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HK-450 clone electrics

Old 02-01-2013, 06:39 PM
  #26  
JetPlaneFlyer
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
I applaud your optimism ... all Heli guys I know warn me away from TT tails until I can fly well .. I see guys strip the plastic bevel gears in them ..
Nigel,
I should have asked about belt vs. tube before ordering.. First time out and first flight I landed it, not too bad considering, but slightly tail down and the tail rota caught in the grass and stripped the bevel gear that drives the torque tube

I'm actually not too disappointed because the gears are cheap and this heli was actually far easier to fly than the cheap helis I've tried before. The flybarless controller seems to do a remarkable job of keeping it stable, though setting it all up was a challenge!

I'll have to fly it from a smoother surface from now on. The grass seemed like a good idea to make for softer impacts but it snags the tail.
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:45 PM
  #27  
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Just an update on my progress with this heli.. First the damage: - I've busted a couple of bevel gears on the tail drive, they are very fragile, especially the cheap clone ones. I've also busted the landing skids (again pretty brittle plastic on the clone) and also one vertical fin. None of this damage was from what I'd describe as a 'crash' just slight heavy landings. Flying on grass was what causes the tail drive problems, a hard surface seems better.

Anyway the good news is this heli is soooo much easier than the ones I tried in the past. I'm not sure if it's the flybarless set up but either way its far more stable and locked in than anything I've tried previously. I'm now at a place where I can consistently keep in in a controlled hover for a full battery pack, even with a fresh breeze blowing. This is much better than I ever hoped at this stage. Next step is to get my orientation with the heli at 90degrees and 'nose in', hopefully not a problem given that I'm used to orientation with fixed wing.

Steve

PS.. the ZYX-S flybarless controller has proved to be fantastic: http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...dProduct=24522
It was very intimidating to set up as there are no instructions with it, lots of googling and forum reading was required. But once you get the thing figured out it really performs great.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:36 PM
  #28  
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I've been flying the HK-450 for a couple of months now and it's really gone a lot better than I ever hoped. After initially stripping a few gears on the tail drive I've not damaged any more. I think the difference is that I got some genuine Align gears which seem a lot stronger. I have had one 'proper' crash which meant new rotors and a few other bits and pieces, but this really wasn't my fault, I was hovering about 8' up and it just lost power. I don't really know what caused it, the battery was fine. Just as a precaution I got myself a new ESC, one of the YEP 45 amp jobs from Hobbyking which is highly rated for heli use, no problems since, fingers crossed.

I've now got enough confidence to actually move the heli around a bit rather than just hover in front of myself. I'm really quite enjoying this heli thing!

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Old 04-06-2013, 03:02 AM
  #29  
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The speed / edf / pusher bug has got me and my Heli is sitting there hardly flown for months, apart from odd hops now and again in the garden.

But talking to another guy in my group who has upgraded his Copter-X to Flybarless ... he reckons it changed a twitchy machine into a rock-steady model. He's 100% for FBL now ...
I have to say that he lept forward in flight capability after fitting it.

Nigel
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:30 PM
  #30  
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Been getting lots of flights in on the heli and the quality (or lack thereof) of some of the clone parts is starting to show itself.

First thing to go was the bevel drive gears to the tail. They stripped at the slightest contact between tail rotor and earth. Replaced with genuine align parts and never a problem since.

With multiple flights I'm starting to get wear and play in a few key places. The tail rotor control mechanism has become very 'sloppy'. The swash plate also developed excessive play. All of this made the 450 a bit 'loose feeling' to fly.

I still think the HK-450 is good value but there is no doubt that to some extent you do get what you pay for. I'm enjoying the heli so I decided to upgrade to genuine align DFC rotor head, swashplate and tail unit. Went for the latest type of tail with a yoke type control arm on the tail rotor slider which should much reduce slop even once there is a bit of wear in the linkages.

Will report back on what difference my investment makes.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:30 PM
  #31  
solentlife
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Originally Posted by JetPlaneFlyer View Post
Been getting lots of flights in on the heli and the quality (or lack thereof) of some of the clone parts is starting to show itself.
But at price of clone parts - there's no reason why you cannot swap out more often questionable parts

First thing to go was the bevel drive gears to the tail. They stripped at the slightest contact between tail rotor and earth. Replaced with genuine align parts and never a problem since.
I'll try not to say - Told you so !!

With multiple flights I'm starting to get wear and play in a few key places. The tail rotor control mechanism has become very 'sloppy'. The swash plate also developed excessive play. All of this made the 450 a bit 'loose feeling' to fly.

I still think the HK-450 is good value but there is no doubt that to some extent you do get what you pay for. I'm enjoying the heli so I decided to upgrade to genuine align DFC rotor head, swashplate and tail unit. Went for the latest type of tail with a yoke type control arm on the tail rotor slider which should much reduce slop even once there is a bit of wear in the linkages.

Will report back on what difference my investment makes.
The older 450 SE and before had yoke style tail control and it's available via various online people ... I don't like the single arm type and have been considering swapping out to the yoke.
One change to tail part that is really good ... the Tarot single piece tail fitting. Gets rid of the silly block mount type that others have ... but still accepts all standard slider / rotor parts to it. But then again - it's belt not rod drive.

It's been some time since you got this 450 ... so I reckon you have had your moneys worth ? Compare prices of Align to your HK450 + parts ... bet you are still clear !

Nigel
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:42 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
It's been some time since you got this 450 ... so I reckon you have had your moneys worth ? Compare prices of Align to your HK450 + parts ... bet you are still clear !
Nigel,

Yeah, no question. it's amazing value.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:29 PM
  #33  
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Helis sure are a new learning curve. As well as actually flying, maintenance is a whole new ball game compared to fixed wing. This is no doubt made worse when you fly 'cheapo' clone helis, all the moving parts of which seem to wear out very quickly.

The last problem was a sudden in-flight failure of the bevel gears that drive the tail rotor which cost me new rotors. The bearings on the bevel gears had gone which allowed the gears to partially disengage and eventually strip. The cheapo HobbyKing cyclic servos had also come to the end of their life having developed lots of play and a notchy action.

All is now fixed and working fine again. It's almost upgraded to 100% Align! If I were to but a 450 today I'd just bite the bullet and shell out for the genuine Align kit. When you add it all up it probably works out similar in cost but you save a lot of hassle replacing busted and worn out stuff.

After having been flying a multi rotor with self levelling for a while, the collective heli was a shock to the system. Boy did i miss that self levelling! After a few tricky flights I got my brain back into CC heli mode and I managed to rise to my usual abysmal standard of heli flying, in fact I might even be slightly improving in baby steps.

One thing that i still cant fully get to grips with is maintaining constant stable altitude. It's a constant effort on the throttle to maintain anything like steady altitude, gust make it much worse.. any tipe (I've tried calibrating the ESC and using throttle and pitch curve adjustments, which help but don't cure the problem.



A few more flights and I will look at setting up a flight mode for 3D flying with reverse pitch and think about trying a loop
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:23 PM
  #34  
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I hate to bust your bubble, but Align parts wear out too. On 450 sized helis it is very common to go through bearings quite often especially those in the tail area. It has been my experience (4 450 helis) that the Align umbrella gears aren't much more durable than the clones. There are a few parts that are clearly superior over clones such as swashplates and tail bushings.
To help make your heli more stable you must increase your headspeed. Are you flying in normal mode or idle up? What are your pitch and throttle curves?
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:19 PM
  #35  
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JPF,

It's been awhile since I let loose of my 450's...so bare with me.

I'm sure, now that you have a Trex, the gyro and servos (digital) provided are much better than the clone stuff you had previously and you can tell the difference....that said, I'm not sure whether your'e set-up in "hold-heading" head lock or conventional....flying sport or general.....are fly-bar or fly-barless.....rotating, idle-up or hovering....a little more info would be nice.

Since stable lift and decent are products of both your blade pitch, blade speed and gyro settings....the most common fix with that issue is the combination of pitch and gyro settings and whether or not your'e flying in the standard mode or in Idle-Up (which increases the head speed) which also requires different blade pitch curves.

Here's a couple of pitch curves I found comfortable:

General (standard) flight and hoveing - throttle positions 1 thru 5 (1 being idle only, 5 being full throttle)
5 = +9 to 11 degrees @ 100% throttle
4 = 6 to 9 degrees @ 85% throttle
3 = +5 degrees @ 65% to 70% throttle
2 = 1 to 4 degrees @ 40% throttle
1 = 0 degrees (flat) @ idle

Sport flying and low setting Idle-up
5 = +10 degrees @ 100% throttle
4 = +5 degrees @ 85% throttle
3 = +2 degrees @ center stick or 50% throttle
2 = 0 degrees at 40 to 50% throttle
1 = -2 degrees at idle to 40% throttle

Advanced Sport - Idle-up.....to invert and pyro ect.
5 = +9 to +11 @ 100% throttle
4 = +5 to 9 @ 85% throttle
3 = +5 degrees @ 80% throttle
2 = 0 to 5 degrees @ 85% throttle
1 = -5 degrees @ 90% throttle

These settings are also very close to what the Align manual suggests for a finely tuned Trex 450 with paddles......and for an advanced beginner or intermediate CCP pilot.....I've found them to be comfortable (and I could only invert (hover) and auto rotate my birds...no 3D for me)

You should be able to keep a very steady accent/decent (providing you have the tail working in harmony with the gyro and "digital" servo linkage, and your power supply stays constant (high C values are a must) with the above rates.

Also, remember, it is (a little more nerve wracking) but better to set your throttle speeds higher rather than increasing the blade pitch in order to maintain stable acceleration/deceleration.........

If it's a paddle bird, make sure the pitch ratios of the paddles remain consistant through the range cyle of the main blades....otherwise, holding and rotating any pitch through the throttle changes will cause problems like you have experienced as well.

Hope it helps some!

EDIT:

Appears you have gone FBL....after reading through the previous posts........so, the pitch settings I suggested should be ok (give or take a degree or two, but are meant to be used with the fly-bar birds.

Last edited by pizzano; 10-08-2013 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:42 PM
  #36  
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Thanks for the reply.

It's flybarless DFC head with the Tarrot ZYX-S flybarless controller, latest firmware.

I'm flying in 'general', I've not yet tried 'Idle up' (not brave enough). Tail is in heading hold.

I also find high RPM/low pitch to be better, it certainly locks the tail better due to higher RPM. I'll check my throttle /pitch curve and see how closely it correlates with your suggestion, but full throttle is about 9 degrees pitch, so I'm not far off at the top of the range.

I've got a range of batteries but all have pretty good voltage under load. Two are new 65c Nanotec 'A-Spec' and the rest 30c Gens Ace, all perform about the same to be honest.

I calibrated the ESC so that should also be ok.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:11 PM
  #37  
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JPF,

I have not owned a FBL or worked on one.......only flown them. I got out of collecting heli's before the FBL became affordable.....so I'm still in the "old school" world related to set-up.....which still comes in handy since many of my buddies still fly fly-bar birds....lol

I do understand the principal and blade pitch/speed ratios on FBL (mechanically) should be nearly the same as fly-bar...(take out the paddle resistance/weight and balance) factors......the swash plate should be much eaiser to fine tune on FBL also.......I'm just not sure how the gyro and tail servos come into play with the flybarless controllers......

I do know one thing for sure, the FBL's I've flown (450 Trex & 550 Blade) were whole lot more enjoyable than my older 450 Trex clones....and 5 steps easier to adjust trims.....

But, I'm not remotely considering another multi-blade craft unless it's a quad like the Blade 350Q......since I no longer have the nerves or $$$ to keep up with the technology......and I've started to get quite good at flying/reparing/building planes now.....thanks to all the skills I developed repairing CCP's........lol

Last edited by pizzano; 10-08-2013 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:21 AM
  #38  
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pizzano ........... why are you addressing to me ?

a) I'm not FBL's
b) I'm comfortable with my 450's

I appreciate the info and curves ... but I think you have me mixed up with another ?

Nigel
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:56 AM
  #39  
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Sorry Nigel...got u mixed up with JPF while trying to remember my past pitch curves....lol...glad you found the info interesting...
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:38 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by pizzano View Post
Sorry Nigel...got u mixed up with JPF while trying to remember my past pitch curves....lol...glad you found the info interesting...
No problem ... FYI - I have 2 x 450's ... one on Radiolink 6ch 2.4Ghz (based on the old Futaba 6EX) ... basic but works, and other on 9x radio ... which just makes adjusting the 450 out of this world ... with the 3 pots and so on ..
The 9x is based originally on a Heli radio tbh .. so no surprise there.

Nigel
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:26 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by solentlife View Post
No problem ... FYI - I have 2 x 450's ... one on Radiolink 6ch 2.4Ghz (based on the old Futaba 6EX) ... basic but works, and other on 9x radio ... which just makes adjusting the 450 out of this world ... with the 3 pots and so on ..
The 9x is based originally on a Heli radio tbh .. so no surprise there.

Nigel
Yep...pretty familiar with the old Radiolink (Futaba)...it was what I up-graded to (lol) after beating my head against the wall with the 6ch 2.4ghz Exceed PC programable system (which was a POS)......I had 3 450's EXI frame, belt drive (Trex clones mostly Align parts) at one time, two actually flew decent, the other was a basket case for parts......told ya I was old school....lol

I was to cheap and poor at the time to do the right thing and convert all of them over to a Spektrum (or equal) +6ch onboard programable system. Part of the reason I got so frustrated with them and finally bailed out of heli's all together (after 4yr's)......sure got good at mechanical set-ups though....since I was spending more time mod'ing and adjusting then I was flying.....lol....lesson learned. No more cheapie TX/RX's around here anymore or heli's.....just heli parts...lol
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:36 PM
  #42  
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Good thread! Been resisting the purchase of a 450 sized machine because of the cost of a "name brand". Lots of money to crash moving up from a fixed pitch machine!
I've tried to drag myself through the clone threads on other forums but all of them go off into lala land.
A lot of my questions have been answered here, think I may pull the trigger on a belt drive version.
Hope this one doesn't get dragged off topic, I love the way you have been posting through the learning curve with problems and successes and an honest opinion on what you bought. Double thumbs up!
Cheers
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Old 01-10-2014, 04:18 PM
  #43  
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Siberianhusky,

As you are thinking of making a purchase i'll bring you up to date with my experiences.

My HK450 Pro has been 'ok' and succesfully taught me to fly helis, but a year in virtually every moving part and several 'non-moving' parts have been replaced. This has been in the main due to the clone parts wearing out or becoming so sloppy as to badly effect performance.
I've also had a few crashes due to component failure, tail servos and tail drives mainly, that were also due to poor quality parts. These crashes cost me a fair bit to fix.

All the replacement and repair also meant that the heli spent a good while on the workbench when i could have been flying.

My honest advice after a year of ownership would be to find a good second hand 'genuine brand' heli. Not only will this likely work out cheaper in the longer run but the genuine brands retain some second hand retail value, whereas you have to give clones away!

If you chose to ignore this advice then at least invest in good name brand servos. Clone tail servos especially cost me money due to crashes, and I went for some of the more expensive clone servos, not the cheapest. The cyclics didnt cause me crashes but the difference in handling of the heli after fitting good servos was like night and day.
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:04 PM
  #44  
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Thats about what I expect from these really for the price, I've been into just about everything else rc for years, bought the fixed pitch for fun last year wasn't sure I'd really fly it much.
I don't cheap out too often when it comes to servos, I've tried a few without much success in the long run, the one I am having luck with is Savox, but I don't have then in any real serious fail points.
I'm kind of looking at one of these as a "hump" heli, the one I KNOW I'll be crashing, when I have a handle on it I would probably spring for a name brand kit - the electronics from the LHS. By having some good electronics to put in it I'll kind of be passing along a savings.
Thanks for the heads up on what to expect.
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:04 PM
  #45  
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Sounds like you are reasoning along the same lines as I did. I went for the clone heli because I thought I'd probably crash it right away, plus I thought it would be so hard that I'd get put off and I'd go back to solely flying fixed wing. This meant I couldn't justify sinking much money into something i thought I'd probably not fly much.

Turns out that after a year all the crashes that I have had that did any real damage were always due to mechanical failures. Flying the thing really wasn't nearly as hard as I feared it might be.

Sure it's real hard if you want to do fancy stuff, but if you know how to fly fixed wing, and your left thumb accustomed to using rudder in flight, then simple hovering and forward flight really isn't so difficult.

Like I said, the clone 450 did it's job, it's got me past the 'clueless heli newbie' stage. I really enjoy flying the helis now, in fact my fixed wing models are getting quite dusty.:
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