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Old 02-13-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
DaMaGeLaB
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Default Esky Belt CPv2 - CPX - CNC & Carbon Fiber Upgrades - (Question?)

Hi,

I'm quite new to the hobby of RC Helicopters, and well I'm thinking about purchasing the Esky Belt CPX for my first 6 channel collective pitch helicopter, with the intention of making upgrades to metal CNC parts and maybe replacing the Main-frame and Tail-boom for Carbon-fiber like the Esky Belt CPv2 Carbon Edition.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is do components from the Belt CPv2 fit the CPX so I can achive a simular look to the Belt CPv2 Carbon Edition? or would I be better off just purchasing the Belt CPv2? I've searched online for advice but I've not been able to find anything helpful as yet, regarding interchangeable component also is there much difference in performance between these two Esky models.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Kindest regards,
DaMaGeLaB

Last edited by DaMaGeLaB; 02-14-2012 at 02:31 AM..
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Old 02-14-2012, 02:55 AM   #2
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Hi, the cpx frame is slightly different to the v2 as the cpx has direct to swash already on it. It's a popular mod on the belt v2 which I've yet to try. Also the head is different on the cpx but that shouldn't be a problem as most people switch toa better rotor head anyway. I'd imagine that pretty much everything else would fit nicely though. I'm sure some of the other guys will know far more than me and I'd imagine they will be along to offer some help soon!
As its your first heli I wouldnt worry too much about cosmetic stuff as if your like me, and many of the others, you'll more than likely be having a few mishaps along the way!
I have the belt v2 and it's great for me to learn on and went he inevitable happens the stock plastic parts are cheap to replace.
I'm sure you'll love whichever you choose, and good luck
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:41 AM   #3
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The Esky carbon and CNC parts make little difference to how the heli flies. In fact, if you look through old posts here, you'll see that many people find that the plastic head parts are better than the CNC parts (myself included). The CP X is a better design than the V1/V2, with direct-to-swash (DTS) servo linkages. Set up right, it will fly well.

The biggest problem with the stock Belt is the non-adjustable transmitter (TX). The best upgrade you can make to the Belt is to replace the TX with a programmable TX such as the DX6i. Being able to set throttle and pitch curves, dual rates and expo will make far more difference in how the heli flies than any amount of carbon and CNC bling. Especially the purple Esky stuff

So get a CP X, keep it stock, but upgrade the TX.

Also keep in mind that you will need spare parts. Do you have a source for these, as it seems many people on here are finding great difficulty in finding common parts that they need. So maybe anything Esky is not such a good idea any more

It's more expensive up front, but a Blade 450 is a better all-round RTF package, which comes with a DX6i TX (hence the greater cost). And parts are generally easy to find.

Don't get me wrong, all of us on here started out with a Belt, and many of us still have them. But things have moved on a lot in the past two or three years, the Belt is not one of only a few options any more. There are many more options now, and many are better than the Belt.
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Old 02-14-2012, 07:55 AM   #4
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+1 on all counts. B450's a better choice if you're trying to select your first 450 size CP heli. Never found any difference in how the blinged out CF version of Belt CP v2 flew against the basic plastic version when I had both of them.
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Old 02-14-2012, 08:28 AM   #5
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I have the Belt CP v2 and recently replaced the frame with the CPX frame/canopy along with the EXI CNC head. Personally I would go with the CPX if I were you. I wish I would have.
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Old 02-14-2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyprusDave View Post
Also keep in mind that you will need spare parts. Do you have a source for these, as it seems many people on here are finding great difficulty in finding common parts that they need. So maybe anything Esky is not such a good idea any more
Yeah, unfortunately that is why many of use have done the upgrades, Esky parts are only randomly available, if at all.

Going in, if you are planning on doing all those upgrades from the start, you would be better off buying a heli like one from the TREX 450 line that has all those things already, and replacements are easy to find.
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:34 PM   #7
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@All
Thank you all for such great advice all of which will be taken into consideration. I'm so glad I didn't just rush out and purchase this Heli just yet! as it seems I have quite a lot a research left to do.
@ChopperNoob
QUOTE "you'll more than likely be having a few mishaps along the way!"
If my first flight has any resemblance to my experience with Heli-X simulator, I'll defiantly need spares!
@CyprusDave
So CNC, Carbon-fiber and other replacement components offer very little in performance increase and are purely aesthetically pleasing? I was kind of under the impression upgrading would increase the durability of the helicopter.

I've not looked into acquiring spare components in great detail as I don't know which components are most likely to be replaced.

I have seen people advising to change out the "ESC" which I was thinking about doing if I purchase the Esky Belt CPv2/CPX, but regarding "TX" do you mean the actual Receiver or Transmitter unit (Remember I'm only a n00b )
@CyprusDave & jperkosk
I will also look into the Blade 450 as another option if the price isn't much greater.
@GreyEyes
I'm definitely looking for a Heli I can customize over time, as I tend to have the habit of fixing stuff that isn't broken I was original thinking about purchasing a kit, but decided against the idea due to the fact I still need to learn how to make basic adjustments and how to do a basic set up. plus I wouldn't know where to start selecting electrical components.

Regarding the Trex 450 Heli's I do like the look of these, but slightly out of my current range being double the cost! although I'm a firm believer in the saying "You get what you pay for" sadly I'm unable to pay it, LULz. I would defiantly consider investing in a Heli like the Trex in the future.
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Old 02-14-2012, 06:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMaGeLaB View Post
So CNC, Carbon-fiber and other replacement components offer very little in performance increase and are purely aesthetically pleasing? I was kind of under the impression upgrading would increase the durability of the helicopter.
CNC parts can reduce slop and make a heli fly more precise, but Belt's CNC parts are of such a poor quality that I haven't felt any improvement whatsoever compared to plastic twin. CF is stronger, but it doesn't mean it'll survive more crashes, especially at the beginning. It means CF component will transfer more crash force down the line instead of snapping and acting as a mechanical fuse. My CF Belt practically exploded on the maiden hover when the heli wobbled on the landing and the tip of the CF blade touched my wife's flower pot base; the wooden blade would've just disintegrated with much less damage to the rest of the heli. Plastic can be glued back in many cases, aluminum sometimes can be straightened, but carbon fiber disintegrates. Forget CF until you stop crashing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMaGeLaB View Post
I will also look into the Blade 450 as another option if the price isn't much greater.
My Blade400 is my favorite 450, I fly it more than TR450 which I got with barely adequate gyro and is waiting now for FBL conversion. In fact this is the only bird that I think will have some components wear out on me soon because it's all plastic, I have over 100 flights on it and have never crashed it. B450, the current version, has better gyro and a bit stronger motor. The main difference between B400 and Belt CP that there is no need to upgrade anything for a long time on B400, it's all very decent quality to begin with. Not great, mind you, but decent. It also comes in RTF package with DX6i Tx, and the Tx-Rx set is something you'll be changing on Belt CP after a couple of crashes, without a computer radio you just can't adjust your heli properly. Also, the best feature: Blade parts are probably the best in the availability department in North America, although they tend to be expensive compared to Trex clones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaMaGeLaB View Post
Regarding the Trex 450 Heli's I do like the look of these, but slightly out of my current range being double the cost!
Double the initial cost of the Belt is nothing. If you stay with this hobby after the first crash I guarantee you that you'll have spent additional double that amount within the first 2 month of the original purchase on parts and upgrades.
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Old 02-14-2012, 09:02 PM   #9
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@jperkosk

Thanks for such a great reply you seem pretty knowledgeable and I really appreciate your advice. although my head seems to hurt! now I really don't know what Heli to choose, thank you for pointing out some of the disadvantages associated with using Carbon-fiber components, I see your point regarding the "Mechanical Fuse" principal keeping things standard might be my best bet to start with until I become confident in flight.

I've been looking at the Trex 450 with a Spektrum DX6i for £497.98 and the E-Flite Blade 450 for £322.99, I'm not sure which Transmitter the Blade 450 comes with as it's not listed, my only concern being both are more than double the price of the Esky Belt CPv2/CPX which I've seen for £169.00.

And being so new to collective pitch Heli's it seems quite an investment to make, plus I know I'm going to break something soon so I'm thinking it would be better to break a £169.00 Heli than a Heli costing £497.99 I understand making the investment in a quality Heli has obvious advantages but still I feel nervous about those prices for my first collective pitch Heli.

What would be the advice on maybe buying the cheaper Esky Belt CPv2/CPX forget the aesthetic upgrades and focus on upgrading the transmitter to the Spektrum DX6i which I've seen for £127.98 learning how to fly and maintain the Heli in the process, then once confident in flight and maintenance, maybe purchasing a Trex 450 (Kit) and build into the hobby from there?

Kindest regards,
DaMaGeLaB
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:47 AM   #10
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I agree totally, if you intend to be in this for the long term. It's worth the wait to get the Blade450 w.DX6i.

When I got my belt-cp, I wasn't happy with it and spent loads upgrading it. I had bought a 2nd hand t-rex450 and DX6i not more than one month later.

I finally got the belt flying good, but I had to go through the process of crashing it to find out what was wrong, and rebuilding it with appropriate upgrades. By the time I had finished that process, it would have been cheaper to just buy the t-rex kit and build it myself. Then instead of spending money upgrading the belt, I could have spent the money uprading some of the electronics on the t-rex.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:50 AM   #11
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Yes, by TX we mean the radio transmitter, although I think Jerry's very complete and informative reply has probably made that clear anyway

Starting out by building a kit can be intimidating, but any RTF heli will require checking over and final setup before it can be flown. Also, after your first crash, you will basically have a kit to reassemble again anyway Having built it youself originally, you'll at least know how it goes together. Most clone kits come assembled into the main sub-assemblies (head, tail and frame), and it's just a case of putting these sub-assembles together to make the finished airframe. They're (mostly) based on the T-Rex 450, so just download a T-Rex manual to follow, if they don't come with one. As far as setup is concerned, Finless Bob's video are excellent at explaining what is required.
http://www.helifreak.com/showthread.php?t=41692
Check out the CCPM and gyro setup ones first.

You can get some good, quite inexpensive clone kits now, EXI, HK, Copter-X and Tarot being just some examples.
http://www.hobbyking.com/hobbyking/s...x_Compat_.html
And I for one would be more than happy to help with a list of suitable electronics to finish it off. I'm sure others would also be more than happy to chip in.

But if you do decide to go RTF, then IMHO Blade 400 or 450 is the way to go.
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:03 AM   #12
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+1 on what's been said.

The Tx is the heart of the hobby. It is easy to focus on what you are flying rather than what you are flying it with. But the fact is, that what you are flying will inevitably change and evolve with the hobby. No matter what you fly, you need a good Tx.

The Eflite Blade 400 and Blade 450 come with the Spektrum DX6i, which is a very good value transmitter; whilst not top of the range, it will easily see you a long way into the hobby and for many is all they will ever need.

It may seem that it is a large initial outlay, but if you go the Belt CP or CPX route, you will very quickly be spending the money on something like a DX6i anyway. The Belt CP is an excellent cheap way to get into the hobby, but it will quickly mean more expenditure, which will probably quickly come to more than a package that includes the DX6i.

Don't be too worried about crashing; it IS part of the hobby and you WILL crash. Costs for repairs do mount up, but don't often involve sudden large amounts of outlay like buying a new Tx would involve. It is a slow, steady trickle, that certainly does mount up, but rarely is as horrific as may first appear.

You will need to learn to do setup as has been mentioned. This and repiars will inevitably make you a better pilot, as you gain a greater understanding of how this collection of parts works to make it fly! Don't be put off by that, it is complicated but not as hard as it seems; after all, we all had to go through it!


Good luck and let us know what you decide. There is no right or wrong way of choosing your equipment, just what is best for you, so no one here will judge you and tell you that you made the wrong decision. All we can do is show you the options and explain some of the implications; ultimately, whatever you decide is the right decision and you can get loads of support here to help you out!
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copterboy View Post
I finally got the belt flying good, but I had to go through the process of crashing it to find out what was wrong, and rebuilding it with appropriate upgrades. By the time I had finished that process, it would have been cheaper to just buy the t-rex kit and build it myself. Then instead of spending money upgrading the belt, I could have spent the money uprading some of the electronics on the t-rex.
Yeah, same here. That is why I suggested he might be better off with the T-Rex from the start, my belt cpx ended up costing as much if not more in the end.

While the electronics that come with the Trex super combos are not "top of the line" by any means, they are far superior to those that come with the belt and are very servicable for a beginning flyer. The outlay for the TX will be the same, because it doesn't take long to realise the limitations of the stock Esky unit and you will want to upgrade anyway, and its non-programable TX really hinders learning to fly because you can't set up the heli properly.

Much of this opinion though I admit is greatly influenced by the lack of parts from Esky. Their parts are economical enough that in theory it would be a good beginner heli because you can afford to keep repairing after a crash, and it will fly as is, but it seems as though except for a few months a year, parts are unavailable. All you have to do is see the number of posts on the different forums over the years speculating that Esky has gone out of business. They simply run manufacturing in batches and when the parts are gone, they are gone for months on end.

With the Trex (or a clone as CyprusDave pionts out) there are pretty much always parts available, and the chance that a local shop has them is much greater thatn Esky parts.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:08 PM   #14
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Thank you all for such an informative input, you make a great argument supporting the idea of building from a kit, it is now something I'm seriously considering yet again, granted it will take me longer before I'm able to fly and it may be a steep learning curve but as you rightly point out I should gain a lot more knowledge and understanding of both mechanical and electrical systems involved in the Helicopters not to forget the sense of achievement once I'm able to fly it, and at the end of the process I will hopefully have a Heli to be proud of and not had to settle for second best.

Thank you all for taking the time to reply, I'm glad this forum has such an open community, since making the initial post here I certainly feel enlightened in having further options to explore. I will defiantly let you know what I decide to do, but for now I'm going to read as much as possible from the huge selection of topics posted here, and hopefully get some further feed back.

Kindest regards,
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:30 AM   #15
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So after receiving feedback, I've decided to scrap my initial idea of buying the Esky Belt CPv2/CPX and I'm now planning to invest in the Align-TREX 450 series (Kit) once I've managed to put the extra cost together that is. Could you give any advice on which of the following would be the best long-term investment.

T-REX 450 Sport Kit KX015075TA
T-REX 450 Pro Kit KX015073

T-REX 450 Sport V2 Super Combo KX015081
T-REX 450 Pro V2 Super Combo KX015082

Thanks again.

Kindest regards,
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:40 AM   #16
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I personally would go for a good quality clone, something like a Gootch or a Tarot. It would work out cheaper than genuine Align by some margin and the difference in quality is negligable.

In the UK, check out these guys:
http://www.helisfromdevon.co.uk/hfdc...tegory&path=35

Only a £1 difference between the Pro and the SEV2 kit. I personally prefer the V2 for working on as it is wider and the frame is more open and accessible when it comes to getting at things.

I personally recommend the store as the service is exceptional. The guy that runs it is always around online for a chat and help and he has never taken more the 2 hrs to get back to me by email, even in the evenings! Delivery on kits and parts is next day and free in the UK. I've been genuinely really impressed! I have no vested interest here; I'm just a very satisfied repeat customer.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:05 AM   #17
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Just so that we don't make life too easy for you, and to throw in an alternate point of view, I would go for the pro. Yes it is more difficult to work on, but the strength and rigidity of the frame, probably as a consequence of how narrow it is, is hard to beat. You wouldn't believe how hard I have crashed my genuine 450pro, and the frame has always survived. This rigidity also gives better flight characteristics for when you start to push it a little harder as you progress.

As for genuine or clone, well it is hard for me to comment with regard to the better quality clones, as I have only ever had a low quality one, and that simply didn't compare to the quality of Align.

I am all Align now, so you might call me an Align whore, but I have the 250se, the 450pro, the 550e, and the 600ESP. All of which it is hard to fault most of the components, apart from maybe with the 250, there are some nice little CNC upgrades that can be done that really lower the cost and hastle factor of any given crash. Recently though I have had a long crash free run, on all my helis, many many packs, easily over 100, unless you count my little mishap on the Belt-CP, and as a result I have been creating the opportunity for a lot of wear and mechanical failures, but so far, touch wood, I have had nothing to do.

I literally give them the once over, after flying, do nothing, as there is never anything wrong, and when I want to fly I pick one of them up, go outside, and fly. Amazing run of maintenance free flying. About the only thing I have had to do is spray a little silicone lubricant on the main shaft to keep the swash moving smoothly. So, my opinion is, go for the pro and go for the original. Do bear in mind though that I did say that I have no experience of the better quality clones, and I have to admit that I do hear they are very good now.

One thing is for sure, even if you get a clone, you will still crash and break things, and when you do you can always replace the components with genuine Align spares. Soon enough you will probably have an original anyway, lol.

And no, I don't work for Align.

Good luck with your choice.

Cheers

Sutty
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:15 AM   #18
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I have to say in the interest of fairness, I have never flown the 450Pro, only looked at it to try and help a clubmate and the "serviceability" (or lack of it) on the frame was an issue then. It may well be a much better performer once in the air and in use, so please take other people's experience in that into account as I can't offer any.

And normally, having had experience of cheap clones, I would agree with Sutty and say go original. It is only my good experience of the Gootch, along with good reviews of both Gootch and Tarot that lead me to say that these, for me, are better value.

As I said before, there is no right or wrong answer; it is down to you and what you want. There will be loads of help here, no matter what you decide.


PS. Sutty, you're an Align whore!
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:18 AM   #19
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The other thing I would say, is check out reviews, but when you do so, remember one thing. People often write reviews because either they want to complain or they want to defend / justify the purchase they made themselves. That means that the devil is in the detail of what they liked or disliked, not the overall impression they got.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Warmwater View Post
PS. Sutty, you're an Align whore!
In all fairness, he did ask for it

Is Gootch another name for EXI, or I'm totally confused here? I'm building an EXI 450 Pro at the moment (as one of 10 side projects, so the going is slow) just because I don't have any torque tube 450 yet and want to compare. The quality's been surprisingly decent so far, and the price's laughable. Hopefully will be able to maiden it before end of March, the deadline that may be threatened by the soon to arrive to my LHS MB equipped new fbl Blade helis (300, 450 & 500). Did I mention I have no more space to keep them?
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