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HiSky HT-8 and FF120 Board Pics

To help those of you hacking the FF120/mQBot Micro flight controller, here are some photos.

You can see some pads underneath.

Here’s the transceiver used. Clearly seen with the shield taken off. I foolishly attempted to desolder the shield. Then I saw that the shield can actually just pop off. Very nice. :)

And here’s the FF120/qBot micro flight controller.

And here’s the bottom as requested:
FF120_Qbot_micro_FC_RX_Flight_Controller_Bottom

Categories: quadcopters
5 Comments

Walkera Devo 7e Transmitter Increase Range Mod

The Walkera Devo 7e is a good compact transmitter. Install the Deviation firmware, and you have an unbeatable transmitter that supports many protocols. The one wishlist item that owners have is that the TX can be use for longer range flying. Fortunately, the gurus hacking on the Devo 7e found that by shorting a single diode, you bypass the intentional handicapping of the radio transmission, and increase the power output by 10x. Making it on par with it’s full range siblings, the Devo 10 and Devo 8s.

All it takes is to remove the metal shield to access the diode that needs to be bypassed.


There’s a large amount of solder so the risk for solder splashes is high. Therefore, eye protection is important.

I start by putting on eye protection. Then add some additional solder to each of the two corners you’re going to remove first. The additional solder helps the solder blob stay heated and molten. Then quickly, move your solder iron back and forth between two points. Use a hobby knife or tweezers to lift one side of the shield. Then simply repeat for the second pair of solder joints and the shield will come off quite easily.

Then it’s just a matter of identifying the diode and shorting it. Before doing so, it’s a good idea to do a range test to get a reference of how far the stock radio transmission is able reach. Important for testing whether your mod was successful at the end.

/update 2014-01-01
The safest way we have found to accomplish this is to use a conductive ink or compound. Such as the stuff used to repair the defogging lines on a automobile rear window. These can be found for about $8-11 at most automotive parts store. With the conductive ink, you can just paint diode and make sure it’s covered well enough so both ends of the diode is now electrically connected.

I have seen circuit writer pens with conductive ink. Generally pricey at $20. You press the tip in to release the ink. However, do not press inward over the circuit board. A flood of ink may pour out. So press over a piece of scrap plastic to see how much flows out or create a drop. Then just transfer and short the diode. Build it up to ensure you have good coverage.
/update end

Now, for those who intend on soldering because it’s what they already have on the bench and do not want to buy conductive ink…please take note to help mitigate accidents and increase your chances of being successful.

Note: the area is very cramp with surrounding SMD. I suggest you use tape, such as Kapton, or liquid electrical tape, or something that will help mitigate unintentionally removing of a surrounding SMD.

There are several methods to short the pads the diode is soldered to. Nowadays, the community feel it’s best to steer people towards the use of conductive ink. (See the updated section above.) It’s easier to get right and not risk accidentally and unintentionally desoldering the surrounding smd components.

Alternatively, you can simply solder a thin wire on each end of the diode. This way, you can reverse the changes. This is how I am modding Devo 7e nowadays:

devo7e_range_mod_alternate_method_solder_wire

And here’s a photo of how I first did the mod. I’ll include it for historical purpose. Hidden by default so it doesn’t clutter this post and confuse newbies with too many optional ways to accomplish the mod.

Click to show original method

I originally accomplish the mod by using solder to bridge the two points after I removed the diode that was there. I used a small wire to help the solder flow and bridge the two points. See image below.

 

Once you are done bridging the two points, test the radio and ensure you are still able to bind to and control the R/C. Once you deem the mod has been successful, it’s important to put back on the RF shield.

I do this by cleaning up any solder so the shield can sit flat. Then it’s just a matter of adding new solder so everything looks the way it did before you removed the shield.

 

Lastly, make sure you edit your tx.ini file and enable the additional power.

/update 2014-02-16
The latest Deviation firmware have moved  the [modules] section from the tx.ini to a hardware.ini file. So locate and edit the [modules] section in the appropriate file depending on which version of Deviation you are using.

/update end

(Tip in layman’s term: A semicolon preceding the line means that line has been “commented out,” therefore it’s not read. Remove the semicolon to “activate” the line)

[modules]
has_pa-cyrf6936 = 1

Finally, do another range test to ensure your mod is successful before you close everything up.

Here’s a thread discussing the mod with some graphs of the increase in power output.

Removing shield and diode 7E for better reach

Categories: Devo
24 Comments

Walkera Devo 7e Transmitter DeviationX FlySky/Hubsan Mod

Yes! Just received my Walkera Devo 7e from BangGood. I was surprise to see it arrive in only 14 days all the way from China. I have been wanting to try DeviationX out for a long time. With the release of DeviationX 3.0 and support for WLtoys v929, v949 and v959 triggerable accessories, not to mention the Hubsan X4 support and SkyArtec support, the Devo 7e had to be a part of my collection.

The size of the Devo 7e makes it very portable. And it feels very solid in the hand. The areas where your palm and finger grip are greeted with rubber. So it’s nice. The sticks are made of aluminum instead of plastic like I thought it would be. And inside, I see ball bearings on the gimbal. A nice surprise.

Anyways, one of the first thing I did was look up tutorial on how to add the FlySky A7105 module to the Devo 7e. This will allow you to use the Devo7e to bind to FlySky protocol and Hubsan protocol. Thrilled to be able to fly my WLToys v911, v929, v949, Xieda 9958 and Hubsan X4. After the successfully mod, I put together the following images to help anybody looking to do the same.

After the hardware has been installed, make sure to open up the tx.ini hardware.ini with an editor like Notepad++ (Don’t use the built into Windows Notepad. It changes the formatting and the .ini file will no longer be readable by the TX) and enable the newly installed module.


enable-a7105=A13
has_pa-a7105=1

Note: there are no semi colon ; preceeding the lines? The semi colon will tell the TX not to read that line, disabling the command. So make sure you remove the semicolon to “enable” the newly installed module. 

The first line enables the module if pin 1.SCS was soldered to the TMS position. If you already have an addon module installed to the TMS position, and have the A7105 module soldered to the TCK point. Then enable-a7105=A14 is what you would enter into the hardware.ini.

The second line has_pa-a7105=1 enables the power amp (PA) support if your A7105 has the PA circuit. Otherwise, leave it as has_pa-a7105=0.

Categories: Devo
15 Comments

WLtoys v922 Photoshoot

I took the v922 out for a hike and photoshoot the other day. Of course, the morning I have time to have this little adventure and bonding time with the little heli, mother nature decided to drizzle and overcast the skies thwart my use of the typically beautiful morning sunlight. And the wind didn’t help me try and capture a flyby, manning both camera and TX. LOL

Anyways, was gonna throw these images away. However, grabbed some to demonstrate to Heli Pad how the Pelican or “Pelicanopy” as he dubs it actually grows on you. And how from certain angle, it isn’t as ugly as first thought.

I told him perhaps it’s because the v922 is now part of my growing family. Thus I have to look past it and see the inner beauty, just like a parent would (must) do so with their own loving child. Apt analogy? LOL

Like a cat ready to pounce.

Sitting pretty on a rock.

Front view. Not too bad looking from this angle.

Slow shutter speed here to capture the moving water in the background.

Categories: v922
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WLtoys v922 (HiSky FBL100/Turnigy FBL100)

Just got delivery of the WLtoys v922. It’s a Blade mCPX style CP heli and it flies well. Giving it a once over, it’s well made and the PCB and servos are better manufacture than the Blade mCPX. Shiny solder joints with just the right amount of solder.

I like that the status LED is right in the middle. On some of the Blade heli, the off centered LED made the glow underneath the canopy off centered.

Here’s the brushless signal tap points for those googling for the info:

The weight:

Front side:

Back side:

Categories: v922
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