Here's the funny thing. Many of the folks have a ''clone at home'' and all use bargain batteries from, YOU guessed it! Hobby King! I spend my time being evangelical about the virtues of starting off with say a ''Leaders Hobby'' ''All up'' kit for 150 bux as a GREAT starter. Then if it ''gels'' with you push on up the ladder to more substantial parts at your LHS. But as I told the owners son at my LHS yesterday, starting off with a 1200USD 450 and computer radio and DITCHING same then not having the stomach/wallet to continue doesn't get someone in his front door. Recidivism has screeched to a halt at that point. I KNOW of which I speak!
When I tell folks I fly with great skill/confidence my two CP's with a 30USD CopterX 3X1000 they are, IMPRESSED! They are more impressed that you can get THIS for 1/3 the price of it's name brand equivalent!
I know EXACTLY what you mean Bob. I got started with a used Align 450SE off of Craigslist; it was in good shape, the seller flew it for me before we closed the deal. It was complete, all Align sans battery & radio for $195. I took it home & floundered about with the OEM Manual I found online and lurking about the groups, then a lot of time TRYING to figure out how to set up my new TGY-9X (which I was lucky (?) enough to catch actually INÂ*STOCK after clicking on a random ad for what seemed like an unbelievable price), then I found Mikey's RC and his setup videos and was able to at least get it set up to hover. For a few minutes. Then a sudden gust of maybe 5-7 mph wind pushed it into one of the trees at each corner of the yard, and massive trauma. The helicopter suffered, too.
I put it all up for a couple months, then bought an Align 450V2 parts unit for $120, and again pieced them together into one flightworthy craft. Another nice day, this time dead still and I lasted several attempts and hops and jumps before I got in over my head and wound up digging a moat with the mainblades and cracking the same chassis half I cracked on the first one and stripping out two more servos, bent mainshaft, tailshaft, whateverelseyoucanthinkofshaft, etc.
At this point I was really frustrated so I got rid of the remains to a neighbor kid; they mocked me silently from their box on the top shelf. I kept the radio; I had 3 RX for it plus it would bind with all my cars and boats that ran on my FS-GT3B. Later, after building a couple electric ARFs from HK, I got an education into how much the parts I let go with those broken T-Rexes were worth, even the broken servos. Ah well. I REALLYÂ*didn't want to mow the yard that month.
That's when I made the mistake of signing up for HK's mailing list; soon I had a dozen things on my wish list, and BAM! the 450GT knocked on my eMail with its tiny pricetag and shiny CNC work, and that was all she wrote. $60 for the kit and a motor & ESC. $100 for another plane and a bag of bits & bobs to finish the assembly. I had a brand new bird, ready to fly, for half what my used TRex cost. I kept it up; Build, Fly Crash, Repeat. STILL cheap... and it STILL kept me off the streets. And sober. Which made my wife
Then I got the EXI 450Pro, cuz Mikey liked it. Twice as much as my HK450GT, but by then I had enough spares to finish it without buying anything but a cheap Gyro. I soon discovered the joys of shaft drive and excessive headspeed-induced blade-wrap on my shiny new CF tailboom... ouch.Â* [img][/img]
At this time I discovered coaxials; bought a couple big ones, couple little ones, put the CPs on the shelf for a day with a little more experience under my belt. I SEVERELYÂ*modded a DH9101 and a 9118; I STILLÂ*enjoy flying them every now and then. Then I tripped over one of the auctions from LeadersHobby for the glas/plastic Hausler/Aeolian 450 RTF. Won it for $79 shipped. Thin chassis and plastic aside, this bird was what got me back into CPs. It flew straight out of the box better than any of the ones I'd built myself; starting out with a radio that was configured close to right made understanding how to program a radio for CCPM SOÂ*MUCHÂ*EASIER.
On top of it all - my firsty actual dead-tree manual. That Hausler 450 manual... it is SOÂ*MUCHÂ*clearer and more straightforward than any of the Align manuals I'd downloaded; in my mind, THATÂ*ALONEÂ*was worth the price I paid, plus I got the same radio Mikey used in his vids, so I was able to go back and relearn what he was talking about in the radio setup. All in all, just for the education it was a massive bargain, plus I STILL keep flogging the heli. Yes, it's about as rigid as a wet noodle but it is also VERYÂ*forgiving to beginners, and the flex means the chassis doesn't break as easily. Plus, it is EASYÂ*to service; this bird was designed to be easy to take apart. Which I do. AÂ*LOT.
I know you guys with mad flying skillz don't understand what it's like to be rotary-wing defective; some of us have the gift, some don't. I'm also First-Person-Shooter defective; you know, the guy who ALWAYS eventually winds up in a corner looking at his feet. For however long it takes someone to fragg me. ;P
My talent - ''The Knack'' - is my gift. I'm really good at fixing and building machines; I am a natural-born mechanic, in the old meaning of the term. Fortunately, I also take enough joy in that aspect of this hobby that I don't mind not being a very good pilot. Those skills will come; when they do, I'll feel as silly and giddy as I did after finishing my first stock car race.
Oh, and BTW, Bob... CURSEÂ*YOU. I'm still not fully conversant in programming for CCPM, and now you've got me thinking about flybarless on my HDX... shame on you. :P
Oh Neo, you lucky SOB. ''I know Kung-Fu'' indeed.