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Blade mSR

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Hobby King Spektrum DSMX Module

What an exciting day for micro R/C hobbyist. Hobby King just introduced a new module that is compatible with Spektrum DSMX and DSM2 technology for your Turnigy 9x and other radio that accepts JR style module.

OrangeRX DSMX/DSM2 Transmitter Module

It’s a full range system too. So you can fly all the Horizon Hobby DSM2 and DSMX BnF system with your Turnigy 9x.

Price is decent at $30.

New Hobby King OrangeRX DSMX and DSM2 Transmitter Module for the Turnigy 9x

Thanks to Julian for giving me the heads up on it’s availability. :)

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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!!!

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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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Link Guides O-Ring Mod

How many of you are breaking off the link guides like I am prone to doing during hard crashes? I put some 9958 canopy grommets on them and hopefully they reduce the breakage rates. Give it a try and let me know if works out for you.

I use tweezers to open up the o ring so they easily slip over the link guides.

Left: Example of the link guides breaking off on the rotor head. Right: Using tweezers to open up the o ring so it easily go onto the link guides.

Adjust the o ring so they don’t rub against the linkage.

Get the o ring as close to the linkage as possible, but don't allow them to rub.

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Module from MLP4DSM Wired Up

Here’s the module taken from the MLP4DSM transmitter that comes with E-Flite RTF kits. It shows the wiring necessary for hookup to the Turnigy 9x running custom firmware that supports the DSM2 protocol.

See this post for location of the 3.3v pad to solder the red wire to.

I added an LED inline with the PPM signal wire. Because the LED is a diode, it drops the voltage of the PPM line from 5v to the 3.3v that the DSM2 module can handle.

To protect the entire assembly, I used 1/2″ clear shrink tube. The clear shrink tube allows me to see the status LED onboard the DMS2 module.

Everything is working great with the latest th9x firmware. I was able to bind to my mSR by holding the trainer switch while powering up the transmitter.

On the er9x front. Mike Blandford was able to get the th9x source code properly added to the er9x firmware. Use build r635 or later. I was successful in using his firmware in connecting the Turnigy 9x TX to the mSR. Great job Mike!

*04/23/2012 Update*
This setup continues to work without a hitch for me. I have since bound to and controlled the following Blade models successfully: mCX2, mSR, mCP X, 120SR and mSR X.

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MLP4DSM DSM2 Module versus Xieda 9958

The range on the Xieda 9958 isn’t that great. If you open up the transmitter, you’ll notice that there is no antenna wire connected to the 2.4ghz module. For comparision, take a look at the inside of the E-Flite MLP4DSM transmitter.

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Blade mSR Pinion to Main Gear Ratio

Someone on the RC Groups forum wanted to know the gear ratio of the Blade mSR so they can possibly use them on another RC vehicle. I took a picture and figured I’d share here.

Blade mSR Pinion and Main Gear

Categories: Blade mSR, Helicopter
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