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Frequently Asked Questions
We understand many of you have questions about why your machine may behave a certain way or how to do a common function. So we have compiled the most frequently asked questions by our customers and provided the answers here for you to help you get flying as fast as possible.

1) What type of batteries should I use?
2) When should I use my USB Charger
3) Helicopter won't power on.
4) Copter Tips/Drifts on Take off?
5) Helicopter Won't respond to remote.
6) Helicopter Veers Out of control
7) Helicopter Vibrates Badly
8) Copter Wont Lift off Ground?
1) What type of batteries should I use?
Question:

What is the recommended batteries that should be used for different models?


Answer: This is the most important question concerning remote control helicopters specifically the micro helicopters with Infrared or IR remotes but also very important with fixed frequency or 2.4GHz copters.

INFRARED (MICRO) HELICOPTERS

IR helicopters use the remote control as the charging source for the helicopter so with this in mind the batteries serve (2) roles: 

1.  Power source for the remote itself to provide IR signal to the helicopter very similar as a TV remote. 

2.  Charging source for the micro copter so the batteries must have adequate voltage to provide this dual function.  

Differences in battery construction and Quality between most common brands

-  There is a huge difference in the quality, charge (voltage) and life span (amount of charge) from battery to battery.  Here are a couple quick examples. 

-  "Kirkland" batteries from Costco are very inexpensive source of cheap battery power for MOST household items.  Micro helicopters are NOT one so please don't use them.  The reasons are below.

    -  Kirkland batteries are "short charged" to aprox.  1.3 to 1.4 volts.  Typical AA "Name Brand" batteries are labeled as 1.5v but in most cases have between 1.6 - 1.7 actual voltage when new. 

    -  1.3 volts is also the same amount of voltage that the normal "home rechargeable" batteries are charged to. 

    -  1.3 volts is adequate and fine for home appliances such as TV remotes, video game controlers, flash lights etc...

    -  The problem is that 1.3 volts is fine for your home remote and it is also fine for powering the IR remote if that is all that is was going to be used for.  Unfortunately the batteries serve a 2nd function in this product and the batteries are also the main for of charging for the helicopter itself. 

   -  When these batteries are used in this capacity they don't typically have enough "juice" to complete both tasks. 

   -  They may work for 4 - 6 charges and then the helicopter will exhibit a symptom of "No Power"  The customer immediately assumes it is the helicopter because the batteries were new when used.  The reason is pure math.  example:

    -   Each controller typically has (6) AA batteries.  If using "Kirkland" batteries the total voltage would be 6 x 1.3/1.4 = or 7.8 to 8.4 volts.  When using "Name Brand" such as Duracell, Engergizer or Eveready the voltage available is 6 x 1.6/1.7 = 9.6 to 10.2 volts.  The "Name Brand" batteries have on average 2 volts more electricity in the batteries to devote solely to charging the helicopter. 

    -    The other advantage is that the "Name Brand" batteries are of higher quality and also have a higher capacity than the less expensive "store brand".  These batteries will last longer even with the higher charge. 

**** NOTE ****  Always use "Name Brand"  New batteries in the remotes. 

**** NOTE ****  When "Name Brand" batteries have met there expected life in the remotes, most of the remotes will flash the main power LED to indicate that batteries need to be changed.  The important thing to keep in mind is that when these batteries are too low to work effe



2) When should I use my USB Charger
Question:

When is the best time to use the USB charger?


Answer:

The USB charger that is sometimes supplied with Micro IR helicopters is a "Trickle" charger and should be used for long periods of "Down Time" between flights. 

-   The USB charger typically doesn't charge the copter as quickly as the remote supplied charging cable.  This charging cable is typically used for after done for an extended amount of time between flights to allow the customer to "Turn Off" the remote to save battery life and "Plug In" the helicopter on the USB charger to allow for a "fully charged" copter for the next use beit and hour or the next day. 

-  Experiment on your own to see how the USB works for your application but we have always found that the remote control charger always provides the quickest charge between flights.



3) Helicopter won't power on.
Question:

What would cause my helicopter not to turn on?


Answer:

Several causes could be a factor in a helicopter not powering on. 

1.    Make sure that battery lead is inserted in recepticle on helicopter.  (This may not always be an option on certain models.  Micro models the battery is hard wired or soldered directly to the circuit board.

2.   The battery is fully discharged and needs recharging.

3.   The LiPo Battery has fallen below 3 volts and internal circuitry has shut off the battery to prevent LiPo battery break down.

NOTE:  LiPo Batteries are designed to give constant voltage to the helicopter for 90% of the flight.  In the last minute of flight the voltage will reduce from normal to minimum value.  This allows the heliicopter to make a safe landing before requiring recharging.  If a helicopter is discharged and is allowed to sit for a long period of time with power switch left on with LED lights flashing this can cause an interlock circuit to enact.  This circuit is in place to prevent the battery from discharging below 3 volts.  When a LiPo battery goes below 3 volts the chemical structure of the battery will break down causing the battery to fail.  Always turn the helicopter off or disconnect the battery as soon as the flight is over. 

4.  If it is a micro helicopter and the helicopter won't turn on then a "Jump Start" may fix the situation.  This will send a proper voltage signal to the helcopter allowing the interlock circuit to be released allowing the helicopter to operate and allow charging. 

     a.  Plug micro helicopter charging cable from the remote into the helicopter.  If the interlock circuit is enabled the charging LED will not light on the remote thus indicating that the helicopter is NOT charging.  After the helicopter has been attached for about 5 - 8 seconds with the charging cable still attached turn the helicopter on/off switch to "ON".  If all worked correctly the helicopter will power up and LED flashing lights etc..  should operate.  Let the helicopter stay in this condition for another 5 - 8 seconds then switch the helicopter to "OFF".  If the proceedure worked the interlock should be reset and the "Charging LED" should now light up as normal.  Helicopter should charge as normal and work as normal.

    

 



4) Copter Tips/Drifts on Take off?
Question:

Why does my medium to large helicopter tip over or scoot accross the floor during lift off?


Answer: This type of problem is called by an effect called "Rotor Wash".  This is when the wind generated by the helicopter blades rush down to the floor or ground, bounce off the floor or ground and strike the underside of the blades. When this air hits the underside of the blades it will lift the blade and cause the "balance bar" to shift.  This shiftng of the balance bar can cause the helicopter to lean or scoot accros the floor.  Tipping occurs when the surface is rough and the helicopter cannot slide. 

The way to prevent this effect is to give a guick burst of throttle when taking the helicopter off the ground.  Qucikly get the helicopter up to 15" to 24" quickly.  At this height the "Rotor Wash" will have no effect. 
 



5) Helicopter Won't respond to remote.
Question:

Why dosesn't my helicopter respond to my remote?

 


Answer:

There are a couple reasons for this problem:

 

1.  If you have never flown the helicopter before and it is a radio frequency model.  Check the back of the remote and the underside of the helicopter to see if the frequencies match.  You should be looking for 27MHz, 40MHz, or possibly 40MHz. 

2   Synch the helicopter to the remote.  Turn the helicopter on and set on a flat surface.  Turn on the remote.  Cycle the left hand joystick (throttle) from the off (bottom position) quickly to the top (full throttle) and back to off.  This will synch the helicopter and remote.  When the throttle is moved up next helicopter should respond. 

3.  2.4GHz Helicopters sometimes require the remote to be "Binded" to the helicopter.  This usually requires holding a trim button down/up and turning the remote on at the same time.  This turns the remote into "seek" mode and it will search for the helicopter.  Normally the power LED will flash during this stage and some remotes will beep. 



6) Helicopter Veers Out of control
Question:

Why does my helicopter veer out of control and crash after lift off?


Answer:

Most of the reasons for this symptom deal mostly with the upper grip set, t-bar and balance bar area of the helicopter.  If the helicopter appears to lift off normally then dart to one side out of control and typically crash then some of the causes are here.

1.  Balance Bar has a split/break in the mounting area.  This type of damage is not noticed until the helicopter blades reach full speed and the break opens up due to the force of the assembly spinning.  This break then disrupts the balance of the helicopter and it will not remain airborne.  A replacement of the balance bar will solve this problem.

2  T-bar assembly is broken.  The T-bar is the plastic portion of the top of the main "inner" shaft that the upper grip set and blades attach.  In the micro helicopters this part is usually sold seperately and can be replaced without removing the main shaft.  In the medium sized and larger helicopters the T-bar assembly is permanently mounted to the main shaft and the whole unit must be replaced.  In either case usually one or both the the "T" tabs on this part are broken off during a crash. These "T" tabs are where the "A" grip set is mounted to the main shaft.  This is where the pivot is accomplished by the balance bar that is connected to this grip set by connect buckles. 

3.  Sometimes the connect buckles during manufacture or after a crash are misaligned and can be reattached to solve this problem.  If the connect buckle is pushed "too" far on the mounting tab on either the grip set or the balance bar will cause a "loose" connection causing the balance of the copter to not be "True".  Gently pop off the connect buckle and gently press it back into place until you hear or feel a slight pop.  Sometimes during manufacture a medium or larger copter may have a piece of plastic "flashing" or bur  (which is the imperfections left on the part after casting).  This bur can be in just the wrong place that it interferes with or causes binding between the connect buckle and the mounting point on the grip set or balance bar.  Take the connect buckle off and flip it end to end and front to back and even move from one mounting location to the other on the other side of the grip set.  In most cases this will immediately result in better flying characteristics.   It may require a couple adjustments flips or even trimming or evening out of any burs that may be visable. 

4  A cracked or broken "A" grip set will also cause an unbalancing of the helicopter.  Symptoms would be similar to any of the above issues and will require replacing the grip set. 

 



7) Helicopter Vibrates Badly
Question:

What is causing my helicopter to vibrate?


Answer: Several issues can cause the helicopter to vibrate but as a washing machine will vibrate wildly if it is unbalanced the same issue is true here.  A couple of things can cause the helicopter blade assemblies to be unbalanced.

1.  Blades are broken or missing ends or tips!  This loss of tips or pieces of the blades causes the (2) sides of the blade to not be balanced and will cause a slight vibration.  Also check for cracks or splits in the blades that may not be visable by missing blade but seperate at high speed causing the blade to wobble causing the copter to vibrate.

2.  Blades are mounted "TOO" tight to the blade grips.  When tightening the blades on your helicopter they need to be just tight enough for screws to seat in bottom of grip set but loose enough for the blade to move completely free in the grip set.  The blade "CANNOT" be stiff in the blade grip. 

3.  Bent main "Inner "A" Shaft" or bent Outer "B" shaft.  A heavy vibration is normally caused by a bent shaft.  Either the inner or outer shaft.  Many of these bent shafts can be visually seen if you hold the helicopter at eye level and throttle up and down slowly you can see the shaft moving from side to side.  If the bend is slight a gentle bending of the shaft in the opposite way after visually seeing it can fix or reduce a majority of the vibration.  If after attempting to bend the shaft back into alignment it doesn't solve the problem then shaft replacement will be necessary.  You will immediately appreciate the difference with new shafts if one is bent. 

4.  If a copter demostrates a vibration that was not there before a repair of another part such as a lower grip set or drive gear then there is a good chance that one or more of the alignment bearings in the gears or the chassis of the helicopter have been forgotten during reassembly or have fallen out.  There are usually (4) bearings in a typical helicopter (2) for each shaft.  (1) coupler bearing which rides in small coupler between the inner and outer shaft. (2) Top main bearing which is usually found in the top of the motor housing and (3) bottom of the motor housing and these bearings are for the "outer" "B" shaft.  Finally (4) the bearing that is most often forgotten which is the bottom bearing usually press fit into the bottom of the "B" gear, this is the second stabilizing bearing for the "Inner" or "A" shaft. 



8) Copter Wont Lift off Ground?
Question:

My helicopter doesn't have enough power to lift off?


Answer:

When a helicopter appears to be in good mechanical condition but will not get enough power to lift off the ground can be caused by several different issues.

     1.  Battery is not fully charged?  The battery can either be weak and not fully charging anymore or possibly the battery is not being fully charged which can either be that the AC/DC wall charger is defective or if a micro sized copter the batteries in the remote (see FAQ #1)

     2.  One of the motors drive gears or shaft is not completely mechanically linked to motor (as should be) some of the types of problems that would cause this are:

       a.  Damage to the drive gear itself ie..  missing or stripped teeth (normally will hear a squealing or grinding noise when attempting to fly. 

        b.   The set screws in the "A" or "B" gear are missing or loose causing the gear to slip on its respective shaft.  With the lower gear "A" there is a flat spot machined into the bottom of the inner shaft that the set screw is designed to seat against. 

        c.  The set scews in the "B" Grip set (mount that the lower set or "B" blades attach) are not in place or are not seated in small holes machined into the shaft itself to allow anchoring.

        d.  Some models U1, U2, U3, U5, U6 have small tabs on the "B" drive gear that interlock with the bottom of the "B" shaft as opposed to screws to connect the gear to the shaft.  In some crashes these "tabs" can be damaged or broken off thus allowing the gear to spin and not mechanically connected to shaft.

Any of the above problems the helicopter will appear to be normal but since one set of blades is not allowing for full power to be applied the copter will not leave the ground.

     3.  Motors may be failing causing copter to not fly.  Typically when this happens both motors will not fail at the same time and the copter will spin in one direction on the floor and not gain altitude. 

     4.  Bearings may need lubrication or were not replaced during repair. 





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