Flying a mini quadcopter has never been easier
Photos by Peter Hall
With rotor blade guards and a enclosed battery compartment, the 1SI has a sleek up to date appearance.
The Braking feature helps brings the 1SI back to a stable hover when the right control stick is returned to the center position.
Quadcopters are becoming easier and easier to fly, and when it comes to getting great value for your hobby dollars, the Heli-Max brand name is hard to beat. Heli-Max has been turning out excellent quadcopters for a while now and did a lot to set the standard for performance and ease of use. The Heli-Max line of quadcopters includes the 1SQ, the camera-equipped 1SQ V-Cam, and now the 1SI, which comes with and without a camera. Let's take a look at what you get.
⊕ “Actual Direction Control” function
⊕ Excellent stability
⊕ Return Home function
⊕ Available with and without camera
Radio: Heli-Max 4-channel TX465 transmitter (included), four AA transmitter batteries (included) (helimax-rc.com)
Battery: Heli-Max 1S 3.7V 350mAh LiPo flight battery with a USB-compatible charger (included)
Accessories: Four spare rotor blades, rotor blade guards, screwdriver, and instruction manual (included)
As with all Heli-Max products, the 1SI RTF comes as a complete package, including its own 2.4GHz radio system (four AA transmitter batteries included), a 1S 3.7V 350mAh LiPo flight battery with a USB-compatible charger, four spare rotor blades, rotor blade guards, a screwdriver, and an instruction manual. The rotor guards are easy to install with the included small screws and screwdriver, and there are colored LEDs located on the underside of each outrigger motor boom. A nice feature of the 1SI is the enclosed battery compartment with a snap-in-place cover that serves to protect the LiPo battery, and it adds to the quadcopter's modern styling and looks.
The included Heli-Max TX465 transmitter has digital trims and two sticks for complete 4-channel control. When turning on the quadcopter, there is a safety feature that won't let the motors activate until the throttle stick is placed in the down (off) position. The transmitter also features high and low dual rates, which you can switch back and forth from by pressing the right control stick assembly straight down until you hear a click. There is a dual rate indicator symbol at the bottom center of the digital displace screen to show which mode has been selected. The flight sensitivity is also adjustable, so you can fine-tune the 1SI to your liking. The instructions are very clear on how to make adjustments.
When you first turn on the 1SI, it defaults to the Normal flight mode. In this mode, the on-board control board applies “Braking” in order to level and slowly return the quadcopter to a stable hover when the right stick is centered. This is an excellent feature for beginner pilots as it greatly reduces the chance of a crash. For more advanced pilots, the Braking feature can also be turned off by pressing the “F Mode” button on the top right corner of the transmitter to put the 1SI into Manual mode. Pressing the F Mode button again reactivates the braking feature.
In the Air
The 1SI has excellent stability and is extremely easy to fly.
Extremely easy to fly and hover, the 1SI is ideal for indoor and outdoor flight where the wind conditions are calm. The Actual Direction Control feature makes it very easy to control the model regardless of where its nose is pointed. This really flattens the learning curve for beginners and greatly increases the model's pilot-friendly characteristics. The Braking feature helps brings the 1SI back to a stable hover when the right control stick is returned to the center position.
GENERAL FLIGHT PERFORMANCE
Stability: To put it simply, stability is excellent. The TAGS-FX continuously corrects unwanted movement in yaw, pitch, and roll while also preventing drifting. It corrects for any actions except for your own control inputs. The Sensor Fusion Technology uses data from a 3-axis gyro and a 3-axis accelerometer.
Response: With its dual rates and F Mode functions, you can tailor the 1SI's response and performance to best suit your own style of flying. In low rate, the quadcopter is very easy to keep hovering over a specific position, and in high rate, you have all the maneuverability you need to satisfy any level of RC piloting skill.
My favorite feature is the “Return Home” function. It's very cool! By pressing the ICM button quickly and then releasing it, the 1SI enters Auto Return mode. This is indicated by the red LED flashing quickly as the model starts to fly toward the transmitter. You still have control of throttle (altitude) but any movement of the right stick will return the 1SI to Manual mode. Once the quadcopter is close to you, you can then use the controls to enter a stable hover and land.
ACTUAL DIRECTION CONTROL
The included 2.4GHz Heli-Max transmitter provides excellent feel and has built in safety features.
Activated with the ICM button on the top left corner of the transmitter, the “Actual Direction Control” (ADC) feature is what sets this micro quadcopter apart from the others. When the ADC feature is activated, the movement of the right stick (to the left, right, toward you, and away from you) makes the quadcopter move in that direction regardless of the direction the front of the quadcopter is facing.
The new 1SI from Heli-Max is an excellent choice for the newcomer or any experienced RC pilot who's looking for a micro quadcopter for fun and excitement. It has great features, making it very pilot-friendly, and is attractive, maneuverable, and very rugged. Available with and without a digital video camera, the 1SI is a blast to fly.
Smile! You're on Candid Camera!
The 1Si quadcopter is also available with a micro digital camera that can take digital still photos and video footage. On the top back corners of the transmitter are the two “Picture” and “Video” buttons that activate camera. The images are saved on the included 2GB micro memory card. Downloading and viewing your aerial surveillance is easy with the included USB card reader.