The Heli-Max 1SQ V-Cam is a leader in its price class. Whether you’re new to the RC game or a seasoned flyer, the Heli-Max 1SQ V-CAM RTF mini quadcopter may be the machine that brings both sides together. For those who see the term “copter” in the description and think it will look like their dad’s old radio-controlled helicopter, they’re in for a shock. It actually resembles something out of a Transformers movie, minus the earthshaking explosions—and it shoots video from a mounted camera.
Heli-Max is a subsidiary of Hobbico, which began in 1985 when two companies, Tower Hobbies and Great Planes Model Distributors, joined forces and created Hobbico. Since then, the company has acquired Monogram-Revell Models and model rocket maker Estes Industries; today the company holds the rights to over 300 brands in the hobby marketplace. People expect a certain level of high quality when purchasing their products, and Heli-Max is no different—the company has built a small quadcopter that will make the time go by very quickly.
The Heli-Max 1SQ V-CAM RTF quad copter comes with everything a pilot needs to put it in the air and have some fun; the vehicle itself, one rechargeable battery (purchasing a second one would probably be a good idea), the 6-channel 2.4 GHz-frequency controller with two AA batteries, a USB battery charger, a 2 GB micro SD card for shooting video in the air, four extra rotor blades and a screwdriver.
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For novices expecting something that looks like a standard aircraft, they will either be disappointed or incredibly happy. This particular model looks like a mechanical spider from a science fiction movie, it has four legs that jut out and rotor blades attached to each appendage. Luckily, getting the Heli-Max into the air doesn’t require a science degree.
Plug the battery into the USB charger; when the light starts to flash, it’s charged. If you want to shoot video, simply plug the micro SD card into the appropriate slot and push until you hear a click. Plug the battery into the Quadcopter, insert the provided AA batteries into the controller and you’re ready to go.
The Heli-Max has the ability to shoot not only video, but still shots as well. The rotor blades themselves are independently controlled, making it easier to fly in light winds; LED lights are attached to the flight pods, so even in the dark pilots can see their copter. For more experienced fliers, a switch on the controller can change the flight settings from beginner to expert mode, giving the copter a more nimble feel. The TAGS-FX Sensor Fusion stabilization system with a 3-axis gyro and 3-axis accelerometer corrects for drift to keep it level and centered, and the machine itself is made out of hard, durable plastic.
What’s In the Box
- The 1SQ V-Cam mini quad copter with digital camera
- A 6-channel 2.4GHz SLT radio transmitter
- Four AA batteries
- One 250mAH LiPo battery
- A USB LiPo battery charger
- A 2 GB Micro SD card
- A USB Micro SD card reader
- Four extra rotor blades
- A small screwdriver
- Instruction manual
- LED illuminates each motor pod for exciting manuevers after dark
- TAGS-FX Sensor Fusion stabilization system with a 3-axis gyro and
- 3-axis acellerometer corrects drift as well as unwanted movement in yaw, pitch and roll,
- 1S 250mAh LiPo battery
- Molded plastic and composite materials for high durability
- With AUTO-FLIP, simply press a transmitter button to perform impressive flips
- Comes with a 2GB memory card and USB microSD card reader
- Built-in digital camera lets user shoot and record aerial videos with transmitter activated On and Off control, RTF version also takes still photos
- Four independently controlled rotor blades make the 1SQ easy to fly indoors or outdoors in light winds (comes with 4 extra rotor blades)
- Heli-Max TX410 4-channel 2.4GHz radio with beginner and expert modes, servo reversing, charger port, and SLT receiver, Auto-FLIP button on transmitter performs impressive flips
- USB compatible battery charger
Reviews from across the ‘Net
By and large, most purchasers were very happy with this quadcopter; they praised its durability, ability to shoot photos and video, and handling. One purchaser called it, “a big punch in a little package.
Flawless performance out of the box” while another called it, “…by far the best. Not only do the boys love it but their father does as well.” They also were enthused about the price; the Heli-Max can often be found in the $100 price range making it an excellent value in the RC market.
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There were some minor complaints though; the Heli-Max only comes with one rechargeable battery, which provides between four and five minutes flight time depending on how aggressively piloted it is.
An extra battery would be a good idea when taking the copter out for a flight somewhere other than the backyard or the house; batteries for this model are fairly cheap though, usually under $6 apiece.
Handling was also a small issue, although the complaints tended to come more from the inexperienced pilots. Some noted that the controls could be twitchy, while others appreciated the responsiveness of the controls; it seems to be a matter of experience and personal preference rather than a design flaw.
A related issue was shooting video or still photo shots; some disliked how hard it was to shoot clear video or photos while moving, while others liked how easy it was to steer and shoot at the same time.
Overall, Heli-Max has produced an excellent product for the RC marketplace. All problems with the quadcopter can be easily fixed or bypassed with either more experience or a minimum amount of money—and for this price range, the Heli-max is the clear leader.