My Heli's Specs

So here's the low-down of what I'm using ... just in case you want to compare to your setup.

Mostly stock 180 CFX with a few mods.
The heli started off as a totally stock 180 CFX, completely torn down and rebuilt by yours truly.  Previous owner implemented the servo saver mod.  I CA'd a broken servo tab back on, expecting it to re-break on the first flight.  It's held up great for over 150 flights now, including 2-3 crashes.

Close up of ESC connector and adapter cable.
The Talon15 ESC has had the micro-servo connector replaced with a standard servo connector.  So in addition there is a male-standard-servo-connector to female-micro-servo-adapter (with thick wires) mounted to the frame to make CastleLink connections easier.

Lynx 160mm white plastic main blades.
Lynx 34mm white plastic tail blades.
I've replaced the main and tail blades with Lynx white plastic blades - very nice.  They seem to be a bit more responsive than the stock 'bullet' blades.

A Protos style canopy from BLHeliparts.
A Schweizer style canopy from the HeliMax Rotofly helicopter.
The silver/white/green stock canopy has been replaced with a custom Protos-like canopy.  I also have an old Hughes/Schweizer canopy that just happens to fit this heli as well.

Close up of Align T-Rex 250 landing struts and skids.
I didn't like the stock landing gear at all.  The guys over on Helifreak had lots of great suggestions - the one I went with was the T-Rex 250 landing gear.  I had to drill two small 1/16" holes in each skid.  They're very strong.

Custom EZ-NAV LED board and cables.
A 360° white LED strobe for the tail.
 LEDs originally designed for Hirobo Quark S.R.B. helicopter.
For night flying (actually dusk flying) I pop on some custom LED nav-lights I made years ago for another helicopter almost exactly the same size as this one (it was a FP heli with foam blades).  A couple of rubber bands holds them on.  The tail LED is slightly more permanent in that it's held on with zip ties.  It stays on the heli all of the time - day or night, LEDs or none.

Foam 'pontoons' to help with visibility.
Sold in six-packs at the Dollar Tree.  $1 per pack.
A couple of red and green hair rollers (from the Dollar Tree) were sacrificed and go on the skids when I want more visibility.  The stock skids practically disappeared in the sky - the T-Rex ones aren't too bad though.

These packs weigh the same as the stock 3S 450mAh packs.
 Currently, my favorite packs are the 2S Glacier 800mAh recommended by TurboJoe - Thanks Joe!

Spektrum DX6i DSM2 6 Channel transmitter.
I have two old Spektrum DSM2 DX6i transmitters.  They control most of my helis and my two high-wing planes.
Turnigy AccuCell 6 80W charger, with IR functionality.

 iSDT SC-608 150W charger.  Can use larger Lipos to supply power.
I have a few inexpensive, but very reliable, 50W-150W Lipo chargers.  I parallel charge multiple packs whenever I fly.

HobbyKing 350W power supply.
And an inexpensive 350W HobbyKing power supply.

2S & 3S RPM and required throttle curve values.
Finally, I keep a list of those Governor High headspeeds and throttle curves in my flight bag - it goes with me to the field.

All of the remaining mechanics are 100% stock Blade parts.  A bearing here and there might be from Lynx.

AUW with 800mAh pack is 205g.
LEDs add 15g.
Red and green skid pontoons add less than a 1g.

And, of course, the Talon15 has been setup for Governor High mode, and can accept either 2S or 3S packs.

Heli #2 Arrives
So in early August 2016 Horizon Hobbies reduced the price of a new 180 CFX to $199 USD.  Amain Hobbies had a $15 coupon in addition, so I picked up a 2nd heli :)  Like the first one, I tore it all down and rebuilt it, looking for any factory errors or other anomalies.  I found one - the soldering of the bullet connectors on the motor wires was poor and one of the bullets broke off during simple handling during disassembly.  After re-soldering all 3 of the bullets I finished re-assembling the heli and proceeded to re-program the Talon15 for Auto-Lipo and Governor High modes.

I also mounted the Talon15 on the outside of the frame since I don't like stressing/folding/smashing the motor and ESC wires and solder joints in that tiny space under the battery plate.  I setup a new model memory in my DX6i, tweaked the throttle, pitch, dual rate & expo settings, centered the servos, leveled the swash and gave her a test flight with a 2S pack running 3100 & 3500 RPM.  Very nice & smooth!


Another disassembled Blade 180 CFX.
Poor soldering of solder cups (IPC Class 1 at best).
Correct soldering of solder cups (IPC Class 3).
Talon15 mounted on side of frame in order to respect the wires & solder joints.
Green BLHeliParts Protos style canopy and Lynx plastic blades.




Thanks for stopping by!
-John

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