Excerpts from the "How To Build RC Helicopter Training Gear" e-Book...
So Why Would You Want To Build Your Own Training Gear?
Simple – building training gear for a RC helicopter is actually very easy and cost effective. You can save a good deal of money and have a little building fun at the same time. The materials for building a set of medium sized (30-50 size nitro) training gear can be purchased at any hardware store or even places like Wal-Mart. The cost of materials will be under $10.00 USD in most cases, less if you can find stuff on sale or have some of the materials already on hand. Compare that to a set from a hobby shop that will be in the $25.00 to $40.00 dollar range, I have even seen sets as high as $70.00.
If you build your own set, you can fine tune it to your specific heli and your own needs. You don’t have to worry about breaking a set from a hard landing or crash. You can build another set or repair the damage quickly and easily. It only takes about 20 minutes to turn out a nice set of training gear that will give as much protection as any store bought set.
Sizing Your Training Gear...
Before you go shopping for training gear materials, you must know what size of training gear you are going to be building; obviously this plays a fairly important roll in your shopping list.
There are 3 main parts to the RC heli training gear.
The two parts of the training gear that are size dependent on the helicopter are the sticks and center hub. The specific balls we are going to be using will work on any size heli from 400 electrics up to 90 size nitros.
Time to get out that tape measure or ruler...
Back so soon? Guess it is time to get the list together and head out.
So, what do you have so far? Let’s say we are building a set of training gear for a 400 size heli like E-flite’s Blade 400. Here is what should be on the list...
Oops, I almost forgot to talk about the actual balls that go on the end of each stick. What are they, where do you get them from, and are they important. Some people ask me what the balls are for and can you omit them?
Now, I should mention right off the bat, that unlike building training gear for larger RC helicopters which can save you a fair amount of money over store bought sets; building micro gear initially won't save you a dime and will usually end up costing more unless you already have the materials on hand. So why bother? Well, it turns out store bought micro sized gear is very limited in sizing right now and unless we are talking small mCX, mSR, or Nano type micros, it's actually very difficult to find the proper size gear for helis like the 120SR's, CX's, mCPx's, and 130X's; same goes for 200 to 300 size birds - very little in the way of commercially available training gear for those larger size micros & small helis.
The whole idea behind building your own set of training gear was to save some cash plus have a customized sized set of gear for your heli. The other nice thing with this process is you now know how to build a set for whatever size helicopter you get or modify them to suit your own needs. Finally, if you break a home made set they are easy to repair or rebuild.
What not to do!
When I built my first set of training gear for my first RC helicopter, I made two mistakes.