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So it is iHobby week, and Cubby has already covered his reasons why you should be going to Schaumburg, Illinois this weekend. I promise not to be a broken record, but Wait, there’s more!

Last year’s iHobby was my first time attending; both as a patron and as a hobby shop employee. I am hoping this year is just as good as last year, if not better, and here are some reasons why:

You get to meet some of the ‘little guys’. Besides seeing some local hobby shops selling their wares, there are other small businesses/manufacturers as well. I met the guys over at Rigidbot/Invent-a-part and saw first hand what 3D Printing can do for the hobby industry, which is why my shop now has two of them (plus I did a little begging with the boss).

Oh, so THAT’s how it works! I can’t wait to be a part of the BSRC shows this year, but that is the tip of the iceberg in demonstrations. Last year, Horizon Hobby showed us AVC for the first time, Empire Hobby continued to show how much Gaui and DJI can really show the best of the RC air industry, and KillerBodyRC showed us how to transform an XO-1 into a beautiful Corvette. “The proof is in the pudding,” and demonstrations are what makes me really get a feel for the best and brightest in the RC world.

“We, the People” I never will walk away from a good conversation, and the best part of iHobby to me is the people. The manufacturers, the store employees/owners visiting iHobby with me, the distributors: they all were a great group of people to meet, talk shop, and just enjoy the company of other hobby lovers from all over the country the world. Technically, iHobby was pretty much the first day I was doing anything for the guys at BigSquid, so this year would make it a milestone for me as well.

I cannot wait for this Friday for my first day at the show, and to be doing what I do best (sell and show off) to everyone all weekend. Don’t hesitate to stop me and say hi, get my autograph, or just shake my hand because if you want to talk I’ll make you go deaf :-)

I also cannot wait for the 10th Anniversary Bash this October 19th. Details can be found right here, and I will see you there!

Until next time, Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!

sparked_cirque

There have been some pretty good (and not so great) Cirque du Soleil productions, but if they could come up with an hour and a half of quadcopter and other RC interactions happening on stage, live, I would be first in line. This sort of test interaction video was called SPARKED. There is a MAKING OF that you can see here, that has a lot of behind the scenes stuff they tried and tested that didn’t make it into the video.

The action starts around 1:30 in, so feel free to skip ahead.

Very cool stuff! The future of entertainment may be changing.

Looking for a Cirque du Soleil show? Hit the link. Looking for more videos posted on BigSquidRC? Hit This Link.

Leap 3D Quad

Trailing my build of the Invertix400, our friends at HRP have announced the details on the soon-to-ship Leap 3D Quadcopter. This quad is an almost ready to fly (ARF) and features an auto stabilization for all quad orientations (since it can sustain inverted flight), as well as a bail-out feature for beginner 3D pilots.

Other features include:

*Powerful 3D fixed pitch quad-copter utilizing bi-directional brushless motors.
*Bail-out, self-leveling function enables easy learning for beginners and allows experienced pilots to challenge their skills.
*Multiple receiver compatibility: S.Bus, X.Bus, DSM2, DSMX, and DSMJ(partially not compatible).
*Precise CNC carbon fiber machining with strict quality control.
*Flight control system engineered for extreme 3D maneuvers as well as stable flight.
*Powerful bi-directional brushless motors and specially designed ESC enables lightening fast directional changes required for extreme 3D acrobatic flight.
*Simple, robust design with low parts count allows easy maintenance and repair.
*Portable for easy transportation.
*Compatible with wide range of lithium polymer battery selections.
*Aerial photography and FPV capable with additional equipment (not included).

Specifications:

*Model: Fixed pitch 3D quad-copter with bi-directional motors.
*Blades: 8-inch high-strength polymer fixed pitch blades X 4
*Motor: 1400kV X4
*ESC: 25 Amp X4
*Span: 450mm
*Flight Controller: Six-Axis Advance gyro. 3D programming, auto leveling, bail-out function.
*Weight (w/o receiver and battery): 580-620 grams.
*Battery:  7.4V – 14.8V (2S – 4S). 2200-2600 mAh. (not included)
*Receiver: S.Bus, X.Bus, DSM2, DSMX, and DSMJ. (not included)

The quad is priced to sell at $430 and will be shipping in the future. More details can be found on Leap’s  website Right Here.

For more quadcopter news on BigSquidRC, click here.

SAC Heli Fun Fly 2014 (6)

In this installment of Raging Rotors, I cannot help but take a look at the dilemma starting to plague hobby shop owners nationwide, including mine: market saturation.

The multirotor market has exploded, providing customers numerous options for aircraft at every size level. The other side of that explosion is that many shops have to pick and choose what goes on to their shelves to maximize space, profit, and provide the best experience to their customers due to the overwhelming amount of options for them to choose from.

Let’s get specific, starting with the nano-micro class of quadcopters. The hobby world started with just one: Estes ProtoX. There now also is the Ares Ethos PQ, the new HobbyZone Faze, and other ‘clones’ that can be ordered all over the internet.

In 350-450 size quadcopters, there’s the DJI Phantom, Blade 350QXWalkera has announced one, Align has stepped into the ringas well as Thunder Tiger, just to name the BIG names throwing their hats into the ring. That doesn’t include any of the dozens of kit frames available in that size class! Retailing minimally at $500 retail and (so far) reaching as high as $1400, it would be hard for any shop to carry ALL of those quadcopters, much less the back stock of batteries, props, and other consumable parts that each aircraft may require.

So how do hobby shops choose? In many cases, they will carry brands with good engineering pedigree (i.e. “I’ve had a great experience working with -insert company- products, so I will stick with them”), price per unit, margin of profit, besides listening to what customers have to say or what they are asking for.

The point I’d like to make in this is to trust your local hobby shop. They have the inventory they have because they are looking to give you the best bang for your buck while also providing a means of keeping the hobby world alive and kicking. I can say that there are around a dozen of just multirotors I have flown or owned just to make sure that they are the best the market has to offer at prices that won’t leave you feeling emptier than your wallet. Don’t see the item you were looking for? Do not hesitate to ask about it, as your LHS will likely be able to get what you are looking for or at least be able to talk to you about it better than a webpage can.

In other news, I’m stoked to be a part of iHobby this year. I will be popping in and out of the BigSquidRC booth as well as selling products at multiple vendor booths. If you run into me feel free to wave, high five, or say hello!

Until next time, Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!

Ominus Unboxing

I was lucky to get a new toy from our friends over at Hobbico: the newest addition to the Dromida by Revell line, the Ominus Quadcopter RTF. This quadcopter is built to be tough and the beating review is in process, but for now enjoy these unboxing pictures!

The Dromida Ominus is on hobby store shelves now (Part: DIDE01**) and is yours for $80. I think this will be a hot seller so grab yours now! If you are looking to order one online, Head to This Link

For more Dromida news on BigSquidRC, click here!

 

SAC Heli Fun Fly 2014

Last Saturday (Sept. 13), 3DBill and I got to hang out and fly with the local RC helicopter pilots at Tinley Creek flying field in Matteson, IL at the annual SAC Heli Fun Fly. We got to see a variety of helicopters, pilots, and even a plane or two during the all day event. Check out the below gallery and see the other 11 after the jump…

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simplecopter_mini_tricopter_01

Our uber flying guy, 3DBill just got his hands on the new Simplecopter Mini Tricopter 250, so he sent over some unboxing photos.

The 250 size is becoming a popular choice because it’s small, yet just big enough to hold a decent camera or FPV setup.

The Mini Tricopter frame comes with the landing gear for $34.99, and to get it up and running will probably cost you about $150 with needed electronics. (minus lipos and radio).

You can get more details and place an order over at the Simplecopter Mini Tricopter Website.

Also, you can see from the pictures we will be going with the motors from Buddy RC on this build. You can get more information on them at this link.

Watch for the finished build and review coming soon!

Get more Simplecopter News here on BigSquidRC.

We tossed in a Blade MQX for size comparisons.

SAC Heli Fun Fly

So I spoke very highly of my trip to Indiana for the IRCHA Jamboree last month, probably enough to make you curious as to what do you see when professional RC helicopter pilots take to the sky!

For all you midwest/Chicago metropolitan area RC enthusiasts, the Surburban Aeroclub of Chicago is hosting their annual Helicopter Fun Fly this Saturday. This year they have a list of pro pilots making appearances to meet everyone and show off their skills, including Mitch Marozas and the others listed on the above flyer! I met most of these pilots at IRCHA, and can’t wait to see them again. This is a free to spectate event, and AMA helicopter pilots can join in the fun for $10.

I will be there representing Raging Rotors as well as being a team pilot for HobbyTown Orland Park (aka I’ll be working and flying). I will be flying my 350QX, 200QX, and more! Stop by the HobbyTown table and say hi!

Until next time, Stay Shiny and Keep Flyin’!

Blade 350QX2

I’m sure I wasn’t the only person a little jealous that the new Blade 350QX2 AP Combo came with new bells and whistles of better Receiver coverage, bigger battery, and more. Luckily for us the 350QX V2 gone, and now we have the 350QX2! Still featuring the same RTF and Bind-N-Fly packages, the 350QX2 touts these new enhancements:

  • White Battery Hatch (BLH7902)
    White battery hatch compliments the primarily white design of the 350 QX2.
  • 3,000 Mah LiPo Capacity Battery (EFLB30003S30)
    Allows for longer flight times and helps to better account for the weight of an action camera.
  • New AC/DC Battery Balancing Charger (EFLC3016)
    Charge your LiPo flight battery to perfection with this 3S compatible 3.5A charger.
  • New Full Range Receiver (BLH7801A)
    Refined full range receiver improves connectivity.

With new enhancements, always comes a change in price. The new 350QX2 RTF (BLH8000) is priced at $499.99, and the BNF (BLH8080) will sell at $449.99. No need to wait though, the quads have already shipped and are on hobby store shelves now! For more information check out Blade Helicopter page Right Here.

For more Horizon Hobby news on BigSquidRC, Click Here.

200QX Cruising

In all things multirotor, I was excited by Blade Helicopter’s announcement about the new 3D flight modes for the 200QX. I for one quickly ordered the new props, dragged my update cable out of the 350QX case, and was quickly on my way to being ready for inverted flight. Check out the video and my impressions on the upgrade after the jump…

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GauntletALSIceBucketChallenge

As I write this, Brian was challenged by HobbyTown Steve to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge for charity, and has a mere 20 hours to deliver!

Even more impressive, Steve has set the precedent! Using my new Flamewheel 550 from DJI, I let the bucket drop by flying away with that hexcopter.

See the video below and comment to help encourage Brian!

 

VX1e Flybarless System

Hey guys, during my time at the IRCHA Jamboree, I got a neat little scratch card that ushered me quickly to the Spartan RC booth. I won myself a new helicopter gyro system for flybarless 3D helicopters called the Vortex VX1e. Newly released for purchase first at the Jamboree, I got to see what makes it a great system.

Here are the details from SpartanRC:

Tail - Based on Spartan’s market leading gyro technology the Vortex is capable of delivering exceptional tail hold and consistent yaw rates even at eye-blurring speeds of over three full turns per second.

Rotor - The cyclic and collective controls are smooth and precise with a very solid feel and impressive response time. Factory calibrated sensors and Spartan’s proprietary piroette compensation technology enable your helicopter to remain locked in through piroette moves.

Receiver - The Vortex is compatible with all radio systems using individual channel connections to the receiver. Additionally it supports single wire connection for most popular protocols and direct connection to 1 or 2 Satellites. Three channels of the radio system can be routed to the Vortex’s AUX port to control accessories like lights and glow igniters.

Below you can find my unboxing of the flybarless unit, which will go into my new Goblin 570.

The VX1e is currently priced to sell at $150, with that price is only for a limited time. More details about the VX1e and where to order it can be found on SpartanRC’s website Right Here.

photo

If you didn’t see it already, I took a lot of pictures over last weekend when I was at the IRCHA Jamboree 2014. I even walked out of there a winner! In a lot of cases, pictures do the Jamboree justice, but there still is a lot one can talk about that the pictures can’t start to describe. I thought I’d make a few points of what I saw whether it was pilots, products, experiences, or just things I wanted to point out in general. See what I have to say about it all after the jump!

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