The Collection Begins

I have made a start on my collection, courtesy of ebay. First I acquired a Walkera QR Ladybird without a transmitter, but with a fair few spares for £37.00 inc P&P:

Next came a Walkera CB180D FP Helicopter for £60 inc P&P:
This came with a Walkera 2401 2.4GHz transmitter, and a load of spares.
Unfortunately, the Ladybird will not pair with the older 2401 transmitter, it requires the newer 2401D.
I was originally going to go down the Turnigy 9X 2.4GHz  transmitter route, however after reading about the Deviation Open Source project, decided to go down the Walkera Devo Transmitter route and bought a Walkera Devo 8 Transmitter for £86.00 inc P&P.
It already had a bound entry for the Walkera QR Ladybird, so attempted to fly it with that.
Firstly, after connecting the battery twice, the bind light stopped coming on! turns out the positive battery wire had come lose from the circuit board. Re-drill the hole and a little soldering later and it’s alive again.
Initial attempts at flying were a total disaster, the moment it attempted to lift off, it immediately flipped over – definitely something wrong here! I studied the propellers for a while and realised that they were not all turning the right way to generate lift, so moved some of them around.
The bug would still not fly, so I searched the web until I found the following image showing how it should be set up:
I moved a leg or two and moved the connectors and hey, we have a bug that flies!
It took a while to get a hang of the controls, but I am getting there slowly. One thing I do notice that I am not convinced is right, is that for no reason at all it will suddenly drop and require extra throttle to prevent it from hitting the floor.
It would also seem that this Walkera QR Ladybird has been in the wars somewhat – only half the original frame still exists, the battery is held in place with a velcro strap and the leg mounts look a little cracked. Still I am not complaining, it is a V1 motherboard and any additional spares I may require are cheap enough on ebay.
I then upgraded the Devo 8 to Version 3.00 of the Deviationtx software using the Walkera Firmware upgrade tool and then went about setting up a new model for the Ladybird.
There are also plenty of configurations for models available on the Deviation Forums, adding them to your transmitter is as simple as copying files to a USB drive, thanks to the USB interface on the transmitter.
By default, I think the Devo 8 can store up to 16 models, with the Deviationtx software it can store up to 255.
Next up was a 16 in 1 Flight simulator package from Hong Kong, this came with numerous flight simulators, cables for the transmitters and a dongle to change which simulator to emulate.
According to the blurb for the Phoenix Simulator, it does not support the Walkera Devo range of transmitters, however, because the Deviationtx software allows the transmitter to behave like several different manufacturers transmitters, and thanks to this post I am able to use my Devo 8 with the Phoenix Simulator.
Many different helicopters and planes, as well as many crashes later (all with no downtime between crashes) I am starting to get to grips with how to fly, all thanks to the simulator.
I am following the training instructions on RCHelicopterFun, but have still yet to master hovering, still no rush, it will probably be a little while yet before I am brave enough to try and fly any helicopters for real.

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