Heli Max 1sq - Still worth in 2018?
The first thing that got my attention when it comes to the Heli-Max 1sq was the incredible stability it has.
It’s small, nimble and really well made by a company that has quite a history in RC.
I would say it’s on par, if not better in some ways than the best quads in this price range, like the Blade Nano qx and the very popular Hubsan X4.
A great advantage compared to other toy drones is the ability to be used “bind and fly” with your own transmitter. More on this later.
Unboxing - What's in the pacakge?
The package for the Heli-Max will differ a bit depending on what version you get (camera or no camera), but it contains everything you need to start flying and even 4 bonus transmitter batteries.
We’ll get into the details for the transmitter a little later in the review (after we talk about the camera).
- USB Charger
You can charge it on your laptop/PC or though the socket from an USB charger. Charging time is about 50 min.
- 1 Drone battery250Mah
This is a 1s battery that gives enough power for about 7 minutes of normal flight.
- Controller100m range
The controller comes with 4 batteries (if you get the Ready To Fly version) and has an LCD screen.
- 4 Spare Propellers
Great to have if you crash and break some. Don't throw them away! You'll also get a screwdriver in the package.
- The quadcopter itself40g
The drone is very light and comes with a replaceable cannopy.
Camera - Also known as V-cam
Considering the camera stablility, it’s amazing how smooth the filming can be with no mechanical gimbal.
I think this is pretty much the smoothest footage I saw at a toy grade quadcopter. Again, the video resolution is HD 720p, but don’t expect anything too majestic out of it.
The still images can be pretty blurry, because it’s not perfectly stabilized. I mean, what did you expect, Phantom 3 level photos for 50$?
Here's a video showing the camera capabilty
More camera details and observations
It can be pointed at different angles by hand, before starting the flight
The mount for the camera is really solid, so you won’t have any vibration, or any of that “jello” effect that makes videos really bad looking.
Delaying of the sound can be easily fixed in an editor, but usually nobody wants to hear sound anyway. Plus, making shorter videos seem to solve this problem completely.
Flight experience and tips
The different colored proppellers makes it way easier to keep orientation, compared to some other beginner quads out there.
And it also comes with small rubber bumpers on the legs for extra grip when landing on different surfaces.
There’s a tiny button under the shell of the quad that you can press and bind it to your own transmitter. But if you’re a beginner, to be fair, the original remote it comes with is pretty damn good already.
Can it do flips?
Not only that, but the flips with this quad (and I mean both the V-cam and original version) are way more fun to do than on any other toy i’ve seen.
However, more fun doesn’t mean easier. Quite the opposite, actually.
This quad works like a fixed pitch helicopter, which means that when you want to make any flips, you have to lower down the throttle a little.
Then, while in high rate flying mode, move the direction stick in whichever direction you want to flip.
This makes it not so beginner friendly. Even so, after you get the move, you’ll feel much more acomplished and will find it more fun than just pressing one button to do it for you. Enjoy the thrill!
Battery life - How to make it last longer
With this trick you can manually set the flying rates for the quadcopter, lowering them if you want to save battery or maxing them for insane tricks in the air.
Bellow is a video on how you can do it, but first let me explain the exact steps:
- Change intensityStep 1
You can change the intensity rate (between low intensity and high) by pressing the right stick and keeping it pressed for 2 seconds until you hear a beep.
- Rate changeStep 2
The rate that you're currently in will show on the bottom of the display from the remote. It's an oval shape: if it's full black, it means you're in high rate mode; If it's only half filled, you're in low rate.
- Low rateStep 3
Get in low rate(with the quadcopter turned off)
- StickStep 4
Move the left stick to the bottom
- BeepsStep 5
Press the right stick and keep pressing it until you hear more consecutive beeps. Keep pressing it.
- The numberStep 6
Now, you'll se an indication on screen with a number from 0 to 100. While still pressing on the right stick, move the left one from the bottom to whatever place you want.
- PitchStep 7
The number on the screen will change. If it's at 40% then you'll have 40% pitch power (just like the standard). You can lower, or increase it however you like it.
- FinishedStep 8
When you're satisfied with a number, remove both your fingers from the sticks. The rate should be changed now
It comes in 2 versions
Both can be bought in 2 different packages:
- RTF(ready to fly)
- Tx-R (that binds with your own controller)
The TX-r version enables you to connect the quad to another remote transmitter than the original.
You need an anylink 2.4GHz adapter attached to any preffered controller like a DX8 , that will enable more experienced people to even set up the gyro sensitivity and other setings like that.
Heli-Max 1sq original quadcopter
You want to buy this version only if you don’t give a damn about having a camera and just want to fly it for fun. Being quite cheaper helps too.
Advantages compared to the V-cam
Heli-Max 1sq V-cam
This version is not only improved with a camera, but also better stabilization technology that makes it easier to record video with less shaking.
It has a 6 axis gyro (the previous had 3 axis). This means that it has 3 more axis from the accelerometer, which makes it even more stable.
This is even more stable quad than the standard 1sq, not meant to be that zippy, but rather treated more like a camera platform.
If you want to keep it as stable as possible, make sure you power it on a straight surface, so that the accelerometer calibrates properly.
You can always use the trim buttons later to fine tune that, but most of the time it won’t be necessary.
Advantages compared to no Cam
The Heli Max 1sq may be fairly old on the market, but it's still relevant and a very fun quad even in 2018!