Maplin's helicopters

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bushtrekker
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Maplin's helicopters

by bushtrekker » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:40 pm

I've always fancied having a go at flying a model helicopter, so yesterday I used some birhtday money to buy one of Maplins three channel Lynx models. I asked about spares and was told I could get them by mail order. I opened the box to find that someone had been there before me, as the wired that held it in were twisted differently.

When I plugged in the charger the light didn't come on, but I found the battery was already charged, so tried it in the, living room, raising the speed slowly and watching for signs of lift off. When it did take off it it did so backwards and sideways, nearly amputating a toe on it's way. Last night I took it into the garage and tried various techniques for a clean lift off, but it still slewed onto its side.

This morning I took it onto the lawn, where it took off, turned sideways and neatly broke one of the lower blade attachment points. I rang Maplins online, who told me that spares were not available for this model and told me to take it back for replacement or refund, but I have a number of issues with it.

On the box it says it is suitable for over 14's and easy to fly, which it clearly is not and represents a safety hazard.

The instructions are written in pidgin english and are sparse to say the least.

Given the above, I'm tempted to take it to trading standards instead of back to Maplins, before someone else shells out £50 for something which could cause major damage on Christmas morning!
Cheers, John

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by Dusty1000 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:48 pm

Hi John and welcome to the forum, sorry to hear about your experience, hope you have no problems getting a refund. 2 and 3 channel helis that don't have available spares are toys really. I agree they should do what they say they do on the box, but sadly that's not always the case.

If you want to get into this fun hobby, take a look at something like this:

http://www.heliguy.com/Electric-RC-Heli ... ra-blades/

Or if you're up for a challenge and fancy learning to fly conventional single rotor helis, take a look at this :D

http://www.heliguy.com/Electric-RC-Heli ... ain-Group/
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by crackerj » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:59 pm

John - You sound like you took a careful approach to trying out the heli and as has been stated above these are basically toys and as such a waste of money!

The suggestions above are pretty sound and if you keep up the carefull approach and take your time there's a serious danger you'll get "Hooked" (on the hobby that is not the rotor blades) :lol:

Hope you get sorted, not the best start but some sound advice given if you want to try again!

John

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I fancy one of these, but I haven't won the lottery yet!

by bushtrekker » Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:59 pm

http://www.draganfly.com/uav-helicopter/draganflyer-x6/

I'm a photographer, which is why I'm interested, but your suggestions sound good to me.
What really concerned me is that a lot of these are going to be opened on Christmas Day and they could take out a lot of expensive presents on their first flight. I did things gently, but the average teenager is likely to go for full throttle straight out of the box.
Cheers, John
PS Can anyone explain what they mean by when electricity is not full deformations may occur. That's the level of the instructions!!!

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Re: I fancy one of these, but I haven't won the lottery yet!

by crackerj » Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:15 pm

bushtrekker wrote:http://www.draganfly.com/uav-helicopter/draganflyer-x6/

PS Can anyone explain what they mean by when electricity is not full deformations may occur. That's the level of the instructions!!!


Although it's cringworthy I think what they're reffering to is the Lipo Battery installed in the heli, these babies are very delicate and need to be used with caution!

You are quite right about the safety aspect of these "Toys" and if you decide to take the hobby further you'll find every other statement refers to safety for yourself and those around you!

Even the small models will hurt you and if like you say a new owner gives it full throttle with the family stood around watching it could be very nasty!

John

bushtrekker
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Tell me about it, my foot still hurts.

by bushtrekker » Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:29 pm

Hi John, I've just looked at your Youtube link and you've obviously been around these things for some time. I've just discovered another downside to the Maplins helicopters, the rotor links won't glue with superglue, so I've had to use Araldite and hope they don't notice it. I'm a council officer, so if they refuse to refund I'll take it along to trading standards with the suggestion that 'Easy to fly', might just infringe the Trades Description Act. If I was a parent buying one on the basis of that description I would assume that little Tommy was going to be able to fly it round the living room by Boxing Day, which is obviously not the case unless he knows someone like you.

I'm sure a lot of parents would be horrified if someone suggested buying their offspring an upside down flying lawnmower :D
Cheers, John

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by Globs » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:18 pm

It sounds like it may have been faulty and previously returned.

If you want fun and safe, buy a Blade mSR. It looks expensive but has full support and spares, and will teach you a lot about flying. It is also extremely hard to break.

Make sure you order from a place that has them in stock - they are in demand.
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by Dusty1000 » Mon Nov 23, 2009 4:47 pm

Globs wrote:buy a Blade mSR. It looks expensive


...and they say looks are everything :lol:
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bushtrekker
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I got a refund.

by bushtrekker » Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:45 am

Thanks for the replies,
Cheers, John

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Re: I fancy one of these, but I haven't won the lottery yet!

by Crash Test Pilot » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:02 pm

[quote="bushtrekker"]I did things gently, but the average teenager is likely to go for full throttle straight out of the box.quote]

A friend of mine bought a heli from maplin it looked like an esky lama and seemed a bargain at £40.
We got back to his house he went straight into the garden connected it all up then just powered it the thing shot to about 20ft in the air he managed to stop it and hold it there but it started drifting and slowly getting higher, neither of us new anything about helis at the time so we didnt know what to do so he was moving the sticks around but just couldnt get it back to his garden. I decided it would be a good idea to read the instructions at this point so by the time i looked up again it was more like 30ft in the air i carried on reading and then came accross a warning it said do not go further than a 10ft radius so i watched as it got higher and higher then all of a sudden went out of range. The heli just started moving forward at quite a speed and zoomed off over some houses, i couldnt help laughing.
We managed to fing the heli it was laying by the kirb in the next road but it was badly dammaged and never worked again
I think he caught the buzz though because he went out and bought another one and within a week had destroyed that one as well. So that was £80 wasted when for the same price he could have bought a heli with available spares

I cant complain though it was this little incident that got me started on hellis
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by scouse » Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:05 pm

Personally id never buy a heli from maplins or to be honest i wouldnt buy a heli from 99% of the places theyre available, the main reason to me is obvious ( not to someone new ) : spares availability . I never have and will never buy anything that i cannot readily buy spares for either from this country or from abroad , spares availability is more important than most people think especially when introduced to these little bundles of joy.

So far ive had a walkera 5#5 which is a nice little coax but you get bored of those really really quickly, walkera 4#3 probably one of the best little helis ive had , then various 6 channel 450 size helis all of which flew perfectly well ( walkera 36,60 esky belt cp,belt carbon, trex 450se , ark x-400 etc etc the list goes on )

Basically now is the time to do some research and stick your hand deep deep into your pocket lol.

Welcome to the most infuriating , demanding,new under pants buying hobby that you will probably undertake :D

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Too Late!!!

by swindonstu » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:20 am

Hi Everyone!

First time poster here and new to the world of heli's... :D

The reason for my posting is this - at age 38, I had been saying to my GF for some years that I had always fancied an RC Heli since I was a kid. Being the thoughtful, caring GF that she is, she went out to several shops, talked to lots of shop assistants, and was advised (or pursuaded?) that one particular model was the right one for my situ.

The Maplins Lynx. :shock:

She duly handed over her dosh, believing she was getting the best possible with her money for my xmas pressie. Now it may be that she had a strict budget, I really don't know and I'm not about to ask! Lol. But here we are, I have this particular heli to learn on, and an enthusiastic GF watching me learn...

I have been out a couple of times with it (before coming to this site I might add, so I thought any difficulties were my own incompetancies) but without much success.

I have got it to take off - i tried slowly doing so but experienced the same as others - it goes straight onto it's side. I naturally thought it was the trim so figured if i get it up into the air and then adjust the trim??? :oops:

Anyways, second time out this led to a crash landing which broke one blade (spare came with the heli) and the inner shaft mount. I have superglued the mount (not tried using yet) and also ordered one from maplins website - it cost £2 for the part, and £3 for delivery! Lol. It also said out of stock and they would send as soon as in stock. Being as how they took my money I would hope that this isn't too long!!!

Here is my problem - I obviously don't want to upset my lovely GF by suggesting that she made a bad choice so is there some way I can get this sucker flyable for a period long enough to 'move up'?

I had thought about tethering it so it doesn't just fly off before I have had chance to adjust the trim, then adjust the trim, and voila??? :idea:

Has anyone experienced tethering a heli? bad/good idea? I was thinking of plenty of string for slack... :?

Oh yes, just for info, I only fly outside with plenty of space around. I did read somewhere that one guy got a good result flying one of these in a warehouse, but I don't have one currently myself... :(

Thanks in advance for all the help/advice!

Stu

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And also...

by swindonstu » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:34 am

Just wondered what everyone's thoughts are on this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47sdLSM5KWk

Retails on ebay at £60...

Any good for a beginner? or would it not teach me anything?

no idea what he's saying by the way! Lol

Stu

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by buzzbird » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:43 am

swindonstu
That Globelus may be ideal for beginners, but it appears to me to be absolutely perfect for tantrum-prone teenagers. And I haven't seen anywhere selling it apart from ebay. Buy from a reputable, dedicated rc heli shop/company only.

The problem with Maplin specials are that they are just toys. Not what we fly, just toys. With just 3 channels the most they will do is go up/down, forwards/backwards and turn left/right. They do not have the bank left/bank right facility. Then you get onto the spares issue.

At the very least you need to do your research and purchasing through the right shops, and the right shops online. You've come to the right place in Heliguy, as they are a shop as well as a forum. Unfortunately your GF bought you a lemon, thanks to asking the wrong people, and there's no getting away from the fact that it's a lemon. Rather than upsetting her, it may be better pointing out that her heart's in the right place, and the one she got was a good stepping-stone into the hobby although not the right one.

You'll find that a decent starter co-axial heli with 4-channels-plus will start at around £70. As you've discovered already, buying from the wrong shop or ebay can be a waste of money unless you know what you're doing.

Here are some suggestions:
http://www.heliguy.com/Electric-RC-Heli ... ain-Group/
http://www.heliguy.com/Electric-RC-Heli ... ain-Group/
http://www.heliguy.com/Electric-RC-Heli ... ain-Group/

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by crackerj » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:56 am

It might help if you explain to her that the Maplins toy has kindled a desire to approach this very challenging hobby with a real sense of gusto.
Tell her that the model she bought you has confirmed that you'd like to take up heli's properly and that if it weren't for her gift you wouldn't have known where to start!
Word of warning here mind, when she finds out the cost of half decent heli's she might cut your ambition short :wink:

John

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by silentpilot » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:50 pm

crackerj wrote:It might help if you explain to her that the Maplins toy has kindled a desire to approach this very challenging hobby with a real sense of gusto.
Tell her that the model she bought you has confirmed that you'd like to take up heli's properly and that if it weren't for her gift you wouldn't have known where to start!
Word of warning here mind, when she finds out the cost of half decent heli's she might cut your ambition short :wink:

John
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by Friskle » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:06 pm

crackerj wrote:It might help if you explain to her that the Maplins toy has kindled a desire to approach this very challenging hobby with a real sense of gusto.
Tell her that the model she bought you has confirmed that you'd like to take up heli's properly and that if it weren't for her gift you wouldn't have known where to start!
Word of warning here mind, when she finds out the cost of half decent heli's she might cut your ambition short :wink:

John


At least its all her fault...so she cant argue to much lolol :)
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by swindonstu » Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:58 pm

Friskle wrote:At least its all her fault...so she cant argue to much lolol :)



Awww... thats a bit mean... she was trying bless her... lol..

The suggestion about wanting to move on up has already been suggested by me to her, i just want her to see me getting some use out of the lynx before upgrading is all... just so she doesn't realise she got a lemon...

Thanks for all the advice guys... got my eyes on a honeybee though! prefer the idea of single rather than gyro.

:D

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by silentpilot » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:07 pm

swindonstu wrote:Thanks for all the advice guys... got my eyes on a honeybee though! prefer the idea of single rather than gyro.
A HB could be a big step to take, single rotor with no stability built in...

I'd go for a 120SR if I was in your shoes, its a proper single rotor but the 45deg flybar is almost as stable as a coax. Great to learn with!
Cheers, Tony.



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by swindonstu » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:45 pm

silentpilot wrote:A HB could be a big step to take, single rotor with no stability built in...

I'd go for a 120SR if I was in your shoes, its a proper single rotor but the 45deg flybar is almost as stable as a coax. Great to learn with!


Is the 120SR suitable for outdoors? Outside is my only option for flying...

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by buzzbird » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:55 pm

A 120SR's a bit small for outside, but very few models (try "none") under a 450 could be classed as "outdoor" helis.
With everything smaller than a 450 you will need days with little or no wind, but flying outdoors could be done.

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by dondecap » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:05 pm

hi swindonstu.
don't touch it mate its just a pretty looking 3channel, with the chance of spares not too likely.
anything 4 channel or above is 'hobby grade'.
and spares are available you just need to find out which dealer is stocking what
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by silentpilot » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:14 pm

buzzbird wrote:A 120SR's a bit small for outside, but very few models (try "none") under a 450 could be classed as "outdoor" helis.
This is true, however, I've just had some fantastic flights in the street and park today due to no wind!! My neighbor came out to watch and says he'll probably get one himself too :lol: :lol:
Cheers, Tony.



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by buzzbird » Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:58 pm

silentpilot wrote:
buzzbird wrote:My neighbor came out to watch and says he'll probably get one himself too :lol: :lol:

Ahh, a "spares" donor. :D

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by silentpilot » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:02 pm

buzzbird wrote:Ahh, a "spares" donor. :D
How Rude !!

I dont even know if he's richer than me...
I might end up being the donor :shock:
Cheers, Tony.



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Trex Trilogy: 100, 450 Pro, 550E 3G



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RealFlight 4.5 / Phoenix V3



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