RCU Review: Ares Chronos CX100 Coaxial Helicopter RTF w/Camera


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    Contributed by: Jim Buzzeo | Published: February 2014 | Views: 15924 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    RCUniverse.com Review of the Ares Chronos CX100 3 Channel Coaxial Helicopter with Camera
    Jim Buzzeo
    (AMA 74894)

    Email Me



    Sold exclusively through HobbyTown stores, HobbyTown website and through
    Ares RC
    www.ares-rc.com

    The recently released Ares Chronos CX100 Co-Axial helicopter has been touted as the 'Easiest, most affordable way to shoot video with RC'. One found its way to my office to be reviewed for RCUniverse and I can confidently say this little helicopter does what it's meant to do. Ares is no newcomer to the world of RC. They have a better than average customer support base and know their product line very well. I found the Ares CX100 to be stable, VERY easy to fly and VERY easy to use. From Ares' Website, "With all of these features in one affordable package, shooting video or taking photos from a RC heli has never been this easy! Even if you've never flown before, you'll be flying like a pro and taking videos and photos in no time." Let's open 'er up and see what's inside!


    • Completely ready to fly
    • Quick and easy to take video and still photos
    • Great product support
    • Multiple charging options


    • None as tested



    Skill Level:

    Time Required to Assemble:

    Frustration Level:

    What do these ratings mean?


    Name:Ares Chronos CX100 Coaxial Helicopter RTF with Camera

    Price: $69.99 (RTF)
    (Accurate at time of review)

    Length: 10in (255mm)
    Height: 4.5in (115mm)
    Main Rotor Diameter: 8.9in (225mm)
    Weight (with battery): 1.9oz (55g)
    Main Motor: Micro coreless (2 installed)
    Radio System: 2.4GHz 4-channel (Included)

    Included Accessories:

    • 2GB Micro SD card
    • 250mAh 1S 3.7V LiPo battery
    • Dual Port 1S 3.7V LiPo DC USB
    • Spare rotor blade set

    Additional Items Required:

    None






    The Ares Chronos CX100 arrived in a heavy cardboard outer box with a colorful, sturdy "pretty" box which doubles as a carrying case. Inside the box I found the Chronos CX100: a beautiful little RTF Coax helicopter (complete with Camera), Compact sized Transmitter, spare blades, Lipo battery and charger, screwdriver, manual and 4 'AA' batteries. Everything was neatly packaged, intact and ready for use right out of the box. A 2GB Micro SD card is pre-installed inside the inflight camera and ready for use. I removed everything from the box for some photos and a quick look, everything appeared to be of high quality and fairly well made. I did notice some extra wiring included with the charger and realized Ares has done something I wish more manufacturers would do: they provide a method of charging the flight battery WITHOUT removing the canopy. I often fly smallish helicopters indoors at our local gymnasium, not all have canopies that are easy to remove. I really like to have the ability to recharge the battery without removing it, since there is little need to re-trim.

    After removing the canopy, I was surprised to notice there were NO servos installed. Ok, it took me a minute for my brain to work out 'the math'. OF COURSE there are no servos! This is a three channel Co-axial helicopter! Increasing Throttle causes both main motors to spin faster; Rudder control causes one motor (and one main rotor blade) to spin faster while the other motor slows down. Torque then causes the heli to yaw. For Pitch control, there is one additional motor mounted on the tail, with its blades pointing UP instead of to the side as with a single rotor heli.

    The included USB powered charger was more than I expected as well: it can charge two single cell batteries at the same time. I was faced with the decision to either charge the battery with it installed in the helicopter (in which case we use the included wire adapter) or to remove the canopy and charge the battery directly. For testing purposes I chose to use the adapter. After about 15 minutes, the light on the charger went out, indicating charging was complete. I unplugged the charger and got out the transmitter. The transmitter is smallish, but don't let the small size fool you. It has some features you'd normally find on a much more expensive unit. Dual Rates, stick position indicators, trim indicators, Camera info (video or still) just to mention a few. As with almost all 2.4 GHz systems, always turn on the transmitter FIRST, then turn on the heli. Shutdown procedure is the reverse, first switch off the Heli, THEN turn off the radio. The Transmitter will beep continuously when it's turned on. Connect the battery, switch on the Helicopter and the beeping will stop. All in all, I was relieved to have no surprises.

     

    Manual


    The instruction manual is very well written, including all the details for setting up the heli, taking and saving inflight video footage and still images. Ares has left nothing for you to figure out.

    Download the manual


    OK, Let's go Flying!

    Since I had already checked out the CX100 at home on the bench, I was ready to go when I brought it to the local high school's gymnasium one cold weekend morning. I turned on the transmitter, placed the CX100 flat on the floor and turned it on. The Transmitter will beep continuously unti the heli is switched on and linked. Within moments I had throttle control and was ready to fly. Here is where I realized the marketing material for this helicopter is not simply marketing hype. I truly did find it to be the easiest piece of video footage I've ever created. To take a still image using the transmitter, press and hold the upper left hand button. To record video, press and quickly release the same button. That's all there is to it. You should see that if you're taking a still image, the transmitter's LCD screen will display a camera icon, if you're taking video, it will display a video camera icon. The 2GB Micro SD card is easily removed from the onboard camera; simply insert it into your computer (note: most modern smart phones have a slot for a micro SD card too!) Copy the file and distribute it however you'd like.

    I was impressed with the advanced features this little radio sports. Dual rates, a nice big backlit LCD screen and easy programming all helped make the first flight go very smoothly. (Most of the video footage is from the first flight, including the onboard video footage) the Chronos CX100 is a three channel helicopter; I had forgotten this minor detail shortly after taking off for the first time. The building's furnace kicked in, the blast of air caused the helicopter to drift sideways a bit and I was suddenly perplexed as to why I could not get it to stop drifting. Geoff who was running the camera gently noted "Don't forget, this is only a three channel" which snapped me back into reality. I turned the heli toward the air vent (causing the heli to drift backwards) and easily stopped the drifting. After flying around for a couple of minutes, I noted the heli is indeed VERY stable. I pushed the photo button a couple of times and took some still images, then pushed and held the button and started taking some video. The hardest thing about shooting video was locating the included 2GB Micro SD card! (after a 10 second search, yup, it's where the manual says it is!) This was absolutely the EASIEST onboard video footage I had ever shot. Push one button to start shooting, push the same button to stop. I was certainly having fun with this little Heli

    Although I was impressed to have features like dual rates, I found the heli didn't have enough control authority on the default (LOW RATE) setting. After switching to high rates, I found the CX100 to be very well mannered and very easy to fly. We flew and shot video, took some still pictures, flew some more and shot more video. Flight times averaged 6 - 7 minutes, and using the video or still camera did not have an impact on flight time. I was surprised to find I had shot 20 minutes of video footage and still had well over half the 2GB remaining on the SD card! We flew the CX100 all morning. I got aggressive with it and managed to bang it off the wall a couple of times. I was relieved (but not surprised) to discover no damage. I picked it up, double checked that everything still worked properly and off I went to shoot more video. All in all I was very impressed with this little Coax. Its price ready to fly is affordable by almost everyone; it's VERY easy to fly and is capable of taking some very nice still images and video. The Ares CX100 truly is the easiest heli from which to shoot video that I've encountered.

    Check out the video to see the Ares Chronos CX100 in action!




    Ares Chronos CX100










     

    The Marketing folks certainly got it right: this was the EASIEST, FASTEST way to shoot airborne video I've ever experienced. The little CX100 behaved wonderfully with great flight times, was very simple set up, generally easy to use and very easy to fly. Grab one from your Local Hobby Store or buy directly from Ares RC!





    Sold exclusively through HobbyTown stores, HobbyTown website and through Ares RC
    www.ares-rc.com


     



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    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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