RCU Review: Venom Night Ranger II


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    Contributed by: Rick Adams | Published: April 2006 | Views: 103032 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Venom Night Ranger

    Review by: Rick Adams


    Night Ranger II

    Distributed exclusively by:
    Venom Air Corps
    600 W. Buckles Rd.
    Hayden, ID 83835
    Support Phone:
    1-800-705-0620

    www.venom-aircorps.com


    Night Ranger Video
    CLICK HERE to Watch


    Quality
    Performance
    Ease of Assembly
    Aerobatic Ability
    Looks
    Price
    Manual


    If you're looking for a basic, hassle free, ready-to-fly micro helicopter that flies right out of the box, check out the Night Ranger II by VENOM .

    Inside the box you will find a good quality 4 Channel Transmitter, battery and charger ( for the Chopper ). Each Night Ranger has been test flown at the factory to ensure that your first flight will be a successful one! You will also find, that the instruction manual contains clear pictures and descriptions to help ease the beginner pilot into his or her first flight. You will need to supply 8 AA Alkaline or rechargeable batteries for the transmitter and you are ready to go.





    Kit Name: Venom Night Ranger II
    Price: $149.99 retail price
    Length: 457mm
    Width: 114mm
    Height: 152mm
    Airfoil: Flat Plate
    Main Rotor: 514mm
    Tail Rotor: 150mm
    Weight: 300g
    Main Power Train: 13.6 : 1


    Packaging
    Contents
    Out of Box

    My Night Ranger arrived undamaged in a sturdy box that was well packed. Clear molded plastic protected the assembled helicopter from damage during transport. A good transmitter, rechargeable 8.4 vdc 800 mah NiMH flight battery, battery charger, and an excellent instruction manual are included. I had to supply eight AA batteries for the transmitter to complete this review. I chose some standard Duracell 2000 mah AA rechargeables ( $12.00 ) No big deal in my book!

    Instructions

    Parts Breakdown
    The instruction manual is well written, and includes clear pictures that thoroughly illustrate everything you need to know about the Night Ranger II. A parts breakdown page shows all of the parts, with the correlating part numbers and pictures of each piece, which is really handy for identification after a hard crash. Understanding the resulting swashplate movements for each control stick input is made simple with photos and diagrams. Simple procedures for battery installation, center-of-gravity adjustments, blade tracking, and gyro gain settings are detailed and easy to understand.
    Checking center of gravity
    Checking the paddles
    Ready to go !

    Since the Night Ranger arrives assembled, and since it's adjusted and test flown at the factory, all that is necessary for flight is to remove the helicopter from the packaging and go fly! I, myself read the instruction manual and double checked all of the recommenced pre-flight items to ensure a successful first flight. You will need to install 8 AA sized batteries (the only item not included and necessary for flight) in the transmitter. The instructions tell you that the flight battery should be fully charged prior to your first flight. My Night Ranger flew for about 8 minutes on this fully charged battery. I have a hard shell case for this chopper, However I have seen other modelers use the shipping box as the carrying case, as it has a handle and molded plastic inserts that cradle the chopper very securely.

     

    Tail Rotor
    No Canopy
    Transmitter

    The included wall charger for the flight battery is not a automatic type. This 800mah battery should fully charge in less than 2 hours when connected to the supplied charger. I used this wall charger for the first 5 flights, just to make sure that everything was working correctly. I then switched over to a automatic type peak voltage checking type charger. This allowed me to charge the battery at a slower rate and not have to keep track of the time as it will shut off automatically when fully charged.

    While preparing for the first flight I followed the directions very carefully as there are some important steps listed to ensure a successful flight. One of them being when connecting the flight battery, make sure the chopper is on a flat level surface and don't move the model around or touch if for the first 10 seconds or so. When you power up the Night Ranger, the gyro needs to "initialize" ( just a fancy word for turning on ). Once completed I was ready to go.

    A lightweight "4-in-1" unit combines a 4 channel FM receiver, a solid state piezo gyro stabilizer, and two electronic speed controls to throttle the main and tail rotor motors. The three servos connect to the "4-in-1" unit, leaving one final connector to the flight battery. In the interest of weight savings, a switch has been omitted. Therefore, be careful when connecting the battery as the system will power up and begin the gyro initialization. During this phase, the electronic gyro senses a zero rotation baseline condition to serve as a reference point for angular acceleration stabilization. Simply put, when you plug in the battery, don't move the helicopter until the slow red blinking LED illuminates, or else your Night Ranger might not fly properly. Remember to set the throttle stick at low (full down), move the throttle trim all the way down. The LED light on the "4-in-1" unit will blink red very quickly for about 5 to 10 seconds, then when its ready it will blink red very slowly. At this point, power to the drive motors is enabled and the Night Ranger is ready for take-off.

    Tail rotor control is achieved by modulating the speed of the fixed pitch tail rotor with the tiny tail motor and a second speed controller. This design avoids the typically sloppy tail pitch changing linkage found on other micro helicopters that use one motor to drive both the main and tail rotors. Tail holding power is not up to 3D maneuvers but performs very well.

    If you fly your Night Ranger into the ground, Replacement parts are widely available, and very inexpensive. My Night Ranger has seen it's share of bumps and bruises, Even rough crashes usually only result in a set of dinged up yet still flyable blades, or a damaged main gear / bent main shaft, Not really a big deal to fix.

     


    This is a well built helicopter that really flies great! Flight times are around 10 minutes, I fly in Tucson Arizona @ 2500 feet above sea level.

    Venom Aircorps test flies every Night Ranger before it's shipped. Our rotor blades were on track, and the head ran smoothly. Hovering was smooth and steady - no bad vibes. When they say it's ready to fly, straight out of the box, they mean it!

    As with all small helicopters, flying in ground effect (lower than a foot) is a bit difficult. But once you've climbed a bit higher, the hover is very predictable.

    Be very careful to monitor the 800mah NiMH battery while connected to the included wall charger, never leaving it charging for longer than 2 hours. Its charge rate is high enough to cause permanent battery damage or start a fire if left unattended. I personally unplug it when the battery gets warm.

    If you tap the tail rotor on the ground, it's prudent to check that the little piece of fuel tubing that holds the tail rotor blade to the drive gear hasn't slipped. If the tail blade isn't properly secured to this drive gear, the tiny motor pinion could disengage in the air and your tail rotor will stop. If this happens, you'll get a quick lesson tail rotor failure landings.

     

    For you Hot Rod's out there, if you think that this is a toy plastic helicopter, think again! With the Night Rangers size, everything starts to look like a landing pad. Hovering, forward and backward flight, stall turns and more challenging maneuvers like pirouetting circles and figure-8's are possible.

    Overall, the Night Ranger is a blast to fly! I've let several friends fly mine, and everyone is surprised by it's performance!


    See the Night Ranger in action!
    CLICK HERE




    Strike a pose









    Venom Aircorps has another winner on their hands. This high quality ready to fly micro heli files every bit as nice as it looks. The stability makes this chopper a great trainer for anyone new to the realm of micro helis. I found this micro heli to be very easy to fly. It is predicable and stable right out of the box. My 4 year old daughter, Rikenna loves to fly it around the house. I only let her fly in very controlled environents and conditions. The directions do state that this heli is not a toy and is not recommended for anyone under the age of 12 years. I Agree with this statement as the rotor blades are very sharp and could cause very serious injury to the pilot or onlookers while in flight.



    VENOM GROUP INTERNATIONAL

    600 West Buckles Road
    Hayden, ID 83835
    1-800-705-0620
    www.venom-aircorps.com

    Comments on RCU Review: Venom Night Ranger II

    Posted by: franciscomerc on 01/03/2008
    I wanted the name of the music of the film "rangerforweb" please.
    Page: 1
    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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