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-   -   The Launch of KDE Direct - Trex 600 Aluminum Bottom Bracket Upgrade! (http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=74710)

KDE Direct 05-16-2008 02:02 AM

The Launch of KDE Direct - Trex 600 Aluminum Bottom Bracket Upgrade!
4 Attachment(s)
Hey All HeliFreaks -

After a lot of work and design effort, I'm pleased to announce the launch of my new design company KDE Direct (www.kdedirect.com). One of the first products available to you is the Trex 600 Aluminum Bottom Bracket upgrade and I'm proud to offer this to HeliFreaks. As you'll find on the website, here's a summary of the design:

Item Description:
Precision, CNC machined and clear anodized Aluminum 6061-T6 bottom bracket upgrade for the Align TREX 600E line of helicopters. This upgrade is a direct replacement for the stock Align part, with no modification required to the frame or landing gear. All standard hardware required is included for installation and is U.S. Made! No cheap materials or machining; this is the highest quality RC upgrade product on the market bar-none! The upgrade provides incredible frame stiffness with tremendous benefits – no more broken landing gear tabs, ability to use steel or nylon screws (to prevent landing gear breakage), optimized strength and weight characteristics, increased toughness in case of a crash, and aesthetic appeal for your helicopter!

- One (1) Aluminum Bottom Bracket Upgrade
- Four (4) M3 x 0.5 x 10 Socket Head Cap Screws (Class 12.9 Black Oxide Alloy Steel)
- Two (2) M3 x 0.5 x 12 Socket Head Cap Screws (Class 12.9 Black Oxide Alloy Steel)
- Four (4) M3 x 0.5 x 16 Socket Head Cap Screws (Class 12.9 Black Oxide Alloy Steel)
- Ten (10) M3 (3.2mm ID, 7mm OD) Washers (Zinc-Plated DIN 125 Steel Flat)
- Four (4) M3 x 0.5 Nylon-Insert Locknuts (Zinc-Plated Class 8 Steel)
- Installation diagram with hardware callouts

~77 g (design is FEA optimized for maximum strength and minimum weight – only ~30 g heavier than stock plastic frame)

The first production run will be available on 5/27/2008 and we are currently accepting preorders through the website. All parts will ship the following day via USPS Priority Mail (Free shipping for the celebration of the launch)! No more plastic parts - it can't get any better than that! I've attached additional images of the design.

Thanks again for everyone's support!

Yardape 05-16-2008 03:34 AM

will you ship to canada? if so i want two of those beauty's! Nice work! Top shelf.

bullaculla 05-16-2008 05:16 AM

WOW! that is much nicer than I expected! :shock:
I'm glad I bought one :D

Hey, wait a minute!
whats that cool little rear tray I see hiding under there?
With all that extra bracing in there, you must have the stiffest Trex frame ever! :D

cbergen 05-16-2008 07:56 AM

Nicely done!!

KDE Direct 05-16-2008 09:37 AM

Yes, I will ship to Canada via First Class Mail International for free (introductory offer). If you would like the items faster, we can discuss other methods of shipping for you at different price rates (send me an e-mail ot PM if you'd like to discuss this).

Thanks everyone for the support! I'm truly excited to offer this to us RC Helicopter addicts and I'm looking forward to everyone's response and seeing these at the Fun Flys. I'll continue working on other concepts and possibly release the gyro tray next (as Bullacula is hinting towards). Yes, I've added stiffeners throughout the frame and my Trex 600E is now crazy rigid - the crash rigidity has been outstanding (which is what I primarily need it for! LOL :lolol). I put it in hard a few months ago and all I broke were the landing gear!

KDE Direct 05-16-2008 11:50 AM

Quick Update -

I've received a few e-mails concerning the premium price of the new upgrade part. I wanted to explain my design philosophy on this and what you can expect from KDE Direct:

I tried to keep the pricing as low as possible, but I wanted to keep manufacturing in the U.S. and not reduce material or machining quality in anyway. My goal for this new company is for customers to know they are buying a premium product that represents some of the best work out there. I know I could reach a larger target audience with a lower cost, lower quality design, but I don't want my business model to be based around that. I used the highest grade Aluminum 6061-T6, which offers incredible strength at a very minimal weight increase over the stock plastic frame. Also, I'm confident you'll be impressed by the CNC machining work - I worked hard to find a highly skilled machinist and I'm confident you'll see his work is represented in the part. All edges are chamfered and tolerances are being held to +/- 0.001", so you'll get an exact part everytime. I'm also using MIL-spec, clear anodizing to provide excellent corrosion resistance and a brilliant shine. I want to offer us helicopter addicts the best quality available, as I've been very frustrated with low quality parts and upgrades that cause headaches and trouble once installed in the past.

As part of the sale, I wanted to start an industry first crash warranty for RC hardware. If a serious crash occurs and the part is damaged in anyway, I'm offering a 30% discount on a replacement part. This is my commitment to you and the quality of my work, and I want to help out us HeliFreaks in anyway possible.:hug:

Thanks again for your support!

Aptar 05-16-2008 11:55 AM

One item sorely needed for the Trex 600 in aluminum is the tail slider bellcrank. I have searched and searched and there just aren't any available from anyone!

eightythree 05-16-2008 12:59 PM

nice work keg!

what other products will you be releasing? i love supporting US machined parts, cant get any better than that! :smokin:

KDE Direct 05-16-2008 01:02 PM

Also, I don't want HeliFreak.com to feel like I'm hijacking their website or promoting my products without returning the favor to the forum, so who should I contact concerning advertisement on this site? I want to be fair to this awesome forum and not take advantage of anything in announcing new developments in the future.

BarnOwl 05-16-2008 01:25 PM

That is one fine piece of engineering! Actually one of the things that goes in a big crash is the bottom plate.
I have one question though: Because the Align bottom is plastic it sort of acts like a crashing zone to protect the rest of the frame.
In a really heavy crash (Like I experienced last week because I started a big loop too low and crashed it full speed nose down in the Dutch clay :arggg:) the frames will damage even with the plastic bottom. But with your beautiful strong rigid bottom is there not a possibility it will cause more damage to the rest of the heli because it lacks the absorption of the plastic?

KDE Direct 05-16-2008 01:25 PM

Thanks eightythree,

I don't have my plans all laid-out yet, as funds are very tight for me and my family right now, but I'm hoping to get working on the Aluminum Tail Slider Crank (as Aptar is hoping for) and some other ideas I'll think you'll like that I don't want to disclose quite yet. I'll keep you posted as best I can and keep watching the website, I'll keep that updated on a regular basis with progress.

BarnOwl - I actually think it will minimize the damage to the frame, as the aluminum will support the shock and prevent flexing of the carbon frames, which causes the breakage. In the event of a crash, the stock plastic frame flexes tremendously and provides no support to the carbon structure, which quickly causes the carbon to shatter. Carbon-fiber weave is very good in symetric and smooth loading, but is horrible in sudden shock-type impacts, which shatters the epoxy within the carbon lay-up and results in cracks and breakage. Of course, if you put it in hard enough, things could still break and that's why I wanted to offer a crash-replacement program. On the other hand, in my own experience and multiple hard crashes with the frame I've had installed for over a year, I've had no damage to the frames and electronics tucked inside for protection. Also, to prevent breaking the landing gear as well, you can use nylon screws in this design to secure the landing gear, which will shear off in the event of a crash and prevent further damage.

I hope this helps!

blueviewlaguna 05-16-2008 02:07 PM

Great product, just bought one!

Regarding the cost, I am just glad its available. I am in manufacturing and a prodcut has to turn a profit after all the R & D, time and trouble, etc, etc and this usually means volume. Not to mention working with the supplier to assure quality, etc. At low volume its really tough to make it all worthwhile.

I really hope you sell enough of these to continue making them for the long term and produce other products.

Skiddz 05-16-2008 03:50 PM

I think you need to send me a couple to test to see how well the ano holds up to the corrosive salt-laden air of Carlsbad. :)

KDE Direct 05-16-2008 04:14 PM

Nice Kevin -

The salt-laden air of Carlsbad might not be the problem - I think the caustic chlorine deposits from your paradise pool in your backyard might be the issue. :YeaBaby:

Skiddz 05-16-2008 04:31 PM

So I can expect 'em in the mail next week??? :)

KDE Direct 05-16-2008 05:23 PM

Unfortunately, the production will not be completed until May 27th, but you can preorder before then. As for testing, are you volunteering for crash durability testing? :YeaBaby: LOL I won't cover the cost of the other broken parts during the testing (tail boom, metal head components, etc.), but I'm confident the AL Bottom Bracket will hold up to the abuse of your flying. :cheers

Dynamic 05-16-2008 05:39 PM

Can you provide the weight of the bottom plate so we can see how much heavier it will actually be

thank you.

KDE Direct 05-16-2008 05:55 PM

Yes, the average weight of 10 machined parts was 77.3 g (~ 77 g). From what I remember measuring with the stock, plastic bottom bracket, the Align stock version was ~48 g. Could someone please verify this for me, as I don't have the stock plastic part on hand (gave it away long ago...)?

Overall, I believe the Aluminum bottom bracket is ~ 30 g (~ 0.066 lb) heavier than the stock plastic part, which is negligible to flight performance with the added benefit of signficantly increased frame stiffness and crash rigidity (and bling value!). I'm not nearly a good enough pilot to notice a change of 30 g, let alone 300 g, so it was not a detriment in anyway to upgrade my 600E.:Bang

r40734 05-16-2008 07:14 PM


Machined tail boom mount down the road? That giant chunk of plastic annoys me every time I look at it. Plus, on my used, practice 600, the boom block hole, where the boom slides in, actually got tweaked hard enough that it has more of a tapered shape now. (that's what I get for jumping ahead of my learning curve)

Skiddz 05-16-2008 07:40 PM


Originally Posted by kegerator (Post 678664)
Unfortunately, the production will not be completed until May 27th, but you can preorder before then. As for testing, are you volunteering for crash durability testing? :YeaBaby: LOL I won't cover the cost of the other broken parts during the testing (tail boom, metal head components, etc.), but I'm confident the AL Bottom Bracket will hold up to the abuse of your flying. :cheers

If you want crash testing, make a bottom plate for the 450s.. I crash those all the time. :) Only wadded a 600 once and my wallet is still healing. :)

As for production date, May 27 is perfect. You can give 'em to me for my anniversary which is on the 23rd. :)

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