The Piccolo Fun looks identical to the Eco Piccolo, and they both share the same mouldings However under the surface you'll find some changes which reflect its budget status. The original ball bearings are gone in favour of cheaper nylon bearings, and instead of steel the main and tail rotor shafts are made of carbon. This means that the weight is slightly increased.
The canopy is pre-moulded in one piece from a Depron-like material and is noticeably heavier than the original.
One useful improvement is the adoption of a much more rigid anti-rotation collar.
In order to increase running time, I purchased a 3-cell 10.8 V Li Ion pack and a dedicated charger. Note these are not Ikarus items, they are distributed by J. Perkins and are badged "Enjoy Models".
On connecting to a car battery, the charger LED behaved erratically, and the battery appeared not to be accepting charge, so I returned both the charger and battery pack to Galaxy Models. Galaxy forwarded them to J. Perkins. 3 weeks passed and no word. It was discovered that the Perkins engineer was on holiday, so Galaxy sent me new units ex-stock.
However, the new unit was giving similar problems - the battery was still not accepting any charge!
Two bad chargers on the trot - this was more than a coincidence! Time to do some investigation.
Lo and behold, that cigarette lighter plug is completely misleading - the minimum input voltage to the charger turns out to be 15 V according to the specs. A phone call to the Perkins engineer confirmed the diagnosis of insufficient input voltage. He said that they would alter the documentation.
Armed with this knowledge, I dug out an old DC adapter from the spares box. This was rated at 15V / 1Amp. The charger works perfectly now, and I'm getting around 18 minutes flight time per charge. The battery performance is fine and I'm very pleased with the combination of Piccolo Fun and LiIon.
The Piccolo Fun flies well and is good value. The LiIon battery is great, after using it once you'll never want to use a Nicad again. Remember you'll need a 15V supply for the charger.
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