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Upforce 450 - Clone Trex 450 SE V2

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Extreme 3D
Extreme 3D

Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 927
Location: Latvia / UK

PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 8:11 pm
PostPost subject: Upforce 450 - Clone Trex 450 SE V2
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I had already played with Fixed Pitch jobs in the past and later on return to the hobby played with a Co-Ax indoor heli.

I could tell I was in need of better and many pointed me in direction of the 450 clones.

I answered a Buy it Now on Ebay for a Trex 450 3D metal / CF RTF and all in was about 150 quid delivered from China to Latvia.

It was delivered via Courier and arrived in an egg-box :

Unpacked it had more than the auction listing in fact ... :

The only two things not included were Velcro straps for the LiPo and 8 AA's for the Tx.

It had balance charger with both mains adaptor and 12v leads, training gear, 2280 LiPo, TX, Pitch gauge, as well as the completely built 450 Heli.

The Heli had arrived in generally good condition with a few scuffs and dings - but considering the journey ... not so bad ....

So once out of box - careful comparison with the manuals I had already downloaded from web, (the Upforce only contains Tx manual and nothing for Heli ... ) - it was obvious this was the later SE V2 as the Gyro was underslung on the boom, removing the old V1 boom strike vulnerability.

First thing is to check screws and bolts are vtight and loctite with Blue thread-lock - as factory doesn't appear to use any.

So overall ...

The head is blue anodised alloy.

Frame is Carbon Fibre

Blades tail and main are GRP (fibreglass) and reasonably balanced.

Tail boom alloy tube

Canopy is lightweight GRP and well painted.

Clone 35A ESC

GE Power Pack LiPo

The radio is pre-programmed and claimed to have been run-up with Heli before dispatch.

So all appeared well tied back and clear of gears etc....

the Radio being 2.4Ghz means a short antena and no running it back via a tube etc.

The servos supplied were Tower Pro SG90 plastic geared jobs and good enough for the job. One advantage is that being plastic geared - any crash would mean gears stripped rather than break something else. SG90 gears are easily available of ebay / LHS.

There is one area that does start to annoy after a few incidents. Aligns design where servos are inserted from INSIDe the frame. This means shoe-horning them in after dismantling various screws / fastenings. The fastenings being soft soon lose their hex heads and become a problem.

So two modifications I have made :

a) I replaced all nice shiny silver soft screws / bolts with black 12.9 hard bolts. These still fit the fancy blue cup washers ... Now these fit the hex driver very well, so well in fact they literally lock onto the driver.

b) After reading Align sponsored RC pilot and his solution to servo fitting - followed his example, and fitted servos by inserting from OUTSIDE ...

This means a slight angle to the control links and a few turns longer to compensate - but works fine.

Now I can remove servos without dismantling frame. In fact servo gears can be sorted in frame !

I moved ESC to bottom battery / Rx tray but found that airflow was less and put it back to side of frame to gain cooling air.

I have now fitted metal gear MG90 servos to the 3 swash plate positions and plastic geared remains at Tail control. Purely as 4th servo didn;t work in the pack I bought. I'm waiting replacement in post.

Flying :

Ok - I admit I am a begginner with CP so this is being used to learn on. This means it gets a real hard bashing ... with frequent crashes / repair sessions. I donlt have luxury of experienced Heli guys over here in Latvia living where I do ... there's only about 8 RC people in total in our town.

Anyway ... first thing I did was to tone down the curves as default had it as a 3D machine. So Normal Pitch was brought UP to make lowest setting -2 ... through a 5 point curve to max +12 deg. At mid stick I decided not to co-ordinate with Idle Up zero ... so I could have greater stick movement and zero was at 25% point on normal. As I gained confidence the zero point was brought up to mid stick to tally with Idle Up ...

Initially I had it on lowish head speed and found it reasonably controllable. Friend who flies an Esky Belt tried it and wanted higher speed. I increased the speed and found the 450 to be more sensitive ... It is obvious it is fully capable of aerobatics having a 13T sprocket and 3600KV motor. For full out 3D it is advised to swap out motor to a 4000KV ...

After quite a few hours use - tail began to be 'twitchy' and I assumed it to be gyro ... but on close examination proved to be the tail control slider ... it is a pressed metal bush and this had worked loose. So a quick DIY fix and it's perfect again ...

Taking care of course to make sure internal diam of bush still able to slide nicely on shaft ... and no jaggy edges.

Radio :

The LCD screen from new has a segment that fails most of the time to display ..

(Seller was difficult to deal with and I would not deal with HIM again - but model and gear - yes ... available from many others).

Radio is based I'm told on the Futaba 6. It has 6 model memories, takes 8 AA's which I use NiMH 2600mAH cells and get over 15hrs use. It has all the Heli programming necessary for this 450 ... and in basic mode on another memory perfectly capable of flying fixed wing.

+ :

I also bought a barebones clone metal / CF set and that is my back-up machine. For 15 quid seemed well worth it.

I've built up a considerable comprehensive spares stock that includes :

Main shafts
Feathering shafts
Blades tail and main
Canopy grommets
Servo Gear sets
Main gear wheels
One-way shafts
Tail drive belts
Spare canopys
Extra LiPo's
in fact if I bend or break something - I order more than 1 replacement on principle that I'll do it again ....

... a small example of spares :

Conclusion ?

Actually very pleased with the model, the Radio is basic but performs well. It survives my bash and crash ....
The CF frame is much better than metal as it doesn't deform. The metal head does mean shafts and bolts bend or break - but still in good condition ... Plastic head would never survive what I put it through !

Once bolts / fastenings replaced with 12.9 stuff ... and all loctited up ... marvelous machine.

A very happy 450 owner ............. and I would buy another but from a different seller ...
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Extreme 3D
Extreme 3D

Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 927
Location: Latvia / UK

PostPosted: Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:15 am
PostPost subject:
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My review was posted Dec 31, 2010 .... a reasonable time period ago ... it is now Oct. 12, 2013.

Is it still flying ... Yes

Is it still original motor .... yes

Is the RTF radio still flying it ....Yes (still with the original NiMH in !!)

How much change has it had ?

Tail gear swapped to Tarot all in one unit.
Head swapped to Tarot head with original still in good condition as spare.
Tail boom replaced a few times.
On 3rd tail belt.
Numerous main gears replaced.
Gone through 2 sets of servos and actually returned to plastic geared
New Canopy, old still useable.
Outworn 3 LiPo's...
Replaced ESC once.

Conclusion ?

It's done and still continues to do what it was bought for ... fly. I'm no 3D flyer - but I have handed over to a far better flyer than I and he cut the sky up with it ... he didn't like the Tx - but it is a bit basic and different from his Hitec. Overall he was surprised at it's age and still flying well.

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Extreme 3D
Extreme 3D

Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 927
Location: Latvia / UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:31 pm
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Its September 2019 and its still flying !!

Its the pilot that's useless !!
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