motor but it isn't as good a deal as the super combo by a long shot, if you were to subract the 70 dollars from the cost of the base kit ($250 shipped) you still are paying a lot more than the supercombo minus electronics, but if you don't have the overhead i can see it being an issue. and yes the kit is a good deal because at least you know ahead of time your starting with a quality motor and esc, and the latest version with all the new goodies.

and as far as the bottom plate, try squeezing the bottom of your heli, did it flex at all? NO! the plastic is more than enough to hold the frame completely stiff even with a strong set of fingers squeezing the bottom sides together...i can assure you no trick out there will exert that much force on your frame! in a crash the bottom plate flexes, and saves your sides and motor mount 90 percent of the time, i imagine if you crash with a metal bottom blade the bottom plate will bend as well as the motor mount, and possibly frame sides, even if the aluminum frame is stronger than it looks(or stronger than the pos 450 one was!)you would have a higher percentage of crashes involving more expensive parts breaking like your sides and motor mount.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:11 PM   #10
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HK250GT kit= $67
HXT900(cyclic servo) x 3 =$9
Scorpion 3900KV + HobbyWing 18Amp ESC = $60
HobbyKing 401 Gyro = $14
Ino-lab H201 Tail Servo = $40
Dean Clips =$10
EXI Blades, CF and Fiberglass =$20

AR6100e receiver and DX6i on hand. And batteries

That was what I purchased to start this clone backup/side project for playing in the back yard. With shipping and a few smaller items, I spent a bit over $200.

Not sure how the EXI kit is, but here is my experience so far with a clone. I forgot why I chose the HK over EXI.

Canopy is decent, deformed and misshaped when it came, tried to reform it using heat, and didn’t work too well. My issue is that it was very tight on the servos arms. And can’t access the battery leads at all.
Solution: Bought the Align Yellow Lightning ($20), it has an opening on the underbelly that is perfect for me to plug the battery in and then snug the wire back in. I like it because I don’t have to remove the canopy to plug the leads in.

A few linkages were missing.
Solution: Bought the Align ones ($8).

HXT900 like what people say, it is bit bigger than the servo mounting slot on the airframe. Servo arm cracks very easily. Servo arm is also very weak plastic, using the last mounting hole will crack the servo arm.
Solution: Sand down the air frame.

Landing Skid came as one unit, the bottom plate and the skid mount was actually 1 piece of plastic, very surprising. Not strong either. I tested the skids they provided by gently bending them. Snapped in 2 pieces, not sure what would have happened if I were to have a not so soft landing.
Solution: Align Bottom Plate and Skid Assembly: ($15)

Main gear they provided looks different than the Align one. Spooled up a few time to test the Scorpion Motor. The one directional bearing is not longer one way. The cheap plastic also is stripped from the motor pinion. Trying to salvage the one way bearing currently, threw the gear away.
Solution: Align Main Gear: ($10)

The tail, one thing I do not like about it, is that it does not come with that Align plastic piece that mounts between the vertical fin and connects to that hole in the tail boom to align the tail belt unit. First I thought it was missing it, but it looks like from the design, HK does not have use that piece, buying that piece from align wont work either, would have to buy an entire Align Tail.

Maiden flight, gyro gave up about 2ft above ground, heli went sideways down. Feathering shaft bent like no other, so did the flybar arm, everything else was perfect.
Solution: Align feathering Shaft ($4)

Almost done with the built, flies ok. I don’t trust the gyro, flies like my former CP Pro 2 with a DD tail. Still this is my “budget” built, I found on eBay of hobby stores selling GP750 gyro for ($100) that they pulled out of kits. Although I am tempted for the Spartan Quark also. Afterwards, I will most likely be replacing the HXT900 with most likely the Align 410 servos ($81).

So all in all, I had a fun time building this heli and seeing all of the issues from it. I am beginning to appreciate the quality of work from Align more and more. I don’t think I will by another clone for a while, maybe just clone spare parts. At the end of the day, I will spend about $400 bucks for it to fly correctly +$100ish more on upgrades and spare parts, almost as much as if I got the 250SE Super Combo. O well, c'est la vie. At least now I can truly customize my 250 the way I want it. Slowly my HK250GT is becoming an Align 250SE. It was supposed to be my beater heli, but not anymore.

That is just my 2 cents. Not saying my situation is generic, or the worse case, just writing this to say this “could” happen to you also. Not sure what your budget is, but within the last month, I have began to notice a drop on these super combo kits. Infinity hobby is still selling the 250SE Super Combo kit + case + 3 battery for $375. Saw that the other day and almost crapped in my pants.
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:56 PM   #11
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Yeah that is a good deal. Might be getting that on the 15th lol. I have heard a lot of bad things about the hk stuff. Basically hear that its crap and not worth it. I hear mixed reviews about the exi stuff. A lot of people buy exi parts and there's a lot of nice exi 450's flying around to be sure. I will definitely report back with the quality of my exi 250. I expect it to be pretty good as Ive seen a bunch of exi 450's that looked to be as good of quality as the align. Looks like the only thing im going cheap on my 250 build will be the gyro and cyclic servos....gonna use that xmhobbies g401b gyro and my hitech 56 cyclics. There is a guy on here selling me a stock motor,esc,and tail servo for a good deal so I will try to get some pics of the whole thing once its done.
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Old 04-01-2010, 03:02 PM   #12
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toan414, excellent write-up on your experience! This is one reason I haven't gone clone...Yes, the pricing on the Align kits has been heading down. I was very fortunate when I purchased mine in December. I paid $339, delivered, for mine. There were Christmas specials going on at the time, and I took advantage of them! 375 with all the goodies you listed is a great price as well.

In any case, I think if a person shops around and is willing to ask for a deal, you can do pretty well. As you and others have said, there are some really good clone parts...but the clones in general may or may not be a very good deal.

I understand that CopterX makes a pretty good bird, as does Tarot. But, this is just my understanding, I've personally never built a clone or even used clone parts. The only non-Align parts in my heli are my radio, my t/r servo, my t/r blades my CF t/r link and my batteries...oh...and my Ti turnbuckles, LOL. I'm not opposed to clone stuff. According to both Seth and Carl, some of the clone stuff is as good as, if not better than the align stuff. Certainly the rotor blades are a good example. If you're busting a set of blades every day or so, it simply doesn't make sense to pay +/- $15 for a set of CF's. I will probably pick up some El Cheapo EXI blades as well as some of the other EXI parts. I am at the level of where I pretty much have my 4 major upright hover positions and FFF nailed...time to start playing around with inverted, flips, loops, rolls, etc. and doubtless I'm going to be smashing my bird up pretty good once I start with that stuff. One of the reasons I'm seriously kicking around the idea of buying another 250...the sim is nice, but it would be cool to always have one bird ready to fly and to be able to share parts...the only thing is, I have that nagging tug of a 450 PRO pulling at me, LOL.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:02 PM   #13
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It's too bad there isnt a company out there making electronics similar or better quality as the align stuff without the price tag. I mean seriously how does a gyro ( size of my thumb ) cost almost 200 bucks!!!lol!!!. I understand its a hobby and there isnt a ton of competition for good quality parts like align but come on. It probably costs 40bucks to make that gyro there selling for 170.00. I dont blame them for making money I just wish there was a company that was making the same part with a different label and cutting the profit margin in half to make this all a less expensive hobby for everyone.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:15 PM   #14
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I have both the EXI and the original Align 250's. I will say the older version of the EXI (which was what I got) has the plastic tail gear which is absolute garbage, way too much side to side slop in it. Replaced with Align metal version. The screws on the EXI break VERY easily and if they break off in the aluminum, most likely you won't get them out and they are not all the same thread as the Align kits. The EXI anti rotation bracket is nice , Align sucks. New version SE Align main gear way better than EXI. Frames are similar, bottom plate is all one piece with the skids, replaced with Align plate and skids. Swash is tight new, but wears very quickly, replaced with Align. Washout arms same thing, replaced with Align. Tail boom, similar, supports similar. Tail servo mount, EXI has all aluminum, Align is an upgrade to get alum. My EXI is set up the with the following; Hitec Gyro and 5083 tail servo, Scorpion HK-2208 3600 KV motor, Dynam 18 amp SC, Hitec HS-55 junk servos on the Cyclic. Running FRP 205mm main blades and Align rears. AR6200 rec. I had the gyro servo combo and cyclic servos along with the speed control and RX on the spare parts shelf so all that I really needed was the Scorpion motor and gear for out of pocket $$$. It was a budget build just to try out the 250 rage. Was enough to hook me so along came the Align version. I personally would hold off until you can swing the Align SE kit, you will be better off in the long run as my Align outflies the EXI hands down even though the EXI has way more power. To make more of a fair comparison between the two, the cyclic servos should probably be changed out. My Align is starting to show some slop in the head but has had MANY more flights than the EXI did to get to this point. HeliDirect will be getting a nice order for the new SE head parts soon! Both helis are great helis and are a blast to fly, in fact they see more air time than my 500's now. But I have to give the nod to Align for over all quality and performance. I will post a couple photos if you would like to see them side by side.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:34 PM   #15
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Yeah a photo would be cool. Thanks for the info on the exi kit. I figured it would be off lesser quality. I just figured with my mild flying style it would work for me. I dont do any 3d, I dont even really fly the heli that hard. I just like to be able to buzz around here and there. I'm too scared to try anything crazy. A crash here means I'm out of a heli for around two weeks until the parts I order to fix it have time to make there way out here to Iraq. It's usually a minimum of seven to ten days once the parts ship and most suppliers take two days once I buy them to actually ship it.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:22 PM   #16
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This is the third time I have tried to get some photos on here. Anyways, The EXI has the blue servos for easy ID. Otherwise it has too many Align parts swapped over to it.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:26 PM   #17
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More pics...
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:28 PM   #18
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i payed 120 for my se kit on ebay new in box with no electronics, For a savings of about 50 bucks , not worth the headaches of a clone, plus if you ever want to sell it then you can, not many people buy used clones.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nazman01 View Post
i payed 120 for my se kit on ebay new in box with no electronics, For a savings of about 50 bucks , not worth the headaches of a clone, plus if you ever want to sell it then you can, not many people buy used clones.
Awesome price! I'd snap one of those up in a heartbeat if I could find a "bare bones" 250 SE at that price.
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:12 PM   #20
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Default My experience with the EXI kit 250

move on and buy a tr250. I have bought several 450's EXI and 1 500. i used to smash them into the ground learning and then replaced parts with Align. quality of the EXI parts is hit or miss. swash, tails, screws, links are just not there.

i did buy the exi 250 to go budget build with extra stuff laying around. i still can't get the thing to fly good. replaced the tail, belt, rear blade holders and tonight i just noticed the swash bearing fell out. i put it down for a month or so to work on another project and picked it back up and man. its going to turn into another exi/align frankenstein. that is why i am here tonight because i need a lunch break copter at work to keep my brain and fingers limber during the work week. a 250 fits the bill if i can get one to fly good.

if you can fly with out crashing to much then just get the align 250 i just found one at heli quest that you get the motor and esc. for 150.00. if you are learning then buy the EXI 500, way more stable to learn on vs a super small or a 450 copter.

but i will tell you the cute factor on these super smalls is too much to turn away from. but they are watches to set up. the gyro deal;;;; get a good gyro, the super smalls are not stable with out a good gyro. gyro prices are coming down for the latest stuff in the past 4 or 5 months. i am told its because of the flybarless stuff coming in now that does away with the standard tail gyro. ?? good deal for me what used to be 200 bucks is 125 or 150 now. i bought a spartan and a futaba gyro at these prices. both are great.


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250 Class Electric Helicopters 250 Class Electric Helicopters manufactured by Align, Tarot, SYMA, Airhog, Chaos, HK and similar.

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