This blog post is about the ‘U4 Metal Series Helicopter’, a small remote controlled helicopter.
Warning: The helicopter I purchased didn’t come in a box and I had to identity the item via markings. After seeing a photo on eBay I believe I own a Red4 U4 helicopter, but I apologise if I’ve made a mistake and please take this into consideration when reading this blog post. I also found this U4 RC helicopter on Amazon, which looks the same. When I refer to RC, I’m referring to ‘remote controlled’.
I was at a car boot sale and noticed this helicopter lying on its side in a box, accompanied by a lot of unrelated items. There was no controller or lead and I asked the seller where both were and he dug out the controller from somewhere.
I asked the price and then decided to walk away, not buying the item. I wanted time to think it over and then spoke to my fiancée. We agreed to make an offer and we purchased it for £3.50 GBP.
Charging the helicopter
I don’t know if a separate USB lead originally accompanied the product, but I’m charging via a lead that is found at the rear of the remote controller, hidden in a compartment.
I make sure the helicopter is turned off, connect the lead and then turn the remote controller on and press the left hand controller up and then down. I’ve not worked out the charge time yet.
The remote controller takes six AA batteries, but as the helicopter’s own rechargable battery is only 150mAh, there is more than enough power from decent AA batteries to charge the helicopter multiple times.
Lift problem solved
When I first charged the device and tried to fly it, the helicopter wouldn’t lift off, even though the rotors were spinning. I tightened five screws as shown in the photo, depleted the battery, then recharged the battery and tried again. This time the helicopter flew and I’ve not had an issue since.
I didn’t tighten the screws connecting the blades to the plastic so that the blades didn’t move freely, but instead I tightened the other screws near them to reduce vibration.
I’ve not tried the RC helicopter outside, but I’ve been flying it in my lounge. I find this device much easier to control than a small drone. I’m not suggesting you fly the helicopter indoors, I’m just telling you what I’ve done. I think outdoors, I would struggle to control the helicopter, especially with a bit of wind.
It’s a shame I can’t easily remove the helicopter’s battery as my remote controlled helicopter is second-hand and I think the battery has been used a lot.
I’ve found replacement batteries online, but for the product I’ve purchased I will need to desolder the current battery and then solder a new one, which is a shame.
In a section above I’ve already covered the charging of the helicopter and now I’m going to cover flying it.
How to prepare the Red5 U4 helicopter for take off:
- Turn the helicopter on.
- Turn the remote controller on.
- Press the left stick up and then down to sync.
Note: You might have to switch channels using the top middle switch and repeat the steps above.
How to move the Red5 U4 helicopter:
- The right stick controls turning as well as forward and backwards movement.
- The left stick controls throttle, which increases and decreases helicopter height.
Note: To adjust the trim you use the top right control and if you want to turn the helicopter’s front light on and off, you use the top left control.
Tip: I find sudden movements of the throttle will increase the likelihood of a sudden crash. I suggest gentle occasionally movements if no objects nearby as you begin to learn to fly.
I’m not a child and wish these remote controlled helicopters were around during my childhood. Even as an adult I’ve had great fun already flying the helicopter. I’m not sure how long I will own this helicopter, but perhaps I will play around with it for a couple of months.