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DF SAVS vs. Trex 600 DIY

Old 05-01-2007, 10:17 AM
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BB_DF
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Default DF SAVS vs. Trex 600 DIY

I've heard Lacey mention the Trex 600 and other platforms. I'm really curious about how the 600 would compare with the SAVS as an aerial workhorse considering cost of operation, parts availability, secure link (Spektrum), inherent stability, flight durations, lifting capacity, etc. The DF, UAVS Quadrocopter, etc. put all their eggs in one basket by depending on full electronic control. This can be good - if the electronics are designed and working properly - and really bad if they aren't. The traditional rotor system is much more complex mechanically and requires a lot of setup, but you have the benefit of the pendulum stability, and inertia for autorotation if necessary. There's a lot of diversity equipment out there now to put together your own video package.

I still plan to fully exploit my SAVS when it gets here next week, but I would like to hear the opinion of you more experienced flyers for future projects.

Cheers,
Bruce
Old 05-01-2007, 11:02 AM
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Default RE: DF SAVS vs. Trex 600 DIY

I started flying a DF, got the heli bug, and then started to fly a Blade CP Pro and now a T-Rex 450. In the next couple of years I would like to get something like a T-Rex 600 or a big nitro bird. If I'd known a year ago what I know now, I would never have bought the DF. Not that it's not a good machine, but I think it's super expensive for what you get. I also don't like the fact that everything is controlled electronically. With my T-Rex, I can tweak things to make it fly perfectly. If a servo or receiver goes bad, I can swap it out. If the T-Rex loses power in flight, I have a chance of getting it down safely. I'm sure a T-Rex 600 can haul around a pretty hefty camera setup. No doubt a conventional CP heli is more difficult to fly than a DF, but I only became a good DF pilot after I started flying a CP helicopter. The DF is simple to repair as long as the board isn't damaged. A minor crash might break an arm, a gear, or a motor mount. If you crash a CP heli, you'll likely wreck the blades and some of the parts in the head. However, if you're flying with a camera aboard, you probably aren't doing aerobatics anyways. There are pan and tilt camera rigs that can only be carried by a conventional heli. If you're serious about aerial photography, that might be the way to go.

I just think that for the cost, the DF is way too limited. In my area, there are one or two guys doing full time aerial photography with helicopters. They use big nitro birds and nothing else. I've only used my DF for sport flying. Bought it without a camera setup. I have roughly what I paid for my DF invested in my T-Rex. In my optinion it's a far superior machine.

Just my 2 cents worth.
Old 05-02-2007, 06:27 PM
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Default RE: DF SAVS vs. Trex 600 DIY

One thing about the T-Rex 600 is the battery is $180 and is good for only about 10 minutes, or so I hear. Also, it is literally capable of killing someone if it went out of control (one unfortunate incident of this already). The DF is light and its blades couldn't do too much damage, and you can buy two batteries for $125, and slightly longer flight times. One thing about DFI is that they've been around for a long time - well over 20 years. A lot of these other companies are a flash in the pan. I remember my first helicopter, a Gorman Cricket .30. Back in those days a tail gyro was a luxury, and it would yaw like crazy with small throttle changes - very disorienting. The DF was around $800 even back then, and seemed way out of reach. The last time I talked to the DFI factory they were shipping 3 DFs a day. At least it sounds like they'll be around for awhile for customer support, etc.

-BB
Old 05-02-2007, 07:05 PM
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Default RE: DF SAVS vs. Trex 600 DIY

True, I wouldn't want to fly a nitro heli over a crowd. Mind you, if you crashed your DF into a crowd, while you might not injure someone badly, you're still likely to get sued and perhaps in trouble with some regulatory agency. I've decided that I have no real interest in aerial photography so I'm just flying for the fun of it. For me, a conventional heli makes more sense. I think the DF would be an excellent platform for photography if it had more lifting capacity.
Old 05-02-2007, 09:33 PM
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Default RE: DF SAVS vs. Trex 600 DIY

I don't use my T-rex 600 for AP... It's for club 3D flying and competitions. My batteries cost more like $300-$400 and I get about 7-8 mins. of flight time.
Best Heli for AP (if you can fly a conventional heli) is a Predator gasser, it's Huge, very stable and carry any AP equipment you want with a lift capacity of 15lbs. [X(] ....And it can stay up for about 30 mins. (no smoke and very smooth)
But with a 6 Ft. rotor diameter we only fly it over open areas ( construction sites and land development areas).
We're not doing any AP work now...FAA said it is a no-no. [&o]
Happy Flyin,
Lacey
Old 05-02-2007, 10:42 PM
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Default RE: DF SAVS vs. Trex 600 DIY

Thanks for your insights, Lacey. $400 battery for 8 minute flights? Yow! You must be pretty brave to risk all that hardware doing 3D stuff. My flying is less like an Extreme Sport, and more like Tai Chi. I guess when you get older you're just more easily amused .

I'll have to find some info on the Predator just to satisfy my curiosity. It sounds like an impressive beast - I like that. As far as the FAA goes, we're going to see if we can cajole them into issuing us a COA. I'll let you know how that goes...

Cheers,
Bruce
Old 05-02-2007, 10:48 PM
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Default RE: DF SAVS vs. Trex 600 DIY

Good Luck with the FAA...
And here is Info on the Predator: http://www.centuryheli.com/products/...?currentid=335
Lacey
Old 05-02-2007, 10:59 PM
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Default RE: DF SAVS vs. Trex 600 DIY

Thanks for the link. Seems like the Predator sells for a very reasonable price - looks like about the same amount as I just paid for my SAVS! Then the little MicroDrone goes for $20 - $30K. Go figure!

-BB
Old 05-03-2007, 01:36 PM
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Default RE: DF SAVS vs. Trex 600 DIY

That thing's a monster. I love watching big helis like that flying.

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