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Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

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Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

Old 04-29-2006, 10:02 AM
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Default Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

Was just up at Radio Shack when I noticed they now carry the Bladerunner Helicopter that everybody seems to love in a cheap indoor helicopter. Around last Christmas they were selling a small indoor copter that got good reviews from this forum, but they don't sell them anymore. The clerk opened the box for me so I could get at the instructions and check things out. Here's what I found...

The unit is 2 channel (up/down, left/right). As I've heard on these forums, you can go forward or back by simply adjusting the COG before a flight. It claims the controller is digital "full control" and the TX runs on one 9V. The copter it's self has two blades that are guarded by a ring around them. It looks to be of pretty good quality. The unit does use a lipo but I could find no details on the capacity or how many cells. I would assume it's a single cell? It comes with a seperate charger that runs on 4 C cells. I examined the charge port to see if I could replicate it for use on my own lipo charger. It's a plug I've never seen before so it looks like I'll have to cut off the lead from the charger for use with my Celectra 1 to 3 cell lipo charger. Still, I'd like to know how many cells the battery is and what it's MA raiting is as well so I can safely charge it using my own. Anybody know?

The box also doesn't indicate what version Bladerunner this is...one, two...or ? I'm going to assume it's probably version two or newer as the copyright date on the box says 2006. I'll be picking one of these up within a few days but would like to fill in the above questions before buying it. Thoughts, impressions, opinions on the Bladerunners welcome.
Old 04-29-2006, 10:20 AM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

Just did a search of the web and this Radio Shack "exclusive" version of the Bladerunner is advertised as being a "smaller version of the Bladerunner II". It also mentions it has a red flashing led but I didn't notice that in the store. That's all I know. I'd like some expert opinion on this thing's durability, lipo size, etc.
Old 04-29-2006, 10:36 AM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

Just checked Radio Shack's website. They didn't have a picture of the copter posted yet but I think I found the right one based on it's description. If I did in the tech specs section it says the battery is 250ma.
Old 04-29-2006, 02:02 PM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

Ended up going back up and purchased this chopper. I've never flown an RC heli before (well, once for a few seconds) so take this with a grain of salt. I know this thing is meant for indoor or perfectly calm days but I wanted to try it in the backyard first. There was slight wind, probably too much for it. First thing I noticed was it has a stupid speed control that must be reset whenever it's first turned on by moving the throttle to full and then back to off. Next thing I noticed (and this is in the instructions so it's true) is that if the rotors are hit by anything, even for a split second, the unit shuts down and you can not power it back up unless you turn the helicopter off and then back on again. This is VERY tedious as almost every attempted flight I made resulted in me hitting something and having to turn it off and back on again. The on/off switch on it's bottom is not very easy to get to being so small. I wish they could have found a better method of reseting it such as the TX throttle on/off procedure which you have to do the first time you turn on the TX anyway. Once that's done it never needs done again until the TX is turned off, regardless of whether the copter is turned off and on to reset it. Is having to turn the copter off and on if the rotors bind a normal procedure with other Bladerunners? Anyway, I did manage a few short flights but found the unit very hard to keep control of. I'm sure this was because I have zero experience and was flying with slightly windy conditions. I'm going to try some indoor flights and if I don't get better at this thing and find it has good control then back it goes to Radio Shack. Not really knocking it yet as I'm too new at this thing to give a good review.
Old 04-29-2006, 07:05 PM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

if the heli you have has only two blades per rotor, is only 2 channel, and has a cage around the rotors, its probably the Spin Blade helicopter. the BladeRunner has 4 blades per rotor, is 3 channels, and has no cage. both the spinblade and BR are meant for indoor use only, especially the BR (even a very light gust can crash it). both are cool helis, and both can be modded endlessly.

here's a thread on the BladeRunner: http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_2601563/tm.htm

i attatched a pic of the SpinBlade heli. if it is the spinblade, dont get rid of it, i think they may have stopped production on them already.

nick
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Old 04-30-2006, 07:30 AM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

Sounds a lot like an annoying version of the spin blade. They stopped selling those after I bought one...and I'm not too fond of two channel helis. You don't have any control over forward movement The flashing LED you mentioned was one of the things the Spin Blade had. They must have made a "newer" verson of it. I say switch back to the old!
Old 04-30-2006, 09:30 AM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

No, it's a Bladerunner for sure because it says so right on the package. It's a Radio Shack exclusive version of the Bladerunner, a bit smaller than Bladerunner II. It does have a flashing light on the bottom. I'm taking it back today because the TX stopped working. The power light on the TX won't come on anymore and there is no control to the copter. Yep, it's a fresh battery in the TX so that isn't the problem. So far I'm not too impressed. Don't plan to get another until I hear some good input on it. The "rotor overloading" function in which you have to turn off and then back on the copter if the blades are bumped is a real pain.
Old 04-30-2006, 12:48 PM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

this is the first i've heard about radio shack selling the BR. i know up in canada they were, but not here. it must be new, i'll have to keep my eyes open, i havent flown a BR in a long time. if you can get some pictures, that would be excellent.

nick
Old 05-01-2006, 09:46 AM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

After about five or six flights the transmitter stopped working on the unit. The power light would no longer come on. I was already a bit tweaked by the constant "overload" rotor protection circuit that had me constantly turning the copter off and back on to reset it. When the transmitter stopped working this was the final straw for me so I just went up and got my money back. Now, I'm not saying it's not a good copter because I simply have no experience flying one. The overloading was probably ocurring due to my poor skills at flying the thing, often bumping into something. The unit looks of good quality and it probably flys pretty good provided you are indoors or in a now wind situation. Still, I feel I'll wait to buy another until I hear some good feedback from more experience micro copter users. If you go to bladerunner's website they have a picture and overview of it and it even says it's a Radio Shack exclusive, being smaller than bladerunner II. It does feature the red blinking light on the bottom and a little toy guy to rescue via a hook. It is the version that uses a 4 C box to charge the copter. Look forward to more input on it before I try again.
Old 05-01-2006, 04:48 PM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

i'm kinda surprised i havent heard anything about this. i check the BladeRunner forum almost every day and there wasnt a single word about it. very cool though. if its anything like its larger sibling, it'll always need a bit of tweaking, even right out of the box, and usually after almost every flight. it can be a pain sometimes, but when its set up right, they can fly pretty well.

since the RS version is only 2 channel, you could adjust the CG to get it flying forward as fast as possible before the rotors clashed, but thats still not very fast (they're just not meant to go any faster than a slow walk, by design). what i cant wait to get is the Micro Mosquito that'll be coming out. 6" rotors!

thanks for the heads up on the heli, i'll pick one up as soon as i can find one.

nick
Old 05-04-2006, 07:49 PM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

Warning: The Radio Shack "Mini-Blade Runner" is not a "Blade Runner" The RS Mini-BR is only two channel. There is no horizontal rotor on the tail.

I just got the Radio Shack Mini-BR in the mail, and I feel totally ripped off. Real "Blade Runner" RC copters have 3 CH with full forward/reverse control.
Old 05-04-2006, 09:08 PM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

its not a BladeRunner, no, its a mini BladeRunner. you can see in the pics there's to tail motor. techincally, it is a BR, because of the rotor design, they just simplified things a bit.

i think the reason they didnt add the tail motor is because the BR doesnt have much forward flight to begin with. even with the tail motor. without adding the tail motor, they could make a less complicated RX with only 2 channels, save some weight, shrink the whole thing a bit, and make it only 50 bucks. if nothing else, you could use the RX to make a load of twin engine airplanes like the AA.

how big is the rotor diameter?

nick
Old 05-08-2006, 11:16 PM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

Radio Shack Mini Blade Runner, Mini-Review
http://www.interactivetoy.com/helicopters.htm

The RS Mini-BR is a 2CH version of the 3CH Blade Runner. It goes up/down, turns left/right and always a very, very slow forward crawl. The controller has a trim to center the left/right.

The Mini-BR is very easy to fly, much easier than the previous Spin-Blade Heli that Radio Shack sold. The most annoying feature is the need to constantly adjust the trim while in flight. The 2nd most annoying thing is the very very slow forward crawl (much slow than the Spin-Blade), yet this makes it very easy to fly, especially in a small area.

The Mini-BR comes with a little toy army man with hooks on his head. There is a loop of rope on the Heli to hook the man. This task is quite easy, given the slow rate of forward crawl.

Again, the Mini-BR heli is very slow. Its fine for playing around in a tiny room or a table top. Its far too slow forward to fly around a moderate sized room. You'll be boored to death, before it travels 2 meters forward. As a child toy, this could actually be a good feature.

---end of review---

PS I bought the RS Mini-BR for my kids. Our next toy Heli will be the Winner 3CH from Hobbytron. Its in the mail. $45 including shipping. I'll post a review here when it arrives.
http://www.hobbytron.com/Winner-Full...elicopter.html
Old 05-09-2006, 10:54 AM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

Yes, the auto shut off is a pain, but not nearly as painful as a prop or blade spewing finger parts on your carpet. I am personally familiar with that pain. The auto shut off after a hard knock is likely designed to keep your lithium polymer batteries from overloading and exploding. There are a number of videos on the web that show this and other problems with Li-po's. Fortunately, this one hasn't gotten me yet, but it's a safe bet that it will sooner or later.

I bought a Radio Shack Blade Runner because I needed a simulator that allows me to practice controlling an RC aircraft as it approaches me. It does this very well. Now, I am having a real blast with the the little bird and am seriously thinking about getting a Lama II next. The wandering problem doesn't bother me much, because it is easily controlled with the Left/Right stick. I'm guessing that the yawing problem is caused by the variable speeds of the twin blade; when you turn, one of the blades slows down and causes the heli to yaw to the left or right . Unfortunately, this problem plagues all helicopters, even the real ones. The helicopter pilot is always going to have to "fly the stick". It's the way they work.

The upside is the fact that you can fly the bird at night with high winds and blinding snowstorms, because all of that horrible weather is outside and you aren't. Moreover, later, after you have mastered a full function chopper, you'll be able to say with impunity that you did something that most folks can't. The Blade Runner is a good start.

Besides, what do you want for 50 bucks, already?
Old 05-19-2006, 02:18 PM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

i finally picked one of these up today. its cute

i took it out of its box, threw some batteries in it and gave it a test run for a minute or two just to make sure everything worked right, and it did. its weight right out of the box is 45 grams, after removing the foam canopy and replacing the plastic rotor spacer with cilicone tubing, the weight dropped to 41.7 grams. the little army guy weighs just a little over 3 grams.

the motors are the same N20s that are in the standard BR and BRIIs, the RX is differant, since its only 2 channel, but the CG is set so that it crawls forward just a hair slower than the BR with full forward throttle (either way, its not that quick, but then again, its not supposed to be). after removing the foam canopy and replacing the plastic rotor spacer, i lubed everything that moved with liquid graphite, then charged it up and flew it. the standard BRs flew for 5 to 10 minutes, and the motors would get pretty warm, so you usually had to take a few brakes in between flights so as not to ruin the motors quickly. but, this little thing ran for FOURTEEN MINUTES! only time i stopped was to bring it down or catch it when it was getting too close to the walls or ceiling, and that took all of about 5 seconds. and, after flying for 14 minutes, almost continiously, the same BR N20 motors were barely warmer than room temp. thats amazing, if you ask me. lubing the heli up helps a LOT, and the graphite lube is some of the best stuff to use.

i didnt use the right stick on the TX even once, steering was smoothed out nicely by just using the trim knob. all in all, this thing actually out performs the standard BRs. the charger that comes with it does a much better job of charging, and the battery seems to have no problem handling the load (never even got warm during the flight). sweet little heli, worth the 50 bucks. now i have to get the KA-50 BR, but thats 120 dollars...well worth it too i'm sure.

oh, and i never had any problems with the auto cutoff, even after getting sucked up into the ceiling and rubbing the rotor rings on the wall once or twice. the throttle arming is the same as the BR too, turn the TX on, push the throttle to full and bring it back down and its ready to go. this is just for a fail safe. the throttle stick is also spring loaded, so i'll be removing that sometime soon, i hate those.
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Old 05-20-2006, 06:57 PM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

Micro Builder, glad to hear somebody with experience give this thing a positive review. Some time this summer I'll head back up and pick one up again. And, as for the slow forward movement, can't the COG be adjusted to speed it's forward movement up a bit? Fourteen minutes? Cool...
Old 05-21-2006, 01:02 AM
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Default RE: Radio Shack Now Has Bladerunner Heli, $49!

yep, if you were to remove the foam body, you can untape the battery from the frame, bend the little tab down that holds the lipo in place, and slide it forward. you cant move it forward much though, the wires going to the lipo to the RX are pretty short, but you wouldnt want to move it forward too much or it'll crash easier.

nick

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