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Old 09-08-2008, 03:52 PM   #1
wespen
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Default Protos CF Frame set - mini review

After some reports and discussions or RCG and RR about weak Protos stock plastic frame, like some of you, I too started thinking about a carbon one. Now thanks to Infinity-Hobby I don’t have to fiddle with making one myself.
Infinity says it’s stronger and lighter than stock plastic. Well, time to prove it.
Its 89.99$ + shipping so it better be good.


What you get


It arrived 14 days after ordering in a nice flat envelope, just like MacBook AIR add.
Inside you’ll find 2 side frames, battery tray, bottom plate and nice aluminum center block with bearing and screws. Kit also includes 4 frame spacers/support pillars with nice matching stepped washers and screws. No manual, but experienced builders don’t need it

What it’s like – first impressions
Yes, its nice and shiny, but just looking at the photos on Infinity site won’t get you the right picture. Its reeeeeeealllly niceeee.


The finish is perfect, much shinier than Aligns, it just glows on sun. No rough edges and carbon fiber they used is really top notch. GelCoated, no misaligned threads and perfect smooth finish.


Aluminum spacers add up to the bling factor.

Getting on with it
So, timer started, lets go. Disassembled the frame, took out the servo block, removed the rx and wires and put the stock frames aside. Just a note, keep the screws and nuts from stock frame, they are used in carbon one too.
I was a bit worried about holes alignment and fit since often OEM and aftermarket parts don’t go together well.



Put the servo block on one of the sides (they are identical) and holes match, perfect fit.
Battery and bottom plate on, again perfect fit, now we’re talking.
It’s a good time to put on the spacers and motor plate now so you don’t break your fingers trying to put them on latter.
I left them a bit loose to make it easier to adjust to other side.
Other side on and we are almost done. To tighten it all up you will need pliers since carbon frame doesn’t have that nut placeholders like the stock one.


Now, just like on the stock frame, there is no hole on the bottom to make it easy to tighten the main shaft bottom screw. Time for a quick dremel job.


Bottom plate already has some cutouts to make it lighter so another one won’t hurt. 5 mins latter and new hole now makes it easy to use normal hex screwdriver.
I mailed this remark to Infinity and all kits now have that extra hole which is aligned with main shaft. Nice!


For the nitpickers, there is very little space between the right frame side and belt, they don’t touch each other if belt is tight. If it bothers you grind down another mm of the main gear cutout.


That’s it, frame done, now to electronics placement.


Where to put all this stuff
As Infinity said, stock frame has good design and clever electronic arrangement, no need to reinvent the wheel there.


ESC and BEC go under the batter tray, gyro on boom clamp assembly and rx in the back of the bottom plate as in original frame.
The carbon frame features same hooks for ESC and battery, although they are flat horizontal since whole frame is cut out from one carbon piece. It will be a lot more $$$ to make it round.
You can use the rings that came with the kit for your Lipos. It’s a bit trickier if you are using A123s. They are wider and since hooks are flat O rings don’t hold well.


Just use rubber bands or zip ties like I did.
Another way is to use Velcro (hook and loop) fasteners. There are cutouts on the side frames for strips to go trough.
This might be the best way to do it, that O rings keep breaking on me anyway.

Carbon frame do feel more spacious, cutouts are cleverly placed allowing access to motor pinion and pulleys.


Motor space feels bigger, which will help cool that hot running stock motor down a bit. The whole frame is a bit angled to the front so a part of the motor fan sticks out into the airstream, clever.


I used braided sleeving and a zip ties to route power and throttle wires to the back. One on each side, to make it look sexy.

Servo wires trough the tail block pulleys to the Ar6100e in the back finishes up this clean install.


Wire danglers will be happy to know that back of the frame is opened so you can finally make a wire mess.
Time: 2 hours with some smoke breaks

Finally
I guess by now you all wondering how does it fly. Well, it flys just like stock frame which is accomplishment by itself. Carbon frame is stiffer, stock frame has minimal flex and carbon has virtually none, but I don’t think you will notice it.



Does it looks better….. sure.


It is actually 10 gram lighter than plastic one and harder to break.


I hit the dirt with it once. Dropped from 2m inverted to concrete. Hit tail first while trying forward flip to low. Then a bit of chicken dance before I hit hold. Frame is still in one piece.


Who is it for?
For blingers it’s a must have, for performance freaks it’s a must have, for crash noobs like me it’s a must have. As for rest of you normal flyers it’s optional.
It takes almost 4 broken stock frames to justify carbon one.
If you like to spend more time flying rather than rebuilding it’s a nice upgrade and worth considering.
Good set of blades will cost you almost 80$ and you don’t cry that’s expensive, so 90$ is not that much.





Full rez photos at
http://www.23hq.com/RCReviews/album/3180643

Wesp
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:47 AM   #2
EricW
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Thanks for the good review Wespen.
The frames look stunning, functional bling!

Eric
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:30 PM   #3
iflymyhelishigh
 
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me wants protos with cf frame...
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:42 PM   #4
Big E
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I second all of Wespen's comments. I've had the Infinity Carbon frame installed for a couple of weeks now and my Heli is more dialed in than it has ever been and I have to admit that it flies better than all of my other helis.
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