Protocol Tough-Copter RC Helicopter 3.5 Chanel Radio Control With Gyro
Protocol's ToughCopter with Gyro is built to withstand crashes that other RC helicopters can't. It's made with a lightweight, durable alloy frame that absorbs the impact of rough landings and some crashes. A built-in gyro stabilizer makes flying action easy and accurate while an LED spotlight with flashing tail lights add to the realism of your flying experience...Read more
Opened it up, added transmitter batteries then waited my 2 hours to let the battery pack charge fully. Upon green charge indicator off charger I unplugged it and took it for its first flight.
First off- it says outdoors. Took it outdoors. The instruction manual states NOT to take it outside unless its perfectly calm, and it was. However the SLIGHTEST breeze and this thing drifts away. Honestly has about as much power to overcome a breeze as the smallest micro 2.4 heli (which this is only 47mhz). Loss of a star.
Second- took it back inside and let it fully charge once again. This time decided to fly it in an open room with a 12.5ft ceiling. The heli took off and hovered long enough for me to set the trim. Landed and went to take back off... Dropped signal from the controller from 3 feet away. Try again. Loses signal. Tried again. Lost signal. Would not fly. Rebound the transmitter to remote- no change. Thought it to be radio interference where I was attempting to fly; so I changed locations, recharged the battery to full, reset the bind, everything I could think of to make sure that my no crashes and gentle handling weren't to fault... No change. Loss of another star.
Third- Puzzled with its loss of connection I pulled the three screws out of the canopy and started investigating loose solder points, broken antenna, or anything else that would be obvious to its problem of cutting power upon full power and takeoff. Right off the batteries red positive lead, I found that a board ground was actually touching the underside of the positive lead. Knowing how to solder, I quickly removed both connections, cleaned up the booger mess of solder, made sure the + and - were no longer touching. ***UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF REVIEW***
Forth- Went online to diagnose problems and look for a new board. No direct contact for the company "Protocol" and their website is a joke. I also come to find out this heli is marketed under a few different makes, such as Hercules X and others. No one has parts for those either, most get terrible reviews. Loss of another star.
In conclusion, you really really want to like this helicopter. Its huge, looks good, sounds mean when the motors wind, but at the end of the day is completely useless and unsupported.
After spending an hour checking voltage to capacitors on the board, I found that only when 3/5- full voltage was applied, enough resistance build up in between the wiring points that electricity would actually jump the air gap and basically turn off the heli for a split second. Using a rotary tool, I was able to cut a small gap between the connections, remove solder, reattach wires, and then covered the area in a small amount of liquid electrical tape. After letting it dry, I attempted flight again and this time it worked! Was able to get a 10 minute flight out of the first charge.
Heli has a ton of weight in the blades, and has a hard time winding down if you go to air brake, reduce throttle, ect. However this means it also has more of a time winding up to speed. The benefit is a solidly stable heli. When changed to "Hi" the heli acts much freer as you can hear the rear rotor really ramp up. I haven't gotten a chance to use it much, but voltages look good, everything works, and if it wasn't for the poor manufacturers soldering, would be a very stable large platformed 3.5 channel heli.
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