'Lucky Boy 9961' overview

Lucky Boy 9961 R/C helicopter

Yes, it’s yet another helicopter post! This time, the Lucky Boy 9961. It’s a strange brand name… but it’s an awesome heli! Not only does it look nice, it also carries a camera capable of capturing photos and video with audio.

I had originally purchased a smaller, infra-red model, which looked equally good. However, I could not get it properly trimmed; it kept rotating clockwise, no matter how much I turned the trim control to try and correct it. You could keep it steady by holding the stick left, but then you couldn’t actually turn left at any decent rate. So, that had to go back for a refund.

Searching for a replacement model, I found the Silverlit Spy Cam, and considered buying that. Then I noticed that another seller on Amazon was selling the same model helicopter I’d just returned, which had one review. That was when I first became aware of the Lucky Boy 9961. The review author claimed he’d bought one for a similar amount of money, and that you got “a lot more spec”.

I Googled the name, but couldn’t find anyone in the UK selling that heli – no model shops, not even on eBay. Then, just on the off-chance, I omitted the brand name and simply searched for ‘9961’ on Amazon… and one seller had them available, with only a few left, so I ordered. On its arrival, it was clear that this was a much better heli. For starters, it’s about three times the size, and it’s radio controlled rather than infra-red, so weather permitting, you can use it outside – unlike both the previous faulty model and the Silverlit I’d been considering.

Lucky Boy 9961

With the smaller model I had originally purchased, flight problems aside, what little video I managed to capture while it was spiralling around the living room was quite dark, recorded at 320×240, and the recorded audio was horrendously out of sync; it played too quickly and finished well before the end of the video. With the Lucky Boy, there are no such problems; video is much brighter, recorded at 640×480, and the sound is perfectly in sync.

The heli is amazingly easy to fly, and very stable in a hover, which is not only essential for capturing decent video, but also – given its size – a very good thing if you want or need to fly indoors. It flew perfectly straight out of the box, with no adjustment required to the trim control on the radio transmitter. Width and height are about the same as the Blade CX3, but the 9961 is about two inches longer. There’s also more metal and more rigid plastics used in the bodywork, so it doesn’t get blown around quite as easily as the CX3.

That said, it would still struggle in anything more than a moderate breeze. As you can see in the video below, there is occasionally some sideways drift, even though the breeze on the day was not strong enough to move the bushes or trees very much.

This video shows the footage from the heli’s camera much smaller than its actual size of 640×480. The audio has also been removed so that only the audio captured by the camcorder can be heard.


This is the raw footage from the heli’s camera, uploaded to YouTube directly from the AVI file produced by the on-board camera unit. Please be advised that the audio is LOUD, so please adjust your speaker volume accordingly!


Accessing the video

Once you’ve recorded your flight, getting the video on to your PC is easy. Simply connect the camera unit to the PC with a standard mini-USB cable and copy the AVI files across. The helicopter doesn’t even need to be switched on, as the camera unit will draw power from the USB connection.

You can then either watch the video as recorded, using your favourite media player software, or as I have done here, load it into some video editing software and edit it as you wish. The only thing to be aware of is that, although sound is recorded, you will have the relatively loud drone of the motors, as you can hear in the raw footage. They may call it a ‘Spy Cam’, but you’re never going to sneak up on anyone with it!

All in all, it’s a great helicopter, and I’d thoroughly recommend it. It’s great for indoor use, providing you have a reasonable amount of space – even better when you get the chance to use it outdoors on a calm day.

  • I have a question (I can’t find the answer anywhere online)- We got the helicopter as a present for my son. The helicopter was already tested by the shop (but I suspect they used it for longer time as there is a few movies and photos on the memory card). When we plug the charger the led is constantly red (according to manual the led is supposed to turn on when it’s fully charged). We charged it for 1.5 h and the helicopter stopped working after 1 min (it stopped ascending while the rotor blades still worked for a minute or 2 and then died as well). How did your charger work? Was the led off when plugged in and then turned on, after being plugged in for some time? Do you think it’s the charger problem or the battery is old? I would be very grateful for your answer!

    • The manual isn’t very good, is it? 🙂 On mine, the LED on the charger lights up red even when you connect it to the battery, without it being plugged in, which is bizarre.

      What you will find is that the LED will be red while the battery is charging, and will turn green when the battery is fully charged. A full charge from ’empty’ usually takes around 2 hours 20 minutes, and should give you somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes of flight time.

      If the flight time is significantly less on a full charge, the chances are the helicopter has already seen a lot of use and the battery needs replacing.

      One piece of advice, though, in case you weren’t aware: When flying, once the helicopter will no longer gain altitude, you should land it and shut it down. If you keep running the rotors until the battery is completely drained, the battery can be damaged and may not charge again, or will hold less charge. This is a general recommendation for Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) batteries which are used to power most modern electric models.

      One final point: If you’re not already, please make sure yourself and your son are aware of the risks attached to Li-Po batteries, as they can be dangerous if not used correctly. Some good places to start for basic safety and care:

      http://www.bmfa.org/resources/lipobatteries.html

      http://www.rcmods.co.uk/lipo_battery_safety_tips.php

      For more technical information:

      http://www.rchelicopterfun.com/rc-lipo-batteries.html

      I hope this has been some help to you, and your son gets a lot of enjoyment from the heli. Thanks for visiting/reading/commenting.

      • Thank you so much, didn’t expect such a quick & detailed reply. It was very helpful. I hope we will get the helicopter working properly now. Thanks!!!

  • CastlegarGlenn

    Hi Paranoimia, I too have a question not apparently answered in the manual. You mention adjusting the on-board gyro, I cannot see how/where that is done?

    Thanks!

    • Hi. Apologies for the delay in replying. For some reason I didn’t get the usual e-mail from Disqus telling me that a new comment had been left!

      The mention of adjusting the on-board gyro was a mistake on my part, and I’ll edit the post accordingly. As far as I can tell, there is no user-adjustable system on this helicopter. The only method is to use the trim control in the middle of the controller, though as stated, mine was perfect right out of the box.

      As for your problem with forward and backward flight, is this indoors or outdoors?

      Any number of things can affect the flight outdoors. I was trying to fly mine around the garden on one of the few very hot days we had this summer, and while there was very little breeze, I just could not get it to move forwards away from me. The only thing I could put it down to was the simple fact that our garden slopes upwards away from the house, and I figured that the heat rising from the lawn was causing air currents which it was not powerful enough to overcome. That sounds a little daft, but as you can see in the video, on a still, cool day, it works perfectly well outdoors, so that’s the only explanation I have.

      Indoors you should have no problem at all if the helicopter is working correctly – mine tilts enough to move quite quickly, and pushing the stick fully forward would result in collision with a wall in seconds. If you can’t get it to move significantly forwards or backwards indoors, then something is wrong with your particular model, and I would recommend that you return it for a replacement – assuming of course that you haven’t already done so, given the delay in my replying to you!

      Hope this is still of some help, and once again, sorry for the delay in replying.

  • Hi. We’ve got this heli as a present from our kids (yes, well kids arealmost 30) but there is no manual in the box – where could we find a maanual – maybe online or a scanned one. We didn’t tried it yet – but it is mainly about the blades – is it normal to be so loose? Many thanks.

    • Yes, the blades are supposed to be loose enough to swing freely. Many coaxial helicopters have this feature; tightening them can have a detrimental effect on flight and controllability.

      If you still want/need a manual and can’t find one online (I’ve just had a quick look on Google and couldn’t find one), feel free to leave another comment and I’ll see if I can find mine and scan it for you.

  • cAN anyone help….. i just got for christmas new one 9661 but its not working ,, is there any LED light on it… my charger turns green in 1 minute ….. and no life from the helicopter ,,please anyone help..

    • There is a white LED in the nose which should light up as soon as the helicopter is switched on, if there is any charge in the battery.

      It sounds like you have a faulty battery and/or charger. My advice would be to ask whoever bought it for you where they got it from, so that you can return it for an exchange.

      • Mutrazilah Rado

        would that be a problem from the charger (it still has the green led on when plugged in) or the battery?…ive been using it for a while and im sure (base on your comments above) the battery is now totally dead.

        • Yes, it certainly sounds like the battery is dead.

  • hi i bought this helicopter a few week back it will take pictures but wont record can you help me with this please

    • Turn on the transmitter and the helicopter and place the helicopter on a table or something similar, facing away from you so that you can see the rear of the camera unit underneath.

      To the left of the micro-SD card you’ll see the red LED indicating that the helicopter is powered on. To the right of the micro-SD slot, there is a blue LED; this will flash on once when you take a photo, and should stay on when you press the video record button. You may need to hold the video record button for a second or two for it to register. Then do the same again when you want to stop recording.

      If you don’t see this blue LED when recording, the chances are that you have a faulty unit. If that’s the case, I can only suggest that you make arrangements to return the helicopter for a refund or exchange.

  • Jaap

    Hai, I have a question as well. The manual says to install the antenna cord. Mine is wrapped around one the legs of the helicopter and already plugged in somewhere inside the helicopter. Is this enough or do I have to do something else with it? The manual is not really clear on this. Can you help me please?

    • It sounds like it is already connected. Mine was.

      Charge the helicopter battery and put batteries in the controller. Turn on the helicopter, make sure the throttle stick is pulled all the way back, and turn on the controller. (The throttle stick is usually the left one by default, but is changeable on this controller. It’s whichever stick doesn’t auto-centre.)

      The controller will beep several times while it links to the helicopter, and when it does the rotors should twitch briefly. If they do, you should be good to go. Keep the throttle stick all the way back and move the other stick around – you should see the rotor head moving about. If it does, you’re ready to fly.

    • It should be ready to fly right out of the box. Turn on the helicopter and controller, and slowly push the throttle stick forward. As soon as it shows any movement, you know you’re ready to go.