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Done with HeliMax from here on out...

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Done with HeliMax from here on out...

Old 01-26-2007, 12:32 AM
  #1  
VBDave
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Default Done with HeliMax from here on out...

The more I examine these forums and my heli itself.. I won't waste another dime on anything from HeliMax again. *Sigh*

A fair warning to anyone looking for pre-sales information, here you go:

The AXE CP Looks like a decent bird for the price. Nice Sturdy airframe, good tail holding tail motor, etc..etc..
That seems to be where the polish ends...

The rotor/head assembly is worse than poor! If you touch anything with the blades you'll probably find yourself weeks (or months) waiting for Blade Grip replacements.

Once you can manage to get replacements and get the head taken apart and put back together, you'll most likely find that your Heli now shakes uncontrollably and is un-flyable. This leads to trying to re-balance everything, probably replacing the feathering shaft in the process, maybe main rotor shaft too. But wait, it still shakes? You don't say? Well, that's most likely because of the brilliant decision to use Covered Balsa wings with a toothpick sized (technical terms there) screw to hold them in place. Guess what happens when you hit something with the business end of the blades? The force travels right to the blade grips, breaks the ball link that's extended too far / fragile in design, AND... tears the blade screw through the Balsa, widening it since there's no sleeve to help reinforce the hole that little screw goes through!
(This is why the Blade CP blades have the plastic end at the blade grip mount, to stop them from tearing.)
Now you've replaced most of the Rotor Head and have blades that sag and won't track properly because of the reamed out mounting hole in them from the blade screw..


So now you're down ~$50 or more in parts and weeks to months waiting for parts, on what should be a 'minor' blade strike.

You COULD get suckered into paying the ~$240 for the CNC replacement head parts, but did you forget... the Heli only costs $199 or less?
( And that won't help you a bit with tearing your next set of replacement wooden blades ) or did you also fall for the $65.00 CF Blades?


Note: I still haven't had to replace any of the cheap servos that people have reported breaking, but I can see the server arms flex with every input on the stick so I'm expecting broken arms or stripped gears soon enough.


You can try to say "It's a new bird, so there's bound to be some kinks to get worked out." But this isn't their first model. I've personally never been into model building but I can tell you I'd KNOW better than to make the wings out of Balsa without some type of reinforcing sleeve or mount at the stress point!


I guess I shoulda just went with a Raptor 30 V2 from the start. At the rate this Axe is eating money I'm gonna be around the same $$ Ballpark soon. lol

You can go ahead and throw $450 worth of CNC'd Parts, CF Blades, LiPo battery packs and charger at yours. I'm already sick of being nickel and dime'd to death with this paper weight.

-Dave

PS: Not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but my swashplate also over tilts and the plastic bearing housing grinds on the main shaft.. ?

Pretty Box, Pretty Bird, Just don't fly it and you're safe.
Old 01-26-2007, 05:38 AM
  #2  
ElectricHead
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

What do you expect for a entry heli that cost $200.00 for the whole package? I have an Axe CP also so I know what the machine is. Is it the best quality? No. Is it a 3D aero demon burning up the sky? No. Will it teach you how to hover and forward flight? Yes. For me the Axe is a starter heli just like the little bike or trike you learned to ride as a kid. Gets you started into heli's and then from there you can move up to bigger better precission machines if you wish to do so.
I crashed yesterday and I know your pain. Busted my blade grips, Flybar stablizer control hub, center hub, tail boom , and tail motor mount. Went to LHS about an hour after crash and they had 13 packs of blade grips, now only 12 packs. All other parts will be waiting for me this afternoon. The guy at the LHS crashed the shop Axe and the LHS orderd a whole bunch of parts for repairs. Will I spend $240 for metal head on Axe? Hell no! Its just a starter. If I was going to spend that much I would be better off to buy a T-rex or MX450.
BTW iI cut the lead weights out of my first set of blades and it seemed to be made of basswood,not balsa. My LHS is selling CF blades for $45 and I do not plan on spending that much because this is just a starter heli.
My long term plan is to learn to fly this starter and then purchase a T-rex 600. Now you can talk about some jack. Batteries for that .50 size heli are $170 for some Align packs to about $300 for kick butt FlightPower packs.

Old 01-26-2007, 12:08 PM
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Bax
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

We regret the fact that some of the parts are delayed in arrival. The good news is that THOUSANDS of parts are coming in.
Old 01-26-2007, 02:30 PM
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VBDave
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...


Well, I'm ALMOST Done with HeliMax... lol

Picked up Swash Plate, Main Shaft, Feathering Spindle today from one of the LHS's. (Still have the same set coming from mail order, but couldn't wait to give it one last try...)

If she wobbles after this, it'll be time to pickup a Raptor 30V2 (MAYBE... Raptor 50) Guess I gotta sell a few more ads and hide the cash from the Mrs. lol
Old 01-26-2007, 03:35 PM
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calcop
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

I understand your fustration. Mine is not with HeliMax -- it is with electric! I'm saving up for the Kenetic.
Old 01-26-2007, 04:49 PM
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

ORIGINAL: Bax

We regret the fact that some of the parts are delayed in arrival. The good news is that THOUSANDS of parts are coming in.
The thing I am most curious about is why in the world are the HeliMax AXE CNC parts often two or three times more expensive than other comparable helis? And how can you justify selling CF blades for the AXE for $60. That is like hiway robbery and adding insult to injury and a sure fire way to encourage others to look elsewhere for parts.

I know several new flyers in the market for a micro heli, and many long time flyers, who after looking at upgrade parts and OEM parts gave a thumbs down to the AXE.

Anything to say on this, Bax?

Carl
Old 01-26-2007, 06:35 PM
  #7  
Armhunter
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

Not only that... I did buy the CNC blade grips... And I encourage everyone to stay away from them. Once installed they are very loose. One side will be nice and secure and the other side will be so loose it will cause a very bad vibration. I decided to get some plastic ones, and the problem as disappeared.. There was another guy on here who said the same thing about his CNC grips..
Old 01-26-2007, 06:57 PM
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Two Handed Axe
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

ElectricHead what LHS did you get your grips from?
Old 01-27-2007, 01:07 AM
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Heliko
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

I got an easy solution for all those overpriced aluminum parts. Don't buy 'em! I'm not. I'm just gonna fly it, fix it when I break it and move on to something better.

I will say this. After all these parts issues (price and availability) I too am completely soured to hobbico and helimax. When I first bought the Axe I thought of it as a stepping stone to the MX400 or 450, but now I wouldn't even consider them. My next heli as of now will be the CCPM TREX 450.
Old 01-27-2007, 11:42 AM
  #10  
dave3913
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

I've got to tell you...Its not the helicopter....its your inexperience.....no helicopter takes a crash well...thats the nature of the sport...the smartest thing you could do is buy a simulator....practice till you can hover head in....piroette...succesful turns and landings...then the axe will seem like its much better quality....
Old 01-27-2007, 12:31 PM
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PilotLight
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

There are a lot of complaints about parts, but you wouldn't need 'em if you didn't crash 'em. There are other helis to learn on, then graduate to this one. I, like alot of other newbies, decided to get this one first. Our lack of patients shouldn't be Heli-max's problem.
Old 01-27-2007, 12:46 PM
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wildchild45177
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

The parts crunch is a problem, however a sim will avoid alot of the problem. I too went for the AXE, and after another$100 in parts, went and got G3.5, now I just hit the reset. When I'm ready, I'll get the real thing back out and try it again.

Bob

PS Check the flybar. I had a bad shake after a crash, could not even see it, until it was removed and rolled on a flat surface. It was straightened and reinstalled, Shake gone.
Old 01-27-2007, 04:00 PM
  #13  
VBDave
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

In a perfect world we'd have a reset button the real thing.. lol

I've got close to 60 hours on G3.5 and a few dozen flights on my AXE now... But EVERYBODY crashes.. Radio Glitch, Servo Gears, Un-Planned Wind gusts, etc..

Hell, I'm doing rolls, flips, inverted hovers, forward and backward rolling circles, etc.. on G3.5 in 20mph winds! (Well, on the Raptor 90SE anyways.. lol) I split my time between the AXE CP and Raptors when on the SIM. The most important thing I think I've gotten out of the sim was.. Don't be afraid of the bird! Relax, don't over compensate.

But...

When the inevitable happens, you shouldn't be 3-5+ weeks waiting the most common parts either. The cost of ownership on this bird is insane to be frank. I can deal with replacement parts being a little higher than the other guys, but the upgrade costs are unreal. CF blades, CNC Head.. you gotta be kidding me. You can buy a set of CF blades for any of the 'Big birds' for what the little AXE blades cost.

$200.00 or not. We all paid to have a WORKING product. When I crash mine, sure.. it's my fault. If you read my other post about 'Am I the only One....' you'll get a better understanding of why I'M tainted against HeliMax personally. It's not just the parts supply, it's the fact it looks like a 3rd grader assembled mine. You know you could get a Walkera with full metal head for ~$300, right? I know there's problems with the assembly from the factory on those too, but knowing that going in you'd at least get a more rugged bird to deal with. hehe

Don't get me wrong, I AM having fun with the AXE. It's just that ownership is a Dr Jeckyl / Mr Hyde thing.

Bad spacing arrangement of tail rotor to tail motor gear.
Stripping Servo Gears.
Servo Arms snapping off.
Extremely weak Blade Grip-link shafts (too long)
Parts Demand is 10x Supply
Main rotor balancing issues from as little as a 'rough' landing in the skids.
[VERY POOR Assembly on my personal Heli. Wires not soldered, cold solder joints in transmitter, etc..]

I hadn't seen a Walkera first hand until after I picked up my AXE so that wasn't a choice at the time. I had a Blade CX and was looking at the CP/CP Pro but the overall design looked better on the AXE CP so that's what went with. Hindsight is 20/20. I probably shoulda just waited another month and went to the Raptor 30 V2, but I didn't want the mess of fuel at the time either.
(by the way, the Walkera I saw at one of our LHS (they have an indoor flying/driving area) was rock solid. Owner replaced the radio with a DX6 I think it was and that's it. Not sure the model but he said it was the Trexx 450 class?) I'll definately be going to at LEAST a 30 class nitro this spring, possibly 50 class.

Old 01-27-2007, 07:31 PM
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

As a polite rebuttal

I love my Axe. I have replaced a set of blade grips, feathering shaft, 3 sets of main blades and put 3 hs-55 servos in it.

At this pont it is rock solid perfect tracking can't praise the HS-55 enough. As for parts yea you might have to wait a litle as its new and demand is high but if you search around you can find what you need. learning to fly these takes patience right but when we need parts thats all thrown out we want it NOW. To me waiting for parts if I have to is my punishment for dumb thumbs. I also have a Falcon 3d same story on parts but I have had it for 2 months and never crashed it. In those two months parts were scarce or not at all as hobby lobby is only vender now they have all the parts in stock. At least the Axe is everywhere. I also have a blade cpp parts are easy to find but I have not flown it since I picked up the Axe. To sum up Yes the cnc parts are over priced and I will never buy them Yes the stock servos aare[>:] Crap but over all it is a solid and IMHO a grat first copter. I"ts short commings do not make me hate or stay away from helimax. My 2 cents

Gary

PS using philips head screws for the feathering shaft is a sin and Helimax should be punished for that[sm=punching.gif]
Old 01-28-2007, 10:15 PM
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turkey721
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

I don't see the problem, tower hobbies carries all the parts needed. They have them in stock and ship them at a reduced charge express. The CNC parts are crazy priced, maybe someone or a lot of someones write hobbico and ask why. Heck you can build a cnc head complete for a blade cp for about $150. But I choose the axe on the fact of the frame, skids etc. As compared to a blade it is alot better. I learned sometime ago things break. This hobby cost $$$. That is why there are far fewer heli pilots than any other rc sport. As for a raptor .30 or larger they are going to be more stable because of size, but if the cost of parts for the axe make you sick you ain't seen nothin yet
Old 01-28-2007, 10:57 PM
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garydogwood
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

lol. hey it's not just helimax. i buddy of mine has a blade cx2. we spent all day visiting and calling local shops and internet shops looking for a set of lower blades. apparantly none exist and every place has them on backorder. plenty of upper blades but no lower blades. one hobby shop owner says this has become a frequent occurance. by the way, tried locating a Specktrum AR6000 / AR6100 receiver lately? they also don't exist. i believe a big part of the problem is that there are only a handful of (very large) dirtributors and they get all there stuff from China (surprise). kind of at their mercy. yea, it sucks to crash; but shouldn't have to wait weeks / months to get a common part. it is not the hobby shops fault either. they want those parts to sell as much as we want to buy them.

lucky for my buddy the local Hobbytown USA had a blade cx2 they were using for cannibalization. They gave him the one lower blade he needed (no charge). this is the same shop that previously cannibalized a DX6 radio set so i could buy the AR6000 receiver (for the same price as all the mail order places that carry them but were out of stock). that is one fine hobby shop.

gw.
Old 01-29-2007, 10:57 AM
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dfalcon
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

I came into the same thing a while back when I bought a Hirobo XRB Llama just after they were released. I think it was the lower blades that would break at even the slightest hint of a hard landing. About a month after I bought the thing, I was out of lower blades (they're made of foam and break, not chip) and I couldn't find them anywhere!

lucky for my buddy the local Hobbytown USA had a blade cx2 they were using for cannibalization. They gave him the one lower blade he needed (no charge). this is the same shop that previously cannibalized a DX6 radio set so i could buy the AR6000 receiver (for the same price as all the mail order places that carry them but were out of stock). that is one fine hobby shop.
That doesn't sound like a bad place to have around...
Old 01-29-2007, 02:15 PM
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bryon261
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

helimax is just a starter heli ..check into the falcon its cool. p.s. now i know why my blades sag...
Old 01-29-2007, 08:30 PM
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Heliko
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

Seems like part shortages are just part of the new release of a heli. I guess people buying the Axe CP a year from now probably will not have these issues.

I did see one good sign today as I was checking Tower for parts availibility, C/F blades dropped $18 in price. Hopefully this is just the start.
Old 01-29-2007, 10:57 PM
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bryon261
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

ithink the reason for my blades sagging is when i rebuilt the hub i couldn't get the blade grips as tight to the hub as i wanted. i wonder if i need some sort of c-clamp. if i reef on those screws any more i'll strip out the heads.. any ideas?
Old 01-30-2007, 05:28 AM
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ElectricHead
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

After I got the screws out of the feathering spindle I replaced them with 2mm x 6mm socket head cap screws (hex screws).
The use of Philips screws here is BS. Remember to use Loc-Tite on screws and if they ever are too hard to remove, Just put the tip of a soldering iron on the screw and heat up the Loc-Tite and it will come loose. I had to do this to remove the original screws but be carefull not to melt your blade grips. If your blade grips are too loose then you may try putting extra washers on screws to compress the blade grip bearing.
Old 01-30-2007, 10:29 AM
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dfalcon
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

ORIGINAL: bryon261

ithink the reason for my blades sagging is when i rebuilt the hub i couldn't get the blade grips as tight to the hub as i wanted. i wonder if i need some sort of c-clamp. if i reef on those screws any more i'll strip out the heads.. any ideas?
Do you mean that you were physically unable to tighten them all the way? Or if you tightened them the blade grips weren't free to move?

If 'yes' is the answer to the second question, you're going to have collective problems. The heli will at times 'hop' into the air a few inches or in bad cases a few feet while you're trying to hover. That little washer holding the blade grip on (between the phillips head screw and the ball bearing within the blade grip) is cupped just the slightest bit. The convex side needs to face the ball bearing so that it contacts the inner ring of the ball bearing. I had this happen, and I suspected the electronics were the problem until someone made me aware of this problem--flipping that tiny washer around made all the difference though.

If it's the first question that's the problem, my only thought is you've possibly cross-threaded one of the screws when you put it back in....? I dunno.
Old 01-30-2007, 07:49 PM
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bryon261
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

what really stinks is that you have to use two phillips screw drivers one on each grip in order to loosen or tighten screws, if you don't the shaft will turn. i also talked to tech support , they suggested using a hair dryer on the grips ,thats what the do. i also told them of the all the issues everyone at this forum is having with the axe. tech right now is trying a futaba system in the axe. he seemed interested in feed back, or he was just stroking me.
Old 01-30-2007, 08:10 PM
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bryon261
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...

once there tight, you can see alittle gap between the grip and hub, yes there is a washer there , and one on each screw. tech support suggested a hair dryer to heat the grips to seat bearings ,it didn't work. i have no problems in flight but there is vertical movement in the blades when there not turning. not much. this has also forced me to adjust tracking of the blades. since its under warranty tech support is willing to send me new grips. i might as well get the rest of the parts and built a second rotor assy.
Old 01-31-2007, 02:23 PM
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Default RE: Done with HeliMax from here on out...


ORIGINAL: bryon261

ithink the reason for my blades sagging is when i rebuilt the hub i couldn't get the blade grips as tight to the hub as i wanted. i wonder if i need some sort of c-clamp. if i reef on those screws any more i'll strip out the heads.. any ideas?
mine only did this when using CNC grips... So i went right back to plastic.. and now it is as firm as it was when I bought it..

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