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First CCPM heli, which one?

Old 12-17-2008, 03:25 AM
  #1  
SpotTheCat
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Default First CCPM heli, which one?

I'm getting a $100 heli soon. I'm thinking cheap CCPM, either the eagle 50 (w/LiPoly) or honey bee CP2 (w/LiPoly). I will be using the stock transmitter.

They seem extremely similar, so I have a few questions:
which one flies better as a person's first CCPM?
which one is cheaper to maintian? I'm thinking the eagle 50 because it shares parts with the Venom Night Ranger 3D, Walkera H22E, and RotorFly DragonFly, but I could be wrong.

Does anybody have any other suggestions? Does anybody know of a higher quality $100 helicopter, perhaps four channel with a belt driven tail rotor?
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Old 12-17-2008, 03:32 AM
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Go for the honey bee 2 in my book. I have seen many guys fly these with great success. To be honest I would go for a larger heli, far more stable, but of course that means more money, even better is to get a simulator first, will save you plenty of bucks in the first day of using it.

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Old 12-17-2008, 08:34 AM
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I also need to add that I'm not afraid to build my own, but I can't find any kits that need assembling that are any cheaper (most are more expensive, nicer models). If you know of any "lots of assembly required" helis that offer a discount, I'm all ears. I've got an Aerospace Engineering degree: I'm not bad at this stuff.

Originally Posted by Kirsty_Carnage View Post
Go for the honey bee 2 in my book. I have seen many guys fly these with great success. To be honest I would go for a larger heli, far more stable, but of course that means more money, even better is to get a simulator first, will save you plenty of bucks in the first day of using it.

Kirsty x
I would go for the larger heli, but I'm not paying for this. The initial investment is a gift, and it has a $ cap. If it were me I'd get something like the Honey Bee King 3 on 2.4ghz and get myself a nice TX. I might as well use the gift to learn to fly CCPM before I drop some dough on it.

I'm just going to use the free sim you can download and use with whatever controller you get (must include that cable, the eagle 50 does). I'm also planning on following this guy's method... part out of necessity as I'm in Minnesota and will be flying only in my garage until it warms up a bit... I won't have room to make mistakes.

When I get more skilled we'll talk about a nice 400 size brushless setup with metal parts.
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Old 12-17-2008, 08:48 AM
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None of the small helis are all that great from a reliability standpoint. The smaller birds are also hard to fly in comparison to larger helis.

Many guys in my flying club started helis with the Blade CP. Almost exactly the same as the Honey Bee CP2. All said they should have learned on bigger birds. The good news is if you can master that CP2 you can pretty much fly any CP heli.

If I were you...

I would wait until you had more money in hand and get a 400/450 sized heli. You'll be tossing a lot of money down the rabbit hole IMHO by going at this 'cheap' There is no cheap with good RC helis.

Word of warning. Avoid the Exceed birds. They are rebadged Walkera brand helis. Walkera's electronics are notoriously flakey. Also be aware, Walkera radio gear is not compatible with anybody else's stuff (other than servos). They use a proprietary signaling between the TX and RX. If you think the HB King 2 has a bad rep look at Walkera....
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Twmaster View Post
Word of warning. Avoid the Exceed birds. They are rebadged Walkera brand helis. Walkera's electronics are notoriously flakey. Also be aware, Walkera radio gear is not compatible with anybody else's stuff (other than servos). They use a proprietary signaling between the TX and RX. If you think the HB King 2 has a bad rep look at Walkera....
that is valuable info. hb cp2 it is.
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Old 12-18-2008, 12:56 PM
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I got a Blade CP Pro a couple weeks ago for 160 dollars at my LHS. It's not bad at all for a 20 inch main rotor w/ tail motor design. I like the fact that the E-Flite brand is directly connected to Horizon Hobby and they are a big, reputable company that is probably not going anywhere anytime soon. Just my opinion though.
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Old 12-20-2008, 02:14 AM
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I picked the best Honey Bee FP they make. 2.4ghz, lipoly, etc. I got a main and tail rotor heat sinks as well, for $108 shipped.

I decided I'm not ready to plunge into CCPM just yet, as the cheaper ones are harder to fly than the larger ones. When I master the honey bee I'll grab myself a 400 size, brushless, HH gyro heli and a DX6i.
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Old 12-20-2008, 06:46 AM
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Good little bird. I have the same one.

Have a look here: http://www.slyster.com/heli/hbfpbible.html

And here: http://www.eflightwiki.com/eflightwi...tle=HoneyBeeFP

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Old 12-20-2008, 07:13 AM
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YEP, the small heli's are harder to fly.

The nice thing about the Blade CP (Pro, +) is that the LHS will have tons of spare parts. Other brands of helis you will have to mail-order and wait.

Another bad thing about the small heli's is that they use a fixed pitch tail rotor which is not as fast as the variable pitch found on the bigger guys.

Most small heli's like the Blade CP are RTF and have their own radio system which are no where near as good as a separate radio. RTF does not mean READY! You should do a full check no matter what the instructions or box says - there is usually something out of adjustment somewhere.

The blade CP has some optional flybar weights you can add to tone it down and make it easier to fly.

---

Get a TRex 450 or bigger & a good radio.

Putting an ARF kit together will also teach you how the heli's work. A heli is a lot more work than a plane.

I'm getting ready for a TRex 500 or 600.

FYI: TRex has recently come out with a 250 size which should be better than the Blade CP.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by caltrop View Post
YEP, the small heli's are harder to fly.

The nice thing about the Blade CP (Pro, +) is that the LHS will have tons of spare parts. Other brands of helis you will have to mail-order and wait.
A surprising amount of the parts for the Honey Bee FP also fit the Blade CP and can be had at your LHS. The BCP is made by Shenzen-TWF who owns the E-Sky brand.

Another bad thing about the small heli's is that they use a fixed pitch tail rotor which is not as fast as the variable pitch found on the bigger guys.
Actually the issue is with the smaller birds like the BCP, HBCP2 and most FP micros is the tail is driven from a separate motor. This always induces a lag in the tail's ability to keep up and counter torque. The belt drive birds do not suffer from this anywhere near as much. The Compy 300 which is basically a HBFP is available with a nice belt drive tail. You pay for that though. Not cheap.

Most small heli's like the Blade CP are RTF and have their own radio system which are no where near as good as a separate radio. RTF does not mean READY! You should do a full check no matter what the instructions or box says - there is usually something out of adjustment somewhere.

The blade CP has some optional flybar weights you can add to tone it down and make it easier to fly.

---

Get a TRex 450 or bigger & a good radio.

Putting an ARF kit together will also teach you how the heli's work. A heli is a lot more work than a plane.

I'm getting ready for a TRex 500 or 600.

FYI: TRex has recently come out with a 250 size which should be better than the Blade CP.
All good points. I'd add any good 450 sized bird is a great place to begin. TRex 500-600's rock! That 250 Trex is cute but at $430 just for the kit it's hard to justify when you can buy two BCP's and a pile of parts.

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Old 12-20-2008, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Twmaster View Post
All good points. I'd add any good 450 sized bird is a great place to begin. TRex 500-600's rock! That 250 Trex is cute but at $430 just for the kit it's hard to justify when you can buy two BCP's and a pile of parts.

I'm not sure what I'll get, but it will probably be 400 sized or bigger. I like the Blade400, BeltCP, and Trex450. I'm also working up to a DX6i. I'll just ebay one when opportunity knocks.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:45 PM
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Thanks a lot for the links guys, a lot of those are great resources.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:25 PM
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That is a very good point about RTF not being ready. My Blade CPP was waayyy off on pretty much every setting when I got it. That was also a very good tip about the E-sky and E-flite being somewhat compatible. Thanks.
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:16 PM
  #14  
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Well, the RX/TX won't bind. I had to solder on a new antenna, and it still won't bind. Any tips? The amber light just flashes constantly on the receiver side, and the red/greed LED alternates on the 3 in 1 side.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by boomchank View Post
That is a very good point about RTF not being ready. My Blade CPP was waayyy off on pretty much every setting when I got it. That was also a very good tip about the E-sky and E-flite being somewhat compatible. Thanks.
One of my early experiences with Horzon RTF stuff - IT IS NOT READY!!!
How they claim to test fly these...??? They must think just powering it up and making sure things move is a test flight.

Don't trust anything out if the box no matter what it says. I didn't even trust the Blade mCX although it was the closest to RTF that I've ever seen; the Vapor too.

ARF - reglue every critical point! IT IS NOT ALMOST!!!

Also trying to fly a CPP with the stock transmitter... I have switched to my DX7. You have to split the stock Rx off of the 3-in-1 controller. I've also had a bad 3-in-1...

Overall I wish I would have gone with a TRex 450 to begin with.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by caltrop View Post
Also trying to fly a CPP with the stock transmitter... I have switched to my DX7. You have to split the stock Rx off of the 3-in-1 controller. I've also had a bad 3-in-1...

Overall I wish I would have gone with a TRex 450 to begin with.
I agree. The cheap helis are a sucker bet - they'll either frustrate the crap out of you and make you leave the hobby, or they'll teach you lots, allbeit at the cost of more cash than you expected.

I started with a HP CP2 reasoning that I'd dip my feet into the pool to see if I liked flying helis. $200 and lots of work on it later I sold it for 1/4 of that, and moved to a used TRex 450 and never looked back. It wasn't a horrible experience, but I would have saved money by starting with a Blade 400 or Trex to begin with.

That is a hard sell to someone facing a $500+ initial investment though.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:57 PM
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Well, I can hover just fine on the HBFP now. I modified it heavily though. DX6i/AR6100, gyro and ESC from a HBK2, tiny ESC I got on clearance at my LHS for the tail, I modified the front to hold the battery forward.

It hovers really well, but the tail has gotten a bit weird lately. I'll be working on that later.

Overall I'm glad I learned to hover on the HBFP instead of going full CCPM. I can't imagine how much I would have broken with the higher head speed of a CCPM bird, the HBFP's head is so cheap to fly (read: crash).
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:25 PM
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I'm glad you're enjoying yours SpotTheCat - sincerely that's cool and thanks for the encouraging report.

Likewise I'm also (somewhat) glad I learned on the HPCP2 as it taught me a lot about setting up a heli and how it should and shouldn't fly, and I didn't feel terrible whenever I struck the blades. Also made me appreciate my Rex and better components more when I got them.

But just to prove this point to others - you've added an AR6100 and a DX6i and upgraded the gyro and ESC to get your bird to hover nicely (though with some tail weirdness). Quickly running the numbers, unless you got steals of deals, you've added a minimum of $250 to the heli's bottom line, which means you are within striking distance of the same amount a Blade 400 RTF would have cost. Had you done that. you would now have a fully capable CCPM chopper with ample LHS parts availability and room to grow with alum upgrades and so on. You probably would have eventually spent another $50 to upgrade the 400's tail servo, but the heli would fly rock-solid in all orientations and the money you've spent on batteries would be well spent for other similarly sized helis and RC planes.

Please understand I'm not cutting on you - I did the exact same thing - I just want to be clear to others that it's not just T-Rex snobbery when people say to avoid the entry level helis - there's good economic sense in it too.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rudderfeet View Post
But just to prove this point to others - you've added an AR6100 and a DX6i and upgraded the gyro and ESC to get your bird to hover nicely (though with some tail weirdness). Quickly running the numbers, unless you got steals of deals, you've added a minimum of $250 to the heli's bottom line, which means you are within striking distance of the same amount a Blade 400 RTF would have cost. Had you done that. you would now have a fully capable CCPM chopper with ample LHS parts availability and room to grow with alum upgrades and so on.
That's not true. I learned to hover bone stock aside from moving the battery forward for balance. Only after that did I invest in a DX6i (get my planes on 2.4GHz, too). Overall I've spent about $140 on HBFP only stuff. I got another airframe and a bunch of spare parts. I think I'll just fly it now until I'm out of something expensive to replace.
Originally Posted by rudderfeet View Post
Please understand I'm not cutting on you - I did the exact same thing - I just want to be clear to others that it's not just T-Rex snobbery when people say to avoid the entry level helis - there's good economic sense in it too.
There's also good economic sense in not crashing a 450 size CCPM heli because you have little idea what you're doing. I know I would have trashed my head a few times, perhaps worse. I'm learning patterns and FFF now and a bad crash brakes my rotor head, skids, and flybar. Skids and flybar are repaired with dirt cheap 2mm carbon rod, the rotor heads are $1.20 a piece, and can often be repaired. I modify my heads to slip off without breaking the center hub, so that helps too. Repairs and setup (aside from tail tuning, pesky thing) are quick and easy.

Compared to learning FFF on a trex... the HBFP makes economic sense for beginners.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by SpotTheCat View Post
That's not true. I learned to hover bone stock aside from moving the battery forward for balance. Only after that did I invest in a DX6i (get my planes on 2.4GHz, too). Overall I've spent about $140 on HBFP only stuff. I got another airframe and a bunch of spare parts. I think I'll just fly it now until I'm out of something expensive to replace.
Hi SpotTheCat, that's cool and I too learned to hover (a similar HPCP2) with stock components, but it became clear to me (as it may have to you too) that moving beyond hover is very very hard to do without better components. There are people who do it quite well (and YouTube is there to prove it) but you have to have sufficient grit and/or additional funds to make it happen. That's a bigger hurdle to leap than many beginners are willing to take on, as Craig's List and eBay will attest to. It sounds like you really enjoy the technical aspects of the hobby, and that's awesome so the intellectual challenge of upgrading the HBFP is all part of the fun. I don't think most newbies have that wherewithal though.

Also you gotta admit that your situation is uniquely better in that you have other RC planes benefitting from a DX6i so you've chosen to separate its cost. However, for a beginner who has only the entry level heli (and perhaps a few other incompatable RTFs), the DX6i and receiver have to be included, which is $150-$250 depending on how you get them. Added to your HBFP baseline, a newcomer would be at $290-390 plus the extra batteries most people get at $25/each. I've added the battery costs assuming that a person will eventually upgrade to a 400/450 class heli without the ability to reuse their batteries - I'll admit that's an assumption, but it does seem to be a well-worn path.

Originally Posted by SpotTheCat View Post
There's also good economic sense in not crashing a 450 size CCPM heli because you have little idea what you're doing. I know I would have trashed my head a few times, perhaps worse. I'm learning patterns and FFF now and a bad crash brakes my rotor head, skids, and flybar. Skids and flybar are repaired with dirt cheap 2mm carbon rod, the rotor heads are $1.20 a piece, and can often be repaired. I modify my heads to slip off without breaking the center hub, so that helps too. Repairs and setup (aside from tail tuning, pesky thing) are quick and easy.

Compared to learning FFF on a trex... the HBFP makes economic sense for beginners.
Those are excellent points and you're right, HPFP crashes are less expensive than T-Rex ones across the board, but not always as much as you'd think. 1) Your crashes are cheaper than mine were - probably due to inventiveness and maybe a bit of luck. My HPCP2 strikes always killed the blades, spindle and mainshaft, putting me out $20 plus $7 shipping plus waiting 3-4 days for stuff to arrive. 2) Because a Blade 400 or TRex 450 is more stable, it's much easier to learn on - I haven't crashed mine yet in 30 flights through FFF, full circuits and lots of head-in practice. 3) When I do crash (and I will!), I'll kill the blades, spindle, mainshaft and probably a few linkages for a total of $35. These are all available at the LHS, so I can be flying same-day. A buddy of mine is just learning to hover and he turned it over yesterday with carbon blades and tons of upgrades already installed (it's how he bought it used). One linkage broke, so $2 at the LHS and he'll be good to go.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by rudderfeet View Post
Those are excellent points and you're right, HPFP crashes are less expensive than T-Rex ones across the board, but not always as much as you'd think. 1) Your crashes are cheaper than mine were - probably due to inventiveness and maybe a bit of luck. My HPCP2 strikes always killed the blades, spindle and mainshaft, putting me out $20 plus $7 shipping plus waiting 3-4 days for stuff to arrive. 2) Because a Blade 400 or TRex 450 is more stable, it's much easier to learn on - I haven't crashed mine yet in 30 flights through FFF, full circuits and lots of head-in practice. 3) When I do crash (and I will!), I'll kill the blades, spindle, mainshaft and probably a few linkages for a total of $35. These are all available at the LHS, so I can be flying same-day. A buddy of mine is just learning to hover and he turned it over yesterday with carbon blades and tons of upgrades already installed (it's how he bought it used). One linkage broke, so $2 at the LHS and he'll be good to go.
If I were him I would get a plastic head and tail and wooden blades asap. Upgrade when you're good and ready!

Remember HBCP and HBFP have vastly different heads. The HBFP, being fixed pitch, also has a lower head speed that helps save the blades when they meet an object.
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Old 03-26-2009, 12:38 AM
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True about the HBFP head - it is simpler vs. a CCPM one. Guess my point of reference is the HBCP2, BCP, HBK and similar CCPM birds that Xheli and HeliHobby also promote as beginner-friendly.

I don't think a plastic head would help my friend much. On aluminum, it's still usually the plastic linkages, mainshaft, spindle and main gears that take the abuse, same as the plastic CCPM heads, unless you do the funky chicken dance then all bets are off. I did recommend putting woodies on so that they die instead of other things, but he wants to try with the carbons first for some reason. He may change his tune once he starts buying $40-60 carbon replacement blade sets.
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:17 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by rudderfeet View Post
True about the HBFP head - it is simpler vs. a CCPM one. Guess my point of reference is the HBCP2, BCP, HBK and similar CCPM birds that Xheli and HeliHobby also promote as beginner-friendly.

I don't think a plastic head would help my friend much. On aluminum, it's still usually the plastic linkages, mainshaft, spindle and main gears that take the abuse, same as the plastic CCPM heads, unless you do the funky chicken dance then all bets are off. I did recommend putting woodies on so that they die instead of other things, but he wants to try with the carbons first for some reason. He may change his tune once he starts buying $40-60 carbon replacement blade sets.
I regret not getting a belted tail, but I love the HBFP. I'm glad I did not go HBK2. I agree that if you go CCPM, you should go big.
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:00 PM
  #24  
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After my first 30 second 'flight' with my Blade 400, I backed off and learned to hover on my HBFP. I'm so glad I did this because repair costs are much lower when something does actually break and learning to hover in a 5x6' area with my HBFP made hover sessions with my Blade 400 that much easier (HBFP is 10x more squirrely than my B400).

I'm still in the basic hovering stages though, but I can run multiple packs without crashing now. Hopefully this will be the year I get beyond hovering.
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Old 03-26-2009, 06:40 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by bassplayinDude View Post
After my first 30 second 'flight' with my Blade 400, I backed off and learned to hover on my HBFP. I'm so glad I did this because repair costs are much lower when something does actually break and learning to hover in a 5x6' area with my HBFP made hover sessions with my Blade 400 that much easier (HBFP is 10x more squirrely than my B400).

I'm still in the basic hovering stages though, but I can run multiple packs without crashing now. Hopefully this will be the year I get beyond hovering.
I didn't stop tail-in hovering until I could run the whole pack out on one hover in my 8x8' learning space.
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