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Walkera makes a collection of micro helicopter. They also make 400 size helicopter, but are most well know for their micro line of helicopters. They are the one of the first practical micro helicopter on market. In the past, they always had the latest technology and came out with new products before anyone else. Some were great, some were problematic. Most of the current ones are very good quality. Regardless of their helicopters, their radios were always world class. Up until now, their radio had proprietary signal like the Spectrum radio. You had to buy a new radio to go from Walkera to Spectrum or vice versa.
Now thanks to Deviation, you can flash the radio to run Spectrum and Walkera signal. Simply select what signal you want in the menu, and you are set to go. Now you can have a world class radio that runs both Spectrum and Walkera. Is almost a no brainer, get the Wakera radio, and don't look back.
1. They are small, so you can fly them in the room. More opportunity to fly = faster learning.
2. They are cheap. 4ch micro starts at $50. Most of the fixed pitch are around $150 RTF.
3. Crash resistance. Large helicopter are heavy, and the rotor carry a lot of momentum. You break stuff when they crash. Micro helicopter crash many times an evening, and keep on flying.
4. Safety. This is very important. A 600 size helicopter is like a flying lawn mower. Very dangerous. When, not if you loose control of the helicopter the result can be life threatening. Large helicopters are NOT a toy. Warning, don't look if you don't like blood. Wish people don't fly large helicopter unless they have many hours under their belt. Only take one mishap for legislators to enact strict laws. I am all for small government and less laws in this area.
Down side is they are harder to fly than large helicopter. They get blown around more. However, the latest flybarless helicopter with 3 axis gyro are very easy to fly. The Genius with 6 axis is even easier.
There are no official size for helicopter. However, base on what they are called in marketing material and size of rotor, you can see a trend. The helicopter size is considered to be rotor diameter in mm divided by 2. See graph of the trendline below.
Therefore, a micro Genius or 4#3 would be considered a 100 size helicopter. The 4G3 or V120D02 would be considered 150 size. Usually people call it 120 size due to eflight calling their larger micro helicopter 120SR. Walkera also call their similar size helicopter with the prefix number 120.
Walkera is probably the most hardware you will get for the money.
Walkera does not have much marketing at all. It takes some research to know their product. That is one reason why you get a better quality product for the price because you are not paying for marketing.
At this point, Walkera is considered middle of the road in terms of absolute cost, but best value for the hardware you get.
There is also Heli-Max Novus series They are advertised with glossy brochure on Tower Hobbies. It is just repackaged Walker. For the same thing, you are paying more. Part of that goes towards better marketing. You do probably get better warrenty and returns. Their manuals are also better written. You can download the manual here. Here is the file decoder: 0802-0803=4#3B, 0804=4G3, 0805=4#3Q, 0806=4G6, 0807=4#6.
Another reason for Walkera is the huge selection of helicopter. They have dual rotor, fixed pitch, collective pitch, 45 deg fly bar, no fly bar. There is one for every stage of skill and need, so you can grow with the brand. Invest $150 for the WK-2801 computer radio, and you can fly all the Walkera helicopter. Just get the BNF (bind and fly) version.
The other consideration is with e-flight, they also have coaxial, fixed pitch, collective pitch, and flybarless. Hardware is not as good as Walkera, but have pretty good flight performance anyway. They use standard spectrum radio. Therefore, if you like micro airplanes or airplanes as well as helicopters, you might invest in a DX6 computerize spectrum radio around $150. Then you can fly the e-fligh helicopters as well as Park Zone Ultra Micro line of palm size airplanes. For upgraded radio, use DX7 which is about $50 more, or JR x9503 which is cost no object at $500.
Some people like e-flight because they are in hobby store everywhere. Some people also want to "buy American". All these helicopters are made oversea, so you are really just benefiting an American distributor. You can buy a Walkera distributed by an American hobby store too. E-flight is a brand with relatively large marketing and advertising budget rather than the typical mom and pop store that sells Walkera. Is unknown where e-flight helicopters are designed. Mark Padilla's title is product developer, but is hard to tell if he is the actual designer or if he spec. the helicopter for the oversea design team. Video on their site said he is going back to school. Probably not the cheif engineer.
To really buy American, you would have to go with Bergen. Designed and manufactured in US. Over $2k in cost. Even the old Miniature Aircraft USA are made oversea now.
Leaving micros, for reference, the best full size 3D helicopter to get is Align. FYI, they also make vaccum cleaners. Is a strange company. Align would be the gold standard to compare these micro helicopters to as far as flying qualities. Micros of course do not have the same precision as a standard, but they are starting to get closer with each generation.
Co-axial is easiest to fly. Even my 7 year old son can fly on his first attempt. They are great for learning throttle control and orientation. That is because 4 channels can be very confusing in the beginning.
45degree fly bar with weights is next easiest to fly. Even total beginners can pretty much fly these. They do get boring if you have already flown co-axial, and looking to move up. 45 degree bly bar is good for learning how to take off. Take off is tricky in a single rotor. Have to give right stick to counter rear rotor, then immediately move to middle again as soon as you take off. Good to learn that on a 45 degree rotor head since is stable. Bad thing about 45degree fly bar is it give you some nasty habits when going to a regular helicopter. 45 degree head you push stick and hold to go forward. Let go of stick to stop. Absolutely can't do that on a regular single rotor. Push stick and hold, and a regular helicopter will fly so fast is out of sight in a few seconds. That is a huge shock going from 45 degree to a regular, and take some effort to unlearn while you crash multiple times. So don't stick with a 45 degree head for too long so you don't have to unlearn so much.
Single rotor comes in fixed pitch and collective pitch. Collective pitch besides letting you do 3D, allows for faster up down response. To go up, instead of speeding up the rotor, you can just change the pitch and leave the rotor at the same rpm. Rotor is heavy, so it takes time to speed up and slow down. Fixed pitch takes a while to speed up rotor to move up. Once going up, and rotor has momentum, takes a while to come down. Important consideration since these helicopters are light, and a sudden gust of wind in the back yard can lift it up to the roof.
Tail motor or shaft drive. Tail motor is durable. If the tail rotor hits something, it stops. Shaft drive on other hand is connected to the rotor. If the tail hit something, rotor still turns resulting in damage to gears. Belt is same as shaft drive, but more durable since belt is stronger. Down side of belt is it sucks up energy bending the rubber belt due to stretching and hysteresis of the rubber. Belt drive has not been too successful at this scale yet. Main advantage of shaft drive is instant response. Tail rotor change pitch instead of speeding up to respond, so response is instant. This is especially important in flying backward. When helicopter tail is on right side of direction of travel, wind is pushing on the tail rotor, and that helps counter the main rotor torque. (Wind pushing helicopter counter clockwise) When the tail yaw to the left side of direction of travel, suddenly rotor has to fight the head wind to counter main rotor torque. (Head wind is trying to rotate the helicopter clockwise). In stunt flying when you yaw left and right, while going backward, wind is pushing the tail one way then the other. Electric motor tail cannot speed up and slow down that fast to counter the sudden change of wind direction on the tail. It results in a tail "blowout". The helicopter spins out then. With shaft drive, helicopter simply have to change the pitch of the tail rotor with the servo motor. Walkera tail servo motor usually is the very high speed kind that use higher frequency signal for instant response. Now, some people have experimented with using an electric tail motor along with pitch change of the tail rotor. Electric motor spins constant while pitch change controls the tail. This gives the best of both world, but is more complicated.
Broke the helicopters into 2 tables. The original Walkera helicopters were like prototypes. Walkera were the first to mass produce micro helicopters. The early helicopters had various issues that were worked out as the product line matures. Early adapters were often frustrated with the helicopters. They all had to be tinkered to some degree. The new Walkera helicopters starts at around the time of V120D02. By then, Walkera helicopters were mature, and had respectable flight qualities. As the product line matures, there were less release of helicopters, and each release last longer since there was not much that needed to be changed.
Precision Heli Micron FP - World's first micro helicopter debut around Oct 2005. Dubious if it flew that well. More info here. 210mm rotor size 50g. Similar size to 4#3.
Next came Walkera #52 micro collective pitch, Gaui EP100 collective pitch and Walkera made 64C. These are 340mm rotor. Larger than current 4G6.
Picoo Z- The original low cost micro helicopter designed by Alexander van de Rostyne. Made of foam with then unheard of tiny 130mm rotor, and had only throttle and rudder. Powered by a tiny 50mah LiPo battery and infared radio that don't operate well in the sun. Can fly for about 4-5 minutes when new. Probably due to cheap charging circuits, battery would degrade quickly that after 3-4 flights, at which it could only stay up for 30 seconds. Released in summer of 2006. Hugely popular when they came out. Some were selling for >$150 before price came down. This is generally credited with starting the micro helicopter hobby. Experts back then were aghast that consumers were using LiPo indiscriminately and not realizing the dangers of the battery that was only meant for experianced users. Eventually, everyone survived, and LiPo are in all the toys now a days despite possiblity of fire. Most likely, small 50mah battery don't have much energy to be as destructive as 2000mah batteries.
5#6- The first practical 4 channel micro helicopter. Dual rotor for stability. Released in 3/07. Early models have jittery servo issue. Soft plastic head made it jumpy during flight. The fact that it was so small, had a full house 4 channel radio (not 2.4Ghz) was amazing. Jittery servo was a distraction, but not enough to keep it from flying. Back then, being able to fly for 5 minutes at this scale with 4 channel was unheard of. This launched Walkera into the forefront of micro helicopters, and set it apart from Picoo Z, which was more of a toy.
5G6- Metal head version of 5#6. - Very stable to fly. Fixed all the issues of 5#6.
4#3A - The first practical single rotor helicopter. 4#3 came out first, then 4#3A that was more robust. This is fixed pitch. 4#3A is better than the B base on people who has both. It is because the A weighs 9g less than the B. That is 18% less weight. When 4#3 came out, people can't even hover the helicopter. It was that hard to fly. Latter 4#3A was easier followed by 4#3B with brushless and double brushless as well as metal rotorhead.
Hints for 4#3: Use 4#3Q blade to make motor last. Heatsink for brushed motor. Use AeoRC Brushless conversion. Stock motor weight 10.1g. ADH50 motor 4.4g speed control 4.3g. 8.7g total for AeoRC Brushless conversion. Plug and play, and save 1.4g. If you use the Hobby King 2g ESC along with "the steve" at .45g, the total weight of the set-up would be 6.85g. Save 3.25g. Down side is you have to solder a wire to the receiver instead of plug and play. While paying for shipping at Hobby King, you can get the C05M motor which is probably similar to the ADH50 motor at about the same weight. WK-02-1 servo weights 3.18g ea, .12kgf*cm. Can use 1.8g linear servo to save weight. Save 2.76g. Total saving can be 6g. Bring helicopter weight from 50g to 44g!. Do a bell-hiller mod with extreme production kit. Can also do it using Walkera parts.
4#3B - fixed pitch single rotor metal rotor. Tail motor- Similar to 4#3A but with metal rotorhead. Can do the Bell Hiller Mod.
4G3 - The first micro collective pitch. Has electric tail motor. It was unbelievable that you can fly 3D at this scale at the time. - Easier than 4#3 to fly.
4#6 Fixed pitch no tail motor. - Its claim to fame was that it has a shaft driven tail rotor. More precise and instant tail rotor control. Larger than one with tail motor. Flys easier than 4G3.
4#6(BELL) - Same as 4#6, but flybar use weights at 45deg instead of paddles for stability. Make it as stable as CB100.
4#6S Fixed pitch no tail motor - Same as 4#6, but with 3 axis gyro instead of just yaw gyro. Great with HP07-2 motor. Flys easier than 4#6.
4G6S - Collective pitch no tail motor. 4G6/4G6S Absolute Beginners Walkera 4G6/4G6S Thread Walkera finally makes a shaft drive collective pitch micro helicopter.
CB100 - The gold standard in single rotor stable helicopter. Fixed pitch tail motor very stable 45deg flybar. Comes with either RX2406C and RX-2436receiver that is in 2401 mode or RX-2605A receiver that is in 2801 mode receiver. The 2801 is the pro mode. You can use the WK-2801 radio to adjust the gyro. 2401 mode does not have that feature. Wowhobbies.com sells the CB100 with pro mode. If is cheap, is probably standard mode. Walkera calls is "pro excluded" on the box. This is the next one to get after a coaxial helicopter. - Use MSR Feathering Spindle eflight# EFLH3013 to tighten up the rotor head.
Increase the response and challenge of the CB100 with a TechHead. See threads here.V100D01 - No fly bar fixed pitch - Be sure to get the V2 version to fix throttle delay.
V120D01 - No flybar fixed pitch - no tail motor 258mm rotor. This is almost same as a 4#6S (not the regular 4#6) without the flybar head. Some people even advocate just converting a 4#6S. Swash driver washout arm have issues. For beginner, use the V100D01. Shaft drive tail may strip gear on crash. Tail gear is same as V120D02, but since head speed is slower, less likely to strip gears.V120D02 - This is a ground breaking helicopter. The first micro helicopter with no flybar. Was collective pitch, and was shaft driven tail rotor - 302mm main rotor. After this, all helicopters eventually went flybarless because cost of gyro was less than cost of flybar mechanism. - For initial release, flying issues solved by setting pots correctly, and stabilizer mod. Get the V2 version red one. Red one fixed the over reacting gyro and the 90%max throttle issue in the initial release. Can upgrade to V120D02S with parts. The biggest issue is motor ESC is on right side of helicopter next to gyros. After ESC heats up gyros fails and you crash. Solution, put the ESC on left side of helicopter.
V100D06. The V100D01 did not sell too well. V100D06 is brushed main motor instead of brushless for less weight and perhaps better flying. Not much discussion on this probably because people are more interested in V100D03BL that came out around the same time, but with collective pitch.
V120D03 - No flybar Collective pitch w/ tail motor. - 302mm main rotor. This was never that popular. Why get the V120D03 with tail rotor when you can get the D02 with shaft driven tail. Tail motor is for smaller helicopters that can't find space to fit the shaft driven tail.
V120D05-Belt drive version of V120D02. It was a failure since launch. Under powered, lacked tail rotor authority etc. See the joke on youtube about this helicopter launch.
M120D02-Carbon fiber version of V120D02. Is quite heavy. Not very popular.
MCPx - Up to this point, Walkera had the first in everything for micro helicopter. First coaxial, single rotor, 3D. People really wanted a 3D that is the size of 4#3 at 8"rotor instead of 11" rotor of the 4G3. That may not be much, but indoor it makes a big difference. Rumor said Walkera tried and cannot get it down to that size because of strenght of material. Instead EFlight made a shocking news, and released MCPx around March 2011. It was an instant success. Size of a 4#3, but with collective pitch for 3D. Many thinks this is the end of Walkera. Here you have a collective pitch 3D in small size. MCPx made eFlight equal to Walkera in innovation. MCPx did have some huge issues like blade coming off mid flight and main gear slipping as well as tail not holding in some manuvers. Blade coming off was addressed. Ironically, the bearing was not strong enough, and people used Walkera bearing to fix an eFlight. It was still first to market. MCPx was the first helicopter by eFlight that was not perfect at launch. Seems like they adopted Walkera's strategy of pushing out a immature product to be first on the market. eFlight diehard could no longer claim their helicopters are expensive, but are perfect unlike Walkera.
Align T100 - Align made quality large helicopters like the TRex 400. They must have saw the micro heli market boom, so they wanted to get in on the game. Unfortunately, they took too long to develop a micro heli. T100 was a single rotor fixed pitch with 45 degree head. It was basically a beginner's helicopter, but it was eagerly awaited for because Align has the reputation for high quality. People believed the Align would be as good as the Quark in terms of flying qualities without the bobbing of the typical 45degree head. By the time Align developed the T100, flybar helicopter were already on the way out to be replaced with flybarless. It's only saving grace would have been if it was a fantastic flyer. But it was not. It was even more unfortunate that the product introduction coincide with introduction of the super hot Blade MCPx micro 3D helicopter by eFlight. T100 became irrelevant almost overnight. They did not even get the boost in popularity at product launch due to all the attention paid to the MCPx. T100 ran into production issues, so it did not arrive on the shelf until well after MCPx came out. Then people found out it had horrible flying qualities, and was expensive at $120 RTF or $140 with charger. MSR was $140 at that time. MCPx was around $200 without radio, but was a 3D micro helicopter. Flight quality was the last nail in the coffin. T100 became a fiasco for Align. The Align T100 must be the single worst helicopter product introduction in the short history of micro helicopters.
V100D03 - Walkera's answer to MCPx. Released around May 2011 2 months after MCPx. It had a luke warm reception. It was heavy at 63g versus 45g for MCP x. With the horrible quality of the V120D05 in memory, people were hesitant to try a new Walkera.
Genius - This is a game changer for Walkera. Same size as MCP x, but lighter by slight 4g. However, it has 3 gyros and 3 accelerometers. Accelerometers were for self leveling for beginner, and can be switched off. Almost everyone agree it had better flying qualities than the MCP x. And is also around $20 cheaper. E-Flight on the other hand had slightly tarnished their reputation with the MCP x that had rotor blade coming off in mid-air and tail blow out issue as well as main gear slipping. They did recall the blade coming off issue to their credit. Something Walkera would not have done. Genius are hugely popular and are flying off the shelf. At this point, Genius is obsolete. Get the Super CP instead unless you really want 6 axis stabilization.
V120D02S - 11/2011 release. This is the durable version of V120D02. The weak spot on the D02 has always been the bevel gears for the tail drive and the blades that are foam. One crash, and they both break. The D02S has a durable plastic main blade like Genius. Has very tough canopy and enforced tail gear. Complaint has been that the tail gear now slides inside the tail shaft. Better than before, but may not be completely indestructable. Tail gear is better, but still strip in a crash. That is why I am selling an adjustable clutch kit for the V120D02S as well as the D02. This is a very well engineered micro clutch that is precise and durable. Set once, and it holds the clutch tension. This and Super CP are my favorite helicopters. Good mods for this heli. Can use stronger Nine Eagle 318A Servo gears.
mSRx - 12/2011 release. Eflight new version of mSR, but flybarless and does not have the 45 degree head. This is similar to V100D01 and D06. Just that for Walkera, D01 and D06 came out at the wrong time. People were looking for small 100 size collective pitch helicopters like the MCPx rather than another fixed pitch micro. Now that both Walkera and Eflight have their Genius and MCPx, which are micro collective pitch, people are again interested in slower head speed fixed pitch 100 size helicopter. mSRx should be quite popular. Early reports shows some helicopters with weak main and tail motors that burn out after 50 flights. Blade holders control arm is very weak, and break off in a crash. Flight time about 4.5 minutes. The biggest issue with the mSRx is software problem. The stability system works great until a rudder command is given. Swash will instantly jump to the centered position. This cause erratic flights.
Mini CP (Compact Genius)- 1/2011 leaked. Servos positioned radially around the mast and battery under the mast for lower moment of inertia for faster flips and response. Also has voltage and temperature telemetry to be used with DEVO8 or 12. The weak spot on the Mini CP is the brushed motor. Is a normal brushed motor similar to the old 4#3. Is a battery hog, and flights only last about 3 minutes. People replace the motor with the Genius coreless motor. Is still a brushed motor, but smaller and lighter, and easier on battery. This is considered to be obsolete. Get the Super CP instead.
Solo Pro 125 - A knock off in Solo Pro tradition. Almost a copy of the Genius. Is compatible with Futaba FHSS and S-FHSS radios. This means you can use the 6J radio, which does not have graphics like Walkera radios. (Note, the FHSS is the low end of the Futaba radio. Is not as bomb proof as their FASST system that have no interference even when flying FPV with another 2.4Ghz on board transmitting next to the receiver.)
Blade 130X - Known Issues. Suppose to be competition to the V120D02S. This is the first shaft driven tail micro helicopter for Eflight. Bad tail vibration, but vibration went away after using V120 bearing from Walkera. Has easy to strip D hole on the tail gear. Use Slipper clutch mod, or better, use metal gear. Helicopter flys good. Turn down the dual rate to make it easy to fly. Otherwise, it flips fast. Turnigy Nanotech 2s 460mah battery, Beast to JST battery connector. (or use ebay) Consensus on this helicopter is while it flys good, is not worth the trouble or the cost. Tail vibration keep coming back. Too many areas to modify and fix to keep it flying good. V120D02 is much more durable.
Solo Pro 180 - Copy of the V120D02, but cheaper plastics and lower price. Controls are not very precise. Question is why. If you are going to invest the time to learn 3D, should get a nicer helicopter to practice on.
Super CP - Has configuration of the Mini CP with servo positioned radially around the mast for low inertial mass. Use cheap servo that has the controller on the board to make the helicopter low cost. Has the Genius coreless motor instead of the horrible brushed Mini CP motor. This is a very good helicopter. Forget the Genius, get this one for indoor.
V120D02S V2- This is the 6 axis gyro version of the V120D02S. The 6 axis version has 3 gyro and 3 accelrometer. Suppose to give the helicopter more stability. But it may be too stable for advance pilots who want instant quick 3D manuvers. You cannot turn off the 6 axis, so some people replace the receiver with the older 3 axis one. Good mods for this heli. Can use stronger Nine Eagle 318A Servo gears. I am selling an adjustable clutch kit for the V120D02S.
Super FP - Same as Super CP. Low cost servo with controller on main board. Fixed pitch instead of collective pitch. Has the undesirable brushed motor instead of the brushless on Super FP and Genius. This is mainly a low cost fixed pitch helicopter for intermediate user. In reality, just go for the Super CP instead of this one and set the pitch to be constant. Don't see the advantage of this helicopter. Cost about the same as the Super CP anyway. Rumor is that the Super FP is not selling.
Blade Nano CPX - 197mm main rotor compare with 240-245mm for other mini CP. This is truly a very small 3D helicopter. Good for small indoor space. This helicopter does not fly that well. Too squirly, not very precise in manuvers. Stationary hover, is good, but once you give it control input, is squirly. Main attraction is its small size and light weight. Does less damage to the house. Put the battery at skid level with velcro will make it quite stable.
Master CP - This is really not a small helicopter despite the name. It use a 3S battery (3 cells) so you have to balance the cells during charging. Rotor is 462mm, so is the size of a Trex 250. Do not buy this one if you are a beginner. Large rotor is too dangerous.
T-Rex 150 - After Align's disasterous ill timed foray into the micro helicopter market with the T100, they are back again. Try try try again. Released in Dec 2013. The 150 is a Genius/ Super CP/ MCPx sized dual brushless collective pitch helicopter. Not as large as V120D02S or Blade 130X. Notable features are rotary servos, use Futaba radio, use 2S lipo instead of 1S on Walkera and use a DFC head (Direct Flight Control). Just a fancy name for linkage arrangement that eliminate the link that rotates the swash plate to match the rotor head rotation. DFC head is actually not a good thing from an engineering perspective, is weak, and has poor moment arms, but it looks cool, and that is all that is. Some claim better response. Probably more psychological than anything. 2S is much more powerful, but need balance charger. Motor is basically a Oversky HP06 main and HP03 tail. To run Spectrum DSM2 or DSMX, you will need a satellite receiver that can plug into the helicopter receiver. The Lemon satellite weight .7gram and cost about $5. This T-Rex 150 was a good helicopter, but Align once again has the misfortune if poor timing. Walkera has already left the micro helicopter scene for the hot multi-rotor platform. Forum for single rotor helicopter has been a little quiet, or less energetic as people are drawn into multi-rotor helicopter that can take pictures. This 150 as good as it is was still not the block buster it could have been if it was introduced a year earlier.
Here is my dream helicopter if somebody will build it. The Genius is already the perfect size for indoor. The only thing is lacking is tail authority. A shaft drive Genius would be the ticket.
Start with the Genius / Mini CP. Get rid of the tail motor. That is too much weight back there, and too much inertia for quick response. Use a shaft drive. With the tiny amount of torque involve, a very small diameter shaft is already enough. Small shaft does have rotational harmonic issue, so it must contact the tail boom for stability. Teflon coat the shaft to rotate inside the tail boom. Or glue a teflon bushing on the tail drive shaft in the middle to rotate inside the tail boom for support.
Use tiny bevel gears to save weight back there. Of course, have some kind of
clutch with o-ring and friction to prevent breakage.
For tail control, at this scale, servo is too big and clumsy. A voice coil fits the application better. That is the same kind of actuator on the read/write arm of a hard drive. If the blades are balanced properly with "chinese weights", should theoretically take no force to change the pitch. Voice coil can be ultra fast. Naturally, this application would make best use of a linear voice coil connected directed to the control rod. Don't even use a pot for position feedback. That adds too much complication and friction is the enemy in a voice coil set-up. Use the yaw of the helicopter via gyro as the feedback.
Another thing we wish for is piro comp like on BeastX or 3GX. 3GX by Align is not that good.
Very easy to fly in order of difficulty easiest to hard: 5G6, CB100, V100D01 and V120D01,4#6 (Bell), Genius in 6 axis mode
Moderate easy to fly: V120D02, V120D03,4#6, Genius in 3 axis mode
Difficult to fly: 4G3, 4#3A or B. None of the new helicopters are this difficult to fly anymore.
Most difficult: 4#3
DSM, DSM2, DSMX: In order of performance. DSM2 and DSMX are fully compatible both directions. DSM should be compatible, but newer hardware may not be compatible anymore. DSMX is the latest technology.
DSMR is the surface version Spectrum radio. Is compatible with DSM2. Is the surface vehicle version of DSM2.
WK-2801 Walkera computer radio system. Can bind with any Walkera helicopter or planes, but not compatible with other manufactures. Comes in standard and pro version. Standard is 10mW power, pro is 100mW power for greater range. 3 Modes on radio, 2401,2601 and 2801. On 2801 mode, radio can control the gyro rate on compatible helicopter with pro receiver. Pro has version 2.2 and 2.3. This radio is being phased out.
Get this: The greatest news to come out of Walkera. Deviation has cracked the DEVO radio programing. You can now download software for the DEVO radio to transmit Spectrum DSM2/DSMX signal. You can use the DEVO radio to fly all Spectrum receiver models. That means you can get the DEVO 7E for less than $100, and fly any Spectrum models. Best news is now you don't need to have several radios. Save the environment! (Even if you are a Republican) The Deviation software can also let you transmit Walkera 2801 signal as well as Nine Eagle J6 Pro. All it takes is a selection in the menu.
DEVO 6 - $149 - Pretty much identical to DEVO8 except in micro size, and with 6 channel instead of 8. People with big hands don't bother with this radio. I love the small size though. Power output is listed as same as for all the DEVO despite a smaller antenna. Like the fact that this DEVO 6 looks more like a toy than a professional radio. That and the fact that these helicopters are so small means you can fly at a park without attracting attention. This also helps protect our hobby. Last thing we need is another out of control 400 helicopter slicing another person. Once the public thinks these things are dangerous, we will get severely restricted. The 6S adds telemetry.
DEVO 7 - ($110 est) - Use the electronics of DEVO, but housed in 2801 housing. Black and white screen. No color means is easier to see in sunlight, which is a common complaint for DEVO 6 and 8 screens. However, the screen is text only. That means there is no graphical representation of the throttle and pitch curve to review what they look like. I would consider this a low price strip down starter radio that comes with RTF helicopters. Even the old 2801 is better because there is grahpics for curves on the radio. Currently not sold by itself, but only come with the helicopter. Full size radio instead of small size of DEVO 6, and is 7 channel. This one is known as the Devil 7 because is so hard to program. Do this mod to increase power. Another link for increase power mod. Be sure to put the shield back on though or you will interfere with all the other 2.4Ghz transmitter out there. You will be very unpopular not to mention very dangerous if others are flying 400 size helicopter!
DEVO 7E - ($79) - The 7E is nothing like the DEVO 7. This radio is similar to the DEVO10, but in a very small DEVO 6 size. More model memory and stick memory and stick programable switch to automatically turn on the timers. Don't be misled, this is not the DEVO 7 that is impossible to program. Has much easier programming interface than the regular 7. 7E only has 2 mode switch instead of 3 that high end radio have if you care about that.
DEVO 8 - $199 - Full size radio. Color screen. A true improvement over the 2801 radio. Program and function is same as DEVO 6, but size is larger for ease of holding and is 8 channel.
DEVO 8S - Upgrade of DEVO 8 to have telemetry function. Can also upgrade a DEVO 8 to 8S with a module. Forum post and Instructions from Walkera.
DEVO 10 - This has the fast to use interface of 2801 style radio, but DEVO electronics. Lower price than DEVO 8. This may be the best compromise. I like the 2801 interface more than the DEVO 6,8,12 type touch screen interface. Drop down menu in the DEVO interface slows you down.
DEVO 12 - $500 World class computer radio. 12 channels. Many switches and functions similar to other top of the line radio. If you are willing to pay for it, has a 9 point throttle pitch curve instead of 7 for other DEVO, and 5 for old 2801 radio. Also has glider mode.
DEVO radio can also upload models from Walkera so you don't have to program a new helicopter. DEVOs can only bind with new Walkera receivers such as the one on V100D06. Walkera is working on upgrad receivers for old helicopters. List here:
Nomenclature: Walkera receivers have 3 kinds of output: Brushless (servo),
ESC and Fast Servo. Brushless means it has a standard servo signal. It will
connect to a brushless ESC to drive the brushless motor. ESC means the speed
control for the brushed motor is inside the receiver. 2 wires come out to connect
to the brushed motor. Fast Servo means the signal out of the receiver is not
standard servo signal. Pulses are faster. It should connect to a ESC with a
LTB or LTC suffix.
2702V - Used on V450. Need normal receiver voltage, so voltage booster is needed. Per wowhobbies, suppose to be the best FBL receiver. Suppose to have pirouette compensation so helicopter rotates about its mast instead of wandering off.
There are two kinds of ESC. ESC for brushed and brushless motor. They are not interchangable. Of course, brushless motor is what everyone wants, they don't have brushes to wear out, less friction from brush, and is usually more powerful.
Walkera helicopter comes with either a brushed or brushless main and tail motor. For brushed motor, the output is usuallly controlled by a NPN transistor. This means positive terminal receive constant power, and negative is switched. The switching usually is done at 200 hz, and varies from 0 to 100% duty cycle for throttle.
For Walkera brushless set-up, you get either one of two kinds of system.
One has a standard servo 50 hz output like the CB100 main rotor. For the servo output, you can plug in any standard brushless ESC, and it will work. FYI: The standard servo signal consist of a 1-2 millisecond pulse every 20 milliseconds. 1ms pulse=min throttle. 2ms pulse = max throttle. That translate to 50hz with 5-10% duty cycle.
The second kind use brushed motor's 200 hz output 0-100% duty cycle exactly just like the brushed motor output. The CB100 tail rotor use this set-up. For this brushed motor output, Walkera use a special brushless ESC that can interpred the brushed motor's signal and run a brushless motor. Therefore, if you have a helicopter like the Genius that has a brushed main motor, and want to convert to brushless, just get that special Walkera ESC from CB100 (WK-WST-10A-LT). That is one way to do it. Not the lightest or best performance, but a good way. See below for more details.
If the helicopter comes with a brushed motor, and you want to use a standard brushless ESC like the popular XP-7A., then you need a converter to convert the 200hz brushed signal to 50hz servo signal that all ESC use.
The latest and best method to convert the DC motor signal to throttle is to do it all within the ESC by reprograming the ESC with BLHeli program. See Brushless Motor Mod Page
If you still want to do it the old and hard way, Construct your own Flea - The schematic is here. More info on this post. The flea is a device to convert the output of a brushed motor ESC to a standard servo signal. Popular application is the 4#3 helicopter that has brushed motor. The flea use the Atmel Tiny13, Tiny13V low voltage or Tiny13A (latest version). Need to know Atmel microcontroller to construct the flea. More helpful links on getting started with the Atmel microcontroller. Or just buy "the steve" already build. Note, "the steve" has 7ms pulse (143 hz) rate instead of the standard 20ms (50 hz) for faster tail control. Pulse width is still 1-2 ms. Seems like all ESC can take that faster rate per Steve.
ESC Suffix Description:
Walkera L ESC-Works fine with most brushless motors. This is for standard servo signal. 6gram. 10A. Caution: Since is for the main inrunner, may not work well with outrunner.
L2 has best timing for outrunner motors. Has male connector to connect to battery. Male connector is in parallel with an extra female connector to supply power to the male connector on the tail ESC. Used in V120D03 for tail motor. Good for in or out runner.
L3 is also good ESC. Used in V120D03 for main rotor. Best timing for the HP series outrunner motors by WOW hobbies.
LT-Brushless speed control for tail. Signal is brushed motor signal 1.7g when stripped. 10A
LTC-Brushless tail ESC. Stander servo signal input.
Walkera ESC Numbers:
WK-WS-12-003 Main Motor ESC's
ESC Model No. (heli/RX)
WK-WST-10A-L (CB100/RX-2436 & 4#6S/RX-2433, ) - Servo Signal
WK-WST-10A-L2 (CB100/RX-2406C* & 4B100/RX-2406B) - Servo Signal
WK-WST-10A-L3 (V120D01/RX-2433V, V120D02)
WK-WST-10A-LTB (4#3Q/RX-2425) - Faster Servo
* NOTE: CB100/RX-2406C w/ L2 ESC is older than RX-2436 w/ L ESC
WK-WS-10-002 Tail Motor ESC's
ESC Model No. (heli/RX)
WK-WST-10A-LT (CB100/RX-2406C* & 4B100/RX-2406B) -ESC signal - Use with outrunner or inrunner. Perfect for Genius CP brushless convert.
WK-WST-10A-LTC (CB100/RX-2436 & 4#3Q/RX-2425) - Faster Servo - outrunner or inrunner
Comparison of different non Walkera ESC, XP-3A,XP-5A, and most popular XP-7A. Looks like YGE 4S has best performance. Expensive at $54!
Cheap price on XP7A plus2city.com. This is the one that can start most outrunner brushless motors.
Hobby King Turnigy 6A modified to run on 1S.
TGY DP 3A This one can start outrunner. (Do not get the XP 3A from Hobby King or ebay. That one can't start outrunner. Tried every combination of setting!)
My Opinion: YGE 4S has the most performance, but expensive, and not readily available in the US. However, a cheap TGY DP 3A which is very light with modified FETs can probably give as good performance as the YGE 4S. The reason I think that way is because the 3A ESC seems to be bogged down with the stock FETs. And the FETs heat up. With some quality FETs, it came alive, and gave as good performance as you can probably expect with the FETs staying cool. For max performance, you can easily double up on the FETs. However, to modify FETs, you have to know how to solder small components. Not hard, but need practice on junk pieces of circuit boards first.
Wow Hobby HP series motors discussion.
Excel spreadsheet on rewinding the HP08.
Improper care of battery will reduce its capacity over time. With LiPo, you get a choice, use the maximum capacity every time and loose life, or use less capacity and increase life. For full size electric cars like the Chevy Volt, it does not use the full capacity of the battery for max life. More like 65% of the capacity so it will last the 150,000 miles. Chevy Volt charge the battery to 85-90% of full, and discharge to 20-25%. Many battery manufacture agree that 80% rule is good compromise.
Charge to 95% of charge or 4.15V, and discharge to 11%, or 3.7V. This will give 2X the life. How to do that:
-Charge battery at a high rate >1C. Battery will settle to 4.15V-4.2V when done. That is because you don't get as complete a charge when charged at a high rate. How do you know what is too high a rate. With low internal resistance lipo, you can charge at higher rate than the traditional 1C. If temperature does not rise more than 10 F, then is ok. Usually, setting charger at 5C to 6C is ok.
-For best life, do not go below 3.7V after a flight. Check with volt meter afterward. Therefore, is important to use the timer on the radio, and get use to using it.
-Lipo perform best at 125 F - 135 F. Never go beyond those temperature. Some competition use battery heater to keep them at temperature. Same thing as with NiCd and NiMh.
-Storage range is 3.7V to 4.0V. Therefore, best to store at 3.85V. After each day of flying, discharge battery to 3.85V. For long term storage, store in refrigerator (not freezer). Keeping them fully charged is the #1 killer of LiPo.
Going below 3.2V will damage the cell.
See post by IA-Flyer on capacity versus voltage. Copied from the post here:
4.20v = 100%
4.03v = 76%
3.86v = 52%
3.83v = 42%
3.79v = 30%
3.70v = 11%
3.6?v = 0%
Can you use a bigger battery to extend flight time? Power to lift a helicopter is proportional to weight^3/2. See post.
The stock charger is barely adequate because is fixed current, and does not tell you battery voltage. For Walkera 1S battery, a charger capable of 3-4 amps of charge current is plenty. There are plenty of low cost lipo battery charger from HobbyKing. You want one where you can adjust the charge current so you can charge at 1C up to 6C. Something like the Turnigy Accucel-6 50W is a good start. Only $23. You will need a 12-17V power supply. Laptop power supply will be fine. Get those off ebay or around the house. Just be sure the voltage is correct. Sometimes a 18V power supply will not work.
When you are ready to step up, get a iCharger. They are expensive, but are high quality, and can take large amount of current. Use a xbox power supply to run them. XBox power supply come in 150,175 and 203 watt. They are probably the most powerful laptop type power supply. You can get more power from a server type power supply, but those are big and heavy. I like laptop power supply becuase they are small. My desktop space is valuable.
The best is the FMA chargers. They have ultra accurate voltage measurement.
My experiance with cheap Turnigy charger from HobbyKing is that they can't take high voltage and current on a regular basis. Two of them broke after a year. Another one had the fan that was always on, and that got annoying. They do have a year warrenty, but I decided to go with iCharger anyway. If you are just charging Walkera batteries, the Turnigy charger will last for many years. Had one for 5-6 years now. They are just not good for high voltage application. I used it to charge a 36v 10A-hr battery, and that evidently was too much.
Storm 700mah battery.
Hyperion batteries are the best. Get them at All e RC. You can fast charge them up to 5-6C.
Hyperion battery Another source in Japan the 320mah fits micro heli. Good price
Yet another source for Hyperion at quantumhobby.
- DS-JST Connector The kind of connector used for Walkera and Losi Micro SCT car battery. (Watch out, the + and - terminals are switched between Losi and Walkera! Just press down on the tang and pull to switch wires in the connector.) See post here for other source. Do not use this one on ebay - Thin wires
Another DS-JST for $4.25 here on ebay.
Print out shoe box size helipad markings. Put the pad on a shoe box and see if you can land on it slowly. See my post here.
RCGroups- Huge forum on RC planes, helis UAV etc.
runryder- Forum geared towards larger helicopter and competition.
Tom's Blog on Walkera helicopter
Bert Kammer - Professional 3D pilot blog.
RCHelibase.com - Huge site with tons of information on helicopters. Mainly for larger helis.
Virtual Flybar - Intersting read on open source programming on a microprocessor for flybarless head.
Bell-Hiller Head - What is a Bell-Hiller head? Nice to know if you are into helicopter. Discussion on whether bell-hiller or hiller only is better. Another discussion on mixerless bell hiller head.
Cyclic Pitch Control - More detailed article from Colin Mill on helicopter rotor.
RCHelicopter Wiki - Good info on individual helicopters
Dry run to check brushless motor. - Or here
FBL (Fly Bar Less) with DFC (Direct Flight Control) - What is DFC. In short, is the way linkage is configured on the head. Purpose of a helicopter head: Allow for feathering of blade to damp vibration. Feathering action should not change blade pitch. Phasing of the swashplate maintained with linkage. Tilted swash plate will create forces on the linkage.
Head Terminology: Swash, Swash Lock, Washout Arms, Feather Shaft, Feather Shaft Damper (o-rings),
Want to build your own circuit board? Use Fritzing to analyze a circuit and then lay it out. Open source software.
Curious inventer - Various useful video on basic circuit board construction.
Layout creator to layout a circuit board.
Links to circuit board creation.
Hand soldering leadless chips
RCGroups Learning Wing Simulator
RCGroups Brushless Motor Tutorial
DIY Brushless ESC
2.4 ghz diy
Construct your own Flea - More info on this post. The flea is a device to convert the output of a brushed motor ESC to a standard servo signal so you can use a brushless motor ESC like the XP-7A. Popular application is the 4#3 helicopter that has brushed motor. The flea use the Atmel Tiny13, Tiny13V low voltage and Tiny13A-latest. Need to know Atmel microcontroller to construct the flea. More helpful links on getting started with the Atmel microcontroller. See below. Or just buy "the steve" already build. Remember, the latest and greatest method is just to incorporate the Flea into the ESC by reprograming the ESC. See BLHeli ESC mod.
Atmel Microcontroller - My links page to learn the Atmel microcontroller
Open source CAD - Blender
Helicopter Power Calculator
chadrg.com - Has 8 videos to show how to go from hover to loops and moderate 3D. Looks to be work in progress for the extreme 3D how to.
Radd's School of Rotary Flight - An old site that has been around since pre 2000. Teach heli flying from ground up. Remember back then helicopters were much more difficult to fly, so it goes very slow.
Little Rotors - Basic to Advance flight school.
rchelicopter - Picture description of 3D manuvers
3DX - 3D manuvers described
Vimeo- The Piro Flip
3D Glossary -
Many basics video -
Beginner's Thread on Setting 4G6/4G6S -
Basic Brushless Motor -
FAI/F3C - Helicopter aerobatic contest. (More traditional and formal. Not 3D type competition) Takes just as much skills.
Phoenix Flight Simulator adaptor for Walkera 2801.Phoenix is a highly recommended simulator.
HeliSimRC - Free heli flight simulator - Better than FMS simulator for helicopter. Not as good as Phoenix, but maybe good enough. See intro thread. Get a controller for as little as $12.
Clear View Sim - At $39.95 is pretty inexpensive.
Wow Hobbies-#1 Walkera seller in US. Out of stock on V120D02
ClubHeli- Another big player in Walkera heli. - Going out of business.
RC Hobby Helicopter - Sells Walkera heli in the US. Also sells mini-z and 1:24 scale Serpent pan car. No V120D02 helicopter.
Heli Direct - No Walkera, mainly larger helis. Have ABEC3 bearings.
XHeli - Had good deal over Christmas. No V120D02.
ehirobo- Good deal on solo pro and some Walkeras. Has V120D02 helicopter
Helizone-For cheap 3ch quality $50 helicopter. Better quality version of the Syma 107.
BP Hobbies have micro dean connector for $1.55 a set.
RCCarMax - They have Walkera parts too.
HeliRCStore.com - Has autorotation gear for V120D02 helicopter.
RC Planet - Good price - Super CP at $125
Walkera Helicopter Supply - US Store - Lots of Walkera parts, and good price. Has V120D02
TMart - Has US wearhouse. Good price for Walkera. Has V120D02 helicopter.
Hobby King - Has US wearhouse. The original and standard for low price hobby items. Before Walkera, hobbiest pay top dollars at Tower Hobbies. Hobby King has slashed price by 75% since the good old days. You decide whether free trade is a good thing. Guess we are still loosing jobs, but things are cheaper. Has V120D02 helicopter at a good price.
Miracle Mart - Oversea helicopter seller. Many modified parts.
myrcmart- Oversea vendor-Good price on Nine Eagle
Chinese Jade- Another popular place for parts. They have micro servo plugs, micro motor plug and battery plugs.
Hobby Wing- In china - Good price Genius with DEVO 7.
rc711.com- Oversea helicopter. Not bad price $79 Devo 7E
rc-fever- Good selection of cheap 3ch helicopter and Nine Eagle at good price.
Helipal.com - Good price on walkera parts.
Hobbyone - In Hong Kong. Good price. They will have the gears for the Genius servo if you strip them.
Ruten.com - Need to have Taiwan ID to buy parts. Search "Walkera" So if you know a Taiwanese friend... Very low Walkera price. See post.
RC Helicopter Select.com - In Canada. Price did not seem to be any better than wow hobbies.
Focalprice - cheap price on low end 4 channel helicopter.
MJI in Taiwan - Good price on Walkera. email Mr Lin. Thanks to bobepine's tip.
OOModel - In China - slightly higher price than MJI.
Hawk RC - In Hong Kong - Larger helis and MCPx modification parts that may be applicable to Genius.
9imod.com - Can get very good discount here. See post.
banggood.com - Ok price, but there are reports of poor service and delays.
live-hobby - German store
helibude - German store. Have Extreme modification parts.
Aliexpress - Like the Amazon of the East. Has Walkera stuff along with everything else imagined.
Hobby King - Unless you have not been in the R/C hobby scene for a while, Hobby King has the lowest price by far. It revolutionize the industry by making LiPo battery and electric flight affortable. Instead of spending $60 for a pack of LiPo, they sell at $15. Chargers instead of $130 is $40. Everyone are running electric planes and LiPo battery largely thanks to Hobby King.
-1 gram 3A brushless ESC. Great for brushless conversion along with "the steve".
-Cheapest servo 10g/1.4kg/.09s $1.89 - That is a steal.
Nano Heli- European heli shop. Gear for helicopter and other specialized parts. Has .25module pinions.
-Micro brushless motor. 19g of thrust at 1.9A draw with the recommended GWS 3020 propeller. - Good for tail motor or good for a 25" plane that weighs less that 20-40 g.
mmanrow-Scale bodies for 4#3 and similar helicopter.
Micro Fasteners-Screws that go down to M1.4. Pretty useful source for small helicopters.
Micro Connectors - Micro servo connector.
Microheli - Aftermarket parts
Micro-heli-concepts - custom parts for large number of micro helis.
AEO Brushless conversion
OverSky - Makes motor for Wow hobbies to spec and Club Heli.
Micro JST Servo Connector - The kind of connector used for Walkera micro servo. Another good source is RC-Connectors on Colorado Springs. If you can't find it here, it does not exist.
Note: Standard servo connector: Futaba J connector has blade to key the connector to the radio. JR, Hitec and Airtronics are universal. Futaba can be used with universal connector if you cut away the blade. Standard connector can be used on Futaba with no modification.
X-Treme Production - Modification parts for Walkera
HKRC - Mod parts for Walkera
Quantum Hobby - Sells mainly eFlight. Has AEO ESC with converter for eFlight that might work with Walkera.
Micro Fasteners - Need to order
Turn your micro helicopter into First Person View Flying. Here is my page: FPV Flight for Micro Helicopters
Check out the thread on micro FPV.
A magnifier is very helpful when working on small helicopters. Micro helicopter parts are small. Soldering them is even harder.If you are under 30, you are fine for now. All you need to do is move your head closer to the part to see more details. Over 40, a magnifier is a good idea. You eyes cannot focus at close distance anymore.
There are plenty of cheap magnifiers out there. They all work pretty good. Note worthy one is the $6.99 magnifier headstrap with lights from Harbor Freight. This has worked great for me for 3 years now. Never got headache, no distortion that I know, and I grab these magnifier before any solder jobs. Get them as a spare, and chances are you will stick with them like I have.
However, if you like helicopters, chances are you also like to tinker and work on other small items. You are not getting any younger, so better throw a few hundred dollars at it now and get a good magnifier that will last many years, and is plesant to use. Before getting any other magnifier, any hobbies should have a Bausch & Lomb Hastings Triplet 10X loupe. This is the industry standard for inspection and detail work. After you get that, then consider other binocular magnifiers.
Good one is the Eschenbach Max Detail binocular magnifier that you can wear like glasses. Viewing distance is 8-28", so you get a greater field of view. Unlike the Harbor Freight one that is 3.5-7" viewing distance. Harbor Freight one has very limited field of view. Note that how large an object appear is both a function of magnification and focal distance. Bausch & Lomb Hasting Loupe focal distance is 1", and is 10X power. You see lots of details down to probably .0005". Harbor Freight one is 1.8-4.8X power, and focus around 5". You do see pretty good details. Eschenbach Max Detail one is 2X, and focus distance is quite far at over 8", so object do appear smaller than the Harbor Freight one. Eschenbach is more of a general purpose magnification device. Does not magnify to a great degree. Therefore, if you are under 40 years old, Eschenbach is probably of no use to you. You can just move your head closer to get more details. Further along in age, and the Eschenbach is very useful.
Eschenbach Max Detail 2X Magnifier
Now if money is no object, then: Magnifier like Eschenbach Galilean Telescope from Magnifying Aids or other place would be great. High magnification and hands free.
Binocular magnifier is great at $500.
MIA tools - Good feedback on 000 screw driver. The Wowhobbies 000 screw driver is not very good.
RJR Cool Tools - They have Moody JIS screwdrivers. JIS screwdrivers are the ones that fit helicopter screws. They use a Japanese standard. Moody screwdrivers are high quality, and don't cost that much. Wiha seems to be the top of the line.
Test Equipment Depot - Some of the best quality wire cutters and tweezers. Erem swiss diagonal cutters are nice buy $$$. Klein and Wiha make nice cutters.
Conrad in UK - Has some VOMM tweezers that I like. 3624 8B SA-ESD would be nice. Currently have the 7ASA.
Otto Frei - Great selection of rare watch maker tool that are very helpful for helicopters too. Dumont Inox is suppose to be the best. #3 is for watch maker. #2a or #6 seems to be more useful for helicopter. Carl Zeiss Their Otto Frei flat pliers can be useful.
Stellartechnical - Erem cutter are high quality.
X-Acto knife shapener. Such a waste to throw them away X-Acto knifes or razor blades when they get dull. And they get dull very fast. I got the DMT 4" Diammond Whetstone, Tan color Extra-Extra fine along with the Aligner Kit. Just the 4" whetstone is enough for x-acto blades to put a very sharp edge on it. Almost more sharp than factory. Don't bother with coarse stones. It you have to go coarse, just throw away the blade. The aligner was great for sharpening other hobby blades like the Easy Cutter. Get them at sharpening supplies or smithsedge as well as Amazon.com. If you have the money, get the large extra extra fine diamond stone.
HobbyInc - Has some very specialized tools like the miter sander or miter cutter. More for airplanes. Have not seen those in a while.
Flourine Oil - I hate regular oil that attract dirt. Once oil attract sand, is worst than having no oil. Flourine oil is great for 2 reasons. Is made for plastic, so is perfect for helicopter. Second is it drys to a power that is attached to plastic via static or van der waals force. Definitely make things go very smooth. Highly recommened for helicopters are around the house.
esslinger - For the money no object, use watch maker's oiler to oil the bearings.
Super glue tips - Mosture cause superglue to dry. Wash a glass jar then put in refrigerator with it open to dry it out for a few days. Use it to store superglue. Throw a pack of dessicant from food in the jar if possible. Will last a long time that way. Each time superglue is used, wipe with a tissue paper. Use the second or third layer of tissue paper so that is dry. Wipe the top of the bottle off so superglue does not get stuck on the tip. Wipe while squeezing some air from bottle to make sure all glue get off the tip. Do not use needle to clear tip. If you use these hints, you should never have to do that anyway.
Best glue for fixing canopy and other parts that need to flex: Quick Grip. See recommendation by i812.
RCHelicopterfun.com - Has books on setting up rotor head. Highly recommended.
BoomTownHobbies- Heli-Grapple Micro - A hook you try to grab rings with.
Boca Bearings - Miniature bearings of good quality.
Micro Ronda-FBL system for micro helicopters
Real cool radio from Jeti Model. Unrelated to Walkera.
dealexcel.com-Hand held oscilloscope $170
dealextreme-Open source hand held oscilloscope $70
Graupner - Very nice large heli.
FlySky - Incredibly low cost 9 channel computer radio. Only $89. There is no better time to be in R/C than now. Same as Turnigy 9. Look on line for modification people done to this radio. Rewrite programs and add new features.
Plastic sheets in So Cal - ridoutplastics , sdplastics
Where to fly. Huge map of where to fly in the US.
Flying fields in Southern California.
If you are in the Los Angles South Bay area, and want to fly at the beautiful Palos Verde park on top of Palos Verde, you must join the Peninsula Silent Flyer club. Understand this is Palos Verde (most desirable real estate in LA), so the area will be well patrolled by local sheriff. Don't do anything that will harm our hobby. ie, flying a >200 size helicopter. Just does not look good.
Building balsa model tips. Use water and amonia to thin out glue.
How the Albatross Flies - Aerodynaimics of Albtross dynamic soaring.