Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mashbuttons bring aerial combat indoors with Helo TC

It is another toy review over here from your resident gaming, tech toy, audio fan here at MashButtons, this time around is the review of the Helo TC RC helicopter from Griffin Technology. This little heli isn't your typical Blade or AirHog RC copter as this device is controlled via your iPhone, Android, smartphone, or tablet through a free app and provided 'flight deck'. Also new to Helo Tc over it's predecessor, the Helo, is a different look and the capability to fire missiles. Along with firing projectiles at coworkers or pets, even though the instructions say not to fly around a dog with an eyepatch, the TC can be flown by using the on screen joystick or tilting the remote device, and your flights can also be recorded and flown over and over again with just a touch of a button. So now that the features are out of the way, lets get on with the review.

Working in a laid back office that promotes having fun, the ability for aerial combat with the spring loaded missiles is a great feature to startle your headphone wearing desk mate. The micro heli is fairly easy to control in comparison other RC copters I have spent time with, mainly my two Blade heli's and faster to get up and running. You charge the actual helicopter with a USB cable that can be connected to either a wall, car, or computer USB and only takes about a half hour to charge and last about ten minutes before having to charge again. What is an RC device without crashes, right? I managed to take some healthy spills when it got away from me and hit the ceiling and wall, luckily even after a ten to fifteen foot fall, I did not have to break out the spare parts that came in the package. Spare parts were a surprise to me, as I have spent a large amount of money of skids, blades, and bodies on my other RC choppers.

I did have some issues during my time spent with artillery packing heli right out of the box. The biggest was with the flight deck as it requires 4 AAA batteries, which are not included in the box. The reason in which it requires the batteries is for the infrared sensor that transmits control inputs to the helicopter. Another problem I came across, was that I left the batteries in the flight deck over night as the instructions do not state to remove after use, so what happened in my situation was that I had dead batteries the next day when I went to use it and the brand new batteries that were left in overnight seemed to have have leaked as they had white powder on the batteries and connections. Luckily when I replaced the batteries it did still work. Lastly, this is not a quiet device, in fact it can be compared to a blender as when I was flying indoors, my wife and daughter were complaining about the noise from the other bedroom in which they heard the whirring over the TV playing.
I had a pretty good time with the Helo TC despite some nuances, and while the good out weighed the bad, the price tag helped in making those issues more palatable. The controls on screen worked great as you can see how much throttle is being sent, have individual buttons for the missiles, and a large joystick. It would be nice though if you didn't have to use the flight deck and connected via bluetooth like the AR.Drone utilizes. It does cost a fraction of the price of other similar products available, it is great for the first time RC heli pilot. For those experienced pilots, it is still fun as you can open up the capabilities more by turning on expert mode. The Helo TC is available now from Griffin Technology for $59.99.

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