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What's a good electric heli to learn on?

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#1
Hello everyone! I am considering picking up a heli to add to my fleet. I'm open to all suggestions, as it has been a long while since I attempted this. I learned ( a little) ( a long time ago) on a fixed pitch, and successfully built a 450 trex clone. It worked, but I was not able to fly it. With the new gyros and such I'd like to give this another try. I'm currently looking at the blade line of helis, as I like the safe feature if I get into trouble. So, I'm looking at the blade 130 s and 230s. Does anyone have any recommendation either way or is there other brands that are worth considering? Thanks for the help!
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#2
I really like the NanoCPS even though it's smaller and relatively lower in cost than the bigger models you mentioned. I like the small one because I can actually practice indoors with it and basically fly whenever I want.
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#3
The blade 230S V2 is a great trainer heli! Big enough to handle a bit of wind outside, and enough mass to give it a more locked feel than the micro birds.
 

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#4
Yeah, I'm leaning toward the 230 even though I like the price of the 130 better! The nano is just too small. I do want to be able to fly outdoors in light winds.
 

Brett_N

Well-known member
#5
A simulator.

Then something with a Flybar - I have a WL Toys V912 and it flies great.

Then move to a flybarless mini

Banggood has a ton of little copters on sale this week.
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#6
Yeah, I'm leaning toward the 230 even though I like the price of the 130 better! The nano is just too small. I do want to be able to fly outdoors in light winds.
I thought the same when I started with helis, but a bigger heli can make all the difference! In fact, my scale 500 size models are easily some of the most easy flying helis I've owned. The AS3X in the blade heli really helps get that same locked in feel. The 130 is going to be smaller, more twitchy, and more sensitive to wind. The 230 does a pretty good job of prepping you for moving up to a 450 size heli.
 

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#7
Alright, well I pulled the trigger on the 230s v2. Also ordered a module for my QX7 so I can bind to it. I'll probably have the heli two weeks before the module. That is going to be an exercise in patience! I've got plenty of 850 to 1000mah 3s batteries, so I'll need to make a JST to xt60 adapter. No big deal there. Any advice on setup, flights, etc?
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#8
Alright, well I pulled the trigger on the 230s v2. Also ordered a module for my QX7 so I can bind to it. I'll probably have the heli two weeks before the module. That is going to be an exercise in patience! I've got plenty of 850 to 1000mah 3s batteries, so I'll need to make a JST to xt60 adapter. No big deal there. Any advice on setup, flights, etc?
Awesome, I think you’ll enjoy it! For setup, just follow the manual. It comes pre programmed with all the swash setup done for you, so it’s pretty much bind and go. I suggest making some training gear for the first few flights. Also, remember that the heli will be more difficult to fly in ground effect. On first flights, everybody likes to stay low to protect their new investment, but a bit of altitude really will help smooth it out. There are a few guides on YouTube that will help walk you through first flights as well, and they are worth checking out. Last but not least, get some sim time and be familiar with all orientations in a hover. It is unbelievably helpful to start building that muscle memory before you take to the sky!
 

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#9
Awesome thanks, I do fly some quads so am well aware of the ground effect. I'll make sure she's over some soft ground and get her up at least 5 or 6 ft to start with. Hopefully between the RC cars, quads and planes I can pick up the orientation of this bird pretty quick.
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#10
One of the things about helis (esp. the bigger ones) is that I find they are much more finicky in mechanical setup than quads or planes. Even with the fancy flybarless and more recently, the multirotor flight controller-like ones that do self-leveling, tend to require a lot more mechanical setup and checking before I even put it up. Leveling the swash, ensuring the pitch rates are set, balancing the blades, ensuring the blades are mounted on the blade grips properly with the right torque, etc.
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#11
One of the things about helis (esp. the bigger ones) is that I find they are much more finicky in mechanical setup than quads or planes. Even with the fancy flybarless and more recently, the multirotor flight controller-like ones that do self-leveling, tend to require a lot more mechanical setup and checking before I even put it up. Leveling the swash, ensuring the pitch rates are set, balancing the blades, ensuring the blades are mounted on the blade grips properly with the right torque, etc.
Definitely! Heli setup is a precision endeavor, and makes all the difference in the world for how the aircraft flies. The blade helis though, are already test flown at the factory, so they don’t always need the same level of scrutiny as a new setup. Most of the blade helis that I’ve flown have needed very few if any adjustments before flying. Checking blade balance, correct gyro direction, and security of ball links is never a bad idea though.
 

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#12
Thanks guys. She just came in yesterday, but no flying until my taranis module comes in. @F106DeltaDart , Since I did not get the BNF, I'll be using my QX7 with a dsm2/dsmx module. Is this still a bind and go situation? I have actually never had a horizon product before, so have not had a chance to test out how this all works.

I did go over the heli, everything seems tight and looks good. Goodness, waiting for that module is going to kill me. If I could find a cheap DX6 I might just buy it to satisfy my impatience!
 

makattack

Winter is coming
Moderator
Mentor
#13
I would say with a DSM module, it's more of a "program, bind, test and go" situation -- and by test, I mean, remove the blades / disconnect the motor and make sure the swash does what you expect kind of test. Then again, it's pretty much the same with a DX6 as well :)

Depending on the module you get, there might be some additional software flashing involved. I'm mostly referring to the multiprotocol modules. They never come from the retailer/manufacturer with a current version and some of the old versions have some serious DSM bugs.
 

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#14
I would say with a DSM module, it's more of a "program, bind, test and go" situation -- and by test, I mean, remove the blades / disconnect the motor and make sure the swash does what you expect kind of test. Then again, it's pretty much the same with a DX6 as well :)

Depending on the module you get, there might be some additional software flashing involved. I'm mostly referring to the multiprotocol modules. They never come from the retailer/manufacturer with a current version and some of the old versions have some serious DSM bugs.
That's kind of what worries me. The program part anyway. Been 10 to 12 years since I flew a fixed pitch heli, and just as long since I tried to set up a CP. With the taranis I know there is a way to do it, but I'm not good enough yet to know exactly how. Flashing the module shouldn't be a problem, and I'll NEVER test a plane with the prop on, an I remember enough about heli's there's no way I'd test it with those long pieces of cutlery swinging around. I'll keep digging through the interweb, and I'll get sorted. Just hoping ya'll were my easy button1
 

makattack

Winter is coming
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Mentor
#15
Well, I can send an "Easy Button" style dump of my NanoCPS setup, with the caveat that you'll want to double/triple check everything and make sure you understand it before using it. I can help answer questions/fill in the blanks. The nice thing about these flybarless/flight controller based helis is that programming them is actually pretty simple. No need to have a separate "HELI" mode that does weird swash servo mixing for you. You still have to mess with throttle/pitch mixing on CP helis, but that's about the most complicated, along with any flight mode switches (which is probably similar to the heading hold type settings).
 

Attachments

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#16
Sweet, thanks. If nothing else it gives me an idea of what I'm looking at. If I remember correctly, the flight controller is already set up from the factory with the correct values, but again, it's been a while. Thanks for the file, it'll be helpful one way or another!
 

F106DeltaDart

Well-known member
#17
Although I have no experience setting things up using the module with a Taranis, the flight controller does come with a lot of the setup ready to go. Swash plate level values, PIDs, gyro directions, and flight modes are all set at the factory. Take a look at page 6 of the manual and it gives a great table showing how all of the channels should be configured: http://www.bladehelis.com/ProdInfo/Files/BLH1400-Manual-EN.pdf. As Mak said, the only “weird” part is setting the pitch and throttle curves. The manual gives all the info you should need there as well. When setting up a new heli model, you should have a swashplate option that says something like “single servo 90” or something like that. That is telling your radio that you want collective on 1 dedicated channel instead of mixed between 3 separate servo outputs.
 

jaredstrees

Well-known member
#20
And she finally flies! This is a sweet little heli. Had to take off the training wheels by the third flight. They were introducing a lot of vibration. She was solid enough in a hover I was able to get my phone out and snap a pic! E34A06DB-2870-4582-A305-814164BA0179.jpeg