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Typically, when something is broken, you either try to get it fixed or trash it completely. If your RC helicopter suffered an incident that has rendered it incompetent or suddenly stopped working, depending on how much you paid for it or how long you have had it for, you might consider just throwing it away. But there are many that either love using scraps or are up for a fun DIY project.
So, what is there to do with a broken RC helicopter? You could save all the spare parts that were not damaged in the incident or are still functional and use them for something else. You can also try and make a new RC helicopter or even turn the parts into a different RC craft instead. Or, if you would rather have the money, you can just sell the parts online to a person looking to buy for their own build or repairs.
Honestly, there is a lot that you could do with a broken RC helicopter as long as your imagination is able to keep up with it. Maybe you were about to throw all the parts out, but then somehow stumbled across this page, and now you have been inspired to create something of your own. Allow me to explain some of your alternative options.
Selling the Parts or DIY Project?
There are many things you can do with spare RC helicopter parts. With the circuit board, you can use a hot glue gun, and with some other extra steps, turn a foam plane into a remote-controlled one. Some people have been able to make drones too by adding on a tiny camera. You could also make an RC airboat or even a car.
eBay is a place where you can sell just about anything you wanted or even buy that vital missing or broken piece, but do not want to pay too much for a replacement.
eBay is a great place to buy or sell used parts and you are covered with Paypal’s guarantee so you are sure to get the parts you ordered. Selling requires a little more knowledge but it isn’t difficult at all and it’s a great way to get some extra money for your next project.
If your helicopter was in a crash and you aren’t sure if a certain part works or not then I wouldn’t recommend selling it as that can cause a lot of issues.
Identifying the problem will be the first necessary task before deciding if it can be used or is too difficult to repair. Here are some DIY repairment tips for you to follow in case any specific part needs to be fixed.
If you suspect that this might be what is wrong, you can check by taking out the main motors and spinning gears. If you find that one motor has more tension, when you try spinning it, this is an indication that the motor is dead or at least is about to die.
First, you need to unplug the motor and then remove the screws securing it. Replace the old motor with a new one, and make sure the motor is compatible with your helicopter model. Screw it into place and plug it back into the structure.
An electric motor for the tail is fixable, most of the other ones will need to be replaced. Take some model glue to the tail boom and set it back into place. This option might put a little more weight onto your helicopter, but it is still properly functional. Use paper clips to keep it from bending and use some masking tape around it to keep the paper clips steady.
Swashplates need replaced over time anyway, but there is a way to prolong their capabilities without having to get an entirely new swashplate each time they break down. You can take model glue to reinforce the linkage bars where the ball link is supposed to connect. After the glue has set, you can continue to use it as you did before.
If you notice that the main rotor has slowed down or does not rotate at all, this could either mean that hair or string has gotten caught inside, or the shaft is cracked. It is not good for the helicopter to be used while it has a cracked shaft, you will want to get this dealt with before you take your helicopter out for a spin.
For 3-channel and 4-channel coaxial, the servos will need to be taken apart from the swashplate. The pushrods are an easy removal before taking out the main gear and whatever else is holding it in place. The shaft should be able to slide from the frame quite easily, if not, then look for whatever else is holding it down.
To replace the shaft on any other model, you will also have to take out anything that keeps the shaft in place. Make sure the grease insides remains to allow the shaft to run as smoothly as possible. For coaxial rotors, you will have to take off the lower gear as it connects to the inner shaft. In the case of also taking out the outer shaft, there are other screws you will need to remove.
This is probably one of the more common issues. If your helicopter is overheated, there are a few things you can do to solve this. You can make the size of the heat sinks on the servos bigger, which is not really effective for all models. Another option is to create holes within the canopy to vent it out or take the whole canopy off. A third option is to shorten the flying time, but that is not a preferred method for obvious reasons.
Whatever is wrong with your RC helicopter, make sure you follow the specific instructions on how to fix it and not only that, but make sure that when you put it back together, it is done the way it was originally or else you might create other issues within your craft.
There are many videos and tutorials on how to take it apart and put it back together. There are even people who will take a perfectly fine helicopter apart simply to put it back together for the sake of familiarity in case there is ever something wrong.
One of those types of videos can be found below.
Know the Parts Before Selling or DIY-ing
The most important components of the RC helicopter are going to be what makes it fly. If you have no knowledge of what each part is or what it does, then you might have some trouble figuring out how it all connects together if you try to repair, reinvent or even to advertise when you go to sell them. Each part controls a vital function and should be maintained with care if it is still in good condition.
Rotor head- The part that rotates and lifts the helicopter off the ground and includes a bunch of other parts.
Gyroscope – A digital accelerometer mechanism that rotates to aid in resisting any undesirable turning. This converts an output signal and transmits it to the tail.
Tail – Blades in the back of the helicopter that aid to give the helicopter more effortless movement, direction, and stability.
Canopy – Frames of carbon fiber that helps to protect the structure from debris or non damaging accidents.
Swashplate – Transmits the control of flight to the rotor blades, resulting in movement. The most important part of the RC helicopter.
Batteries – Lightweight packages of lithium polymer, making them both full of power and rechargeable.
Motor controller – This controls the speed and also alerts you if there is a low battery.
These parts are what are going to get you the money that you are looking for. It is good to know in what condition each is in, as well as the amount of use that you have gotten out of it before it stopped working. Knowing the parts will also help you understand why the helicopter broke in the first place. You do not want to sell or reuse the faulty parts if they no longer work.
Only you can decide if selling the parts or repairing the helicopter works best for you. You could even choose to completely disassemble the copter and use the parts for some arts and crafts projects if you choose to. What you do with the parts from your broken helicopter is entirely up to you but for most people there are plenty of other options besides throwing them in the trash.