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Double Review: Blade 230s Night flyer and DX6e

1 November 2016 | posted by Hamish Morley

 

Blade 230s Night review

 

Now the days are getting shorter there is more time for night flying and it’s a great time to review the Blade 230s Night model! I have reviewed it with the new DX6e transmitter from Spektrum.

 

What’s in the box?

  • The Blade 230s pre-assembled with LEDs.
  • Night blades.
  • 2x 1s lipos for the blades, with a USB charger.
  • Bag that contains cable ties, spare gyro mounting tape and a couple of tools.
  • Manual
  • It DOESN’T include a flight battery or charger!

The box is a typical Blade box with plastic carry handle and custom polystyrene foam. It’s great for storing and transporting the heli and I particularly like the way it has a space ready made to fit the DX6e transmitter.

What’s it like?

The 230s has a separate tail rotor for simplicity and the main frame of is made out of durable plastic to keep weight down and avoid crash damage. The tail boom is aluminium tubing and the canopy is thin plastic – although keeps the heli light I don’t think it would survive a crash well! The night flyer has a different canopy from the day model to allow more light through from the LEDs. The tail fins LEDs are green on one side and red on the other helping with orientation.

How does it fly?

OK it’s not going to be a hard 3d machine but it does fly really surprisingly well. In SAFE mode it won’t flip over and is stable enough to be a first model but when you go into idle up 2 and increase the rates to 125 it suddenly becomes a very capable heli and I even managed a rolling circuit and a piro pogo with a bit of care! I tested it with the GensAce 3s 800mAh 40C and that seems to be a good balance of power and weight. I also used the 230s Night for teaching my younger sister and within a few goes she was flying whole flights with a bit of help from the buddy box. The night blades work perfectly and it is a lot of fun.

Pros

The 230s is a great heli that can be enjoyed by all and is a good choice if you want to give night flying a go without too much hassle. It also has recovery but I am yet to try it! The lights are obviously meant for flying at night but they are also useful on a cloudy day!

Cons

It doesn’t include a flight battery or charger and you will need a Spektrum transmitter too. The SAFE mode can feel a bit odd at first when you take off as the swashplate drifts and looks like it will make the heli tip, but trust it and it works fine.

Would I recommend it?

YES!! – and if you’re going to get the 230s you should definitely get the night model, especially in the winter months. It is a good heli for almost everyone, whether you’re just starting out or competent with inverted flight. It’s also useful for teaching someone, especially with the spectrum wireless trainer. I would also recommend buying a pair of day blades.

 

Now for the DX6e review…

 

The DX6e is Spektrum’s latest low-cost 6-channel radio using DSMX. It seemed to be a good match for the 230s, which is why I tested them together.

What’s in the box?

The transmitter also comes with 4x AA batteries, some stickers and the manual which contains everything you need to know.

What is it like?

“Feel” is everything with a transmitter and it would be fair to say this doesn’t have the weight or solid feel of some of the more expensive Spektrum transmitters. But although it’s light, it has good ergonomics and it flies the 230s really well. The gimbals are quite stiff and although they are adjustable I couldn’t get them quite as soft as I would have liked. The software and button layout is very familiar to anyone who has used a recent Spektrum transmitter. Although it comes with AA batteries you can change it to a more conventional transmitter battery if you wish.

Who is it for?

I think it’s a perfect match for helis like the 230s night model and excellent for using as a wireless buddy box. If you are on a budget this is a great place to start with a proper transmitter which could take you a long way in flying any heli, multi-rotor or fixed wing up to 6 channels.

Pros

Price is great and it’s great to get a wireless Spektrum buddy box feature. SD card slot means you can copy models from another Spektrum transmitters too. Ergonomics are good it’s well balanced. It’s also possible to swap between any of the usual transmitter modes using a switch on the back, although it was very stiff.

Cons

It doesn’t have a wired trainer port for using with the SIM so you’ll need to buy a wireless adaptor like RCWare RX2SIM if you want to use it for that. It feels a bit light and hollow but it’s not a big deal. It doesn’t have a vibrate or voices and the volume is a bit quiet for using with noisier models than the 230s.

Here is a video with the model: