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New WL Toys v949 (v929 with LED)

Looks like the latest revision of the v929 with the LED light stripe and transmitter that can turn on/off those lights are available for preorder over at BangGood. They are calling it the v949 to distinguish it from the v929. It looks like you get a new type of canopy also. Estimated date of arrival is 9/15/2012.

Categories: v929
7 Comments on New WL Toys v949 (v929 with LED)

v929 RX with LED Connectors Available

I know many have been awaiting the “rev3” v929 that has the LED and ability to switch it on/off from the TX. Aaron from BangGood just leaked that that revision will be available next month.

In the mean time, that version’s RX board with the LED connectors is already available.

You can purchase it here:

WLtoys V929 Beetle 4-Axis UFO Spare Parts Upgraded Recieving Board V929-06

Many of us are hoping that the ability to turn on/off the LED from the TX means that the RX has 5channels. Which may possibly mean we can use that 5th channel for other purpose. A 5channel micro quad flight controller for $13 is awesome.

 

Categories: v929
3 Comments on v929 RX with LED Connectors Available

Night Flying Colors

Each time the local flying group meets, it’s under the cover of darkness. No, we’re not spies, secret agents or drug dealers (inside joke) or anything like that. It’s just the best time to meet at the park for some flying is when the kids are down for bed and daddy duties are over. I have some of my micro FP heli modded with lights. It helps with night time orientation tremendously.

So, it was on once I learn about the availability of UV LED. I just placed an order for some rated at ~365nm wavelength and som at ~395-400nm. We’ll see how well they work to light up the fluorescent paint.

Here’s a photo I took under a black light compact fluorescent bulb.

The paint was so bright it felt like it was a light source.

Here are the colors I have so far. Fluorescent blue and green are on it’s way. So far, the yellow is the brightest and most vibrant.

 

I’ll create a new post if this experiment pans out. :)

 

See updates in the comments section below.

Categories: Helicopter
8 Comments on Night Flying Colors

FlySky FS-TH9x, Turnigy 9x Stick Calibration How-to

When you first get your TH9x, Turnigy 9x radio, I recommend you calibrate your sticks. It’s a quick procedure that ensure your sticks range of motion is seen correctly by the firmware. Keep in mind, this should work for all the variants of the FlySky FS-TH9x. i.e. Turnigy 9x, Imax-9x, Eurgle and CopterX

If not, here’s the procedure all new Turnigy 9x owners should perform.

Enter calibration mode:

On the left stick, press and hold the trim up.
On the right stick, press and hold the trim to the left.
Keep both trims held while turning on the power.

You will see the following screen if you successfully entered into the calibration mode:

Calibration steps:

1. Begin by centering both sticks. Then press and hold the Menu button down until you hear a confirmation beep.

  • The numbers 0000 on the top will increase to 0001.

2. The right stick gets calibrated first.

  • Move the right stick diagonally to the upper right. Hold it there while long pressing the menu button down until the confirmation beep.
  • The numbers 0001 will now increase to 0002.
  • Now, move the same stick diagonally to the lower left position. Hold it there while long pressing the menu button till the confirmation beep is heard.
  • The numbers 0002 will increase to 0003.
  • Done with the right stick. We will do the left stick in the same manner.

3. The left stick gets calibrated next.

  • Move the left stick diagonally to the upper right corner. Hold it there and then long press the menu button until the confirmation beep is heard.
  • The numbers on the display will increment to 0004.
  • Finally, move the left stick to the lower left corner and long press the menu button. The beep will sound.
  • The numbers  will change to 0005 now.

4. Finally, recenter both sticks. Long press the menu button until the beep is heard. The number will stay at 0005.

5. Exit and save the calibration result by double pressing the exit button. This will save your calibration and return to the regular menu.

 

That’s all there is to it. You have successfully calibrated your sticks. Hope that helped you guys out.

8 Comments on FlySky FS-TH9x, Turnigy 9x Stick Calibration How-to

Magnet Wire Tips and Tricks

In almost all aspect of life, having the right tool makes the job much easier. When flying micro helicopters and quads, everything has to be micro sized in order to avoid adding unneeded weight that may robs the motor of it’s performance.

For wires, magnet wires, also known as enamel wires, are a must have in your tool kit. The bigger brand names such as Horizon Hobby with their Blade lineup of heli, uses magnet wires for their antennas and for the tail motor. Nine Eagles is another manufacturer that uses magnet wires to extend to the tail motor.

I find that a good gauge for these wires are about 30-32 AWG, measuring about 0.0085in or 0.02mm. You can find magnet wires if you search for them online. Locally, my Fry’s Electronics and Radio Shack have them in spools that will last you a long time.

Alternatively, you can find the right gauge magnet wire in small motors often used in toys. Also, fans used in computers is often another source, though I find they can sometimes be thinner than 32ga.

Perfect 32ga magnet wire for these small motors

Simply take apart the motor and unravel the wire. Taking care not to rub against the rough armature and accidentally nick the enamel coating of the wire. One motor yields a lot of wire. After taking them off, you’ll see they are wavy and kinked.

A trick I use is to simply hold a section of the wire between each hand and running them back and forth against the edge of a a cutting mat, metal rod, or any edge that will not nick the wires and will not get damage if the wire start to cut into it. This trick will quickly straighten out the wire with a couple of passes. See the photos below…

Rubbing the wires back and forth along the edge of a table, metal rod or cutting mat will straighten out the kinks of the wire

To solder these magnet wires, you have to remove the enamel that coats the copper of the wire. The enamel is to prevent the wires from shorting out while wound up in the motor. Some people may scrape the thin enamel coating off. The trick I learned is that the enamel coating can be quickly burned off and the wire tinned at the same time using solder.

I put a blob of solder on the tip of my iron and touch the end of the magnet wire to it.

Touch the end of the magnet wire to a solder blob for a second to strip the enamel and tin it at the same time

It takes but a second and you get a perfectly tinned tip, ready to be solder. Easy peasy. :)

Perfectly tinned magnet wire without any hassle

Another tip for you. If you want to lower the overall resistance and thicken up the gauge of the wires, you can twist a few strands of the magnet wires together. I do this by putting one end into the power drill and hold the opposite end. The hand held power drill will make a perfect twisted bundle of magnet wire.

Put a few strands or more of magnet wire to a power drill and it will create a perfect twist

Here, you can see that three 32ga magnet wire twisted together has more copper than the original stock wires that feeds through the v929 boom. Because each wire has the enamel coating, despite having more overall copper, the twisted bundle is equal to the thickness of the original wires with it’s insulation. Which means you can still feed a positive and negative pair through the carbon fiber boom.

Three strands of 32ga magnet wire to replace original stock v929 boom wire

I like to use the magnet wire because it’s cheap, lightweight and it’s coating looks like anodized metal.

One final trick, for aesthetics, I will use the same color for positive and negative. To keep track of the polarity, I simply mark the each ends of the negative wire with a black sharpie so I properly solder it to the negative terminal. Twisted togther, they looks like an performance “upgrade.” :D The cooler looking it is…the faster it goes. ;)

That’s all there is to it.  Hopefully this post helps you guys. Happy modding!!!

9 Comments on Magnet Wire Tips and Tricks

Cheap LiPo Charging…

I remember when a good, computerized charger cost hundreds of dollars. New hobbyist now has a mired of options. Here’s a inexpensive one from Hobby King that many people already know. It’s based on the Imax B6 design, which there are many clones of.

Currently charging a v929 500mAh LiPo

I’ve used to to charge Lead Acid battery, NiCad and NiMH packs. LiION for my camera and LiPo packs for my RC stuff. It’s pretty verstile.

I was delighted to find that you can get a TTL-serial USB adapter and hook it up to the computer to log a battery’s discharge curve like I was able to in this post.

With a parallel charging leads, you can charge many 1s cells, like the ones used with the Xieda 9958, mSR, v911, Solo Pro, v929, etc…

Anyways, this is what you need to buy:

There’s debates on the safety of charging cells in parallel. Hyperion is a reputable LiPo manufacturer and they have a 1S Parallel Adapter for sale. You can purchase this for charging 6 Eflite style 1s in parallel instead of the Hobby King harness above: Hyperion Micro 1S Battery Parallel Adapter (HP-LGUM6PADAP)

Another charger that caught my eye is the Gens Ace iMars.

I think it function similar to the Accucel-6, but it has a nicer updated casing IMHO. Plus, it can do internal resistance reading. Some newer model Accucel-6 with a IR sticker on the box has this ability too…but getting it is a hit an miss currently. Remember, there are tons of other chargers out there.

More reading on parallel charging:
About parallel charging of Lixx/PB packs

And since I am playing with the WL Toys v929 Quad most of the time nowadays…here’s the battery I have tried for it so far.

I like the stock v929 battery for it’s weight, size and relative performance. But at roughly $5-$6, I rather buy the Turnigy Nanotech 600mAH @$2.58. It actually works really well. I got a bunch more in so I’ll take a closer look, but for the price, I think it’s a good solution for the v929, mQX, Solo Pro 328, Blade 120SR.

Categories: Test
3 Comments on Cheap LiPo Charging…

Faux Anodized Motor

I am pretty certain I am not the first to take a sharpie to the surface of a motor, but I’ll share this technique anyways. My wife gave me a bag of Sharpies last night and this was the first idea that came to mind.

I find that the large, wedge shaped Sharpie, stroking in one direction gives a nice even coverage. Here’s a comparison of the larger, wedge shaped Sharpie versus the standard conical shaped Sharpie on the right.

Wedge shaped/chisel Sharpie on right versus standard medium tipped Sharpie

Using the larger Sharpie, I find going in one continuous direction gives a nice even coverage.

It dries to the touch and can be handled without bleeding onto your hands once it’s dried. Unlike paint, the Sharpie allow the lustre of the metal to come through and simulates that anodized aluminum look. And because it’s such a thin layer of dye, it still allow the motor to cool off properly.

However, the drawback is that the faux anodized finish can easily be scratched or scrapped off. Luckily, it’s easy to retouch the scratched up parts. I think the results speaks for itself. It looks pretty nice when all is said and done. Very little effort and zero cost versus the bling, bling anodized CNC parts we hobbyist are always drooling over.

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