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I like gadgets, and electronic toys. I know I should know better at my age but they just fascinate me. The technology has leapt bounds in recent years and keeping up can be full time job, so I tend just to browse around now and then.
Sometimes I don't just look however, there are times where my compulsive nature dips into the kitty and makes a rash purchase. I guess most purchases have now become obsolete with the leaps in technology, but I do still get them out and have a play every now and then.
Such is the case with the Silverlit PiccooZ.
I purchased this ate last year for £19.99 in Maplin store, and since then it has popped out every so often to amusing some tiresome hours. It's not a big RC helicopter its quite small but it is fun to play with.
Tasha our cross collie bitch does not take kindly to my playing sessions and this is perhaps one of the reasons it only gets aired now and then. Not sure what she's thinking, but she'll chase it round the room or simply shy away into the corner when I get it out.
The helicopter is about 5 inches long and perhaps 2 inches max at its highest point, but this does not retract from the enjoyment it has given, and it perhaps makes it more enjoyable since being small means you get better control in such a small space as my living room.
The helicopter is a 4 channel RC device that is controlled by a rather bulky control panel. It probably has to be so to house the batteries, which are 4 AA type. The top portion of the control also acts as a hanger for the helicopter when not in use so this would validate the size.
A small cable from the main control panel is connected to the connection on the helicopter for charging purposes, and this process takes about 10 - 15 mins. On this short charge the unit will fly for about another 15 mins before a recharge is required. If you are a child I think this gap might be a bit long and you might quickly lose interest, however being an adult LOL I was prepared to wait each time I wanted a fly.
On first getting the whole thing out of the box and charged you have to trim the rotors so that you can get the maximum control. This is done by flying the copter and using the small slide control on the top right of the control panel. By adjusting this, the flight will become more stable and controllable. If this omitted then flight will be possible but a bit erratic. This need only be done once unless of course you have a severe crash and it cause the rotors to misalign.
Trimming done you are ready to fly and doing so is simple but does take a few attempts to get the hang off. The main controls at the bottom of the control panel are familiar type controls being that they are of the paddle type. The one on the right is for speed of rotors and hence controls the height. The one on the left is for the speed of the tail rotor and controls direction. A quick sharp burst on the height control will send the helicopter straight to the roof and crash. So a gentle but positive motion slowly increasing the speed will give a more realistic take of. The copter will slightly hover above it resting place and when more power is applied via the control up she'll go.
Obviously whilst controlling the speed of rise you also have to control the direction and this requires pretty much the opposite to get maximum control. A few quick sharps bursts in the opposite direction to which you want to go will firstly straighten up the flight path.
This is perhaps the trickiest bit since the response from the copter will depend of draughts in the room. A little practice will see you soon perfect this. Once you have mastered the controls everything else is just enjoying the flight and the fun.
A good starting point is to take off from the coffee table and then fly round the room and land close to where you took off. This will give you a better idea of the controls and will also give you a great deal of satisfaction at having completed the task.
The Silverlit zooms round the room, but being small is an advantage in so much as the space it is flying in seems larger. You will have times where you over compensate for draughts and regaining control is fun. Other times the ceiling will get hit and the copter will crash to the floor. No draughts then open the back door and let a little in. It creates a challenge.
The rotors are fragile but not so much so that they can't take a fair bit of bumping and crashing. One replacement tail rotor is supplied and they are easily purchased on the net in packs of three for about £3.
One slight problem with regard to the rotors is that should I crash to the floor with rotors still rotating then there are times when some of Tasha's hair has got entangled. This isn't a big problem as the rotors are just push fit. It does require a certain amount of tenderness not the breaks while removing the hair though.
With Christmas just around the corner I think this would make an excellent present for some young boy. It's super fun easy to fly and just requires a little time and effort to get it flying superbly. I don't see any young boy having any problems flying this. There are bigger helicopters out there for much more money, but this small Silverlit has given me hours of fun. Well worth the money.
Although this model is still available it's successor is also the same price now and I'd expect it to be superior to this. I have seen it in different colours such as yellow but I think the red is quite cool.
Having bought the bigger older version of this for my son, when the next Christmas came around I thought I would buy him even smaller version.
Being smaller it should be even more fun in the house, it also was a much neater design with the charger being a base the helicopter could sit on safe out of the way and the control being separate.
It still took 6 aa batteries, and still has the decent charge times of the older model.
However, this time flying it was a lot less fun, due to the fact this model is shorter, it simply doesn't have the stability of the old one. It tends to spin in the air and is of course more effected by drafts.
I tired weighting the front, messing with the trim control but this one wouldn't fly. I found out from a friend he had the same issue with 2 he bought, so this a design issue not just with the one I bought.
Honestly get the bigger model, it's a lot easier and more fun to use.
I recently reviewed the standard Silverlit 'PicooZ' remote control helicopter, which is a maneuverable and fun toy that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. The 'PicooZ MX1 Supreme Micro Helicopter' is a smaller version of the flying-machine, and promises "the same phenomenal performance" as its larger brother. In this review I will test that claim, and directly compare both versions of the popular toy.
As is the case with the standard version, the Micro helicopter is made from polystyrene, which allows it to be light enough to get off the ground, and at the same time strong enough to withstand dropping from the air onto a hard floor. The plastic rotors are the main structural weakness of the toy, and will probably be the first part to be damaged with persistent crashes into walls and pets! A spare tail rotor is included in the box - not only because it can break, but also because it can come off and get lost.
Costing £17.95 from Amazon (RRP £29.99) the helicopter is available in three different colours - red, yellow, and blue, and is 33% shorter and lighter than the original PicooZ.
The Supreme Micro Helicopter comes with a very small remote (known as the transmitter) which takes two AAA batteries that screw into a compartment on the underside. Unfortunately, the device requires more batteries (four AA's) for the charging platform which the helicopter 'docks' onto via a short cable (provided).
The Picooz Micro has an internal battery which takes around 20 minutes to charge. When the charge is complete, the helicopter will operate for around 6-10 minutes before running out.
Is it Easy to Fly?
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In a word... No! Like the original PicooZ, getting it off the ground is easy, but keeping it up there is more difficult to master! Unfortunately for this model, the maneuverability is almost non-existent, with the lightweight nature of the toy being adversely affected by even the smallest draught. This is why it is incredibly important to close all doors and windows before flying.
The transmitter on the micro model is harder to get to grips with than the well designed controls of the regular PicooZ. This is because the lever-like thrust and steering sticks have been replaced by sliding buttons which offer much less accuracy for the 'pilot'.
Your First Flight
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As with the full size version, you should place the Micro PicooZ on a level surface with plenty of space above and around it. Pushing the throttle upwards will send your machine into the air - but too much throttle will have the helicopter bashing into the ceiling. This is most apparent when the helicopter is fully charged, when even a little throttle will thrust the helicopter straight to the top of the room. The helicopter is easiest to fly near the end of the charge, where the controls will be less sensitive, therefore making the PicooZ more stable in flight.
When you first use the Micro Helicopter, it will spin uncontrollably until you adjust the 'trim' buttons on the remote. I had never heard of 'trimming' before I owned the original PicooZ, but I am now an expert! ;) The trim buttons should be tapped in the correct direction (left or right) until the toy stops spinning, and hovers evenly in the air. With the larger PicooZ, you could put a piece of bluetack on the underside of the nose to increase stability, but with this model, that has little effect - in fact, when I tried adding weight, it actually made the helicopter wobble and shake even more in the air.
The Silverlit PicooZ MX1 Supreme Micro Helicopter is a little disappointing when compared to its larger sibling, due to the fact that trying to navigate the 'chopper' from one point to another is nigh-on impossible - hovering and spinning in one spot, until a draught randomly moves it to another location, is this machines forte.
This smaller version of the PicooZ is again well made, and its body won't easy break when falling from high in the air, or crashing at speed into a wall - a good job really, considering how hard it is to operate.
In my opinion Silverlit have sacrificed too much control over the helicopter in an attempt to make it as small as possible. Therefore, the "same phenomenal performance" claim that the Supreme Micro is supposed to have, is simply not true. That said, as a novelty gift for someone who hasn't experienced the excellence of the regular PicooZ, this Micro toy will still impress - it is a remote control flying machine after all! Recommended for novelty value alone - at £17.95 it's not going to break the bank.
What's in the Box?
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When you purchase the PicooZ MX1 Supreme Micro Helicopter, the package contains;
-1 PiccooZ Helicopter
-A Spare Tail Propeller
The MX-1 Micro Picoo Z's are now 33 per cent shorter and lighter than the original Picoo Z Helicopter, yet are still capable of the same phenomenal performance and ability to amaze onlookers! The Picoo Z Micro MX-1 Supreme is a two-channel infra-red remote control indoor helicopter, with digital proportional control and built-in Li-Poly batteries for long flying time. The MX-1 Supreme comes with infra-red control, pocket sized transmitter and separate desktop charging station. 6 x AA size batteries required (not included). The Picoo Z Micro MX-1 Supreme is equipped with LED lights while flying. Available in red, black or white, though we are unable to determine which colour you will receive.